Millions of pounds of commercial flooring diverted from landfills

CarpetLast year Resource Commercial Flooring Network members diverted an astonishing 6.8 million pounds of carpet and carpet waste from landfills.

By reducing and sometimes eliminating waste in carpet projects, through their ReSource initiative, Ecolect™ (their national material collection and recycle program), members promote sustainable business practices. They recommend effective, sustainable methods for reclaiming material, diverting it from landfills across the country. 

ReSource members diverted 1.7 million pounds of carpet waste from landfills in 2008. This year´s goal is 5 million pounds. Given what they accomplished in 2009, that goal definitely needs to be raised!

An eco-friendly Rechargeable Battery that's ahead of the pack

PowerGenix 1a

Rechargeable batteries have been around for years. We often have a love-hate relationship with them, mainly because:

  • they’re usually expensive
  • but they last a lot longer

Now there’s a rechargeable battery that meets both those challenges. The PowerGenix NiZn rechargeable battery is moderately priced, is long lasting and is recyclable too.

Check out what this new rechargeable has to offer – and get acquainted with my newest online column at Conducive Chronicle and find out what a difference this green device can make.

Chocolate Valentine’s for your Sweetie

You know you had a great reason.

You’ve been swamped at work. You’re worried about your job, your boss, the economy…AND you forgot that today’s Valentine’s Day!

I may have something that will get you back in your sweetheart’s good graces – and it’s even eco-friendly!

If your sweetie likes chocolate – and almost everybody does – the Midnight Crunch bar is sure to mend all hurt feelings. To say it’s delicious is a pale understatement. Made from Fair Trade dark chocolate with quinoa (that’s keen’ wah) sprinkles, eating it is a sensual savoring EXPERIENCE.

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From recycling to art

Reversible Heart PendantFor yet another Valentine’s Day idea, check out Artful Home’s website. Filled with direct-from-the-artist jewelry, decor and a variety of other unique items, you’re bound to find something to make your sweetheart smile.

I was able to view their “Reversible 3D Tin Heart Necklace”  This delicate looking heart pendant stands out.  With different colors and colors and designs on each side and a vintage look, artist Beth Taylor made it from recycled tin cans. It comes on a silver link chain.

Each creation of this pendant is custom-made so colors may vary. Retailing for $68.00. It’s just one of a number of products Artful Home’s 1,000 artists create from recycled materials. A perfect green gift for your Valentine!

Chocolate anyone? A different kind of Valentine

Green ValentineWith Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’d be remiss if I didn’t do a few posts about innovative, eco-friendly gift ideas. Not my normal thing, but this holiday brings out some cool products I thought I’d mention. So in-between my usual “new” stories, here are a few fun ones.

Chocolate lovers will love this one. And with a name like “Chocolate Almond Truffle Body Butter”, how an you lose?

As I test out products beforehand, I can safely say this is one smells and feels amazing!

For softness and an amazing aroma, Chocolate Almond Truffle is amazing

For softness and an amazing aroma, Chocolate Almond Truffle is amazing

It’s like wearing chocolate,  without the mess.  Rich in emollients, this just-for-Valentine’s product, from Hothouse Botanicals, is made with organic ingredients, including:

  • Shea Butter
  • Cocoa Butter, which is high in antioxidants and protects from free radical damage
  • Coconut Oil
  • Rose Hip Oil, to help heal cracked skin
  • Organic Sapote Fruit Seed Oil (for a natural almond scent)
  • Cocoa Absolute, giving it that yummy chocolate liquor scent

This delectably-scented product does an amazing job for softening hands, feet, just about anywhere on your body you want to use it.

Retailing at $20 for a 6.22 ounce jar, you’re sure to get hugs and kisses with a gift like this one!

Hope for endangered US forests – beetles songs

 

 

Beetles have decimated millions of trees throughout the U.S.

Beetles have decimated millions of trees throughout the U.S.

That’s not a type on the title. Northern Arizona University researchers may have found a way to deter tree eating bark beetles from devastating forests. 

 

Nearly 80 million ponderosa, piñon and lodgepole pines in Arizona and New Mexico and tens of millions more across the West have been killed by ravenous bark beetles over the past decade. This has left ugly scars throughout our forests, weakened the surrounding ecosystem and heightened wildfire danger.

Pine Beetle infested forests.2NAU’s School of Forestry has been working to find a viable, earth-friendly solution. Researcher Reagan McGuire suggested utilizing sound to aggravate the relentless pests. After rock music and snippets of radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh played backward failed to deter them, the beetles were exposed to digitally altered recordings of their own calls.

The beetles immediately stopped mating or burrowing. Some fled.  Others violently attacked each other.All of them stopped chewing away at the pine tree.

Pine Beetle infested forests“Our interest is to use acoustic sounds that make beetles uncomfortable and not want to be in that environment,” said NAU forest entomologist Richard Hofstetter, who led the experiment nicknamed, without apology, “beetle mania.”

More research needs to be done and the lab will seek funding to continue this potentially forest saving  experiment into acoustic pest control. It’s hoped this could get into the field in the near future.

Japan denies human rights to anti-whaling activists

Whales 2The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group has concluded that two anti-whaling Greenpeace activists have been denied human rights by the Japanese justice system.

For more see http://3.ly/j7y.

USDA to scrap an important food safety check

Our ability to track cattle in cases of food contamination could be compromised

Our ability to track cattle in cases of food contamination could be compromised

 

The National Animal Identification System - a USDA program set in place during the Bush administration (one of the small bright spots of his tenure) after the discovery in late 2003 of a cow infected with mad cow disease -  will be scrapped due to apparent resistance from ranchers and farmers. Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack will announce the changes this Friday.

In the meantime, states will need to create a new system that included how to identify livestock. Officials plan to create a different livestock tracing program that they hope will gain widespread industry support. 

New federal rules will be developed - this could take two years or more to create - but the officials said these would only apply to animals moved via interstate commerce, such as cattle raised in one state being transported to a slaughterhouse in another state.

It’s not clear how far the government would go to restrict the movement of livestock between states if the animals did not meet basic traceability standards.

The soon-to-be-scrapped system received $142 million in federal financing but only 40 percent of the nation’s livestock producers participated in it,  according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

 So, once again, lobbyists have the final say on matters of safety. Since it’s our food supply, doesn’t that make you feel comfy?

Target and Safeway move to provide sustainable seafood

Sustainable seafood 3Driven by consumer demand, more corporations  are adopting sustainable business practices,  Retailers carrying food products are particularly engaged in this process.

Recently, Target and Safeway announced that they would discontinue carrying farm-raised seafood and switch to wild caught. Environmentalists have been pushing for this, criticizing that net-pens salmon farms, which release pollution, chemicals and parasites into the surrounding ocean, disrupt and sometimes decimate nearby wild fish populations. 

Sustainable seafood 1Greg Duppler, senior vice president, merchandising for Target, said “Target strives to be a responsible steward of the environment, while providing our guests with the highest-quality food choices.”

Safeway is also on the sustainable bandwagon. They recently announced their partnership with marine conservation group FishWise to develop and implement a more comprehensive sustainable seafood policy.The company will also implement a traceability system to screen out suppliers that don’t conform to its new policies, and will discontinue selling grouper, monkfish and red-snapper, due to overfishing concerns linked to these species.

Sustainable seafood 1.2“We hope this partnership will lead to a more sustainable product selection for our customers,” said Jim Bluming, vice president of seafood marketing for Safeway, “as well as improved transparency with our suppliers, and ultimately, healthy oceans and freshwater ecosystems for future generations.”

Good news for consumers and a hopeful sign that more corporations will make more steps into sustainability.

Greenwashing anyone?

Bamboo labeling isn't up for grabs, says the FTC

Bamboo labeling isn't up for grabs, says the FTC

Bamboo may be a sustainable resource, but it depends on how it’s processed. And it certainly can’t be considered eco-friendly if it’s really rayon.

The Federal Trade Commission recently sent letters to major retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Amazon and 74 other companies, warning them against rayon clothing and other products as bamboo.

“Failing to properly label and advertise textiles misleads consumers and runs afoul of both the Textile Rules and the FTC Act.”

Rayon can be made from any plant cellulose and is made with harsh chemicals. The companies will now be required to distinguish between  these two materials.

Soft and fuzzy, but is it really rayon?

Soft and fuzzy, but is it really rayon?

“Rayon is rayon, even if bamboo has been used somewhere along the line in the manufacturing process,”  said David Vladeck,  the FTC’s director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

According to Reuters, phone calls to WalMart, Amazon and Sears, which owns Kmart, weren’t immediately returned.

Fascinating to see what the big guys will try to get away with, especially when it comes to being on the green bandwagon.

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