Archive for the ‘Second Nature Sustainability’ Category

by Barbara Koneval, Program Associate for Education & Training, Second Nature

No impact week started on an unfortunate day, the day  I flew back from California from Bioneers and a mini-vacation.  After being inspired by the Bioneers conference, my sister and I drove to Yosemite for some inspiration from nature.

A big part of personal sustainability for me is making sure to reconnect to these areas, disconnect from my computer and get outside.  The park was amazing and in addition to the physical rewards of hiking in Yosemite, the visual rewards were immense. Here are a couple of snapshots:

IMG_1402 (more…)

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by Rima Mulla, Communications Associate, Second Nature

I scored some delicious bread, addictive tomatoes, and produce knowledge at the Government Center Farmer’s Market today. (More on our trip from Alyssa coming soon.)

I had no idea brussel sprouts grew on stalks. I’d only ever seen them packaged up at the grocery store. Who knew?



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by Michelle Dyer, Chief Operating Officer, Second Nature

michelleSunday was Consumption day.  Our challenge: to live a fuller and happier life by buying less stuff.  This one was fairly easy for me because I generally don’t buy that much stuff anyway (between me and my eco-frugalisto husband we keep our total purchasing in check fairly well.)  Anything I do purchase I always try for the item least impact, even if it means spending more.  I admit that I did buy a ticket to the Ringlng Bros. Over the Top show that day, so I didn’t go completely cold turkey.  As an experience it didn’t involve any physical stuff purchased on my part, though the sets, souvenirs, food for sale, etc. made it a mecca of consumption.  As an amateur trapeze artist, I like to support the circus arts, and found it to be sufficient inspiration to keep me swinging through the long Massachusetts winter, so the $15 was worth the investment.


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by Ulli Klein, Operations Manager and Executive Assistant, Second Nature


Another day, another bag of delicious German licorice scolding by certain VP of our nonprofit after she tasted one of these heavenly creations… reminding me that something that was imported from Germany to a store in California, then sent to me by German friend in CA, is not appropriate to eat on a day like today.

FAIL on that front. Licorice has been safely secured out of mind sight.

Transportation yesterday wasn’t as big of a challenge until I went out at night and totally blew it, because I helped someone move some furniture around, which required transportation. I am usually so GOOD, since I don’t own a car and use almost exclusively public transportation.

Today…well…local food. I stocked up at the farmer’s market, I continue collecting trash, trying to reduce the water I use, reusing things at home ect.

Just about that licorice….

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by Alyssa Pandolfi, Second Nature Intern

Today’s challenge is transportation, but it hasn’t been too difficult for me.  I’ve been walking to work as much as possible and taking the T at all other opportunities **Note:  low carbon transportation works great when you don’t have a car🙂

I am a little nervous for the food activities tomorrow.  I recently gave up veganism because I found that I was relying way too much on foods that had little nutritional value (bread, candy, pre-packaged meals).  I love vegan food and the vegan lifestyle, but I no longer have the time or financial resources to keep up.  So, rather than eating crappy pre-packaged things, I’m cutting myself some slack and eating cheese and eggs…Mainly indulging in the delicious cheese I’ve been forgoing for the past several months.

One of the problems I have with all of the food related lifestyles out there is the extreme variety of feedback.  I always buy organic and locally when it is possible and within my budget, but then there’s the added worry of buying vegetarian and vegan food.  Then you have the group of Raw foodists telling you to eat only raw food.  On top of that are freegans who go around and get wasted food from businesses at the closing of each day.  Don’t forget the 1600 calories/day diet.  Eat only foods that aren’t packaged to minimize waste.  Low carb.  Low fat.  No fat.  No sugar.  Low sugar.  Cool Cuisine–The global warming diet.  Eat foods or meals with only 6 or less ingredients.  Seriously?

Taking all of these perspectives into account, it’s hard to decide what choices to make when it comes to food.  It gets even more complicated when you take into account people’s cultures, medical conditions, socioeconomic statuses, and face-paced lifestyles.  Sometimes, I step back, just to remind myself that the purpose of food is to nourish us so that we can live.  All of the options and perspectives out there make food more complicated than it really is.  So, my strategy is to keep it simple, eat what my body wants, and keep in mind the environmental impact of my meal.

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by Alyssa Pandolfi, Second Nature Intern

Even though transportation day isn’t until tomorrow, I started my walk to and from work commuting strategy today.  I was overjoyed when I woke up and saw that it was 37 degrees outside. YAY.



I encountered my first road block this morning when cut my toe on my umbrella, which I conveniently left next to my bed last night.  So, how do you use a band-aide without producing waste?  Not sure.  I guess it’s something I can look into for future umbrella battles.

Things have been going well in the office as far as waste saving.  The only things I’ve seen so far in the trash are paper towels and food waste.  Having seen all of the paper towels that have been produced here since 9 am, I think investing in more cloth towels for the bathroom and kitchen is something the Boston office should definitely consider.  Also, in regards to food waste, perhaps we could go in on getting a composting system with some of the other organizations in the building?  I’ve looked into it and the Sustainability Committee has talked about it as well, but now would be a great time to act on it!


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A sunny day = no unnecessary lights on at the Boston office.

Monday at the office

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