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78 posts from October 2008

October 29, 2008

Just Green It

Slam-dunk Nike expanded its line of products made with less waste and fewer toxics yesterday, announcing a goal to have all footwear meeting the line's more stringent environmental standards by 2011. As Portland Business Journal reports, the athletic company aims to have apparel making the switch by 2015, and equipment by 2020. By Nike's calculations, that would mean 17 percent less waste and 20 percent more reliance on what it deems environmentally-preferred materials. That might sound vague, and Nike doesn't reveal the nitty gritty of its environmental impact assessments, but it does disclose a basic scoring system based on health risks, energy and water use, and waste associated with the production, use, and disposal. Eventually, the company's big idea is to have a closed-loop system in which your stinky old sneaks, for example, could be easily disassembled and transformed into a fresh new product.

What's Hot in Refrigeration

Fridge-retro Green refrigeration is a twofer: It eliminates harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that eat away at the ozone layer and can save big bucks on your utility bill, since refrigerators use more electricity than any other household appliance.

New Energy Star refrigerators represent a big improvement on old-school energy guzzlers, but what about not using any electricity at all?  A recent article in Scientific American points that that the scientific principle making refrigeration possible doesn’t need electricity. Making cold is as simple as sweating.

Continue reading "What's Hot in Refrigeration" »

Green Your Halloween -- Healthy Treats

Apples are in seasonIt's time for ghosts, witches, and jack-o-lanterns. This week we'll provide tips for a greener Halloween.

Tip # 3: Serve Seasonal Fruit

When high-fructose corn syrup haunts most Halloween candy, what's a health-conscious enviro to do? Keep the festive spirit, but lose the junk. You can throw some spooky dry ice into a vat of organic apple cider to make a great witches brew. Or munch on creepy apple bites and eerie eyeballs. For a seasonal craft project, consider a dried apple witch. You can also put your creativity to work making Halloween-themed carrots, celery, melons, pumpkins, and sandwiches.

Share your tips: What's your recipe for a healthy, green Halloween?

October 28, 2008

Daily Roundup

A Green Gamble: A small-town mayor has set out to make Central City one of the first eco-gambling attractions in the US. TreeHugger

Cool Again: The financial crisis and reduced investment in next-generation green technologies may put put plain old efficiency back in vogue. NYT: Green Inc.

Beyond CFLs: EarthTalk sheds light on light-emitting diodes, explaining why the alternative green bulb will have to get a lot brighter (and cheaper) to compete with compact fluorescents. Scientific American

Hot Wheels: Mercedes Benz revealed images of its futuristic concept car, the Formula Zero Racer. The salty setting looks oddly familiar. Inhabitat

Special Delivery: The big brown trucks are going green. UPS has partnered up with the EPA to roll out a fleet of hybrid deliver trucks. CNN

-- Mario Aguilar

Morgan Stanley Floats Tidal Power Plans

Waves strike a beach in Scotland's Northern Highlands Morgan Stanley plans to build a 150-megawatt data center powered entirely by tidal energy off the coast of Scotland, the banking giant announced earlier this month. The project would require investment of at least $380 million and face a number of regulatory hurdles before coming online in 2011, but these could prove minor snags relative to the financial tsunami now battering the company on Wall Street. A still greater challenge could be feeding power-hungry data centers in the event that carbon intensive energy becomes unaffordable and electricity grids become maxed out or unstable.

Continue reading "Morgan Stanley Floats Tidal Power Plans" »

The Green Bible

Green Bible As interest in "creation care" continues to sweep religious communities, eco-minded Christians have a new resource: the green Bible. The book, published by HarperOne, is made with soy-based inks and recycled paper. Passages pertaining to environmentalism are highlighted in—you guessed it—green.

Not all Christian publishers are rushing to the presses. The Christian Science Monitor, a newspaper owned by the First Church of Christ, Scientist, will save paper and money by going online. The newspaper plans to drop its dead tree edition starting in April.

Religiously motivated earth stewardship isn't limited to the Christian crowd. Buddhist monks in Thailand are enjoying a new temple made entirely from recycled beer bottles.

4 Reasons to Go Green With Sardines

Sardines-with-herbs Let’s talk about my lunch. I’m going to try really hard to get through this post without eating it, but I’m getting hungry already just thinking about my--wait for it--fresh sardine sandwich. Yup, that’s what I said, and while you may not know it yet, you wish you had one too. Here are just a few of the things it has going for it:

It’s cheap. Fresh sardines were selling in my local fish market for $1.49 per pound yesterday. You only need one or two for your sandwich--even devotees like myself don’t go in for fishy quarter-pounders. So you do the math.

It’s sustainable. While sardines were overfished in the past, they are now plentiful in the wild, earning a “best choice” rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Continue reading "4 Reasons to Go Green With Sardines" »

Green Your Halloween -- Fair Trade Treats

Buy fair-trade chocolate It's time for ghosts, witches, and jack-o'-lanterns. This week we'll provide tips for a greener Halloween.

Tip #2: Choose Ethical Chocolate

Trick-or-treating is a great opportunity to build community, but choosing the right treats can be tricky. The cocoa industry is haunted by seriously unfestive practices such as forced child labor, so when buying chocolates, opt for sweets that are certified fair trade and organic. Ethically produced and organic, dark chocolate Bug Bites from Endangered Species are also kosher, vegan, and gluten-free.

Share your tips: What goodies do you offer to trick-or-treaters?

Up next: Tomorrow we'll show you how to avoid the sugar rush with healthy Halloween eats.

October 27, 2008

Daily Roundup

Gritty Business: Caribbean beaches are exposed as thieves steal sand by the truckload. A component of cement, the sand's value to construction companies puts fragile shores at risk. CitizenSugar

Freeze on Fishing: The European Union has agreed to offer more protection for some deep-sea species. Among the fish to be spared, the orange roughy can begin enjoying its 150 year lifespan in 2010, when the ban takes effect. Reuters

Orange Power: It's a fruit, it's a color, and it's impossible to rhyme. The orange might have a new application in wastewater treatment. Orange you glad? About My Planet

Energy Deadline:  A new report by the European Renewable Energy Council and Greenpeace says the world could eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2090. The hefty 210-page study calls for strict efficiency standards and legally binding targets for renewable energy. New Scientist

Label Alert: Whole wheat is a hot topic. Find out who's been busted for overstating whole grain claims and how you can spot grain greenwashing. Green Fork Blog

Green Your Halloween -- Costumes

Homemade costumes It's time for ghosts, witches, and jack-o'-lanterns. This week we'll provide tips for a greener Halloween.

Tip #1: Recycle Costumes

Reporters for King 5 News recently found toxins such as lead, phthalates, and cadmium in children's Halloween costumes. Instead of dressing your kid in toxic plastic, skip the store-bought mask and make your own. Get creative with recycled cardboard, organic fabric scraps, and recycled paper. Inhabitots has instructions for turning an old t-shirt into a superhero cape and The Purl Bee offers tips for sewing an organic wool bunny costume.

Share your tips! What materials do you use to make Halloween costumes? Have you found ways to save money in the process?

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