Amazon Takes The Lead In Reducing Packaging Waste

Amazon to help How many times have you been completely frustrated with the ridiculous packaging that so many of the products we buy are entombed in? In a post I wrote back in March about a new Camelbak bladder I purchased, I praised the company for keeping their packaging simple and mostly recyclable. Its baffling to me that this should be a topic to blog so passionately about, but after opening packages of children’s toys for my daughters for the past six years worth of Christmases and Birthdays, this is a frustration that angers me to no end. What is all this crap and why do manufacturers believe they need to make opening packaging a task requiring the tools found in my workshop?

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Say No To Stuff!!

Story of Stuff

Or at least start saying no to the current paradigm of the way we produce, consume, use and get rid of our stuff. Watch this great video by Annie Leonard and then start thinking and then doing something about all the stuff you buy, use and get rid of.

Here’s a shocker. According to Miss Leonard, only 1% of the crap we buy is still being used six months later. One Percent!! That’s freakin’ ridiculous!

Check it out. Pass it on. And then do something! Watch the teaser here and then check out storyofstuff.com to watch the whole thing and learn more about how you can start making a difference today. There are some great resources on the site as well as Annie’s very in-depth blog where she continues the story of stuff in great detail and relays others’ stories of stuff and how they’ve been moved by this video.

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Simplifying Work & Life: Energy Saving Tips And The Four Day Work Week

A friend just sent me the ClimateWire article from last week stating that,

computer technology is responsible for 2 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions — the same amount as all air traffic.

(Unfortunately, you’ll have to become a member to read the articles on ClimateWire, but don’t worry, I’ll sum up the important stuff from this article right here.)

The article goes on to lay most of the blame on supercomputers, stating that the Leibnitz Computer Center in Munich, Germany, is

tackling the problem, but not without a €120,000 ($185,000) monthly electric bill.

Most of that energy usage comes from keeping the massive banks of computers cool, yet some of it comes from running the computers themselves:

A new supercomputer at the Leibniz Computer Center will use the same amount of power that a 400-ton high-speed train uses to accelerate from zero to 186 miles per hour.

Going on to lay some of the blame of energy consumption via computing on the average citizen, the article claims that:

Rough calculations determined that one Google search consumes enough electricity to run an 11-watt, energy-saving light bulb for 15 minutes to 1 hour.

If you’re concerned about the amount of energy you consume through your computer, here are a few things you can do:
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We Are All Corn People

Rarely do I receive unsolicited email so compelling that not only do I not hit the “junk” button instantly, but I actually post it here. Such an email arrived this afternoon in the form of a message from Zaproot. It’s a short-form Web video from the “green video network” ViroPOP. I watched a couple of them. The quick-cut format and edgy commentary on environmental subjects makes the videos very watchable. One could easily consume a dozen in a sitting.

But the one that caught my attention was this video featuring a short interview with the director of the new documentary from Mosaic Films titled “King Corn.” Having just started Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” I knew right away that the premise was the scarily too-close-to-home reality that we’re all “corn people.” Watch the video. Check out the trailer. Go see the movie. Read Michael’s book if you so desire. And then think very, very hard about the decisions you make about what you and your family eat.


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Grand Targhee Announces Sustainable Food & Beverages Practices

targhee_logo-sm.jpgLast week Grand Targhee Resort announced that its food and beverage operation is shifting more focus to sustainable products and practices. While they had already turned to such things as cornstarch based disposables, they quickly found that the rising cost of fuel and corn was negatively affecting their ability to affordably use those products. So, according to their press release, they are taking a holistic approach to their F&B environmental practices.

What’s interesting is how a back-to-basics approach underlies some of the effort here. They are eschewing the disposal components that many companies embrace in cost-cutting efforts and turning to things we all take for granted, such as metal flatware, reusable cups for both soft drinks and coffee, and bulk dispensers for condiments.

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CO2Stats Monitors Your Site's "Greenness"

If you haven’t noticed already, MarketGreener is a “green” Website. At least that’s my goal, anyway. I like to talk about things and ways of doing things that are green. Well, just the other day someone pointed out that Websites in and of themselves aren’t always green.

In fact, energy is used at multiple points along the information highway. I’m using energy here writing this post and managing this blog. Energy is being used to transmit the data to the server that hosts this blog, which in turn uses a lot of energy to keep that server—and most likely many others—humming along for lots of other Websites. And then there’s you, with your computer and everything it takes for you to read this blog and all the other sites you visit. And “you” means all of you—from my standpoint, hopefully a lot of you.

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