Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Paper Holiday Cards? Not Guidance...

Each year, around 2.5 billion paper holiday cards are sent in the United States — enough to circle the planet 10 times! That is why this year, Guidance opted to send digital holiday cards to clients, vendors, partners, friends and family members in an effort to reduce additional, unnecessary paper waste. It's all part of Guidance's continued commitment to green living and sustainable business practices.

Paper Holiday Cards are so last holiday season! Spread the word...

Alejandra Espinosa
Guidance Green

Monday, December 8, 2008

Green Your Holidays with Guidance Green!

Guidance Employees Invite So Cal Neighbors To Join Them In Recycling ‘Gently Used’ Items By Donating To Charity; Drop Off Items at Guidance Headquarters in Marina Del Rey

Guidance invites its Southern California neighbors to green their holidays by joining the company in donating “gently used” items to local Southern California charities.

Anyone is welcome to donate gently used clothes, shoes, accessories and toys. Drop them off by Friday, Dec. 12, at Guidance headquarters in Marina del Rey: 4134 Del Rey Ave., Marina del Rey, CA 90292. Click here for the Google map.

Guidance will deliver the items in time for the holidays. For more information, contact Catherine Lanzarotta at

“This is the season for us to share something of ourselves, and this is a fun way to do it,” said Jon Provisor, Guidance owner and CTO. “Plus, what better way to honor our company’s commitment to reuse and recycle than to give someone else a chance to enjoy the items we don’t need anymore – and to make it easy for others to do the same. We welcome any chance to get to know our neighbors here in the Marina. Come on by and donate.”

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Anyone who considers themselves green in any way should read this book. In fact, everyone should read this book. It’s a much needed paradigm shift from eco-friendliness to eco-EFFECTIVENESS.

The back of the book explains it best.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle,” urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart point out in this provocative, visionary book, such an
approach only perpetuates the one-way, “cradle to grave” manufacturing model,
dating to the Industrial Revolution, that creates such fantastic amounts of
waste and pollution in the first place. Why not challenge the belief that human industry must damage the natural world? In fact, why not take nature itself as our model for making things? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we consider its abundance no wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective.

Waste equals food.

Guided by this principle, McDonough and Braungart explain how products can be designed from the outset so that after their useful lives, they will provide nourishment for something new. They can be conceived as “biological nutrients” that will easily reenter the water or soil without depositing synthetic materials and toxins. Or they can be “technical nutrients” that will continually circulate as pure and valuable materials within closed-loop industrial cycles, rather than being “recycled”—really, downcycled—into low-grade materials and uses. Drawing on their experience in (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, McDonough and Braungart make an exciting and viable case for putting eco-effectiveness into practice and show how anyone involved in making anything can begin to do so as well.

Posted by: Wanda Shapiro

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Guidance Green Pictures

Coastal Cleanup Day with Heal The Bay
September 20th, 2008

Tree Care Event with Tree Musketeers
July 19th, 2008

Guidance Green Picnic
July 11th, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

iPhone Applications for the Environmentally Friendly

If you own an iPhone, you are probably as addicted to their AppStore as I’ve been over the last couple of months. From silly (yet shockingly addictive) mobile games to restaurant-finder apps, there are over 4,900 applications to choose from (and counting!). There’s really something for everyone at the AppStore. Even for those who care about the environment, like the members of Guidance Green. Check these out:

Local Reuse
Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that in 2008 Americans will send over 12.5 million tons of reusable items to their local landfills? You can help reduce that number by listing your items on Local Reuse, an iPhone application that lets users post and search for used goods in their area.

Green Tips and Go Green
So many eco-friendly tips, so little time to learn them … so why don’t you learn them on the go?! With Green Tips and Go Green, you’ll get a brand new eco-friendly tip every time you launch the application. They are both fairly similar, but each will give you a different tip. Double the tips, double the fun!

Enjoy the apps!

Alejandra Espinosa
Guidance Green


Local Reuse™ is a registered trademark of Gigoit, Inc.
Green Tips is a copyrighted work of MacAppetite.
Go Green is a copyrighted work of Webworks and Applications, Inc.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

California Coastal Cleanup Day

September 20th, 2008
9am to noon
Over 70 coastal sites throughout
Los Angeles County, Calif.

For the 18th consecutive year, Heal The Bay, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds healthy and clean, has organized the Coastal Cleanup Day. This year's event will take place at over 70 different locations throughout Los Angeles County on Saturday, September 20th from 9am to noon.

As expected, Guidance Green will be there to help collect what Heal The Bay predict as the 1-millionth pound of trash they have collected in 18 years. The Guidance Green team will report at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey, CA.

If you'd like to join us, here's how:
  • Download and print a copy of the Coastal Cleanup Day flyer to display on your car dashboard to benefit from the free parking from 9 to noon.
  • Download and print the event's waiver and sign it. Bring it to the event with you.
  • When you arrive at Dockweiler State Beach (or any of the 70 CCD-participating sites), turn in your waiver at the registration table or station #1.
  • Proceed to station #2 to receive a safety and education talk with instructions for the day and to know where to clean, what to clean, and why.
  • Once you are instructed you'll be ready to receive your cleanup supplies (trash bag, recycle bag, data card, pencil, and glove) from station #3.
  • Please return everything at the wrap up of the event at 11:30am. Each site will have special instructions to follow day of, so pay attention to your cleanup captains.

Please note:

  • All minors under the age of thirteen must be accompanied by an adult.
  • All toddlers and babies must be with their parent at all times.
  • All scouts, cubs, and youth groups should follow a reasonable adult-to-kid ratio for the safety of all participants at this event.

If you're wondering what to bring to the event, here's a list:

  • a water bottle
  • a hat
  • sunscreen
  • close-toe shoes
  • appropriate clothing for a day of cleaning (if you plan on attending a beach site like Dockweiler State Beach, wear layers; if you're going inland to clean, wear clothes that will allow you to work in creek beds and rivers)

Cleanup supplies are provided by the California Coastal Commission at all sites.

For more information, contact Heal The Bay at (800) HEAL-BAY or visit their webiste at

See you on Saturday 9/20!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guidance Featured in New Green Book!

One of our goals when Guidance started Guidance Green was “to expand the ‘Guidance Green’ mission into the community.”

So we’re thrilled to announce that Guidance and Jon Provisor are featured in the new book, Going Green: Case Studies in Outstanding Green Business Practices.

The story leads off Chapter 3 and is titled, Beyond Do’s and Don’ts – The Life of a Green Initiative Is Its Community.

Guidance is featured alongside companies like GE, Nickelodeon, HP, Walgreen's, Travelocity, National Geographic and more.

The article shares green actions that Guidance has taken and lessons learned along our company's path toward sustainability. Jon talks about the community-building benefits of collectively working toward a goal – getting beyond a list of do’s and don’ts to engage with others in a more personal way.

Many of you already know that Guidance was inspired to green action by one of our clients, Bentley Prince Street. So as you can imagine, it feels good to tell our own story, and maybe inspire someone else.

To quote from our own chapter:

“We’ve seen first-hand how one company sharing its story can influence another – and we’re hoping we can continue the legacy given to us by our client who inspired us.”

The book is available at It’s published by the Media/Communications Group of Access Intelligence, from PRNews.

And - in case you were wondering - the book is printed on recycled paper!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

It certainly isn't news anymore in my circle of friends and co-workers (I couldn't stop talking about it). However, more people need to know. More people need to know just how toxic plastic bags are to the environment, more people need to know that there is an "island" in the Pacific Ocean (twice the size of Texas) mainly composed of plastic bags! The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Before I found out about the plastic bag island, I did what most Americans do everyday. I picked up my groceries in plastic bags, food delivery, my shopping bags, my leftovers, my trash bags you name it and I was carrying it in plastic! However, I couldn't believe that my everyday actions contributed to the growth of plastic island, the destruction of the surrounding water systems, the endangerment of animals...

So what are you supposed to carry all your goodies with? Well you don't need a plastic bag for that soda you're buying and you certainly don't need a plastic bag for that one toothbrush you're buying! Deny the plastic bag, tell it you don't need it, because most of the really don't.

And when in doubt....BYOB. Bring Your Own Bag. And if you don't have your trusty reusable bag, then please recycle that plastic bag. And please tie it in a knot so it doesn't fly off to be part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Good luck fellow green-minded world citizens! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Take the Guidance Green Eco-Trivia Quiz!

Ever wonder how many trees does the average American consume in paper or wood materials over their lifetime? Do you know how many plastic bottles are used every hour in the U.S.? What percentage of car journeys are made with only one occupant in the vehicle?

Find out answers to these and other greenteresting questions in the Guidance Green Eco-Trivia Quiz! Click here to download.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Guidance Offers Green Hosting for eCommerce Websites

Guidance (, which helps online retailers achieve market domination by creating captivating and engaging online shopping experiences, today announced that it is now providing its clients with hosting solutions that are 100 percent carbon-neutral.

The move will not require any upgrades or additional investment on the client's part. It's a new standard practice for Guidance - the latest in a series of changes undertaken over the past year to help the company achieve its goal of operating as an environmentally aware, carbon-neutral company.

To reduce overall energy use, Guidance bought and is now using energy-efficient servers and processors to host its clients' websites: HP's energy-optimized ProLiant(R) servers (DL360 G5 and DL380 G5), with the low-voltage Quad-Core Intel(R) Xeon(R) Processor L5420. Guidance also is moving to more virtualization in the company's development environment to reduce internal energy consumption.

Guidance has successfully offset all of its remaining electricity-related CO2 emissions from its servers by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) through BeGreen Business, the carbon offset brand of Green Mountain Energy. The credits are made from wind and biomass sources located throughout the United States, helping avoid an average of more than 52,500 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.

This has the equivalent environmental benefit of not driving a car roughly 58,500 miles, or of recycling almost 130,000 aluminum cans and more than 21,000 pounds of newspaper.

"We're giving online retailers an easy way to embrace green hosting," said Jon Provisor, Guidance co-owner and CTO. "We've been working for more than a year now to make our business operate in a more sustainable, environmentally responsible way. We're especially excited about this achievement, because it's something we can offer our clients - making sustainability a shared effort." Data centers account for 1.5 percent to 3 percent of electricity consumption in the United States, according to CIO Magazine's special report, "Green is Better." A recent report by Stanford University researcher Jonathan Koomey says worldwide energy consumption for servers, cooling equipment and related infrastructure doubled from 2000 to 2005, and could nearly double again by 2010 - unless companies make a concerted effort for change.

Guidance has significantly reduced its overall consumption of electricity as a result of a company-wide commitment to sustainable business practices, which Guidance shares in detail in the Green Toolkit offered here. For 2007, Guidance's purchase of renewable energy credits offset 100 percent of the carbon emissions associated with its business activities.

About BeGreen
Carbon Offsets BeGreen Carbon Offsets ( is a division of Green Mountain Energy Company, the longest serving green power provider in the U.S. BeGreen provides education about the serious effects of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and offers businesses and consumers simple and effective ways to reduce their carbon footprint through the purchase of renewable energy, forest sequestration and other project-based offsets. BeGreen's carbon calculators follow the EPA Climate Leaders methodology, which is based on the World Resources Institute's Greenhouse Gas Protocol (WRI GHG), a widely accepted industry standard. All purchases and sales of BeGreen's carbon offset projects are also verified by an independent auditing firm to ensure their quality and effectiveness.

About Guidance
Since 1993, Guidance ( has helped companies seize opportunities and solve problems through the innovative and practical use of technology. Guidance designs, builds and maintains eCommerce websites for retailers that are pure-play online or multi-channel - creating captivating experiences so consumers will buy more, come back often and value greater engagement with the retailer. Guidance software systems facilitate $500 million in online sales every year. Members of the Guidance team are seasoned professionals, passionately committed to providing technical leadership and powering ingenuity.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Saving the planet one tree at a time!

Guidance Green to attend Tree Care Event on July 19

Want to have a great time while doing a great thing? Then join Tree Musketeers and Guidance Green on Saturday, July 19th, 2008 for a morning of fun and tree caring.

Here are the details:
  • Who: Everyone is invited to join us for some fun in the sun!

  • When: Saturday, July 19, 10:00 a.m. to Noon.

  • Where: 600 West Grand Ave., El Segundo, CA 90245. From the Marina, take Culver to Vista del Mar and make a left on Grand at El Segundo Beach. Look for the Tree Musketeers pick-up truck on the North side of Grand, on the South border of the power plant.

  • Parking: Park in the inlets on Grand. Carpool if you can, because parking is limited. Otherwise, the closest parking is on Loma Vista, farther North on Grand.

  • What to bring: Tree Musketeers will provide all needed tools, gloves and water. Make sure to wear sunscreen and dress appropriately.

  • What to Expect: We will weed, mulch, prune, water the trees and pick up litter.

  • What if I'm not a tree-hugger: Rest assure, at no time we will ask you to hug a tree! But if living in a healthy planet is as important to you as it is to us, then feel free to join us.

See you on July 19th!

Guidance Green


About Tree Musketeers

Founded in 1987 by a Brownie Girl Scout troop as the nation's first youth environmental organization, Tree Musketeers ( continues to expand the vision of its founders, while operating as a nonprofit where kids are the decision makers. The mission of the El Segundo-based organization is to empower young people to be leaders of environmental and social change in the Earth's communities, with kids teaching other kids to become active citizens and community leaders.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Leaning Green: How to reap the benefits of sustainability

(Excerpted from Fast Lane, Smart Business Los Angeles, May 2008, by Patrick Mayock)

The next time you clock out, Jason Meugniot would like you to turn off your computer. It may seem like an odd request, but it’s just one of many rituals that he and his 75 employees at Guidance Solutions Inc. engage in on a regular basis.

The reason? Environmental sustainability.

“[The green movement] brings integrity to the business,” Meugniot says. “In today’s economy and business climate, integrity is essential to growth.”

At the information technology service company, the owner and CEO has embraced the employee-led initiative, which he says has contributed to the company posting $6.3 million in 2007 revenue.

Smart Business spoke with Meugniot about how to go green at your own company.

Q. How do you begin to establish an environmentally friendly workplace?

We put together an Environmental Toolkit that lists simple but key areas that we can look at to understand our carbon output and start the education process. We talk about hibernating or turning off our computers and using energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs, optimizing the AC usage, or [using] light sensors in restrooms.

We talk about things like carbon credits and working with other companies who are committed to alternative energy sources. We talk about looking at your suppliers. Almost every company purchases certain staple products: paper, electricity, telephone service. Guidance, for example, works with Internet hosting vendors who use solar power instead of diesel generators as a backup source of power.

In order to establish carbon neutrality or really get serious about carbon neutrality, we look at education, measurement and action around reducing waste, improving air quality, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and finding renewable sources of energy.

Q. How can other leaders implement programs at their companies?

To start an effective program, you need to walk the walk. You need to be carbon neutrality. As the executive, you set the example.

I’d also say you need commitment at all levels. You can’t do it alone. Let the initiative live and grow. Don’t stifle the conversation. When I say conversation, I mean the ongoing conversation at the office or at the business about the environment.

Allow employees to share ideas. Allow them to set up blogs. Talk about it. Don’t just post signs around the office.

Q. How do you get employees involved?

Start with education. We provided, very early on, links to Web sites. We shared personal stories. We screened movies [about environmental sustainability] here at the office. We talked about the impact of our own carbon imprint and helped employees to determine what their carbon footprint was at home.

We have a Guidance Green committee. The committee meets regularly throughout the month. They lead various initiatives, and they collate information.

Use your core values to generate buy-in. The first core value is honesty, integrity and fairness. If we’re to have any integrity or fairness in our consumption of nonrenewable resources, we all need to be committed to the environment.

A key component in the program is not creating a top-down program. It’s really creating a program that’s created and even led by the employees. To create this momentum, the employees really need to be a part of it at the onset.

Q. Do you choose the committee, or is it run by volunteers?

The people who serve on our committee are not asked or chosen. It’s a voluntary committee.

Look for people with energy, with commitment to the environment. Look for people who are open to ideas and then sharing those ideas.

Q. How has this movement benefited your company?

It’s really made an impact on our employees and how they work together and the bonds and relationships that keep them together.

We also have prospects who call us out of the blue wanting to work with us because they’ve heard we have a green program. I don’t want to give you the impression that it happens every day, but we are working with clients today who sought us out because they were referred to us from someone who’s heard that we have a green program.

It also filters into recruiting.

As your employees are talking to candidates and new recruits, they’ll say, ‘This is an amazing company. We take a stand for the environment in the face of various circumstances, and I’ve never worked at a company like that.’

You’ll have employees talk to other folks about it, and it gives them a sense of pride in the company they work for, in the work that they do and in their relationships together at the office.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Green" Vehicles

It’s amazing to see such great demand for environmentally friendly vehicles nowadays, mainly driven by the rising price of gasoline. However, the cars available in the market are not as eco-friendly as we would hope for.

Electric vehicles are not really all that “green”. What will everyone do with those batteries after their life expectancy is reached? Electric vehicles are not convenient either! How many charging stations can we find on our way to and from work? What are we going to do when we want to go on a long trip? An alternative is to go with hybrid cars, but the number of miles per gallon (mpg) is not as great as we would expect. For example, the regular Ford escape does 22 / 28 mpg, while the hybrid version does 34 / 30 mpg – definitely not an impressive difference! Well, one could say that motorcycles are “green”, as they are fuel efficient, although not many people are willing to risk their lives in such an unsafe vehicle.

It seems like there’s technology already out there to build real green vehicles! Check out Aptera, a 3 wheel vehicle that does over 230 miles per gallon: . The company is based in Carlsbad, CA and they are already taking reservations. When I was getting my MBA at UC Irvine, a couple of my classmates and I got together and wrote a business plan to build a vehicle similar to Aptera – fuel efficient, convenient, comfortable and safe. We even borrowed a 3-wheel prototype from a designer in Texas and showed it in a couple of car shows in Southern California in order to gauge consumer’s interest. The results of our surveys and interviews were excellent. Everyone we talked to was on board with the idea and ready to buy such vehicle. Unfortunately, we were not able to raise funds to move forward and start the manufacturing process.

There are a few questions that I still haven’t been able to answer: When will the large car manufacturers start investing in this kind of technology (cars that do over 200 miles per gallon)? Will people start driving smaller and more fuel efficient cars to save the environment or simply to save money in gas? Will they forgo the large SUVs or at least use them on weekends to go out with the family, but drive the small cars to commute to and from work? I sure hope that a true eco-friendly vehicle arrives here soon!

Tatiane Perazzo
Guidance Green

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Is eCommerce GreenER?

Recently, I toured an apparel retail outlet in Amsterdam. I work with the same retail company in the US by providing various ecommerce technology services. And I wondered, is eCommerce greener than operating brick and mortar retail stores?

In terms of electric energy, a retailer with even a few retail stores probably consumes more energy when you account for simple must-haves like bright lights, cash registers, building signage and air conditioning. In fact, if you imagine a large, multi-channel retailer, it's not uncommon to have one website and hundreds of stores.

The electric energy required to operate a multimillion dollar (in sales) website is assuredly less. Sure there are PC's, Mac's, servers, power supplies, air conditioning and even air conditioning for the computers. You also have gasoline used by employees going to work and running the website. But that's generally limited to a single physical site or hosting company, along with the retailer's web development office.

In terms of shipping, I think it would vary quite a bit by retailer. Consider that most online retailers use expensive and non-renewable energy (i.e., airplane fuel, diesel gasoline) to ship the overwhelming majority of their products sold to their customers.

Stores also require the same costly shipments from distribution centers to their physical stores which in some cases can be spread across the country or the globe. But if you think about it, a UPS truck is already passing by your house once per day. Rather than driving to the store, why not just add another stop to a route that already exists?

I know! The physical space and the materials that make up the stores could be eliminated, too. The distribution centers that currently supply stores could service online customers. So all of the paper, concrete, steel, paint, plywood and other materials used to create retail space – even those crazy mannequins – they could all be spared!

It's quite likely the rising costs of fuel, the value of the dollar and the general economic slowdown in the U.S. is driving the closures of the dozens of huge retailers closing their stores down this year (Home Depot, CompUSA, Starbucks).

But imagine… what if we started to get used to fewer stores? What if the convenience of driving to the mall and buying a pair of shoes was supplanted with the convenience of a mouse click? Would we miss all those stores? Would our environment? Our planet?

Jason Meugniot
Guidance Green

Monday, May 19, 2008

Faking Green: Spotting the Greenwashers

Non-toxic. Chemical-free. Eco-safe. All natural. Every day, more and more companies roll out new products and services that claim to be eco-friendly. Some also claim their business operations are environmentally safe, but not necessarily their products. So how do we know who’s really green and who’s faking it? Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer to this question, but there are ways you can detect the signs of greenwashing.

Greenwashing are marketing practices that are meant to deliberately mislead consumers about a company’s environmental practices. According to a report released by Terrachoice Environmental Marketing, there are six sins and signs of greenwashing. These are:

Hidden trade off

Companies use this technique to highlight one eco-friendly attribute, and intentionally overlook other – and potentially more important – environmental concerns. This is the most common of all greenwashing practices.

No proof

This is the practice of using environmental claims that cannot be substantiated by supporting data, evidence or certification. The Terrachoice study found that 26% of environmental claims fall into this category.

Describes the use of broad and poorly defined terms like chemical-free or non-toxic which are both universally true and false depending on interpretation. For example, no product can claim to be chemical-free as nothing is really free of chemicals. Water is a chemical, and all plants, animals, and humans are made of chemicals as are all products.

Irrelevant environmental claims may be truthful but are unimportant and unhelpful. The most frequent example of an irrelevant claim relates to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which have been banned for almost 30 years.

Lesser of Two Evils
These are green claims that may be true for the product, but underplay the greater environmental impacts of the product category as a whole. Examples are organic cigarettes and green pesticides.

While rarely in use, this is the practice of making environmental claims that are completely false. The study shows that less than 1% of today’s products use this greenwashing technique.

At Guidance, we disapprove the practice of greenwashing. From following a green office etiquette, to using energy-efficient equipment and buying renewable energy credits to offset remaining carbon footprint, we take sustainability and social responsibility very seriously, and are committed to operating as an environmentally aware, 100% carbon neutral company.

So, if helping the environment and living a green lifestyle are important to you, consider doing a bit of research before shopping for products or services that claim to be green. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.

Alejandra Espinosa
Guidance Green

Check out this month’s issue of Smart Business L.A., where Guidance CEO Jason Meugniot shares his thoughts and tips on reaping the benefits of sustainability. (“
Leaning Green”, Smart Business L.A.- May 2008)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pictures of Earth Day 2008 at Polliwog Park

Earth Day: 20 Years in the Making

I was about 7 or 8 years old when my father first introduced me to the concept of Earth Day. At first, the thought of celebrating the planet for a full day sounded a bit trivial to me. I remember asking “Do we get to open presents on Earth Day?” Since the answer was a sad “no”, I never made a big deal of it. But not my father. He had been celebrating Earth Day since 1970, when it was first observed, and was into recycling, reusing, even regifting way before they became popular concepts. He also had a huge Earth Day poster hanging from his office wall, which he kept there for many years, even after he took it down, as the poster’s outline was permanently stained on the wall.

Two decades have passed and it wasn’t until this year that I officially celebrated my first Earth Day. You know how the saying goes: better late then never! But the day 20 years in the making couldn’t come at a better time, nor with a better way to celebrate it.

I recently joined Guidance, a Southern California-based developer of e-Commerce and Web 2.0 solutions. Interestingly enough, I was immediately drawn to the company’s Green committee, called Guidance Green, and decided to join. If this is the first time you come across our blog, then you probably don’t know that Guidance Green is a committee formed by Guidance employees who value the importance of living and working in a healthy planet. We seek to spread the word in favor of eco-friendly practices that can be carried out by companies and their employees.

This year, Guidance Green chose to have a booth at a local Earth Day fair. The main goal for attending the event was to inspire the audience to join our movement by employing new techniques to make their work a whole lot eco-friendlier than before. If you are wondering how to do this yourself, then you may want to try talking to your company’s management team and asking them to consider eco-friendly practices like recycling, company-wide carpooling programs, and even buying Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset your company’s carbon footprint. To learn more, check out our Green Toolkit on How to Operate as an Environmentally Aware Organization and Reduce or Eliminate Your Carbon Footprint. You can also try modifying your work routine by following our 10 Tips to Make Your Day-to-Day Work Eco-Friendlier.

To draw people into our booth, we gave away three baskets filled with eco-friendly products, including reusable shopping bags from one of our favorite customers- Bentley Prince Street, gift certificates to The Veggie Grill and Buddha’s Belly, reusable mugs, containers and water bottles, organic snacks, and a lot more. Even the baskets themselves were made of recycled materials and the cellophane used to wrap them up was 100% biodegradable. The three lucky winners were overjoyed with their prizes.

I had a chance to talk to the event organizers, who confirmed that this year’s attendance and sponsorships had significantly surpassed that of previous years. It was a great experience to be part of such a rewarding event.

After what I think was a very successful day, I got home extremely exhausted but very exhilarated. I immediately laid on my couch to take a quick nap, but first I turned on the TV to watch the news. To my surprise, one of the major networks was airing a show called “Greening the Earth”. “What a great way to end my day!” I thought.

And so today we celebrate the real Earth Day, and all I can think of is how twenty years ago I didn’t know -much less care- about Earth Day and how much it matters to me now. So here’s to you, Dad! You never thought you'd hear me saying this, but -- Happy Earth Day! And Happy Earth Day to all of you.

Alejandra Espinosa
Guidance Green

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Guidance Green at Polliwog Park April 19

Guidance Green Table at Manhattan Beach Earth Day Fair

Saturday, April 19, 2008
11:00am to 4:00pm
Set-up: 8:00am – 11:00am
(cars for unloading won’t be admitted after 10:00am)
Breakdown: 4:00pm
Polliwog Park
1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd.,
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Street parking (there are plenty of side streets near the park)
What to expect:
Your typical town fair; food kiosks, artisans, live music, etc.
Objectives for attending the event:
To incentivize booth visitors to join our movement in favor of eco-friendly practices that can be carried out by companies and individuals.
To get visitors to sign up for our raffle and ask them to check out the links printed on their end of the raffle ticket
To promote Guidance as…
…an environmentally-friendly company committed to serving its community by supporting local events and green initiatives
…a first-class provider of custom eCommerce solutions for companies seeking to dominate their markets
…a great place to work!
Earth Day Fair Schedule of Events:
· 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Stephen Michael Schwartz (Children’s Entertainment)
· 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Environmental Hero Awards Presentation
· 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM Fab Forever (Beatles Tribute)
· 2:15 PM - 2:30 PM Awards and Raffle
· 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Pretzel Logic: A Steely Dan Revue


Friday, April 4, 2008

Rub a Dub Dub

"I don't make that big of an impact..."
"I can't change it..."
"My carbon footprint isn't that bad..."

If you're like, me those thoughts constantly run through your head when it comes to tackling global warming and caring for our environment. I was in constant denial about the impact my lifestyle has on the environment that my kids are going to inherit! Fortunately, I woke up one day and it hit me like a ton of bricks; too many people think the way I do...that's why our environment is in crisis.

I took a long hard look at my life (note: this is usually the hardest part, actually doing what's right is MUCH easier!). Over my next few posts I will chronicle the small steps I have taken to" lower my carbon footprint, recycle, reuse and save water!

First up: Showering

My showers aren't about just getting squeaky clean, they're cathartic. Wash off the day and time to relax! Unfortunately my showers contribute to 2781 lbs. of CO2 emission a year! And if I were to cut my 10 minute showers (much more if I'm washing my hair) by just one minute I would reduce my CO2 emissions by 278 lbs. It's that simple...and it's that easy. Voila -one giant leap out of denial! More to come...

Calculate your CO2 emissions here


Friday, March 28, 2008


On January 27, 2008, the New York Times ran an eye-opening article titled, “Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler.” When we talk about energy consumption, we tend to talk about transportation, but transportation isn’t our only problem when it comes to the environment. We also have to rethink the amount of meat we consume and, more importantly, the way we produce it.

Here are a few quotes from the article that will probably surprise you and you can use the link below to read the whole article.

“… an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.”

“… a study last year by the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan estimated that 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.”

Wanda Shapiro

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Carbon Atlas

Amazing cartogram on world carbon emissions. Click on the image below to view the full article with downloads and additional images.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How to green your electronics

We all love our electronic devices (for the most part)! There are many ways you can be green with your electronics. The key is to know what tech to get, how to use it best, and what to do with it when its useful life is done.

Here are a few tips:

1. Go rechargeable
Only a fraction of batteries are recycled. Look for electronics that are rechargeable.

2. Kill vampire power
To make sure you aren't wasting energy, pull the plug on devices when not in use. There are also a number of "smart" power strips on the market that sense when electronics are turned off

3. Buy with energy in mind
Doing research on different technologies and their respective energy consumption can save you a lot in the long run. For example, LCD TVs use much less energy than plasmas. The Energy Star site will help you identify energy-saving electronic devices as well.

4. Make it a short circuit
So, you just bought an iPhone. What should you do with the old phone? Whatever you do, don't just throw it in the trash. There are plenty of organizations and charities that recycle and reuse old electronics.

5. Bright idea: The solar charger
There are an increasing number of options for on-the-go solar power. From handheld to backpack power, solar chargers now come in a spectrum of types for juicing up phones, PDAs, Bluetooth headsets, iPods, and laptops.

6. Look for EPEAT
EPEAT (electronic product environmental assessment tool) is a new attempt at environmental certification for computers (CPUs, monitors, and notebooks). Released in early 2006, only a limited number of products have been registered with EPEAT so far, however, look for this certification to pick up steam in the near future.

Tatiane Perazzo

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Guidance Recycling & eWaste program

I don't want to toot the Guidance horn, but beep beep! We are doing our best to engage all of the Guidance employees to contribute to our green initiatives. Last week we had a successful e-waste week, where Guidance employees dropped off their e-waste for proper recycling. Here is a sample of items (with their nasty chemicals) that should never be thrown in the trash, but instead recycled properly:

Lead: solder, CRT monitors (lead in glass), lead-acid batteries
Tin: solder
Copper: copper wire, printed circuit board tracks
Cadmium: light-sensitive resistors, corrosion-resistant alloys for marine and aviation environments
Aluminium: nearly all electronic goods using more than a few watts of power (heatsinks)
Iron: steel chassis, cases and fixings
Silicon: glass, transistors, ICs, printed circuit boards.
Nickel and cadmium: nickel-cadmium batteries
Lithium: lithium-ion battery
Zinc: plating for steel parts
Gold: connector plating, primarily in computer equipment
Americium: smoke alarms (radioactive source)
Germanium: 1950s–1960s transistorised electronics (bipolar junction transistors)
Mercury: fluorescent tubes (numerous applications), tilt switches (pinball games, mechanical doorbells, thermostats)
Sulphur: lead-acid batteries
Carbon: steel, plastics, resistors. In almost all electronic equipment. *

*Full Wkipedia entry

This is a great way to engage your own co-workers/peers because it is not only good for the environment, but there were laughs galore at the antiquated laptops, computer monitors, CPUs etc. that people had! It was a fine collection that would have been proud to exhibit!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Free ways to help the environment

Unfortunately, going green isn’t always cheap. At least that’s what I’ve noticed in my efforts to live on the green side of things. For example, organic food is better for the environment but it’s usually more expensive. The same goes for the plethora of green products on the market.

Here are a few free things you can do to help the environment today.

1. Stop the catalogs.

Clean out your mailbox by going to This free service lets you say no to all those unwanted catalogs that make their way into your mailbox each week.

2. Inflate your tires.

Consult your owners manual to find the appropriate pressure for your car’s tires. By keeping your tires properly inflated you save a little gas, but more importantly you reduce the wear on your tires. You’ll leave less rubber on the road and your tires will last longer.

3. Switch to online bill payments.

This service, available at most banks, will reduce the number of envelopes being driven around the country and this little tip can actually save you money. Many banks are now offering incentives for online bill payment services.

4. Educate yourself.

If you’re not sure where to start, let me suggest a book called Cradle To Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. This book will change the way you think about green. Even the book itself is constructed with the environment in mind. And you don’t have to spend money to read. This book and many others are available at your local library.

Each of us can effect change one little step at a time. If you’d like more ways to help the world in which we live, visit This website offers 50 quick, painless ways you can help the environment today.

Wanda Shapiro

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oak Woodland Restoration at Malibu Creek State Park

Guidance employees teamed up with Culver City
Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in November to plant
Oak trees and native grasses and to pull mustard plant
weeds at Malibu Creek State Park. We drove through
burn areas but were happy to discover that the park itself
was spared in the recent wildfires. Oak Woodland Restoration
volunteers provided all the tools and instructions.

Oak Woodland Restoration volunteer, Jo, demonstrates
native grass planting techniques.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts work side by side with
Guidance volunteers.

The Guidance Green Team

Nothing satisfies like a good dibble!

Jon tries his hand, or foot, at dibbling while son, Alex,
admires his technique.

Alex gets to the root of the mustard plant problem.

Steven between two freshly planted Oaks. Job well done

Monday, January 7, 2008

Green IT

Data center energy savings are a huge opportunity. Data centers consume more energy per square foot than any other part of an office building. But they're part of an information and services supply chain that begins with raw materials and ends with the disposal of waste. The chain includes people, the space they occupy, and the cars they drive. Along the way, the chain increasingly gobbles energy and spews greenhouse gases. The it department is in a unique position to change that. And therefore as per Gartner Green IT is in top 10 strategic technologies for 2008.

Please find some recommended resources for Green IT below: