Treehugger.com on Martha Stewart

| Thursday October 5th, 2006 | 0 Comments

If you’re like me and don’t on a TV, you don’t need to worry any more, most everything winds up on YouTube sooner or later. In the case of Simran’s appearance on the Martha Stewart Show, you’re in luck. Have a peek!

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Reverse Vending Machines Recycle

| Wednesday October 4th, 2006 | 6 Comments

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It makes perfect sense to recycle drink containers at the same location that they are purchased at. That’s the idea behind a British firm called “Reverse Vending“. The customer can drop off any number of contatiners (plastic or aluminum) and rest easy knowing that they will be properly recycled before making their next purchase. No word on whether or not the deposit earns the buyer a discount.
(Image from springwise, tip thx Jamie)

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Mine Your Own Business, er… Interest

| Wednesday October 4th, 2006 | 28 Comments

miniung.jpgThere has been a spate of strange anti-environmentalist propaganda hitting the internet and cinema lately, see the CEI ads and Al Gore’s Penguin Army for examples. But it seems these strange, highly funded attacks keep coming. Here’s one called “Mine your own business“. It’s a film that roughly claims that environmentalism is an evil force that wants to keep people in poverty, as “happy peasants”. It actually looks pretty funny.
I asked some Presidio students to come up with a response to this and Orion Fulton hit back with a nice piece of satire….

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Simran Sethi Taking Martha Stewart Green this Week

| Monday October 2nd, 2006 | 2 Comments

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Martha Stewart is going green this week and she’s being led by none other than Presidio MBA grad and TreeHuggerTV host, Simran Sethi.
Tune in on Wednesday morning, Octover 4th as Simran represents TreehuggerTV. To find out when and where, go to this website and slap in your zip code (ignore the chevy suburban).
To make things even cooler, Simran’s segment follows Mr T. No idea what he’s up to, but Simran intends to inquire…

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A Little Slice of Florida In This Week’s Carnival of the Green

| Monday October 2nd, 2006 | 0 Comments

cotg.gifThis week’s carnival of the green is a virtual tour through the natural and urban wonders of Miami, courtesy of “Greener Miami”.

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AskPablo: Mercury in Compact Flourescent Bulbs

| Monday October 2nd, 2006 | 20 Comments

cfl_curled.jpgWell, another week is here, another weekend is gone, and it’s time for another installment of AskPablo. I hope that some of you got a chance to see the West Coast Green Conference/Expo. Let me know if you had any suitable AskPablo questions come up. This week we will be looking at another comparison between two alternatives: incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Last year someone raised the point that CFLs contain mercury and asked me to justify his purchase of them. Do you really want the answer? Enter if you dare.

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Say what you mean and mean what you say: Socially Responsible Investment in Europe

| Friday September 29th, 2006 | 0 Comments

As Europeans headed for their long-awaited summer holidays, bankers had good reason to celebrate. The annual return across the board has been exceptionally favorable. For green and ethical fund managers it has been a bumper year. As of June 2005, there were 375 “socially responsible” funds available to investors in Europe, 6 % more than the year before, and this year promises similar growth in funds using ethical, social and environmental criterion for portfolio development.
From the second quarter of 2004 to the same period in 2005, managed “ethical” assets grew 27%, from 19 billion to 24 billion mid term 2005. The U.K. leads the ethical banking community in Europe. 33.2% of the SRI funds offered to the public are registered there. France is considered the strongest growth market based upon the value of assets under management and a 20% growth rate in the number of funds offered for the second consecutive year. Sweden and Italy make up another 10% of the market for SRI products.

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United Airlines Promoting Green Cities

| Thursday September 28th, 2006 | 0 Comments

usl.jpgSay what you will about the problems of aircraft emissions, but I was very pleased to find an excellent article on urban forestry in this month’s Hemispheres Magazine on United Airlines. The article, entitled “Save the Shade” is one of the best “entry level” articles I’ve ever read on the subject of urban trees – running down 6 major benefits that many people on board the flight had probably not considered, from the economic to the psychological. It’s an article worth saving and passing around to people who might not already be the ‘greenest’ folks in your network, and also a great piece to keep on file for your own reference.

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Fair Trade Sports Aims to Even the Score

| Wednesday September 27th, 2006 | 2 Comments

FairTradeSoccerBall.jpgFair trade coffee is now a household word, but why not fair trade soccer balls? Although sports gear manufacturing may not impact as many people as the coffee industry, it’s a highly visible part of culture the world over with kids of all economic backgrounds involved in sports in one way or another. Making a statement with fair trade produced sports balls and other gear is bound to sink into the hearts and minds of the kids playing with the gear on all corners of the globe. Fair trade sports aims to make this happen with balls and other products supplied from sources with decent wages, health care, etc… Seems like a great business, although I haven’t seen any evidence of third-party verification of their practices.
Website: www.fairtradesports.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/fairtradesports

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Omaha Beach Revisited: “Attitudes need to change”

| Wednesday September 27th, 2006 | 0 Comments

beach_norm.jpgAccording to Costa Christ, director the Bar Harbor, Maine Chamber of Commerce and expert in international travel, tourism currently represents 83% of worldwide export trade. To put this figure in a meaningful context, he adds that tourism is the largest non-military service sector in the world. Travel and tourism spending exceeded $6 trillion globally in 2005, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
If you were a mayor of a coastal city or town anywhere in the world, on what would you base your community’s development strategy? Tourism, of course, which since the 1960´s has often meant creating pristine white beaches where nature never intended them to be and using mechanical sweepers to remove what the sea leaves behind every day at low tide. The French Conservatoire du Littoral, however, is campaigning to leave the beaches “au natural” and hopes that environmentally minded tourists will “vote with their flip-flops” for beach resorts that opt to let Mother Nature do her thing.
Article Here

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When Whole Foods Comes to Town, The Little Guys Do Fine

| Tuesday September 26th, 2006 | 1 Comment

whole_foods.jpgSome people are hard to satisfy – in one breath praising Whole Foods for their ability to mainstream organics and healthier food, in the other complaining about high prices and Whole Food’s effect on smaller local competition as if they were the next WalMart. Fair enough, if I were a small organic retailer in some place like Milwaukee I would certainly have concerns about the arrival of a gigantic fancy new Whole Foods store.
Nonetheless, at least in the Milwaukee example and according to this article, smaler retailers and co-ops are taking it all in stride. The smaller businesses say that they are seeing increased competition to sell organics and quality in general, so the arrival of Whole Foods is merely part of a trend they have been preparing for for quite some time. Secondly, smaller businesses may have greater ability to source locally and “raise the bar’ above what Whole Foods can do, becoming better stores an even more discerning public. Read the comments for more interesting perspectives.

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EcoStreet Hosts Carnival of the Green #46

| Monday September 25th, 2006 | 0 Comments

cotg.gifIt’s time for the latest installment of the “Carnival of the Green”. This time it’s over at “EcoStreet” … check it out.

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AskPablo: Bottles and Cans (just clap your hands)

| Monday September 25th, 2006 | 5 Comments

md_bkbh501012.jpgHello friends! This week we are talking about a subject that is very dear to my heart, beer (Hooray Beer!). This weekend I spoke to the students at Hunter Lovins’ “Principles of Sustainable Management” class at the Presidio School of Management about measuring sustainability as well as the Wuppertal Institute‘s “MIPS” Material Intensity Analysis method. I decided to create a hands-on example just to give them a taste of my favorite kind of headache… Since the results were interesting, and I’m too busy to do two MIPS analyses in one weekend, I am sharing it with you. Pop open a cold one (but only if it’s after five somewhere…) and enjoy!
Pablo’s Microbrew has a problem… They want to sell beer on the East Coast but need to select a container. Since they are a sustainable company they want to minimize their impact on the environment. Should they use aluminum cans or glass bottles?

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From Parks and Rec in Europe to the Pittsburgh Pirates – Transforming supply chains through Ethical Procurement

| Friday September 22nd, 2006 | 5 Comments

pirates.jpgIn Europe, pressure to have verifiable quality ratings recognized throughout the European Union has corporations working hard to obtain the ISOs necessary to sell their goods throughout the E.U. and keep pace with the competition, but with increasing numbers of suppliers located in developing, non-unionized countries, certifying sources and achieving anything close to socially responsible procurement is still a problem throughout the continent.

euroflag2.jpgSince the 1990s, community groups have engaged in individual campaigns primarily aimed at boycotting both European and foreign manufacturers who violated human rights or harmed the environment. These actions made companies and consumers aware of the social liability of doing trade with ethically dubious corporations, but did not result in stronger networks that worked with and rewarded compliant suppliers. Local and regional governments began to respond to citizen pressure for ethical practices in government procurement and since 2003, an increasing number of local governments throughout Europe have been working jointly to establish and enforce mandatory ethical standards for their suppliers. One such network is “Clean Clothes Communities“, which is focused on workers´ rights in the textile trade.

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Plan Resonate’s Observations on the IBM Innovation Jam

| Wednesday September 20th, 2006 | 1 Comment

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IBM is currently running something they call the “Innovation Jam” an online event that purports to be a sort of “giant brainstorm” for IBM and various invited participants. Among the issues discussed are energy and social & environmental sustainability, and how IBM can get involved and thrive. The cynics on Digg have basically dismissed it as a ploy to get free consulting, but even with a selfish motive there is still some interesting conversation coming out.
Jeff Osborne at Plan Resonate has been keeping a pretty solid tally of what’s been discussed that has relevence to those of us interested in sustainability. Among the better conversations are “implementing sustainable management at IBM” and “incentives for IBM to become involved in the carbon markets”.

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