Eco Buzz

Forget the climate — cap-and-trade could fix your allergies

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 22:07

How can we finally get people to care about carbon emissions even a little bit? Focus on how they are directly threatening the amount of time on Earth that we can spend snacking and sexting (clinically proven to be the preferred activities of humans in the 21st century.) Or, as The Atlantic’s James Hamblin puts it:

Researchers are learning that the most effective way around climate-policy ambivalence is to invoke imminent dangers to human health. “What’s killing me today?” with emphasis on killing and me and today.

The answer to that question is — you guessed it! — carbon emissions. As Hamblin reports, for allergy and asthma sufferers, increased carbon dioxide levels boost pollen count. One allergist expects pollen levels to double by 2040. Also fun: Fossil fuel combustion creates minuscule particles that hang around in our lungs and bloodstreams and then kill us. Air pollution caused one in eight deaths in 2012, according to the World Health Organization.

OK – so carbon emissions are threatening lives. But what kind of effect would limiting those emissions have on the economy? Those cap-and-trade programs sure seem costly!

Well, a recent study by a team of MIT researchers, published in Nature Climate Change, found that a cap on carbon emissions would end up saving $125 billion in human health costs – which would cover the projected costs of widespread emissions capping tenfold. Furthermore:

[The study’s authors] write that any cost-benefit analysis of climate policy that omits the health effects of regional air pollution “greatly underestimate[s] benefits.”

“What’s killing me today?” is obviously a far more alarming question than “What’s going to create significant economic costs in the future?” When the answer to both is the same, that could – just a thought! – be cause for action. Something to ponder between snacks and Snapchats.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Living
Categories: Eco Buzz

Scott Brown no longer accepts climate science

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 20:04

With age comes wisdom, supposedly. But not for Scott Brown. As the evidence of human-made climate change accumulates, Brown has decided he no longer accepts it.

Brown, the former U.S. senator from Massachusetts and current candidate for senator in New Hampshire, used to have a pro-environment record. During his 12 years in the Massachusetts state legislature, from 1998 to 2010, he voted for strong state limits on greenhouse gases and in favor of forming the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon-trading system for Northeast states. In 2007, the Massachusetts Audubon Society gave him a perfect rating on its scorecard.

After being elected in 2010 as a U.S. senator for Massachusetts, though, Brown became a national Republican star and started stepping into line with his GOP colleagues. He said he regretted his vote for RGGI, and he voted against eliminating billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies and against higher auto fuel-economy standards. His voting score from the League of Conservation Voters for his U.S. Senate tenure was just 38 percent. In 2012, Brown received $280,000 from fossil fuel companies. In that year’s election, the same environmental groups that once praised Brown backed his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, who ultimately won.

Brown managed to say he understood the science of climate change, though. “I do believe man plays a role,” he told The Boston Globe during the 2012 campaign. “That being said, we need to do everything; we need to work together, finding that balance to not only address our climate change problems but also to allow people to work and create jobs.” That view would make him more sane than any of the current Republican presidential contenders whose climate records I recently analyzed. Of the 13 aspirants I looked at, 11 either don’t understand climate science or haven’t addressed the subject. The only two who accept climate science are relatively mainstream politicians from blue and purple states, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. But they both oppose taking action to address the problem, whereas Brown called in 2012 for balancing climate action and economic growth. (In practice, of course, Brown might use that as an excuse to oppose any action, thus rendering his position indistinguishable from Christie’s.)

But now that Brown is trying to get back to the Senate, he’s fallen completely into lockstep with his science-denying party. At Saturday night’s Republican primary debate in Exeter, N.H., Brown was asked, “Do you believe the theory of man-made climate change has been scientifically proven?” He simply replied, “No.”

The scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change has only gotten more robust in the last few years — see, for example, the 2013 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and this year’s National Climate Assessment. So why has Scott Brown changed his mind? Does aging make you less able to understand science?

No, it’s not that. Either Scott Brown was lying in 2012, or he is lying now, or he doesn’t really believe in anything at all. (I’d put my money on the latter.) As the Republican Party moves further right, and as Brown has moved to more conservative New Hampshire, Brown’s political imperative has changed. He’s not the only one. A couple of potential Republican presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio, have abandoned their belief in climate change. Mitt Romney did the same thing in 2012. And John McCain and Lindsey Graham did so back in 2009 and 2010.

The public is silly on this point as well. Between 2006 and 2009, the percentages of Republican and Democratic citizens who accept climate science dropped by 24 points and 16 points, respectively. By November 2013, the proportions had returned to almost their 2006 levels, according to a Pew poll — 88 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans believed in climate change at that point, versus 91 percent and 59 percent respectively in 2006. But that trend over the last eight years should be sobering to anyone too encouraged by Robert Jay Lifton’s op-ed in the Sunday New York Times arguing that the public has finally come around to climate change psychologically.

And still 70 percent of Tea Party Republicans don’t accept climate science. Those hard-core, right-wing Republicans are the ones most likely to donate to candidates, volunteer for campaigns, and vote in primaries. Just ask Eric Cantor. Or Scott Brown. On that point, unlike climate science, Brown’s understanding hasn’t degraded with age at all.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Politics
Categories: Eco Buzz

Kauai’s on-again, off-again GMO regulations are off again

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 19:43

A judge has invalidated the local ordinance that Kauai passed to restrict the use of pesticides on genetically engineered crops. As I wrote back in October, when the law passed:

Hawaii is a key part of the plant-development process for seed companies. Because of the tropical climate, breeders can grow three generations of corn a year on the islands, and this speeds up the work of producing new varieties.

This bit of the tropics is also important to the industry because it’s within the U.S., free from the uncertainty and complication that comes with developing technology abroad, under a different set of laws.

The ordinance has already gone through the wringer. Kauai’s mayor vetoed the bill, only to be overruled. Now a judge has ruled that it is preempted by the state law governing pesticide use.

Supporters of the ordinance vowed to keep fighting — though perhaps through a new law, rather than by appealing this decision. There’s a lot that could be done, even without changing any laws. The main concerns noted by residents have to do with heavy use of pesticides, and there is a lot of insecticide (permethrin and chlorpyrifos) being sprayed. That should really be addressed independently of the GMO issue. Chlorpyrifos is pretty nasty stuff, and the regulation of its use shouldn’t be limited to people spraying it on genetically engineered crops.

The big island of Hawaii has also has passed an ordinance targeting GMOs, but that law goes further, banning all farming with genetically engineered plants (though existing papaya farms, which depend on disease resistant GMOs, were exempted). That law is also being challenged, and the same judge is handling the case. Maui will vote on a GMO farming ban soon.

Note that many of my links come from Honolulu Civil Beat. Sophie Cocke and Anita Hofschneider are good reporters to follow if you want to keep up with this story.


Filed under: Article, Business & Technology, Food, Politics
Categories: Eco Buzz

Walmart is trying to trick your kids into eating veggies

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 18:03

When it comes to kid-friendly advertising, some brands get a little too friendly. Lucky the Leprechaun claims to want to keep kids away from his dangerously sugary cereal, but we suspect he’s a double-agent whose real goal is to sell children as much high-fructose corn syrup as they can eat. And Frosted Flakes may be grrrreat, but our diets aren’t — most Americans eat only one or two servings of fruits and vegetables a day. (No, fruit roll-ups don’t count.)

But instead of debunking these marketing gimmicks, how about turning the lunch tables by using junk food’s marketing arsenal to sell actual veggies to impressionable kids? That’s what retailers like Giant Eagle and Walmart will be attempting, by featuring “kid zones” stocked with produce that’s been dressed up to look like it’s way more fun than it really is.

“Giant Eagle is in the process of installing the go-to kid sections in about 400 stores in the mid-Atlantic and Ohio,” NPR reports. “And Walmart is piloting the concept in 30 stores in California, with plans to roll it out to 1,500 stores later this fall.”

The stores are taking their cue from Bolthouse Farms, whose successful re-marketing of the bland baby carrot as a hip snack food hinged on selling them with shake-on seasonings in a range of Dorito-esque flavors. Also, whatever this commercial is about:

Other snacks in these candy-colored displays will include squeezable tubes of fruit puree (à la Go-Gurt), and smoothies made from fruit and vegetable juices. From NPR’s story:

“I think the kid-friendly snacking stations are an absolutely fascinating concept,” says David Just, a behavioral economist at Cornell University. Telling kids what they should eat is not very effective, he says. “They’re not concerned about beta-carotene, or what diseases they might get when they’re 50. They’re much more in the moment.”

And what could be more in the moment than surfing down a mountain in a shopping cart under machine-gun barrage of baby carrots?

I’m all for instilling healthy eating habits early on, so here are some other ideas straight from my childhood vices: A hapless anthropomorphic mascot who hoards a secret stash of antioxidant fruits in some kind of whimsical, low-security secret lair; “gushers” a.k.a cherry tomatoes; zucchini chunks carved into the shapes of Frozen characters; emoji temporary tattoos at the bottom of every package of celery.

They’ll never know what hit ‘em.


Filed under: Food, Living
Categories: Eco Buzz

Why California is doing tofu right

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 17:54

Matthew Schmit
Tofu Shop Specialty Foods
Arcata, Calif.

Californians may bristle at tofu being representative of their state. To which we say: Get over it! Besides, tofu made its American debut in the Golden State: The first tofu processor in the United States was Wo Sing & Co., which was founded in 1878 in San Francisco. Tofu Shop opened in Arcata in 1980, and continues to make organic tofu for the northern California and Oregon region.

Why we chose this tofu:

Tofu Shop has used organic soybeans to make its tofu since the very beginning, and all of its additional ingredients — aside from a curdling agent — are organic as well. The company recently launched a line of locally sourced sauerkraut and pickles so that it could work with farmers in Humboldt County in addition to its soy suppliers in the Midwest.

Making the white stuff by the book:

Schmit was turned onto tofu by The Book of Tofu, a seminal tofu text published in the 1970s.William Shurtliffe, the author, “talked all about the history of tofu in Japan and Asia, with lots of recipes and instructions on how to make tofu in a small shop,” says Schmit. “After that came out, there were dozens of little tofu shops, inspired by his book, that sprang up all over the country.”

Click to check out the full map.
Filed under: Food, Living
Categories: Eco Buzz

What’s the Difference Between Certified B Corps and Benefit Corps?

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 16:34
Certified B Corporations and benefit corporations are often, and understandably, confused. They share much in common but have a few important differences.
Categories: Eco Buzz

Renewables Generate 100 Percent of New U.S. Energy Capacity in July

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 15:19
According to the U.S. government agency FERC, renewables generated 100 percent of new U.S. energy capacity in July.
Categories: Eco Buzz

SOCAP 2014: Tweet Jam on Financial Inclusion #3pChat

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 15:14
Social Capital Markets 2014 is around the corner and what better way to kick it off that a tweet jam on key conference topics, starting with the concept of financial inclusion.
Categories: Eco Buzz

Green must diversify or die

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 12:08

Roughly 50 environmentalists of various racial backgrounds — African American, Native American, Latina, and Caribbean — gathered at the National Press Club yesterday with a message for mainstream green institutions: If you are serious about diversity, then put your money where your mouth is or suffer the consequences later.

The newly launched Diverse Environmental Leaders National Speakers Bureau, or “DEL,” convened yesterday on the 98th birthday of the National Park Service to convey chiefly two things: That environmentalists of color are plentiful and available as employees and leaders, and that environmental groups and government agencies have no legitimate excuses for having predominantly white workforces.

“We are here, and we have always been here,” said the event’s host, Audrey Peterman, jabbing at the notion that people of color are unbothered with the environment. The display of talent among the attendees — many of them DEL members — further crushed that notion.

In the house: Yosemite Park Ranger Shelton Johnson, who you might have seen in Ken Burns’ national parks documentary; Berkeley professor Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors; and Captain William “Bill” Pinkney, who in 1992 sailed around the globe by himself, using the Southern Route — a passageway so difficult only three other Americans have navigated it. Just to name a few.

Many of these people have decades of experience working with a range of major institutions, from the corporate America to the president’s cabinet. Peterman, one of DEL’s “visionaries,” has won an Environmental Hero Award from the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and serves on quite a few major organization boards, including the National Parks Conservation Association. Along with her husband, Frank, who co-hosted the event, she’s co-authored two books on nature discovery and runs the environmental firm Earthwise Productions, Inc., which they started 20 years ago.

Said Pinkney: “People of color have been involved in every aspect of what makes the world what it is today.”

But with little recognition or compensation, as the speakers emphasized. “They don’t know we exist,” said Pinkney in his speech. The saddening context of that statement is that here you have a man who has literally been all around the world, but still feels invisible.

“This is not a group who likes to come together to just complain about stuff,” though, said environmental superstar Majora Carter, name-dropping her “buddy Bill Clinton,” with a smile just as slick. They have an action agenda, with many of its bulleted tasks aimed at the Department of the Interior (which houses the National Park service) and the Department of Agriculture.

One of DEL’s asks is for each department’s inspector general to “conduct a baseline assessment of diversity initiatives, hiring, public-private partnerships, external outreach, and programming.” Much of this information has already been pulled together by University of Michigan professor Dorceta Taylor in the Green 2.0 report released last month.

Danielle Deane of The Raben Group, who spoke on behalf of the Green 2.0 working group, pointed to anecdotes published in the report from philanthropists and board members saying they can’t locate qualified candidates of color. Plenty of data exists on the supply of talent, she said, but foundations and executives “still think the supply is the challenge.”

“To make a serious dent in this diversity challenge, it will take us raising our voices to make them demand our talent,” Deane said.

A glaring irony at the event was that despite the many academics discussed and represented in the crowd, some of the speakers said that the conservation movement had grown too … academic. One of the barriers to achieving ideal diversity is that employers place too much value in university degrees. African-American and Latinos are underrepresented in higher education, due to failures in the education system, economic inequality, and structural racism.

Environmentalism doesn’t have to be such an intellectual enterprise, Frank Peterman said: “Two of the greatest conservationists I’ve ever known were my father and grandfather. Neither of them had more than a 6th grade education, but they knew how to protect the Earth.”

Frank served as the Southeast Regional Director of the Wilderness Society from 2003 to 2010. His chief tasks were working closely with Congress to support forests in his region, and making sure urban communities benefitted from public land systems. He talks with a gentle but commanding voice. I might dare to make a Morgan Freeman comparison, but Frank erects himself in the room like the kind of authority figure that Freeman only plays in movies. He has an easy smile and a perfectly shaped silver Fro that sits relaxed like the birth of cool. He animates when the issue of money or funding comes up.

Part of what he and DEL are pushing Interior, the USDA, and environmental groups to do is create line items in their budget for enhancing the recruitment and hiring of people of color. “It is a mockery to say you support diversity, but you don’t have a line-item in your budget for it,” Frank said.

It’s difficult for federal agencies to get a new line item in their budgets for a new pack of pencils these days, thanks to the Tea Party austerity hawks in Congress. I asked Frank about this in an interview after the event. He smiled and said: “One of the skills I have developed over the years from dealing with government and nonprofits is, I stand up and say, ‘Don’t tell me you don’t have the money. You have the money. What you’re telling me is you don’t want to spend it on what I’m talking about.'”

“It’s an absolute failure to move forward with engaging all the parts of the country,” said Audrey Peterman. “Our entire future depends on the extent to which they engage communities of color.”

DEL’s challenge, said Frank, is creating a climate where “it is no longer acceptable for [employers] to say, ‘We can’t find [people of color],’ or, ‘We don’t know where they are.’”

But what if visibility isn’t the only problem? It is possible that employers know where people of color are, but the reason they’re not hiring them is just plain-Jane racism — discrimination of either the conscious or subconscious variety? Frank had a smile and answer for that too.

“We have to challenge that mentality,” he said. “When it comes to racial issues, the only way we’ve ever made progress is to call it what it is, and then challenge it.”


Filed under: Article, Cities, Climate & Energy, Politics
Categories: Eco Buzz

Willie, Neil, we love you — but here’s who we really want to see play a green benefit

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 11:07

Do you have plans on September 27th? No? Good: There’s a benefit concert to raise money for groups opposing the Keystone XL pipeline — sick, right? Okay, here are the details:

Location: A farm outside of Neligh, Neb.

Headliners: Willie Nelson and Neil Younzzzzzzz … shit, sorry! Dozed off there for a second.

Here’s the thing — Keystone XL, like so many other green issues, is poised to have a huge impact on millions and millions of people. And — again, like so many other green issues — it’s kind of hard to grab the attention of people outside of the enviro choir with a second encore of “After the Gold Rush” performed literally in the middle of a cornfield. (No offense to the hallowed discography of Mr. Young. My friends’ parents love you!)

Young people carry the potential to have a significant voice in climate decisions going forward. There are more 23-year-olds than any other age in the country right now. To put that in perspective: The majority age group couldn’t legally buy Four Loko when it still had caffeine in it. If you want to have a benefit concert to raise awareness of a big environmental issue, maybe it’s time to think about some artists who don’t have a fan base that shares an average age with the AARP member base.

Henceforth, some of our recommendations for a green benefit concert we’d actually want to go to — and we hope you would, too!

1. NIKKI LANE As a major site for Big Oil rigs, fracking developments, and Big Ag alike, America’s heartland is seriously at risk in our climate future. If we’re choosing someone as an ambassador for our heartland (read: country music), we’re going with an outlaw like Nikki Lane. Once the temperature notches up a bit, we don’t think she’d take a little street harassment lightly — and that’s a role model we can get behind.

2. A$AP FERG Guess what? Fighting corporate interests that threaten natural resources takes work. No one knows about that better than the A$AP Mob:

Something to ponder: On the “Work” remix, is French Montana’s line “Her ass fat, you can park ten Tahoes on it” subtle commentary on the American inclination to fill up available land with oversized structures and vehicles – “her” being a metaphor for the Earth, obviously? And is Schoolboy Q’s follow-up verse, “I don’t have a car/But I could buy one every week” a declaration against that kind of climate-unfriendly consumerism? For our purposes here: Yes.

3. PITBULL Who has greater mass appeal than Mr. Worldwide himself? Pitbull’s one-word catchphrase, dale (translation: “let’s go”) has been lauded as a way of life. Can we apply that same spirit to fighting climate change? Honestly, we kind of have to.

4. ANGEL OLSEN Let’s consider the title of Angel Olsen’s haunting breakout album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness. Is it a metaphor for oil trains exploding into flames in barren winter landscapes? Why the hell not! And in times of bad news heaped upon worse news, we can absolutely get behind the sentiment of its opening track title, “Unfucktheworld.”

5. CONOR OBERST Nebraska is a pretty crucial battleground for the war on Keystone XL, so why not feature the state’s most famous bag of feelings? Oberst, who’s in the midst of a comeback, is known for lyrics that are equal parts cryptic and overwrought, which makes us wonder: Is “The Calendar Hung Itself” a subliminal message about the newfound unpredictability of seasonal patterns as the planet gets warmer? Your call:

(DISCLAIMER: If listening to this song induces a relapse into the emotional pit of your sophomore year of high school, our lawyers say we’re not responsible.)

6. FKA TWIGS Since CFCs have eroded the ozone layer, we have to put up with more intense ultraviolet rays from the sun. (Take it from someone who’s photosensitive, and don’t image search that.) FKA twigs is raising awareness of this important atmospheric transformation. Bonus: She also makes incredible music, if R&B-done-by-wood-nymphs is your thing.

7. ST. VINCENT “Digital Witness,” off the songstress’ fourth and most recent album, takes some shots at the Twitstabook culture that’s taken such a prominent place in modern-day activism. Also, since Annie Clark is clearly a space angel from Mars, we’re going to need her on our side if we do actually have to abandon Earth and colonize a new planet.

8. RiFF RAFF Why are we choosing someone who has openly declared he “doesn’t give a fuck” about global warming? Well, first of all, we’re hoping he can be converted. Second of all, Riff Raff is nothing if not a man of contradictions and ever-evolving opinions, so I’m still personally waiting for confirmation that his hit “Lava Glaciers” with Childish Gambino isn’t some sort of (extremely) perplexing commentary on changing ecosystems.

9. KENDRICK LAMAR If you want to know what it’s like to grow up as a young black man in the inner city, listening to good kid, m.A.A.d city is probably one of the most visceral ways you can do it. Since that’s exactly the demographic that needs to have a greater voice in the country’s environmental decisions, why not give top billing to Kendrick?

(Plus, he has some pretty interesting ideas for what to do with all of Calfornia’s drought-drained swimming pools.)

We made a Spotify playlist of our dream set list, so check it out:

 

Love this lineup? Hate it? Let us know who you’d rather see.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Living
Categories: Eco Buzz

Is it really OK to pour paint down the drain?

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 11:01

Q. I’ve been painting the inside of our home and find myself with paintbrushes and rollers filled with latex paint (don’t worry, it’s a zero-VOC paint!). I can either 1) wash out all this paint in the sink, which seems to take forever and makes me worried about the water treatment facility; or 2) throw them away, which, wow, seems horribly wasteful.

Suggestions?

Inara
Corvallis, Ore.

A. Dearest Inara,

Did Michelangelo toss his brushes after a hard day at the Sistine Chapel? Did da Vinci chuck his bristles once he had Mona Lisa’s smile just so? I confess I don’t know this for sure, but doubt it. They (or, more likely, one of their lackeys) cleaned their brushes for tomorrow’s works of art, and so should you. Proper care and cleaning will keep your tools in masterpiece-ready shape for years, so it would indeed be wasteful to treat them as short-lived disposables.

Kudos for using zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) latex paint, Inara: As you already know, latex pain is water-based and therefore not considered toxic, as opposed to oil-based paints. And the zero-VOC side of the equation means it doesn’t spew health-damaging, ozone-creating fumes into your home and the atmosphere, either.

But we can’t let latex paint completely off the hook – it may still harbor biocides to inhibit mildew, acrylics and vinyls, crystalline silica, and various additives and emulsifiers. That means we cannot pour the paint itself down the drain (head over here for more on how to safely dispose of leftovers) and we should be thoughtful about how we dispose of the water we use to wash our painting tools.

That wash water is less worrisome than full-strength paint, but that doesn’t mean you can dump the dirty water on the ground, into a septic system, or anywhere it might wash straight into your friendly neighborhood waterways. Here’s where it gets interesting, though: Some wastewater treatment facilities say it’s OK to send the wash water down the drain for treatment (like Grist’s hometown of Seattle). Others are more exacting with their advice.

A representative from your local Corvallis water treatment facility pointed me to your municipal code, Inara, which prohibits the discharge of anything with dyes or other colors they can’t remove. Paint – basically, a colored dye by nature – falls into this category. So handle it (or at least the first couple of rinses) like you would any other hazardous waste and haul it to your local dropoff center.

Pull it off with the three-bucket cleanup system: First off, get as much paint off of the tools as possible by wiping brushes on the edge of the paint can, or scraping rollers with a 5-in-1 tool to squeeze out the excess Nantucket Dune Taupe and Salmon Sunset Pink. Then, rather than scrubbing your brushes and rollers under a running faucet, clean them in a bucket filled with a small amount of warm, soapy water. (Think dish detergent or hand soap.) Work the paint out of the bristles, then transfer the brush to a second container of clean rinse water. Swish it around, then complete one more rinse in a third bucket. Finally, cover the buckets and take the water down to your hazardous waste collector.

What if your town tells you to dump your wash water down the drain? My take is that it’s better to be safe than sorry when we’re dealing with our watersheds. You can always try this trick: Allow the buckets to settle for 24 hours; when you pour the water out, you should be able to reserve the small amount of paint residue left in the bottom. Save the stuff, let it dry (you may need to mix with kitty litter or sand) and toss it in the household trash.

It’s worth noting, Inara, that oil-based paints require extra solvents to clean. These should always go to the hazardous waste center – not down the drain. When in doubt about what to do, contact your wastewater treatment gurus and ask.

In sum: Is it easier to toss those paint-soaked brushes out with the rest of your project waste as soon as your new hues start drying? Undoubtedly. But just like clothing, dishes, and pillows, your painting tools are dirty – not done for. You’ll just need to take an extra step to protect all those downstream.

Colorfully,
Umbra


Filed under: Living
Categories: Eco Buzz

U.K. Standards Group Calls Out Peabody Energy for Misleading ‘Clean Coal’ Claim

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 05:32
The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled, in a case brought by the World Wildlife Fund, that Peabody Energy should not use the term “clean coal” to imply that coal is emission-free or “the solution for better, longer and healthier lives.”
Categories: Eco Buzz

3p Weekend: 5 Reasons for Companies to Care About Employee Satisfaction

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 05:30
Employee engagement and satisfaction is a hot topic in the sustainability space right now, but some companies may still find themselves asking: What is a happy employee really worth? Well, quite a bit actually. To prove it, this week we rounded up five reasons for companies to start caring about employee satisfaction. (If you can't keep your eyes off the clock, feel free to 'accidentally' leave this article in the office copy machine.)
Categories: Eco Buzz

Behind the Scenes: A Look at the Creation of Symantec’s Signature CSR Program

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 05:29
Symantec is using philanthropy dollars to fund STEM education initiatives in the security space. Find out how they got the project off the ground.
Categories: Eco Buzz

Top Energy-Efficient Apps and Devices for Everyday Use

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 05:11
Saving energy is on most people’s minds these days. Check out these top energy-saving devices, appliances and apps you can use every day.
Categories: Eco Buzz

Sustainability Drives Healthy Results at Longfellow Sports Clubs

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 04:48
Sustainable business practices produce healthy outcomes at Longfellow Sports Clubs, a cluster of five multi-purpose health and recreation facilities located in Sudbury, Wayland and Natick, Massachusetts.
Categories: Eco Buzz

Verizon Ups Its Green Energy Commitment by Another $40 Million

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 04:31
With its latest increase of capital for green energy, Verizon is now poised to become the nation's top solar-producing communications company. The latest injection of $40 million will add further installations to green sites in California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
Categories: Eco Buzz

Big ‘Beyond Coal’ Victory for Indianapolis Grassroots Coalition

Triple Pundit - Tue, 2014-08-26 04:27
Indianapolis Power & Light's decision to stop burning coal at its Harding Street power plant marked a big victory for residents and Power Indy Forward, a grassroots coalition of 55 organizations.
Categories: Eco Buzz

Done shivering? Now try the rice bucket challenge

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 00:14

If you, like the reader who recently wrote to Umbra, are concerned that the massively popular and totally unending ALS Ice Bucket Challenge poses a threat to our precious fresh water sources, never fear! You can always join India and use rice.

Last week, a journalist from Hyderabad decided that the viral publicity stunt made no sense in a country where access to clean water is not guaranteed. So, she started her own movement, the #RiceBucketChallenge: Cook a bowl of rice or give a bag of the grain to a neighbor in need.

It’s not quite as exciting as its previous incarnation — people are cooking or donating rice instead of pouring it over their heads (booooooo!) — but it’s already snagged a significant following. The movement’s Facebook page was born on Aug. 23 and it already has over 22,000 fans.

From City Lab:

“The idea of dunking oneself in icy cold water, shrieking in horror and then uploading the bizarre video felt preposterous. I wanted to just do something local, meaningful without wasting anything,” says 38-year old Manju Latha Kalanidhi. “So rice replaced water here.” …

Manju says she chose rice for donation because it rhymes with “ice” and is an integral part of South Indian diet. The challenge doesn’t produce spectacular videos like the ice bucket challenge, but if it catches on, many hungry stomachs will be fed.

Can’t argue with that. Less hunger, more water. Huzzah!


Filed under: Article, Food, Living
Categories: Eco Buzz

Done shivering? Now try the rice bucket challenge

Gristmill - Tue, 2014-08-26 00:14

If you, like the reader who recently wrote to Umbra, are concerned that the massively popular and totally unending ALS Ice Bucket Challenge poses a threat to our precious fresh water sources, never fear! You can always join India and use rice.

Last week, a journalist from Hyderabad decided that the viral publicity stunt made no sense in a country where access to clean water is not guaranteed. So, she started her own movement, the #RiceBucketChallenge: Cook a bowl of rice or give a bag of the grain to a neighbor in need.

It’s not quite as exciting as its previous incarnation — people are cooking or donating rice instead of pouring it over their heads (booooooo!) — but it’s already snagged a significant following. The movement’s Facebook page was born on Aug. 23 and it already has over 22,000 fans.

From City Lab:

“The idea of dunking oneself in icy cold water, shrieking in horror and then uploading the bizarre video felt preposterous. I wanted to just do something local, meaningful without wasting anything,” says 38-year old Manju Latha Kalanidhi. “So rice replaced water here.” …

Manju says she chose rice for donation because it rhymes with “ice” and is an integral part of South Indian diet. The challenge doesn’t produce spectacular videos like the ice bucket challenge, but if it catches on, many hungry stomachs will be fed.

Can’t argue with that. Less hunger, more water. Huzzah!


Filed under: Article, Food, Living
Categories: Eco Buzz
Syndicate content