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Archive for August, 2008

We are madly arranging all the new gear that came yesterday – Green Guru Gear reclaimed material bags and the rest of the Klean Kanteen Kolors! The colorful bounty is amazing!

We’ll have reviews, more news, and more pictures soon, but for now, explore the store with new items listed.

Special offer for blog readers – 20% off any order from now until September 15 using coupon code houndhowls20

PS. Can’t help sharing this cute picture – Hawise playing with a reclaimed climbing rope keychain. She is never still enough to get a decent picture!

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We are excited to offer Green Guru Gear starting shortly. We’ve been looking at their products for some time and were very impressed with what we saw of them at the Outdoor Retailer conference.

Their gear is really top quality, and their environmentally sustainable practices fit right in line with our philosophy. Except for the zippers and buckles, almost every other material used in their products is either reclaimed or recycled. One of the neatest things about their products is the individuality and uniqueness. For instance, the Billboard Messenger bags we will be getting are all crafted from a unique piece of signage. the end result is that your bag will be completely unique to you, and you will never see a duplicate.

We will have quite a few different items, so keep checking back at the store over the weekend to see what shows up.

Personally, I am most excited about the new bag I get to try out shortly. The Vulkar is the largest bag in their Blowout Series. It is almost completely made from recycled inner-tubes, and looks to be about as waterproof as anything could possibly be. I’ll post a review as soon as I get the chance to ride around with it for awhile.

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Klean Kanteen Kolors


After weeks of waiting, our Klean Kanteen kolors have arrived! A second shipment is still coming to complete all kolors in all sizes, but we have a good selection with all kolors in 18 and 27 ounce sizes and some colors in the sippy/12 ounce size right now. The kolors are a small $2 premium for a big impact!

We also have a new light box. I’ll open it up and take pictures of the new shiny bottles sometime this afternoon.

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Gratuitous Hound Pictures

Lillian (3 on September 25) loves to take pictures. Her favorite subjects? The hounds, up close and personal:

Devie ear

Hawise ear

Hawise face


Devie midsection

Dogs begging while Rachel cooks

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We just lowered prices and added Ibex T-shirts to the Clearance Corner. Get an Echo T (at left) for $40 or Qu T (below) for $60! These great prices make it a super time to try merino wool! We guarantee you’ll love it.

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Most of the transactions at Outdoor Retailer are strictly business. But we experienced a connection to charitable causes as well. We visited booths for many non-profit organizations. Afterhours events had auctions and raffles to benefit environmental groups.

We were most impressed by the Audubon and GreenLivingProject events we attended. The National Audubon Society had an informational table in the main hallway. We visited on the first day and were invited to a Swarovski Optik sponsored bird watching expedition to the Great Salt Lake. On Saturday, I spent two hours on a van tour. We stopped at brackish and fresh pools and saw an amazing 27 bird species in addition to a hare and antelope. Asking nothing from retailers, the Audubon society simply exhibited to invite goodwill among outdoors people.

On Saturday afternoon we stopped by the Gregory booth for a presentation by the Green Living Project. The Green Living Project documents via video and photograph the sustainable projects happening worldwide. We watched the most recent episodes detailing projects in Tanzania, Rowanda and Uganda. Their videos are educational, touching, and a great resource for those researching where to make charitable donations.

Please learn more about Audubon and GreenLivingProject from their great websites.

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So we just got back from Outdoor Retailer, Summer, 2008.

It was a pretty awesome time, and we got to see a number of great companies. We’re really excited to start working with some really cool, socially conscious and environmentally responsible companies in the near future. We’ll tell you who they are as the season progresses. We expect to have a few new lines and a number of new products on the website before the holiday season.

We also really liked a number of the non-profit organizations that turned out for the event. They kind of help to take an edge off the commercialism and provide a good perspective on the world around us. Rachel should have a post shortly about these groups.

On a personal note, it was our longest stretch away from our 3-year old Lil. She seemed to do very well staying with Grandma and Grandpa, but we are happy to be back with her.

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This arrived in the inbox today:

Welcome to the (green) club.

You are now officially a GreenSpot-joining the ranks of households, businesses, and community groups across Columbus who have gone green.”

What’s the GreenSpot? It’s Columbus Ohio’s new designation for Green businesses, homes, and localities. To become a GreenSpot we had to pledge to stay committed to the environment. Our specific pledges are listed below.

If you live or own a business in Columbus, please consider becoming a GreenSpot too! Visit http://www.columbusgreenspot.org

My GreenSpot Pledge

Here’s how we will inform and engage

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • By January 15 of each year, we will record and submit the green initiatives we’ve begun or continued as a result of being part of GreenSpot.
  • We will create and display an environmental policy or mission statement.
  • We will measure our compliance with local, federal, health, safety, and environmental regulations.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will display our GreenSpot decal in a window or some other prominent place.
  • We will keep employees informed about our green efforts by including updates in newsletters and bulletins.
  • We will openly encourage employees to be responsible environmental stewards in their personal lives.
  • We will set aside time at each staff meeting to talk about our green efforts.
  • We will support an environmental nonprofit organization through financial contributions, in-kind services, volunteer work, or board service.
  • We will track and post utility bills in a common employee space.

Here’s how we will reduce, reuse, and recycle

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • We will buy supplies made with recycled materials.
  • We will establish a business-wide recycling program that includes-at a minimum-glass, aluminum, plastic bottles, steel, and paper.
  • We will perform a waste audit of our business.
  • We will track our monthly waste.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will buy local food whenever possible.
  • We will buy products in returnable, reusable, or recyclable containers.
  • We will communicate electronically-instead of on paper-whenever possible.
  • We will dispose of all organic food waste through composting.
  • We will donate unwanted furniture, supplies, scrap materials, linens, phones, etc.
  • We will email or post staff memos and schedules in a central place instead of printing copies for each employee.
  • We will encourage servers to use scrap office paper for order-taking.
  • We will expand our recycling program to include additional materials, such as plastic film, refrigerants, re-use of water, hangers, etc. Additional materials we will include in our recycling program are…
  • We will not use Styrofoam or other non-recyclable plastic food service containers.
  • We will provide employees and guests reusable dishware and coffee mugs instead of disposable ones.
  • We will sell products made of recycled content and/or organic materials.
  • We will use organic and non-toxic cleaning supplies.
  • When creating mailings, we will design them so they don’t require an envelope.

Here’s how we will conserve & protect water

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • If applicable, we will fully comply with the City’s Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan requirements.
  • We will check for leaks by performing a water audit (if we have more than 100 employees) or by closely reviewing our water bills (if we have fewer than 100 employees).
  • We will fully comply with the City’s Fats, Oils, and Grease Regulation.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will keep receiving areas and dumpsters clear of litter by periodically sweeping the area, and ensuring each waste receptacle has a tight-fitting lid.
  • We will not hose off or wash cars, equipment, floor mats, or other items where runoff water flows into the storm drain.
  • We will provide an outdoor receptacle for cigarette butt disposal.
  • We will replace toilets that use 3 or more gallons of water per flush with ones that use 1.6 gallons or less.
  • We will run our dishwashers only when they are full, and post a sign to remind employees to abide by this commitment.

Landscaping

Our business is responsible for the landscaping. We will do three of the following:

  • As new plants are needed, we will use native, drought-resistant plants.
  • We will install a cistern or rain barrel to catch rainwater, and use it to water landscaped areas
  • We will redirect downspouts towards landscaped areas where possible.
  • We will water only when needed.

Here’s how we will conserve energy

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • We will perform an energy audit, or use EnergyStar’s Portfolio to track our energy use.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will apply window film to reduce solar heat gain, or shade sun-exposed windows and walls during the warm season by using awnings, sunscreens, shade trees, or shrubbery.
  • We will convert to energy-efficient light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and/or upgrade existing fluorescent tube lighting with T-8 or T-5 lamps with electronic ballasts. We will begin with five light fixtures-or 10% of our lights (whichever is greater)-and commit to changing the rest in the next two years.
  • We will implement a facility-wide policy of turning off equipment and lights when not in use.
  • We will install programmable thermostats, setting them to 68 degrees in winter, 78 degrees in summer, and 55 degrees at night.
  • We will perform regular maintenance on our HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and refrigeration systems-or ask our landlord to do so.
  • We will replace all exit signs with LED or high-efficiency alternatives.
  • We will use caulk and/or weather-stripping around windows and doors, keeping caulk in good repair.
  • When replacing equipment and appliances, we will ensure they are EnergyStar rated and/or equipped with energy-saving features.

Here’s how we will travel green

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • If applicable, we will make our fleet more efficient.We do not have a fleet of 10 or more vehicles, and transportation is not a major part of our business.We have a fleet of 10 or more vehicles, or transportation is a major part of our business. We will achieve at least a one-star rating with the Ohio Green Fleet Program.
  • We will encourage all employees to participate in “Two by 2012”-a commitment to commute to work twice a month using an alternative form of transportation (not a single-occupancy vehicle).
  • We will install a bike rack in our facility, or provide employees with another secure location to store bikes.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will encourage employees to walk or bike to meetings, lunch, etc.
  • We will provide green driving tips on an employee bulletin board or in newsletters.
  • We will provide bikes for employees to use during the day.
  • We will provide employees with COTA Commuter Checks
  • We will provide employees with information about ridesharing and bus transportation on a bulletin board and/or in newsletters.

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In a few hours we will board a plane to Salt Lake City for the annual Outdoor Retailer conference. We will meet with current and potential vendors, browse for new product ideas, and enjoy some time ruminating on the future of Baying Hound. All the while staying linked in to our customers via web and phone, of course.

We leave you with this photo artistry from Chris Jordan photography:
That’s a sea of plastic beverage bottles, two million in fact, the number used in the US every five minutes. Wow…

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Very soon, BayingHound.com will have Mimi the Sardine lunchbugs in stock. These great lunch bags are Acrylic coated cotton with a black nylon lining. They are 8 1/2H x 10W x 4 1/2″D and sell for $21.95.

If the patterns don’t pull you in, then the handiness of this bag should. Mimi the Sardine’s Lunch Bugs are an eco-friendly, whimsical and sturdy way to tote lunch to and fro. Whether for work or school, this lunch bug has it covered! It is surprisingly roomy—I was able to fit 2 medium reusable containers, a sandwich wrap and a small bag of pretzels in there. The only downfall is there was not enough room for a drink—but I can see a drink box, SIGG, or Klean Kanteen fitting nicely in there with one less container. Or baggies (reusable of course).

The handle makes it comfortable to carry—no thin strap that digs into your hands. Plus, it has a zipper closure to ensure what you put in stays in there. Although it is not insulated, it can easily keep things cold with the addition of a thin ice pack. We put yogurt in there and it was still cold 3 hours later.

Best yet? When your kids leave them at school over the long weekend for food to mould and fester you can just pitch it in the wash and viola! Good as new.

Overall, I rate these a great buy!

Chris Jonard

the Quintessential Quill
~When quality is quintessential~

*editing, writing, and research services available*

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