Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

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Houston – One Bin For All!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Help Houston Win $50,000 in Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite 

Vote Now for One Bin for All and Change the Way the City Handles Trash

To learn more about One Bin for All and watch Houston’s video, visit this link

Houston, we know we have a problem and with your help we can solve it! What if everything you put in a waste bin could be recycled? What if “trash” became extinct? And what if you no longer had to sort your plastic cups from your glass jar from your banana peel?

One Bin for All is a revolutionary idea for residents to discard all materials in one bin, treating “trash” as valuable assets, dramatically increasing recycling using game changing technologies.

Houston is one of the 20 national finalists chosen by Bloomberg Philanthropies to receive a generous grant to help implement One Bin for All. You can help the City of Houston’s idea become a reality! Vote now for One Bin for All in the fan favorite contest  HERE

Vote today and then tell your friends, family and colleagues to vote until the contest ends on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

With One Bin For All, residents can put everything from soda cans, paper and plastic to food scraps, rubber, wood and glass into one bin, then technology does the rest.  By relying on state of the art technology and new process systems to sort trash from recycling, Houston would be able to achieve recycling rates of up to 75%.

Help bring to Houston an easy to use service that will increase Houston’s recycling and waste diversion, improve air quality and lower costs to our city!

Vote today, HERE

Please forward to your friends and post on social media sites like FacebookLinkedIn,Pinterest and Twitter with the hashtag #mayorschallenge. Take pictures of your friends voting and post on Instagram @GreenHoustonTx #mayorschallenge.

Every vote counts.  One Bin for All. For more information contact Baker Goldsmith in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability at To learn more about recycling in Houston, visit and



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We Thank You!

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

thankyouTHANK YOU_Client Appreciation

As we begin to wrap up our Client Appreciation Week I want to take a moment to once again say thank you to all of our amazing clients.  Although my personal goal is to make every day feel like a Client Appreciation Day at DEFINE, we would like to mark a special time to say thank you for all that you do to make what we do at DEFINE so meaningful.

This week we’ve given plants to everyone who achieved a minimum of 100 classes in 2012 because  it is an achievement and we want to honor your efforts; congratulations to all of you!
We’ve also given out countless, shirts, balls, straps, dvds, Whole Foods and Roots Juice gift cards and more.  We gave these gifts out at random throughout the week to people who attended class and we hope those of you who won were surprised and had fun!


We’ve had a great time seeing everyone’s smiles this week as we’ve tried to spread a little joy and give back.   Thank you for your continued loyalty and support!

Here is to a great 2013!

- Henry Richardson, DEFINE body & mind 

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013

A six part series on how to live a fuller happier life -

by DEFINE’s Emotional Wellness Expert, Jessica Pass, LMFT

Take a minute and imagine you’re standing on the edge of a beautiful cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the breeze cooling your skin as it casts its way past you. You notice the sun gently beaming down and glistening across the water, birds flying in the distance, and waves crashing against the rocky coast below as the fresh ocean air fills your lungs.

cliff - water

Focus on the serene environment, notice the change in your breath, the calm sweeping through your body as you focus on every detail of the experience. Now, come back to reality. Notice your surroundings and take a mental note of what you are feeling now. If you’re like me, you flashed back to a cluttered desk or long list of “to-dos.” You might feel some of your anxiety returning or your thoughts start to pick back up again, clouding your focus. You might possibly feel overwhelmed with what has yet to be accomplished.

It’s amazing how quickly our environment can change our mood, affect our nervous system and either encourage productivity or drown us with anxiety. For most people, everyday life generates unavoidable environmental stressors like traffic, overcrowded shopping centers, cluttered homes, noisy offices or jam-packed schedules, creating stress, tension, over-stimulation and often times leading to depression and anxiety. When these feelings continue for long periods of time, chronic illness, depression, cardiovascular disease and other physical and mental distress can result. Even more concerning is the fact that if continued for years these stress-induced physical changes can create irreversible neurological effects.

In a study by Evans and McCoy (2008), it was noted that common elements available in daily living that combat stress include: sunlight, nature, balanced visual complexity, pleasing spatial configuration, and control of privacy. These restorative elements may lead to healthy levels of reactivity that affect our nervous system and restore both mental and physical balance, calming us from the inside out. In contrast, environments or aspects of environments that are non-restorative are those that provoke anxiety or sympathetic over-activation through overstimulation, sensory deprivation, incompatibility, confusion, and discordance. Environments with extreme temperatures, excessive noise, crowding, clutter, or generally poor aesthetic quality can induce a state of chronic stress-coping, both physically and mentally.

After taking into consideration “restorative” and “non-restorative” elements, think about your day, the activities or schedule you have, consider your home environment and/or work space, maybe even the noise level throughout the day. What times of the day do you feel most inspired, awake, rejuvenated, energetic and positive? What brings you down, frustrates you, makes you feel stale or complacent? It could be the color of your office or a coworker that stands out in your mind, or it might be clutter or an open airy space. At what point do you feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed or have difficulty focusing? Are there any places or points in your day when you feel the most energy? When do you feel calm, serene and centered? It is staggering how much impact where and how we spend our time, as well as with whom we spend it, has on who we are, how we perform and where we will go. If you’re anything like me, your environment can determine the entire course of your day. I have learned that my productivity level is at its highest when I’m alone, in my office and have soothing music playing. If I even attempt to write or focus on a project with a lot of activity (Starbucks, for example) or at home when I have a mound of laundry calling my name, I can forget any deadlines I am trying to meet! Not only that, but in designing my office, I paid special attention to the elements I brought into my space, first asking the question, “Will this piece feel right in the room?” or “Will this element inspire me?” I did this with small accents to large furniture. As I write this, I feel somewhat silly, but it has been the best thing I’ve done to create a space that feeds my creativity and stimulates my productive side. I feel motivated, serene and determined!


So now you might be thinking… Now what? Redecorating your house or switching office spaces isn’t exactly practical. Remember to take baby steps. First, becoming more aware of these times in your day will allow you to focus on different strategies or methods to allow more times of energy building to arise and slowly weed out the energy blocking aspects. For example, keep fresh flowers in your kitchen and/or common areas to brighten your mood and stimulate fresh new ideas or if it’s a person in your life that causes stress look for opportunities to minimize your contact, take deep breaths when you are interacting with them and try journaling to understand where your feelings are coming from. Remember that you can say no too and work on not over-committing yourself. Keep space in-between activities for down time, it helps with transitions and will give you more energy for your commitments.

It is important to remember that long-term changes take time and overwhelming yourself with more to-do’s to de-clutter your environment might not be the best thing either. Try incorporating one new element a week for 6 weeks and reflect to see if you have been successful in creating more times throughout your day that you feel accomplished, rejuvenated, serene and positive. Then reflect on your productivity level and you’ll be surprised just how much more inspired you will have become!

DEFINE’s Emotional Wellness Expert, Jessica Pass, LMFT

JessicaPass HeadshotJessica Pass is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Instructor at DEFINE body & mind. She has a private practice in Houston, Texas, specializing with children, adolescents, individuals, couples and parents. Jessica’s approach incorporates mind-body integration, education and practical strategies to improve emotional wellness, emphasizing all aspects of who we are to live fully and thrive in our relationships.


More from Jessica’s series:






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Tuesday Tip – gum

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

One Stop Green Tip of the Day: Chew your Gum responsibly! Chewing gum is the second largest littered item in the world and is not biodegradable and will stick to several surfaces for many years. Dispose of your gum in a responsible manner!

About One Stop Green: Going ‘green’ is no longer a choice, it’s our responsibility, that’s why it’s so important to try and do the small things that can help change the outlook of the planet – and this is essentially the purpose of One Stop Green. We believe even the little things like recycling or using less water helps the environment out in a big way, and that’s why our various solutions seek to nurture and edify your home or business in an eco-friendly manner.

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Vertical Gardens

Thursday, November 10th, 2011


Vertical gardens bring lush, verdant life to even the coldest and barest of surfaces, both indoors and out. These ‘living walls’ are a big part of the future of green design and technology – they increase interior humidity, purify the air and provide a much-needed touch of nature in spare, angular urban spaces like airports, museums and shopping centers. From skyscraper farms to vertical parks, here are 15green buildings with stunning vertical greenery, from 6-story elevator shafts to subterranean restaurants. – WebEcoist

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

What are GMOs, how often do we consume them, and what do people know and think about them? The answers in this infographic.


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Earth Friendly Houston

Friday, October 21st, 2011

There’s a lot going on in Houston to make our city “greener”! And below we’ve included just a few examples!

Rain Barrel/Compost Bin One Day Sale

On Saturday, October 22, 2011, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Houstonians can buy rain barrels for $55 (a $120 value) and compost machines for $45 (a $100 value) on a first come, first served basis at Minute Maid Park, Parking Lot “C” corner of Texas and St. Emanuel, Houston 77003. Parking is free.

Rain barrels are used to collect and contain groundwater from rooftops, which can be used for watering gardens and lawns. Rainwater conserves water, improves air quality and saves money. Compost bins are used to store and assist the decomposition of various materials to be used to fertilize garden soil. Composting enriches soil, deters erosion and contaminated soil, prevents pollution and saves money.

For more information on the rain barrels and compost bins available see and To learn more about Green Houston see

Food Day Houston

Food Day Houston, Wednesday, October 26, 2011, will showcase local healthy, sustainable food initiatives in a fun and educational celebration at the City Hall Farmers Market, just outside of City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston 77002.

At 11 a.m., Recipe for Success Foundation will host a Local Food Throwdown featuring celebrity chefs from the Recipe for Success Chefs Advisory Board. At noon, Urban Harvest will host a Lunch-In, a large community lunch. Bring your food to the Reflection Pond to participate or buy your lunch at the Farmers Market from one of the 35 local vendors who participate weekly at the market. The event will take place rain or shine. At 1 p.m., the City of Houston will host a Food Day Town Hall meeting just below City Hall steps, featuring a panel discussion focused on inspiring ideas and solutions to advance the local food movement.

Food Day Houston is organized by The City of Houston, Recipe for Success Foundation, Houston Food Bank and Urban Harvest. To find a list of Food Day events going on throughout Texas, visit, or visit the Food Day Texas page on Facebook at

Permanent Electronic Recyling

The City of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department and CompuCycle have partnered to provide a permanent electronics recycling drop-off site for Houstonians to recycle their electronics responsibly at the CompuCycle building located at 7700 Kempwood, Houston, 77055. The partnership also provides monthly one-day collection events on Saturdays at three neighborhood City of Houston recycling centers.

Recycling electronics keeps potentially harmful materials, such as mercury, cadmium, lead and cathode ray tubes out of the waste stream and the environment.

Permanent drop-off site:
The permanent location is 7700 Kempwood, Houston 77055 in the Spring Branch area. It is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Once a month drop-off sites:
The monthly Saturday electronics recycling will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the:
- Kingwood Metro Transit Center (1st Saturday of the month), 3210 West Lake Houston Parkway, Houston 77339
- Ellington/Clear Lake Neighborhood Recycling Center (2nd Saturday of the month), Highway 3 @ Brantley Road, Houston 77037
- Center Street Recycling Center (3rd Saturday of the month), 3602 Center Street, Houston 77007

Electronic Items accepted:
Personal computers, servers, keyboards, mice, laptops, game consoles, monitors, small kitchen appliances, memory chips, hubs and routers, printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, projectors, rechargeable batteries, cable boxes, car batteries, telephones, cell phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), tape drives, hard drives, cords, cables and cameras.

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No Waste Wednesday – Halloween Costumes

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Did you know that 6,250 tons of landfill waste could be avoided if just half of the kids in America traded Halloween costumes instead of buying new ones?  But there’s an alternative out there – National Costume Swap Day!  Which happens to be THIS Saturday, October 8th! And though we didn’t hear of any swaps going on in the Houston area, a costume swap can be as simple as getting together with a few neighbors.  By “going green” this halloween, you’ll be making a difference in your community by saving resources (and money, too!).

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Crazy for Green

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Sometimes the lengths we go to as we “go green” seem a little crazy.  And these green products are definitely on the CRAZY side.  We found the craziest green products at Green Options, and you can check them out here.

The Butt Butt from Hemingway Design

What is it:So apparently in the UK, they call rain barrels “water butts.”  Well, Hemingway Design took the term water butt to a whole new level with the Butt Butt.  That’s right, it’s a rainwater collection container for your garden.

The No! Shopping Bag Bra from Triumph Japan

What is it: Yes, it is indeed a bra.  It’s also oh so eco-friendly!  This one keeps your reusable shopping bags close to your heart.  There’s really no excuse to leave home without them.

The Din-ink pen cutlery from Zo-loft design

What is it: We’ve all loved and lost our Bic pens.  But now, your average ballpoint pen can become your utensils for lunch.  Thanks to Zo-loft design, you can carry around these little cutlery pen tops and bust them out instead of using disposable sporks or something.

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Eco-Change Your Life

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Ever thought of living a more eco-conscious lifestyle?  Well, I recently came across this article and blog where Kyle does just that.

Here’s his plan: Each day, starting on July 1st, Kyle will be making a post on about the daily eco-challenge he is making in his life. The ideas all come from Vanessa Farquharson’s “Sleeping Naked is Green” book, which lists 365 changes she made in her life. At the end of the two-month period, Kyle will have made 60 eco-changes to his lifestyle! He will also be posting about why he’s making each change, why it’s important to him, and if there were any challenges with making the change.

So far, all of Kyle’s changes seem pretty doable.  And a lot are small things that I wouldn’t never think twice about.  Like using straws, or actually NOT using straws.  Of course no one REALLY needs a straw, which makes them wasteful, but straws are fun and I do like them…I’ll have to think a little bit more about that one before I implement it into my life!

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