Monday, February 23, 2009

Cadbury Working to Reduce Flatulence

Cadbury, the confectioner company, in an effort to reduce their carbon emissions 50% by 2020, is working with dairy farmers to lower cow flatulence. Putting cows on a lower-fiber diet so that they "burp" less and release less methane, (a potential global-warming gas,) will help Cadbury lower the 60% of their carbon footprint resulting from milk production for their chocolate.

Some experts consider cows to be the world's biggest single source of methane. In 2005 a scientific report published in California claimed that each dairy cow in the area was producing almost 20 pounds of gas every year (They learned this by putting cows in a bio bubble that measured emissions for two days). The claim by the UN is that cows produce more greenhouse gasses than all the SUVs, airplanes, trucks and cars combined. All this methane gas is produced when the bacteria in their stomachs breaks down plant fibers, the gas then comes out one end when they chew their cud, and the other end in the form of flatulence.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Going Green with the Green Depot

If you are a builder or a do-it-yourselfer and you want to go green, you no longer have to wade through the isles at Lowe's or Home Depot to find eco-friendly products. The Green Depot is completely stocked with environmentally friendly and sustainable building products, services and solutions. Its primary goal is to facilitate green living and building in communities so that it is accessible, affordable and gratifying.

Items are labeled with a Green Depot Icon System designed to show at a glance why a particular item is green among five basic environmental benefits: improves indoor air quality, conserves resources, stimulates the local economy, saves energy, or is manufactured responsibly. If an icon is only half-tone then the product has room for improvement in one or more areas. In this way, they hope that green consumers start steering the marketplace, and demanding more full-tone icons.

One of the highlights of the Green Depot store is their "juice bar," which offers a selection of natural, non-toxic cleaning products for various applications. BYOB (bring your own bottles), and fill up from fun beer-tap style dispensers. They even have nice labels you can stick on your bottles so you know exactly what's in the product. You can take it home and transfer to more elegant bottles for display, if you like.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wool going green

Ever wonder what your clothes are made out of? and if it from a sustainable source? Wonder no more if you purchase your own fiber and yarn from Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm and Hudson Valley Fiber Farm. They raise registered Angora Goats, registered Cormo, Cotswold and Babydoll Southdown sheep and an assortment of ducks, chickens, dogs and a barn cat or two. (But you can't buy any fur from the cats or dogs).
They raise the goats and sheep on a natural diet of pasture and hay and have the fleeces processed by small, family-owned mills, rather than sending them to a big commercial processor.
So if you are looking for a deeper connection to your fiber and want to be able to trace it back to MayBell or Snookie, shares in their spring and fall yarn harvest are for sale in advance to knitters and spinners.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Green Your Valentines

Wondering what to get your green girl for Valentine's Day? How about organic cotton panties? Victoria's Secret has a thong in four colorful prints that are made from fairly-traded organic cotton, grown by women's farming cooperatives in Burkina Faso.

Organic is important because cotton growers traditionally use quite a few pesticides. In fact, it is estimated that about 25 percent of the total pesticides used in the world are used for cotton crops. Some of the pesticides that are used include cyanide, dicofol, naled and propargite, and many are cancer causing, including cancers specific to the reproductive system. This garment spends a lot of time very close to your delicate areas, a place chemicals and pesticides don’t need to be!

Now that you know the bad news, here's the good news: you can find organic cotton panties in a variety of stores and in a variety of styles and colors. Try Patagonia, FaeriesDance, rawganique. or naturewearorganics.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Colorado ranch goes green and spreads green

I would not have guessed a rancher in a tiny Colorado mountain town to lead the way in the electric car movement, but my hat is tipped to Jim Duke of El Jebel, an Aspen neighbor. Mr. Duke installed enough solar panels on his ranch to not only generate enough electricity for his entire ranch, but enough to give it away to any electric car that shows up at his ranch. His electric car 'fueling' station, also feeds his own electric cars, purchased for trips to town.
Although a substantial upfront investment, ($84,600 for the panels), he is eligible for nearly $51,000 in federal, state, local and power company credits, to ease the burden somewhat. And while his remaining $34,000 investment is a gigantic chunk of change to lay out for a project that could take decades to pay off, that is OK with Mr. Duke. He sees becoming carbon neutral as an obligation to future generations and the planet, saying, "It's way, way, way past the point for talk. It's time for action."
Mr. Duke has always been known for his environmental streak — back in the 80's he spearheaded efforts to establish recycling and composting programs for Aspen and surrounding communities.