Green lifestyle

New Grist Series: The real sharing economy

Via Grist.

Renewable energy is booming and countries are finally beginning to act committed to saving the climate, just as we’re approaching game over for the stable climate. But carbon emissions keep rising every year, in tandem with economic growth.

Sharing, real sharing, could allow humanity as a whole to produce, consume, and emit less while improving quality of life through greater social interactions, fairer wealth distribution, and stronger community relationships. But sharing needs to go far beyond profit-seeking smartphone apps for unregulated taxi services (Uber) and vacation rentals (Airbnb).

This series explores the real sharing economy — where wealth and power are shared, not just consumer goods and spare bedrooms. These real sharing entities share resources, knowledge, and decision-making responsibilities as they co-create community goods and services. Then they share the abundance together.

Troublingly, a grow-grow-grow economy makes us all more reliant on money. Real sharing economy projects make money less important, like the Buy Nothing groups on the Facebook and tool-lending libraries that Grist already writes about. This series will tour examples of Seattle’s emerging sharing movement: a bike cooperative, an urban food forest, and a community solar program.

Planting the seeds of a real sharing economy is no easy task. But it’s easier to share the work than go it alone.

5 Free Apps to Swap, Share and Sell Your Extra Stuff

Read the full post on Shareable.

The average American spent $82 per day on consumer goods last month. It’s safe to say that we’re in the grips of a powerful consumption habit.

Not surprisingly, this creates a gargantuan amount of waste. Where does all that stuff go when we’re finished with it? Too often, the landfill. In 2012, Americans generated nearly 251 million tons of trash. That’s over 1,500 pounds of trash per year for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

Sharing can not only keep tons of trash out of landfills, it can save us tons of money. If Americans cut their daily consumer goods habit by half, they could save an estimated $15,000 a year.

There’s never been a better time to share or tools to do it. Below are five apps to help you swap, share, and sell your extra stuff like a pro.

How Much Water Do You Use? Help ProPublica Investigate Water Use in the U.S.

Thirty-one states have water supplies dipping below normal. Droughts have formally been declared in 22 of them. How we use water has never been more important, especially in the American Southwest, where drought conditions are the most severe in a generation — and could last another 1,000 years.

The vast majority of the water we use goes toward generating power (41 percent) and nourishing agriculture (37 percent). But one in 12 gallons of water is consumed at home.

That’s a small but critically important slice of the water used to make the nation tick. And it’s a slice that every single person in the United States can directly control.

As part of a two-year project examining America’s water crisis, ProPublica is teaming up with CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism to gather data on how Americans use and consume water at home. We’d like to know what you use. Grab your water bill. Complete the ProPublica survey. We’ll tell you how you stack up to your neighbors.

Why Your Fridge Pollutes and How It’s Changing

Read the full story in National Geographic.

Your home’s refrigerator does more than store milk and meat. It also contains chemicals that emit greenhouse gases.

New fridges will likely be greener. In a switchover that will be largely invisible to consumers, more fridges and air conditioners are entering the U.S. market that will do less harm to the planet.

Free Champaign County (IL) Electronics Collection Scheduled for April 11

Think About RecyclingA free countywide residential electronics collection event will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 8 AM to noon at Parkland College, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, IL. The collection will be in Parking Lot M; enter from Duncan Rd.

Residents may bring the following electronics items (working or non-working) to the collection event. The limit is 10 items per household.

Computer components:

  • Computers, printers, copiers, monitors*, keyboards, speakers, mice, cables, PDAs
  • Software, CDROM/floppy disks, UPS, tablet computers
  • Computer parts including but not limited to: circuit boards, hard drives, optical drives, power supplies, ribbon cables, RAM
  • Networking equipment, hubs, switches, routers, cables, modems, scanners
  • Ink cartridges

Entertainment:

  • Televisions*, VCRs, radios, stereo equipment, tape recorders, record players, remote controls, MP3 players, compact disc players, e-readers
  • Electronic toys, amplifiers, electronic keyboards
  • Hand-held gaming devices, game consoles, Walkmans, sewing machines
  • Digital cameras, camcorders

Communication Devices and Other Electronics:

  • Cash registers, typewriters, adding machines, calculators
  • Copiers, duplicators, voice recorders
  • Label makers
  • Portable power banks and coin counters
  • Telephones, PBX systems, answering machines, fax machines
  • CB radios, ham radios, cell phones, pagers, Black Berry/Palm Units, GPS units, Bluetooth serial port adapter
  • Rechargeable batteries, battery chargers and adapters, surge strips
  • Video recorders, video monitors, security systems, walki-talkies

Miscellaneous: cables/cords/wire

*not accepted: broken glass cathode-ray-tube televisions or broke glass cathode-ray-tube monitors. For a complete listing of items not accepted, please visit the Champaign County RRR webpage at www.co.champaign.il.us/rrr.

This Spring, Look for the Safer Choice Label

Read the full post at EPA Connect.

Today, we’re unveiling a new Safer Choice label, which will make it easier to find household cleaners and other home products that are safer, more environmentally friendly—and still get the job done. If you missed the video where I shared the new label, check it out here:

The name says it all: Safer Choice products are safer for you, your kids, your pets and the environment. Our scientists employ a stringent set of human health and environmental safety standards when reviewing products for the Safer Choice program, so a product with the label is backed by EPA science. Consumers know it’s a credible stamp they can trust.

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