Social Arrogance?

in Litter, Men, WWDZD by Diva Ø Leave a comment

arroganceA brotha recently tried to explain to me his theory on why he litters: “social arrogance”. Something about not littering in his own yard but littering on 695 because there are no consequences and it’s not his shit. Kudos for the breakdown (you can’t solve a problem until you acknowledge you have one)…but how about let’s not?

And it is all OUR shit!

BNG’s Green Garage: Saturday, November 1

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Green Garage Flier Half Page 10.21.14

Hustle and (Aunt) Flo

in Blog, Conservation, Reuse, Women, WWDZD by Diva Ø 1 Comment

period-store-bags-620x400Today we’re talking about periods. Wait – don’t go! We can’t be our eco-fiercest selves if we don’t talk about ALL of the ways to go green. Periods included. We are quick to commiserate with each other in private conversations but not usually in a public forum. Let’s become menstrual activists – periods don’t have to become dinner conversation, but we don’t have to be ashamed either. That’s the shit keeping girls around the world from getting an education and being treated as equals. So don’t hide behind the bathroom door running water so your boyfriend or husband doesn’t hear the pad wrapper. When he yells through the door that “it sounds like you’re unwrapping a present in there”, yell back “yeah, it’s your you’re not a father’s day present” and be proud of being a woman.

Are you with me now? Great – let’s chat. When it comes to greening your period, there are actually a lot of options. It just depends how well you want to get to know your own body. The Diva Cup has been around since before Diva Ø was a diva. I tried this item in my teens, not because I was green, but because it promised to be more convenient and less time-consuming than traditional tampons and pads.

The Diva Cup worked really well. Stick it in and fuggedaboutit. No worrying about leaks or overflow or changing or anything. So why did I stop using it? In a word: removal. I’m not going to get too graphic, but any item with “cup” in the name means it gets filled…and needs to get emptied. That was a bit much for my 16 year old mind. And eyes. And hands.

Now that I am older and wiser, it may be time to reconsider. The average woman will dispose of 16,800 pads and/or tampons in her lifetime. That’s a lot of rotten eggs in the trash. We definitely need to start thinking about how to make this monthly “I’m not pregnant!” party more eco-friendly. So what will it be – The Ruby Cup, The Moon Cup, or old faithful with a name near and dear to my heart? Wait! Don’t answer yet – there are even more options! There’s the granola route of biodegradable pads and tampons from Natracare or you can go down the Martha Stewart rabbit hole with DIY pads. If you’re feeling fabulous, then Dear Kate is feeling you. Dear Kates are revolutionary panties that eliminate the need for panty liners and pads. (And they’re cute!)

So many choices…I wish I could say “so few periods to try them all”, but we all know there’s too many of those suckers! Well, you lucky ladies, here’s a handy guide to help you choose:

Ruby Cup
Pros: Reusable. Lasts 10 years. For every purchase, a Ruby Cup is donated to a girl in Kenya so she can attend school during her period. Now that is girl power!
Cons: Costs $30-$40*. Made in and distributed from Germany, so add more for the financial and environmental cost of shipping. Self-removal and product cleaning.

Moon Cup
Pros: Reusable. Lasts for years. Free delivery in the USA (the product is called MCUK here).
Cons: Costs $30*. Made in and distributed from England, so add more for the environmental cost of shipping. Self-removal and product cleaning.

Diva Cup
Pros: Reusable. Lasts for years. Sold in stores in the United States, so no shipping. Fabulous name!
Cons: Costs $30*. Self-removal and product cleaning.

* Actually, $30-$40 is very reasonable for something you only need to buy one of for 10 years. I only list that as a con here because $30-$40 is pretty steep if you just want to try it out and aren’t sure you will use it regularly.

Pros: Made from organic cotton. Biodegradable. Cheaper than Always and Tampax. Sold in stores in the United States.
Cons: Even though they are biodegradable, they are still thrown away with the frequency of regular pads and tampons.

Do It Yourself
Pros: I don’t know…you save money? Have a sense of accomplishment? (Can you tell I’m not fond of this one?)
Cons: You have to carry a “wet bag” for when you have to change them. You have to wash them (and we all know how easily blood comes out of fabric). You have to redefine your identity as the chick who makes her own pads.

Dear Kate
Pros: Stylish and cute. Not bulky. Various styles – even thongs! Decreases waste for a few days out of the month – just throw ‘em in the laundry.
Cons: Does not completely replace pads or tampons. $30 a piece and they are just like underwear so you need multiple pairs. Made of nylon, lycra and micro-polyester – not exactly natural. You have to buy them online and have them shipped (perhaps this will change as they get more popular).

So gals – which of these are you stoked to try? Have you already tried any of these items? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As for me, I’ve got my eye on a pair of pink and black Dear Kate bikini cuts and the coral lace thongs. 


Die How You Live

in Blog by Diva Ø Leave a comment

downloadGreen burial is a thing, y’all. Seriously.

Most of us will choose to be buried when we die. Cremation is increasing in popularity and you’ll even hear of the odd Viking pyre ceremony here and there. With burial comes embalming – you know with all those great chemicals they use in fracking (but that’s another story). And the cremation of one person puts 573 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So if you are green in life, how the heck can you go green in death? Here are a couple of answers: When you kick, you can be frozen with liquid nitrogen in a process called “promession“…yup – you can get freeze-dried like jerky. And getting composted is becoming all the rage in the green funeral game. Compost yourself? Daaammnn – now that’s what I call going hard for the green cause.

It is hard enough to get folks to change simple habits and just recycle or be mindful about energy consumption, it’s going to be an uphill battle to convince many of us to change our ideas about how to dispose of our bodies when we die. Yeah – I said “dispose of”. The concept (and actuality) of death is fraught with emotion and mystery but the truth is, our dead bodies are forever useless – kind of like trash. I know that intellectually, but ask Diva Ø to think about a non-traditional funeral and she’ll say “ain’t nobody got time for that!” Organ donation is a difficult enough proposition – even if they have changed their minds for the better, “I’m going out with everything I came with!” is a familiar refrain for many.

Now we’re not just talking organs, we’re talking about the whole body. We’re talking about letting go of hundreds of years of tradition – possibly going against religious beliefs and customs. We’re talking about building a new framework for what we consider respect for the end of life and a new framework for the process of grief and mourning for those left behind. 

For once Diva doesn’t have the answers – I’m just asking: If you’ve gone green in life – are you willing to die how you lived?


The Chic List: Hot for August

in Blog, Celebrities, Current Events, The Chic List by Diva Ø Leave a comment

Welcome to The Chic List, where we’re serving real headlines with a side of real talk. Eco-news, pop culture, and current events are all fair game. Click the headline for the original story, but read Diva’s take for the real deal. Fasten your seatbelts mofos, it’s time for The Chic List!

1. Hamptons residents initiate a No-Kardashian campaign.
Kudos to these brave citizens for proactively keeping trash off their streets!


2. Ariane Grande thinks bacon is disgusting. 
I know I’ll get a ton of shit from the vegetarian/vegans out there, but Diva keeps it real on her shade of green: Bacon. Is. Awesome. But the real question here is: why the hell do we care what Frankie’s sister thinks?


3. Ian Somerhalder is dating Nikki Reed.
Some say he should have warned his ex, Nina Dobrev that he is now dating her friend. I would use this as an opportunity to point out that no one is perfect…However, upon review of the evidence, I have to say “dammit – he is perfect!” Photos below. (You’re welcome.)


4. An elephant weeps when freed after 50 years of confinement.
This is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. Animals should be free. Well, most of them…Holla in 8 years Apolla! (See what I did there?)


5. Russell Brand is asking for your help staying vegan.
First things first: Can someone help him stop being a douche? Baby steps, Rusty. baby steps.


6. Robin Thicke is done trying to win Paula Patton back.
Finally!!! An end to arguably the biggest waste of energy in the United States this year! But seriously son, you cheated on her?!


7. Leonardo DiCaprio raises $25 Million for the environment. 
No Oscar? No problem. Leo’s gonna save the muthafuckin’ world.


8. Snoop Dogg narrates Plizzanet Earth. 
No shade here – if they got rid of that plastic cup this shit would be gold! P.S. We’re done with Snoop Lion right? I hope this newfound focus on the wild doesn’t remind him of that. Get that man another blunt!


9. Michelle Obama’s new “Drink Up” campaign for water. 
You had me at “Drink Up” FLOTUS! I was three sheets before I read the rest of the article. Umm, yeah…water’s good too. In reusuable containers of course.


10. Every news outlet in the world predicts a Bey & Jay split. 
Talk about a waste of energy – girlfriend recorded the hottest album of the year and no one knew until she wanted them to. No matter what’s happening in her marriage, I’m pretty sure we won’t know until Queen B is good and gotdam ready for us to know. Until then, leave my girl alone!


Meet me here next time for a new rundown of the wild or mild, but always Diva-styled. In the meantime, catch our chic on Facebook for your daily dose of eco-fabulosity! 

#EcoHustle 2014

in Events by Diva Ø Leave a comment

Everybody knows that Diva Ø loves a capital “F”… but  this time it stands for “Fabulous”.BNG’s 3rd Annual Eco-Hustle on May 3 was FABULOUS! Check out the photos below (and more on Facebook). Black is the New Green congratulates Team It’s Easy Being Green who rapped, rode, created, quizzed and raced their way through five stations around Baltimore City all the way to victory! 


The breakout hit of this year’s competition was “Beatboxing at the Bee and Bat Boxes”. Teams had 15 minutes to study a fact sheet, comb through the warehouse at the Baltimore Community ToolBank for musical instruments and write a rap about the environmental benefits of bees and bats. And then they had to perform it for the group. The results?  Amazing! See for yourself with the video links below – and stay tuned for when BNG’s album drops!

* What do you get when you cross Vel-aaw-ciraptors with Terror-dactyls? A DinoAlliance. See how they roll here. To the tune of bees and the bats…

Do you know what time it is? It’s time for the pollinator! Watch Green So Loud shut it down here.

 * Maybe you are in the mood for the menthol cool stylings of MC LaLa Esquire? Good news – you can get your fix here with DCBaltiLove.

* Now its time to get crunk. DJ Philly Crunk that is. Check out The Green Debacle here.

* And last but not least, get your snaps together for a little spoken word from 2014 Eco-Hustle Champs, It’s Easy Being Green here.

Y’all Ready For This?!

in Events by Diva Ø Leave a comment
BNG's 2013 Hustlas

BNG’s 2013 Hustlas

BNG’s 3rd Annual Eco-Hustle
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Baltimore, MD



During the Eco-Hustle, participants will race on planes, trains and automobiles (ok, real talk: just cars, bikes, or buses) to various destinations throughout Baltimore City and engage in a host of eco-fabulous activities and challenges. BNG representatives will be at each site to direct teams, judge on-site competitions, and verify that teams completed that site’s activity.

The event will begin at the Baltimore Community ToolBank located at 1224 Wicomico Street at 9am. Check-in opens at 8am and ends promptly at 8:45am. After the opening activities, teams will depart from the ToolBank to complete the rest of the competition. The event will end at Heavy Seas Ale House, located at 1300 Bank Street.

This year we are proud to partner with the Baltimore Community ToolBank, The 6th Branch, Heavy Seas Ale House, and FOUND Studio, with more partners are being added each day. Prizes will be provided by our wonderful partners, so please be sure to check them out and “like” them on Facebook! Each member of the winning team will also receive a limited edition Black is the New Green flask.



How many people can be on a team?
Your team must have a minimum of two people and no more than five people.

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Black is the New Green is designed for an adult audience. If you choose to bring a child under 18, you assume all risks, you must provide supervision of that child at all times and you understand that absolutely nothing will be censored during the event or the after-party. Alcohol will be served at the after-party.

What are my transport/parking options during the event?
There is free street parking at the Baltimore Community ToolBank. Your team will need a car for transportation between stations. Parking at most stations will be free, however you should plan for the possibility of metered parking. Parking for the after-party at Heavy Seas is mostly metered, however if you are slick enough, you may find free parking up in the cut.

What can/can’t I bring to the event?
You should bring a reusable water bottle. Flasks are optional and respected. Don’t bring an attitude.


What it Takes to be a LEED-er

in Blog, BNG Spotlight, Business by Diva Ø Leave a comment

On February 7, Black is the New Green had the opportunity to spend time at the U.S. Green Building Council‘s office space in Washington, D.C. More proof that cool and green go together like red beans and rice. Check it:

 The entrance: Herman Miller meets the 22nd Century.

The entrance: Herman Miller meets the 22nd Century.

 One of only five in the world, the LEED Dynamic Plaque measures the actual green performance of the office in real time through this active graph. If that wasn't cool enough, it also looks like dope vinyl.
One of only five in the world, the LEED Dynamic Plaque measures the actual green performance of the office in real time through this active graph. If that wasn’t cool enough, it also looks like dope vinyl.

 The USGBC seal embossed in reclaimed gumwood.

The USGBC seal embossed in reclaimed gumwood.

 The office dining area has a table made of locally reclaimed wood. If a tree falls in Virginia, why not reuse it?!

The office dining area has a table made of locally reclaimed wood. If a tree falls in Virginia, why not reuse it?!

Tracking green around the world.
Tracking green around the world.

What does "community" mean to you?

What does “community” mean to you?


Not just walking the walk, U.S. Green Building Council is leading the way and showing you step by step how it's done. Yes, that says Platinum, y'all!

Not just walking the walk, U.S. Green Building Council is leading the way and showing you step by step how it’s done. Yes, that says Platinum, y’all!

The Chic List

in Blog, Celebrities, Current Events by Diva Ø Leave a comment

Welcome to The Chic List, where we’re serving up real headlines with a side of real talk. Eco-news, pop culture, and current events are all fair game. Whether it rocks your world, inspires you, or just makes you go hmmm, Diva is on it. Fasten your seatbelts mofos, it’s time for The Chic List!

Rihanna donates a five figure sum to help the nonprofit group Wolf Haven save endangered wolves. No surprise here – her love of animals is well documented:


What would Six say?!

What would Six say?!



Mayim Bialik celebrated her Emmy nomination with vegan donuts. She failed to mention that her four year old dunked them in her breast milk.  



A Safeway shopper in Arizona found a chicken claw in a chicken package. Apparently, all of the package handlers were too busy handling their packages to do a quality inspection.

Yes, sometimes chicken contains...chicken.

Yes, sometimes chicken contains…chicken.



With a focus on health and sustainability, metal band Korn has installed a hydroponic garden in their studio. I would have posted this earlier but it took a minute to find the backwards ‘R’ on my keyboard. Don’t let KoЯn outgЯeen you!


Save your sweet nothings, this isn’t Lance Armstrong’s School for Wayward Pricks.

Proud graduate of Lance Armstrong’s School for Wayward Pricks.



A-Rod continues to haggle with MLB in order to save his contract moneyNo word yet on his soul. Wrong kind of green, man. Wrong kind of green.




Sweden has run out of garbage and is forced to import from Norway. Sounds like a first world problem. Wait. Aren’t we supposed to be…? Never mind. 

first world

Yeah, this sounds more like us.


It ain't easy bein' G-Cleezy!

It ain’t easy bein’ G-Cleezy


George Clooney uses the money he earns from hawking the sustainable coffee, Nespresso to spy on a Sudanese dictator. Now that’s just gangsta.




Just callin’ ‘em like I see ‘em. Meet me here next time for a new rundown of the wild or mild, but always Diva-styled. In the meantime catch our chic on Facebook for your daily dose of eco-cool.

A New View: Tre Chic

in Blog, Conservation, Guest Post, Recyling, Videos by Diva Ø Leave a comment

Black is the New Green welcomes a new voice this summer: our intern extraordinaire, Tre Gary. Tre is an employee, a student, and a father. In short: a man with a lot on his plate. His is another ideal voice for the real-world lessons of how to B the New Green in everyday life. He offers insights that resonate with real people everywhere. Peep his steezy in the short post below and give him a warm BNG welcome! Look for more updates from Tre in the coming weeks.

Paper or Plastic? Choose Granny Chic!

I keep forgetting to bring those ugly-assed granny print reusable shopping bags with me to the store when I go…not that anyone cares how they look, I just never remember to bring them. During the summertime, when school is out, I buy groceries almost every day. Not only am I sick and tired of collecting the seemingly thousands of plastic bags that are all over the pantry floor, because my kids seem to think that is the perfect place for them, but I’m so done with reeling in plastic bags and other non-degradable fuckery on the end of my fishing line every weekend too. WTF!?!?

Ok, I get it. I used to think plastic bags were the better choice too. They weigh less and take up less space than paper grocery bags, thus costing less to produce and transport. They should be great because no trees had to be cut down to make them, and they take less energy to recycle. Yeah….I’m bullshitting, I never got as deep as all that. But it seems like a no-brainer: use plastic bags, recycle them, get a cookie, simple. Wait… what? Only 1% of the estimated 1 trillion plastic bags consumed annually get recycled? GTFOH. They almost had me there.

Y’all, check this video about what plastic is doing to the oceans and our food chain. I’m ’bout to go put them sexy reusable bags in the car.

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