Happy Earth Day 2011

Today is the day we honor our home planet and bring awareness to environmental causes, hoping to inspire and educate people to act eco-friendly. The first Earth day was in 1970 and since then over 175 countries celebrate our planet and promote environmentalism. This year Earth Day has been centered around a campaign called A Billion Acts Of Green. This is personal, organizational, and corporate pledges to live and act in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner. This campaign is the largest environmental service campaign in the world and is constantly gaining individuals, companies, and governments committed to taking their part in helping the environment. Whether an individual decides to take an initiative and create a change or a corporation decides to create sustainability in their company, A Billion Acts of Green welcomes an sort of help in reducing carbon emissions and helping the Earth.

This campaign shows how people can take their part in protecting our planet. Every bit of help counts. When individuals and organizations make commitments to better our environment, possibilities for success are endless. Cooperation and dedication are portrayed when millions come together to support a cause.

Other elements of Earth Day 2011 include:

-Athletes for the Earth: Voices of Olympic and professional athletes speak out to help the environment
-The Canopy Project: Deals with the restocking of existing forests and woodlands which have been depleted from the effect of deforestation
-Green Schools: Helping schools become eco-friendly
-Women and Green Economy (WAGE): Encouraging women leaders to develop ways to green our economy
-Creating Climate Wealth: Finding ways to solve the concern about climate change
-Arts for the Earth: Honor environmental artists who have made art that has brought sustainability to our world

Happy Earth Day!

Avatar Blu-ray Distress

It’s the release of one of the most successful movies in history, Avatar. Some industry analysts think this movie will push Blu-ray sales in the same fashion that The Matrix pushed DVD sales. You can imagine how quickly the Blu-ray version has been flying off of stores shelves since its April 20th release. As sales have been through the roof, a little controversy has surfaced regarding the Avatar Blu-ray release.

1. The Packaging: Part of Avatar’s focus has been on environmental awareness. Choosing its release on Earth Day (April 20) the creators hoped to drive the message further. Even the film’s director James Cameron has been on Capital Hill recently talking about how his movie is a “Call to action” to protect the planet. Many bloggers and writers are finding the irony of Avatar’s Blu-ray and DVD releases not featuring  eco-friendly packaging.

Further, there are two additional releases of the film scheduled on Blu-ray in the next year. One coming up during the holiday season that will be loaded with extras and  special features and a 3-D version slated for early 2011. Critics are citing the waste that these three different versions will produce.

2. Required firmware updates: Avatar is not playing in every Blu-ray player. Why? The player needs a firmware update. So don’t run back to the store for a disc exchange. It’s actually quite common. According to a Best Buy service rep, the Avatar Blu-ray version would not work in 70% of the in-store Blu-ray players before the update.

So how are consumers reacting? Well, many are annoyed. After all of the anticipation, consumers brought their new disc home to realize that it wasn’t as simple as popping it in and pressing play. Some Sony Vaio®  computer customers are experiencing the annoyance to a greater degree. Not only was the disc not playing, there was no update at the time so the customer had to wait it out. Sony released this statement back in April:

It has been discovered that the movie “AVATAR” in Blu-ray Disc™ format cannot be played on certain VAIO® computers. The issue is caused by an incompatibility between the WinDVD BD application by the Corel Corporation and the BD Plus encryption technology used on the AVATAR Blu-ray Disc™. We are actively working on a solution and apologize for any inconvenience. Please check back soon

Earth Day, Everyday

In honor of Earth Day, Sunrise Packaging wants to highlight the importance of taking care of the environment. But more than just on a business level. We all know there are several ways for each of us to be “green” at home and in our everyday lives, 365 days a year.

We can switch out our light bulbs with newer energy efficient types. We can get rid of the old refrigerator and update to an energy star model. We can turn out the lights when we leave the room. All of these examples are great but we want to dig a little deeper and share with you some less obvious ways to be “green” so you can add them to your eco-repertoire.

1. Get rid of your junk mail- Nobody will be twisting your arm for this. Who wouldn’t want to get rid of all of their credit card offers? But how? You can opt out of pre-screened credit card offers. Simply click here.

2. Make your own household cleaners- Not only does this reduce waste by not buying an array of house cleaners from the store, it will save you money! A few simple ingredients can assist you in most cleaning situations. Here are a few recipes:

*All purpose cleaner- Mix half vinegar and half water. Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to give a fresh scent.
*Glass cleaner- Mix half white vinegar and half water.
*Carpet deodorizer- Mix 4 parts baking soda with 1 part cornstarch.
*Mildew and mold cleaner- Mix lemon juice or white vinegar and salt.
*Oven cleaner- Mix baking soda, salt, and hot water.
*Drain cleaner- Pour a quarter cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, followed by a half cup of vinegar. Close the drain tightly until fizzing stops, then flush with boiling water.
*Toilet Bowl Cleaner- Mix 1 part baking soda with 4 parts vinegar, pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.

3. Get green power- Sign up for green power with your utility company. The term “green power” is used to define power generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower and various forms of biomass. Find out where you can get green power by clicking here.

4. Go to the car wash- Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally un-friendly chores we can do around the house. The water that runs off from your car goes right into storm drains — and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and causes other ecosystem damage.

On the other hand, federal laws in both the U.S. and Canada require commercial carwash facilities to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, so it gets treated before it is discharged back into the great outdoors.

5. Compost your waste- Food and yard waste can be put into a composter rather than into a plastic bag or landfill. By composting, you’ll produce a rich soil filled with nutrients for your garden and plants. The soil is a natural fertilizer that is safe and eliminates the need of dangerous chemical fertilizers.

So what can be composted? Things like coffee grounds, eggshells, fruits and vegetables, grass clippings, leaves, shredded newspapers, etc. You can easily make a compost bin too and it’s cheap! Click here to learn how.

More info:
World Watch
Simple Mom

Going Green: Just a Fad or Here to Stay?

Since today is Earth Day, we thought we would focus on the growing “green” trend.  Sunrise Packaging, like many companies and individuals, has been talking a lot about this ambiguous, yet wildly popular, phenomenon dubbed “green”. Sunpack and others have new “green” products and everyone is asking how they can make small everyday changes to become more “green”. Is this new environmentally-friendly mindset simply the result of high gas prices or is it a permanent societal change?

environmentally-friendly economy costsExperts will give you mixed answers because it is difficult to predict. Threats to our environment are real and it is possible that people are making lifestyle changes that will be permanent. On the other hand, we have seen this kind of trend before, again coinciding with high gas prices. When the prices went down, the environmentally friendly fad passed and Americans went back to driving their gas-guzzlers as much as they ever did.

Back in the 1970’s the prices for oil and gas rose and so did concern for the environment. These concerns lead to the development of Earth Day and government subsidies for alternative energy. By the 1980’s gas prices were down, Ronald Reagan cut the subsidies and concerns for the environment took a nose-dive. Is it possible that we are experiencing the same cycle today?reduce reuse recycle replenish restore earth day

Biologists and experts can provide endless evidence to attest to the fact that the planet is in trouble. For some, this is enough to convince them that the “green” wave is not just a fad, but rather a lasting change. Others will say that the planet has been in danger for a long time and there are still a lot of people who could not care less because they cannot SEE the damage. They are only changing their ways because of the economy or the gas prices.

Whether they change their ways for the environment or for their wallets, people are changing their everyday choices and actions to reflect a more environmentally friendly stance. Many people are making seemingly permanent lifestyle changes – changing their driving habits, the brands and products that they are loyal to, where they buy their food, etc. Such lifestyle changes, if maintained could indicate that this “green” mentality is not just a fad.

Even if “green” is a fad or a trend, many permanent changes may result from its existence. Interest in the environment faded in the 1980’s but we still recognize and celebrate Earth Day. The changes that will last into the next generations will be those that are implemented in ours. While the notion of “green” may be just a passing trend, it is likely that the government will make political and economical changes that will stick. This will likely come in the form of legislation.

“Going green” is motivating people to help the environment. Many experts believe that this trend will only gain momentum and grow, providing a brilliant opportunity for marketers to connect with their consumers and for consumers to positively affect their environment. Only time will tell if the eco-friendly movement will be a passing fad or a lasting change.