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Archive for the ‘Businesses & Shopping’ Category

Well what have I been up to lately?? I have to say its been a crazy 2 months but filled with lots of good people. I have had the pleasure to get to know the deep dark secrets (ok, not really) of the On The Fly catering and vending company based in DC. How you may ask?  My wonderful, enthusiastic friend Tinisi Paelay has started up his own IT business in the past year, Otivus Solutions. Supplying top-notch IT services including executive computer systems, we get to work closely with OTF and their wonderful employees. With a young, bright team, the behind the scenes is filled with much love and passion to keep this ever-so-green company afloat.

Haven’t heard of OTF?? Aaha…have you ever noticed the green little karts (not a misspelled word, that’s what they call them) zooming around quietly around DC??? Well take notice next time; they are fully electric vending karts that are strategically placed throughout the best DC hotspots! They offer the same kind of food, but 10x better than traditional ugly, gas-guzzling – mystery – meat vendors around the Mall. All karts are fully equipped with natural beef hotdogs, local empanadas, organic and local sweet treats as well as our fellow neighbors, Honest Tea, plus lots more.

Michel Heitstuman is the CEO at OTF along with co-founder Christopher Lynch and VP marketing director (all around superman) Todd Cavaluzzi. These guys know how to start up and handle a business. I almost forgot to mention the kafes throughout DC as well. You can check one out in Farragut North metro station as well as Corcoran and Phillips galleries, all offering even more fresh local sandwiches and entrees. I have tried lots and I can say for myself they aren’t kidding around when they say “fresh. local. fun.”

For more on On The Fly, check them out!!

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ontheflydc

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ontheflydc

otf

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So, the reason why I haven’t been able to post lately is because I got signed onto a project for DC’s 10th annual Artomatic, titled “The Green Message” by Michel Heitstuman, CEO of On The Fly DC. Artomatic gathers hundreds of local artists to an unfinished commercial building to display their work. Michel Heitstuman had the idea to display what people are doing in their daily lives to live a little more simply, or environmental conscious. To do this, I collaborated with my two friends who are in video productions and went around DC to film ordinary people. Our three simple questions were “What are you doing currently that makes DC a little greener?”, “What do you think you could do to be even a little more greener?” and “What would your green message be to the world?”. We got great responses and even had some people really thinking hard.

Now this “green living” topic is a pretty large topic. Artomatic continues on for 6 weeks, therefore we will have (hopefully) 6 topics…For the first week we concentrated on food. How to eat sustainable, green and healthy. We spent time at the Dupont and Penn Quarter farmer’s markets downtown and spoke with farmers, consumers and organizers. The most important point the farmers stated was for the consumer to get to know their farmer and where their good is coming from: ask questions, taste their product. The only way you will understand what you are eating if you understand where it comes from. Their other important point was to continue to shop at the farmers market. I just learned that 80-90 cents of every dollar farmers get to keep from selling their produce at the market…that is a lot more than the farmer from Costa Rica who only gets 10 cents while the rest goes to the middle man, or huge corporations in the US. 

So come check out what these guys have to say, as well as the average person on DC streets. It is a fun and interesting video with facts and beautiful images at the end. You will also be allowed to write down your green message to the world at the exhibit, which is located on the second floor in the corner. Go to Artomatic.org for more info on time and such. Check us out on Twitter: TheGreenMessage and soon enough we will have TheGreenMessage.com website up and running for you to post your Green Message online! It is a way to rethink the way we are all living and provide messages to others. 

What is your Green Message??

Below is the print out excerpt explaining The Green Message: 

Thegreenmessage

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The Green Message at Artomatic

The Green Message at Artomatic

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Speaking of voting with your dollar, I learned about this great activist group called Carrotmob. They came up with a way to advocate companies to become a little more green with the incentive that they will get more money in return. How? Well, as they say, companies will do ANYTHING FOR MONEY. Right? So they had the idea to get businesses to compete to see who could put up the highest percentage of their income for one day to reducing their carbon footprint. In return, Carrotmob would gather a mob of people to come purchase products at their store. Check out the video on their website (which if anything is a hilarious, entertaining music video) giving an example of how it worked. Out of 23 liquor stores in a San Francisco neighborhood, the highest bidder said they would give 22% of the income they made that day to making their store more energy efficient. So, Carrotmob got the attention of hundreds of people to come out that day to buy what they needed and if not, at least donate some goods to a local shelter. Its like 3 birds with one stone; 1. reduce carbon footprint, 2. income to their business, and 3. helping out the hungry… WOW! So, the result? On an average good day, the store says they get around $3,000, in a couple hours they managed to have an income of $9,000! They said that this was enough money to complete a whole energy retrofit to their store and reduce their energy bills as well as carbon footprint! It is a win-win-win situation for everyone!

So I am hoping this type of activist will continue and spread throughout the world. Creating more green actions for all. I will be keeping my eye out on them and update hopefully soon! LETS MOB!

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Money is power. Period. Our world goes round and round by consumerism. And there is such a way to become more green with your green. Supporting environmental, social and economic responsible companies are all just as important as buying organic or green products. There is a difference when putting your money towards the one brand of shoes that supports sweatshops in China than the one company who only sells 100% fair trade. If there is one thing that you do to be a little be more green, it is choosing the product that is a little more sustainable than the other.

How to do this? Well there is this nifty book I got last year that is called The Better World Shopping Guide. It is a small, easily to carry book that lists loads of name brand products in all categories: from Appliances to Wine. All products are rated on an A through F ranking. A being the most responsible and F being the worst. I can carry this book in my purse and whip it out anytime I have trouble deciding on which product to buy. For instance, when purchasing wine, I can never decide, and a lot of times it goes to how pretty the bottle looks. But this guide helps make my decision faster and easier by choosing the higher ranked company rather than the lowest. It also gives a small description of why the F company is bad and why the A company is good, called corporate villain and corporate hero. For wine: Local vineyards are always an A, but Fretzer is an A company because they have 100% organic wine and they are powered by 100% renewable energy. But Clos du Bois receives an F for having no code of conduct for workers and named “Sweatshop Laggard”. Why wouldn’t you choose Fretzer over Clos du Bios, especially if price only varies slightly. 

Pick up this book – only $10 and next time you are in the grocery store deciding what toilet paper or can of soup to purchase whip this book out and make your dollar go a little more greener.

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There are many things that interested me; photography, design, food, friends, going out: A typical 22 year old life style, right? Well yes, but I will be letting you know what I, as well as you, at any age can do to slightly reduce your impact on the environment. I am not here to critize, judge or yell, but to inform and to let the world (local area of Rockville, MD especially) that it is possible to green through your personal daily life.

In these economic hard times, wouldn’t you want to see your surrounding community thriving off your money rather than seeing it go under? Support your local grocery stores, hardware stores, cleaners, farmer, clothing boutique and so on. It will be your money being returned in your surrounding area, which will lead to a better, thriving city for you to enjoy.

My first word of advice to start realizing what your community has to offer is to pick up the local paper, check out the neighborhood news at your local grocery store: what the hell is going on in your community??? The good thing about this day in age is the abundant amount of information on the internet (I became to realize how beneficial this is from living in the stone age in Buenos Aires) that gives you an exclusive look into your community.

An outdoor concert this weekend? Farmers market the second week of May? A local crafts fair with local venders? A wine tasting?? (My favorite) These are all a few amazing, fun things you can do that I KNOW are and will be this summer in the surrounding area – if not downtown Rockville, perhaps, Olney, Gaithersburg or continue our way downtown through Bethesda and Friendship heights to of course D.C., which will be hard NOT to find out what’s going on there. 

What I will be researching are mostly my interests, but also plainly what is going on in this area through these categories: 

~Arts & Entertainment: Local and green events 

~Night Life: Who says you can’t be green when going out??

~Food & Restaurants: Eat Local, Eat Organic

~Businesses & Shopping: How to be a social, economic and environmental conscious shopper

~Home: Tips to make your home greener

~Green News from resources like http://www.coopamerica.com

~Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: USE LESS!

~Green Deign: What is happening in the green design world??

Now of course, I will try as hard to find out each of these categories the most GREEN possible, but I believe it is important to become engage with your local community what ever that may be, enjoy the things you love around you, near you, to put money back into your neighborhood.

 

My Friend Sarah and I at Butler's Orchard 2007

My Friend Sarah and I at Butler's Orchard 2007

http://www.butlersorchard.com

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