Healthy Natural Snacks from SunRidge Farms

SRF_bags

SunRidge Farms uses all natural and certified organic ingredients in all their products

Santa Cruz is known for its beaches winding along Monterrey Bay, a boardwalk, its amusement park and the University of California at Santa Cruz. And it’s adjacent to Watsonville, one of the produce capitals of the world.

It’s also home to an award-winning food company, SunRidge Farms, maker of more than 1,000 certified organic and natural snacks and trail mixes it sells in bulk to retail stores and distributors across the country.

For more on this story, go to http://3.ly/DSev.

From e-waste to street signs

e-wasteAn important study released on February 22nd by the United Nations reports that the growing amount of e-waste could increase by as much as 500% over the coming decade!

Image Microsystems is facing this challenge head-on.

For more on this story, see Green Gadget Spotlight at http://3.ly/dl3.

Zany ways to recycle used electronics

62 Projects Dead Computer_1The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports that the tech industry collected and recycled about 200 million pounds of discarded consumer electronics last year, and that this could double in 2010.

E-waste is a significant environmental hazard. Since there are a lot of unused desktops and laptops stashed in homes and offices, it could get worse.

Author Randy Sarafan has written a fun book that could change that.

For more on this story, go to http://3.ly/Izos.

Unilever to stop buying palm oil from Indonesia

Palm Fruit harvest in Indonesia

Palm Fruit harvest in Indonesia

Top consumer goods manufacturer Unilever has reportedly told dealers to stop buying palm oil from Indonesian planter Duta Palma due to concerns over rainforest destruction.

Unilever, who has been one of the world’s foremost palm oil buyers, halted their contract with the planter shortly after a documentary aired by the BBC which showed Duta Palma staff clearing rainforests for oil palm estates that produce the oil used in Unilever products including Dove soap and Stork margarine.

The consumer products giant uses around 1.3 million metric tons of palm oil annually. Targeted by environmentalists sand green-minded consumers for their deforestation and peatland clearance practices, Unilever has pledged to only purchase from certified sustainable palm plantations after 2015.

Deforestation makes way for palm oil plantations

Deforestation makes way for palm oil plantations

Indonesia and Malaysia produce at least 80 percent of the world’s palm oil supply.

One could be cautiously optimistic about this announcement. However, based on my observations and limited research last Fall into the real sustainability of palm oil, I wonder if perhaps this is a simply case of finding a better way of looking good while continuing to make hand-over-fist profits.

New Zealand sides with Australia to ban Japanese whaling

whalesAdding their voice to Australia’s. New Zealand says it will assist with any international legal action to stop Japan’s illegal whale hunting in Antarctica’s Southern Sea.

New Zealand said it favors a diplomatic solution as a first choice, but will resort to legal action if necessary.

Now if the International Whaling Commission would just get on board.

Potential ruling could legalize hunting whales

Whale hunting could become legal again

Whale hunting could become legal again

In what could be a devastating environmental decision, the International Whaling Commission may decide to allow whale hunting to become legal again.

A moratorium on conmercial whale hunting has been in place since 1986, although several countries have been allowed to hunt them under the guise of “research”.

The newly drafted Consensus Decision by the Small Working Group on the Future of IWC would let countries that currently hunt whales under the existing treaty’s “research” provision to hunt them under this new ruling. The countries this would cover include Japan (currently the most notable offender), Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, which kill a combined total of 1,500 whales a year. Whaling by indigenous groups would be allowed to continue.

It’s a telling tale when a world organization charged with protecting a threatened species opts for a compromise that would push that threat even deeper rather than take a firm stand in the face of disagreement.

For more on this story, go to http://3.ly/mpv.

From e-waste to road signs?

Green road signsAn Austin, Texas company has created a line of eco-friendly road signage – from discarded electronic waste!

To learn more about Image Microsystems’  innovative green product, check out http://3.ly/PEO.

Travel-sized necessities go Green

The Eco-Traveler Gift Box -green all the way through

The Eco-Traveler Gift Box -green all the way through

To satisfy consumer demand, manufacturers have created small, travel-size versions of our favorite products. At the same time, Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour! It’s an environmental scourge – harmful to wildlife, threatening our oceans and marine life, and scientists believe it will take hundreds of years to degrade.

Los Angeles-based Minimus recently introduced its Eco-Traveler Gift set, packed to the gills with an array of small-sized products. Yet almost everything in this gift box is eco-friendly – either reusable, recyclable, biodegradable or it uses paper made and certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

For more on this super-useful and elegant product, go to http://3.ly/1Yby.

Tetley: 100% Rainforest Certified by 2016

Tetley 1The world’s second largest tea company, Tetley Tea, announced it will source all its tea from Rainforest Alliance certified farms by 2016.

Rainforest AllianceThe Rainforest Alliance currently has 215,000 acres of Rainforest Alliance-certified farms in Kenya, Tanzania, Argentina, India and Indonesia. This New York based non-profit certifies farms around the world that meet the specific environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network. Standards include worker rights and safety, water and soil conservation, wildlife protection, and legal wages.

One of the Tata Beverage Group’s main brands, Tetley sells black, green, red, flavored and decaffeinated teas, and has a presence in 70 countries. Their first certified products will hit the UK foodservice sector this April and Canada by early 2011. Rainforest Alliance Certified Tetley tea will branch out to the United States, Australia and mainland Europe in 2012.

Australia sets deadline for Japan to stop killing whales

Whale 1Australia has stepped up in the quest to stop Japanese whaling practices.

Australia’s Prime Minister Rudd has set a November deadline for Japan to cease its whaling program – done, Japan says, in the name of “research” – which slaughters hundreds of whales in the waters of Antarctica. If Japan disregards this warning, Rudd says “we will initiate court action before the commencement of the whaling season in November 2010.”

Rudd’s notice came the day before the arrival of Japan’s Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada. It’s anticipated that whaling will be a key component of the meetings with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith this weekend.

WhalingThough whaling is conducted in international waters, it’s usually done in close proximity to Australia’s maritime rescue zone and Canberra considers it a whale sanctuary.

According to a report by Don Rothwell, international law professor at the Australian National University who was commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2005 to explore Australia’s legal options in its fight to end whaling, Australia could request the courts grant an immediate injunction requiring Japan to stop whaling.

The courts would likely grant the injunction, which would remain in place until the matter was resolved. This would at least temporarily stop Japanese whaling, though it’s unclear if the Japanese whalers would honor the injunction.

Meanwhile the Sea Shepherd and its crew continue to clash with Japanese whalers in their attempts to halt the whale killings.