Engagement Reaches Three-Year High

Today’s post was shared by The Green Workplace and comes from www.gallup.com

Story Highlights

  • 32.9% of U.S. employees "engaged" in workplace in February
  • This is the highest monthly average recorded in three years
  • The majority of U.S. workers are still "not engaged"

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The percentage of U.S. workers engaged in their jobs rose from an average 31.7% in January to an average 32.9% in February. The latest monthly rate of employee engagement is the highest Gallup has recorded in three years and is a full 1 1/2 percentage points above where it stood in February 2014.

The February 2015 estimate is based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted with 5,993 adults employed for an employer. Gallup categorizes workers as engaged based on their responses to key workplace elements that it has found predict important organizational performance outcomes.

Gallup began its daily survey of U.S. workplace engagement in January 2011. At its peak, the rate of U.S. employee engagement reached 33.8% in March 2011, followed by 33.6% in January 2012. Since then, monthly engagement has consistently averaged less than 33%.

Recent Engagement and Employment Trends Align

With only a third of U.S. employees engaged at work, half (50.3%) are "not engaged" and 16.8% are "actively disengaged." The slight gain in February engagement may be partially attributable to the nation’s economic situation. As unemployment continues to dip and more workers find jobs, companies may be facing renewed issues with retention, leading them to…

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Forget Black Friday, think of Small Business Saturday and support your Main Street

Today’s post was shared by TreeHugger.com and comes from www.treehugger.com

Small business sign

This sign is making the rounds of the internet this year, pointing out that money spent in a small business pretty much stays in the community, in the pockets of local families, instead of being shipped out to some megacorp. There are studies that prove it; a look at Grand Rapids, Michigan found that "when West Michigan consumers choose a locally owned business over a non-local alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stays in the community. By contrast, only $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remains in the community."

Small business Saturday

That’s why I have never been crazy about Buy Nothing Day (someone has to buy cheese and coffee from my kids) and I am such a fan of Small Business Saturday. People need stuff and it is coming into holiday shopping season, but where you spend your money matters. As Michael Shuman wrote:

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.

Stephanie Meeks of the National Trust for Historic Preservation notes:

When we invest in small businesses, we are investing in Main Streets – the places that give our towns and cities a unique sense of place. By celebrating Small Business Saturday and shopping at…

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Post Office Considering Significant Changes

Today’s post was shared by Sustainable is Good and comes from www.sustainableisgood.com

Usps-vehicles3

This whole debate about the future of the US Postal Service has me confused and I thought it was relevant to address on SISG because so much of what we talk about here passes through either the USPS, UPS or FedEX.

These days its seems like everyone from Congress to talking heads has a plan to fix the Post Office but I have to say most of the ideas and options I keep hearing seem insane.

A core part of plans is to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.  This option makes very little sense to me and eliminates one of the USPS’s primary competitive advantages over its competition.  The USPS is the only carrier who will deliver letters and packages on Saturday as part of its normal non-surcharge service.  To be fair FedEX Ground also does normal Saturday delivery but its mostly packages.

To me eliminating Saturday mail service would be a body blow to the USPS.  One that they may not recover from.

Another point I don’t see raised often enough is the relationship people have with the USPS.  Personally I prefer the USPS over all other options unless I’m shipping something very large.  I find their service to be much more customer friendly – because they care about residential deliveries. 

I avoid UPS at all cost however sometimes its not possible.  I find their service to be terrible and they have an attitude that they can care less about residential deliveries.  This is one thing USPS should be emphasising – that relationship they have with…

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Self-driving cars might be “a coming congestion disaster”

Today’s post was shared by TreeHugger.com and comes from www.treehugger.com

Old image self driving car

In most of TreeHugger’s discussions about the future of our cities in the era of the self-driving car, I have taken the position that "The autonomous car will likely be shared, smaller, lighter, slower, and there will likely be about a tenth as many of them." That’s because our current cars are parked 90 percent of the time, which is unnecessary with a self-driving car, it can just to serve someone else. However transit expert Jarrett Walker sees the opposite happening in his post Self-Driving Cars: A Coming Congestion Disaster?

He doesn’t think they will necessarily be shared, because "The ownership model is closer to the status quo, and the status quo always has enormous power." He also thinks that these cars will be very busy indeed, and will not just be sitting around parked 90 percent of the time like our current cars are. He describes a nightmare scenario posited by the University of Washington’s Mark Hollenbeck:

A suburban father rides his driverless car to work, maybe dropping his daughter off a at school. But rather than park the car downtown, he simply tells it to drive back home to his house in the suburbs. During the day, it runs some other errands for his family. At 3 pm, it goes to the school to bring his daughter home or chauffeur her to after-school activities. Then it’s time for it to drive back into the city to pick up Dad from work. But then, on a lark, Dad decides to go shopping at a downtown department store after work, so he tells…

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11 buy-nothing gifts of time

Today’s post was shared by inhabitat and comes from inhabitat.com

Giving someone a great gift they’ll really treasure doesn’t mean dropping a ton of cash. Sometimes the best gift you can give a friend or loved one is something you can’t buy in stores: your time. This year, why not skip the store-bought gifts and give your loved ones a little bit of TLC instead? We’ve come up with 11 ideas that are sure to yield plenty of love and memories this holiday season. From cooking them their favorite meal to hosting a movie night featuring all of their favorite flicks, read on for our favorite gifts of time.

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Incredible KOHLER Clarity purifies drinking water for less than one cent a day

Today’s post was shared by inhabitat and comes from inhabitat.com.

Kohler, World Vision, water purification, water filter, iDE, Water Mission, clean water, ceramic water filter, KOHLER Clarity, water filtration, water filtration system, low cost water filter, water crisis, access to clean water, Greenbuild, Greenbuild 2015
Kohler, World Vision, water purification, water filter, iDE, Water Mission, clean water, ceramic water filter, KOHLER Clarity, water filtration, water filtration system, low cost water filter, water crisis, access to clean water, Greenbuild, Greenbuild 2015

Unveiled at Greenbuild 2015, the simple yet powerful KOHLER Clarity combines the company’s design prowess and engineering ingenuity to create a product that’s not only affordable enough to put in the hands of the millions who live without , but is also attractive enough to bring to market. The device, which follows global health leader PATH’s C1 filter guidelines, can filter up to 40 liters (10.5 gallons) of water per day (meeting the drinking water needs of a typical family) at a rate of over 2 liters per hour.

Kohler, World Vision, water purification, water filter, iDE, Water Mission, clean water, ceramic water filter, KOHLER Clarity, water filtration, water filtration system, low cost water filter, water crisis, access to clean water, Greenbuild, Greenbuild 2015
Kohler, World Vision, water purification, water filter, iDE, Water Mission, clean water, ceramic water filter, KOHLER Clarity, water filtration, water filtration system, low cost water filter, water crisis, access to clean water, Greenbuild, Greenbuild 2015

The key to the KOHLER Clarity is the ceramic filter. While using this kind of ceramic for is not new, Kohler is the first to repackage the ceramic filter in an affordable and attractive form. The ceramic is made from Diatomaceous earth—a crumbly and porous sedimentary deposit formed from the billion-year-old fossils called diatoms—mined from the ocean floor. After a small amount of bonding agent is added to the earth, the material…

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14 Affordable and Green Gifts Under $20

Today’s post was shared by inhabitat and comes from inhabitat.com

Green products have a reputation for being expensive, but we have proof that this isn’t always the case. Giving your friends and loved ones eco-friendly gifts doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, as evidenced by our Gifts Under $20 Guide. From hanging planters to DIY mason jar lamp kits to recycled wine bottle platters, check out all of our wallet-friendly picks here.

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How to spend less time and money shopping for holiday gifts

Today’s post was shared by TreeHugger.com and comes from www.treehugger.com

Katherine Martinko
Katherine Martinko
one-gift Christmas morning

Gift exchanges are fun and traditional, but they can also be expensive and wasteful, especially if you don’t like or can’t use what you have received. It fuels much of the consumerism that is so damaging to our planet and culture. The gift exchange goes against much of what we at TreeHugger strive for throughout the rest of the year – simple, small, green, and often frugal lifestyles. That’s why we need to take a step back to reassess the shopping madness. Here are some thoughts on how to spend less time and effort on it.

Kids don’t need to be showered in multiple presents from their parents. We like to keep it simple at our house – one gift from Santa and one from us. Tell visitors not to come laden with presents for the kids. As exciting as it is to rip off the paper and play with a new toy, inevitably it gets forgotten in the wild frenzy of having so many new toys to play with. By receiving fewer, a child will stay more focused on that particular gift.

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