Day: November 25, 2013

Co-ops: the Future of Sustainable Business?

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Cooperatives are often seen as being green-minded, but are they really more sustainable than businesses with more traditional set-ups?

Americans Are Very Confused About What They Want Out of a Community

Read the full story in Atlantic Cities.

The latest national community preference survey, conducted periodically by the National Association of Realtors, was released earlier this month. The results are all over the place. Looking for evidence to support reported trends toward smart growth living in walkable, mixed use neighborhoods? You’ll find it in the poll. But, if you’re a smart growth skeptic who believes Americans still prefer conventional suburban development with large lots, you’ll find plenty of evidence for that, too.

Mars CSO: Industry must collaborate to keep chocolate on the shelves

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Chief sustainability officer of Mars, says aligning the interests of chocolate confectioners with those of growers is key to getting the world’s cocoa farmers back on their feet.

Climate talks will fail unlesss parties agree to a carbon price

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Catastrophic losses due to climate change are happening now, and the only way to avert future damage is by cutting carbon use.

Even if emissions stop, carbon dioxide could warm Earth for centuries

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

Even if carbon dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in Earth’s atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years, according to Princeton Univ.-led research published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study suggests that it might take a lot less carbon than previously thought to reach the global temperature scientists deem unsafe.

L.A. Unified’s local food push is healthy for area economy too

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

In a groundbreaking effort, the nation’s second-largest school district is using its enormous purchasing clout to support local farmers and businesses. In just two years, the district has boosted its local purchases of fruit and vegetables from 9% of its $20-million annual produce budget to 75% today. L.A. Unified now buys locally for at least 50% of its overall $125-million food budget, about double the proportion of two years ago, according to David Binkle, the district’s food services director.

Webinar: Reducing, Reusing & Recycling Waste Paint – Lessons Learned from 5 Rural Areas in the Northeast

December 17, 2013 — noon-2 pm
Register at

Jennifer Griffith & Rachel Smith from Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) will present the findings & recommendations from their work with stakeholders in five rural areas in Maine, New York, & Vermont on waste paint reduction, reuse, & recycling. They will demonstrate the outreach & training materials that were developed through the project.

PCBs Still Affecting Our Health Decades Later

Read the full story from Universite de Montreal. The full study has been published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Although PCBs have been banned in the United States since 1979, University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine researcher Maryse Bouchard has found that higher levels of the toxin was associated with lower cognitive performance in seniors.

Repost: Is Amazon Prime eco-friendly or wasteful?

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network. I posted this when it originally ran, but with the holiday shopping season gearing up, it certainly is worth another look.

Amazon Prime continues to gain traction with customers. One of’s most popular options, Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping on many items, along with unlimited video streaming and one free monthly Kindle book rental, all for just $79 a year. Amazon doesn’t disclose actual sales figures, but the company did announce in August that it now ships more items through Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping than the free “super saver” shipping available for other customers who order $25 or more of products from the site.
But for eco-conscious consumers, is Amazon Prime the best option? Does the ease of free shipping make us more wasteful? Does Amazon always make the most eco-friendly shipping decisions? declined to comment for this article, but we did hear from several of the online retailer’s customers — both individuals and companies — who offered their perspectives.

Should you be afraid of your couch?

Read the full story from Mother Nature Network.

A new HBO documentary exposes the existence of deadly chemicals in furniture, and highlights the movement to fix a problem that touches us all.

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