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Archive for the 'Sustainable Business' Category

HEALTH WATCH! SCIENTISTS DISCOVER HOW TO GROW PORK, CHICKEN, AND BEEF THROUGH CELL CULTURE IN VATS

Posted in Corporate Polluters, Global Warming, Health Watch, Humane Treatment of Animals, New Scientific Data, News Brief, Sustainable Business on April 15th, 2008

HOW LONG BEFORE YOU CAN EAT MEAT AND BE ETHICAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL, TOO?

cattle.jpegWouldn’t it be kinda nifty if it were possible to have all of the pork, chicken, and beef that anyone would ever want to chow down on, without the environmental and ethical consequences created by the outdated and barbaric process of raising and slaughtering cattle for food?

Well, thankfully the lab coat and pocket protector set think that this is as important as I do and have figured out a way to do something about it.

Their discovery, a procedure, known as Cultured Meat Technology, while still in its infancy, will in the years to come eliminate the need for most of the feedlots and slaughterhouses scattered around our world today, by making it possible to produce ample supplies of different meats through cell culture in vats.

Besides the fact that this new procedure will allow scientists to produce products high in beneficial nutrients and low in heart-debilitating fats, it will make it possible for us to eliminate several of the most prolific sources of methane gas production in our world today. A colorless, odorless gas, methane from cow belches and lower gastric discharges is a potent, greenhouse gas, as it traps 21 times more heat within our atmosphere than carbon dioxide, our most common and best known greenhouse gas.

To help wrap you mind around the scope of the methane issue and how important this discovery is to our continued existence on this planet, it’s important to understand that the methane released by the 1.3 billion cows alive on our planet today, (100 million in the US alone), is more harmful than all of the carbon monoxide fumes generated by all of the cars, trucks and planes in use today.

This does not mean that if we fix this problem, we can all run out and order without consequence, a three-ton gas-guzzler. No way, Jose! What it does mean is that, perhaps, we have bought ourselves a little time-out in our rush to destruction, time, which hopefully we will not squander with distractions, as has been our society’s ongoing MO.

The time has come when we as a civilized people can no longer allow the poorer nations of the earth to bulldoze large swaths of rain forest land to make way for cattle grazing as our society struggles to produce enough meats to supply the needs of the almost 9 billion people who currently call this planet home. Now why they cannot eat more meat substitutes, more tofu, tofutti, tempeh etc., is beyond me, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

-LIB

CONTINUE READING –

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RECYCLING OLD TECHNO TRASH

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Responsibility, Eco Warriors, News Brief, Sustainable Business on March 24th, 2008

NEW BUYBACK PROGRAMS AIM TO TURN USED ELECTRONIC TRASH TO CASH

computer.pngEver wonder where that mountain of old, outdated electronic trash eventually winds up? Or are you the sort of person that once they have decided to give something the boot could care less what eventually happens to it?

Well, regardless of where you come down on this issue, a new way of dealing with the problem of outdated technology is about to make its presence felt. Yes my friends, by
the time that you read this plans will be in place for the major electronic retailers to take your old outdated junk in trade for store credit towards a new purchase.

The program is the brainchild of NEW Customer Service Co., the people who provide many of the extended warranty plans and protection programs for retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Joining Customer Service Co. in this exciting new business model is another company, TechForward.

The latter company plans to offer a guaranteed buyback program similar to the optional extended warranty services offered by many consumer electronic retail stores.

According to a story published today by Reuters, both companies will evaluate the condition of the devices returned, wipe clean the hard drives and either resell the refurbished devices online or harvest the components and sell them as salvage parts.

While no one will get rich on these transactions, it
will be good to know that these products will be properly disposed of and not just dumped into some landfill somewhere in the far east.

-LIB

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GUITAR MAKERS MARTIN, GIBSON, FENDER, TAYLOR AND YAMAHA PARTNER WITH GREENPEACE TO PRESERVE THEIR SUPPLY OF OLD-GROWTH WOOD

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Responsibility, Eco -Chic, Sustainable Business on March 24th, 2008

SITKA SPRUCE, A KEY MATERIAL IN GUITAR AND PIANO SOUNDBOARDS IS THE FIRST TO RECEIVE THE COLLECTIVE’S SCRUTINY

martinguitar.jpgSome of the most sought-after woods used in guitar construction come from trees that can take hundreds of years to develop their acoustic characteristics. To protect their supplies of this wood, a collective comprised of leading guitar makers Martin, Gibson, Fender, Taylor, Yamaha and others have partnered with Greenpeace on its Music Wood campaign.

The goal of this new alliance is to protect the planet’s supply of old-growth wood from clear-cutting, the dreadful industry practice where all trees within a designated area are removed with absolutely no regard for the trees age or specific value.

The first such wood to receive the collective’s scrutiny is Sitka spruce, a key material in guitar and piano soundboards. The wood’s main supplier, Sealaska, has already agreed to a preliminary audit of its logging practices. A full assessment by third parties accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council is set to take place in summer 2008, and if Alaska-based Sealaska decides to implement their recommended reforms and apply for full FSC certification, it will be on the road to more selective logging and consideration of surrounding habitats before it cuts.

While there have been many advancements in recent years in constructing guitars from composite substances, for many of us old time guitar fanatics, there is nothing like a wooden guitar.

Let’s hope that we will continue to have that option.

-LIB

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GREEN ENERGY INDUSTRY TAKES ROOT IN CALIFORNIA

Posted in Alternative Energy, Cool Products, Eco -Chic, Ethical Business, Ethical Living, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business, Sustainable Living on February 2nd, 2008

IN RECENT MONTHS, THE INDUSTRY HAS ADDED SEVERAL THOUSAND JOBS IN THE PRODUCTION OF SOLAR ENERGY CELLS AND INSTALLATION OF SOLAR PANELS ON ROOFS

solarmodul1.JPGAs of this writing, three-quarters of the nations demand for solar energy and equiptment comes from residents and companies in California. This is not all that surprising considering that California has among the most warm, sunny days of any of the continental states.

But will it continue a grow to be a mainstream industry, or will it be doomed to fall by the wayside the way it did during the last solar boom in the 1970’s?

To be successful and more than a passing fad, solar energy needs to pass through to the mainstream and not be limited to the elite fringes of California society, as it is today.

In the posting linked below, MATT RICHTEL and JOHN MARKOFF of the New York Times take a closer look at this and other questions facing this fledging industry as it attempts to transition into the west coast’s go-to employer for the twenty -first century.

-LIB

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ECO-FRIENDLY PLACES TO EAT IN LOS ANGELES

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Health Watch, Healthy Food, Sustainable Business, Sustainable Living on February 2nd, 2008

WITH VALENTINE’S DAY RAPIDLY APPROACHING, THE BEST PLACES TO TAKE YOUR SWEETIE FOR A GREEN-FRIENDLY MEAL

tastebuds0802.jpgIt wasn’t all that long ago that one would have to travel to the opposite end of Los Angeles for a truly tasty, environmentally responsible meal. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, a fact which is borne out by some of the restaurants featured in this posting from Los Angeles, Whole Life Times, monthly.

So whether you are looking for that perfect place to take that special someone for a memorable Valentine’s Dinner, or are just a hungry man or woman in search of a good meal without the guilt, which can accompany a feast at some of the more mainstream restaurants, give one of the locations on this list a try. As one who has sampled the cuisine at several of the featured restaurants, I can tell you that you will be glad that you did.

-LIB

READ MORE….

Whole Life Times Website

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GOOGLE MOVES INTO RENEWABLE ENERGY BUSINESS

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, Corporate Responsibility, Eco -Chic, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business on November 28th, 2007

PLANS TO POUR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO A QUEST TO LOWER THE COST OF PRODUCING ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES SUCH AS WIND AND THE SUN.

windturbin1.jpgIf Google realizes its goal, the cost of solar power should fall by 25 to 50 percent, co-founder Larry Page said in an interview.

The Mountain View-based company initially hopes to harvest cleaner-burning electricity to meet its own needs and sell power to other users or license the technology that emerges from its initiative, dubbed “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal.”

“If we achieve these goals, we are going to be in the (electricity) business in a very big way,” Page said. “We should be able to make a lot of money from this.”

More…

Source: The Associated Press

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SUSTAINABLE COSMETICS GURU, DAME ANITA RODDICK, DEAD OF BRAIN HEMORRHAGE

Posted in Conscious Actions, Cool Products, Corporate Responsibility, Eco -Chic, Ethical Business, News Brief, Sustainable Business on September 12th, 2007

RODDICK USED HER SUCCESS AS A BUSINESSWOMAN TO AID ORPHANS IN ROMANIA, SPONSOR FOOD AND SHELTER PROGRAMS FOR THE HOMELESS IN LONDON AND HELP MANY HUMAN GLOBAL RIGHTS AGENCIES.

anitaroddick.jpgThe environment lost a friend yesterday with the passing from a brain hemorrhage of cosmetics entrepreneur, Anita Roddick. Ms. Roddick, the founder of cosmetics manufacturer/retailer, the Body Shop. was 64 years old.

A true eco-warrior, Anita Roddick, was one of the first modern day entrepreneurs to practice sustainable business practices. This was decades before they would fashionably break into mainstream business.

But fashion, or at least the ‘putting on airs’ was not what this courageous cosmetics entrepreneur was all about. Leveraging her position, and the Body Shop’s global network of stores – over two thousand at last count –to fight for what she believed in, was.

This included, in the early days of her career, fighting to ban the then industry standard of testing new product formulas on animals.

Today it is quite common to see the words ‘not tested on animals’ displayed prominently on many of the world’s finest cosmetic and beauty product packages. But this was not the case in the late 1970’s when the Body Shop and Ms. Roddick were starting out.

But then, it wasn’t fashionable either – particularly not for a woman – to use one’s purchasing muscle to bring about real, tangible changes in the lives of those from whom it purchased it’s supplies. Which is precisely what Ms. Roddick did with her now famous “Trade not Aid” campaign.

Believing that it was far better to offer indigenous people a path to financial self-sufficiency than a one time financial handout, the Body Shop, under Ms. Roddick’s leadership, instituted “Trade not Aid”, which was a policy of puerchasing, whenever possible, many of the raw ingredients featured in the company’s proprietary line of sustainable beauty products and cosmetics, from indigenous tribes in remote areas of the world.

A major success, “Trade not Aid”, created a ripple in the continuum that will be felt for generations to come through the contributions of the descendants of those whom the program helped. A more fitting legacy than this one could not hope to achieve.

And to think that it all started in a dingy little store that was in such bad repair that Ms. Roddick had to use common house paint –in this case the green color that would be closely associated with the Body Shop over the years – to cover up the mold that was slowly overtaking the premises.

But humble conditions notwithstanding, this first store was also the birthplace of many of the concepts, which would set the Body Shop apart from other companies in it’s industry.

Perhaps the best known of these was the company’s container recycling campaign, which encouraged Body Shop customers to return empty product bottles to the store for refilling. This enabled the customer to save a little money on the purchase and created less waste to wind up in already overcrowded landfills.

But the story of Anita Roddick does not end with the Body Shop, and her achievements in that context. There is more, far more. In recent years, after relinquishing day-to-day control of the Body Shop to professional managers, Ms. Roddick refocused her boundless energy on a cause close to her heart, that of human rights, specifically, Third World debt relief, aiding orphans in Romania, and closer to home sponsoring food and shelter campaigns for the homeless in London.

It is in these areas where Ms. Roddick’s loss will truly be felt.

RIP “Queen of Green”. You have set an example we will be hard pressed to follow. But try we will.

-LIB

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TIPS ON EASY AND QUICK WAYS TO GREEN YOUR OFFICE

Posted in Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors, Miscellaneous, Sustainable Business on August 16th, 2007

REMEMBER: GOING GREEN IS MORE THAN JUST A MARKETING SOLUTION, IT’S THE NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS

a5bb51c7288bc1d456e1d7aaf6f05e18.jpgSometimes the greatest teachers are the ones that frame their material in the simplest, most accessible way. This is precisely what this posting from today’s GREEN OPTIONS does.

Living by green standards and principles will only successfully impact the future of planet earth if we all get on board. The time for action is upon us.

Do your part. Consider sharing this posting with as many friends and collegues as possible. Post it at work. Discuss the points outlined here at the next staff meeting. There is nothing on this list that is cost prohibitive or that would be that difficult to put in place. The planet and all of the rest of us will thank your for your actions.

-LIB

LIGHTER FOOTSTEP: 12 WAYS TO GREEN YOUR 21ST CENTURY BUSINESS

By Chris Baskind

Share the ride
Organizing an office carpool can be as easy as posting a notice on your lunchroom bulletin board. While the immediate personal benefits are obvious — reducing employee impact on traffic while preserving our finite energy resources — it’s a great team-builder, too. Look for opportunities to place notices on company intranets and newsletters, and consider incentives for groups which manage to organize and sustain meaningful ride-sharing.

Shut down electronics at night
Every night, computers display screensavers to millions of perfectly empty cubicles. While it’s convenient to be checking email within moments of picking up your morning coffee, a computer works approximately as hard to produce a screensaver as a spreadsheet or any other routine task. That means many office computers waste twice as much power idling as they do actually working. Take a moment to shut down at the end of the day. Modern desktops boot fairly quickly, and you’ll save thousands of watts per year.

Get paperless
Moving to digital documents — through creation or by scanning paper documents into a database — is usually mentioned as a means to save trees and paper. This is true. But the biggest payoff, from a business standpoint, is in data recall. Most modern desktop operating systems now feature robust search functions which drill deep into a document text’s and its particulars, such as who originated it and when. Paperless offices can save storage space and thousands of man hours each year, just by getting their data off paper and onto networks where people can access the information. It’s win-win: save forests and precious time with digital documents.

Recycle the paper you must use
Whether you’re disposing of scanned documents or just juggling the little scraps of paper than tend to multiply like bunnies around the office, recycling is a no-brainer. Not only is it kinder to the environment, recyclable paper may actually be a salable commodity for larger offices and businesses. Set up convenient recycling hoppers around your workplace, along with smaller bins for each desk and cubicle. There’s no reason the zero waste can’t mean the office, too.

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FORMER COAL MINE TO HOUSE SIXTY-SIX WIND TURBINES

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Ethical Business, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business on July 18th, 2007

NEW FACILITY WILL GENERATE ABOUT 99 MEGAWATTS

windturbin1.jpg Pacific Power has announced it applied for approval to turn a former Wyoming coal mine into a wind farm.

Regulators in Wyoming received the request for approval to install 66 wind turbines at a former coal mine, the Portland Business Journal reported.

The Glenrock Wind Energy Project would be built at the site of Pacific Power’s Dave Johnston Coal Mine and is expected to be able to generate about 99 megawatts.

The coal mine had been in operation for about 40 years until it was shut down in 2000.

Source: UPI

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GOOGLE TO GIVE TEN MILLION IN GRANTS TO HELP COMMERCIALIZE PLUG-IN HYBRIDS AND FULLY ELECTRIC VEHICLES.

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Conscious Actions, Cool Products, Eco -Chic, Ethical Business, News Brief, Sustainable Business on June 24th, 2007

GOOGLE IS BACKING FUEL-EFFICIENT, HYBRID CARS AS PART OF A PLAN TO MAKE THE ENTIRE FIRM CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2008.

pluginhybrid.jpgGoogle’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, will give $1m in grants to encourage the adoption of hybrids.

It has pledged a further $10m to help commercialise plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles.

“We believe our support can stimulate public consumption,” said Urs Hoelzle, Google’s operations senior vice president.

“These types of cars could make a big difference in how much carbon they produce,” he added.

Power producer

The firm said the hybrid vehicles produced 65% fewer CO2 emissions than the average car in Europe.

Google’s own fleet will be converted to hybrid technology and the firm will look for grant proposals to promote further use of fuel-efficient cars later in the year.

Google said it was investing in renewable energy sources and offsetting emissions that could not be eliminated directly, in order to go carbon neutral.

The US web giant announced it had finished phase one of a 1.6-megawatt solar panel system at its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

It will provide almost a third of the HQ’s energy needs. The firm has also committed to creating an additional 50 megawatts of renewable energy by 2012 – enough to power 50,000 homes.

MORE….

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