How Well Do You Know the Ocean?

WWF'S Earth Hour Returns for 2010

Hibiscus, The New Superflower!

Green Tea Living: A Japan-Inspired Guide to Eco-friendly Habits, Health, and Happiness

Go Green On The Go

groovy mind

nature conserve

friendship bag

How Well Do You Know the Ocean?
Test Your Ocean IQ at
Win prizes including a trip to Baja California,
Nautica apparel and a Nintendo Wii

Many people live near the ocean or spend vacations at the water’s edge, but what do they really know about the deep blue sea? Global nonprofit Oceana recently launched the Ocean IQ Quiz at, allowing quiz takers to better learn about the world’s oceans and rewarding those who display the greatest depth of knowledge on ocean science and marine animals. Participants have a chance to win prizes including Nautica apparel, a Nintendo Wii and the grand prize of a trip to watch sea turtles in the wild.

“Whether you live a landlocked life or in a coastal area, the ocean can often seem both mysterious and so vast as to be invulnerable, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” said Andrew F. Sharpless, CEO of Oceana. “The Ocean IQ Quiz engages participants with surprising facts and insights, and rewards them for their knowledge. And the more they know, the more we believe people will want to protect the world’s oceans.”

Quiz takers can go to the newly redesigned to take the test and to see if they know what fish could swallow an entire person or which animal has a heart the size of a small car. Participants can improve their results by studying Oceana’s Explore section, with content provided by leading reference publisher Dorling Kindersley. The multiple choice quiz also offers five different versions, allowing visitors to take it more than once.

To enter the contest and be eligible for the prizes, participants must be residents of the United States and 13-years or older, and must also complete any one of the five Ocean IQ Quizzes. To qualify for the Grand Prize, quiz takers must also check the “Grand Prize” box and enter the email addresses of four friends.

Oceana will fly one lucky grand prize winner round-trip with the ecotourism organization SEE Turtles on an exclusive eco-travel adventure to observe sea turtles.

Three first prize winners will receive Nintendo Wiis with a copy of the ocean exploration game Endless Ocean. Second prize winners will receive Dive watches from Nautica, third prize recipients will receive $100 gift cards from Nautica and fourth prize winners will receive Nautica rope bracelets.

To take the Ocean IQ Quiz for your chance to win a trip to watch sea turtles in the wild, visit

For more information about Oceana or to make a donation, please visit the website:



WWF’S Earth Hour Returns For 2010 In Largest Call For Action On Climate Change In History
“Turn Out” for the planet at 8:30 pm on Saturday, March 27

Since its inception three years ago, World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour’s non-partisan approach has captured the world’s imagination and became a global phenomenon. Nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour 2009 – involving 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents.

Last year, 80 million Americans and 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch, joining iconic landmarks from around the world that went dark for Earth Hour.

Earth Hour 2010 will take place on Saturday, March 27 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, with many of the nation’s most iconic landmarks dimming their lights for one hour in what is expected to be the largest call for action on climate change in history.

The initial list of US landmarks taking part in this global climate event includes Mount Rushmore, Empire State Building, the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” Harrah’s Caesar Palace and the MGM Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. New Earth Hour participants in 2010 will include Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis. Other local landmarks taking part include Atlanta’s Bank of America building and the Pike Place Market sign in Seattle, with many more expected to sign on in the days ahead.

WWF officials said they are hopeful of Earth Hour participation in all 50 US states, as Americans from every walk of life, in communities large and small, symbolically dim their lights in solidarity for climate action with hundreds of millions of people around the world. The event will have special significance to Americans in the wake of a US government report from June 2009 which found that every region of the nation is experiencing significant, adverse impacts from climate change including droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires. A study released in November 2009 by WWF and the insurance company Allianz SE warned that by mid-century, rising global sea levels caused by climate change could increase risks to more than $7 trillion in buildings, transportation infrastructure, and other assets in major U.S. coastal cities, including Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

“Climate change is real and it’s happening right now in the US, impacting our water resources, energy supplies, transportation, agriculture and health, putting our livelihoods and economic future at risk in every part of the country,” said WWF Climate Director Keya Chatterjee. “Earth Hour is a way for people across the US to join together with people from throughout the world to signal their concern about climate change and send a message about the urgent need for action.”

"Earth Hour directly links with Department of Interior and National Park Service priorities,” said Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent Gerard Baker. “Our stewardship mission is to manage this country's most treasured landscapes unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. This mission is being challenged particularly by climate change. As stewards of our national parks, especially considering the challenges of climate change, we must be visible leaders to demonstrate commitment to energy and water conservation... and to use our parks to teach the public about climate change and the ways citizens can reduce their carbon footprints."

A number of organizations have also pledged their support for Earth Hour and will encourage their supporters and the public to take part including Goddard Systems, Inc., HandsOn Network, American Federation of Teachers, NAACP, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. National Park Service’s WebRangers, American Bird Conservancy, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, Focus the Nation, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Student Councils, National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Science Teachers Association, National Association of Neighborhoods, Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington and Reverb, a non-profit organization that greens concert tours.

“Earth Hour is the perfect time to teach children about climate change and the steps they can take from a very early age to help reduce their footprint on the environment,” said Philip Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc., a national childcare franchise and national supporter of Earth Hour 2010. “As educators and parents, we need to raise a future generation that will care for the Earth and protect it for generations to come.”

“Climate change is the most urgent issue facing our planet today, and we need to unite the world around meaningful action,” Chatterjee said. “With a simple flick of the switch, Americans will not only be sending a signal that they want solutions to the climate crisis, but they’ll be helping to turn the lights out on our nation’s dangerous dependency on foreign oil, and an unsustainable economic future. That’s a powerful message that everyone around the world will be able to see bright and clear on March 27th.”

See Earth Hour 2010 Video:



Hibiscus, The New Superflower!
New Teas From The Republic Of Tea

This month, The Republic of Tea introduced five new HIBISCUS SUPERFLOWER TEAS, each with an exotic, caffeine-free herbal bouquet of premium African hibiscus, a “Superflower” that brews a rich, full-bodied cup and features remarkable health benefits, including lowering blood pressure.**

Teas made from hibiscus flowers are a very common beverage in the tropical regions where they grow. Hibiscus Superflower Teas are made using premium African hibiscus, primarily from Nigeria. A tropical marvel, ruby-red African hibiscus shines through in these evocatively fruity herbal teas, revealing layers of flavors comparable to cranberry/citrus and gentle hints of rhubarb and raspberry.

The Hibiscus Superflower Teas includes five herbal varieties: Natural Hibiscus, unflavored pure hibiscus, Hibiscus Blueberry, lush, deep flavor of fragrant blueberries, Hibiscus Vanilla Apple, vanilla and apples reminiscent of apple pie, Hibiscus Key Lime, refreshing and crisp key lime flavor and Hibiscus Pineapple Lychee, luscious pineapple with creamy Chinese Lychee.

Drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults, according to a report presented by nutrition scientist Diane McKay at the American Heart Association's annual conference in 2008. Hypertension is a condition in which blood pressure is chronically high and it affects one-third of all U.S. adults. Results suggest consumption of three daily cups of a hibiscus drink lowers blood pressure in pre and mildly hypertensive adults and is likely to prove effective when incorporated into the diets of those people at risk of developing hypertension.**

Hibiscus Superflower Teas are available in recyclable tins containing 36 all natural, unbleached, round tea bags free of unnecessary strings, tags and staples and has a suggested retail price of $9.50. They are available nationwide at natural and specialty food stores, cafes and through the company web site, (, mail-order catalogue and by calling, 800.298.4TEA (832).

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Do not use during pregnancy or lactation without the advice of a healthcare practitioner.

**Abstract 3278: Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. Tea (Tisane) Lowers Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive and Mildly Hypertensive Adults. Diane L McKay; Edward Saltzman; Chung-Yen Chen, Jeffrey B Blumberg (November 2008).



Green Tea Living: A Japan-Inspired Guide to Eco-friendly Habits, Health, and Happiness
By Toshimi A. Kayaki, Illustrated by Miyuki Matsuo

Starting with the notion that some traditions, like drinking green tea for health and mental acuity, embody timeless wisdom for living, author Toshimi A. Kayaki offers dozens of wise old Japanese ways for improving how you look and feel while respecting nature and the environment. Check out this list of ten tips for green living from the book by Kayaki:

Ten Tips For Everyday Green Living

1) Create smoother, younger-looking skin with a green tea face pack. Grind up used green tea leaves into a powder, then mix with water and flour until it forms a paste. Wash your face, and then apply the pack for 10 minutes. Rinse off with water and follow up with your favorite lotion.

2) Drink green tea to lose weight. Drinking five cups of green tea a day can burn up to 80 extra calories!

3) Use wet green tea leaves to clean your house. Green tea is not only an eco-friendly cleaning option, but will leave your rooms sparkling and smelling fresh! Squeeze most of the water out of wet tea leaves, and then place on dirty floors or dusty surfaces. Brush the leaves back and forth in small strokes, allowing the tea leaves to pick up dust and dirt. Sweep everything into a dustpan when finished.

4) Use vinegar for even the most heavy-duty cleaning! Vinegar will shine up sinks and counters, as well as kill bacteria. Scrub the slime out of your bathtub, disinfect cutting boards; even combine 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar to wash your floors. Simple, cheap and most importantly, not harmful to the environment.

5) Mix your own vinegar conditioner for soft, shiny hair. In an empty plastic bottle combine 16 oz water, 4 tbsp white or rice vinegar, and 3 or 4 pieces of fresh rosemary or sage. Just as effective as expensive conditioner, but far more economical.

6) Make your sweaters look like new. Rub a sweater with the rough edge of a dry sponge to easily get rid of pilling fabric.

7) Repair dry or damaged skin with a soothing green tea bath. Steep one green tea bag in boiling water for 15 minutes, then pour the tea water into your bathwater. The vitamins and catechins in green tea will kill bacteria on your skin and smooth away imperfections, not to mention contribute to a relaxing bath!

8) Mix homemade sake lotion. This simple lotion and moisturizer only requires two ingredients and some time in the fridge. Mix 7 oz cold sake and 1-½ pints water, then allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for a few days. Dab onto skin with a cotton ball. (Make sure to test this out on your hands before applying it elsewhere!)

9) Drink vinegar and water for better health. Just sipping a little vinegar every day can improve your digestion and skin complexion. Combine 1 part rice or apple cider vinegar with 7 parts water.

10) Relieve chapped lips in the sweetest way. Forget commercial lip balms, just spread honey on your cracked lips for a natural (and delicious!) cure.

Toshimi A. Kayaki lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has published twenty-two books on women’s and cross-cultural issues. Stone Bridge Press. January 2010. 160 pages. 9781933330846 $14.95; paperback with illustrations.

To find out more or to purchase a copy, visit



Go Green on the Go
factory’s New Glass Bottle is Portable and Stylish

Lifefactory, a leading innovator of environmentally friendly and health conscious juvenile products, is expanding their portfolio to introduce a collection of adult glass reusable beverage bottles. Fusing modern sensibility, eco-friendly composition and exceptional utility, the Lifefactory adult bottle is poised to be a favorite among the fashion, green and active lifestyle sectors.

Completely BPAfree, the Lifefactory adult beverage bottle mimics the superior design of the child bottle and is secured in a vibrant silicone sleeve that is 100% non-toxic and helps prevent breakage. The sleeve offers stellar gripping capabilities for easy toting and can be boiled or put in the dishwasher for convenient disinfecting. The bottle is also equipped with a wide entry for effortless cleaning and even allows essentials such as ice cubes, tea bags or citrus slices to be simply added to your liquid.

The glass make-up of the reusable bottle means what you see is what you get. Glass is a nonporous material containing zero harmful chemicals and does not scratch, significantly reducing bacterial growth. With Lifefactory bottles you will never experience any type of leaching into your liquid nor will you ever be left with a metallic taste. Best of all, glass is a low impact raw material that is readily abundant, easy to process and 100% recyclable, which is minimally taxing on our environment.

The adult Lifefactory bottle is simple and chic making it an evergreen product you will use for years to come. The bottles will are offered in six modern hues of Pearl White, Midnight Blue, Sky Blue, Spring Green, Orange and Red. They retail for $22 and are available for purchase at

For Lifefactory’s ongoing green initiatives in promoting health in their community, they are being honored with the Francine Levien Activist Award by the Marin based organization, Zero Breast Cancer. This honor is being given to Lifefactory for their continual work to change and improve the environment, especially in seeking to remove harmful chemicals that may contribute to the development of breast cancer. Lifefactory is also a proud member of the Bay Area Green Business Program, which recognizes companies that are environmentally responsible.