An interview with Green Drinks founder, Margaret Lydecker

30 Mar 2012

From Eco-Chick

Before Margaret Lydecker founded Green Drinks NYC in 2002, there wasn’t a place for Manhattan’s like-minded, eco-conscious professionals to get their networking on. Margaret changed that, and now many of us wouldn’t know what to do without her monthly events.

Whether you’re a dedicated monthly green drinker or not, you’ve in all likelihood heard of Green Drinks NYC, even if you don’t live or work in the Big Apple. Over the years, Margaret has aided in the launch of 200-plus chapters globally (there are now 800-plus chapters worldwide). She’s helped build the global Green Drinks brand, in the coolest way imaginable: by connecting green businesses and professionals at the local level.

I went to the most recent Green Drinks NYC, and observed Margaret calmly and graciously working the room. She’s the face of Green Drinks– never letting a name or a face slip her, which is highly impressive considering she has literally met thousands of individuals at her events over the past 10 years. But Margaret also runs the show, delegates to her staff and Green Drinks volunteers, and ensures every minor detail goes off without a hitch.

I wanted to get to know the woman behind Green Drinks NYC who has effectively connected so many people. Margaret revealed the challenges she’s faced, how her passion for sustainability began, her thoughts on greenwashers, and how she manages to keep it all together.

Read an interview with Margaret Lydecker at Eco-Chick


Women’s History Month Film Feature: Women, War & Peace

27 Mar 2012

Continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month, this week we’re featuring Women, War & Peace: A five-part PBS television series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain.

The vast majority of today’s conflicts are not fought by nation states and their armies, but rather by informal entities: gangs, insurgent groups and warlords using small arms and improvised weapons. The series reveals how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet they are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan, and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security and reframing our understanding of modern warfare.

Featuring narrators Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, Geena Davis, and Alfre Woodard, Women, War & Peace is a comprehensive global media initiative on the roles of women in war and peace. The series will utilize all forms of media, including U.S. and international prime time television, radio, print, web, and worldwide community screenings, and will be accompanied by an educational and outreach initiative designed to advance international accountability with regard to women and security. Women, War & Peace is a co-production of THIRTEEN and Fork Films.


Women’s History Month Film Feature: Wangari Maathai

7 Mar 2012

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Women Of Green will be featuring each week a film about woman of vision who has dedicated her life to the health and well-being of this Big Beautiful Planet and the beings that live on it. First up is the legendary environmental activist, Wangari Maathai, who became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

Three decades ago, she suggested to rural women in her native Kenya that they plant trees for firewood and to stop soil erosion — an act that grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, defend human rights, and fight government injustice. The tree-planting groups that formed gave the women a reason to come together and become involved in resolving their communities’ challenges.

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai tells the story of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement and follows Maathai, the movement’s founder and the first environmentalist and African woman to win the Nobel Prize. Maathai discovered her life’s work by reconnecting with the rural women with whom she had grown up. They told her they were walking long distances for firewood, and that clean water was scarce. The soil was disappearing from their fields, and their children were suffering from malnutrition. “Well, why not plant trees?” she suggested.


Fierce Kindness

6 Mar 2012

Sharon Salzberg, the queen of loving-kindness meditation, tells a story of a time she was traveling in India. As she was exiting a taxi, a man grabbed her suitcase in attempt to steal it. Sharon, grabbing the handle, struggled back and forth and back and forth with this man. Finally, when she knew he wasn’t letting go, she took her umbrella and hit him over the head “with all the love in my heart,” she says. Hit him over the head with all the love in her heart. You’ve got to smile at that.

So often we think of the word “kindness” and get all mushy and passive. We confuse it with being “nice”. Being meek. Being monkish. I would like to shine a light on a side of kindness that doesn’t get much airtime. Fierce kindness. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not.


Liberty Phoenix Lord’s Secret and Solace

6 Mar 2012

This podcast is worthy of a rerun. Liberty Phoenix Lord took a deeply painful experience, the death of her baby due to toxic outgassing in his nursery, and started a green building store so no other parent would have to ever experience what she did. Ever. Liberty’s transparency and willingness to tell her story is deeply moving.

FYI: Liberty is the sister of River and Joaquin Phoenix, and this podcast is the first time she has spoken about her tragedy in public. Listen to her unbelievably moving story right here on Women Of Green.

About my guest: Liberty Phoenix Lord has been a resident of Gainesville, FL since 1989. She is married and has 3 beautiful children; and is on the Board of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC the heart of Florida chapter). Liberty owns and runs INDIGOGreen, a Green Building supply store. The mission of INDIGO is based on her commitment to the environment and the health of our planet.


Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career

5 Mar 2012

From the United States Department of Labor

Ensuring women are prepared to succeed in a 21st century changing economy is critical to the financial stability of women, their families, and our country. Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career is a comprehensive manual designed to assist women with job training and career development as they enter into innovative and nontraditional jobs. The guide also provides vulnerable women a pathway to higher paying jobs, and serves as a tool to help fight job segregation. It offers women resources and information they need to enter and succeed in jobs in the emerging green economy. The guide was created to help women at all stages of their careers — whether they are newly entering the workforce, transitioning to new careers, or returning to the workforce — identify and take advantage of opportunities in the clean energy economy. It will help training providers, educators, counselors, and other workforce development professionals promote the recruitment and retention of women in green career paths.

The guide is organized into the following chapters:

  • Introduction to the Guide
  • Why Is Green Good for Women
  • Green Occupations: A Look at What’s Out There
  • Educating Yourself for a Green Career
  • Finding Your Green Job
  • Green Entrepreneurship
  • Women Succeeding in Green Jobs
  • Overcoming Challenges on Your Career Path
  • Planning Your Green Career
  • Glossary of Terms

Check it out and then check back here. Was this guide helpful? Or more of the same?


Junk food kills

2 Mar 2012

From OrganicConsumers.org

The U.S. industrial food and farming system, dominated by fast food restaurants and processed, chemical-laden food, has precipitated a public health crisis. Although nutritionists recommend that consumers avoid eating unhealthy junk foods, every day 75 million Americans “supersize” themselves and damage their health by eating at McDonald’s or other fast food restaurants. Forty percent of American meals are now purchased and consumed outside the home, typically consisting of high-calorie, low-nutrition items such as soft drinks, French fries, and low-grade meat, laced with fat, cheap sweeteners, pesticide residues, chemical additives, and salt. We have become a Fast Food Nation of bulging waistlines and high blood pressure.

Recent studies link pesticide residues and chemical additives like MSG in processed foods and restaurant fare to hormone disruption and obesity. No wonder 60% percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. One in every three children born since the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Diet-related obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are now the nation’s number one public health problem, generating an estimated $150 billion in health care costs every year. Millions of youth and adults have literally become addicted to the chemically enhanced junk food served in fast food restaurants, school lunchrooms, and institutional cafeterias. In 1972, U.S. consumers spent three billion dollars a year on fast food – today we spend more than $110 billion.

The junk food industry, now under attack by public health advocates and parents, finds itself in a similar position to where the tobacco industry was in the 1990s. After decades of lies and industry propaganda, the truth is finally coming out: junk food kills.

Indeed, despite individual efforts by some states to tax soda pop, require healthier school lunches, or mandate calorie information in chain restaurants, obesity rates in the United States are growing. It is time for the federal government to stop subsiding, with billions of dollars of public tax money, the factory-farmed crops and animal products (corn, soybeans, cotton, dairy, and meat) that create the artificially low prices that prop up the nation’s junk food industry.


Who are the Social Entrepreneurs?

1 Mar 2012

From Forbes

On the day Steve Jobs died last fall, Occupy Wall Street organized the first massive march down though the Canyon of Heroes in New York, in the opposite direction of the route the New York Giants would take four months later. Swollen by busloads of stoic union troops, the small and somewhat ragged OWS band melded with a much larger crowd and dominated lower Manhattan from Foley Square to Trinity Church, a patch of turf Washington and Hamilton would surely still recognize for its geographic and economic centrality to the nation, if not for the shadows of the modern buildings and mounted police officers in riot gear.That news of Apple‘s



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