Day: August 17, 2006

gWiki: The Green Wiki

Via Treehugger:

gWiki (think quickie, with a “g” instead) is the newly-introduced Green Wiki, a site meant to be both a source for environmental information and an outlet for those who are well-versed in the subject to spread the news of the green. The site is off to a good start, but they need our help.

They’re looking for articles about green companies, products, materials, issues — basically anything that has to do with green. Like all wikis, gWiki relies on its community for content and editing. So, we’re sounding the alarm to members of the community: take a moment and write an article or two about your favorite green subject or your area of expertise.

With time, gWiki will become a rich and complex web of information that will aid the established members of the environmental community in their pursuits as well as people interested in adopting a greener lifestyle. So cruise on over there, take a peek at what’s new, and leave your green footprint behind. ::gWiki

Sustainable Products Roundup

Here we go with the latest in sustainable products. Only two this time.

Microfiber Towels from Method (via Treehugger)

We first discovered and wrote about method a while back; we loved their product’s design and low impact on the planet, with a commitment to non-toxicity and no animal testing. We’re glad to see they’ve been diligently working to add new products since; their latest innovation encourages us to “throw in the towel.”

They’ve introduced new four new microfiber towels designed to stem the flood of paper towels into the waste stream; each microfiber is finer than a human hair and is sliced 16 times, resulting in millions of microscopic hooks in each cloth to capture dirt, dust and even six times their weight in water. Reusing the towels only makes them stronger, too — using the cloths splits fibers, creating more surface area.

The towels come in four varities, specifically designed for a particular medium: glass, granite, stainless steel and wood. There are a multitude of other new products since we’ve last seen method, and they’re now available in the UK as well as the US and Canada. Buy online or at Target, Office Depot, Linens-N-Things and more. ::method

Eco-Dent Toothpowder: Airplane-Safe Way to Brush Your Teeth (via Treehugger)

As everyone is undoubtedly aware by now, the US Transportation Safety Administration has banned liquids and gels from carry-on baggage on airplanes, making it tough on anyone without checked baggage to do everyday things like brushing their teeth.

Eco-DenT has a solution for TreeHuggers everywhere: their toothpowder is an airplane-safe way to keep up dental hygiene without having to buy a new tube every time you step off a plane. Eco-DenT Toothpowder’s travel pack contains 15 1-day packs of toothpowder; each pack is sufficient for two brushings.

The convenient pouches fit easily into a pocket, purse, wallet, backpack, fanny pack, attaché case or other travel bag. Because it’s “toothpaste” in powder form, it isn’t restricted by the airlines, leaving you free to brush your teeth as you please without having to stash it in checked luggage and hope it makes it to the other side.

Best of all, the toothpowders are 100% natural (baking soda is the main ingredient) and 100% cruelty-free. Eco-DenT says their products are available at most major natural product stores and online retailers; they also have an online store for your shopping convenience. ::Eco-DenT via ::PR Web

Costco Eliminating Bubble Packs, Ups Recycling Potential With MeadWestvaco’s “Natralock”

Read the full post at Treehugger.

Costco is replacing some of its plastic packaging clamshells with Natralock , a new paperboard-based product made by MeadWestvaco. Natralock combines paperboard with a much smaller plastic bubble segment. According to the promotional literature, a standard scissors will safely open a the paper segment of the package, helping to eliminate “Wrap Rage.”

Connecticut Egg Farm Will Convert Chicken Poop to Power

Read the full post at Treehugger.

Kofkoff Egg Farm, a frequent target of activists for factory farming issues, is taking a step to clean up at least one element of its operations: the massive amounts of poop created by 5 million chickens. The farm, along with Clearview Power, has announced plans to build a plant that will generate electricity from biomass made up of poultry poop and wood wastes. It turns out that the decision is primarily economic: chicken droppings don’t have the market value they once did (seriously).

Wind Blows: $10,000 Video Contest to Promote Renewable Power

Via Treehugger.

Spread the wind virus for a good cause and you could win ten grand. Western Wind Energy and their marketing partner, Invoke, have presented a challenge: create a one-minute video that promotes the idea of wind power in the style of your choosing. Visitors to the site will vote on the $10,000 prize-winning video.

As an example to get you warmed up they’ve offered their own piece of viral creativity: a short sequence that includes bikini babe A smearing crude oil (probably chocolate sauce) on her body, while babe B insinuates the clean and smear-free power of the wind as it blows through her hair. “Wink!”

The viral component is that Western Wind hopes this will become one of those oft-passed around pieces of internet novelty. Who knows, it might even end up on TreeHugger TV. The deadline is Sept. 28th and you can submit as many videos as you want. :: Wind Blows Viral Video Contest via Hugg

Fire at Dover mercury recycling plant leaves neighbors unnerved

Read the full article in the Racine (WI) Journal Times.

DOVER – Michael Owen wasn’t thrilled when his wife, Tammy, called to tell him of another fire at the mercury recycling plant near their home just west of Union Grove.

The Owens are concerned about their industrial neighbor, Mercury Waste Solutions, Inc., a company that recycles mercury waste from a variety of products.

Brominated Flame Retardants: A Burning Issue

Read the full report from the American Council on Science and Health.

Summary: A class of brominated flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) are under assault from environmental activists and regulators both in the United States and overseas. Flame retardants give people more time to escape a fire by delaying flashover, the explosive-like eruption of flames responsible for most of the fatalities and property damage in residential fires. PBDEs are particularly effective flame retardants and have long been widely used in the manufacture of televisions and other electrical equipment, furniture, and mattresses.

Fire retardants truly save lives. Their use in television cabinets alone is estimated to save 190 lives a year in the U.S. In the United Kingdom, where materials used in many home furnishings must be fire-resistant, researchers reckon the regulations have spared about 1,150 lives and prevented almost 13,500 injuries over the course of a decade.

Nevertheless, U.S. and European regulators have effectively banned two of the three most prominent PBDE flame retardants. An assortment of states, environmental groups, and foreign governments, moreover, is seeking to ban the third one (i.e., decaBDE) as well, even though there is no credible evidence that the chemical represents a danger to humans or the environment. Numerous studies, in fact, have concluded that our exposure to the compound is minimal and does not pose an adverse health risk for people at expected exposures.

Current evidence shows that the benefits of PBDE flame retardants, in terms of lives saved and injuries prevented, far outweigh any demonstrated or likely negative health effects from their use.

Green Building 101: Environmentally Friendly Lighting

Read the full post at Inhabitat.

…we here at Inhabitat consider lighting to be a hugely important element of sustainable building design. We consider “sustainable design” to include consideration of ergonomics, human health and comfort in addition to energy consumption. Because of this, we would like to expand on the LEED lighting criteria and explain how you can find the most sustainable, beautiful and healthy lighting options for your home.

USGBC Seeks Green Building Success Stories

Read the full article in Interior Design.

The hunt is on for entries to the USGBC Chapter Awards. Sponsored by Milliken Contract, a division of textile and chemical manufacturer Milliken & Company, the awards honor successful local green buildings  and chapters committed to excellence. Submissions are due September 15 and winners will be announced at the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild Conference November 15-17 in Denver, Colorado.

Judson shows off its 'green'

Read the full article in The Courier News (IL).

ELGIN — An administrator from Ivy League Yale University recently called Judson College President Jerry Cain for advice.

Cain paused as he told this story Wednesday.

“Yale is calling Judson,” he exclaimed, as if he was the one who needed convincing.

The inquiry concerned whether the Connecticut Ivy should use the same architectural firm that is designing a state-of-the-art “green” building for the evangelical Christian college.

“It’s like, gee whiz, Judson is doing something no one else has done,” Cain said, standing in what soon will be the reference section of the college’s new library.

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