A Mighty Wind

Hold on to your hats! If you live on at least 1/2 acre and the wind blows at speeds of at least 10 mph in your backyard (find out here), then harnessing the wind for power may now be an affordable renewable energy option. The Skystream 3.7, available for $5,400 (US), can produce 240 KWh … Continued

California Cleantech Open Submissions Due Tommorow

If you’re thinking about entering the California Clean Tech Open business plan competition, now is the time to get your three page executive summary submitted – tomorrow’s the deadline. Click here to learn how. Whether or not you’re interested in the contest, there are some great resources on the CCO website worth checking out.

AskPablo: CO2 from Beer

Have you ever wondered about the carbon emissions generated from making your favorite brewsky, bottle of vino, or 15 year-old Talisker Scotch? Never mind the impact from producing the bottles, shipping the product, or the farm impact–I’ve written about those before (See: AskPablo: Exotic Bottled Water, AskPablo: Glass vs. PET Bottles, and AskPablo: Foodmiles) But … Continued

Summer Knowledge: What’s in That Sunscreen?

Ever wondered what the difference was between the myriad varieties of sunblock on the market? There’s more to it than simple SPF factors. More chemicals than you can shake a stick at, some unregulated, abound in the many brands and varieties. To make sense of it all you need a massive database and a lot … Continued

Is Microfinance Really Effective in Alleviating Poverty?

A provocative article from the summer issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, titled “Microfinance Misses Its Mark,” is available for free on the SSRI website. The author, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, states that, “…my analysis of the macroeconomic data suggests that although microcredit yields some noneconomic … Continued

Hotel Room Eco Audit (One Shade Greener)

(by Sheila Samuelson – originally on One Shade Greener) As soon as I stepped in, I smelled the “new building” scent. That’s the smell of VOCs (indoor air pollution) from the vinyl plastic shower curtain, paint and carpeting. The fan was running on “auto cool mode” and the mini-fridge was quietly humming away, cooling – … Continued

The New “Brand” for Socially Responsible Business?

As more businesses claim to be “green,” “sustainable,” and “socially responsible,” will true social entrepreneurs find it difficult to stand out in the marketplace? An organization called B Lab has recently launched a new ratings system to help skeptical consumers and investors to distinguish between truly responsible companies and those who simply run good PR … Continued

Book Review: Cities in the Wilderness by Bruce Babbit

(Review by George Wuerthner) I just read an excellent book–Cities in the Wilderness by former Sec. of Interior Bruce Babbitt. It’s an insider’s view of some of the issues and politics that took place while he was govenror of Arizona as well as Sec. of Interior. Babbitt is surprisingly well versed in a lot of … Continued

Biofuel Driving up the Price of Gas? So What?

There’s been talk lately about the price of gas remaining high for the foreseeable future as oil companies choose not to expand refining operations in the face of a bio-fuels boom. It’s hard to appreciate the tone of articles like this one for example when they shout out headlines like “Going Green’s No Good for … Continued

AskPablo: Lighten the Load

I recently listened to one of my favorite podcasts, On Point with Tom Ashbrook, and heard an interview with Bob Lutz, General Motors’ Vice Chairman. In this interview he expressed dismay that Toyota is thought to be the fuel efficiency leader in the industry. This week I will run some numbers to shed light on … Continued

Is Duraflame a Green Product?

I don’t have fires very often, living in a warm climate, but I have to admit I’m a sucker for some burning logs on a camping trip or on a cold winter’s night – despite the obvious environmental externalities. For those aesthetic reasons, and for what I thought were environmental ones, I was always opposed … Continued

Survey of Social Entrepreneurs Highlights Opportunity for Business Partnerships

The consulting firm SustainAbility, in partnership with The Skoll Foundation, has produced a fascinating 52-page report called Growing Opportunity: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Insoluble Problems. It was released in late March, 2007. The PDF is available for download from both Greenbiz.com and the Sustainability website (registration required). Highly recommended summer reading! The report springs from a … Continued

Peas Of Mind Founder Jill Litwin Interviewed Tonight

Eco-Entrepreneur and personal friend of mine, Jill Litwin will be interviewed tonight (Wednesday) on the NBC nightly news – check your local times. Peas of mind is an all-organic frozen meal for toddler-aged kids. You can read Jill’s TreeHugger interview here. It’s always great to see a friend get recognition like this, but even if … Continued

Kite Power – Potential to Save 7% of WorldWide Energy Use?

That 7% is probably wishful thinking, but if this guy in Wisconsin is halfway right, then there’s certainly a future for this unusual technology originally designed to pull kiteboarders at high-speed across lakes and oceans. It’s very simple – if you can engineer a kite to pull on a cord with some degree of consistency, … Continued

The PET Bottle Glut – Looking for Solutions

NPR has a great little piece today about the destiny of the (cue Carl Sagan) billions and billions of plastic water bottles that we go though every year, the majority of which end up in a landfill. About 23% however, do wind up being recycled into various uses, typically carpeting or other downcycled products. Interestingly … Continued