Food companies are quietly hedging their bets with newer non-GMO products

Ben & Jerry's reformulated their Coffee Heath Bar ice cream to nix the GMO's

Ben & Jerry’s reformulated their Coffee Heath Bar ice cream to nix the GMO’s

With the passage of Vermont’s new GMO labeling bill, food manufacturers are wondering which way the winds of consumer demand will really go, and how soon. Always looking to make a profit, many companies are quietly hedging their bets by recalibrating ingredients in some of their product lines.

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When companies fail to keep their key sustainability promises

Photo by Richard Ericksson, flickr

Photo by Richard Ericksson, flickr

Companies large and small are by necessity moving into the sustainability arena. It’s a new language and a new way of thinking of and of doing business and it definitely goes against the norm. But as consumers demand to know that companies are acting sustainably, companies are being forced to adapt.

But adapting can come very slowly, amidst giving good “talk”. Take for example the Walt Disney Company.

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The future of commercial buildings – see-through solar powered windows

Mew Energy Technologies' new Solar Window™

Mew Energy Technologies’ new SolarWindow™

The growth of solar is exploding. As the technology continues to improve, the focus for commercial buildings is solar, but with a twist.

Not all commercial buildings can handle large solar arrays on their rooftops. Between the weight of the solar panels and the fixed angle of the buildings, standard solar panels aren’t a one-size-fits-all. Because of this, the new technology of smaller solar cells embedded in glass has become a race to see who will perfect and make this available first.

One of the leading contenders in the U.S. is New Energy Technologies, a building integrator photovoltaic (BIPV) developer in Maryland. Their chief focus – a product called SolarWindow™ – is a spray-on solution of solar cells that allows windows to generate electricity.First announced in 2010,/the idea of this solar film caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2011. NET now has an exclusive world-wide licensing agreement with the University of South Florida, and a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with NREL to advance SolarWindow technology.

To learn more about this exciting new innovation, see the full article here.

Surprising innovation is cleaning up the trash from Baltimore’s harbor

Water Wheel in Baltimore harbor

Like many of our nation’s waterways, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has become a plastic and styrofoam liquid litter box.Much of it sinks below the surface, sometimes posing hazards to ships navigating the area.

Healthy Harbor, an initiative of the nonprofit Waterfront Partnership, is determined to make the harbor swimmable and fishable again by 2020. They’re working to head off debris before it hits the harbor by raising public awareness of proper waste disposal, restricting the use of plastic bags and bottles, and engineering storm drains to catch trash. Continue reading

California towns could face steep fines for overwatering

Lake Mendocino, one of northern California's iconic blue lakes, now largely a dry lakebed due to drought

Lake Mendocino, one of northern California’s iconic blue lakes, now is now

As the heat continues in California, the drought deepens. The conversations and worries about water rationing abound. Many of us have cut back voluntarily, allowing lawns to go brown.

In our 3rd year of severe drought, California regulators are now proposing stringent new conservation measures to limit outdoor water use, including fines of up to $500 a day for using a hose without a shut-off nozzle.

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U.N. releases plan to help world’s largest economies avoid climate catastrophe

Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute

effrey Sachs, Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, said talking in the abstract was failing to produce the deep changes needed to move to a low-carbon global economy. Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

There is general agreement that the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 was a failure and that since then little to no concrete action has been taken by the world’s major powers to alleviate the causes of climate change. But perhaps now there is at least a glimmer of hope.

On Tuesday, the United Nations was presented with a roadmap to avoid a climate catastrophe, prescribing specific actions for the world’s biggest economies to keep warming below 2C.

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Every dog deserves durable American made, non-toxic toys

WestPaw Design logoIf you aren’t familiar with West Paw Design pet toys, you and your pet are missing out. I discovered them several years ago. They’re made without harmful chemicals such as phthalates or BPA.  My dogs have loved them! I do too as their Zogoflex line of toys are practically indestructible!

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