green


The Next Little Thing? – NYTimes.com

This is an interesting article on a new trend in housing – houses that are less than 1000 square feet down to under 100 square feet. Gives the concept of “downsizing” a whole new viewpoint. I live in a small house (just over 1000 Sq Ft) but it’s definitely on the large side of small.

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Toyota to launch solar-powered Prius | Crave, the gadget blog – CNET

I’ve been aching to have a Prius ever since they came out. I had to get a new car when the first model came out but it had a small trunk (boot) so it was out of the question. The hatch is great but I can’t justify a new car for a few more years. I hope that by the time I’m ready, they will have the solar stuff doing more than running the AC but I’ll take that, too. Heck, i live in DC – I really need my AC!

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The Huge Hybrid – Few Takers for a New S.U.V. Twist – NYTimes.com

General Motors and Chrysler are betting that their 5,500-pound, eight-seat S.U.V.’s — long the scourge of environmentalists — can be reformed as hybrid models, albeit ones getting 20 miles to the gallon.

Consumers have been slow to embrace the first two models from G.M., which are relatively new to the market.

G.M. has sold about 1,100 of its Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrids since their introduction in January, according to company sales briefings. That pace is well behind its goal of 12,000 sales a year, and a fraction of the more than 100,000 hybrids sold so far in the United States this year.

“To this point, the G.M. hybrids aren’t getting any traction at all,” said Mike Omotoso, a senior manager with the research firm J. D. Power & Associates.

Giving a four-wheel drive Tahoe a gas-electric hybrid engine raises fuel economy for city driving to 20 miles a gallon from 14.

Okay—am I the only one who thinks this is stupid? Can someone just give the Detroit automakers a kick in the head and a boot in the ass? It’s a hybrid and it gets 20 MPG instead of 14MPG. What a waste of $53,000!

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San Francisco sprouts a “Chia” nightclub | Crave : The gadget blog

A San Francisco nightclub installed on Monday what it’s promoting as the city’s first vertical garden. Several plant-filled boxes turned on their sides and bolted outside near the entrance are the first step in the Zen Compound‘s plans to cover the facade of the building in greenery.
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For now, the Zen Compound serves organic spirits with corn-based cups and straws that get composted rather than trashed. Club marketing is moving away from using paper fliers, even if recycled, to online-only promotions with Flash animation.

This story comes via crave.cnet.com. I do think it’s a great idea even if it’s just a gimmick. The more green space in any city is a good thing.

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EcoLogo and Green Seal labels

NPR : Eco-Friendly Product Claims Often Misleading

Another NPR gem. Look at the logos above. The one of the left has no meaning since CFC’s have been banned since the 1970s so everything is CFC free. However, the logos on the right have real value.

America’s store shelves are filled with products claiming to be good for the environment. Everything from shampoos and cleaning agents to granola bars claim to be “natural” and “earth friendly.” But some environmentalists think you’re being “greenwashed.”

One of them is Scot Case, with the environmental marketing firm TerraChoice.

The firm says it found 1,018 products that made environmental claims, ranging from toothpaste to office paper, on retail shelves of six big-box retailers.

“When we dug a little deeper, we were actually shocked to discover that all but one were committing what we’re now calling one of the Six Sins of Greenwashing,” Case tells Steve Inskeep. The one product was paper napkins, but Case says the firm decided not to name specific products.

Check out the podcast and the article has links to TerraChoice, Ecologo.org, Green Seal and many other helpful articles including the “The Six Sins of Greenwashing”.

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Can baking soda curb global warming? | CNET News.com

Some scientists have proposed compressing carbon dioxide and sticking it in underground caves as a way to cut down on greenhouse gases. Joe David Jones wants to make baking soda out of it.

Jones, the founder and CEO of Skyonic, has come up with an industrial process called SkyMine that captures 90 percent of the carbon dioxide coming out of smoke stacks and mixes it with sodium hydroxide to make sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The energy required for the reaction to turn the chemicals into baking soda comes from the waste heat from the factory.

“It is cleaner than food-grade (baking soda),” he said.

The system also removes 97 percent of the heavy metals, as well as most of the sulfur and nitrogen compounds, Jones said.

I really hope there is something to this story – I’m all for more baked goods.

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Anita Roddick, the green queen who inspired millions, dies – Times Online

I’ve taken to reading the London Times online lately. I like the different point-of-view from across the pond. I was very sorry to read that Dame Anita Roddick died this week. The Body Shop is one of my favorite places and one of the few cosmetic lines that I can wear (I’m allergic to many) and that I can support morally.

Dame Anita, who once said she did not want to die rich, also immersed herself in international issues such as Third World debt and human rights. With this commercialism led by conscience, she brought “eco-friendly” products to the British public.

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen last night described her as a “true champion of the oppressed and persecuted” who had “shared her brilliance and energy with us to marvellous effect”. She added: “Fundamentally she was an activist, someone who always understood the importance of people standing up for human rights.”

I does surprise me that she sold the company to L’Oreal last year. I hope The Body Shop will continue it’s tradition of fair trade and environmental responsibility.

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