Seen on Sunday morning: March 2nd

March 2, 2008 9:32:12 AM PST
COOL WAYS TO GIVE BACK, ECO FRIENDLY LIVING, C FILERS, TRANSITION TO DIGITAL TV and SPRING BEAUTY ESSENTIALS-----COOL WAYS TO GIVE BACK-----

It's the concept of going green through recycling and giving back to the community at the same time. Joining us with some ideas is Chassie Post, contributing editor at Domino magazine.

OLD SNEAKERS

  • Donate your old sneakers (in whatever condition they're in!)
  • Old sneakers now turn into soccer fields, basketball courts & playgrounds
  • Keep worn-down athletic shoes out of the landfills by sending them to Nike's "Reuse-A-Shoe Program"
  • rubber, foam + fabric are recycled into materials for soccer fields, basketball courts + playgrounds across the country - like this artificial turf, called " Field Turf", which feels almost like real grass - and you will find on playing fields worldwide - even Giants Stadium
  • www.Nikereuseashoe.com

    YOGURT CUPS

  • Stonyfield Yogurt Cups turn into Toothbrushes, Razors, Plastic Plates, cutting boards, colanders and kitchen accessories
  • Who would have thought a yogurt cup could have 3 lives!
  • Stonyfield Farms Yogurts has partnered with a company called Recycline which makes chic "Preserve" brand toothbrushes, razors & plastic kitchen accessories out of Stonyfield Farms recycled yogurt cups
  • Just send your Stonyfield Yogurt Cups back to the company & they will take care of the rest
  • Then, when you are done with your toothbrush, razors, etc. send them back to Recycline (they provide postage-paid envelopes) and they will again recycle your toothbrush, etc. into plastic lumber which is used to make park benches & picnic tables
  • Send yogurt cups to: Stonyfield Farm, 10 Burton Drive, Londonderry, NH 03053 or for more information go to: www.stonyfield.com or www.recycline.com

    ICE CREAM

  • Yes, that's right - eat ice cream and you're helping!! (this is our personal favorite!)
  • There's a huge honey bee crisis right now
    - more than 25% of the Western honey bee population has disappeared over the last several winters
    - We rely on honey bees for 1/3 of our food supply so when honey bees are in danger, we're all in danger
    - But no one knows yet why this is happening SO?
  • Haagen-Dazs created "Vanilla Honey Bee" as a new delicious new flavor
  • Limited edition that combines their signature vanilla from Madagascar with rich honey from the clover fields of North/South Dakota
  • Each time you buy a pint of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee and other honey bee dependent flavors, they donate money to fund research to save the honey bees
  • Flavor comes out on March 21st! look out for it soon
  • www.helpthehoneybees.com

    OLD CELL PHONES

  • put your old mobile to use by giving it to "Phones 4 Life"
  • distributes them to victims of domestic violence, senior citizens and adults with serious disabilities
  • Go online to: find a local collection site or mailing address and print out a tax receipt (hurry to do this before April 15!)
  • www.Phones4life.org

    OLD EYEGLASSES & SUNGLASSES

  • Over 1 billion people in developing countries need eyeglasses but can't afford them
  • In some areas of Latin America, Asia & Africa, the price of glasses can exceed three months' average salary
  • "Unite For Sight" gives your old eyeglasses and sunglasses to kids + adults in these areas
  • Fill out a quick form on their website and they'll tell you where to send them
  • www.Uniteforsight.org

    LUGGAGE & BACKPACKS

  • "Suitcases For Kids" supplies foster kids in the U.S. with a piece of travel gear
  • Many of these kids have nothing but garbage bags for transporting their belongings
  • To donate old backpacks, duffels or suitcases, go to their website for local drop-off spots
  • www.Suitcasesforkids.org

    OLD PET GEAR

  • Even your pets can help
  • Donate old or unused pet bowls, leashes, cages, clothes, toys, etc to "The Humane Society"
  • They benefit pets awaiting adoption
  • Go to their website and click on "How to find Your Local Animal Shelter"
  • www.HSUS.org

    COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

  • Help your old computer equipment find a new home
  • Your outdated laptop or keyboard might be of no use to you, but "Share the Technology" pairs up your old or out-dated keyboard, laptop, etc with schools, nonprofits and disabled people
  • Visit this nonprofit's website to browse listings of needed equipment in your area - everything from computers to modems to printers
  • Or you can post the items you have to offer as well
  • You can coordinate a convenient pickup or delivery
  • www.Sharetechnology.org

    UNWANTED BOOKS

  • Grab those stacks of books that you have been tripping over, put them in a box and send them at a special low rate to "Books for Africa"
  • ask the Post Office for "media" or "library" mail
  • "Books for Africa" is a U.S.-based nonprofit whose goal is to end the book famine in Africa
  • They funnel our reading materials into schools & libraries in regions where it's desperately needed
  • www.booksforafrica.org

    OLD FURNITURE

  • The National Furniture Bank Association accepts chairs, tables, beds, cribs and more
  • Your items go to needy people referred to them by social-service organizations nationwide
  • There are currently 34 banks (in Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, and more) but there will be 62 by year's end
  • Most outposts will come pick up your donations
  • For nearest location, go to website and click on "help1up locator"
  • www.help1up.org

    And if you're in the market fro a new rug or drinking glasses? why not buy some that made from recycled products.

    PLASTIC SODA & MILK BOTTLES TURN INTO "ORIENTAL TURKISH RUG"

  • Your recycled goods can make fantastically chic house wares - lots of great new "Green" Products are on the market
  • Old plastic soda & milk bottles now turn into beautiful Turkish looking rugs
  • Made from recycled polypropylene plastics
  • Super chic design can go indoors or out
  • www.3rliving.com ($32 - $75)

    OLD GLASS BOTTLES TURN INTO CLASSIC DRINKING GLASSES

  • These gorgeous glasses are made from recycled wine & beer bottles
  • Create two glasses from one bottle: a tumbler from the bottom portion and a goblet from the top portion
  • Can be sandblasted with a company name or logo
  • www.greenglass.com ($37.50 - $60)

    For more cool ways to "give back" check out www.dominomag.com or the latest issue of domino magazine

    -----ECO FRIENDLY LIVING-----

    Small changes you make around your home can make a big difference for the environment. Joining us with tips this morning is Candita Clayton, author of "Clean Your Home Healthy."

    - Turn off your car - Every 10 seconds spent idling wastes about the amount of gas needed to start your car. Americans used about 2.9 billion gallons last year idling.

    - Use the latest rechargeable batteries - With 15 billions batteries thrown away a year using rechargeables can make a significant impact on the environment and your budget. The latest rechargeables can be used up to 1000 times.

    - Stop Junk Mail - Its takes 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water to create all the junk mail that was sent last year. Sign up at GreenDime.com for $20 a year and cut your junk mail back by 90% and they will plant 20 trees for you too!

    - The air inside your home may be 2 to 10 times more polluted than the air outside. The main culprits, cleaining products. Switch to natural cleaning products when you run out of what you are currently using.

    - Americans used 50 billion plastic water bottles in 2007. Only 20% of them were recycled. Switch to a stainless steal bottle which also protects you from chemicals leaching back into your water.

    For more information, go to www.yourlifeorganized.com

    -----C FILERS-----

    It's the first weekend of March, and that means April 15th is creeping closer and closer. Are you ready?

    As part of our tax help series, Ginger Broderick, president of Broderick and company, CPAs is joining us with tips for schedule c- filers.

  • If you file Schedule C, WATCH OUT: The IRS wants to focus its attention toward taxpayers who run small unincorporated businesses.
  • The best tax deduction one can have is having his own business but one needs sound tax advice in order to structure the business properly and maximize all income and business deductions available to the taxpayer.

    Why is there an IRS Focus on Schedule C Filers? The biggest portion of unpaid taxes is in underreporting of income by individuals. These individuals are small unincorporated businesses that many times don't have an accountant to advise them on business matters and deductions. Some IRS audits can be very aggressive whereas the bank accounts are reviewed very closely. Schedule C filers are more likely to either try to deduct personal expenses or omit income from their returns.

    How Can a Schedule C Filer Reduce His Taxes? The best opportunity for any small business owner is to purchase new equipment or furniture that is bought and used in their business. There is a tax rule known as Section 179 that allows companies to deduct up to $125,000 for new asset purchases.

    Can a Schedule C Filer have his own Retirement Plan? Yes. There are opportunities known as a SEP IRA or a Keogh Plan that are great retirement savings plans available for self-employed individuals. Every retirement plan has rules and regulations so it is advisable to have a financial professional direct you to the best plan for your personal situation. Some plans need to be opened by December 31st and some can be opened and funded by the time you file your tax returns in April.

    Can Health Insurance Be a Deductible Expense for a Schedule C Filer? Medical insurance premiums and long-term-care premiums are 100% deductible for self-employed individuals--as long as there is profit for the business. Otherwise, if you itemize, the costs are deducted on Form Schedule A as a medical expense. In order to save money, I try to encourage self-employed individuals to find a way to participate in a group health insurance plan. It is very expensive to carry one's own individual plan, and if the owner uses his insurance quite often, the premium will be greatly increased but not likely if he is a member in a group policy.

    What Other Concerns are there for an Unincorporated Individual? The biggest reason for unincorporated individuals to have a large tax bill by April 15th is the cost of their own social security taxes. Most employees have the expense withheld from their weekly paycheck, but the self-employed individual has to pay his own tax and the employers share together. This feels like double-taxation to most individuals and without properly planning can cause a lot of tax problems with the IRS.

    The best tax deduction one can have is having his own business but one needs sound tax advice in order to structure the business properly and maximize all income and business deductions available to the taxpayer.

    -----TRANSITION TO DIGITAL TV-----

    On February 17th, 2009, television broadcasters will change how they send programming to your television. The switch, from analog to digital, means TV's that receive free over- the-air programming will need to be upgraded to digital.

    ABC news radio's technology producer Andrea Smith is here to help explain this switchover and help figure out how to tell if you need to upgrade your television set.

    What can people do to make sure they'll get a signal on that date?
    About 20 million U.S. households currently have analog-only reception, that's the free old way of broadcasting. People with those older, analog TVs can do one of three things to make them capable of receiving a digital signal:

  • Subscribe to cable or satellite service.
  • Buy a new digital-ready TV.
  • Get a converter box.

    The last option is generally the easiest and the cheapest, and there's a government-funded program to help subsidize the cost of the converters. The problem is, not enough people know about the switchover, much less the availability of converter boxes.

    How will people know if they need to do anything?
    If you get your signal from cable or satellite, the change doesn't affect you. Only older, analog TV's that use "rabbit ear" antennas or roof-top antennas will need to be converted by next February. If your TV has a built-in Digital tuner, you don't need to do anything. All TVs sold in the U.S. since March 2007 are required to have a digital tuner but there have been some reports of stores selling older analog sets to unsuspecting people. Look for the letters ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) on the TV.

    So if I people need the converter box, what should they do?
    They need to apply for a coupon through the program set up by the government. Each household can apply for 2 and they're worth $40 each towards the purchase of an approved digital converter box. Right now stores such as Best Buy and Walmart are selling the boxes for about $60. People need to apply for the coupons now because it takes a while to get them.

    How can people apply for the coupons?
    You can order them online at www.dtv2009.gov Call for coupons: 1-888-388-2009 or 1-888-DTV-2009 Or mail an application to P.O. Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000

    Of particular concern are seniors who really don't understand the difference between DTV and HDTV and many are confused as to what they need to buy. The AARP says the switch to DTV could have the hardest impact on them, most of whom have older TVs, and who watch more TV than any other group -- almost 5.5 hours per day. And of course many senior are not internet savvy so applying for the coupons is not as easy, but it can de done by phone or mail.

    Broadcasters have already begun airing public service announcements to educate the public on the change, so you're likely to see PSA's like this one on your TV and the government is starting to put pressure on broadcasters to increase their awareness campaigns.

    Other DTV resources

  • Antennaweb.org
  • Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
  • Choosing & Installing an Antenna for HDTV CrutchfieldAdvisor.com
  • An excellent resource for those looking to learn more about digital over-the-air reception, with detailed information about different types of antennas and how to install them.
    DTV2009.gov
  • Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce
  • The essential resource for converter box coupons. Good, basic information, and it's multilingual, to boot. DTVAnswers.com
  • Source: National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
  • DTVTransition.org
  • Source: DTV Transition Coalition (a group of associations, retailers and manufacturers involved in DTV) Links to approved converter boxes, also in Spanish.
  • DTV.gov
  • Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • www.hearusnow.org A Consumers Union project, is one good place to start. It offers links, background, and a free Consumer Reports guide.

    -----SPRING BEAUTY ESSENTIALS-----

    It's cold outside now, but spring is just around the corner and that means time to restock your makeup bag. Joining us this morning with spring beauty essentials is in style editor, Subira Shaw.

    Day

  • Prescriptives Lips Strips compact $30, prescriptives.com
  • Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes dual-ended pencil. $14, Clinique.com
  • Shiseido creamy Hydro-Powder eye shadow/ $23, sephora.com
  • Revlon's Colorstay Mineral foundation. $14, drugstores.

    Night

  • Laura Mercier's liquid eyeliner in Violette. $22, lauramercier.com
  • Body Show Pink Glow Enhancer. $14. For stores: (800) 263-9746
  • YSL Bag Accessory Charm bracelet. $56, Neiman Marcus.
  • Thierry Mugler Plexi Gloss Lip Lackers. $40, Bloomingdale's.


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