Q&A on Wine And Climate Change - Coppola on Donner


These questions were submitted by reader Sara Coppola to Paige Donner, Founding Editor of the Green Blog Network Local Food And Wine and Producer-Director of the documentary work-in-progress, Wine And Climate Change:

Q: Sara Coppola:  Paige, you're embarking on a new important and insightful project: the “Wine & Climate Change” Documentary; a project that stems from your great interest and involvement in environmental causes and your previous research on issues concerning global agricultural security.
When did you first start to get involved with environmental projects and how?

A: Paige Donner:  My enthusiasm for protecting the environment stems from having grown up on a Pacific Island and in California, alternatively. My brother and I would spend part of the year with my father in California where we would camp, hike, go on vineyard treks in Napa and Santa Barbara where my grandmother lived...and then with my mother in Guam and Hawai'i where we were raised like earth-bound dolphins - when we weren't SCUBA diving we were surfing or swimming or water-skiing. 

Also, I was homeschooled from grades 6-9 so I was able to pursue tailored coursework about the environment and natural landscapes that might not have been available to kids learning from regular school curriculum at that time in the mid-70s.

Then, early on in my career as a journalist, I worked with a morning news producer at KTVU-Oakland. She allowed me to develop and pitch a series of 2-minute segments that we called "Earth News." It never really got off the ground, but it was good training. That was the early 90s. It wasn't until the digital revolution that I was free to report on environmental issues as I wished. So in the 2000s I began writing a column called Greening Hollywood, which married my years spent as an entertainment reporter with my passion for environmental issues.

Q: Sara Coppola: How was the idea of this project born?

A: Paige Donner : I feel I am most naturally expressive as a filmmaker. Since journalism is my professional background and the career I have pursued for 20 years now, a documentary about this compelling subject matter makes perfect sense.

This project in particular is based on the article assignment I did for the International Herald Tribune (the global edition of the N.Y. Times) which published in November 2011.  I pitched an article about this subject to my assigning editor at IHT and he helped me to refine the angle and the approach. This documentary builds upon that one-page article and allows greater in-depth analyses and examination of Wine And Climate Change as well as allowing for the incorporation of up-to-date and newly released climate science reports.

Q: Sara Coppola:  How do you think this documentary will contribute to the vineyards´ environmental problems due to climate change?

A: Paige Donner:  In fact I feel this documentary will contribute to vineyards' coping successfully with challenges that predicted climate change and climate variability in this century are forecasted to manifest.

When we are caught by surprise or unawares, that's when the most damage can take place. When we are prepared, we can adapt beforehand and put in place certain measures to ward off significant impacts.
An example would be Hurricane Sandy (that recently hit NY and the U.S. East Coast). The greater advance warning, the more safety measures can be taken to preserve and protect.

Another example is the case of Phylloxera, a disease that ravaged Europe's vineyards at the beginning of the last century. Had the vineyard owners and managers been forewarned before this disease was imported from America, they may well have been able to take measures to protect against the devastation of their vineyards.
We may have some justification in drawing similar parallels now, though climate change is not a disease but rather a disruption and departure from known climate patterns.

It's also crucial to point out that one of the main points made by some climate scientists is that if and when vineyards are unalterably changed due to climate fluctuation, our other agricultural crops will also be severely impacted. So this documentary is as much about the future of wine vis a vis climate change as it is about the future of global food security.

Q: Sara Coppola: What tangible and realistic steps do you think the global community could undertake to slow down climate change?

A: Paige Donner:  That is a huge question. And it's one I will be tackling in the documentary. It is one of the questions I will be putting to some of the world's leading climate scientists and environmental leaders. Of course, one of the studies I will be examining more closely in the documentary is the newly released report titled, Too Late For 2ºC, which more or less states that we are already past the point of no return.

Q: Sara Coppola: Are you carful to (sic) environmental issues in your daily life (e.g. grocery, shopping etc.)? What suggestions can you give to people willing to pursue more conscious shopping habit? (sic)

A: Paige Donner: I've made personal commitments to live a sustainable life all around, practiced on a daily basis. I keep my personal consumption within reason. I use alternative energy sources whenever available. I'm also a fan of electric vehicles. I'm an advocate of local food production/consumption. As for shopping, I personally appreciate the creativity displayed in upcycled fashion and accessories. A Cradle 2 Cradle approach to design and manufacture is something that resonates with me. 

Q: Sara Coppola: Thank you.

A: Paige Donner: My pleasure. Thank you for your interest. 

Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


happy holidays! and a Wine Tip

A quick note to wish you a Happy Holiday Season... And may I offer a Gift Giving suggestion?

A Contribution to Wine & Climate Change  http://www.indiegogo.com/wineandclimatechange


brings you PERKS  - both large and small -  that make great Holiday Gifts.

Wishing you Joy and Peace this holiday season- 

P.S. Please feel free to share the link with your friends -  http://www.indiegogo.com/wineandclimatechange 


Sustainable Super Yachts


Eco.Luxury.Style Magazine - The Documentary Film Issue - Autumn 2012

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Greening Beauty Gift Giving In The Age of Organic


The challenge of holiday gift giving is a. to be unique and b. to be not so unique that your gifts go unappreciated.

For the ladies (and men!) on your list this holiday season 2012, organic beauty products are some of the best choices because they not only fulfill everyday needs and are useful products that most of us ritually use, they are also the healthier version of those personal care products we tend to use every day.

Marie Veronique Organics falls squarely into this product category of Good For Your Skin and Good For The Planet, Too. Marie Nadeau is a former chemistry teacher based in Berkeley, California who decided to create a simple skin care product line-beauty regime with the help of her physicist daughter, Dr. Jay Nadeau.  As a mature woman going into this business venture, Marie’s emphasis was on anti-aging through the use of intelligent sunscreens and skincare ...”the most important being safe and effective sunscreens made with intelligent ingredients.”

Just what are “intelligent ingredients” you may be wondering?  Well, for the MVOrganics Moisturizing Face Screen / Everyday Sheer Coverage which protects against UVA rays with its non-nano zinc oxide, think red raspberry for healing and moisturizing, sea buckthorn and emu oils for their anti-premature aging reinforcements all topped off with a rich dose of anti-oxidants. 

The sheer tinted coverage comes in SPF30 and SPF20 (with green tea and coffee berry extract) and both are hits over at the EWG. Tip: only those with porcelain skin tones can get away with wearing the Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF30; the SPF20 is good for most other skin tones. In fact, the product offers such complete skin tone even-ing coverage that when it was first marketed as simply a sunscreen, ladies started wearing it out in the evening as a light foundation and loving the matte effect it gives to the facial skin.

Not to miss - and this goes for you guys, as well - are the MVOrganics Anti-Aging mist and Anti-Aging Oil+. The mist is slightly fragrant with hints of geranium essence while the Anti-aging Oil that you gently massage into your neck, chest and face while the skin is still moist contains over 20 different kinds of oils like kiwi seed oil, meadowfoam oil and tamanu oil which results in a soothing essence reminiscent of that last great Swedish massage you had.

Packaging for the products is recyclable and the ingredients are all bio-degradable. “We don’t use toxins, petroleum-based products, nanoparticles, or anything else that’s potentially harmful,” states the founder, Marie Veronique. Check their website for prices and more product information.

Posted via email from Greening Beauty


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The Ride Across America

by Lucian Spataro
[Guest post by Lucian Spataro, an environmentalist, businessman, educator, and adventurer whose accomplishments are international in scope and local as well. He is currently President and CEO of the Joe Foss Institute.]
On several occasions before the ride, I had a recurring dream. It was the year 2031 and l was now in my 70's. In the dream, I found myself in a house that was very cold. Although the lights were on, the room felt dark, although I had enough light to read a book. Then, my grandson walked in. He seemed to enter the room through some type of vacuum transition chamber. It seemed as if each room was "purified" before someone could enter or exit.

My grandson had a magazine with him and he wanted to discuss an article with me. A look of concern--maybe anger--was on his face. I noticed that the magazine in his hands was TIME, and the article he was pointing to was titled, "We Lost the Ecosystem. How?"

The article took the reader through a chronology of environmental and economic decisions, both bad and good, spanning 80 years. It explained why these decisions were made--economic and political reasons that were fueled by a growing population and a throwaway society.

The article declared that in the 1980's, the environment became a trendy issue and many celebrities became involved. People worked very hard to bring attention to the issue and several even walked across the United States. Others circulated petitions, organized sit-ins and participated in protest marches.

 One person even rode a horse across America.
The article then gave a detailed account of all the symptoms of environmental disease that were apparent to everyone: acid rain, global deforestation, ozone depletion, and so on.
My grandson then looked at me, not smiling, and asked, "When all of this was going on, what were you doing?"
I replied: "I rode the horse."
He walked over to the window and looked outside. Then, very slowly, he turned back to me and said: "Is that all? Is that it?"
At that point, I arose from my chair and walked to the window to look outside. There I saw a crow sitting in a dead tree. It was springtime, about 1:00 p.m., just after lunch.
And it was dark outside
My interest in the environment had its roots in my youth. My parents introduced me to the world of nature when I was very young, and even as a third-grader I understood that the world was operating under a kind of master plan. I was not, however, aware that this plan rested on a naturally balanced ecosystem and we humans are a part of this ecosystem.

Today, when I look back on my youth, my memories are of my days in Latourette's Forest, Essex Pond, and Dobson Hollow in southern Ohio. There were animals everywhere: deer, hawk, quail, largemouth bass, frogs, fireflies and turtles. I had the unique opportunity to gain an appreciation for the natural world through these sometimes aimless wanderings and explorations. I would spend many hours and sometimes days on my horses, Buck and Tim, or hiking with friends through the area.

My beagle, Skipper, accompanied me on many of these trips. Our favorite game was, "I hide, you seek." I'd leave home and hike into the woods, sometimes several miles and try to disguise my trail. Then, I'd find a high vantage point--often a ridge--and watch my dog pick up my trail, following me through streams, over logs, from rock to rock and across wooden fences. I'd learned how to elude him by watching fox and rabbits as they were being trailed. (Rabbits always return in a complete circle home).

I also learned a lot about patience and persistence, both from my dog and from these forest animals and through these childhood experiences, I became educated, fascinated and appreciative of the natural world.
I sense that today, children and adults rarely take advantage of, or are exposed to, these kinds of opportunities, and because of this children today do not feel a connection to the natural world. We have grown away from nature, thanks in large part to technology, that double-edged sword, with its computers and video games substituting for the appeal many children once found in nature. Without the most basic exposure, we will miss the vital connection we have with natural systems.
Bw_horse_and_riderWe as a society have isolated ourselves within our technology, and no longer feel the real cold or the rain or heat. Few of us question how or where the food we eat is produced. How many of us even know how it gets to our grocers? We need to rediscover nature and the fascination it held for many of us in years past.
In 1989, I decided it was time to bring back this awareness to the rest of America--by riding across it by horse and talking along the way with people who became interested in the horses and the event and in turn, these issues.

LUCIAN SPATARO JR. is an environmentalist, businessman, educator, and adventurer whose accomplishments are international in scope and local as well. He is currently President and CEO of the Joe Foss Institute, which works with youth in schools and youth groups across America—with those who will defend our freedoms in the future—encouraging & teaching democracy, patriotism, integrity, and public service. He continues to write and speak on sustainability to audiences from kinder to college and to civic, business, and environmental groups. He calls Scottsdale (AZ) home, where he lives with his wife Lori, daughter Lauren, and their black lab Dallas and endurance horse Masquerade. www.thelongride.com

Lucian Spataro is the author of The Long Ride: The Record Setting Journey by Horse Across the American Landscape. The book is already the recipient of awards such as, the 2012 IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Gold Award for the book “Most Likely to Save the Planet,” 2012 Benjamin Franklin Bronze Award for Autobiography/ Memoir and 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Award Finalist in Environment, Nature and Travel Essays. Lucian continues to speak to civic, business and environmental groups and to students on sustainability.

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!


Mobile Apps For Smart Beauty Shopping

by Mariana Ashley
College Students: Mobile App Helps You Shop Smarter for Things Like Beauty Products


College students these days are very environmentally aware. They’ve grown up in a world where talk of climate change and melting ice caps counts as everyday conversation, and are fully aware that the choices they make—no matter how small—play a role in the bigger picture. 
A great deal of them recycle, carpool, and do their best not to waste water. They exhibit a genuine concern about the future of our planet. They are making changes in every aspect of their life from shopping to socializing. It’s no surprise, then, that many of them are looking toward the ever-evolving world of technology to help them in their cause. 
Enter the GoodGuide appAvailable for both iPhones and Androids, this mobile application helps consumers make smarter decisions about everyday products such as toothpaste and mascara. How it works is simple. Just download the free app onto your smartphone, aim it at a product’s barcode and wait for the results. The user will instantly gain environmental, ethical and safety information about the item, making it easier for people to make informed choices about the companies they support.
Now, I’m not saying this app was made exclusively for college students, but it is definitely college-friendly. Think about it, kids these days never go anywhere without their phone. Plus, with crazy school and work schedules, they have little to no time to research each and every purchase they make BEFORE heading to the store. So, considering their lifestyle the ease and convenience offered by GoodGuide app just makes sense.
With detailed information on over 150,000 products and feature such as the purchase analyzer, this application promotes all-around transparency and consumer advocacy. Run by professors and grad students at UC Berkeley, GoodGuide users, rest easy knowing they are getting quality information they can trust.
So, before you buy that next bottle of shampoo or reach for that supposed “miracle” moisturizer, for check its stats with GoodGuide to see if it helps or hurts Mother Nature as a whole. Planet Earth will thank you!
Mariana Ashley is a freelance blogger who writes about education topics, college trends, student lives, post-college careers, and online colleges in Colorado. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!


Hollande Sets Ambitious CO2 Emissions Reductions Goals For France And EU

Paris - Francois Hollande, France's President, last Friday (Sept. 14, 2012), announced that under his watch, environmental issues will be placed at the top of the national, and even international, political agenda. His announcement was issued during La ConfĂ©rence Environnementale, an annual environmental conference held in Paris.


His most ambitious statement issued is his recommendation to cut CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2040 at the European Union level. Current EU targets are 20% reduction of 1990 levels by 2020.


Hollande stated that he would like to see more global dialogue on environmental issues, citing the lack of a renewed agreement on climate goals reached internationally so far makes this an urgent and important matter. The Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of this year so climate talks are expected to once again take priority at the upcoming November Doha COP 18 conference. According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, CO2 emissions rose by 3.2% last year to 31.6 billion tons, spurred by increases from China.
More initiatives he announced/ launched:
  • New tenders for solar and offshore wind power by end of 2012.
  • Closing of Fessenheim's Nuclear Power Plant by end of 2016.  
  • Rejected applications for shale gas exploration.
  • Cut France's nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025.



We Love Lovea!

by Paige Donner

Pomegranate and rice oil? To bring out the shine and preserve the rich color in your color-treated hair? Yes and it's brand new by the French beauty line, Lovea, who specially formulates a complete organic line for us Natural Beauties.

La Grenade - Leave-In Hair Shine Conditioner

Tannins, polyphenols and vitamin C, all nutrients found abundantly in a simple little red pomegranate, work to enhance the health and shine of your colored hair. Spray it on damp or dry, style, leave it in (Yes, don't rinse!) and your hair will have healthy shiny bounce all day long. 

How the spray in color-enhancing conditioner works: the tannins from the pomegranate afix to the keratin of the hair shaft, thus preserving color. The organic rice oil intensely nourishes the hair follicles resulting in healthy, shiny, lustrous hair. And the two combined together make a formidable foe against UV rays which also helps to preserve the soft silky shine of your hair color. It's light enough, too, to use every day. Couple it with the Pomegranate Shampoo, fortified with aloe vera, to boost your beautiful results.

Dead Sea Salt Scrub


Also new from Lovea Bio is their Dead Sea sourced salt scrub. Crystals of rock salt from this mythic source known throughout the ages by Mediterranean beauties as a source for health and beauty rituals, are embedded in a generous mountain of almond, jojoba, sesame and argan oils which leave your skin nourished more than skin deep. The scrub works to purify and invigorate the skin grace a' its rich Dead Sea Salt calcium deposits; Its potassium re-balances and hydrates.

Truly a luxurious spa treatment in a jar, the Dead Sea Salt Scrub, 98% natural and sourced from this Biblical beauty oasis perched between Israel and Jordan, will leave your skin feeling soft, hydrated, pampered after regular use. The almond oil softens the skin, especially the delicate areas, sesame oil is rich in Vitamin E, jojoba helps to restructure the skin and argan oil protects and nourishes. 

We love these two new products from Lovea Bio for skin and hair, to help repair and replenish, especially after a summer of sun, surf and sand! 

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!



Visit Sunny Chernobyl - book by Andrew Blackwell

Environmental reporter Andrew Blackwell was inspired to write Visit Sunny Chernobyl after realizing he hadn't had much personal contact with Eco Disaster Sites. Before writing the book, he did a sort of Eco Disaster World Tour as research.


His book is an exploration in contradictions. Such as how is it that a radioactive site like Chernobyl becomes a defacto wildlife refuge/ nature habitat? Read more in this insightful, humorous and also penetrating look at how our Eco Disaster Sites have greater breadth in their identity than simply locations of extreme environmental degradation.


Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


A Sticky Situation


By Professor Ralf Seifert and Dr. Joana Comas Marti 
[Guest Post]

The alignment of consumers and industry should make for a heart-warming spectacle, but it’s often the case that consensus is rooted in shared dissatisfaction. So it is with eco-labels.

More than 30 years after Germany’s Ministry of the Environment introduced the world’s first eco-label, the Blue Angel, there are now over 400 eco-labels in use in almost 250 countries and across 25 industries. Momentum and high expectations have ceded to fragmentation, saturation and, perhaps above all, a nascent sense that something needs to change.

There is already considerable evidence to suggest shoppers have become confused by and even inured to the growing array of multi-coloured stickers that decorate their day-to-day purchases. In recent years the packaging of many items has come to resemble less a mere wrapper and more a much-travelled suitcase or an Ishihara eye-test. 

Only a minority of customers, known as “dark green,” are especially cognisant of the notion of sustainability. Their “light green” counterparts are unaware or uninterested, while “mid-green” consumers suspect the issue may be important but aren’t notably disposed to find out why. So the idea that the average buyer is willing to devote precious time to sifting through an ever-distending parade of eco-labels is, unfortunately, unrealistic.

But what has been far less appreciated is the fact that more and more businesses are feeling similarly overwhelmed. New research by IMD and EPFL reveals for the first time the extent of their mounting frustration.

Our study surveyed more than a thousand executives around the globe about their attitudes to eco-labels. A number of in-depth interviews were also carried out. The findings indicate that the promise and best intentions of over three decades ago are giving way to increasingly urgent challenges that simply have to be addressed. 

A range of major international companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Nestlé, Canon, Sara Lee and E.ON, took part in the survey, which sought to investigate why firms choose to adopt eco-labels. Respondents identified brand-strengthening, addressing consumers’ sustainability demands and protecting against pressure-group attacks as some of the key benefits of the practice.

No surprises so far, you might think; but there were plenty of negatives to counterbalance – or even outweigh – the positives. Many of those questioned expressed substantial scepticism over eco-labels’ enduring credibility and the rigour of the criteria and certification procedures. One executive observed that the market “looks more like a new industry of ‘selling stickers,’” while another – albeit the harshest critic we encountered – condemned the entire concept as “a costly and highly bureaucratic piece of nonsense.”

The reality inevitably lies between the extremes, but there can be little doubt that some kind of action is required and, indeed, that it should be keenly encouraged. As Duncan Pollard, Nestlé’s sustainability advisor, told the study: “Fifteen years ago eco-labelling was considered to be the way forward. Now we may be seeing the first serious reappraisal of the conventional wisdom that if you wish to prove you’re sustainable you need a certification logo.”

Why has it come to this? One inescapable fact is that selecting an eco-label has become as bewildering for companies as it is for consumers. The apparently relentless trend towards fragmentation, which is made worse by a lack of consensus over qualifying criteria, is at the very heart of the emergent opposition and discontent.

Little wonder, then, that hopes are now rapidly turning towards greater standardisation and international acceptance. The desire for clarity and consumer understanding is a powerful argument for consolidation, as are the obvious advantages of removing the barriers to trade imposed by limited geographical recognition.

Integration across whole supply chains would help the necessary shift enormously. As Annik Dollacker, head of public affairs at Bayer CropScience, remarked: “In the last 15 years we’ve made progress towards more dialogue and engagement with food-chain partners. This has improved our mutual understanding of the challenges faced by each one of us and allowed us to develop tailor-made solutions together.” In other words, collaborative initiatives should promote mainstream sustainability.

Of course, as with new technologies, it would take time for a smaller number of more focused eco-labels to earn pre-eminence and secure large-scale adoption. But the bottom line – and the prevailing perception – is that right now there are just too many.

In addition, there is plainly a nagging suspicion among firms that a worrying number of eco-label providers launch with honourable intent but soon morph into organisations whose overriding desire is to survive rather than serve. This raises serious concerns about eco-labels’ effectiveness in delivering real outcomes and their potential to help achieve genuine market transformation. The danger, as numerous participants in our survey pointed out, is that a fuzzy superabundance of eco-labels only obscures “the big picture”.

To this perturbing mix we can add fears over consumer pressure on low prices, time and cost concerns, investor demand for short-term performance, insufficient comprehensiveness and a paucity of comparability within and across product categories. All in all, that’s quite a list. It could be a perfect storm. It’s certainly approaching a critical mass – and a mess.

This isn’t to say eco-labels should be ignored or overlooked; after all, they’re becoming ever more integrated into organisations’ procurement requirements. In addition, they still have an eminently worthwhile role in promoting stakeholder collaboration to advance towards consensus on what ‘sustainable’ means. What cannot be denied either is that they offer a chance to consumers to directly express their preference for more sustainable products. However, it’s essential that they should remain a means and not become an end.

Ultimately, eco-labels may be replaceable, but sound strategies and management commitment most definitely aren’t. This particular quest for sustainability, at least in its present form, has itself become unsustainable. We may have started with a Blue Angel, but the halo is well and truly slipping. It’s time for a rethink.

Ralf Seifert is a Professor of Operations Management and the Director of IMD’s Mastering Technology Enterprise (MTE) programme. His primary research and teaching interests relate to operations management, supply chain strategy and technology network management. He is also active in industry analysis, international project work and new venture formation.
He carried out the research discussed here, Reviewing the Adoption of Ecolabels by Firms, with Dr. Joana Comas Marti, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Her research focuses on supply chain approaches in corporate environmental strategies. She has worked on the assessment of the comprehensiveness of sustainability reporting and on the integration of environmental aspects within analytical tools to support business decisions such as supply network design.

Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


Packaging That's Good Enough To Eat

by Robbie Reddy

Robbie Reddy is a guest blogger writing on behalf of Bibo Water, a new generation of home water coolers like Virgin Pure that provide environmentally friendly instant boiling and chilled water.

When it comes to design, nature is hard to beat - and with food packaging nature is no different. Can you think of a package more perfect than a banana skin or an orange peel? With millions of tons of plastic packaging adding up in landfills each year, it's time to try and replicate nature's designs with natural wrapping for manufactured food. Two new companies are currently developing fully edible and delicious wrappers for their products – a step in the right direction.

WikiCells - founded by David Edwards, a chemical engineer at Harvard - are currently working on products surrounded by soft skin that can be composed of an edible mixture of biodegradable polymer and natural ingredients. These ingredients include everything from chocolate to dried nuts and seeds. While currently still in the development stage at present, future products include a tomato membrane stuffed with gazpacho, a fanciful chocolate-flavoured skin filled with hot chocolate, and a wine-filled grape shell. At the moment WikiCells products are targeted towards food businesses and restaurants, but will soon make their way into supermarkets for the general public.

Another company developing edible wrappers is MonoSol, which has already produced water-soluble casings for washing detergent. They plan to use this same technology to create single servings of porridge, hot chocolate and other food items with no need to throw away the wrapper. In the future it's thought that this technology could be applied to packaging for everything from milk to yogurt, potentially doing away with the need for plastic packaging forever. This would be great news for the environment and consumers, as natural packaging is likely to reduce the cost of produce in the long-term. However, if you're not so keen on eating your bottle after drinking its contents just yet, Vegware and other similar companies are currently manufacturing fully compostable containers - a crucial first step towards eliminating the throwaway wrapper.

Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


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Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!

Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


The Hulk Mark Ruffalo Hosts Party for Renewable Energy in Africa

by Nadine Weil

[This guest post is by Nadine Weil, Founder Heart of Green
All photos are by Drew Altizer]

The eco-glitterati came together on Thursday evening June 21 to bask in the glow of Empowered By Light’s second annual Light Up The Night party, a sold out affair in San Francisco. Fresh off his movie premiere of “The Avengers,” Oscar-nominated actor 
Mark Ruffalo flexed his celebrity muscle and co-hosted the party held at Roe to bring 
renewable energy to rural Zambia.

A beloved advocate for the environment, Ruffalo told the cheering crowd that it is time 
to move beyond fossil fuels and harness the power of sunlight. “I support Empowered 
by Light because they are bringing light and renewable energy to those who don’t yet 
have it. They are teaching whole nations that we don’t need fossil fuels to be modern,” 
exclaimed Ruffalo. The actor is a green superhero (The Hulk) not just on the big screen 
but also in real life, where he has a solar array on his New York home and spends many 
weekends battling the practice of natural gas drilling or “fracking.”

Guests at the party enjoyed organic bites from Roe and sipped on eco-friendly cocktails 
from VeeV Acai Spirit, sustainable varietals from eco.love Wines, and organic yerba 
mate beer from MateVeza. VIP partygoers received gifts of stylish Lifefactory glass 
bottles and RunRunRun bags made, coincidentally, from recycled water bottles.

Empowered By Light was founded last year by Marco Krapels, Moira Hanes and
Gianluca Signorelli to improve lives through clean, renewable technology. With their
Solar: Zambia project, they are delivering thousands of solar-powered LED lights and
cell phone charger kits to rural African families and schools.

A recent trip to Zambia in May showed that the LED lights are not only eliminating
the hazards and pollution of open-flame kerosene lamps but also helping the children
improve their performance in school. The Ministry of Education in Zambia informed
Empowered by Light that school children using the organization’s lights improved their
test scores by as much as 236 percent.

“During our last deployment, we saw first-hand the incredible impact our lights are
having,” said Krapels. “It’s richly rewarding to think that tonight, 8,000 children in rural
Zambia are reading because of our efforts, where previously they would have been in
total darkness.”

Krapels also announced the organization’s plans, in partnership with Suntech America, 
to install a sun-powered, micro grid system for Sioma High School in Zambia.

As a highlight of the event, Andrew Birch, the dashing CEO of solar company
Sungevity, presented Empowered By Light with a $40,000 donation to support the new
grid. “There is a universal need for electricity but a fundamental lack of access,” said
Birch. “Empowered by Light is making a difference in rural Zambia, and we are proud to 
be making a difference with them.”

The festivities were sponsored by environmental heavyweights Rabobank, Clif Bar,
Suntech, Lemnis Lighting, Heart of Green, and SHFT. Overall, it was a blockbuster,
star-studded evening where guests left feeling on cloud nine about their ability to make 
the world a lighter and greener place. For more scoop on the organization, please visit 

Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


A-List Celebrities With Green Businesses

by Eliza Morgan

Not all celebrities are about Hollywood glamour, fast cars, and making money only. In fact, some of the most successful celebrities are about quite the opposite: saving the environment. Celebrities who have been in the business for some time are now opting to use their influence to create environmental programs and business solutions. Here is a sampling of some of the world’s most famous people today, working to create a better world for tomorrow through business:

Kevin Costner was the perfect personal defender in Bodyguard, and now he is defending the planet as well. His environmental protection business Ocean Therapy Solutions has spent over fifteen years designing a new centrifuge that can clean up about 2,000 barrels of oil out of seawater every day. After the BP oil spill, the company used Ocean Therapy Solutions to clean much of the coastal spill.

While Cameron may be known for her goofy roles in some of the most beloved modern
comedies, this funny girl sees nothing to joke about when it comes to environmental
preservation. She has recently launched a new show on MTV, Trippin, where she heads around the world to experience first-hand some of the most dire environmental needs.

Best known for her roles in The Notebook and Mean Girls Rachel McAdams is one of the top talents in young Hollywood. She is also an avid environmentalist who prefers to unplug, ride her bike, and recycle everything possible. She has also started her own site Green is Sexy to show others how to do the same.

Willie Nelson is not only a legendary country singer, he has also always had a fondness for the open road. It’s no surprise that he co-founded a biodiesel fuel company that produces a soybean and vegetable fuel named Bio Willie in an effort to reduce the United States’ dependence of foreign oil and minimize the threat to the environment. The fuel is currently sold by Earth Biodiesel Inc.

Daryl Hannah is a beauty icon and talented actress who is also very environmentally active. She owns her own online store Love Life Goods where she sells sustainable, recycled and organic lifestyle products. From beauty treats, to clothing, to composters, this site covers it.

Ed Begley, Jr. has been a longtime A-list celeb and many people know he has also been a longtime proponent of environmentally friendly lifestyles. Once he rejected a limo to drive him to the Academy Awards, preferring to show up right on time on his bicycle. He currently owns a company that manufactures and sells a line of green cleaning products, Begley’s Best. They are made from completely natural, but effective, ingredients and are guaranteed to be non-harmful for the environment, for animals, and for humans.

This guest post is by Eliza Morgan, a full time freelance writer and blogger. She specializes in writing about business credit cards and other business related topics. 

Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


Cleantech Connect Creates World of Connections


by Paige Donner

As an exhibitor at this year’s TechConnect Summit, Pixelligent Technologies has found that participating in this annual event has its payoffs. Craig Bandes, CEO of Pixelligent and a presenter at TechConnect Ventures for multiple years, says that, “We started looking for conferences that were focusing on nanotechnology about 3 years ago and TechConnect was the largest gathering of potential partners and vendors that we could find in North America.  We have presented in the Innovation Showcase for the past 2 years and will present again this year.  TechConnect has proven to be our most productive conference of the year.”

Not just the private sector but the public sector as well stands to gain through strategic attendance and participation at TechConnect Summits, this year’s held in the San Francisco Bay Area, a geographic zone that has proven attractive in particular to nanotechnology start-ups and companies. Dina Lozofsky, who also serves on the TehcConnect Advisory Committee in addition to her role as Sr. Licensing Officer at UC Santa Barbara, says that, “At Tech Connect I have made many good contacts at the event that have proven to be valuable for pursuing my organization's goals.  Tech Connect has also given us good opportunities to showcase our technologies available for licensing and our startups the opportunity to present to potential partners and investors.”

Can participants look for tangible outcomes from attending or exhibiting at Cleantech Connect Summits? I posed this question to Didier Leconte, President and General Manager at MSBi Valorisation and formerly with Univalor. His response bears testimony to several concrete outcomes from his experiences: “I met several representatives from companies during my first TechConnect Summit (and then after) and ultimately signed a commercialization agreement with one, in addition to developing long lasting relationships.” He added that he thinks “the location this year represents a great opportunity to network in the Bay area.”

Can exposure to a large array of participating companies at a summit like TechConnect World be potentially beneficial? Yes and no seems to be the answers, with an emphasis on potential. For example, University of Minnesota’s Leza Besemann, a Technology Strategy Manager and also on the TechConnect Advisory Committee, says that, “TechConnect provides a great venue to not only promote our available technologies but also to get market feedback and input on the commercial viability of these technologies.” And on the subject of leveraging networking opportunities presented by Summit participation, she says, “We obtained contacts at large companies such as Dow, Honda and Kodak that were potential licensees for our technologies.” She added that they are looking forward to the Innovation Summit,  “which is yet another opportunity to increase awareness of the University of Minnesota and our technologies.”

Boris Kobrin, CEO and Co-Founder of Rolith, Inc. had a different take-away: “We participated in TechConnect in 2011. Except a few new contacts no positive outcomes we have seen so far. Even personal meetings requested by 2 corporate partners (Dow and Lockheed) were not useful at all.” However, Rolith will be participating again at this year’s summit and Kobrin says that some of the highlights that keep him coming back are the exposure to the other participating companies that “positively impact our fundraising and partnership-building activities,” and the requests for meetings from two corporate partners - Applied Materials and SK Innovation.

Paige Donner is the Founding Editor of the Green Blog Network. The Green Blog Network is an official Media Partner of TechConnect World Summit 2012.

Posted via email from The Green Blog Network


Constructing a Sustainable Future

by Kristie Lewis [Guest Blogger]
Top 3 Green Building Materials
For some time now our society has been leading an environmental revolution. We are dedicated to finding better more sustainable ways to live our lives on this precious Earth. 
One area of green initiative that has seen significant advancement in the last several years is green building and green construction. When constructing a building we must consider the location of the building, the actual construction of the building, the use of natural amenities, the types of materials used, and many more things to ensure that that structure truly promotes environmental and ecological sustainability. One of the most essential aspects of creating an environmentally conscious structure depends on the sustainability and "green-ness" of the building materials at use. There are numerous options available for the materials a builder, architect, and designer will use in a structure from the actual structural elements to the decorative elements of a space. These building materials are three of the greenest options out there. 
Managed Forest Wood
Real hard wood and specific wood color make a huge different to a designer's eye. For this reason, hardwood remains one of the most common and popular choices for many building elements from floors to ceiling rafters. Managed forest wood means that trees are planted and harvested like crops. We harvest select sizes of trees and carefully leave large areas undisturbed in growth areas. This prevents us from cutting down whole rainforests and disrupting entire ecosystems. 
Recycled Glass
Recycled glass provides a beautiful option for many design and architectural elements of a building. Many "green" houses use recycled glass tiles in kitchens and bathrooms. With such a huge amount of glass waste collected every year, just putting that material back into use improves our environment. 
Bamboo has become a hot design option for builders and designers throughout the world in recent years. Because bamboo grows so quickly and easily (in basically any climate), it is an extremely sustainable material. Bamboo is extremely strong and looks a lot like wood when used within a structure (though it's actually a grass). 
This is a guest post by Kristie Lewis from construction management degree. She is a full time blogger from Texas. Besides blogging, she loves to spend her time gardening and travelling.


Sustainable Building Apprenticeship Program For Women

10-Week Women’s Earthbag Dome Building Apprenticeship in Canada 
Lillooet, British Columbia, July 28-October 6, 2012

Kleiwerks International’s Women of the Americas Sustainability Initiative (WASI) is hosting a 10-week, hands-on natural building apprenticeship that brings together a group of women apprentices with an experienced team of earthbag builders and native St’at’imc community members. Their project is to construct a Healing & Cultural Arts Centre near Lillooet, BC. This training immersion provides participants with the opportunity to learn construction while building a dome from start to finish, develop leadership skills through facilitating local groups, work side-by-side with a community that is creating culturally appropriate local solutions, and document the story to share with wider audiences.

Ideal participants are women who have follow-up projects, intend to share what they learn, want to work in the natural building trades and be part of the growing natural building movement. “This apprenticeship is a unique opportunity for participants to delve into earthbag construction while building the envisioned creative cultural community commons with the people of T’it’qet and Lillooet who are engaged in proactively creating a vibrant future by combining traditional St’at’imc culture and values with refined sustainable and ecological solutions,” says Susannah Tedesco, local Program Coordinator.

Today’s building industry uses half of our planet’s resources, yet healthy, time-tested, affordable and soulful construction alternatives exist. These alternatives are based on reclaiming and refining the use of local and recycled materials. Coupled with indigenous knowledge and Permaculture design systems, natural building plays a profound role in creating a way of life that is good for people and the planet. 

Instructors Fox McBride and Chloe Wolsey are teaming up for the first time, combining their extensive and global earthbag dome construction backgrounds. WASI Delegate Christine Jack is a Nlaka’pamux First Nations leader who resides in St’atimc Territory near Lillooet, BC. Guest Instructors, The Mudgirls are a network of natural builders from BC. WASI Coordinator, Susannah Tedesco, is devoted to rural grassroots initiatives that empower communities to create viable local living solutions. 

Women of the Americas Sustainability Initiative (WASI) is an alliance of women leaders who construct, educate, organize, and advocate for strong and empowered communities through ecological design-build practices with the aim of creating a socially and ecologically resilient world.

For details or to apply visit: http://www.kleiwerks.org/wasi-canada-earthbagdome-apprenticeship-2012/. There are 12 seats available. The fee is $3,600, including tuition, meals, lodging and field trips.
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Tech Connect World Summit 2012 - Invitation and Discount Code


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Premiere of Harmony at Sundance London Inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales


Filmed at King Pacific Lodge, environmental film debuts at inaugural
Sundance London Film and Music festival

NORTH VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, April 26, 2012 – Inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles), Harmony, A New Way of Looking at Our World will make its world premiere on April 28th during the inaugural Sundance London Film and Music Festival. Harmony grows out of three decades of work by Prince Charles to find innovative solutions to the global environmental crisis, with the goal of creating a more sustainable, spiritual and harmonious relationship with the planet.
The project, which filmed at King Pacific Lodge, a Rosewood Resort, features environmentalists, entrepreneurs, farmers, as well as business and government leaders who are working collectively to restore the balance between man and nature. While at King Pacific Lodge, producers captured spectacular images of the pristine wilderness along British Columbia’s coastline, and learned more about the lodge’s efforts as a leader in modern conservation and sustainable tourism.
As a floating luxury wilderness lodge operating in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, King Pacific Lodge works hard to seamlessly blend sustainable philosophies and unparalleled luxury travel experiences, believing that fish counts are as important as thread counts. For more than a decade, the lodge has been at the forefront of creating a new model for sustainable tourism, one that embraces a triple bottom-line business philosophy equally concerned for social equity, environmental conservation, and creating both memorable and benevolent travel experiences for guests.
King Pacific Lodge has made great strides in demonstrating this commitment; first by being the initial private tourism operator to forge a working partnership in 2001 with the Gitga’at First Nation in Hartley Bay, thereby recognizing their rights and title to their traditional territory, and by being the first resort in North America to offset its own carbon footprint as well as that of its guests. Additionally, CondĂ© Nast Traveler has rated the lodge as the number one resort in Canada for four consecutive years.
Harmony is produced and directed by Julie Bergman Sender and Stuart Sender, whose work has received Oscar nominations and a Director’s Guild nomination for best documentary feature. To view the trailer for Harmony, A New Way of Looking at Our World, visit www.TheHarmonyMovie.com.

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!