20 May 2013
In her keynote speech at last year’s annual Netroots Nation gathering, Darcy Burner pitched a seemingly simple idea to the thousands of bloggers and web developers in the audience. The formerMicrosoft MSFT +0.6% programmer and congressional candidate proposed a smartphone app allowing shoppers to swipe barcodes to check whether conservative billionaire industrialists Charles andDavid Koch were behind a product on the shelves.
15 Apr 2013
Sad but true, as we get older, we choose economics over the environment. What can we do to change this? Share your thoughts below!
I recognize that I do not see a random sample of young people by teaching graduate students in environmental policy and sustainability management at Columbia University. I also confess that my visit last week to Portland, Oregon to meet with sustainability management students at Willamette University is influencing my mindset. Portland has been working on sustainability for a long time, and it shows. Caveats aside, I find that more and more people born since the mid 1980′s have internalized aspects of an environmental ethos, and that awareness will soon have a major impact on American politics. While Gallup continues to poll on what I consider the false tradeoff between economic growth and environmental protection, even their data reports growing environmental awareness, especially among young people.
1 Apr 2013
In today’s world of processed foods, pollution, and pink slime, you might be wondering how to ensure that what your family is eating is healthy.
Buying organic is a great start, but growing it yourself opens doors to tremendous possibilities. Here’s why:
1. Avoid Pesticides – Conventional agriculture uses petroleum based chemicals to combat pests in the field, which not only damages the environment, but destroys important soil microbes that help plants grow. In your own garden, you can plant a diverse range of produce, instead of growing acres of one thing. This cuts down on pest attacks and can even attract beneficial insects to the garden to handle your pest problem for you. You can choose organic means of pest control, like soap sprays, hand-picking (the best pest control tool is your hands, after all) or other methods that don’t leave harmful residues on your food.
29 Mar 2013
A team of doctors at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre in Quebec, Canada looked at the prevalence of Bt toxins in female patients, finding that the chemicals — which are often implanted into GMO crops including corn — were found in the majority of those who were surveyed. Those who were pregnant at the time of the survey, 93 percent of them had traces of Bt toxin in their blood, and 80 percent of their umbilical cords contained the chemical.
28 Mar 2013
Food waste is no new issue for the U.S. or other developed countries throughout the world. For many years, we as a society have taken our resources—water, coal, oil, food—for granted. The amount of food that is wasted in the United States alone is staggering. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 34 million tons of food waste was generated in 2010. This number is larger than any other category of material waste recorded by the agency’s municipal waste management division.
17 Mar 2013
Support the young ones you know.
They have to take it from here.
30 Dec 2012
Remember the first time you saw Inconvenient Truth? It was a game changer for me. So much so that right by the popcorn machine in the lobby of the theatre I decided to do my first podcast program called America the Green to wake us all up. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, right? No other film laid out the whole climate change horror like Al’s, until Chasing Ice.
17 Dec 2012
Here is a list of 20 sustainability trends that are changing the landscape. We’re keeping our eyes on these…
1. From economic collapse to a green economic recovery. Interest in all things “green” continues to grow as the economy sinks. About 34 percent of people are now more likely to buy environmentally responsible products, and 44 percent say that their environmental shopping habits have not changed during this downturn. Businesses are realizing the ability to minimize costs through environmentally conscious operations.
2. From carbon footprint confusion to footprint awareness. More than half of the global population is aware of the term “carbon footprint,” up from 38 percent in 2007. As this awareness grows, consumers will likely drive the sustainability market by demanding low carbon products.
3. From carbon offset doubt to market development. More companies will continue to offset carbon emissions, with an expected growth in the global carbon offset market of 20 percent in 2009. Despite this prediction, Clownfish hope that there will be a stronger trend for direct reductions rather than offsetting; as the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”
4. From carbon-centric to water-centric. The UK has become obsessed with carbon footprints, but now the term water footprint has entered the corporate vocabulary. About 2.6 billion people have no access to clean water, a problem not isolated to developing countries. Businesses will no longer be able to ignore their water use and efficiency.
10 Dec 2012
A few sobering statistics about holiday waste are helpful when it comes to getting motivated to go green for the holidays. More than 30 million living Fir trees are cut in U.S. for Christmas each year. There’s no eco relief, however, in choosing a fake trees instead, because these plastic trees often contain non-biodegradable PVC and possible metal toxins, such as lead.
18 Nov 2012
BP will plead guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and agreed to pay $4.5 billion in government penalties, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday.
Of the penalties, $4 billion will resolve criminal charges. An additional $525 million will be paid to resolve claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission that BP lied to investors by understating the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf.
Separate from the corporate manslaughter charges, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging the two highest-ranking BP supervisors on board the Deepwater Horizon on the day of the explosion with 23 criminal counts. The two men were charged with seaman’s manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter for each of the 11 men killed in the blast, as well as a criminal violation of the clean water act.
The grand jury also charged BP’s second-highest ranking representative at the company’s unified command post with hiding information from Congress and allegedly lying to law enforcement officials.
The company also will plead guilty to a felony count of obstruction of Congress, a misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act and a misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty.
Holder said the dollar amount of the penalties and the criminal charges against both the company and individuals are unprecedented.
9 Nov 2012
Earlier this week, Proposition 37 asked voting Californians to approve new legislation that would require food and beverage manufacturers to notify consumers about the use of genetically modified organisms on the product label.
While the proposition did not pass, it was close, with 46% for the initiative and 54% against. Why didn’t it win? While the issue is complex and polarizing, there are a few attitudes and beliefs discovered in NMI’s most recent Organic Study that shed light on the subject.
Here are a few of those beliefs that may have affected the outcome:
Some consumers say, “I don’t understand it, so I don’t care”
Some consumers fear labeling GMOs would increase the cost of food
Some consumers believe GMOs are necessary to feed the world population