Category Archives: Free Trade

Pure Ingredients, Package Free – The Idea Behind in.gredients

It has been quite some time since we have made a new post so for this blog post I would like to get back into things with a short and simple post highlighting a company that I think is worth following as they try to revolutionize the grocery shopping game.

For in.gredients, the concept is pretty simple. They aim to create the country’s first package free and zero waste grocery store. However, carrying out that concept may prove to be a challenge (think of all the packaging you see at your grocery store/supermarket).

Bring clean containers from home, fill them, weigh them, and then pay.

The store is not open yet but progress is taking place and they plan on opening their microgrocery store in Austin, TX later this year. Let’s hope for the success of in.gredients so it can be a model for other stores of its kind.

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Filed under Beer, Buy Local, Conservation, Free Trade, Gardening, Responsible Materials, Uncategorized

Introducing Plug ‘N Save’s Discussion Forum

Do you like to express your opinion via the internet? Do you want to be involved in conversations discussing the important issues affecting the state of renewable energy? Do you want to have a place to ask your questions? Well then it is my pleasure to introduce to you the Plug ‘N Save Discussion Forum!

Join the discussion by visiting our Home page and clicking the Forum button on the top menu bar or through the link below. We currently have two discussion topics up, one about how buying responsibly can lead to a more sustainable life and the other about the future of renewable energy industries after the end of government stimulus. Voice your thoughts or start a new topic!

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Filed under Carbon Footprint, Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Free Trade, Green Technology, Innovation, Philanthropy, Recycled Materials, Renewable Energy, Responsible Materials, Solar, Supply Chain Management, Surfing, Sustainable Businiess, Tax Incentives, Uncategorized, Weatherization, Window Coverings

Easter treats for Earth Day

I missed putting up a new post yesterday, but spent a lot of time looking for ideas. I will admit that finding a new idea for everyday is pretty difficult, but I am still having fun working on some of the previously posted ideas. So far, the biggest ‘change’ is that I really do spend time thinking about my daily actions and how I can improve them. Feel free to help out with some suggestions or let me know some small things that you do too.

Today, my roommate Todd Ufferman got a package in the mail from his parents in the mail. Mrs. Debbie Ufferman sent him some easter treats that were right in tune with our theme. She added in his Easter basket a few pretty cool environmentally friendly gifts. With Easter coming up on the same weekend as Earth Day, there are a lot of events that are incorporating both of the occasions, these type of items are a great way to change up the traditional basket.

Todd is fascinated by these eggs

She sent Funky Mamacita, a fair trade organic coffee from Higher Grounds, a Theo organic fair trade chocolate bar, and some environmentally friendly stamps. She also added some eggs that your crack open, water them, and grow plants out of them. I thought this gift basket was a great idea. Thanks Mrs. Ufferman and Happy Earth Day!

The goodies

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Filed under 30 ways in 30 days, Buy Local, Free Trade, Gardening, Recycled Materials

Day 2: Spread the Word

Day 2:  Dan & Todd are out spreading the good word about renewable energy today in LA at a USGBC event.   The biggest small step we can all take today is to spread the word!   Start conversations.  Ask questions.   Inspire action with your words.  Be an evangelist for the Earth.   

At the office in San Diego, Day 2 happens to be donut Thursday so let’s talk coffee and donuts.      

Donuts:   Right now, we buy donuts from a shop directly on the way to work that bakes on site – no extra miles to get there and limited transportation to get product to the store.   Even though donut Thursday does not increase our current carbon footprint, we could probably do just a bit better.  Dan found a cool, local gluten free bakery that we will try next week.   We can support local entrepreneurs, using local ingredients, hiring local workers, and, as an added bonus take better care of ourselves and our bodies.   Look for a review next Thursday on our Facebook page!    

Coffee:   Inspired by yesterday’s post, I spent some time looking for Fair Trade coffee that would work.   We are simple people with non-fancy coffee tastes.   Fair trade was intended to be about social justice and equity — to provide opportunities for all product producers, large and small, to sell on the same level of the game.  I am not sure where the “frilly” coffee came in but high-end fancy coffee rules the Fair Trade coffee world!     I am on a quest to find good, stick-to-your-ribs, coffee, that helps us support entrepreneurs around the world and at home.   Help!!!   Post any suggestions on our Facebook page!

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Filed under 30 ways in 30 days, Buy Local, Carbon Footprint, Free Trade, Sustainable Businiess

Day 1: Mug or Bust

For day 1 I decided I would keep it simple. There is always a lot of ‘buzz’ about coffee, and I like coffee. I have a reusable mug, but to be honest, I wasn’t always using it. So my plan is to exclusively use my mug whenever I get coffee, if I don’t have it, then I don’t have coffee. This one is more of a change to a zero compromise practice and abstain from creating waste out of convenience.

As a small add on I am also only going to purchase fair trade coffee, which works out great because the coffee shop I like to walk to in the mornings specializes in, “fresh organic & fair trade coffee.”


This mug is pretty cool, it’s a Stanley Nineteen13 Recycled Mug. It is “made from 100% recycled polypropylene containing 25% post consumer content.” It’s also recyclable when I wear it out.

find it here.

Right, waste is bad, but why coffee cups?

There are a few up front reasons why coffee cups in particular present a problem. First, they are predominantly made from fresh paperboard. The FDA is pretty strict with recycled paper content and its contact with food and beverages. During their production they are also coated in a plastic resin called polyethylene. This essentially means that most coffee cups end up in a land fill. The real issue, as with anything is volume. It is difficult to put exact numbers on the total of cups used. We all love coffee. According to,”Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.” This one is simple. Everyone knows why styrofoam is bad. It just doesn’t go anywhere. So don’t put it in the trash bin. put up an interesting table describing the energy that goes in to making coffee cups.

After a short chat with Todd across the desk here while I was writing this, drinking fair trade at the office will be the next task for the coffee overhaul. Getting the office on board shouldn’t be too bad. I’ll look forward to tomorrow, cheers.

-Dan Conroy

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Filed under 30 ways in 30 days, Buy Local, Carbon Footprint, Conservation, Environment, Free Trade, Recycled Materials, Responsible Materials