This year’s best and worst “Green” cities

green-cities-graphoc-2016

As consumers demand more green – in their products, building materials and in sustainability of companies they deal with, cities in the U.S. are ramping up their efforts to accommodate.

According to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of Americans support efforts to protect the environment. To honor this National Energy Awareness Month, the personal-finance website conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Greenest Cities in America. The website’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 20 key “green” indicators. These ranged from “greenhouse-gas emissions per capita” to “number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.”

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New certification lets consumers know products are fully Non-Genetically Engineered

PrintThe controversy of GMO versus non-GMO continues. The state of Vermont appears to be a pivotal factor in getting food manufacturers to finally begin labeling their products despite the huge pushback and enormous amounts of money thrown against the mandatory labeling fight.

Another sign that consumers will finally get the information as to what’s in their food that they consistently report they want has appeared. Continue reading

Dannon to switch to non-GMO ingredients for all its yogurt brands

Dannon Oikos yogurtYogurt lovers have received a much welcomed announcement about their favorite snack food.

Dannon, which owns the Oikos®, Dannon® and Danimals® yogurt brands, has announced that it will switch to non-GMO, non-synthetic ingredients.These brands represent 50 percent of the company’s current volume. This move is a pledge to farmers, customers and consumers to further improve sustainable agriculture practices for its milk supply, to increase transparency for its portfolio of products and evolve to more natural and fewer ingredients for flagship brands.

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200 lions to be killed in Zimbabwe – yet they’re threatened or endangered elsewhere

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of Zimbabwe’s largest and most successful wildlife reserves, the Bubye Valley Conservancy, recently announced that its population of 500 lions is unsustainable, and their numbers must be reduced by at least 200.

Since the world outcry regarding the trophy hunting kill of Cecil the black-maned lion, trophy hunters have definitely scaled back, though they’re still “enjoying” their kills. But the number of lions in Bubye are vying for diminishing resources, much of this due to human proliferation, and this creates problems. Continue reading

When it comes to organic brands, it’s fascinating to see who owns who

Organic chart - who owns who January 2016

In the corporate world, money talks. And more corporate giants have been jumping on the organic bandwagon over the past few years. That’s due to the ever-increasing popularity of and demand for organic food product offerings.

But this trend has made for some very strange and sometimes suspicious bedfellows. After all, when titans of junk food, processed food and sugary beverages acquire brands long known for their top quality organic products, shouldn’t consumers be concerned that the quality will change? And isn’t that concern justified?

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100 percent recycled asphalt to be used for bike lanes

Bike path pic

The Netherlands has one-upped the rest of the world yet again. Previously it was with their solar powered bike path, which opened in 2014 in a suburb outside of Amsterdam. In a country where there are admittedly more bikes than people, the government’s commitment to sustainability and innovation is inspiring.

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Four U.S. companies expand commitment to responsible paper by dropping Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification

Photo by Debra Atlas

As consumer demand for green business practices grows, companies continue to seek the best solutions and organizations that will help them meet that demand.

In the business of sustainably sourced wood products, there’s been a steady movement away from one of the more favored providers – Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) that in recent days has become controversial amid numerous allegations of greenwashing nasty business practices.

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The Growing Trend of Zero Food Waste and U.S. companies

Food waste

We’ve become a throwaway society. Leftovers from a dinner out get tossed into the trash. Bruised or past due supermarket produce winds up in dumpsters and ultimately in our landfills.

There’s a growing movement to give “organics” a second life. The Zero Waste movement has taken on food waste and businesses and organizations are embracing this sustainability trend.

Here are some sobering facts about food waste:

  • Approximately 40 percent of our food supply is wasted. That’s more than 20 pounds of food per person per month – the equivalent of $115 billion per year!
  • Organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, the largest source of methane emissions.

Food waste is a large and growing problem. To learn more about the zero waste movement and some of the innovative companies that have embraced it, click here.

New crowdfunding platform for “green’ projects

Earthcrowdfunder logo

Most people have heard of or even participated in some sort of crowdfunding campaign. Names like Indegogo and Kickstarter seem to be the most familiar platforms for a vast array of funding opportunities.

Now there’s a new star on the horizon, one that’s geared towards green projects. Earthcrowdfunder is the first crowdfunding platform designed specifically for environmental and sustainable projects.

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Will Costa Rica be the first carbon neutral country?

Costa Rica pic

Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, Costa Rica teams with biodiversity, stunning beauty and contradictions. With a national motto of “Pura Vida!”, it’s also committed to sustainability.

Costa Rica is striving to become the first nation certified carbon neutral by 2021. Currently it’s within twenty percent of achieving this, but must deal with some large challenges first.

Costa Rica, a country with a big vision, is also a country full of contradictions . To learn more about its sustainable tourism, its pesticide use, efforts in sea turtle conservation and its success with reforestation, click here.