High School Teacher Spins Old Computers into Trees

Fall Planting Tips from PLANET

MOOve Over Dairy Milk

Equator Estate Coffees & Teas

LI Green Free Home Energy Audit Program

groovy mind

nature conserve

friendship bag

High School Teacher Spins Old Computers into Trees

As of July 2009, over 150,000 trees had been planted in Kenya, in exchange for donations of 2,000 computers, more than 15,000 books and approximately 20 pieces of medical equipment.

Through his growing nonprofit organization, Help Kenya Project, founder Jude Ndambuki, latest to be named CNN Hero, escorts yearly shipments of computers, clothing, school supplies, books, medical equipment, and other supplies to poor communities in Kenya.

As deforestation is a major problem in Kenya, Help Kenya Project asks all donation recipient schools to plant 100 trees for each donated computer, which helps with soil retention, acting as dust block, protecting computers from dust and providing shade for students. “Perhaps more importantly”, says Ndambuki, “children who plant the seeds begin to appreciate what it means to give back to the community.”

A respected chemistry teacher at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY and Kenyan native, Ndambuki founded Help Kenya Project in 2001. Growing up in the poor countryside outside the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, Ndambuki pursued his education, often studying by moonlight, and eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kenyatta University. He became a teacher, then principal, at a local school before coming to the U.S. to obtain his Masters degree from Columbia University.

Donation shipments are escorted yearly to Kenya by Ndambuki and volunteers, many of them current or former students of Ndambuki, who visit the schools, meet the students and local residents, and help out any way they can. Volunteers work with Kenyan children, teaching skills that they can use to find better jobs in the global marketplace.

Inspired by Help Kenya Project and Ndambuki’s work, Brittany French, a college junior and former student of Ndambuki, accompanied Ndambuki on his recent trip to Kenya and opted to stay, taking a year off from school to teach English and computers at a girls’ school in the Kenyan district of Machakos.

Help Kenya Project is growing and has representatives in New York City and Westchester County, NY in addition to Boston and Ithaca. For more information, visit www.thekenyaproject.org.

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Fall Planting Tips from PLANET

Fall is the best time to plant many varieties of flowers and trees. So, before you lock up the garden shed for the winter, look at these tips from the national association of lawn care and landscape management professionals, the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).

“So many people miss a great opportunity to work on their lawns and gardens in the fall,” says Tom Mauer, CLP, owner of Weed Man - Springfield, Massachusetts, and sub-franchisor of Weed Man in New England. “The cooler temperatures and warm soil make it a good time to put in plants and to improve the quality of your grass.”

While seasoned gardeners know that fall is the time to plant flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips for the spring season, others may be surprised to know that it is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. The warm soil is great for root development and plants have several months to establish themselves before the stress of the summer heat. Do not forget to feed landscape plantings during this season. Trees and shrubs will store the fertilizer for healthy growth through the next season.

Not only is fall a great time to plant, but it also is perfect for rejuvenating your lawn and preparing it for the winter and the following spring. This is the best time to plant grass seed, as it will establish quickly with little competition from weeds. Grass likes the cool fall temperatures and has time to become established. It is also a really important time to fertilize your entire lawn to prepare it for the spring. Last-minute pruning and proper mowing through the end of the season are good maintenance practices that will help to protect and preserve the health and vigor of the lawn and landscape.

“For those areas of the nation that require irrigation systems, it is also very important to significantly reduce watering frequencies and durations through the fall months,” says Bill Horn, CLP, CLT, branch manager for ACC Landscape Services in Martinez, California. “Even though outside temperatures may still be warm, water is not transpiring through the soil at the same rate it does during the peak summer months.”

For consumers who are looking for assistance with maintaining their lawns and landscapes or installing new ones, finding the right landscape professional is essential says PLANET. Reliable references for quality landscape professionals often come from family and friends. Consumers can also contact their local, state, or national trade associations for referrals, or they can visit the PLANET Web site at LandcareNetwork.org/findaprofessional to find a landscape or lawn care professional near them.

PLANET is the association of members who create and maintain the QUALITY OF LIFE in communities across America. With more than 3,500 member companies and affiliates, these firms and their employees represent more than 100,000 green industry professionals. For more information on PLANET, visit LandcareNetwork.org or call the PLANET office at (800) 395-2522.

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MOOve Over Dairy Milk
Organic Hempmilk Offers Many Advantages

Hemp foods are hot, and much of the excitement in this emerging category is being driven by the recent introduction of organic hempmilk. Consumer demand for dairy milk alternatives has been growing for many years due to vegetarian preferences and concerns about dietary sensitivities to dairy and questions around production processes.

Hemp foods pioneer Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils (www.manitobaharvest.com) has created the first organic hempmilk called Hemp Bliss. Hemp Bliss is an award-winning beverage that stands out from the herd of dairy milk alternatives including soy, rice and almond because it has a strong nutrition profile, a pleasant flavor and texture, and it does not raise concerns regarding food sensitivities. Hemp Bliss contains more Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fats than any other dairy or non-dairy milk alternative. Hemp foods also contain an abundance of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. In each serving, Hemp Bliss provides 250 mgs of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) – a rare and powerful nutrient that is not in any of the other milk alternatives.

Offered in Original, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Unsweetened Original varieties, Hemp Bliss does not contain synthetic flavors, vitamin and mineral additives, preservatives, or other additives, and is free of Lactose, Soy, Nuts, and Gluten. In addition to being a delicious beverage, Hemp Bliss is a nutritious ingredient in recipes, including Cherry Chocolate, Berry Basil, Sweet Orange Vanilla and Banana Hemp Bliss.

Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is the largest farmer-owned, vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world. The company strives to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices and to support sustainable and organic agriculture. Manitoba Harvest is proud to partner with Renewable Choice Energy to reduce their environmental impact through wind power and carbon offsets. For more information, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com.

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Equator Estate Coffees & Teas

Equator Estate Coffees & Teas® is a successful, women–owned company, co-founded in 1995 by Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell. They have earned an outstanding reputation as purveyors and roasters providing distinctive specialty coffees and rare teas at competitive prices with unparalleled customer service.

Equator’s mission is to continue to be a growing, customer-centric company, dedicated to quality, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. Their commitment is to procure distinctive coffees and teas from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and bio-friendly farming techniques.

Proudly, they ensure quality from source to cup, through careful selection of sustainable green beans, artisan blend development, efficient small-batch roasting, and advanced brewing technology and training. Equator focuses on ways to advance sustainability practices that encourage productive relationships and an empowered chain of supply. "We believe that our efforts to support growers and the environment are a competitive advantage, and we intend to remain in the forefront on issues of sustainability."

Organic /Fair Trade MOCHA JAVA

Origins: Ethiopia Harrar with Sumatra and other Indonesian coffee.

Profile: Ethiopia Harrar from the Oromia cooperative is the star of this heavy-toned blend, nicely paired with a mélange of Indonesian coffees that provide earth tones and body at the base.

Price: $12.95/LB

For more information or to purchase a variety of coffee and tea from Equator, visit www.EquatorCoffees.com.

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LI Green Free Home Energy Audit Program

LI Green is a local not for profit environmental group affiliated with the Long Island Energy Alliance, Stony Brook Advanced Energy Center, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and the Suffolk County Executive’s office. It will provide you with a Free Home Energy Audit. Trained energy professionals will visit your home and meet one on one to study your home’s energy challenges.

Following this meeting an individualized Home Energy Action Plan is generated, specific to your residence’s needs. The goal is very attainable. Expect to see at least a 25% to 30% reduction in your home’s energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions for a very modest investment. For more information about how to get a Free Home Energy Audit visit www.ligreen.com/audit or call 631-721-1908. If you don’t live in this area, contact your local energy provider to find out about programs in your area.

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