Green is not just the color of money, it is the color of social-responsibility

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Red White and "Green" , an Eco-Friendly 4th of July

 With July 4th just around the corner what better time to get this message out to everyone that caring about the environment is patriotic.

Independence Day, one of the highlights of the summer in the United States, brings to mind flags, parades, fireworks, and of course barbeques.

The 4th of July BBQ is a time-honored tradition, one that in addition to food, fun and fireworks can have negative impacts on the environment.

Fortunately, there many things we can do to help minimize these environmental impacts, while still honoring our nation’s independence.

Here are some tips for greening your 4th of July BBQ, or any other outdoor gathering.

1. Bring a cup: Many of us break out plastic and paper cups at BBQ's to cut down on cleanup and ensure there are enough cups for all the guests. Instead of relying on one-time-use materials that end up taking up space in landfills,  – have your guests bring their favorite cup to use for the duration of the party. You cut down on waste, and everyone knows which cup belongs to them.

2. Buy local: You can have a more environmentally friendly barbeque simply by buying locally-grown foods. In addition to supporting the local economy, you avoid contributing to the carbon emissions that are generated by trucks, trains, and boats that bring food from far-off places.

3. Living decorations: If you like to display flowers on the tables at your events, consider using live, potted plants instead. When the party is over, you can keep the plants at home, and they in turn help the planet by filtering carbon dioxide and producing oxygen for us to breathe.

4. Use recycled paper products: Let’s face it, paper plates and napkins are a lot easier to use for an outdoor event. However, we can still be green by looking for plates made from recycled paper products. In addition to reducing the amount of waste in landfills, recycled products typically take a lot less energy to produce than new products.

5. Encourage volunteerism: Since everyone’s outside enjoying the day anyway, why not do something that will make you feel better about yourself. Encourage your friends and family to spend part of your time together volunteering. For example, get together with your friends and neighbors to clean up a local park or other area – a little light work on a hot summer’s day makes the burgers and beer taste that much better!

6. Buy in bulk: When stocking up for your BBQ bash, consider buying items in bulk if possible. Things like large boxes of utensils and large bottles of soda actually use less packaging materials than smaller, individually packaged items.

7. Don’t sweat it: There’s no need to bake your guests or spend money and energy cramming people into an air-conditioned house. Try scheduling your BBQ for a cooler, more comfortable time of day such as dusk.

8. Carpooling isn’t just for work: If you have a lot of people coming, encourage them to carpool when possible. It’s especially easy for guests that live near each other to share a ride and save gas and emissions in the process.

Using Eco-friendly Forest Stewardship Council certified charcoals means that no trees in endangered woodlands are cut to produce the charcoal for your 4th of July BBQ.  It also means that fewer greenhouse gases  are emitted when your charcoal burns and that no unhealthy additives are released into the air or onto your food during your Fourth of July grilling.

Look for brands of charcoal that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Cowboy Charcoal, a natural lump charcoal,  is FSC certified. 
Cowboy Charcoal produces a cleaner-tasting food with out a petroleum after taste. It also produces fewer ashes so clean up is easier too.

Don't Forget:  If you're serving bottled or canned beverages, be sure to put out clearly marked recycling bins.

So use these Eco-Friendly Fourth of July ideas to make your red, white and blue cook out a little greener.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Extreme Recycling

Looking to recycle in a new way!

Chase and Cane from use their skills to help recycle!!
Stay green!

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Steel Workers See Green Jobs

 In a partnership that illustrates the powerful currents at work in today’s environmental movement, the United Steel Workers labor union has joined with the American Wind Energy Association and BlueGreen Alliance, an organization that includes other labor unions, the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council, to produce a blueprint for new green jobs in the wind power industry.

In pushing hard for green jobs, this diverse labor-industry-environmental group puts itself squarely on the side of the U.S. military’s push for alternative energy in the interests of a strong national defense. It also joins a growing number of leading U.S companies calling for national climate legislation and green jobs, in yet another sign that the dominance of fossil fuels is rapidly coming to a close.

The report is titled Winds of Change: A Manufacturing Blueprint for the Wind Industry.
Basically the report details how the wind energy industry has been growing and creating new jobs even without all of the advantages accorded to fossil fuels, such as billion-dollar subsidies and supportive national policies.  More support for alternative energy has been forthcoming from the Obama administration, and the report calls ramping up those efforts through, among other things, a stronger Renewable Electricity Standard of 25%, more tax credits for the renewable energy industry, and strong national climate legislation.  All of these measures would be geared toward creating more jobs in the U.S. wind industry, rather than shipping in components from overseas.

 "Moving to clean energy is just one piece of the puzzle — we need to ensure that America's clean energy economy is built by U.S. workers, and creates good manufacturing jobs," said Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers. "By including common-sense policies like a 25 percent Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), and an extended Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, in comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation, we can build a wind energy supply chain in the U.S."    Read Full Story

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tesla Motors IPO to Test Demand for Green Technology Stocks

The Tesla Motors initial public offering this week will be a bellwether for investor confidence in green technology, analysts say.

Telsa will raise nearly $US200 million ($229m) tomorrow in one of the most eagerly awaited IPOs of the year because it is a "technology velociraptor", according to its founder and chief executive.

Elon Musk does not mean that his electric car company is a dinosaur.

Quite the opposite.

He is counting on the company's image as an agile, Silicon Valley high-tech predator to help it to raise at least $US185m from the sale of 11.1 million shares priced in the $US14 to $US16 range.

Mr Musk has been running a pre-IPO roadshow to drum up business.

"We're closer to an Apple or a Google than we are to a GM or a Ford. There will not be anybody that will bring technology to market faster than Tesla," he said in a video presentation.

Touted as the first American car company to go public since Ford in 1956, the Tesla IPO will be a bellwether for investor confidence in green technology and the future of the car industry, analysts say.

The company, based in Palo Alto, California, has won many admirers for its all-electric Roadster sports car, which sells for $US109,000 in the United States, but questions remain about the company's viability.

Tesla has had years of losses and admits to an uncertain production schedule for its battery-powered cars.
The company sells only the Roadster, a high-end car powered by lithium-ion batteries with a design based on the Lotus Elise two-seater sports car. It has sold only 1063 Roadsters since 2008 and has lost $US290m since the company was founded in 2003.

Revenue has totaled $US147.6m. Tesla has said that it will end production of the Roadster in 2011 and start selling a mass-market luxury sedan in 2012 priced at a more affordable $US49,900. The Model S will have a top speed of about 145km/h and a range of more than 161 km between recharges.

In a 30-page risk-factors entry in its IPO prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that it expected continuing quarterly losses until the Model S hit the market.

Tesla has taken $US19.7m in 2200 reservations for the five-seat car, for which it has still to finalize a production-ready prototype. After the Model S, Tesla plans to continue expanding its line-up of electric cars with increasingly cheaper models.

However, the company has been forced to deny that the IPO will be affected by a divorce dispute between Mr Musk, a South African who co-founded the online payments company PayPal, and his estranged wife.    Source theaustralian

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Motivation for Manufacturer's to Go Green

 Motivation for manufacturers to become more energy efficient took a huge step forward recently with announcements by major corporations like Wal-Mart and General Motors that they will require their suppliers to reduce their carbon footprints.

 According  to Jack Healy, director of operations at the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership, the impact of these announcements, like Wal-Mart's February decision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its global supply chain by 20 million metric tons by 2015, is likely to be seismic in the manufacturing world.

For the first time, businesses are regulating the environment, he said, and their action is likely to have a much more game-changing impact than anything state or federal regulations have achieved, especially for smaller companies.

"Now you have large companies like Wal-Mart, IBM, GE and GM, they're all going back down through their supply chain and they're making demands on (companies) to change," said Healy. "I think you're going to see a very significant change. They are much more capable of affecting change than regulators."

While many large manufacturers have already begun exploring the benefits of increased energy efficiency, especially if they have consumer products that can be branded as sustainable, smaller companies don't always have the necessary time, available capital or similar financial incentives, to do the same.

Now pressure from major corporations means many must begin taking steps in order to keep their businesses alive.

"Smaller companies have always resisted all this stuff, but now if they want to remain in the supply chain, they're going to have to conform," said Healy.

According to Healy, a good number of Massachusetts companies have the potential to be affected with about 69 percent of the state's 7,000 manufacturers falling in the 20-or-fewer employee category.

Part of a national network, MassMEP works with manufacturers to create more efficient manufacturing processes. More recently, it has teamed up with the Environmental Protection Agency to see how Lean manufacturing techniques can be applied to produce more sustainable manufacturing operations.

While these new pressures are getting close attention from manufacturers, Healy said, many are confused about where to place their efforts. In a May 27 blog post on the subject, Healy cited a recent Aberdeen Group survey which shows sustainability has become one of the top five market pressures facing today's manufacturing operations.

But, he noted, the survey suggests manufacturers are still struggling with just where sustainability efforts should be focused — on building facilities, products, manufacturing operations or all of the above.     Click here for full story

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Friday, June 25, 2010

G-8 , G-20, How about G-Buzz

Aware of calls for industrialized economies’ to fund developing nations’ climate-related programs, the Group of Eight wealthy nations clarified its funding commitments.

In the Muskoka Accountability Report, released ahead of G-8’s summit held in Muskoka, Canada from Friday to Saturday, the group said it has engaged in three funds addressing international climate goals, such as adaptation.

Adaptation refers to measures by which vulnerable countries, especially economically poorer ones, could prepare for the impact of climate change. Threats include rising seas, stronger rains and intensified droughts.

These funds are for least developed countries’ national adaptation action programs, for the promotion of longterm adaptation measures and for climate resilience in mainstream development planning.

The G-8 said around $180 million and $129 million have been collected for the least developed countries fund and the special climate change fund respectively. The latter reportedly mobilized voluntary contributions worth $110 million for adaptation and $19 million for technology transfer.

For the pilot program for climate resilience, the G-8 said it has pledged $1 billion and chosen as recipients nine countries in the Caribbean, Pacific and African regions.          Source ecoseed

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

FAA Awards $125M to Develop Green Air Technology

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded $125 million in contracts to five companies, including Boeing Co., General Electric Co., and Honeywell International Inc., to work on technologies to make the aviation industry more environmentally friendly.

The other companies include Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce-America.

Each will be paid $25 million over five years for the work, and each company will at least match or exceed that investment, the FAA said. That means the entire program will be worth more than $250 million, the agency said in a statement Thursday.

The work will be done for the agency's Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise program -- called CLEEN. The program aims to cut fuel burn by a third, reduce nitrogen exmissions by 60 percent and trim cumulative aircraft noise levels by 32 decibels.

The companies will develop technologies for alternative aviation fuels, lighter engines, optimizing flight trajectories with onboard systems and more.

Shares of Boeing fell 2 cents to close at $67.43, while General Electric shares dipped 31 cents, or 2 percent, to finish at $15.08. Honeywell International shares fell 84 cents, or 2 percent, to $41.

Source: Business Week


Toshiba Eyes Plant Expansion after EV Motors Deal with Ford

Toshiba Corporation plans to upgrade its manufacturing facility for motors designed for electric vehicles following a major supply contract with Ford Motor Company and optimistic outlook for the EV market.

 The Japanese conglomerate will develop its existing plant in Houston in January next year and develop its first overseas manufacturing base for automotive propulsion motors.

The Toshiba International Corporation site in Houston produces motors for industrial equipment. Toshiba currently produces its automotive propulsion motors in Mie Prefecture in Honshu, Japan. Production of the automotive motors in the new site is planned for 2012.

“Toshiba recognizes the importance of localizing production within North America to ensure long-term growth and make a commitment to the North American market,” said Shinichiro Akiba, president of Toshiba International Corporation.

Toshiba withheld details of the drive motors supply contract with Ford (Nasdaq:

) for the latter’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. 

But as the automotive industry shifts to greener vehicles, Toshiba estimates that the global market for motors for electric vehicles will grow to 50 billion Japanese yen ($551 million) in 2009 and expand to 1 trillion yen in 2020.

The conglomerate, with business segments covering digital products to social infrastructure such as power and water systems, aims to capitalize on the EV market, which also drives the batteries industry.

Toshiba’s projections jive with studies conducted by analysts such as ABI Research, which said in a recent report that the global market for plug-in electric vehicles will reach $11.75 billion by 2015.

Another study by Pike Research concludes that Asian manufacturers will dominate the market for batteries of electric vehicles and will take up half of the $8 billion industry by the same year.

To prepare for the growth of these markets, Toshiba is focusing on developing key components for electric vehicles, such as inverters and drive motors. It is also promoting automotive technology advances in dedicated on-board control systems for batteries and intelligent traffic systems.

The Houston facility is expected to lead the company’s marketing of automotive systems and components in the United States while strengthening collaboration with other automobile manufacturers and increasing auto companies’ local procurement of key components.

Toshiba (TOKYO:

) is currently involved with over 740 companies and has annual sales of about 6.3 trillion Japanese yen.  

Via EcoSeed

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Walmart Green Forklifts

Air Liquide said it was recently awarded a contract to supply the hydrogen, filling station and infrastructure to power Walmart‘s new fleet of green lift trucks at the company’s new distribution centre located in Alberta, Canada. The fuel cell forklift trucks are the fastest growing segment of the hydrogen energy market.

In addition to producing no greenhouse gases, these vehicles also offer a productivity gain of 2% compared to battery powered forklift trucks. In Canada, where numerous publicly-funded research and development programs on hydrogen energy have been launched in recent years, commercial applications are coming to light.

This fleet is the largest deployment of fuel cell lift trucks in Canada and the first commercial contract in hydrogen energy in the country. It is also the first fleet of its kind supplied by the Air Liquide group.

Air Liquide Canada will design a dedicated solution for material handling. It will integrate compact indoor hydrogen dispensers located throughout Walmart Canada’s distribution center. Those dispensers will be able to supply a total of over 100 kg per day and fill vehicles in less than 2 minutes. This fast filling generates a significant productivity gain compared to battery swap operations for conventional electric forklifts. Air Liquide will also supply the hydrogen, which in Canada is produced using 98% renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity.

Over forty-five Air Liquide hydrogen stations have been installed throughout the world to date. Other publicly-funded programs in Canada include the Vancouver and Montreal-Trudeau airports demonstration project, and the Whistler station, which keeps BC Transit’s fleet of 20 hydrogen buses on the road. In Korea, two new hydrogen filling stations dedicated to cars have just been commissioned.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President, Air Liquide Group, and a member of the Executive Committee, said, “We are very pleased to provide the hydrogen and filling infrastructure for this first fleet in Canada. It is another step towards the global market Air Liquide has been anticipating. We are proud to accompany the development of this technological innovation that will help to preserve the environment. Both Energy and the Environment are growth drivers of the Air Liquide Group."


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Travel, Don't Forget Your Green Gadgets

 Happy Summer. Summer is the time of year when families from coast to coast decide to go on vacation. Even though you hate to admit it we want to go somewhere but we know we are addicted to our electronic gadgets. Where ever you finally choose your vacation this summer,  whether the beach, the mountains, at a campsite , abroad or even in your own backyard, you will find plenty of distinctive green gadgets that will make the experience so much more entertaining. Even though possessing these green gadgets isn't necessary to enjoy your  summer travels, they sure will make the entire experience so much more entertaining.
Charging cell phones, MP3 players, PDAs, cameras, and more can be a drain, especially if you are out and about with the family and there's no outlet in sight.  Outdoor Gadgets used to be limited to their battery life. But not anymore!! Taking a solar charger along on your getaway can help you avoid the dying cell phone disaster since it draws power from the sun to amp up nearly any device.

Solar chargers come in a range of shapes and sizes and can be separated into two categories: those with built-in batteries (which means you can store your sun power for later use) and those without batteries (they send the solar power straight to your player — no middle man, but also no reserve power once the sun sets). You may also choose one with a battery for use at home to save electricity: You can leave the charger in the sun all day (on a south-facing windowsill, for example), then come home and charge your device at night. A majority of the devices offer a female USB port, similar to what is on your computer. This USB port offers the flexibility of charging many electronics that already come with a USB cable, so searching for the right connector is not necessary.

Your mobile device can have as much fun in the sun as you deserve yourself,  so Happy Travels and don't forget your green gadgets.

Enjoy Your Vacation.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Paper Vs. Plastic? How About Bring Your Own

How many times have you left to go shopping and have forgotten to bring along your own reusable shopping bags? I know I have many times.

Though we have the best intentions, we often forget to bring our reusable shopping bags with us when we're out. If that sounds familiar, you'll love these!
 ChicoBags Reuseable Shopping Bags - Set Of 3 - 1 Green - 1 Brown - 1 Purple
They compactly fold into their own tiny sewn-in pouch (about the size of a cell phone) to stay - on call - in purses, packs or pockets or on keychains. Featherweight nylon fabric means you'll never know they're there yet each holds a lot of weight and lots of items. They hold a LOT more than you would expect. 

There is an estimated 100 billion plastic shopping bags consumed each year in the USA, according to the Wall-Street Journal. 
Most plastic bags end up in landfills and the rest often end up in rivers, ponds, lakes, streams or in the sea, where animals can ingest or become entangled in them.

Adopting a Bring Your Own Bag strategy in our individual shopping habits is a simple way to do just that. If we can raise awareness at this time, the positive impact for the environment is incalculable for now and well into the future. Several cities have already made gradual but significant progress in promoting the use of eco-friendly non woven reusable grocery bags in recent years. Motivating consumers with plastic and paper bag bans, discounts at the register for reusable bag usage and tax motivations are a few to speak of.

Ten US cities have banned plastic bags so far, five within the past year.  California could become the first State to issue such a ban. Even Mexico City enacted a ban recently on plastic shopping bags.  The city of 20 million now faces the realities of effective enforcement, which is not easy when the Mexico City Chamber of Commerce estimates there are 35,000 vendors in Mexico City’s downtown area alone.     Via Tech with Us

The time is now to spread the word about the positive benefits of eco-friendly reusable shopping bags to influence our families, friends and communities.

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Funny Environmental Video

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Top 5 Eco Dad's

With Father's Day being celebrated this weekend, Planet 100 honors celebrity Eco-Dads making a difference.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Commit To Reducing Their Greenhouse Gas Footprint

Royal Caribbean Partners With Ecospec on Pilot Test of Emission Abatement System Onboard Independence of the Seas

Furthering Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s commitment to reducing their greenhouse gas footprint by one-third per available passenger cruise day by 2015, the global cruise line announced  yesterday that it is partnering with Ecospec to install a pilot test of their CSNOx system on Royal Caribbean International's Independence of the Seas.

The CSNOx system was introduced by Ecospec in January 2009, and is the world's first abatement technology reported to remove sulfur dioxide (SOx), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from engine emissions in one process. Royal Caribbean is the first cruise operator to initiate a feasibility study with Ecospec to explore the potential for installation of CSNOx systems on a cruise ship.
"Every day, we are actively researching methodologies and technologies that will reduce our emissions of not only SOx and NOx, but also CO2 as part of our comprehensive strategy to reduce our environmental impact," said Jamie Sweeting, global chief environmental officer and vice president of environmental stewardship for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Our guiding principle of Above and Beyond Compliance, which is ingrained in our operating philosophy, challenges us to rise above what is required by law. We are optimistic that the CSNOx system will help us to meet our goal."

Previously, the CSNOx technology was installed and tested on White Sea, a Tanker Pacific vessel in 2009. The results of this test, published by Ecospec in February 2010, revealed an impressive 99 percent reduction of SOx, 66 percent reduction of NOx, and a 77 percent reduction of CO2. Additionally, wash water test results also surpassed the International Maritime Organization's exhaust gas cleaning discharge criteria. The Royal Caribbean pilot test is expected to be complete by the spring of 2011.

About Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.      ........Click Here
About ECOSPEC                                 ....... Click Here

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Turning Green Into Green

Everyone knows the familiar “reduce, reuse, and recycle” concept by now, but most people still have not moved past this most basic “greening” of their home and life onto other methods to help the planet.              Turn Green into Green.
We have compiled a short list of other easy ways to live more sustainably, as well as save you some “green” in your wallet. We hope you will try out one or more of these community based strategies to benefit the environment and keep you on budget in this struggling economy

Bartering is the age old practice of trading something you already have for something else you don’t have. It is what you can do to get what you want without any money. Some people trade items, such as fish for apples for example, but others trade for less tangible things, such as time spent gardening for time spent babysitting, which is referred to as time dollar credits. Barter exchange is another way you can recycle your old belongings that you no longer use to get something that you do need without being wasteful. It helps save you money since you aren’t spending your cash on something new.

Everyone knows what carpooling is, but it seemed like the practice had tapered off in the past decade until the current economic downturn. Now ride-shares are coming back in popularity both in part to help combat global warming by reducing carbon emissions and to save money on gas. You can usually find a coworker to carpool with at your place of employment, but you can also look on local community boards or forums. Splitting the cost of gas and taking extra cars off the road will help everyone breathe easier. If you can’t find someone to carpool with, leave your car at home and take your local public transportation. There are usually many opportunities for carpooling and ride-shares in larger cities if you look for them.

Rain Barrels
Rain barrels are what they sound like: barrels that catch and store rainwater. With the demands on the world’s fresh water supply increasing every day, you might wonder what you can do to help conserve water in your own home. Installing a rain barrel is just one thing you could do that makes sense and would cut down on your water bill. Initially, it will cost you money for the supplies (and possibly installation), but it is something you will use for years. Rainwater is diverted from the downspout of your gutter into a plastic or wooden barrel and then used to water your garden or lawn during the summer. It makes the most sense to install one right before the spring rains come so you will have a full barrel to use over the summer when droughts can cause water utilities to raise their rates.

Meal Exchange
With some planning and coordination, you can create a meal exchange with a group of friends, coworkers or neighbors. In a meal exchange, each family only cooks one large meal a week for everyone in the group, and then portions off and trades meals with the other families. This means your family gets to eat a different meal cooked by each family every night. The end result is that you save time by only having to cook one meal a week, you save money by buying in bulk and not having to buy groceries for multiple meals, and you build community with the other families in the exchange. It is good for the environment as well because you end up going out to eat less when you already have food prepared at home, which saves on carbon emissions from driving and food packaging from going into a landfill.

Community Tool Sheds
A community tool shed is exactly that – people in the neighborhood share their tools in a central location for other neighbors to borrow and use. It allows you to borrow a tool you need for a project instead of having to go out and buy a new power tool that will just collect dust after you complete the work. You will save money on tools and help save resources. A community tool shed also provides the opportunity to organize a neighborhood home improvement team where a group of neighbors help one another do repair work on each other’s homes. By working together, the projects will get finished sooner, everyone will save money by not hiring workers, and the neighborhood overall benefits by becoming a closer community and raising home values.

We hope these suggestions have been useful in helping the “green” in your bank grow along with expanding your knowledge of other creative ways to help the environment and build community.

…And please remember that every little thing each of you does will help!
Article Source

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Airplane Turned Into Home

A woman in California takes “going green” to a whole new level…literally. She took an old Boeing 747 and made it into her home.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

E.P.A. Makes The Case For Affordable Climate Legislation

The United States Environment Protection Agency has confirmed that the proposed climate bill could help bring down global carbon emissions at safe levels by 2050 while being affordable for American households.

In an analysis, the agency concluded that the Senate bill sponsored by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman would cost households an average of $79 to $146 per year.

The bill, called the American Power Act unveiled in April, aims to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020 and by more than 80 percent by 2050.

The agency’s analysis of the Senate bill mirrors the price it gave to the House of Representatives’ version of the legislation passed in June 2009. The agency previously estimated that American Clean Energy Security Act is expected to cost $80 to $111 annually.

In addition, the analysis also showed that prices for carbon permits in the cap-and-trade market outlined in the Kerry-Lieberman bill should hit $16 per metric ton to $17 per metric ton in 2013 and $23 per metric ton to $24 per metric ton in 2020.

These prices are within range of the bill's initial floor and ceiling prices of $12 and $25 respectively.

Possible scenarios

The E.P.A. gave several scenarios to measure the global impact of passing the climate bill in reducing emissions. One scenario assumes concerted global action, where the country follows the carbon reduction plans laid out in the Kerry-Lieberman bill at the same time as developing countries try to meet their own targets.

Developing countries, along with the United States, are also expected to follow the pledges they made during the G-8 meeting in July 2009 involving emission cuts of 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. In addition, the scenario assumes that these countries have already adopted a policy that caps emissions beginning in 2025 based on 2015 levels and reduces emissions to 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

The agency estimates that there is a 75 percent chance of keeping global temperatures under 2°C under this scenario, which is in line with the temperature threshold by 2050 established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The E.P.A. also presented a more modest scenario where developing countries’ have not started any climate policy to curb down emission until 2050. Despite this, the agency forecasted that there is still a 50 percent chance of holding global temperatures under 3°C and an 11 percent chance of holding temperatures below 2°C.   Story Via 

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Walmart's Expanded Solar Power Initiative Moves Forward

Walmart announced yesterday the completion of two solar power projects from its expanded solar initiative announced on Earth Day 2009 (April 22). The solar projects are located in San Diego, California.  Walmart’s expanded solar power initiative will nearly double its solar energy use in California, adding solar installations at 10 to 20 Walmart facilities throughout the state.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox praised Walmart for its commitment to renewable energy in the region.

“San Diego is the leader among California cities for solar use and generation, so it’s fitting that a Walmart store in our city would go solar,” said Mayor Sanders. “I appreciate Walmart’s leadership on increasing renewable energy in San Diego and throughout the state. It is good policy that will benefit the environment as well as result in energy cost savings they can pass along to customers.”

“I commend Walmart’s leadership in sustainable practices through its addition of solar energy technology to the Chula Vista Broadway store,” said Mayor Cox. “Walmart’s commitment to renewable energy is an investment in an economically and environmentally sustainable future for our city.”
The solar projects were also recognized by Mary D. Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board.

“Walmart’s effort to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program here in California demonstrates their commitment to sustainability. These kinds of projects create green jobs, reduce costs for businesses by lowering power bills, and protect the environment,” said Nichols. “We appreciate Walmart’s leadership and encourage other businesses to follow Walmart’s lead.”

The expanded solar initiative builds upon the solar pilot program that began in May 2007. In addition to the two San Diego region stores, three other stores in the Southern California region went online in December 2009 as a part of its expanded solar power initiative. Walmart’s total combined solar efforts in California are expected to:  See Full Story

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Solar Day 2010

Given the public outrage over the largest oil spill in U.S. history, public awareness of solar energy has grown through recent speeches by President Obama about solar energy and clean energy.
This year’s annual day of recognition for the growth of clean, solar energy in the U.S. is SolarDay 2010 – Saturday, June 19. The premise of SolarDay is simple: a national day of recognition for solar energy, energy independence and protection of the planet.
I have to say, I didn’t know there was a “SolarDay” until recently, but I guess that is partly because it wasn’t founded until 2009.  Nonetheless, it has already grown into a worldwide event.
SolarDay is celebrated on a weekend day before the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year). which as indicated above is this Saturday, June 19th.

Last year, more than 700 media stories were written about SolarDay. I imagine there will be more than that this year.
As you might expect, SolarDay is about promoting solar energy and energy independence. But it goes beyond that in that it promotes clean, green energy in general and sustainable lifestyles as well.

See Full Story

Solar Day Events

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Monday, June 14, 2010

A Natural Return To The Earth

‘Green burials’ eliminate toxins and non-biodegradable material from end-of-life rituals — and the movement is gaining ground.
 When J.P. Patterson grasped a strap and helped lower the untreated pine casket holding his wife’s linen-wrapped body into the ground on a clear January day in Georgetown, he felt it was a fitting send-off for a woman of strong faith and simple tastes.
Rita Patterson took joy in the pleasures of participating in Bible study groups and cooking for her family. She never made a fuss about herself.
So when the mother of six died in her sleep after a long bout with colon cancer, her husband knew she’d have no use for a tombstone towering over a pricey casket entombed in a cement vault.
“Even before we knew what it was called, she wanted a simple service,” Patterson said.
It’s called a “green burial,” and it’s part of a growing movement to eliminate toxic chemicals or non-biodegradable materials from end-of-life rituals by forgoing embalming, vaults, tombstones and metal caskets.
Green services cost an average of $4,900, about one-third the price of more traditional options.
Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery near Austin is Texas’ only cemetery to be recognized so far by the emerging industry’s leading organization.
As the environmentally friendly burial movement grows, others, including a Houston land developer who recently bought a picturesque piece of land outside Brenham, are aiming to capitalize on the demand.
The movement’s popularity has increased in the past decade as aging baby boomers — who grew up challenging social norms and examining their relationships to religion, family and the environment — consider their mortality, according to the nonprofit Green Burial Council.
“This concept resonates with Texans more than any other state,” the council’s founder, Joe Sehee, said. Those favoring the green option here often are not doing it as a final act of environmental activism, he said, but out of a desire to be close to the land, to return to biblical practices or as an alternative to embalming without choosing cremation.

Industry on the fence

No statistics are kept on the number of green burials, but their popularity has increased from not being a mainstream option in the 1990s to 21 percent of Americans older than 50 stating they would prefer an eco-friendly end-of-life ritual, according to a 2007 AARP survey.
Gilda Hart is among the supporters. She was turned off from more traditional options when she saw the embalming process up close and when she experienced her mother’s funeral.
When she learned about green burials last year, she gobbled up every morsel of information.
The 58-year-old Houston resident likes the religious concept of “dust to dust” and the environmental benefits of not burying non-biodegradable metals, treated wood and concrete.
“I’m not saying I’m an environmentalist, I can’t say that, but whatever we give back is greater than what we receive,” Hart said.
Others, including the National Funeral Directors Association, are still on the fence about green burials. Though the organization doesn’t discourage the practice, it cautions families not to get caught up in the hype.
“Because green funerals are an emerging alternative to traditional funeral practices, some questions have not yet been answered, such as whether there  See Full Story

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Green Stadiums Score for World Cup 2010

THE Fifa World Cup 2010 kicked off in Johannesburg, South Africa, last Friday. Ten stadiums were built altogether for one of the world’s greatest sporting event and some feature cutting-edge sustainable building strategies.

Here’s a glimpse of the green stadiums of World Cup 2010:

1 - The Soccer City Complex in Johannesburg, where the first match between South Africa and Mexico was played, is also the venue for the final next month. The stadium transforms the landscape through form, color and lighting. In the day, its earthen color evokes the copper-rich land which has supported the local economy for generations. Night transparent panels in the facade create a unique pattern.

2 - Located in the seaside city of Durban is Moses Mabhid Stadium. The architects took great care to lower the structure’s energy profile with the use of natural cooling techniques, protected day lighting and rainwater catchment. This 70,000-seat facility was designed with future sporting events and concerts in mind and as a seed for a future Olympics bid.

3 - The elegant Green Point Stadium is situated at the foot of Signal Hill between downtown Cape Town and the Sea Point neighborhood. The high-profile location demanded a sensitive aesthetic design. It’s clad in a translucent silvery-white membrane that takes on the color of its surroundings while producing a soft glow at night. A truss-and-cable system supports a semi-transparent roof that lets light in but limits solar heat. The stadium has a capacity of 68,000.

4 - Loftus Versfeld Stadium is located in Pretoria. Built in 1928, it is an impressive building. Steady upgrades over the years have resulted in a classic building that seats 50,000.

5 - The Free State Stadium is in the city of Bloemfonteinin the heart of South Africa. It was completed in 1952, refurbished in 1995 and was retrofitted again last year for the Fifa Confederations Cup. A great example of green renovation, the stadium seats 45,000 and is now a major...............Read More

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How To Green Your Child- Watch Video

5 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Child

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Shanghai GM Aims to Reduce Fuel Consumption 15%

Shanghai GM has outlined the next phase of its “Drive to Green” product strategy—launched in 2008 (earlier post)—for 2011-2015. The joint venture between GM and SAIC intends to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15% while improving performance 14% by 2015.
The Drive to Green strategy is based on improving and optimizing the performance of traditional internal combustion engines and transmissions; continuing the roll out of hybrids; promoting electric vehicles; and supporting the development of hydrogen and other zero-emission products. Several targets announced in 2008 have already been achieved.
Advanced Powertrains. Shanghai GM will introduce 12 new engines through 2015, including several with small displacements, such as a 1.5-liter VVT engine and 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Vehicles with engines that have displacements of between 1.4 liters and 2.5 liters will account for 95% of Shanghai GM’s total sales in the future.
Engine technologies such as SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) and turbocharging, as well as new transmissions such as the S6, will be applied in Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet products offered by Shanghai GM. They will cover all market segments, from compact vehicles to luxury products. Shanghai GM’s current lineup of engines with medium displacements and turbocharging will also be upgraded.
In addition, Shanghai GM will intensify the application of energy-saving technologies in its new models. New products will feature a lower drag coefficient and more aerodynamic design, be lighter in weight, and incorporate automatic start-stop engine technology to further improve fuel efficiency. By 2012, all models sold in China will have the capability of being upgraded to comply with the Euro V (China Phase 5) emission standard.
Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. Additional hybrids and vehicles powered by electricity will be rolled out by Shanghai GM over the next five years. The automaker will show a Chevrolet New Sail (earlier post) electric vehicle prototype this year.
[A hatchback version of the Chevrolet New Sail went on sale 1 June, with 1.2-liter SE and 1.2-liter SX versions currently available. The 1.4-liter EMT with an electronic manual transmission is expected to be available in three months. Since its launch earlier this year, the New Sail sedan has posted average monthly sales of about 7,500 units.]
In 2011, the new Buick LaCrosse Hybrid, which will have 20% better fuel economy than the standard model, and the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability will be introduced. The Volt will be able to run solely on electricity for up to 60 kilometers (37 miles). Its 1.4-liter on-board engine will give the Volt a maximum driving range of more than 480 kilometers (298 miles).
“Drive to Green”. Since the Drive to Green strategy was initiated, between 2008 and 2009, Shanghai GM invested almost US$1.1 billion in powertrain development, 
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If it’s green, we’ll drive it — that’s the motto of a new weekly video show

If it’s green, we’ll drive it — that’s the motto of a new weekly video show for GigaOM TV and Earth2Tech called Green Overdrive, where the Earth2Tech editors drive the latest green vehicles, from a plug-in motorcycle to a biofuel-filled bus. In our launch episodes we drive Zero Motorcycles electric motorcycle, the Chevy Volt and Ultra Motor’s A2B electric bikes. Hot damn, the green vehicle revolution is here and we’re going to be riding it! You can keep up with this new weekly series by visiting Earth2Tech, but right now check out our latest video of the Zero Motorcycle below!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

5 Ways To Have an Eco-Friendly Child

Frοm tһе moment tһаt tһеу’re born, children аrе mass consumers. Tһе lists tһаt уου mаkе οf аƖƖ tһе things tһаt уουr new baby needs soon turn іntο tһе lists οf аƖƖ tһе things tһаt уουr young child wаntѕ. Bringing уουr child up tο bе eco-friendly mау bе a ƖіttƖе daunting, bυt іt’s achievable bесаυѕе tһеrе’s more tһаn enough һеƖр out tһеrе fοr аƖƖ οf uѕ. Here’s јυѕt 5 οf tһе many ways tһаt уου саn һаνе аn Eco-Friendly child:
1 Bеɡіn аt Home – Encouraging уουr child tο grow up living аn eco-friendly lifestyle, bеɡіnѕ аt home, wіtһ tһе entire family. Set tһе standard аnԁ lead bу example. Mаkе sure tһаt уου recycle уουr plastics, washing аnԁ crushing аnу bottles аnԁ piling up аnу paper οr cardboard tһаt саn bе taken away tο bе recycled. Wһеn уου һаνе a household recycling point іn уουr home, уου саn educate tһе whole family аbουt wһаt, wһеn аnԁ һοw tο recycle.
Tip: Wһу nοt turn іt іntο a game οr competition аnԁ mаkе іt fun аt tһе same time?
2 Clothing – Yου саn avoid mass-manufactured clothing сrеаtеԁ bу 11 year-olds іn sweatshops іn Asia, bу seeking out companies tһаt sell eco-friendly аnԁ ethically produced children’s clothing.
Choosing clothing fοr уουr baby οr child tһаt encourages sustainability аnԁ іѕ manufactured wіtһ a low impact οn tһе environment іѕ a ɡrеаt way fοr уουr child tο bе eco-friendly οn a daily basis. Look out fοr eco-friendly clothing tһаt іѕ free οf chemicals аnԁ uses 100% natural fibers.
Tip: Tһіnk аbουt choosing sustainable fibers such аѕ organic cotton οr bamboo
3 Skin Care – Young babies аnԁ children need a lot οf Ɩονе аnԁ care. Creams, lotions, shampoos аnԁ soaps аƖƖ һеƖр keep tһеm healthy, сƖеаn аnԁ һарру. Bυt many οf tһе traditional skin care products fοr children come іn plastic, non-recyclable containers аnԁ аrе manufactured using inorganic ingredients.
It’s bееn shown tһаt over 60% οf wһаt wе рυt οn ουr skin іѕ absorbed bу tһе body. A young child’s immune system shouldn’t һаνе tο contend wіtһ аƖƖ tһе nasty chemicals tһаt come іn standard skin care products.
4 Eco-Toys – Eco friendly toys аrе mаԁе frοm natural, safe materials tһаt ԁο חοt impact negatively upon еіtһеr tһе environment, חοr introduce harmful chemicals іחtο уουr home. If уου’re looking fοr a toy tһаt уου feel confident fοr уουr ƖіttƖе ones tο chew аחԁ teeth οח, look fοr a guarantee tһаt חο pesticides οr chemicals аrе used іח tһе production process.
Yου ѕһουƖԁ look out fοr toys tһаt аrе mаԁе frοm 100% natural fibers аחԁ уου’ll bе mаkіחɡ уουr eco-friendly contribution tο tһе planet.

Tip: Wooden and organic cotton toys аrе ɡrеаt fun and very eco-friendly

For #5 click here

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Dim Bulbs, Old Clothes, and Hairballs

Three questions .......... 

Do I save electricity when I use a dimmer switch on my lights? Or am I using the same amount of electricity no matter where I have it set?

Unless your dimmer dates to the 1970s, it will save some energy. The more you lower the lights, the less power they use—although the savings won't be as large as the reduction in brightness. (At a light level of 50 percent, you'll be using more than half the electricity.) If you're using incandescent lights, a dimmer switch can also extend the life of your bulbs. According to Francis Rubinstein, a lighting researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, an incandescent bulb that's kept at 50 percent brightness should last roughly 10 times longer than one burning at full capacity.

Things are a little different with compact fluorescent bulbs. In the first place, not all of these work with dimmers. Among those that do, the energy savings are a little better, but you won't get any extension in bulb life. At the lowest dimmer settings, an incandescent bulb will cast an especially warm glow, but the quality of light from a CFL remains the same no matter how it's set. There may also be some flickering with the fluorescents. However, if saving energy is your main concern, ditch the old-fashioned bulbs: An incandescent will always be less efficient than a CFL, no matter what kind of light switch you're using.

Can you recycle clothes?
Yup. Textiles that are still relatively intact can be cut up into wiping rags, which are sold to gas stations and paint shops. Ratty clothes are shredded, and the resulting fibers can be used in things like carpet padding or soundproofing insulation. Some fibers, like wool, can be re-spun, re-dyed, and re-woven into brand-new clothes.

Unless you live in one of the handful of counties that has curbside textile recycling, it may be tricky to get your closet cast-offs to the people who recycle them. Many organizations that collect used clothing, like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, have relationships with textile recyclers, which take anything the charities can't sell in their stores. But it's not always a good idea to drop a bag of single socks or tattered gym clothes at your local charity shop. For one thing, not all of them have agreements with recyclers—which means your discarded duds could end up in the trash—and second, overtaxed workers might not appreciate being asked to sort through your detritus, only to discover that they can't sell any of it. (Stained or unstylish clothing is usually OK, but a sweater your dog mauled probably isn't.)

If you can't find ways to reuse the clothes in your own home, the Lantern recommends calling the shops in your area to see which ones recycle their unwanted donations and whether they'd be willing to take what you have. Sometimes you can send your stuff directly to a recycler by using their 24-hour drop-off bins in parking lots and other central locations. You can find local listings for both charity shops and drop-off bins on (Meanwhile, if you have old, hole-y athletic shoes of any brand, Nike will take them off your hands.) Just make sure your clothes aren't moldy, smelly, or wet—even recyclers will toss those in the trash.

What's the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of the hair from my brush or comb? In lieu of trashing it, I've been flushing it down the toilet, but something tells me that can't be right.
Trust your instinct: The toilet is not the proper place for hairballs. First of all, it could lead to
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Wal-Mart Green, We Will Be Seeing Alot More of This

Mayor Scott Lang was among three mayors honored at the 78th Annual Conference of Mayors held in Oklahoma City for their leadership in green jobs training.
Lang's distinction means that People Acting in Community Endeavors' "Youth Build Green Energy Solutions" program will receive $300,000 through the Wal-Mart Foundation from the conference. The conference chose nonprofit groups in the cities of the mayors honored to receive grants. The grants are intended to support and expand green jobs training.
PACE's program will provide residential and commercial energy efficiency training. The program trains local contractors, experienced construction workers and inexperienced residents interested in entering the green technology sector.
"Energy, climate protection and green jobs have been top priorities in our work with mayors, Congress and the administration, specifically our efforts to enact a new energy block grant program and the Green Jobs Act," Tom Cochran, chief executive officer and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said through a statement.

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Philly Gears Up for the Green Economy via Wal-Mart

The U.S. Conference of Mayors awarded Philadelphia a $500,000 from the Wal-Mart Foundation on Friday for its Philly Gears Up for the Green Economy program.

The pilot program is a collaborative partnership between the city, the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) and the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, to create a pipeline for high school students, dislocated and incumbent workers to enter the green work force. Training will be provided through five-pilot programs at ECA’s James L. Knight Green Jobs Training Center.

The five pilot programs are:
1. A pre-apprenticeship for weatherization technicians for 20 high school seniors.
2. A pre-apprenticeship for foam insulation technicians for 25 BASF incumbent workers.
3. An apprenticeship program for foam insulation technicians for 25 BASF incumbent workers.
4. White Roof coating training for 25 WAP (Weatherization Assistance Program) incumbent workers.
5. Energy audit training for 50 energy auditors.

School District of Philadelphia high school students who enter the program upon graduation are eligible to receive credits toward earning an Associates’ Degrees at the Community College of Philadelphia and may be eligible for 50 percent tuition reimbursement by employers.

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Trash To Energy

When it comes to environmental discussion, waste management is an environmental concern that many feel needs to be addressed. Many also feel that clean energy innovations are needed to ensure a greener earth. Yet, what many fail to realize is that the solution to the garbage and clean energy problem may be garbage itself.
Denmark has installed a number of garbage plants that take trash and make it into energy. These plants are at the forefront of waste/energy technology. How they operate is that the waste taken into the plant is incinerated which creates heat that generates steam for a turbine that goes on to run generators that create electricity and even heat. Statistics have shown that plants like the ones in Denmark, while creating new forms of energy, also help to cut down on waste caused emissions. 0.56 metric tons of CO2 is emitted from these conversion plants, which is considerably smaller than the 3.35 metric tons of CO2 that is emitted from landfills. Denmark has shown that there are other answers to waste problem than the common practice of landfills, but some countries like the United States are still hesitate to make the change.
There are over 13,000 active and inactive landfills in the United States alone. These landfills make up 54% of the nation's waste management, which compared to the 4% in Denmark shows the differences in the way garbage is taken care of between the two countries. The negatives of landfills are that they take up space, have been known to leak toxins, and have almost six times the emission rate than that of trash energy plants. So what is stopping the United States from embracing the change? Well, it may be coming from an unlikely opponent: environmentalists.
Some environmentalists feel that incinerators, even ones that help to create energy, are counterproductive to the cause. In their opinion, incinerators promote a waste culture instead of a culture based around recycling. Yet, many American organizations like the Clinton Global Initiative (an international aid and philanthropy organization started by former President Clinton and advisor Doug Band back in 2005) see carbon emissions as the true environmental problem regardless of where it comes from. This is why CGI has worked tirelessly to create green initiatives that cut down on CO2 emissions.
What the waste conversion plants in Denmark have shown is that there are plenty of solutions to environment worries around the world waiting to be utilized. The United States may not be eager to join just yet, but the victory is that the world is thinking of ways to create cleaner energy even if it's from a trashy source.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wal-Mart Goes Green: The World's First Quintuple Play

Watching baseball's first quadruple play was strange. Seeing Wal-Mart (WMT) go green is stranger still. First the baseball: The scene was a game of T-Ball, where everyone bats every inning, regardless of the number of outs. The bases were loaded when a line drive ended up in the glove of the pitcher. While he wondered how it got there, all the runners took off without tagging up. The pitcher ran to third, then second, then first. We kept counting the number of outs and they did not add up. First in our heads: That doesn't make sense. Then on our hand: That's crazy. Then our other hand: It kept adding up to four outs. It took us a while to believe what we saw right in front of us.

And now Wal-Mart, the original Black Hat, is going green. Or better said, sustainable. Let that sink in because it is true. Big time.  So much so that says it "could end up being one of the biggest motivators to make truly 'green' products ever."
As in history of the world. Wal-Mart has made believers out of not just the biggest environmental organizations in the world -- like the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Federation -- but also Wal-Mart's suppliers.
It started five years ago when Wal-Mart announced three goals:
1) 100 percent renewable energy;
2) Zero waste;
3) Sustainable products.

Wal-Mart stores have already gone sustainable on dozens of fronts from shipping to selling to storing to recycling. Last year, Wal-Mart saved 4.8 billion plastic shopping bags.

That's how they roll in Bentonville: Big.    Click here to read what Wal-Mart told it's 100,000 vendors

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