Come Meet the Neighbors

Bring your block-party spirit to “Meet the Neighbors” – a celebration put on by Centro Community Partners (Centro) of the diverse and innovative local small businesses around us, and opportunity to re-discover our growing home community.

Join Centro for the launch of the “Meet the Neighbors Guide” – the first online guide to help you shop local and small in the Bay Area. They will also award the “2016 Small Business Owners of the Year” and present the “Opportunity & Social Equity Maker” award to two exceptional economic development stewards in the Bay Area.

In Support of 

Tickets to “Meet the Neighbors” support Centro – an Oakland based non-profit benefiting local women, minority, low-income and underserved small business entrepreneurs. Come and you’ll be supporting the forward-thinking and accessible entrepreneurship programs Centro provides year-round.

Sponsorships Available

Centro welcomes you to explore three sponsorship levels. They were created to gather support from individuals and organizations woven into the fabric of the community. Another huge help is helping to spread the word about the event.

Anyone who aligns with Centro can find a meaningful and accessible way to support. 

Event Details

  • Event name: Meet the Neighbors
  • Date & time: Wed. December 7th from 6:30 – 9:30 pm
  • Place: Impact Hub Oakland
  • Address: 2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612 (View Map)
  • Public transportation: 19th Street Bart Station

Tickets and More Information

How to get tickets: meet-the-neighbors.eventbrite.com

Hope to see you guys there!

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Leather Goods Made Out of Old Car Seats

Feature of the Week: http://platinumdirt.com

This is a new addition to the blog that I am including – features of local sustainable businesses and their products that I personally have tried, met the owners of, or have gotten introduced to at an event.

To all those who enjoy wearing leather jackets, bags, and accessories – and I know you guys do – check out this off the hook retailer who makes leather products out of classics like Lincoln and Mustang old leather car seats by hand! Super cool hip, and did I mention local! Enjoy! #sustainableleather #thisishowyoumakesustainableleatherproducts #oaklandentrepreneur

Revealio – Cards That Come Alive

Terralogia is a proud supporter of entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses that constantly seeks to find the optimal solutions to questions like “What makes a business successful,” “How do people start businesses,” and “What makes a business sustainable.”

Here – we are proud to present the first feature about an up-and-coming business that is actually celebrating its launch date TODAY!

Everyone, please welcome REVEALIO – CARDS THAT COME ALIVE! 

Imagine the gift of an unforgettable connection, that your loved ones can hold in the palm of their hand and instantly connect, relate and experience YOU emotionally.

Connect beyond words. Allow loved ones to experience you emotionally with video-enhanced interactive cards – birthdays, weddings, newborns, love,  thank you notes etc… the possibilities are endless.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you didbut people will NEVER forget how you made them FEEL.” – Maya Angelou

Get 2 Give  – Care 2 Share?

YOUR FIRST CARD IS ON REVEALIO!

Revealio is celebrating their launch TODAY by giving away the first card free… and when your friends get your card, they will give your friends a card to give away too.

Please enjoy this Revealiotionary, Innovative, Beautiful way to connect and share with your loved ones in A WHOLE NEW WAY!

Support the launch by downloading the app in Android and IOS and sharing this post with your friends and via social media!

Find Revealio on Youtube, Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest.

Let this new concept change your life and open you to new ways of creativity and connection!

 

On Dignity, Employment, and Getting a Job You Love

We must give meaning to this Organization’s promise to ‘reaffirm faith in the dignity and worth of the human person’ and to take the world forward to a sustainable future…[We] have an historic opportunity and duty to act, boldly, vigorously and expeditiously, to turn reality into a life of dignity for all, leaving no one behind.” (UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Dec. 4, 2014)

If you are anything like me than you have attended college, performed extracurricular activities, got involved, created connections to get a well deserved and respected job afterwards. Graduating from college you have a lot of expectations of how the real world may be like, lots of hopes, dreams and aspirations. You may have thought how valuable your education is and all the hard work you have put into it. You have all this experience and preparedness from various mentors that you feel that you are ready to step into the real world and do the job well! Because all you care about is being ready enough, educated enough, prepared enough to work and contribute and be an asset to any organization and be a professional! You have been prepared to work hard and you are pumped up to get started and show your skills and prove yourself.

However, when you get to your job, all your preparations and studies seem to vanish and all that you have been taught and was prepared for and imagined for some reason no longer applies.

I think it’s safe to say that you, like me, would want a safe place to work in, you are probably seeking stability, trust, respect, a descent, fair income to be able to support yourself and your family, to be able to live and afford the expenses we all have to deal with on a daily basis, you are seeking to be valued, may be recognized for your hard work, you want some acknowledgement or proof that you matter, bottom line you want a balance and a quality of life that would surely come from having a good paying, honorable, respectful position.

So what’s wrong with this picture? Where is the disconnect? Why are the puzzle pieces not fitting together? Why are we experiencing such a divide between what we are prepared for in college and what we actually experience on the job?

Continue reading On Dignity, Employment, and Getting a Job You Love

Transportation Follow-Up and Possible Alternatives

As a follow up of my Environmental Science Project, which asked me to track every single action of mine related to water, waste, and transportation and log my results for 4 weeks straight, I have noted my observations and took note of a few alternatives to the question of transportation. The goal of the project was to identify exactly how wasteful my habits and actions were and what I could do to improve my Ecological Footprint! (Which by the way went down from 3.8 to 3.6 Earths by the end of the project, however I also learned that living in the USA, a person’s footprint hardly ever falls below 3 Earths, since the structure and systems are such that promote waste and prevent a person to really do much about their footprint after a certain point. See below for details.)

Continue reading Transportation Follow-Up and Possible Alternatives

Environmental Science Project – Transportation

Needless to say this project taught me that change is hard, difficult to bring about, and takes a long time to implement and actually follow through with and keep up. Transportation is the biggest pet peeve of our generation and lots of people I know usually drive their cars everywhere and rarely take the bus. The car is more convenient and takes much less time to get from point A to point B so it does save time, yet it is so nerve-wrecking to know that you are wasting such a prized and costly commodity as oil and jeopardizing a clean environment/air/water/soil/ when you could be taking the bus. Especially after having found out about the Ecuador disaster with Texaco and how they demolished whole local communities, rain forests, and killed people by polluting the environment in order to give us that price at the pump. It’s disgusting to know that our infrastructure is set up in a way that citizens’ hands are tied a lot of the time, even when we would like to take the bus or train, there is not really availability or the structure is such that cars are more favored or preferred, like in the suburbs. People cannot get around without a car in a suburb, or go shopping even, thus calling for a very sedentary, stay at home or drive-a-lot life, without having enough community spaces and incentives to socialize with neighbors – which is key to our health as social beings.

In any case, the good news is – my friends and I agreed to take the bus more often, and I have started to take the bus to school when possible. I walk in the park, walk to appointments that are close buy, we carpool when we go out, but it is the hardest thing to get across to people – that cars should be forgone for cleaner ways of transportation.

What kills me is circling around and looking for parking. So I try to park the first time I see a spot and use eco-driving when I do drive. I keep a steady speed, try not to stop suddenly, to prevent from stopping, speeding up and slowing down often – which wastes gas the most, and keeping my distance from cars. I also use an app called A Glass of Water to track and improve my driving habits. It is definitely the most trickiest part of my behavior change, as much as I hate to admit it, I believe I could have done better with this one. The good news is that my friends are on board about carpooling more, taking public transit and hanging out and doing activities that do not require a lot of money, travel, and fuel – like more sports and going biking in the park, playing tennis, volleyball, etc. Yet it is very annoying to hear people say “I am going to drive over to your house” even if they live only a few blocks away. I then try to suggest alternatives and work around stuff like that. Old habits die hard and especially when you are going from convenient to less convenient, but we gotta just think of it this way, public transit is just way more cool and makes you more happy overall because you are doing good for yourself (better time management, save money, less stress, no parking stress, no fuel cost) and for the environment! Education, education, education of the public is key! Dispelling all that misleading information out there in the news and making people more aware of our daily actions’ impact on the health of others and the world – our collective natural environmental we all depend on for survival and wellbeing – is indispensable!

Environmental Science Project – Waste

The biggest lesson here was that there is no such thing as waste. There is no such thing as “away.” Everything goes somewhere, so just because we throw it into our garbage can, it does not mean it actually goes away. It will later appear somewhere else – like in or on our soil in a pile somewhere (and we have only so much space on this planet), or burned (creating dioxins and polluting our air), or worse yet polluting our water ways. What really astonished me was that only like 5-30% of the population in US actually recycles and most plastic bottles end up in the trash! Another interesting fact learned was that food waste is a huge part of the problem, accounting for an embarrassing part of what we throw away the most – which hopefully can be at least ameliorated with an amazing thing called compost! This is also actually due to the fact that US makes 6 times more food than it needs to feed its current population. Of course it would be better if we actually ate the food we produce (a.k.a. that is on our plates) 🙂 and only ate how much we needed and not have to throw away tons of it when other people in other countries are starving. Yet there are solutions!I was actually already pretty proud of the way we treat our waste in our house. We have already been pretty good about it, but now I also installed a compost bag in the bathroom, started putting leftover oil from cooking (into a plastic container recycled from groceries bought at Russian food stores) near the compost bin in our garage, to also knowing that much more products can be now recycled (like hard plastics and toys that do not contain electronics in them) and recycling them. This left us with very little actual garbage and we barely take out garbage, most of our waste now comes from compost and recycling.My next project is to rid our house of excess mail – a.k.a. getting us off all the mailing lists and promotions. What I do is I recycle what does come our way, or if it’s free newspapers and journals, I use them as bedding for my birds’ cage or to line the compost bins. I also write on both sides of the paper before I recycle it and if before I would recycle a printed page, now I will use it as scratch paper, write on it, and only after that recycle it. I also now know that we can always recycle the plastic bags by bringing them to stores like Safeway, but what we usually do is save all the plastic bags/containers we get from stores to use as our garbage bags or to store left overs so we never actually throw away plastic bags and rarely recycle plastic reusable containers. The only thing that concerns me are the plastic bags from fruits and veggies that we use when buying them in the farmers markets, now I stopped even using that and just pile fruits and veggies in the basket, buy my stuff, and then use my bag that I brought from home to carry the groceries home or to the car. What concerns me most is plastic packaging, as I already know to treat electronics and batteries as hazardous waste and we actually now have a section for that in our garage near our compost and recycling bins. So in terms of plastic packaging – what I plan to do is start buying bulk grains and things like that in Whole Foods and then reusing those plastic bags or making sure those plastic bags are compostable. As always I am sharing my improvements and findings on my Facebook Group and soon to be Page: Going Green – A Road Everyone Can Take!!

Environmental Science Project – Water

My biggest problem with water consumption was taking long showers and washing the car in the garage. I did not realize how much energy goes into water production and that its reversed also, water is used to produce electricity and electricity is used to produce water and provide it to our homes. I had learned about Hetch-Hetchy reservoir and that our water is pretty clean and can be easily consumed from the tap. I had already invested in a water purifier and I never buy water bottles, unless it’s a 1 Gallon bottle just in case to stock up and even then, I just fill up the ones we have from the faucet! I have tried to teach my friends this! Stop buying bottled water and get a filter, very few are following suite, so I realize how hard it is not just make changes for yourself but also advocate for changes to others. People simply do not want to make those changes, they are comfortable how they are and we are just lazy and most people do not even know where our water comes from or what it takes and how much it costs to get such a prized commodity to us and so conveniently! When friends would bring their water bottles over to my house, I would either ask them to recycle them, take them back to the store to get money back, or I would leave them at my house and reuse them several times, fill them up with water, drink, and then recycle them.I had made a Facebook Group where I would post things I learn in class and share the information with my friends. It is so surprising how little likes I got or views. To me it shows that people are very ill-informed or resist to such changes and cling so much to their “status-quo” of doing something – it was very discouraging at times. However I did have a few of my friends come up to me and say “hey, I stopped running the water when I brush my teeth or wash the dishes” and I was so happy to hear that! I made a difference 🙂 In my personal behavior, I started taking shorter showers, it was very, very difficult but I am more aware of my time in the shower now and glad to see positive results! Sometimes of course I still catch myself taking like 10-15 minutes to get out of there, but still, I see progress. I also started taking my car to the local carwash instead of washing it by hand in the garage – saves water and water gets recycled properly and does not add more pollution to our water system. In other areas I think I was already doing pretty good, like brushing teeth, washing face, and washing dishes without running water, recycling water from heating it for tea and other ways, and doing laundry by hand and hanging it on the balcony to dry whenever possible! Another big change and savings came from not flushing the toilet as much (although we cannot install a low flow toilet and shower heads in our apartment because the landlord does not approve for some reason). I do not have a garden, lawn, but we do water flowers at home and try to use recycled water. I think I did pretty good with my water habits and will strive to keep those improvements as part of my daily life and make more when possible.

Environmental Science Project

This is going to be my first blog post ever and I have decided to make it as “green” (pun intended) as possible! Below is a recount of my experience with a Life Style Project which I did in my Environmental Science class. I tracked my daily activity for four weeks straight and focused on improving my habits of resource use, specifically in regards to water, waste, and transportation. I had to take a Life Style Survey and calculate my ecological and carbon footprints at the beginning and end of the project and below is what I found. The next three posts will discuss in detail my findings about water, transportation, and waste! Enjoy!

I have learned a lot from participating in the Life Style Project for my Environmental Science class. Having taken the Life Style Survey at the beginning raised my awareness and I was glad to notice changes for the better by the end of the four weeks of the project. The Life Style Survey gave me a rough guideline of things I needed to work on, pay attention to, and change – such as my transportation, water, and waste habits – and although I would have liked to have worked on energy and food as well, I felt like I could actually make realistic and impactful changes using the other 3 categories. Having started taking the bus more and taking shorter showers has dramatically decreased my score from 56 to 25 on the Life Style Survey and from 3.8 Earths to 3.6 for my Eco Footprint! Also, keeping my computer off or not plugged in when I am not using it and running it on the battery unless I really need to charge it also helped lower my Life Style Survey score. I became more mindful of going to sleep earlier so I would not have to keep the lights on and use more of daylight to do my work. It is definitely hard to break habits and change your ways, and sometimes, it was inevitable to revert to how I was doing things before, life is unpredictable. But being mindful of the water and public transit has definitely created an impact in my life but also in my circle of friends. I have started to suggest taking buses to hang out, trains, carpooling, or doing stuff that does not require paying money for the entertainment, which was both refreshing, relieving, and more fun, not to mention saving money. Things like visiting bookstores, playing in the park, tennis, sports, walking, and simply going out to the park became much more appealing and I was glad to see my friends agree with me!

I listen to music on the computer, and my TV I rarely turn on, except to watch a DVD once in a while. I do spend time with family in the evenings – we all watch TV together, so I am not sure if that counts as my personal TV time. I also started to use cold water for washing clothes, since hot water uses more energy, and it made a difference. Overall, reducing use of resources just seems economical, logical, simple, and the one true answer of conserving our resources for future generations and ensuring we have enough for our own! Having learned that so much energy goes into producing food (meat especially), supplying water, and that farming uses the most water in USA, I became very mindful in how I use water in all aspects of my life and started to think what it takes (energy, manpower, fuel, electricity, dams, transportation, etc.) and how much it costs to provide that water.

Finally, I became more aware of recycled products like toilet paper and printer paper – although it may cost a few dollars more, I am glad to make a huge difference by not adding new demand for cutting down of more forests of which there is so little left. I got also another idea up my sleeve to start going to Whole Foods and buying grains like rice and macaroni there to reduce buying packaged stuff. For the Carbon Footprint Calculator, I estimated with numbers leaning on the higher end of the scale, so I am happy to see that Food and Transportation metrics went down, from 10.9 tons CO2/year to 4.9 for travel and 6.5 to 3.8 for Food. I believe its due to taking the car less and in terms of food, I started buying more local foods and less processed foods like chips and drinks. I also believe that my estimates may have played a role in the differences in the numbers, yet overall, the numbers agree with the fact that my consumption became more ecofriendly, went down in that sense, yet I do want to account for estimation error from the first and final times that I took these quizzes. The housing footprint remained about the same around 3.5 tons CO2/year and the shopping footprint I believe went down because I estimated better using the detailed version because I have not really changed my shopping patterns, except to say that I rarely go shopping or upgrade my wardrobe, if anything I buy gifts more often and if I shop for myself I do it all at once or twice a year and try to buy things that I really need or those that have either worn out or somehow stopped functioning. The good news is, all my numbers , in all calculators, were below the nation’s averages for those categories, yet it was disconcerting to see my lifestyle habits still require 3.6 Earths to sustain all my current needs. More on this later.