Sustainable Strategies for Medicinal Plants

Medicinal plant biodiversity in India has different interest groups. Traditional communities have depended on plants to meet their basic needs over centuries. The pharmaceutical industry views plant wealth as a source of income. The modern medicine world perceives plants as a panacea for many ills. Despite this, there is no consolidated strategy to conserve medicinal … Continued


Journey to Forever reasons for learning to make biodiesel and ethanol: * A renewable fuel for our vehicles. * As an environmental project for local schools. * A means to improve energy self-reliance in rural communities. Both biodiesel and ethanol are clean, grow-your-own fuels that can be made on-site in small villages from renewable, locally … Continued

Coca-Cola Japan Making Power from Tea Leaves

Coke Japan uses a methane fermentation processing unit to make energy from the coffee grounds and used tealeaves generated during the beverage manufacturing process. The scheme lowers operating costs by reducing waste volume, not to mention the transport costs and the added bonus of methane generated electricity.

Polluters: Insurance Should Cover it.

Figuring out who pays the financial costs to clean up pollution is not as simple as it sounds. Paper firms in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley are asking their insurance companies to foot the bill. If successful, this may raise premiums across the board, or it will enourage insurance companies be more skeptical of their clients.

Green Car Rentals Grow

Leaving the big boys behind, numerous small independant car rental companies are sprining up to take advatnage of the growing demand for “green” cars, like the Toyota Prius. Bio-Beetle of Maui is one example recentely highlighted in the NY Times. High gas prices are another reason why renting green is an attractive option. These days, … Continued

Cognitive Economics

Classic economic theory is being seen as increasingly incompatible with sustainability. Ideas integral to it, such as Increased individual happiness being directly correlated with increased consumption, are subject to ever increasing scrutiny. Cognitive economics sees the processes of individual and collective fiscal reasoning as a far less linear process, and incorporates a myriad of methods … Continued

Wind Energy Payback Dubious?

A German study recently concluded “wind farms are an expensive and inefficient way of generating sustainable energy” and that a far more cost effective method of reducing the ramifications of demand is to make houses more energy efficient. The study did not go so far as to condemn wind energy generation, suggesting a mix of … Continued

Canada Gas Tax Going to Cities

Anyone who’s ever calculated the real price of gasoline knows the many other ways in which we pay to keep gas cheap. This is the basis for justifying the use of gas tax revenue to support things other than highways, for example, public transit and other civic projects. Canadian cities have taken advantage of this … Continued

SET Inventors Challenge

Are your business plan writing skills up for a challenge? The SET inventors challege is a mission to commercialize technologies that benefit the devloping world. They’re offering a competition open to grad students and professionals alike with two cash prizes for “best SROI analysis” and the plan “Most Likely to Create Major Benefits Overall”. [via … Continued

Bankruptcy for Amtrak? Bad Idea.

Forth in a series:Richard Schwartz of NY Daily News makes mincemeat of Mineta’s Proposal to kill Amtrak funds. He argus that while Amtrak subsidies have totaled $27Billion since inception, highways and aviation have received $1.9 Trillion. Most scathingly: Now take a look at Mineta’s request under the “Office of the Secretary.” That includes planners, computers … Continued

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A New Day Dawns for Sailing Ships

After all those calculations about how many gallons of diesel fuel you burned moving those widgets from Singapore to Long Beach, you can let your guilt down a notch. Sailing vessels are back. SkySails is a Danish firm who claim they can reduce fuel consumption by up to 50% by attaching enormous kite-like sails to … Continued

Mineta on Amtrak: Pull the Life Support

Third in a series: Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta backs the Presidents plan to cut Amtrak subsidies saying it is, ironically, the only way to improve passenger rail. He notes that since cuts were announced, “something interesting has happened: lawmakers, journalists and citizens are starting to talk seriously about the future of passenger trains in America.” … Continued

FreePlay Winds up More than Energy

FreePlay is an innovative company which manufactures battery-free electric gadgets such as flashlights and radios that can be wound up for power – ideal for the developing world, and a lot more sustainable. It’s been such a success, that a £10.6 million stock market float is in the works. Look for a lot more from … Continued

Solar Tower Closer to Reality

Australia’s ambitous Solar Tower project took a leap forward recently with the announcment of an approved location – a sheep ranch in the outback of New South Wales. The epic project – a 3,000+ foot tall chimney (dwarfing anything that has ever been built) that will use the principals of heat convection to generate an … Continued