Finch Paper Launches Forest Management Service

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Tuesday July 14th, 2009 | 0 Comments

256px-Long_Pond_-_St_Regis.jpgFinch Paper LLC formed a forest management company last month called Finch Forest Management. The foresters will provide consulting forestry services to clients, and have Society of American Foresters’ Certified Forester credentials. They assist landowners who want to achieve third-party certification.
Finch foresters will prepare long-term management plans for its clients, which will include responsible timber harvesting, and identifying opportunities for forest owners to lease their lands for activities that will not negatively impact the forest. The foresters will help owners earn management certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

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Singtex Produces Fabric from Waste Coffee Grounds

| Tuesday July 14th, 2009 | 2 Comments

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Singtex Industrial Co., a Taiwanese fabric producer, has embraced the sustainable fabric craze, but with a caffeinated twist: recycled coffee grounds. The company’s S. Cafe material uses fibers from grounds to purportedly produce a fabric that is quick-drying, controls odors, and protects wearers from harmful UV rays.

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Cap and Trade for Fish?

| Tuesday July 14th, 2009 | 1 Comment

codhead.jpgWhile Congress debates the value of cap-and-trade for carbon emissions, fishermen around the US and the globe have already implemented various cap-and-trade schemes to prevent depletion of fish stocks.
This summer, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration established a task force to accelerate development of cap and trade policies (which NOAA calls “catch share”) in US fisheries.

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AAA: Promoting Highway Safety and… Eco-Travel?

| Tuesday July 14th, 2009 | 2 Comments

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Soon, a Google search for “green travel guides” may produce an unexpected result: AAA. Although it’s among the nation’s leading travel coordinators, the company may not be the first to come to mind when one thinks of sustainability. In upcoming TourBook editions, however, AAA will include “eco friendly” in its list of offerings, designating properties that promote environmental and energy conservation as “green” with an “eco” icon. To think I only associated AAA with my car breaking down….

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“Father” of GM’s Chevy Volt Leaves Retirement to Rejoin Workforce

| Monday July 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

bob-lutz-GM.jpgMore than just General Motors’ finances have emerged from decline this week. The company’s heavy-hitting product promoter, Bob Lutz, re-joined the workforce after retiring just a few months ago. Lutz was the “father” – the driving promotional force – of the GM Chevy Volt, GM’s first extended-range electric vehicle, by which the company hopes to compete with rivals with hybrid models. (The Chevy Volt is scheduled for release in 2010.) Lutz has the product development and promotion skills necessary, some suggest, to sell vehicles to skittish and cash-strapped consumers.

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Why Google Chrome OS Is Good for Business and the Environment

Andy Greene | Monday July 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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In case you haven’t heard, Google has decided to challenge the 800 pound gorilla in the computer world, Microsoft. With the announcement of the Google operating system called Chrome OS, Google looks to turn the technology world on its head.
What does this mean for business and the planet itself? More than you may think.
Netbook Compatibility
One of the main advantages of Chrome OS is that it is made to work with netbooks (those cool little laptops that use minimal power). Microsoft XP and Vista were not meant for netbooks, so this leads to sluggish performance and strange errors. There has been much hype about how netbooks will change how businesses and individuals interact with computers. Without an efficient operating system, many businesses do not see the benefit of switching to netbooks. Now that Chrome OS is raising the bar on OS performance, you can expect a competitive response from Microsoft. In the end, this will benefit the consumer. Microsoft has controlled the OS market for almost twenty years now and this new found competition will benefit computers users worldwide.

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Greenwash Alert: Lucky Supermarkets Announce Indoor Farmers Markets

| Monday July 13th, 2009 | 8 Comments

Lucky%20Supermarket.jpg As I listened to the radio yesterday evening, enjoying the warm summer evening in my suburban Bay Area neighborhood, an interest commercial came on, nestled somewhere in between the ad for the cell phone carriers and the dating website. Lucky Supermarkets, a Northern California entity of the Save Mart chain, will now feature indoor farmers markets in select locations.
The commercial took the form of two country folk talking about what it was like to be indoors, following the assumption that neither had ever actually been indoors before. Aside from the questionable production value of the ad itself, it made me think about what the supermarket chain was really offering.
Fresh, local, and sometimes organic produce… great. It’s wonderful that a supermarket chain that caters to the bargain shopper would want to promote local farmers and fresh and organic produce. But–and this is a fairly large but–how will this be different from the normal produce section? More importantly, why don’t they just make the items offered at the farmers market the normal produce section itself? This, unfortunately, seems to be yet another moment of wanting to capitalize on the green, organic craze rather than a more sincere attempt to provide a better, more meaningful product to its consumers. Better luck next time Lucky…

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How Incentives Help Commercial Building Retrofits

| Monday July 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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Rising electricity prices, climate change and a sagging economy are driving public and private institutions to focus on energy efficiency in the built environment. Before the economy soured, the focus was on constructing high performance buildings, but after lending dried up, a renewed interest emerged in improving energy consumption in our aging infrastructure through retrofits.
The fact is that over 80 percent of our existing commercial building stock will still be standing 10-15 years from now. Smart building technologies geared towards the retrofit market promise substantial energy savings. These technologies, coupled with targeted federal incentives, could mean a fundamental shift in the way our buildings use energy.

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How to Avoid Cash Flow Problems When Implementing Eco-Upgrades

3p Contributor | Monday July 13th, 2009 | 4 Comments

By Eric Cohen of Padosa.com: Helping Small Companies Get Green

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There is an assumption among sustainability vendors that a project with a short payback – under a year – is sure to get signed off on. I think this is a realistic expectation for a big company who is concerned with sustainability. I don’t think it is realistic for a small company, under $50M in revenue.
I have had a number of vendors propose sustainability projects – lighting, transformers, supply chain, etc. – to small companies that lacked a green strategy. These projects:
1) Had short paybacks of no more than 2 years, and often under a year
2) Were visible projects that would earn the company some green credibility
3) Were relatively easy to implement
Despite these benefits, it is difficult to get small companies to approve these projects unless they have a sustainability strategy in place. What is the hesitation? It is all about cashflow. Regardless of payback, a $40,000 lighting project still requires an investment of $40,000 out of what is likely a difficult cash situation. These companies need to use their cash to fund growth and a lighting upgrade won’t do that.

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Wine Tastings, Crab Cakes and Great Scenery – Is This Why Amtrak Is Rising?

Scott Cooney | Monday July 13th, 2009 | 3 Comments

coaststarlight.jpgAmtrak, the nation’s passenger rail system, has been declared dead so many times, it must feel like the characters in Monty Python’s SPAM-A-LOT musical. Amtrak’s been an easy punching bag for politicians railing (yes, pun intended) against federal programs that don’t pay for themselves.
But the last few years have seen big increases in ridership for Amtrak, begging the question: Is Amtrak finally on its way to self-sufficiency? With a much more efficient method for transporting passengers than aviation, does passenger rail get a boost from the coming legislation on climate change?
As a writer dedicated to getting out in the field and conducting research, I decided to hop a ride on the Coast Starlight train from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area to see what the nation’s renewed interest in Amtrak was all about.

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Smart Grid Stimulus Funding: Dollars May Start Flowing Soon

| Monday July 13th, 2009 | 2 Comments

Smart GridBy Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact
If you are anything like me, you might be wondering, where is all the stimulus money we keep hearing about?
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced June 25th that approximately $3.4 billion is expected to be available for Smart Grid Investment Grants (SMIG).

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U.S. to Provide $3 Billion for Development of Renewable Energy

| Saturday July 11th, 2009 | 0 Comments

wind-turbineThe Treasury and Energy Departments revealed guidelines for a plan that will provide $3 billion toward the development of renewable energy nationwide. The plan is expected to spur investment in clean energy by companies in the private sector (in both urban and rural America), create jobs, and allow the U.S. to meet its goal of doubling renewable energy production over the next three years.

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“Cash for Clunkers” Program Allows for Trade-in of Fuel-Inefficient Vehicles

| Saturday July 11th, 2009 | 2 Comments

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Consumers and auto dealers alike are enthusiastic about a new $1 billion “Cash for Clunkers” bill signed into law by the Obama administration in June. The bill created the CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System), which credits between $3,500 and $4,500 to consumers who swap aging, gas-guzzling vehicles (including SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks) for newer, more fuel-efficient models.

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Earthbound Farm and Naked Juice Switch to All Recycled Packaging

| Saturday July 11th, 2009 | 2 Comments

Nakedjuice.jpgPepsi Co.-owned Naked Juice, and organic salad giant Earthbound Farm (no, not that giant) separately announced Thursday they were switching to all-recycled plastic for their container needs. Earthbound Farm’s announcement is the first by a cut-salad producer.
Naked Juice, the all-juice company with the spectacularly fruity website, said they plan to transition their entire product line to 100% recycled bottles by 2011, which would make them the first nationally distributed brand to do so, according to a company press release.
Which is kind of shocking.

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Runners Rejoice: New Balance Adds Eco-Friendly Line

| Saturday July 11th, 2009 | 10 Comments

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New Balance claims that its products are “proof that U.S. manufacturing can and does work”. Given the obvious need for U.S. manufacturers to create products that are eco- as well as economically-friendly, the company has made good on its claim by creating a new line of eco-friendly shoes: The New Balance 70, to be included in the company’s line of outdoor apparel. Now runners who are also sustainability enthusiasts can hit the pavement in style and integrity.

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