It seems like you can do just about anything with a smartphone these days. You can call, text, listen to music, purchase music, use it as an address book, Internet provider, game console, e-reader, and GPS, just to name a few. And thanks to the development of some really great apps, you can also use it to "go green."
The other day I ran out of moisturizer. I was expecting it, so when I couldn't coax the last dollop of cream out of the bottle, I grabbed another one and went to toss the empty bottle in the recycling bin. That's when I saw the dreaded number "5" on the back, indicating that it couldn't be recycled in our curbside recycling bin, and had to be tossed in the trash instead. I don't know about you, but I hate creating garbage.
Like a lot of people, it seems that I’ve been using so-called cloud computing with increasing frequency lately. Most recently, some colleagues and I subscribed to a cloud-based document management system while working on a training project, because it was quick, easy and inexpensive.
I’m moving soon, and I’m one of those people who leaves the place cleaner than when they moved in, so I’ve been pretty busy on that end lately. Store bought eco-friendly products can be expensive and I also sometimes question how eco-friendly they really are, so I’ve decided to experiment with natural cleaning solutions instead.
About four years ago I had been living and working in Oakland, CA for ten years and was looking for a change. Several close friends who graduated from Reed College said, “You should move to Portland, you would love it.” I considered the city - focused on sustainability, great food and beer, easily accessible outdoor activities, fantastic bookstore, considerably more affordable than Oakland – for approximately 3 seconds and then set plans in motion. A few months later, I settled into my new Portland address. (Yes, I became one of THOSE people – those Californians relocating to Oregon.)
Every year, I try not to give in to the rampant holiday consumerism hype. I give gifts throughout the year instead of saving it all up for one annual event, and when friends and family request my “wish list,” I ask them to donate to my charities of choice. But inevitably (and somewhat annoyingly!) I tend to get swept up in the “giving spirit” no matter how hard I try not to.