Viral marketing is a concept that few of us environmentalists are naturally inclined to take up in a technical sense. Yet there’s no denying that green has got wonderful potential when it comes to creatively using the internet to spread messages.
It’s surprising that there’s hardly any attention from the either marketing professionals for green or from “green eco-battle-axes” in cross fertilizing with the marketer guys. Everybody who knows the very basics of marketing knows that keeping up with the trends is something that’s the hallmark of any successful marketer. Green marketing, whilst a hype in the high street shops, is not so much an online viral gimmick most likely because it’s simply too earthy.
Ever wanted to experience the emptiness of shopping for real? Visit FLOWmarket – it’s a real shop selling nothing you don’t really need. The concept originates in Denmark. The scarcity goods on offer in the shop all represent imbalances from the three flow dimension between the individual-the collective-the planet. That’s also the bottom line that keeps us busy here at Triple Pundit.
In recent days the news poured in from all corners of the earth; many, many countries are going to force their citizens to change their light bulbs. No joke – 27 countries in Europe, Australia, Canada, Cuba and the Philippines are all eliminating incandescent light bulbs as early as 2010 and replacing them by fluorescent bulbs. And the US 2008 energy bill phases out filament light bulbs for traditional use starting 2012 with an official ban effective in 2014.
The looming global economic recession won’t stand in the way of company plans to adapt their strategies for the effects of global warming. Instead, 90% of the bosses of the FTSE-100 companies believe action in favor of the environment is an impetus for business. A report just out by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reveals that corporations are stepping up their efforts to measure and reduce carbon emissions in their supply chains. They also are getting more on target to elimininate carbon emissions linked with product use and disposal.
What if zero carbon building became the standard? What would towns look like? Are carbon free homes only for the rich? These questions dominate the news headlines in Great Britain, which is preparing to have all new houses being built to be zero carbon by 2016. The UK government issued the strictest rules in the world on its building industry two years ago and the impact of the new regulations is drastic.
If your future is as bleak as the planet’s, you will have had visions of a cardboard box existence. Lighten up, cardboard boxes can be fun! If they come blessed with a designer’s touch, that is.
Australian architects Stutchbury and Pape designed a cardboard box that takes no more skill to put together than an average Ikea wardrobe. The house is extremely low cost in terms of daily living. For energy usage, it relies only on 12-volt batteries or photovoltaic cells. And there’s a composting system which ingeniously produces nutrient-rich water for gardening.
Green tech might thrive on clever solutions to reduce energy usage but real innovation has more to do with making production processes of tangible materials green. This is where nano technology comes into play. Estimates of the National Science Foundation reveal that by 2015 nanotechnology will be worth $1 trillion in the global economy. Over 2 million people will be working in this sector by then.
For the time being, nano-engineered products are the subject of both intense speculation and distrust. Consumers are aware of the technology’s potential, but because production processes are so intricate they display doubts about safety. Another criticism the industry suffers from is that the production of advanced materials often leads to the creation of hazardous waste that ordinary technology doesn’t know how to dispose of.
The few nano products that actually are green at the core tend to receive tons of publicity. Take the environmentally friendly gold particles for example. It’s one of the first products to hit the (manufacturing) market place and the product has great potential. GreenNano, a new nano tech company has started to commercialize the creation of gold nano particles from purely biological materials. The environmentally benign particle was invented by Kattesh Katti, a renowned professor of radiology and physics attached to MU’s School of Medicine and College of Arts and Science.
Gold particles are much in need for industrial use ranging from cancer treatment to automobile sensors to cell phones and hydrogen gas production. The method used by Katti’s company eliminates the use of synthetic chemicals involved in the production of gold nano particles.
Ben&Jerry’s struck up a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency to bring out the US’ very first eco friendly deepfreezers. If all goes to plan, ordinary citizens soon will be able to buy the machines as well.
The aptly named Greenfreeze runs on virtually zero hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and was inaugurated in Ben&Jerry’s Georgetown parlor hours ago by the owners of the shop. Ben&Jerry’s is testing out 2,000 Greenfreezers across the US.
The rise of new green jobs –in renewable energy, buildings and construction, transportation,basic industries, agriculture and forestry– is the first tangible result of efforts to tackle climate change. But that’s just about all we can say for certain. A recent UNEP report, entitled Green Jobs: Towards Decent work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World, sets out the real (future) green jobs scenario in a few brush strokes. Two buzz terms are ‘adaptation to climate change’ and ‘efforts to reduce carbon emissions’.
These two factors are going to be two continuous themes in the future green jobs sector, which yes, will see the creation of millions of new green jobs but which will also witness effects of climate change on existing jobs that are going to be rather negative.
New employer? New college? As you commit to new things in your life it’s worth finding out if your new place has an incentive scheme in place encouraging you to cycle in. More and more companies and universities are offering deals.
Ripon College in Wisconsin offers freshmen a brand-new Trek 820 mountain bike plus accessories (including a hyper expensive lock) for free if they won’t bring their car to college. Students who signed up for the deal, a phenomenal 60% of all freshmen this year, did so because they saved on petrol and they help save the environment. That’s besides getting the free wheels of course. The college itself wants to reduce its carbon footprint, save on parking spaces and encourage healthy lifestyles.
Admittedly, it’s a bit obscene to talk of a new bull market now that Wall Street is heavily sick and in need of a trillion dollar bailout. But perhaps it makes sense to do it anyway because it’s very likely that the next bull’s going to be colored brightly green.
Green investing is set to become easier as new markets are emerging and platforms dedicated to the general grey economy’s pollution problems begin to take off in earnest. “A whole new multibillion-dollar green economy will rise–and with it the kind of massive financial opportunity that could get not only America but also Wall Street back on its feet”, writes to Glenn Hurowitz in a report entitled “The Next Bull Market” in The Nation.
The new Global Carbon Budget’s out. The numbers, compiled by the Australia-based Global Carbon Project, an international consortium of scientists that tracks emissions, show that despite an increase in the international community’s efforts to combat pollution, the growth rate of the emissions continued to speed up. The recalculations indicate that atmospheric CO2 concentration was 383 parts per million (ppm) in 2007. That means that our emissions have grown four times faster since 2000 than during the previous decade.
Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel and land use change reached 10 billion tones of carbon in 2007. Natural CO2 sinks are growing but slower than the atmospheric CO2 growth, which has been increasing at 2 ppm since 2000 or 33% faster than the previous 20 years.
Optimists in the eco debate are often accused of pinning unrealistic hopes on the bet that American companies will create sophisticated technology that’s competitive. They believe the green sector will become a vital element in the economy recovery.
Whether or not this is overly confident remains to be seen. Two companies that already are active in international competition for highly sophisticated green tech are involved in a smart metering project in Ireland.
The companies, Redwood City, CA’s Trilliant and AclaraTech in Hazelwood (Mo) are competing against French telecommunications firm Sagem and Germany’s Elster Group.
Official greenhouse gas data for the direct pollution caused by cities is highly exaggerated, according to a new study published in next month’s issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization. The article points out that while Western cities are not directly as polluting as they are believed to be, they house people responsible for the bulk of our planet’s environmental problems; the shop till you drop consumer.
Cities, which are blamed for creating 75 to 80 percent of the world’s emissions, only are responsible for around half that amount, according to the article. United Nations agencies, former US President Bill Clinton’s climate change initiative and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have all stated that between 75 and 80 per cent of emissions come from cities.
Data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that only two-fifths of all greenhouse gases from human activities are generated within cities. Agriculture and deforestation account for around 30 percent, and the rest are mostly from heavy industry, wealthy households and coal, oil or gas fuelled power stations located in rural areas and in urban centres too small to be considered cities.
Greenpeace’s ranking of the greenest electronics manufacturers once again has put Nokia at the top. The ranking offers consumers a snapshot of what’s going on in electronics manufacturing and the changes that are made to improve environmental standards.
Nokia scored 7 points out of 10 and was awarded top spot due to materials used, recyclability of its goods and due its policy of actively encouraging its customers to recycle. Greenpeace reported Nokia’s improved take-back practice in India is especially exemplary of what improving your green credentials ought to be all about.