The Green Drinks Cheat Shee
Here are some goings-on in the world of Green for you to casually drop as you schmooze your way through the next networking event for the environmentally minded.
The Green Drinks Cheat Sheet: Sustainability and Clean Tech talking points for 2012
The Blink Network
About 8,800 Nissan Leafs (the only mass-market all electric car) have been delivered and sold in the USA, but ECOtality subsidiary Blink is partnering like crazy to jumpstart America’s electric vehicle infrastructure. Made possible by a $114.8 Million dollar grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will be matched by private investors, the Blink Network plans to achieve a total of 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities across the country.
The project will provide the infrastructure for 8,300 electric vehicles to hit the streets, and provide the data needed to streamline a major deployment of electric vehicles in the near future. Blink is partnering with Sprint monitoring and management, Cisco to integrate the Blink Network with home energy management, and with Best Buy, Kohl’s and Ikea, who will provide electric car-only parking spots equipped with Blink charging stations.
Patagonia’s Common Threads
Can a corporation sacrifice profits for the sake of sustainability, and not just jump on the green bandwagon or “greenwash” for marketing or PR purposes? You decide, but Patagonia’s Common Threads Initiative looks like a lot of thought went into it. To quote their website: “There’s a reason that ‘recycling’ comes last in the mantra: Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle.”
In efforts to Reduce, Patagonia claims they make useful, long lasting products, and encourages customers to only buy what they truly need. They also provide an extensive guide to preserving the gear you already have.
When it comes to Repairs, they will repair defects for free and charge a “fair price” for normal wear.
To Reuse, Patagonia encourages customers to donate unwanted gear to charities or re-sell the stuff on a special section of the Patagonia website.
Patagonia says they have Recycled 45 tons of clothing since 2005 and turned the materials into 34 tons of new clothing.
Patagonia has made many efforts towards sustainability in the past, but Common Threads appears to be a major philosophical change with significant effects on its business plan.
International E-waste Problem
Here's a depressing one:
More than 50% of this country’s electronic waste ends up in places like Guiyu, China--A fishing village turned into crude, unregulated e-waste processing center. It's also one of the most toxic locales in the world: the air causes cancer in its residents, the water is undrinkable and lead levels in the blood of the children are dangerously high. The pollution from the “recycling” that goes on in Guiyu poisons the surrounding air, environment and communities, but should the blame for these terrifying problems lay only on the residents and practitioners? It turns out that in the US, the world’s largest producer of electronic waste, e-waste recycling is largely unregulated and according to the EPA, a significant portion of it is shipped abroad. Additionally, any recycling company in the US can claim to be a responsible e-waste recycler, as there is no certification process.
Check out this new video on the issue.