See entire October 12, 2011 newsletter

At the risk of sounding melodramatic (something of which I am very capable), there are times when I want things to change so much and so quickly it hurts. And, yes, even makes me cry. So why not read on and join me on a trip to Green Oz? I’m Dorothy with green glittery shoes made from recycled material and I’m in charge of the control panel.

What life would look like in Green Oz…

Food– our food would be healthy, not genetically modified, not sprayed with insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, not shipped long distances from who knows where and we would eat what’s in season. We would have lots of co-op farms and community gardens where people from every generation would pitch in to make it all work. We would have fun “canning” things again (in jars.) CORN syrup would have no rightful place in our Green Oz – none. Meat would be consumed less, animals valued for their contribution to our food supply and the phrase “cruelty free” would not be used in a sentence. There would be no such thing as diet coke – call me a heretic. I’m sure there’s more. What say you, Lisa Frack from EWG?

Cars – the Electric Car would not have been killed, Gashole (the movie) would be a ridiculously funny work of fiction, cars would all get at least 50 MPG, there would be fewer of them and much, much more public transportation, carpooling and bike riding.

Power – ready for this one? Solar – everywhere because the sun will always come out tomorrow…

Potions and lotions and creams – this one makes me salivate – sorry. Most of them would all be gone. We would take short showers, wash with soap, and eliminate the use of: chemically-ladened shampoos and conditioners, and hair dye (yup – gray hair would be considered pretty!) Make-up? GONE! What is there to make up? Natural beauty honored. Eye shadow? Lip liner? Eye brow pencils? Blush? Nail polish (which requires nail polish REMOVER)? We could just show up as us in our land of Green Oz.

Paper – we would cherish it, not waste it. We would use so little that there would not be such high demand for it. There would be NO junk mail – there’s a reason why they call it that. (Have you gone to to stops yours?

Water – where can I go with this one? What can I possibly say that I haven’t already said? We wouldn’t waste it, our oceans and lakes and rivers would be pristine, we wouldn’t need filters nor huge operations to ship it to places that have used all theirs up – like Los Angeles which is supposed to be a desert. We wouldn’t flush water clean enough to drink. Clean water, enough for everyone. What a concept.

Plastic – since I am supposed to be writing a newsletter and not a novella, I have to stop at this one because I had to save the best for last. The word “plastic” would not appear as a word in the Green Oz dictionary. No plastic bottles, bags, cups, containers, knives, forks, spoons, no plastic anything. And guess what folks? We could actually live right here on Planet Earth and eliminate that one. What don’t people get about this one? Frustrating for me at best.

And the next time you see me, just call me Dorothy. Won’t mind it a bit.

Arizona’s Greenest Workplace Challenge is Over!

The voting is over, the winners announced and the praises abound. First place is and OMG – they are unbelievable! In addition to their being the LARGEST retailer of triathlete equipment in the world, their commitment to sustainability is evident upon arrival at their headquarters in Tucson. Ready for this? Flanking’s 32,000-square foot facility are water harvesting tanks, holding a combined 36,000 gallons of water. Check out their website’s “about us” page and tell me you don’t love this company!

And in second place….drumroll… our very own Shaffer Dry Cleaning & Laundry. Ten years ago, Shaffer made the costly switch to green dry cleaning to benefit the health of their employees, customers and the environment. Shaffer utilizes the non-toxic, non-allergenic GreenEarth solvent in its dry cleaning process. The company recycles its hangers, and recycles clothes and Shaffer partners with local charities to make a difference for the community in which they live and work. Patricia Shaffer told me they had fun “getting out the vote” among loyal customers, family and friends. Proud partners in every way.

And now for Mrs. Green’s Choice. If we ever have another contest, we are not having this category – trust me. It’s way too hard and there were way too many good choices – like 22 of them. It wasn’t exactly eenie meenie but we decided on a two way tie for this one. PopCycle IS the little engine that could and did get out the vote, and their store on 4th Avenue should be a must see on your list – local or visitor. And how could we not pick Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona simply just for the major impact they have on the planet every single day? Shop there? Yes. Drop there? Please do!

A HUGE, warm, sincere thanks to everyone who entered and to everyone who voted – because by simply doing so, you were making a difference.