Clotheslines – Support System For The Affordable Solar Panel

Clothesline SeasonFor all of the enviro-babble, green-washings and Copenhagen’s, Jubbling believes the best way to reduce our impact on the environment is by thinking small and a great place to start is with clotheslines. That’s right, clotheslines – a rope tied between 2 trees or a rope spanning your balcony – the clothesline is making a comeback and these solar panel supports are affordable and effective. Our clothesline is made out of an old phone extension cord and by using it from May through Sept 2009, we were able to drop our power consumption by over 10%; the period when electrical rates are at their highest. And should your neighbors complain, show them the thong you didn’t hang up on the clothesline and I think they’ll reconsider.

Give it a try and time it to cover a billing cycle with your electric company. I think you’ll like the results. And remember, we’re not asking you to do anything extreme like washing your clothes in a river. It’s just a clothesline and the past stigma associated with hanging your clothes outside will be replaced with the pride you feel at your lower energy bills and the adoration you receive from your neighbors.

Some sites to check out include: or Urban Clotheslines.


Jubbling @ Microsoft: Would You Like “Up-Flush” To Be Your Default Application?

Microsoft Flush InstructionsThe success of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, pales in comparison to the success they’ve found by Jubbling. Atleast in my eyes. And Microsoft has found a “sweet spot” with us by turning the bathroom experience into a Jubbling event. Yeah, automatically turning on/off the lights as you enter/leave a bathroom is neat but so 2004 and we say BFD to the automatic faucets. What did Microsoft do to take the Jubbling to an 11? They gave toilet users a choice to decide if they want to Up-flush or Down-flush depending on their output and they’ve provided a seat where you can make your decision. “Up” is for liquid waste and flushes with less water and “Down” is for chunky and uses the full tank. Either choice is Jubbling and well beyond the normal office recycling and use of biodegradable flatware. I could’ve spent an hour in the bathroom testing out the technology and taking notes but 54 minutes was enough.

Keep up the good work Microsoft. You’ve got one less hater out there thanks to your Jubbling efforts.


Hello Brita Filter and Preserve Products. Goodbye Arrowhead, Crystal Springs, Dasani, Evian, Fiji, …

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, sir?

In case you didn’t know, Benjamin is Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie The Graduate from 1967. Today Benjamin wouldn’t be so confused about the role of plastics in our lives and nowhere is it more prevalent than in the form of the plastic water bottle.

Brita Water Filter OptionsI’d like to think that Benjamin was a conscientious person and that maybe he would have landed a job with the Brita Water Filtration Systems Company. By now you’ve probably seen their clear plastic pitchers hanging out in your friend’s fridge, or maybe you own one like me. Brita’s plastic filters reduce your tap water’s chlorine taste and remove mercury via the carbon bits stuffed inside. But what do you do with the filter after it has served its purpose and needs replacing? To solve this question, Brita partnered with Boston-based Preserve, a 13-year-old company that makes house wares from recycled plastics. You may be wondering how this translates into Jubbling?

Jubbling starts when the consumer uses their tap water instead of bottled water. This reduces plastic bottle waste in landfills. It also lessens overall impact stemming from the transportation and warehousing of bottled water, including the fuel consumption and emissions produced when bringing it to the marketplace.

Preserve Products Gimme-5 ProgramThe Double-Jubbling, if you will, is fulfilled when the pitcher filters are further recycled into other items like toothbrushes and cutting boards via Preserve’s recycling process.. Preserve is currently promoting their Gimme 5 Program, which offers consumers drop-off locations, like Whole Foods Markets, as well as mailing instructions for used filters. The number five refers to the No. 5 polypropylene plastic (the number is found inside the small triangle on the bottom or side of some plastic containers) used in the Brita filter’s design. Apparently, not many municipalities accept this type in their recycling programs so this program keeps those items from filling up landfills.

What is incredible here is that we’re seeing three life-cycles of useful products. First is the pitcher filter, second is the new Preserve product created from recycled filters and the third use comes from recycling the second product after its lifespan is done. What do you call already good Jubbling that has been tweaked for increased benefit? Is it a Double-Jubbling? Maybe it’s a Redundant Jubbling, or Jubbling To The Third Degree? I’m not sure but this idea holds huge potential for reducing consumer impact and even calming the future concerns of present-day Benjamins all around the world.

Benjamin: I’m just…
Mr. Braddock: Worried?
Benjamin: Well…
Mr. Braddock: About what?
Benjamin: I guess about my future.
Mr. Braddock: What about it?
Benjamin: I don’t know… I want it to be…
Mr. Braddock: To be what?
Benjamin: [looks at his father] … Different.


U2 Tour = 360, Carbon Footprint = Zero?

Ireland’s fab four, U2, is redefining the rock concert in more ways than one with their newest world tour called the 360° Tour, produced by Live Nation. U2’s website touts that they’re committed to a net zero emissions goal for the global tour with suggestions that fans carpool to their concert dates and refill aluminum water bottles instead of buying plastic bottles at the venue. A marketing firm called Music Matters is acting as U2’s official “Environmental Advisor.” “The crew has embraced a lot of our initiatives and has even been developing ideas of their own they would like to implement,” said Lucy August-Perna, Music Matters touring Greening Manager. Their initiatives include backstage and bus recycling, battery and electronics recycling, refillable water stations, composting in catering, analyzing truck and bus operations to reduce their environmental footprint.

U2 inspires us at Jubbling, as they do so many others. They are, by far, my favorite band dating back to the early 80s when I first heard their entire Boy album on a Philly radio station. They’re still socially and politically conscious, musically innovative and they continue to strive for excellence and relevance as younger hearts and minds replace their original fan base. So why do I have the long face? Does Adam Clayton even care?

Maybe George Costanza’s remarks from a 1990 Seinfeld episode can best sum it up – “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Music Matters’ emissions target for this tour can be far reaching but consider the amount of manpower and machinery it takes to power a world tour of this magnitude. In fact, check out this video clip of U2’s main stage being erected and then tell me that battery recycling is really the answer to reducing impact:


Don’t get me wrong; I love the band and I have paid my money to see their shows over the years but there is some hypocrisy to hyping a tour with net zero emissions and then flying away on private jets. See my carbon offset story for more details.

We have to admit to ourselves that entertainment in the form of arena concerts uses lots of natural and man-made resources to keep shows exciting, especially in a culture where bigger is better. This beginning attempt by U2 and Music Matters may be enough to make other big acts wake up and take notice, especially if it saves money in the long run. Simply paying off a show’s impact with carbon credits is not the answer! The tricky thing is keeping a live show interesting enough for audience members while at the same time cutting the environmental impact. That’s a Jubbling puzzle we all face when we look to lessen impact in our own lives. Personally, I already have tickets to their Seattle show in June 2010 and I plan on taking public transportation and wearing an extra pair of adult undergarments so I don’t have to miss a beat.


Potted “Living” Christmas Trees

Charlie Brown Christmas TreeWhen it comes to buying a Christmas tree, the decision for most is to choose between artificial or a barely dead tree. If you go artificial, you can get perfection every year and spend the holidays convincing everyone how close your artificial tree looks to an actual one. If you go to the Christmas tree lot and get a recently-departed tree, you can choose from a hundred or so trees and find the right height and fullness. You can even get it flocked on the spot if that’s your preference. Now Jubbling wants to recommend an alternative – the potted “living” Christmas tree.

A potted Christmas tree is exactly what the name suggests – take a trip to your local nursery and pick out a potted tree to use as your Christmas tree. Jubbling Christmas Tree According to our local nursery, Bainbridge Gardens, robust and durable types of living Christmas trees include the Norway Spruce, Korean Fir, Balsam Fir, Frasier Fir and the Colorado Blue Spruce. They may not be as attractive as an artificial or once-living tree but since it is a potted Christmas tree, you can roll it outside to your porch or patio after the holiday and water it until you use it again the next year. It’s Jubbling 101. Ten years ago, I decided to give it a shot and I purchased a potted tree that ended up in my yard after Christmas. Then in 2004, I decided to do it again only this time I put the tree in a pot and put it outside after Christmas. We have nothing on the Charlie Brown Christmas tree but a little Jubbling and my original $65 investment has carried forward for the last 4 Christmases.

Caring for a Potted Christmas Tree – Limiting the amount of time your potted Christmas tree spends in your house is the best way to make sure it survives the holiday. According to Jenni at Bainbridge Gardens, the best way to care for a potted Christmas tree is:

Before the living Christmas tree goes into the house, give it some transitional time in an unheated garage or outbuilding. If it will be indoors for 5-6 days, it should be in a transitional area for a similar length of time. Check the plant daily and water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. We recommend placing the tree in a room that’s between 60 and 65 degrees if possible and definitely not near a heat register.

Our potted Christmas tree will spend 2 weeks in the house but you’re better off following Jenni’s guidelines. Contact your local nursery and see what they have available. A potted Christmas tree may not look perfect but it will more than serve its purpose and that is to hold ornaments, lights and allow you to put presents underneath it.

My kids still pull the “dad’s cheap” card on me but in the end, I think they know it’s Jubbling. And given the option of switching our holiday from celebrating Christmas to Festivus, my kids appreciate the potted Christmas tree a little more. The last thing they want to experience is Festivus and the traditional raising of the aluminum pole.


Carbon Offsets = Environmental Penance?

“Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

That suggestion is the motto of the Sierra Club and has been their hallmark philosophy on how to reduce man’s impact on nature, mainly parklands, for numerous decades. It is simple, inexpensive and conducive to extending the lifespan of parks for future generations…and it’s Jubbling at the core.

That idea was contemporized and tweaked to produce the carbon footprint philosophy. As defined by, a carbon footprint is “the negative impact that something (as a person or business) has on the environment; specifically: the amount of carbon emitted by something during a given period.” That term dates back to 1999.

The Carbon Offset Confessional

Environmental Penance Kiosk

Now with ten years of consumer guilt and the perceived corpulent western lifestyle under our belt we arrive at carbon offset credits. Carbon offset’s are defined as “… credits for an amount of carbon dioxide-equivalent (COse) reduced, avoided or absorbed. Many types of credits are available, produced by several schemes or mechanisms and with a series of sometimes overlapping standards.”

We’re all about reducing, reusing and recycling but carbon offset credits sound more like an environmental penance for all of your past earth-bashing sins. Jubbling is about making smarter personal choices and changes that work for you. It’s not about paying a broad ransom, of sorts, to some faceless entity and then going about your business as usual. It’s also not about guilt for living your daily life.

Can you really take carbon credits seriously when the company Bombardier Learjet has a carbon offset program? Should you be riddled with guilt if you owned a 1970s muscle car from Detroit? We argue that the car is less of a black eye to Mother Nature versus a private jet.

Carbon credits are being sold on an idea that says we can essentially pay off our poor environmental habits or abuses while still continuing along without sacrifice or concern. This hypocrisy is making nations and individuals wealthy while the real problems are ignored.