Environmental Entrepreneurs and evangelical group support EPA plan to curb coal pollution

Coal-fired power plants are the biggest single category of carbon pollution emitters. The EPA wants to tighten coal power emissions standards, and these two groups, one composed of business enterprises and the other a large evangelical group support the EPA’s move. Find out why.

Texas A&M to build a ginormous solar testing facility

Texas — big and sunny — will be home to what could be the biggest, sunniest technology incubator in the world. Texas A&M University announced it was partnering with private industry to create the Center for Solar Energy, which aims to provide a photovoltaic testing ground for experts and manufacturers from around the world.

Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food

In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or “fracking”) operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil.

Disney takes a page from The Lorax — announces a new paper policy

Disney, recognizing its heavy paper footprint as the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, has announced it will be changing its paper policies to try to stop the degradation of rainforests in Southeast Asia.

The change comes as a victory for indigenous Indonesians, rainforest wildlife and the atmosphere, which are all being harmed by the vociferous consumption of rainforests by logging in Indonesia.

Sales of fair trade products soared in 2011

Fair Trade USA, a major third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the US, reported today that sales of Fair Trade certified goods grew by about 75 between the first and last quarters of 2011. Mainstream grocery, food and drug items grew even faster, recording a 95 percent increase in fair trade sales, a boom that was largely driven by the adoption of Fair Trade labels by major food brands like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Honest Tea, which have increased their Fair Trade commitments.

New York approves enviro-friendly B Corps; Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Illinois could be next

B Corps, or benefit corporations, have arrived in the state of New York.
Earlier this month, the legislature passed, and Gov. Cuomo signed, a bill (S.79-A) approving this new type of corporate structure in which companies promise to have a positive impact on the environment and watch out for the rights of workers and communities.
State officials then immediately registered 13 companies as B Corps on Feb 10, the same day the law was enacted.

US trade commission: Imported Chinese solar panels are hurting American solar manufacturers

The U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed with SolarWorld Industries America that Chinese imports are hurting the U.S. solar manufacturing industry, and will continue to investigate this issue.

The commission announced its ruling on Thursday/Friday, to the delight of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., which had asked for an inquiry into alleged Chinese dumping of solar panels and modules into the U.S. market.

Eat More Kale gets under Chik-a-fila’s skin

is forever. Got milk? Just do it. Eat mor chikin!

Bo Muller-Moore, independent T-shirt shop owner.

There are a few choice ad phrases that rise to the top and become part of the common consciousness. Headline writers and jokesters come up with variations. Sometimes, the companies or causes that started the ditty get whiplashed with a new version. Got Milk morphed into a series of headlines about the dangers of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, used to make cows produce more milk, in the early 2000s. Got rBGH?

Furniture Row finds cost savings with Cree LED lighting

Who says it too expensive to change out the bulbs?
Not the Furniture Row Companies, a large family-owned retailer with 330 stores across the U.S., which is switching its showroom lighting to Cree Inc. LED lights
So far, Furniture Row has installed about 13,000 Cree LRP-38 LED spotlights, out of more than 80,000 planned, at its stores, which include the Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions® and Denver Mattress Company®.

LA’s Give + Take: An equation for upscale clothes swapping

With a river of consumer goods streaming into the world every day, it’s comforting to know that people are diverting some stuff to recycling and reclamation centers, and in the case of clothing, to resale shops.

Give + Take, upscale swap shop in LA

The trouble is, those resale or consignment shops typically don’t pay much for your outgoing duds, even if they’re not duds.

Green Mountain Energy wants Houston non-profits to apply for free solar panels

Green Mountain Energy Company is looking for Houston-area non-profit groups that would like to harness the power of that blazing Texas sun. Every year for the past eight years, the clean energy retailer has donated solar rooftop systems to selected organizations through its Big Texas Sun Club. Groups that want to be considered this year must apply to Green Mountain Energy at the club’s website by Friday, July 30, 2010.

LUSH Cosmetics exposes environmental risks of Canadian tar sands

LUSH employees Los Angeles will kick off the effort by wearing nothing but oil barrels emblazoned with the slogan ‘Time For An Oil Change or We’ll Lose it All!'

LUSH Cosmetics, a natural bath and body shop, hopes to hit consumers with the naked truth about Canada’s destructive tar sands projects. Starting tomorrow, it will launch a campaign against the tar sands, with a petition and a specially designated product to help raise money to fight what it sees as an environmental catastrophe. Store employees in the Los Angeles shop will kick off the two week effort by wearing nothing but oil barrels emblazoned with the slogan ‘Time For An Oil Change or We’ll Lose it All!”

Greenpeace issues new guide for choosing recycled personal paper products

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Greenpeace, guardian of oceans and forests, has reissued its Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide to help people make the switch to recycled paper.

The new pocket guide endorses brands such as Green Forest, Earth Friendly, Natural Value and Seventh Generation, which are made of recycled paper. It recommends that shoppers avoid products such as Kleenex, Cottonelle, Charmin, Angel Soft, Bounty, Brawny and the Target and Wal-Mart house brands because they are not made from recycled wood products.

Using recycled personal paper products can make an impressive impact in curbing global warming, according to Greenpeace, among others — far greater than one might suspect from contemplating the lowly roll of toilet paper.

Clinging to green products

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

This just in from the inaugural Greenwashing Forum in Portland: Four out of five people say they’re still buying green products, even in the midst of the U.S. recession, according to a new opinion poll.

And they thought we were clinging to our guns and religion out here in the hinterlands!

The study, commissioned by Green Seal, a green certifier, and EnviroMedia Social Marketing, which founded the Greenwashing Index, looked at opinions and green behaviors.

It found that:

  • About 50 percent of the 1,000 people survey say they are buying just as many green products now as before the economic downturn

    Green Depot sets up shop in Manhattan

    By Barbara Kessler
    Green Right Now

    Green Depot, a Brooklyn-based supplier of environmentally sensitive building products and household products is extending its reach with a new flagship store in Manhattan.

    The depot’s new uptown presence, at 222 Bowery, is set to open on Feb. 12, with 3,500 square feet of retail space featuring products such as cork and bamboo flooring, air and water filtration systems and low VOC paints that can be sampled a “paint bar”.

    The new store will have a special section featuring new innovations on the market and another area devoted to helping parents create an eco-friendly, healthful environment for their children.

    Browsers beware, you’ll need to remain alert: products will be displayed with eco-report cards, part of the store’s proprietary “icon” labeling system, that are designed to educate consumers. The labels explain how and why a product is green, assessing it in the areas of air quality, conservation, energy use, local origins and responsibility.

    Buying green? Yes, we will

    By Barbara Kessler
    Green Right Now

    With the economy skydiving into never-never land, many analysts have been wondering whether consumers will continue to buy green products, which sometimes cost more or can be harder to find.

    At least one report, published this month by the Boston Consulting Group, indicates that consumers will continue to seek out green products, despite the economy.

    The BCG report, based on interviews with 9,000 consumers in North America, Europe, China, and Japan and other research, found that consumers bought more green goods in 2008 than they did in 2007 and that many “consumers greatly value the direct benefits that green products offer, such as superior freshness and taste, the promise of safety and health, and savings on energy costs.”

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