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Beijing’s “Airpocalypse” Offers Dismal View of Life in Megacities

Rapid industrialization and the relentless pursuit of GDP growth has caused an “airpocalypse” in Beijing, making China’s capital city all but uninhabitable. The Guardian’s Ian Wainwright paints a dismal portrait of how Beijing’s toxic air and the built environment, as well as the extraordinary, and extraordinarily expensive, measures city leaders and residents are considering and taking in an effort to adapt.

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New York State to Ban Fracking Due to Health Risks

NY Department of Health’s 186-page review of the state’s environmental impact statement on fracking left many stymied: How do you quantify the impact of an industry that is known to affect water quality and the environment, but hasn’t been studied enough to determine the breadth of its impact on humans? The DOH’s unusual conclusion that it can’t, led it to a not-so-unusual move by the state: It plans to ban fracking.

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South Africa Fights Blackouts with Concentrating Solar Power

Having tripled its national renewable energy targets, South Africa has awarded a contract to build a 100-MW concentrating solar power-molten salts energy storage facility. Spain’s Abengoa is leading the project development group, which has secured $1 billion of financing from a consortium of multilateral and South African banks.

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Dow Promotes the Importance of Handwashing

Dow clearly knows that handwashing is an important thing for children to do. The company recently announced its affiliation with the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPPHW) to promote the practice that can prevent diseases.

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How Toms Shoes and Warby Parker Give Differently

Companies typically execute one of two corporate social responsibility strategies: vertical or horizontal. Find out how Toms Shoes and Warby Parker use these two giving strategies to make a difference.

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16 Major Companies and Agencies Say No to Chemical Flame Retardants

Those days when parents dressed their kids in jammies that have been treated with chemical flame retardants — and tucked them into similarly treated bedding — may be coming to an end. Last week, 16 major names signed a pledge to do without furniture that has been treated with chemical flame retardants.

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The Street Store: A Lesson for the Sharing Economy?

The South Africa-based Street Store may be less than a year old, but its brand name is already recognized in cities across the globe. Its secret? It isn’t trying to sell anything. And best of all, it’s the communities its principles touch that are getting the message out. Pure sharing economy ethics 101.

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TriplePundit’s Sustainable Holiday Gift Guide

To save you some time sifting through the ever-growing — and often greenwashed — list of “eco-products,” this week we rounded up 15 sustainable presents that are sure to please everyone on your list. Holiday shopping = done.