Save the Date!

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EcoHustle 2015 Save the Date

Mad Love

in Blog, Business by Diva Ø Leave a comment

mad loveThank you all for your congratulatory messages and support for Black is the New Green’s new 501(c)3 status! We’ve got mad love for you all and Diva would like to give a special shout out to the following: 

The BNG Board
Noah Smock – Currently our Board Chairman, creative consultant and attitude adjuster, Noah is the first person Diva ever told about the idea for Black is the New Green. He is the first person to believe in BNG and the first person to donate to the cause when we started and the first person to donate under our new status. He’s our rock.

Andy Hlavka – Tech guru, behind the scenes organizer, and voted Most Likely To Say The Funniest Thing Ever But He’s Dead Serious And Doesn’t Understand Why You’re Laughing. We are astounded by Andy’s dedication, but let’s keep it real – he’ll do anything if you offer him Chipotle.  

Jamila Sams – Our resident photographer, also in charge of shots (usually Red Stag). Jamila is a BNG champion and cheerleader, even when you want her to simmer down. But’s that when you need the cheering the most. Gotta love JSams.

BNG’s Bad-Ass Lawyers
Parag Khandar – Ok, so he’s technically not our lawyer, but Parag is the lawyer that kicked it all off. Without Parag’s consistent encouragement and resource sharing we would never have found our lawyer, Tim. 

Tim Manuelides – Our MF’in lawyer, y’all! Tim made that IRS paperwork his bitch. He probably (read: definitely) wouldn’t say it like that, but that’s what Diva is here for. Seriously he took months of work and made it look like child’s play. Good thing he works for the good guys.

O.G. BNG Donors & Sponsors
Majora Carter & James Chase
Jean Caufriez & Joe Holland
Charles Eaddy
Ben Groff
Sabriyah Hassan
Andy Hlavka
Abby Ferretti Jackson & Peter Jackson
Harry Maistros
Tony Milando
Jamila Sams
LeighAnn Smith
Noah Smock
Alicia Thomas
Baltimore Community ToolBank
Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap
Come Home Baltimore
FOUND Studio
Heavy Seas Alehouse
The 6th Branch
The Life of Reilly

We couldn’t have done it without you!

It’s Official!

in Blog, Business by Diva Ø Leave a comment

sjgrWe are happy to announce that Black is the New Green has been granted 501(c)3 status and we are now officially a nonprofit organization! We are deeply appreciative to those of you who have supported us and donated to the cause for the last few years before you could write that shit off. Diva told you 2015 is going to be epic…and we’re off to a fabulous start. Holla!!!

2015 is Going to Be Epic!

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2015 (2) HNY gig

Trust a Diva – you’re gonna want to stay tuned to BNG in 2015. Check out a few of the highlights below and mark your calendar. Be sure to like us on Facebook to stay up on exact dates.

Spring 2015: Join us as we kick off the BNG Year with our 4th Annual Eco-Hustle.

Fall 2015: The Green Garage: Reuseapalooza!

Ongoing fabulousness: The Spread: A BNG Joint


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

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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

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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.

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