Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eco friendly, going green within our housing community...

Green Product Information Available on
Creating a greener, more socially responsible world motivated a Bellevue teacher to launch, a compendium of information for consumers. Founder-owner Jay Kilby says his website “recognizes the power of the marketplace.”
“We want businesses to sell environmentally and socially responsible products, and we want consumers to choose them,” explained Kilby, a social studies teacher at Interlake High School.
In a section labeled the “Meaning of Green,” Kilby explains it is not always an easy task to determine which products qualify as "eco friendly" or "socially responsible." He notes there is no attempt to "certify" products listed on the site, but it does outline a series of guidelines that are followed to determine which products to list.
The site encourages green and socially responsible consumption in three ways: a Green Neighborhood Center, an Eco-Library and through its Green and Fair Trade Directory.
The Green Neighborhood Center provides consumers with ideas on coordinating their own actions with those of their neighbors and communities in order to reduce their collective carbon footprint. “By communicating with one another and acting together, we can make positive economic and political changes that are difficult to achieve when we are isolated from one another.”
A second section of the site strives to help the well-intentioned consumer become well-informed. Called the Eco-Library, it offers concise, reliable information and resources to help consumers “make the right choices.” Among resources are several articles to help consumers identify authentically “green” products, including one titled “How to Buy Green Products.”
The Green and Fair Trade Directory enables consumers to comparison shop for eco friendly and social responsible products. The directory includes a review function so consumers can post questions to merchants. Before allowing merchants to post products, the products are evaluated for their environmental and social benefits.
Elsewhere on the site is a section called “Green Neighborhood Initiatives.” Registered users may access cost-free opportunities to take action with local neighborhoods and communities. “By communicating with each other and coordinating our actions at the local level, we can help ourselves while we help others.”
Kilby, who holds a doctorate from The University of Chicago, says his involvement with sustainability efforts grew from a section on global warming he taught for a contemporary world affairs class.

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