Please continue to believe in us. It’s through these Fair Trade flowers that hundreds of families, like mine, continually improve our lives.” ~Elvia Almachi, flower farm worker, Ecuador
Did you know that October is Fair Trade Month? You’ve likely heard the term “fair trade,” or seen it as a label on coffee or chocolate, but what you may not know is just how important those words are in the grand scheme of today’s globalized world. Fair trade means providing just wages, decent working conditions, fewer middlemen, environmentally sustainable solutions, women empowerment, and fair terms of trade to farmers and artisans in developing countries. A portion of all proceeds from certified fair trade commodities are invested back into the communities they come from, leading to improvements in healthcare, education and much more. This worldwide movement puts social and environmental standards in place to protect workers and the earth, proving that successful businesses can also put people and the planet first.
by Michael Neary
If you happen to come across a Phoenix area phone book from the late 1970s or early 1980s and look at the solar company listings, you will find pages upon pages of solar water heating companies. Most of these companies went by the wayside once the tax credits expired, leaving a great deal of service work for those few companies that remained. At the time, there was little in the way of standards or certifications for solar water heating systems.
One of the surviving companies was Pacific West Solar, which was founded by Peter Reed. Reed entered the solar industry in the early 1970s, in Colorado, and made his way to Arizona shortly thereafter. In 1986, when many were abandoning the solar industry, Reed was embracing it and beginning to manufacture a unique and innovative solar collector. Unlike other flat-plate glazed solar collectors, Reed’s collector would withstand the freezing conditions of the desert’s coldest winter nights.
Reed’s patented Freeze Safe Solar Collector enabled Pacific West Solar to virtually guarantee solar water heater owners protection from freezing. The security that came with the provision of a lifetime warranty on all solar collector replacements led Pacific West Solar to a relationship with most of the homeowner’s insurance companies who covered residential insurance policies in the Greater Phoenix area.
When Arizona’s solar industry began to grow and utility incentives for solar water heating came about as a result of the Arizona Corporation Commission’s adoption of the Renewable Standard and Tariff, Pacific West Solar was ready with a SRCCTM rated (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation) system based on the Freeze Safe Solar collector. This system offers homeowners a lower-cost, higher-performing option.
Today, Pacific West Solar is one of the leading solar water heating companies in the greater Phoenix area. In addition to manufacturing the Freeze Safe Solar Water Heating systems, it is recognized as one of Arizona’s most innovative installers of quality high-performing solar water heating systems.
Photo by Bernd Sieker
“In the cleaning business time is money so it didn’t matter how toxic it was… I would clean 10 to 12 bathrooms a day and over time I broke down my immune system. That’s when I realized that toxic chemicals weren’t worth using and I started looking for alternatives.” ~ Leslie Reichert, Green Cleaning Coach, excerpted from Green Cleaning Magazine
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Charity Project Gives Local Group Home a Kitchen Remodel
by Amanda Harvey
Stardust Building Supplies is a local non-profit reuse organization that strives to prevent the discarding of usable building materials. The organization offers free pick-up of reusable building materials, and has a deconstruction team that will carefully dismantle appliances, cabinets, fixtures and other materials in homes or businesses, all free of charge. These donated items are also tax-deductible. Each year Stardust saves more than 650 tons of perfectly usable material from going to landfills.
“It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.”
~ B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life
Whether it’s going for a run, swimming laps, or kicking a soccer ball with friends, exercise provides peace of mind and time to decompress, and helps you live a long, healthy and active life. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that to maintain optimal health, you need at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity five times a week (or two hours and 30 minutes), as well as at least two muscle strengthening workouts per week (you also need to eat quality, complete proteins, as Nutiva explains).
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
Inevitably, your space tells a story about you. The photos on your walls show where you’ve traveled and who your friends are. The books on your shelves give insight into your hobbies and passions. Even the colors you choose set a mood and tone unique to you. Read more