Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sustainable Websites

I've been doing a lot of surfing of ecology-related websites recently. Mostly, I'm shopping or at least surfing for organic clothing and natural alternatives for items we use everyday and dump into the landfills at a truly alarming rate. I even found a site or two that sell eating utensils made from corn fiber. Really. They look just like the plastic forks, knives and spoons you're used to using at picnics, but if you toss these corn fiber ones out with your compost, they'll actually biodegrade.

I love the idea of a sustainable planet. I am a treehugger. There, I'm out. Now you see my hairy, scary side. I love green businesses and green solutions for all kinds of problems. I'm planning to have my car converted to green fuel just as soon as we get a station in town that sells it, and in the meantime, I buy fuel with the 10% ethanol in it. One of my friends has a Prius, (a gas/electric hybrid car) and the in-town milage is just amazing--much better than what I can get in my car, by at least--what--three times the miles per gallon? Organic fiber clothes just plain flat feel better on the skin, and our decision to buy into an organic garden co-op for the summer has proven economical and completely delicious. My husband recently bought a bunch of those flashlights that you can wind up and don't need batteries for; they work great and the whole family thinks they're genious, especially the girls who like to read under the covers at night. And then there's the way-gorgeous mineral makeup. Back to nature and loving it, and I haven't even had to start looking like a granola girl in the process.

There is one gripe I have, though, and it doesn't just apply to websites that sell organic products. At the end of June I placed an order for something and have now been waiting three weeks for it to arrive. The company is in the U. S., but I've had faster shipping from Europe and Canada, thanks! A couple of days ago I called them to ask what had happened to my merchandise and they told me that the stuff was backordered. Now, I'd already sent them an email two days before that asking about the order, and they hadn't answered that. Then when I called them, they didn't answer the extension for customer service, so I had to call the orders line. Then when they checked on my order, they said it would probably be another two weeks before the stuff came in and would be sent to me, bringing the number of weeks since purchase up to five at least. I ordered the same product from another company on Friday and they said they'd mail it out on Monday. Much bettter on first glance, but their website wasn't secure so I had to order by phone. Already had one card hacked, thanks, don't need another one compromised. I don't care how bad somebody out there wants to buy himself a leather bustier and a sweet new pickup--I can't afford to pay for them! So after all that ranting, here's the actual gripe:

When you have a web-based shop, make sure your order form is secure! And while you're at it, make sure that when any of your products is backordered, you've posted it on the item page to warn the consumer! Let me know that I'll have to wait forever to get my product so I can look elsewhere and not have to waste my time or yours on needless follow ups.

Sustainable organic products for sale: potentially worth every penny paid for them. Sustainable websites: priceless.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Progress and Pirates

I've been making some progress on Shifts of Perception--I'm nearly at the halfway point and hope to get a lot further over the next six weeks. If I could finish it entirely, I'd be very happy.

Real Life has been interfering a lot lately, but as the kids' school year is over, I'm about to get a shot at some real progress.

We finally took the kids to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Dead Man's Chest. We loved it and are looking forward to the third one. I won't post any spoilers here, but...if you haven't seen it yet and are planning to, make sure you stay all the way through the ending credits. We left the theater before the end of the credits on X-Men and later regretted it. Today we stayed to the end on Pirates and...didn't regret it. 'Nuf said.