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What if You Come Down (to Earth) With Symptoms of Sustainability?

By | Biking, BUSINESS, gardening, healthcare, laundry, NONPROFITS, Pets, restrooms | No Comments

If you or someone you know has some of the following symptoms, you may be coming down (to earth) with sustainability. It can be contagious, but some people have strong resistance. Scientists believe that it may have something to do with a jean mutation. The jeans can be modified or removed, but some people don’t like to change because they’re comfortable just the way they are.

Sustainable World PeopleJust as a person who has obesity may begin to rely on a wheelchair to get around, a person who has sustainability may begin to rely on a bicycle to get around. Physical and mental conditions shape the surrounding environment.

Although some people feel uneasy about sustainability at first, they quickly begin to adapt to the condition. Some people do really crazy things like take up gardening or sell their cars. Once you catch sustainability, don’t be surprised if people with the mutated jeans call you crazy.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with sustainability, it’s helpful to join a support group with like-minded people who prefer trees over traffic and borrowing over buying. As the symptoms of sustainability increase, you may fall deeper into a wishful state of Utopia-euphoria wanting more people to contract your enthusiasm. Webweaver Earth

Here are some of the symptoms of sustainability:

Air. You go to parks and into the forest where the air is fresh and trees are plentiful. AIRNow

Banking. You closed your bank account and opened an account at a local credit union. Credit Union National Association

Whenever you go near a bank, you get withdrawal symptoms. PunOfTheDay

Bathroom. Your bathroom has a window which provides natural light and ventilation. American Restroom Association

Why are environmentalists bad at playing poker? They avoid the flush. Jokes4Us

Biking. Your bicycle is one of your main modes of transportation. People For Bikes

This CAR Game Will Drive You Crazy

Charities. You give generously to a local nonprofit or faith-based organization and they give back to the community. Charity Navigator

Cooperation. You quit your corporate job to work for a co-op. National Cooperative Business Association

Energy. Your home is drawing power from renewable energy sources. Renewable Energy World

Food. You have access to organic fruits and vegetables within walking distance of your home. GMO Inside

Gardening. You have fun working together with your neighbors in the community garden. American Community Gardening Association

Healthcare. You have access to affordable healthcare. Michael Moore’s Health Care Proposal

Housing. Your home is affordable and you help others who need housing. Habitat for Humanity

Laundry. You hang your laundry out to dry. Project Laundry List

Laundry Study Shows Americans Have Few Hangups 

Leaders. You’re a good communicator and leader. Toastmasters

Library. You enjoy going to your local library on a regular basis.

Lighting. The sun is your main source of light all day. VELUX

Music. You hear nature sounds or appropriate tunes that enhance your home, workplace and other public spaces. American Music Therapy Association

Names. You’re on a first-name basis with your neighbors and workers in local businesses. NeighborWorks

Organics. You buy organic foods in the local farmer’s market and grocery stores. CCOF

Outdoors. Your home and workplace outdoor spaces are green and welcoming. Alliance for Community Trees

What did the activist get when he sat on the iceberg too long? Polaroids. Jokes4Us

People. You treat everyone with respect, regardless of their age, race or social status. Grassroots International

Pets. You often take your dog along wherever you go. Go Pet Friendly

Plantscaping. You have plenty of indoor plants. Plantscape Industry Alliance

Prevention. Your healthcare provider incentivizes doctors for prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Why We Need to Do Doctor Reviews on Our Last Doctors’ Visits

Recycling. You have a donate box, a recycle bin and a compost pile, but you don’t have a garbage can. SCARCE

Sustainable Communities IndexSalary. Your boss doesn’t make too much more than you or your colleagues. Salary

Schools. Your kids attend schools which teach them how to create a sustainable future for themselves and the community. Edible Schoolyard

Seeds. You trade seeds and plants with your neighbors. Seed Savers

Sharing. You borrow stuff and lend a hand. mesh

Steps. The staircase in your workplace is more attractive than the elevator. StairPorn

Your Best Excuse for Not Going to the Gym

Students. Your kids are participating in solving real issues in the community. Youth Service America

Transportation. Your community is investing heavily in public transportation, bikeways, sidewalks and pathways. American Public Transportation Association

Volunteers. Your neighbors are engaged in making the community a better place to live. Volunteer Match

Water. Your drinking water is pure and safe. Local waterways are full of healthy marine life.  American Water Works Association

Weight. You’re healthy, not malnourished or obese. Weight of the Nation

Sick of Diets? Film Diet Plan Will Help You Escape the Fat Trap

Work. It’s easy for you to find work opportunities near home. Smart Growth America

If you’re experiencing several of these symptoms, stay calm. If you generate too much excitement, the zombie police with mutated jeans may try to attack. They are known to be mindlessly unreasonable, doing raids on people who sell fruits and vegetables, for example. Check out this raid on an organic food store in California.

Zombie Police - resident evil

What’s the difference between zombies and patched jeans?

Zombies are dead men. Jeans are mended. JokeIndex

If you or your loved ones are coming down (to earth) with sustainability, the best thing you can do is band together with other level-headed people and come up with a smart plan to protect yourselves in the event of a random zombie invasion.

Yes! logo

Aromatherapy Gifts for Nosy People

By | dream, gifts, health, Natural Remedies, restrooms, Sleep | One Comment

Kids who rely mainly on their vision are called “visual learners.” They say things like, “look at me!” As adults they say, “I see what you mean.” When you know what to look for, it’s easy to detect a person’s dominant sense, especially in children. But unfortunately, many adults lose touch with their good sense.

nosy person

The five basic senses are visual, tactile, auditory, gustatory and nosy. Each of us has a dominant one. You probably know plenty of nosy people, but you may not be familiar with which aromatherapy products are best suited for different types. Let’s eavesdrop on a few nosy peeps.

Number One: Tinker Bells

Social Tinker Bells enjoy going out for drinks with friends. Social tinklers invite a friend to join them when they go to the restroom. It gives them time to ask personal questions about the other people with them.

Shy tinklers go alone. At work they spend their break time in the restroom listening to their coworkers make stall calls. Tinklers don’t care whether their colleagues are calling to argue with their spouse, or calling about why their credit card was denied. It’s all good stuff.

imagesNosy tinklers like to pee a little and save some more for later, like dogs do when they go on walks. Why waste a good pee all at once? They spend a lot of time in the bathroom tinkering around, powdering their noses and rearranging their hair. So it’s convenient for them to have aromatherapy products in the bathroom where they can access them easily.

LUSH products are ideal gifts for Tinker drinkers who use colognes, perfumes, or breath fresheners to cover up the smell of alcohol. LUSH products are a powerful remedy they’ll love.

If you’re drawn to the enticing smells of essential oils from nature, you can’t help but go inside a LUSH to snoop around and sniff their fragrant items. If you’ve ever been near a LUSH, you know what I’m talking about. You can smell them coming and going. Tinker Bells can’t resist.

Number Two: Loggers

When loggers visit you, they’ll ask to use the bathroom to wash their hands, but the truth is, they’re full of crap. What they really want to do is look in your medicine chest to see what types of prescriptions you’re taking and look under your sink to see what they might dig up. They don’t mean to butt-in, but they can’t help themselves.

That’s why you should stock your bathroom with Trap-A-Crap. It’s the perfect product for people like loggers, hunters and campers who know how much a few good logs can put out. You don’t have to be a professional logger to recognize the smell of fresh cut wood.

A lot of people don’t like loggers. They believe that deforestation is harming the planet, so people are banding together in organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy to save the trees. Talks are underway between the tinklers and loggers. They’re planning on uniting to help protect the rainforest.

Number Three: Physicians

Nosy tactile people become gynecologists, nurses and moms. They’re genuinely into people. But in order for them to do their job well, they have to ask a lot of questions and do a lot of poking around. Sometimes this can be uncomfortable.

Olbas aromatic oil is an herbal remedy that loosens muscles, soothes nasal passages, and even reduces symptoms of nausea. It’s a sensational multi-purpose product they’ll love.

Olbas Oil is made in an olfactory in Basel, Switzerland. For more than 100 years, Olbas’ products have been delighting people throughout the world. According to the makers, “The synergistic combination of these six essential oils provides amazing sensations to your body at multiple levels.” I want some of that, don’t you?

Number Four: Outdoor enthusiasts

Louis C K lives in The Big Apple. Because it’s one of the most densely populated cities in the US, New Yorkers are more likely to experience nosy neighbors. He tells this story about a fellow outdoor enthusiast he encountered shortly after he moved into his new apartment . . .

Beat It! insect repellent is an ideal gift for outdoorsmen who put themselves at risk of getting stung every time they go outdoors. It’s obvious that Louis likes this deet-free product, which apparently works well for men. Michael Jackson liked it so much he wrote a song about it.

Apply it wherever you typically get bit. Why swat it when you can Beat It?

Number Five: Hypochondriacs

Hypochondriacs complain about random health issues. Take rhinosinusitus, for example. This is a condition in which the nasal passages become inflamed and blocked due to allergies or infection.

When nosy people lose their sense of smell, it’s like blindfolding a visual teen boy at a crowded beach. Nosy hypochondriacs appreciate this homeopathic spray that gives them the quick remedy they need to get their noses back to minding other people’s business.

I use Sinus Buster when my spring or fall allergies flair up. I do one good squirt in each nostril and then lay down to do some deep breathing. When you spray a small dose of red hot cayenne pepper up your nose, it turns out, your eyes water and you can feel your sinuses begin to clear immediately. For long-time allergy sufferers, it’s a dream come true.

Number Sex: Star Gazers

Some nosy people have sleep issues. If you know someone who has a telescope in his bedroom, it probably means he has this disorder. He’s an anonymous volunteer for the neighborhood watch. When he can’t sleep, he checks on his neighbors. He really wants to settle down, but he thinks if he does, it would be a nightmare.

An aromatherapeutic pillow mist is a great gift for gazers. When they spray this special mist on their pillows and sheets, it helps to lure them into bed and into a more relaxed state of mind.

We don’t have a telescope in our bedroom, but we do mist our sheets several times a week. My husband says he likes it.

Number Seven: Housecleaners

Imagine the refreshing smell of citrus when you tear away the peel of an orange. Compare this to the smell of a cigar or car fumes. What you smell can instantly change your mood.

Housecleaners are there to serve, and if you ask, they’ll be happy to give you a naturally clean home. They can create a relaxing forest scent in your great room by sprinkling a few drops of pine, cypress or oakmoss oil on the carpeting before vacuuming. They’re eager to learn new secrets.

Common Scents for Nosy People 

With aromatherapeutic products spread throughout your home, you and your nosy loved ones can experience fragrant pleasures more often. Each time you pass along a good whiff, you could be creating a memory that lingers.

Some people have completely lost touch with their good sense. We’d all be happier if we became a bit more childlike and reawakened our curiosity from within. Gastroenterologists and psychologists agree that it’s good to release our logs from within. Who nose what we might come upon?

Essential oils have countless applications. If you’d like to prepare custom blends for the special peeps in your life, look for recipes on AromaWeb. There are lots of other great products I’d like to tell you about, but I really should to get back to FaceBook to check up on my friends.



Go for Green Hair in a Sunlit Chair

By | BUSINESS, restrooms | One Comment

How can you tell if your hair salon is green and the staff cares about the health of their employees, their customers and their community?

Here are just a few things you can look for next time you head to the salon:

Management Commitment

The owner is committed to creating a sustainable and healthful business. Lisa Thomas, Owner of Verde Eco-Salon, believes in providing a safe, nontoxic, environment for her customers.

From the time you step in the door, you can see that she has designed her salon using repurposed furnishings. Check out the beautiful antique wood pieces that she uses for storage near the reception desk. And this is just the beginning!

Safe Products

If you have your hair colored every four to six weeks, it’s important to know what your body might be absorbing through your skin and lungs. Next time you’re at the salon, ask about the products that are being massaged into your scalp. Ask for the brand names and then look them up on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website to check on their safety rating. You might be surprised at what you discover.

At Verde Eco-Salon, they’re using Organic Colour Systems, a paraben-free, ammonia-free, formaldehyde-free, thioglycolate-free, cruelty-free, organic, environmentally friendly, fair trade product. I’m very pleased to do business with a company like this, even if it’s indirectly.

In case you aren’t familiar with the effects of ingredients that may be in your hair products, check out some of the recent and potentially fatal health concerns linked to formaldehyde.

When a business chooses to use or sell a product from another company, they’re supporting their supplier’s principles and ingredients. They’re partnering with the beliefs and values of their suppliers. That’s why health-conscious customers who have their hair done here at Verde Eco-Salon are more likely to head to Whole Foods or Native Sun instead of Food Lion on their way home. They want to do business with companies who screen their suppliers.

Media, Music & More

Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of salons that had TVs, but you won’t find this distraction at Verde Eco-Salon. It’s just one more thing I like about the atmosphere. TVs discourage conversation and it’s impossible to find shows that all your employees and customers will like.

Verde plays nice music and it’s at just the right volume for holding a conversation with your stylist. To me, it’s most important that my stylist gives me the right cut & color, but after that, conversation is equally important. I like my stylist here at Verde. We never run out of things to talk about.

Several years ago, I stopped going to a very experienced professional who did a great job on my hair. I didn’t stop going because of what he did to my hair. I stopped going because of what he did to my ears! He did all the talking and never cared to ask about what was going on in my life. He was too concerned about telling me stories about how great he was to his family and friends. But based on how he treated me, I wasn’t so convinced about his mercies toward people when he was off the clock.

At Verde, they offer some basic hair magazines, which makes good sense for a salon. The magazines are displayed on a beautiful ShabbyChic-like magazine side table between two chairs with hair dryers. I noticed other magazines appropriate for a sustainable business like Renovation Style. On this particular day at the salon, I also noticed that they had magazines that don’t necessarily support healthful living. It’s a small detail perhaps, but something they might want to think about as subscription renewals come up or as they’re cleaning up at the end of each day.

Sustainable Local Art

MacTruque pieces have been displayed in Verde Eco-Salon ever since I started going there. I thoroughly enjoy seeing his art when I’m there. The mix of color, texture and sheen pops off the sky blue-grey walls in the salon.

But today I learned even one more good thing about these round pieces. They’re painted on old tabletops that might otherwise have ended up in a dumpster! What a great way to repurpose these rounds that were formally used in a restaurant!

You can find more of MacTruque’s fantastic pieces at Avondale Artworks or Stellars Gallery.

MacTruque says his dad used to let him draw on the walls in their house. And now his art can hang on the walls of homes and businesses anywhere in the world!

It’s especially nice that Verde has chosen to support a local artist. Selling local art at a salon is a win-win-win partnership. Artists get more local exposure; stylists get to see some variety in the art on the wall, and customers have the opportunity to browse as if they’re in a gallery and the option to buy if they just can resist.

Interior Design

In Verde, all the stylists have doors to their stations, but the doors are always wide open. Doors re-purposed from a prior life are just part of the chic uniqueness of this one-of-a-kind salon in Jacksonville. The doors serve as separators between the stations.

Open carts on wheels display the tools of the trade: hair dryers, brushes and clips. It’s all out in the open, and I like this. I never did like seeing a stylist pull a brush from a drawer that also stored their lunch container or a water-stained hair magazine dated several years back.

But what I like best about this salon is the fact that it smells fresh and clean, unlike many salons where the odor of strong products gives me a headache.

Because they planned well and installed a washer and dryer in the back, they wash their towels and capes on-site. This helps reduce the cost and save energy they would otherwise incur if they sent their stuff out to be washed at some off-site location. It’s a good business practice since the stylists have time to manage loads between customers.

Natural Light

So few businesses take advantage of natural light, but it’s especially advantageous in a salon where customers might want to check on hair color or highlights under natural light–our beloved Florida sunshine!

Verde Eco-Salon has taken advantage of their large windows draping them with light translucent window treatments. They invite the sunshine to come inside to cheer up everyone inside.

Here I am with Jessica Gould, a great stylist from New York. She loves sunshine and butterflies. Verde offers up the sunshine, but they don’t have a butterfly garden yet.

The further back you go in the salon, the more you’ll notice that they also have other electric-dependent lighting. But don’t look up for too long. It’s a dated drop-down ceiling that would probably look better if it were removed to reveal whatever might be above it. Lots of businesses achieve a great industrial look by exposing and painting all the stuff that’s up on their ceiling.

Customer Experience

Next door to Verde Eco-Salon there’s a cafe with tables on the sidewalk. I sure would like to go to a salon that offered outdoor seating. If you know of a licensed outdoor salon, or one that at has a courtyard or some type of outdoor space, please leave a comment with the name and location. I’d love to check it out!

For more ideas on how to help your salon go green, check out GoGreenSalon, a Toronto-based association dedicated to helping salons & spas join the green movement.

The next time you go to your salon, look around and pay attention to what’s really going on. Give it the sniff test. If it doesn’t pass, then start asking questions about what they’re doing to continuously improve their services. If they aren’t sure what you’re talking about, you might want to start shopping around for another salon.

But do me a favor on your way out: encourage them to contact me at www.DrLorraine.net so I can help them begin their journey toward a safer, more eco-friendly salon.

A few small changes each week or month add up to big improvements over time! I’m committed to green hair, are you?

Make It Easier to Save the Trees

By | dream, restrooms, transportation | No Comments

When I see signs like this asking me to be green in one way or another, I’m very willing to comply.

So when I saw the sign I looked all around the restroom, but didn’t see any hand dryers except for the paper dispenser in front of my face.

I didn’t see anything near the water faucets or on the other walls in the room, so I pulled out a few paper towels and dried my hands. I put the paper towels in the garbage along with all the others, and then when I headed out of the restroom, I saw the hand dryers in the hallway. I didn’t notice them on the way in because that wasn’t the main thing on my mind at the time.

Are you with me here?

One of the first rules of good design is to keep things where they’re going to be used most, and this is especially important in public places. I didn’t even see the hand dryer until after I dried my hands. I wonder whose idea it was to install them around the corner in the hallway? McCarran needs to hire new restroom designers who understand the needs of travelers.

I was pulling luggage on wheels. The last thing I wanted to do was to grab my luggage with wet hands and start looking around for hand dryers. If this had been several years ago, I might have sent one of my kids off for this game of hide & seek.

The partially bubbled bumper sticker on the paper towel dispenser is a clue that the hand dryers were probably an afterthought, installed after management at the airport decided to take efforts to be more green. The bubbles in the bumper sticker also whisper out a lack of concern for quality by the person who installed it.

I suppose it’s better to have the hand dryers in the hallway than not to have them at all. Maybe the employees know about them and use them. But they’re sort of in the way in the hallway. Although there wasn’t a line when I used the restroom, I’m sure the dryers are inconveniently placed if people are entering and exiting the restroom with luggage while some people are standing around drying their hands. This seems like it’s designed to create a traffic jam.

If McCarran wanted to encourage people to use the hand dryers, they’d be the choice closest to the sinks. I just checked out the McCarran website and I didn’t see anything on their “GREEN Initiatives.” Since they screamed out “GREEN” on their bumper sticker, I thought they’d have a quick link to “GREEN Initiatives” on their website, but if it’s there, I couldn’t find it.

On a green design scale of 1-10, I give them a 3: one point for the bubbled bumper sticker, one point for installing the hand dryers and one more point for good luck next time I’m in Vegas.

If you’re a member of the American Restroom Association or the World Toilet Organization can you please spread the word that McCarran might have a few underused hand dryers that they can donate to a good cause?

Interested in flying through greener airports? Plan your next trip around a long layover at one of the World’s Ten Greenest Airports.

Got an airport story you want to share? Please leave a comment.

Starbucks and Target Are Good Places "To Go"

By | BUSINESS, dream, restaurants, restrooms | No Comments

Ever get frustrated in a public restroom? You aren’t the only one. Starbucks and Target are good places to go because they have in place excellent restroom policies and cleaning procedures. Despite their good intentions, however, you will LOL with these customer experiences.

Check out this “Gotta Go” video presented by Dr Lorraine Haataia at the Toastmasters International District 84 Division A Area 11 Humorous Speech Contest on September 24, 2009.

If you’d like to book Dr Lorraine for your next event, please contact her at www.DrLorraine.net. She’s not always so funny. She’s serious about helping businesses establish good policies and procedures that keep customers coming and going.

If you have other humorous public restroom stories you’d like to share, please leave a comment.

Shop and Go is a Clean Experience at Target

By | dream, restrooms | No Comments

If you’re out shopping and you need a restroom break, Target is a good place to stop.

DSC06775 Cropped - Target Restroom Policy

Target’s outstanding clean restroom policy and procedure is clearly posted for both employees and customers to see.  They really hit the bulls eye on this one. The policy sign posted for customers includes a literal “call to action,” to call the team leader if the restroom is unacceptable. I wonder if this means I can call them about the little boy who looked up at me from under the next stall while his mother was busy talking on her cell phone? Nevermind, I was just kidding. Talking on cell phones probably makes shopping a more pleasant experience for moms.

The employee checklist entitled, “Restrooms are Clean,” includes subheadings of “spotless, stocked and shiny.” The form also provides two simple steps for employees to perform every hour: 1) check when the task is performed, and 2) press the call button when done to alert the manager that cleaning is complete. It’s obvious that Target is serious about keeping their restrooms clean all day long.


At the Target in St. John’s Town Center in Jacksonville, FL, on June 20, 2009, the restroom was clean and stocked. In no way does this guarantee that all Target restrooms on all days are as clean as this one, but you probably have a better shot at a clean restroom at a Target than at a nearby gas station.

So I’ll give Target 7  points on a 10 point scale for their restroom policy and procedures. Here’s how they could earn the extra three points in my book:

  1. one more point if the restrooms had windows and/or more fresh air circulation and live plants.
  2. one additional point if it included natural aromatherapy for clean nontoxic air.
  3. one more point if they played pleasant jazz or instrumental music not only in the restroom, but throughout the store.

The red all over the store is a bit much and I think they can learn a few things from Walmart’s newer energy-efficient stores with natural lighting in the ceiling. But this is just one customer’s opinion.

Ten Great Reasons to Stall Your Advertising

By | restrooms | No Comments

Most people who see an advertisement in a restroom stall or urinal are likely to read it because they have at least a few seconds to spare and they’re compelled to read just about anything in front of them, even graffiti.

In the image below you see several colorful examples from Midwest Indoor Advertising:


Here are ten reasons you should consider advertising in your restrooms (a.k.a. indoor advertising):

  1. Entertain while building brand recognition.
  2. Target men or women of specific age groups.
  3. Hold audience captive for 30 seconds or more, longer than most other forms of advertising.
  4. Get your message through to the young, the affluent, to those who are out spending.
  5. Offer phone numbers, calendar events or web sites that people can enter directly into their PDA on the spot.
  6. Reach specific geographic locations.
  7. Provide compelling news or facts that motivate reader to take action.
  8. Capture people when they don’t mind taking the time to read, unlike telemarketing, web site pop-up windows, emails, and other less appealing forms of advertising.
  9. Customize your ads to suit a number of target markets.
  10. Utilize this cost-effective form of advertising in your restrooms even if you don’t do it anywhere else.

If you’re interested in finding an ad agency who can help you with indoor marketing, see IBAA’s membership directory:
Indoor Billboard Advertising Association Membership Directory

Even if you don’t have a big budget to advertise outside your business, consider placing ads for upcoming events or specials in your own restrooms. Kaibo Restaurant, Beach Bar and Marina at Rum Point in Grand Cayman hung framed cork boards on the back of their stall doors. Although they would look better if they were centered on the door, some signage is better than none. The off-center would, however, make more sense if the hooks were moved more to the right so that a hanging purse, beach bag or towel wouldn’t cover the sign.

DSC07317 Restroom at Kaibo in Rum Point, Grand Cayman

The font on the Kaibo sign below is too small. They should say less with bigger font and with more attractive graphics.

DSC07318 Restroom at Kaibo in Rum Point, Grand Cayman

The small font on April Events Calendar from REI shown below could also minimize the impact of their message. It would make more sense to advertise specific events with eye-catching photos in the stalls and place a larger calendar someplace else where people can read all the details. It would also be easier to keep the calendar more updated where the past weeks rolled off and only the upcoming four weeks were shown. I took this photo on April 27, a time when most of the April events were obsolete.

DSC05097 REI Events Calendar Indoor Marketing

If you aren’t utilizing indoor advertising and need advice on designing a customer communication strategy for your business, contact Lorraine@DrLorraine.net.

If you have more ideas about best practices for indoor advertising, feel free to share your comments.