The days may be numbered in which the disposable plastic bag sees widespread use in the retail setting. After the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to phase out plastic bags in an estimated 7,500 stores over the next 12 months, the end may indeed be nigh for the convenient items that nevertheless harm the environment.
The concept of a commercial product with a net environmental impact of zero, at least in terms of its carbon footprint, is an enticing possibility for eco-conscious businesses and consumers. Now, products can officially obtain this “carbon-free” status, and step out in style with a certification and seal program, courtesy of a collaboration between NSF International and the Carbonfund.org Foundation.
Many consumers may turn to the bulk food bins for cost-saving reasons, or simply out of habit. Eco-conscious shoppers will be glad to know that when they go bulk, they’re also voting with their dollars for a more sustainable food supply chain. This is the crux of a new report compiled by Portland State University’s Food Industry Leadership Center (FILC), at the behest of The Bulk is Green Council (BIG). One eco-friendly stat to emerge from it? If every American purchased their coffee in bulk for one year, 240 million pounds of foil packaging would be eliminated from landfill.
Bringing home truly green products can put a smile on the face of any eco-conscious consumer. Of course, we’re talking about those “green” products that offer a real improvement in environmental impact over their counterparts. If these products serve their purpose well, too, these shoppers will keep smiling, all the way back to the store they got it from to buy it again and again. We might be considering anything from eco-friendly household cleaners to green fire logs, but the equation for success will remain the same: green and effective is the name of the game.
There is a direct relationship between the business practices of certain mainstream toilet paper brands and the continually shrinking habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Entitled Don’t Flush Tiger Forests: Toilet Paper, U.S. Supermarkets, and the Destruction of Indonesia’s Last Tiger Habitats, the investigation puts a spotlight on the forest-clearing habits of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the company that provides the fiber for two U.S. toilet paper brands, Paseo and Livi.
Durban, South Africa—This monthly section devoted to environmental news wrapped up last year’s coverage with a preview of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was held here from November 28th to December 9th. Now, those talks recede into the past and their results become clearer as we move forward: While averting a disastrous lapse in climate efforts and perhaps laying some important groundwork, the world’s nations put off ambitious action on climate change until a later date. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the talks, Canada has chosen to remove itself from the existing international framework for emissions reduction.
The student-led eco-advocacy and education movement Teens Turning Green made October 2011 into a month to mobilize eco-consciousness. Through its ambitious, first-of-its-kind effort dubbed Project Green Challenge (PGC), and in conjunction with sponsors including eco-friendly feminine hygiene brand Natracare, the organization encouraged high school and college students nationwide to engage with a number of environmental issues.
Durban, South Africa—The year in environmental news has involved numerous high-profile natural disasters, the politicization of climate change in the United States and a focus on investing in green energy and sustainability within many domestic economies.