Just like a certain social media juggernaut, CrunchTime™ got its start on a Cambridge, Massachusetts university campus. Aside from that, that’s where the similarities between CrunchTime™ and Facebook® end.
Greetings, I’m Carey S. Buttfield, occasional traveler, part-time activist, and full-time dog lover. A transplant from the Jersey Shore, who, after a three-year layover in Portland, Maine, became and is still a resident of Greater Boston. And I’m into trash, Big Time! That is, how to recycle as much of it as I possibly can. You see, quite by accident I became a lifelong advocate for the environment after agreeing to volunteer at a suburban Boston recycling drop-off center.
The story goes way back to February of 1986—a lifetime ago for many of you, and perhaps even further for some of you who were just an idea in your parent’s head. It’s a somewhat circuitous journey from unloading stacks of newspapers at the Watertown recycling center; which led to all sorts of advocacy work on behalf of the environment, as well as earning a degree in Environmental Education at a Cambridge university; to being the exclusive Distributor for school-based fund-raising for Newman’s Own Organicschocolate as part of CrunchTime’s Environmental Education Fundraiser; to now, building The Nation’s Largest Network of Independent Green Product Distributors.™ Read a quick synopsis below, or if you’ve got time the whole boring story.
Seeing a pile of newspapers sprout up from my kitchen floor like Jack’s beanstalk in the childhood fairytale was a wakeup call for me. It led me from finding a place to recycle my newspapers to unloading hundreds of other people’s newspapers and various recyclables; to being recruited by a grassroots organization in Boston looking to bring full curbside recycling to all city residents; to being sufficiently moved by a group of 3rd and 4th graders concerned about their planet—mostly the animals that live in the forests; to leaving a good-paying job to earn a degree in Environmental Education; to not only having Newman’s Own Organics designate CrunchTime as their exclusive chocolate bar and cups distributor for scholastic fund raisers, but having such an impact on their bottom line that I was tendered an offer by Nell Newman’s business partner to spearhead a fund raising division directly within Newman’s Own Organics; all the while directing thousands of dollars to The Nature Conservancy's Adopt an Acre program in various tropical rain forest preserves around the globe threatened by deforestation and resource extraction.
With so many ecosystems, in addition to the tropical rain forests, being on the brink of collapse, I felt that a more widespread approach to solving some of the biggest issues, such as climate change, was needed. CrunchTime was so successful in selling such a large volume of Newman’s Own Organics chocolate through our all-volunteer “sales force”—students going door-to-door, we thought we’d look to develop another sort of guerilla-style, grassroots network of sales representatives (paid this time) to get environmentally-friendly products in to the hands of as many people as we possibly could. The more people who trade in their Bounty® and/or Charmin® virgin-source, made from CO2-absorbing, oxygen-producing trees, which provide shelter for billions of creatures paper towels and/or toilet paper, or whatever people are using to wipe their counters and derriere’ with, the better chance we have of stabilizing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
But products alone won’t solve all the world’s environmental problems. A large percent of the population does not fully understand nor appreciate just how delicate a balance there is between all of Earth’s myriad ecosystems. Much like a poor diet, smoking, and stress affect humans, dumping toxic substances into oceans, lakes, rivers, and other waterbodies, spewing toxic and/or heat-trapping emissions into the atmosphere, stressing subterranean areas through fracking and drilling, all have tremendous negative impacts on planet Earth’s health. In a nutshell, Earth is an incredible living, breathing organism that should be cared for the same way you care for yourself.
Earth is nothing more than a revolving sphere made up of some 4,000 different minerals circling a star ninety three million miles away. If that star was even 1% closer to Earth or 1% farther away, it’s extremely doubtful that life, as we know it, could exist.
Learning more about the issues affecting our planet will not only help improve its health, it’ll probably save you money. To that end, CrunchTime offers an extensive and comprehensive overview of the following issues affecting planet Earth: Climate Change – the granddaddy of them all, Air Pollution, Water Conservation, and Over Consumption; as well as a non-judgmental commentary on Overpopulation. As neutral a position we took on that delicate issue, it’s hard to argue that if there were fewer people living on the planet, its resources wouldn’t be as taxed and there wouldn’t be as much pollution as we now have. With the exception of that last topic, we offer a sort of self-test for you to evaluate how you’re doing. And, as mentioned, how you could save some money.
Our hope is that you will recognize how truly unique and amazing planet Earth is, and how incredibly infinitesimal are the odds that you and I are even here. The universe contains tens-of-billions of other stars. Yet despite the multi-billion chance odds that at least one of those stars harbors a planet with the right “Earth-like” conditions capable of supporting life, numerous missions in to the deep corners of space, preceded by thousands of astronomers peering through telescopes since Galileo improved on Hans Lippershey’s original 1608 “telescope” and was able to see Jupiter’s four moons in 1610, as well as the Hubble telescope beaming back countless pictures of far-off galaxies, there is no concrete proof that life exists anywhere else in the universe.
Now, that’s not to say that there couldn’t be life out there . . . somewhere. We just haven’t found it. And chances are, if it does exist, we do not at present have the technology to transport someone to that destination in the course of a human life. As an example:“Launched in 2006, New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft to ever leave Earth. A year after it was launched it crossed the orbit of Jupiter. And even though it traveled nearly a million miles a day, it still took 9.5 years for New Horizons to reach Pluto and its moons.” So, with all that said, the idea of cannibalizing another planet somewhere in the universe is pure fantasy. Instead we should do everything humanly possible to protect the planet that we own free and clear!
With that in mind it is incumbent upon each of us to do every little thing we can to protect and preserve this miracle planet called Earth. Having said that, you may counter and say that ‘The eco-friendly products I’ve tried, such as laundry products aren’t as good or don’t give the same scent as my Tide® or Arm & Hammer®, or the recycled paper towels don’t absorb as well as my Bounty®. Or the bathroom tissue isn’t as soft as my Charmin®.’ Okay, that may be true. But continuing with the preceding paragraph, think about creating a new home on one of our neighboring planets. If it was even possible that man could colonize Mars, do you think you’d enjoy living out the rest of your days wearing special gear? Because, not only is the atmosphere 95% carbon dioxide (CO2), minus 40° would be t-shirt weather because the average temperature is about minus 80° Fahrenheit. In addition to having to continuously wear protective body wear—unless you’re inside a special insulated fortress that somehow maintains both a comfortable temperature and prevents the deadly CO2 from seeping inside, you can forget about enjoying all the majestic scenery planet Earth provides. Mars is essentially a reddish, barren, non-descript wasteland.
So once again, instead of attempting to colonize some other planet, wouldn’t it make more sense to do everything we can to protect planet Earth and preserve all the finite natural resources we have left? To that I say, make some small sacrifices in your life — recycle and compost as much of your waste as you can instead of adding it to the waste stream where it ends up in one of two places: in our already overburdened landfills or burned in an incinerator, with all the potentially toxic fumes seep into the airwalk. Walk, bike or take public transportation instead of driving your car. It's healthier for you and Mother Earth. Ditch your dryer and hang your clothes outside whenever you can. Personally, I have done it many times when there's been a foot of snow or more on the ground. Sure, the jeans get a little stiff, but they're essentially dry. Toss everything in the dryer for ten minutes or so and you'll think the whole load had been dried that way. And you'll have conserved a whole lot of energy . . . and saved some dough!
It might take a little longer for them to dry, but they’ll get dry—even in January.
Make a pledge to replace yesterday's virgin source paper products with either durable tree-free paper towel or truly softer-than-a-baby's-bottom tree-free bathroom tissue (you won't believe how soft it is). Or, at the very least, replace your virgin-source paper products with those made from 100% recycled material; the same waste paper you set out at the curb as part of your municipality’s recycling program. That way you’ll not only divert waste from landfills or incinerators, you’ll help keep CO2-absorbing, oxygen-producing trees standing.
Two other simple things you can do, if you haven’t already done them that will save a bundle of money—is swap out your current showerhead(s) for low-flow version, preferably 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute). And replace your incandescent or Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) with much more efficient and mercury-free Light Emitting Diode bulbs (LEDs). Using about 10-20% as much electricity as an Incandescent Bulb, they’ll pay for themselves in no time.
These are just a couple of the many, many things you can do to help protect the environment and save money. You’ll also be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. And if we all band together, we can make incredible strides at tilting the balance back, helping to restore our environment. Learn about the issues affecting our planet and buy products that will help restore the health and vitality of planet Earth—the only home we will ever know! It’s CrunchTime for protecting planet Earth!