Mar 30, 2007

EPA Tells 20 US States Cut Air Pollution by '08

 The US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday finalized rules directing 20 US states to slash levels of tiny particles spewed by power plants, cars and other sources by 2010. About 88 million people in more than 200 counties -- mostly clustered around big cities like Los Angeles and New York -- live where "particulate" levels exceed legal limits set by the agency. The offending particles -- 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair -- are linked to premature ... Reuters:

Hell and Hydrogen - I could not have said it better...

No matter how well they're engineered, hydrogen cars offer no real answer to the imminent threats posed by global warming.

"hydrogen-fuel-cell cousins are, in many ways, simply flashy distractions produced by automakers who should be taking stronger immediate action to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions of their cars. "

Nobody has made this point more clearly than Joseph Romm does in Hell and High Water. Romm is an MIT-trained physicist who managed energy-efficiency programs in the U.S.

Department of Energy during President Clinton's administration and now runs a consultancy called the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions. His book provides an accurate summary of what is known about global warming and climate change, a sensible agenda for technology and policy, and a primer on how political disinformation has undermined climate science. In his view, the rhetoric of "technology breakthroughs"--including the emphasis by President Bush and some in the auto industry on a future hydrogen economy--provides little more than official cover for near-term inaction.

Shun bottled water, save money for wine ;-)

Some upscale restaurants shun bottled water
BERKELEY, Calif. - Bye-bye bottled water. Hello eau de tap. A new trend is in the pipeline, with some upscale restaurants ditching packaged H2O in the name of conservation.
"They're taking a step against the, I believe, deception that's going on out there, which is that somehow bottled water is superior to tap water," Leal said.
The bottled water backlash, is spurred by environmental concerns over the energy used in transportation as well as the disposal of all those containers.
Not surprisingly, the notion of giving up the bottle fizzled with the International Bottled Water Association, based in Alexandria, Va. Spokesman Stephen Kay argued the switch "wouldn't have that big of a conservation impact and restricts customer choices". Switching to municipal water can put a damper on profits since there's a healthy markup on bottled water...
"It's not like we've got bad water here. Our water's terrific," Mindel said. "I don't think we've had one single person that's said, `Oh, can't you bring me Perrier.'"
"Now we can buy more wine," ... said with a smile.

CA - The heat is on urbanization -- not greenhouse gases...

LOS ANGELES - Average temperatures across California rose slightly from 1950 to 2000, with the greatest warming coming in the state's big cities and mostly caused by urbanization -- not greenhouse gases -- authors of a study released on Wednesday said.  "Everybody's talking about the carbon coming out of the SUV exhaust or the coal plant, but in  the past 50 years in California the bigger impact has been urbanization and suburbanization," said Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, one of the study's authors.

"This (warming) has already had a huge impact on the state of California," Patzert said. "It's changed the way we do agriculture, it's changed the energy and water demands, it's changed the number of days we've had frost or extreme heat."

Read full (Reuters):

Green China - A not so model village

China: Green Dreams The village of Huangbaiyu in rural northeast China was supposed to be a model for energy-conscious design. But the joint China-U.S. project to initially build 400 sustainable homes went awry. Timothy Lesle investigates. read more

California Being Warmed by Urbanization

Reuters: Average temperatures across California rose slightly from 1950 to 2000, with the greatest warming coming in the state's big cities and mostly caused by urbanization -- not greenhouse gases -- authors of a study released on Wednesday said. The study found that average temperatures in California rose nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly one degree Celsius) in the second half of the 20th century, led by large urban centers such as San Francisco and Southern California. ...

We Energies buys 88 wind turbines

We Energies said this morning it has bought 88 wind turbines for its Blue Sky Green Field wind power project in northeast Fond du Lac County. With the turbines, from the Danish-based Vestas Wind Systems, the Milwaukee utility expects to begin construction this summer on the $300 million wind farm. It would be the state's largest wind power project when completed next year. We Energies said the turbines will combine to generate 145 megawatts, enough energy to power 36,000 homes. The wind farm will be in the towns of Calumet and Marshfield and was approved by the state Public Service Commission last month. We Energies, a unit of Wisconsin Energy Corp. (WEC), expects the project to double the state's capacity for wind power.

Huge Win - Dept. of Energy Rejects Corn Fuel Future

REUTERS - "The United States' Department of Energy is stating that corn based fuel is not the future. From the article, "I'm not going to predict what the price of corn is going to do, but I will tell you the future of biofuels is not based on corn," U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell said in an interview. Output of U.S. ethanol, which is mostly made from corn, is expected to jump in 2007 from 5.6 billion gallons per year to 8 billion gpy, as nearly 80 bio-refineries sprout up. In related news, Fidel Castro is blasting the production of corn fuel as a blatant waste of food that would otherwise feed 3 billion people who will die of hunger." 

Cellulosic, and other new biofuels such as biobutanol, which can be made from petroleum as well as biomass, could begin to feed the commercial fuel market within six to 10 years, he said.
Apparently, DOE - Reads my Blog ;-)

Mar 29, 2007

United States could have Nuclear fuel Shortage in six years

Under current deals, "The United States relies on Russia for half its Nuclear fuel" ....That deal will end in 2013, leaving a substantial supply gap for the United States, according to MIT.
Many do not know that vast majority or U.S. nuclear fuel supply is mostly imported, coming from Russia, Australia, Canada, Namibia, and, most recently, Kazakhstan.  While the world is gearing up for the "renaissance for nuclear power", MIT is warning that fuel supply constraints could send these nuclear power plants into the dark ages. The lack of global investment in uranium mines, enrichment facilities and demand is also boosting the price of the fuel. A few years ago uranium inventories were being sold at $10 per pound, while the current price is $85 per pound.
Meanwhile, China, India, and Russia have plans for massive deployments of nuclear power and are trying to lock up supplies from countries on which the United States has traditionally relied. Neff is calling for massive new investments in uranium mining and processing facilities.

See the MIT press release.

Celsias - biofuels from waste NOT biosphere!

Biofuels - There is "clear line between the effects of biofuels on people and planet, and what government and industry are doing regardless. You are welcome to contact me to suggest additional information for this page...
More from Celsias:

Is Biodiesel the Best Alternative Fuel?

Waste product derived biodiesel should be pushed to the top of the list of alternative fuels.

"Biodiesel is a form of diesel fuel manufactured from waste oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases.  It is safe, biodegradable and produces less air pollutants than petroleum based diesel." And, the best part is, most diesel fuel vehicles are currently able to run on biodiesel fuels. 
Here's a list of pros and cons from online resources:
- Is a completely renewable source of fuel.
- Can be produced from products (restaurant greases) that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Emits substantially less hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides and sulfate.
- Biodegradable and less toxic to handle when compared to gasoline.
 - Currently, if you try and use biodiesel fuel in your diesel vehicle, it may void your car's warranty.
 - Unless you're getting waste products from restaurants for free and then converting it to biodiesel yourself, it's going to cost you more than gasoline.
 - Emissions include a slight increase in nitrous oxide, which is commonly referred to as "laughing gas."
 - Tends to not perform well in cold temperatures.

To add to the cons: - Demolition of the remains of the world's rainforests to grow the stuff, should it be adapted on a wide scale. Humans already appropriate something like 50% of the entire biological productivity of the planet for food, wood and fuel; biofuels on any meaningful scale would push this towards 100%.
YIKES - Balance in biodiversity is a necessity! While biodiesel looks to be a very viable alternative fuel if we from waste products - ONLY

For more information regarding biodiesel fuels, please check out and

BOOM - The corn bomb just dropped

The three auto executives reiterated their commitment to double their production of flexible fuel vehicles to about 2 million a year by 2010.

Automakers said they could make half of their cars and trucks capable of running on alternative fuels by 2012 if there is enough availability and distribution of E85, an ethanol blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

"This makes a big difference," Wagoner said. "There's nothing that can be done that can reduce the curb of growth of imported oil, and actually turn it down, like using E85." ... gets you this:

The government issues a report this week that is likely to show one of the most dramatic shifts in U.S. crop acreage in memory.

... growers are going to plant more acres to corn this year and significantly fewer acres to cotton, soybeans, wheat and other crops. Environmental groups said the focus on ethanol blends would undermine attempts to push automakers to make more fuel efficient cars.

Yeah, but where's the big-money constituency for that?
From Cause and effect (Thanks GRIST! ;-) Seeks Recyclers and Refurbishers to Claim Free Merchandise

Since its launch three years ago, thousands of users from coast-to-coast have posted new and used merchandise on for give-away to interested takers. As members post more and more outdated and unwanted equipment, seeks recyclers and refurbishers willing to claim the goods in their area.

At, charities, businesses and individuals from all over the world "throw" their excess onto the Internet where others view and "take" what they need for free. offers a structured, discreet, and easy-to-use format where online users are able to post goods, browse by item or location, and monitor their Throws and Takes in their site account. Once a donor accepts a request for their listing, exchanges email addresses of the giver and taker so that pick up or shipping arrangements can be made directly.
From Laura B. (Thanks! ;-)


They read my blog in 2005???

Reuters: There's an old joke about the number of people it takes to change a light bulb. But because the newer energy-efficient kinds contain tiny amounts of mercury, the hard part is getting rid of them when they burn out. Mercury is poisonous, but it's also a necessary part of most compact fluorescent bulbs, the kind that environmentalists and some governments are pushing as a way to cut energy use. With an estimated 150 million CFLs sold in the United States in 2006 and with .. Link

Major win - Govt announces $200m to stop deforestation in Asia

Australian Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $200 million plan to help stop deforestation in Asia. The Government is under pressure from the Opposition and climate change economist Sir Nicholas Stern to do more to tackle global warming. Mr Turnbull says a global response is needed and the $200 million project will be used to plant trees and reduce illegal logging in South-East Asia. "The funding will go, given the nature of our geography, will ... Link (VIA -

15 Million Gallons of Sewage Goes Missing from Michigan Sewage Treatment Plant

15 million gallons of partially treated sewage water disappeared from a 250,000 square-foot storage lagoon into an underground sinkhole, but officials don't know where it went after that.

Kent County utility operator Nathan Dannenberg, who runs the sewage treatment system for Sand Lake, discovered the leak in the 8-foot-deep lagoon on Friday while taking samples. It wasn't clear when or why the leak occurred.

This is of some concern to locals, as their water supply is taken from wells that are downstream of the now mysteriously vanished sewage.

'We don't smell anything, and we don't see anything,' said Nathan Danenberg, the man in charge of sewage treatment for the village, told The Grand Rapids Press. "I don't know if maybe there are old mines in the area ... It's an odd case. A sinkhole gobbled up all the water and we don't know where it went... It seems to have just gone down into the earth."

Ethanol: A complete waste of otherwise perfectly good corn.

IOWA FALLS, Iowa - In ethanol-happy Iowa, where presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to support the corn-based fuel additive and farmers are reveling in corn prices double those of a year ago, Joe Kerns sometimes hands out bumper stickers that read: "Ethanol: A complete waste of otherwise perfectly good corn." VIA- csmonitor

Soy-based Product Explored As Nontoxic Substitute For Important But Toxic Reactive Compound

Isocyanates are important to many products we take for granted -- from paint to spandex running shorts. But the high reactivity for which the chemical group is valued also makes this compound toxic when breathed. A Virginia Tech graduate student has created macromolecules with comparable reactivity using soy-based chemistry. VIA- sciencedaily

How to go green with your electronics

green%20computer.pngThe TreeHugger weblog posts a collection of tips for "greening" your electronics.
Being green with electronics doesn't mean living in a teepee listening to truckers squalk on the old short-wave. Greening your electronics is a matter of knowing what tech to get, how to use it best, and what to do with it when its useful life is done.

For example, electronics like your TV consume power whether they're turned on or not, meaning that even though you may not be watching TV, your TV's still eating up a lot of power. The same is true of AC adapters. A good way to remedy this problem is by plugging these items into a power strip and flipping the switch there whenever you're not using those devices. Share your green electronics tips in the comments. — Adam Pash

Mar 28, 2007

Inarguable comments on how a H2 Car is 20 years off....

HAASE COMMENT - The U.S. market has no problem sticking billions of tax dollars into "future fuel infrastructure's" that are decades away from economic reality, while completely discarding programs that promote economic growth and the reduction of fuel use... canceling viable domestic programs and promoting individual conservation?

I came across the important thread every critic and proponent should read... "great post engineer-poet AND a timely focus - concerning an energy carrier 'nicknamed' an energy source by to many. And on top of it all - it is the most minuscule particle in the universe - the hardest little thing to contain that is ...

Engineer-Poet - I had similar goals for "Sustainability", except that I was trying to pull old interest groups away from the current dysfunctional system rather than create new ones.

Another possibility. The scientists themselves are human and are themselves in denial and are unable to admit in print the fix we are in. It is kind of like going to a doctor and having him tell you that you have 4-6 months to live - how easy would it be to go out and tell others this grim news?

Right now, it is a crisis only in the minds of the doomers.

Engineer-Poet - True. However, a failure to act to head off a crisis practically guarantees we'll sleepwalk into one. In that sense, the doomers are not wrong so much as premature.

Some of this obstruction is more or less direct set to deliver product in the 2007 timeframe and also suitable for PHEV modification, and replacing it with a program of dubious feasibility and a very long time horizon), but some of it is more subtle, taking the form of misdirection.

This misdirection is evident in the shameless promotion of unready and perhaps impossible fixes, such as:

  • Cellulosic ethanol.
  • Oil from ANWR (at best, a fraction of what we could save with better CAFE or just plain price-driven demand destruction), and last but not least,
  • Hy(pe)drogen.

In this climate of disinformation comes a paper from Purdue, titled Sustainable fuel for the transportation sector. The premise is rather simple: US production of biomass contains sufficient carbon to replace all our transportation fuel...

In the H2CAR paper, figures such as 239 billion kg/year of hydrogen from 58,000 km2 of solar PV panels are tossed off rather casually.... cost would be closer to $40 trillion. Clearly we're not going to do this. Another example of the disconnect between the researchers and reality is their proposed quantity and method of hydrogen production. Their most optimistic (smallest) quantity of hydrogen required is 239 billion kg/year, which they propose to produce from renewable electricity via electrolysis. The quantity of electricity required (at 100% efficiency, no less) is a staggering 9810 billion kWh/year2; this is nearly 2.5 times current annual US electric production.

Maybe, just maybe, this will help slay one more of the non-options so we can get on with the things that might actually work.

More comments

As Fuel Prices Soar, A Country Unravels

The impact of today's energy crunch on the poor is plain in rich nations such as America: Expensive gasoline and soaring heating bills make a hard life harder. In impoverished countries such as Guinea, where per capita income is just $370 a year and surging gasoline prices have helped spark bloody riots, the energy shock has become a matter of life and death. The energy shock's impact on the world's poor is uneven. An estimated 1.6 billion people, most of them rural dwellers, lack access to electricity and 2.4 billion still cook over fires of wood, charcoal or dung.

The new fuel shortages make life tough at Donka Hospital, where Mr. Diallo, the aspiring doctor, just started making his rounds as a student intern. The hospital has priority on the city's electricity grid, but blackouts are frequent. Patients bring their own flashlights. The main backup generator burns through 40 liters of fuel an hour, at a cost of about $40 an hour at current rates. So, that generator sits idle.

Dr. Baldé and his team of 14 doctors at the infant-care ward cope as they can. If a blackout lasts longer than an hour or so, temperatures inside the incubators start to fall. Nurses pick babies out and bury them in blankets on their mothers' warm bellies.

"There were too many stoppages in his therapy" because of the blackouts, Dr. Joumah says, wincing and shaking his head. The baby died after about a week. He had other complications, but Dr. Joumah blames the power cuts. "It happens all the time," he says.

Original article available here:

DYK - Doomsday clock movement included climate change?

In January, 2007, the Doomsday clock was set to 5 minutes to midnight marking "the first Clock movement to include climate change as a threat to humankind." -- Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (

Yike - EP nails logistic problems of cellulosic ethanol.

The future is not now for biomass ethanol industry. The logistics of collecting and storing a million tons of corn stubble each year for an ethanol refinery are mind-numbing.

"It would take 67,000 semitrailer loads to haul the baled stubble out of the field. That's 187 truckloads a day, or one every eight minutes. To complicate matters, the need for trucks, machinery and manpower would come during harvest, already the busiest time of the year on the farm. And that's where a massive federal initiative into cellulosic ethanol may find its biggest bottleneck - on the farm."

According to the article, a million tons would produce 80 million gallons of ethanol. This would be enough on a gross basis to displace 0.04% of our gasoline usage. So, if all the inputs were free, all we would need is 2,500 of these facilities, and we will have met all U.S. gasoline needs (but not diesel, fuel oil, or jet fuel). Ah, but we forgot about energy inputs. How many gallons of fossil fuels did it take to run all of those semi-trailer trucks to take the stubble to the plant? How much natural gas was required to distill off the ethanol? But we are told that these are "small problems." Easily resolved.

Read full here

Lean Manufacturing, improving the Environment and the Bottom Line...

Environmental concerns are a part of the lean concept.
Companies usually do not consciously target "environmental" issues such as energy or water use, solid or hazardous waste, or chemical hazards, in their lean initiatives. Typically, environmental costs and impacts are considered overhead. Thus they tend to be hidden from the cost evaluation of a specific production process. But with the recent rise in energy (and transportation) costs, an increasing number of companies have begun specifically targeting energy consumption for kaizen. Energy consumption has a very definite, measurable impact on a company's bottom line as well as a facility's environmental footprint.

For example, EHS staff are more likely to realize that a more expensive, but less toxic solvent may actually be more cost-effective if it results in less hazardous waste (or even none) being generated. The costs to treat and dispose of wastes often exceed the added expense of less toxic solvent.

What's lean again? Lean manufacturing confers very real benefits by reducing the costs of production and more efficiently using capital. If lean manufacturing also incorporates environmental considerations, it can help a company achieve many other long-term goals, such as environmental sustainability and maintaining a good relationship with the public. Lean usually helps the environment without really intending to. Through Lean, many companies were saving money by taking steps that also benefited the environment, even when they were not consciously trying to do so. "Environmental" wastes, such as excess energy or water use, hazardous waste, or solid waste, present largely untapped opportunities to the lean practitioner. This is obvious if one steps back to consider the overall goals of lean manufacturing continually improving production efficiency.

More efficient production means less energy used per unit produced. It means less material resources are used per unit produced, and materials (and energy, for that matter) are used or reused more efficiently. Aside from the obvious savings on production costs, this more efficient use means not only less energy and raw materials consumed, but also less material emitted to air and water, and less solid/hazardous waste generated.

EPA has begun to look very closely at lean as an area in which environmental and business practitioners can work together. In January 2006, EPA developed and published "The Lean and Environment Toolkit." The Toolkit incorporates tools already developed and used by our partners, as well as new ideas that arose during our collaboration. Lean practitioners will find these tools to be very familiar; for the most part, they're traditional lean tools with slight adaptations to account for a slightly different perspective. EPA's lean website provides a link to make such suggestions. We really want to hear from you. Please contact us at

Environmental Waste: An Overlooked Savings Opportunity - If cost-reduction opportunities concerning environmental wastes are being overlooked, then the true costs of production are not really being accounted for.... it is likely a simple question of priorities.

One in five MI Homes have Radon cancer risk

The testing occurred in homes across the state in January in response to National Radon Action Month. The testing found that approximately one in five of exceeded the U.S. Environment Protection Agency's recommended level.
The EPA estimates that radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States, and reports in Michigan estimate that more than 600 new lung cancer cases could be attributable to indoor radon each year.

Test kits are available from local health departments all across the state. The cost generally ranges from $5 to $15, including postage and lab fees. Kits are also available from some home improvement centers and hardware stores, but not all retail kits include postage and analysis, so citizens are urged to carefully read the packaging before making their purchase.

To find out more about radon, visit the Department of Environmental Quality's Web site at

First delivery of pipeline-quality biogas

Already practiced in Europe on a relatively large scale, feeding biogas into the natural gas grid is now a fact in the US too. Environmental Power Corporation today announced that its subsidiary, Microgy Holdings, LLC, has achieved the initial delivery of pipeline quality renewable natural gas .

The facility is able to generate biogas from manure and other agricultural waste streams, condition the biogas to natural gas standards and distribute it via a commercial pipeline. Microgy's has branded, the renewable, pipeline-quality biomethane product as 'Renewable Natural Gas'.

At full build out, Huckabay Ridge may be the largest biogas production facility in the world, with annual output of approximately 650,000 MMbtus of RNG per year - the equivalent of over 4.6 million gallons (17.4 million liters) of heating oil.
"Our standardized modular plants will enable us to implement numerous large-scale RNG facilities rapidly and in a cost-effective manner."


Bioplastics developed that degrade in seawater, boon to cruise industry

Fine petroleum-based plastic particles that pollute our oceans and enter the food chain (earlier post). So what about bioplastics that degrade in seawater and become food instead of poison for marine life? Scientists from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) announce that they have developed such plastics.

Large volumes of plastic waste generated aboard military, merchant and cruise ships must be stored onboard, often for prolonged periods, until they make port. In the future, the new type of environmentally friendly plastic may make it safe and practical to toss plastic waste overboard, freeing-up valuable storage space.

The biodegradable plastics could replace conventional plastics that are used to make stretch wrap for large cargo items, food containers, eating utensils and other plastics used at sea, the researchers say. The biodegradable plastic has not yet been tested in freshwater. The development was described today at the 233rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

"There are many groups working on biodegradable plastics, but we're one of a few working on plastics that degrade in seawater," says study leader Robson F. Storey, Ph.D., a professor of Polymer Science and Engineering at USM, located in Hattiesburg, Miss. "We're moving toward making plastics more sustainable, especially those that are used at sea."


Samsung's Solid-State Drive could save millions in waste e-energy!

"Just a couple of weeks ago Sandisk introduced a 32-GB solid-state drive. Now Samsung has one-upped them, unveiling a 64-GB solid-state drive. They are expecting to begin shipping in the second quarter of this year. Samsung says the device can read 64 MB/s, write 45 MB/s, and uses just 0.5 W when operating (0.1 W when idle). In comparison, an 80-GB 1.8-inch hard drive reads at 15 MB/s, writes at 7 MB/s, and consumes 1.5 W when either operating or idle.


Don't ignore lower levels in Lake Michigan

Reports that the water level in Lake Michigan is an inch lower than it was last year at this time is significant and warrants attention for present and future generations. Read more in the greenbaypressgazette

Catch 22 for hybrid cars -- price vs volume.

Battery makers and suppliers of other key parts for hybrid, energy-saving vehicles have one overriding question: when will the market be big enough to justify their costs? Read more on

The dirty secret about clean cars.

President Bush and the Big Three are pushing cars that run on ethanol, but the policy may be doing more harm than good.

Water, water...catastrophic shortage?

With Washington adding thousands of new residents each year, could another drought leave us with a catastrophic shortage? Is the water always safe to drink, or are we likely to see repetitions of the 2004 lead-contamination scare in DC?

Mom's beef puts son's sperm count at stake.

Men whose mothers ate a lot of beef during their pregnancy have a sperm count about 25% below normal and three times the normal risk of fertility problems, researchers reported Tuesday. Read more in latimes

Energy Companies Rethink Palm Oil as Biofuel

Once, palm oil was seen as an ideal biofuel, a cheap alternative to petroleum that would fight global warming. But second thoughts are wracking the power industry. Can the fruit of the palm tree help save the planet -- or contribute to its destruction?

U.S. House of Representatives OKs Bill To Cut Ship Pollution

The House approved legislation late Monday to cut polluting emissions spewed by ships powered by diesel fuel. Under the House bill, the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency would be given the authority to develop and enforce emission limits on the thousands of domestic and foreign-flagged vessels that enter U.S. waters each year. Read more:

Fortune's Green Giants Aren't All Green

Fortune Magazine is following what seems like every other magazine out there with its own "first-ever green edition." Among pages on Schwarzenegger's credentials and the new big business of clean technology, Fortune has put together a list of the top ten greenest mega-corps. While it is nice to see that some of these monster corporations have green credentials (each of the companies listed has between 5 and 380 thousand employees,) it can be difficult to make the big businesses of auto-making, aluminum refining, and tar-sand mining to sound environmental at all. Reading the list, it becomes obvious that there's only one way to measure green credentials from Fortune's perspective, and that is to compare each company to other companies in the same sector.

U.S. and India Partnering for a Better Global Environment

U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson is leading a U.S. delegation to India to meet with environmental officials on global environmental cooperation.
"As major contributors to the global economy, the U.S. and India are important to the health of the global environment," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "As we are seeing in the U.S., environmental progress and economic growth can, in fact, go hand-in-hand. We welcome this opportunity to share our experiences and lessons learned in order to accelerate the pace of environmental protection in both our nations."

Johnson will conclude his visit to India by discussing EPA's methane gas recovery and mercury programs with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and he will also meet with government officials from the Planning Commission and Ministry of Science and Technology on avenues of collaboration to strengthen environmental protection.

2002 memorandum of understanding on environmental cooperation between EPA and the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest:

Background information on the environment track of the economic dialogue between the United States and India:
RSS submitted By Laura B. (Thanks!) -


Two Chemicals to be Added to Toxic Trade Blacklist

Reuters: Two pesticides -- one used on crops, the other painted onto boats to keep them clean -- are to be added to a list of substances which are considered so harmful they can only be traded in special circumstances. The United Nations said on Tuesday the toxic chemicals will only be allowed to be exported to countries which have explicitly chosen to permit them, a measure aimed at protecting humans and the environment in developing countries. Endosulfan, a chemical sprayed onto ..

Link - 

Milw. Journal, others: PNAS study details the climate zones to come

It is a commonplace that climate change will mean different locations for climate zone, and maybe some new zones altogether. No news in that, but a new study attempting to provide some detail is getting attention. It's from researchers at the University of Wisconsin and the U. of Wyoming. Not only will some new tropical zones appear, but some kinds of climate may disappear from the planet, the study concludes. Dramatic shifts are due for some of the globe's most populated areas, too, including Southeast Asia, parts of the US, much of Africa, and the Andes. The shifted climate will bring novel conditions to about 40 percent of the planet, it says here. Pic hi res here.



Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Lee Bergquist; AP Randolph E. Schmid who stresses some climates won't just change if the study is right. They'll be gone; Reuters Deborah Zabarenko; New Scientist Andy Coghlan; The Guardian (UK) James Randerson says results will devastate biodiversity;


Grist for the Mill:

Univ. Wisc. Press Release; NSF Press Release; U. of Wyoming Press Release;

Source By Charlie Petit on Environment Stories

Exactly how big is your eco footprint? Online calculators can help you figure it out.

  •  - U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tells you everything you need to know about your car and its impact on the environment. The "Find and Compare Cars" tool allows you to input any car model and year and returns a score for energy impact, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution, with thorough explanations about what all these terms mean.
  • Personal Emissions Calculator  - Created by the EPA, this online calculator allows you to estimate you or your family's personal greenhouse gas emissions. If you want to learn about actions you can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. For each action you choose to take, you'll see the amount of emissions you could avoid and how that amount relates to your total emissions.
  • Paper Calculator  - This calculator, produced by Environmental Defense, a nonprofit environmental organization, allows you to input the amount and type of paper you (or your company) uses, and then provides figures for wood use, total energy, greenhouse gases, wastewater, and solid waste.
  • Water Use Calculator - Enter how many people live in your home and how often you shower, flush, and perform other activities that require water into this calculator designed by the city of Tampa, Florida. Might be surprised to find out how much water your family is using.
  • Calculate Your Personal Impact - Another calculator created by Environmental Defense.  Key in facts about your home and travel habits, and get back a figure for how much carbon pollution you produce. The calculator then equates the figure to how many trees in the Amazon rainforest would have to be cut and burned to produce the same amount of pollution.
  • Commute Calculator - How much does your commute impact the environment? Input the miles of your daily trip and the calculator returns figures for how much pollution your produce.

Hooked on calculators? More are available on the EPA website. (From:

Mar 27, 2007

MI - "With Cellulosic Ethanol, There Is No Food Vs. Fuel Debate"

Bruce Dale, an MSU chemical engineering and materials science professor, has used life cycle analysis tools, which include agricultural data and computer modeling, to study the sustainability of producing biofuels -- fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel that are made from renewable resources.

Dale will present his findings at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in Chicago.
"We grow animal feed, not human food in the United States," Dale said. "We could feed the country's population with 25 million acres of cropland, and we currently have 500 million acres. Most of our agricultural land is being used to grow animal feed. It's a lot simpler to integrate animal feed production into cellulosic ethanol production than it is to integrate human food production. With cellulosic ethanol, the 'food vs. fuel' debate goes away."

Cellulosic ethanol is made from the stems, leaves, stalks and trunks of plants, none of which is used for human food production. Having studied ethanol for more than 30 years, Dale said that as the country moves toward large-scale cellulosic ethanol production, the yield of so-called energy crops -- grasses and woody materials grown for their energy content -- also will increase dramatically.

"This will reduce pressure on our land resources," said Dale, who also is associate director of the MSU Office of Biobased Technologies. "We'll be able to get more raw material out of one acre of land."

Dale said that many of these energy crops will be grown on land that isn't prime agricultural acreage. In other words, they'll be grown on marginal land that isn't growing a commercial crop right now.

"The evidence indicates that large-scale biofuel production will increase, not decrease, world food supplies by making animal feed production much more efficient," Dale said.
This work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and DuPont Biobased Materials Inc.

Positive, empowering, and non-threatening message, if ever there was one.

Ahead of the Curve: Business Responds to Climate Change, features such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Dupont, and Pacific Gas & Electric -- all ones with good, profitable stories to tell about their climate initiatives. Dupont, for example, cut its emissions to 72% below 1990 levels, saving $3 billion, while J&J managed to reduce its emissions by 11.5% while sales increased 350%.

New buisness films -- both making the case that proactive corporate climate initiatives can be a boon for the economy, the environment, and for company competitiveness.

Read Makower's "The Corporate Climate Revolution Will Be Televised"  here

New Enzyme-Based Fuel Cell Produces Electricity from Hydrogen in Plain Air

The "bio fuel cell" uses an anode coated with oxygen-tolerant hydrogenases—enzymes from a naturally occurring bacterium that oxidize hydrogen in its metabolism—coupled with a cathode modified with the fungal oxygen reductase, laccase. Laccase catalyses the reduction of oxygen to water.
The enzyme-coated electrodes are placed inside a container of ordinary air with 3% added hydrogen.

Prototype versions of the cell produced enough electricity to power a wristwatch and other electronic devices. Armstrong foresees advanced versions of the device as potential power sources for an array of other electronic products that only require low amounts of power.

The technology is immensely developable. We are at the tip of a large iceberg, with important consequences for the future, but there is still much to do before this generation of enzyme-based fuel cells becomes commercially viable.

Brazilian Sugarcane Group to Partner with China on Ethanol Plants

Brazil, has signed with Chinese investors to build ethanol plants that could process up to 10 million metric tons of sugarcane per harvest.

The Chinese companies interested in investing in Brazilian ethanol mills could be Jilin Fuel Ethanol, Henan Tianguan, Anhui Fengyuan Bio-Chemical and Heilongjiang China Resources Jinyu, which together produce 1 billion liters (264 million gallons US) of ethanol per year, said the report.

China is the world's third largest ethanol producer behind the US and Brazil, but the country has limited land and water for agricultural expansion.  In December, the Chinese government directed ethanol producers to concentrate on using non-food crops as feedstocks due to concerns about food prices. (Earlier post.)  Source

China's Gasoline Consumption to Climb 24.7% by 2010

Gasoline consumption in China will reach 65.44 million tonnes (about 24.5 billion gallons US) by 2010, according to government projections.

Gasoline consumption hit 52.47 million tonnes (19.7 billion gallons US) last year, an 8.4% year-on-year growth, after the year's car sales jumped 27% to hit 7.2 million. The forecast for this year's growth is 18%, according to Bai Xuesong, senior engineer with China International Chemical Consulting Corp., which is overseen by the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

China produced 55.91 million tonnes (20.9 billion gallons US) of gasoline last year. Read via -

Interest Growing For Environmental Websites

Hey maybe they'll read mine ;-)
Considering that a recent study shows a vast majority of the people in the United States are concerned about global warming, it is not surprising that environmental websites are also seeing an uptick in interest. An online market research firm has been tracking environmental websites and has some interesting results.  » original news

Creating World Standards For Recycling And Harvesting Electronic Components

Standardizing recycling processes globally to harvest valuable components in electrical and electronic scrap (e-scrap), extending the life of products and markets for their reuse, and harmonizing world legislative and policy approaches to e-scrap are prime goals of a new global public-private initiative called Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP), led by UN University. Read more here

PVC = cancer related impacts...

PVC has been repeatedly linked to many health concerns. So, you may ask yourself, why isn't it a subject of the supposedly comprehensive LEED certification criteria? That is the question that the LEED steering committee recently asked the US Green Building Council Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC) to investigate further. And the results, while mixed, point to a definitive answer: PVC, when ranked throughout its life cycle, is consistently found as one of the worst materials for cancer related impacts. (more…

Green Building = Buzz, but Localization = Key

Green building Rule:  Consult a knowledgeable professional to pick the optimal green building strategy that effectively considers the ramifications of the local geography and materials on your site.  It'll pay dividends later when you actually start to occupy the building and use it.  Read more on green building at

Wisconsin - Improper trash burning is illegal & hazardous, but DNR offer alternatives

SPOONER, Wis. -Anyone taking a match to a woody debris pile this spring may want to think twice. If the pile contains household trash the fire will be adding dangerous pollutants to the air.

According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, a single household open burning unsorted trash can produce as much of some cancer causing emissions as a 200-ton-per-day municipal waste incinerator with high efficiency emission control technology.

"Burning any material, whether plastic, paper or wood, produces a variety of hazardous and toxic air pollutants, including carcinogens such as arsenic, benzene and formaldehyde," said Neal Baudhuin, Department of Natural Resources air management supervisor at Rhinelander. "Looking for alternatives to burning is one thing everyone can do to help our environment," he added.


Burning poses fire danger - Debris burning is also the number one cause of wildfires in Wisconsin.

These fires often threaten the safety of citizens and fire fighters, burn structures, and damage natural resources. Because of their danger, debris burns are regulated by state code. Requirements include not burning until after 6 p.m. nor on Sundays, holidays and during high winds when the ground is not snow covered.

Permits for burning outside of city limits may be obtained at DNR service centers local ranger stations or from volunteer emergency fire wardens in the community. Permits help inform local citizens of the correct method to burn allowable materials and alerts fire fighters to locations of where to expect smoke.

Even though a person has a permit, if a fire escapes from control or the person fails to extinguish the fire, he or she can be held responsible for all costs of suppression and civil damages. Anyone burning without a permit may be issued a citation.

In addition, burning the following materials is prohibited under any conditions:

  • wet, combustible rubbish;
  • oily substances, such as oily or greasy rags and oil filters;
  • asphalt products such as shingles or tar paper;
  • plastics of any kind, including plastic bottles and plastic bags;
  • rubber products, including tires and hoses;
  • treated, stained or painted wood; and
  • upholstered furniture, bedding, carpeting, etc.
  • recyclable paper or cardboard; and
  • garbage.
Homeowners may also burn small quantities of nonrecyclable paper and unpainted, untreated wood. State and local laws require recycling of plastic containers, corrugated cardboard, newspaper, magazines and office paper. Penalties can be assessed to individuals and businesses for the improper disposal of recyclables.

However, if people do choose to burn, DNR air quality specialists say they should be courteous to neighbors and be aware of the effect the smoke and air pollution has on people and the environment downwind. They recommend people look into alternatives to getting rid of burnable waste.

"Property owners may want to donate items like furniture, appliances and other usable household items to local thrift stores, charities or schools as a first option rather than burning or landfilling them," said Bob Germer, a DNR recycling specialist.

Brush, leaves and plant clippings could be composted. Backyard composting information is available at local DNR Service Centers.

Outdoor enthusiasts may want to use renewable paper products for meal preparation rather than more costly, hard-to-manage plastic and foam utensils. Burning a paper plate in a campfire creates less of an environmental and human health impact than the black noxious smoke of a foam plate. Wash and reuse the plastic utensils.

Businesses , commercial enterprises, and industries may not use burn barrels or openly burn wastes and may not be granted burning permits by municipalities. Businesses may obtain a permit to burn small brush piles that are the result of clearing business property on a case-by-case basis.

The Department of Natural Resources encourages all persons to consider alternatives to open burning such as reducing the amount of waste produced, reuse of items, recycling, chipping and composting yard and brush and landfilling.

Waste reduction, reuse, and recycling information is also available on the DNR Web site and at DNR service centers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Germer, DNR recycling specialist – (715) 635-4060

Paris France - City of Bikes?

Paris is for lovers: lovers of food and art and wine, lovers of the romantic sort and, starting this summer, lovers of bicycles.

"We think it could change Paris's image -- make it quieter, less polluted, with a nicer atmosphere, a better way of life."

"It's faster than the bus, it's good exercise, and it's almost free," The rental bikes four or five times a day and pays 10 euros (about $13) a year!

In Lyon, according to deputy mayor Touraine, the city's 3,000 rental bikes have logged about 10 million miles since the program started in May 2005, saving an estimated 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being spewed into the air. Overall, vehicle traffic in the city is down 4 percent, he said, and bicycle use has tripled, not just on account of Cyclocity, but also because the program has prompted a boom in private bicycle use and sales.

NOT A NEW IDEA - The Cyclocity concept evolved from utopian "bike-sharing" ideas that were tried in Europe in the 1960s and '70s, usually modeled on Amsterdam's famous "white bicycle" plan, in which idealistic hippies repaired scores of bicycles, painted them white, and left them on the streets for anyone to use for free. But in the end, the bikes were stolen and became too beat-up to ride.

Mar 26, 2007

David Suzuki, maybe I'm being naïve...

What's the point of being re-elected if you aren't going to DO anything? I honestly believe that most politicians at least start out wanting to work for the common good. Many become overwhelmed by the muck, but great leaders act. They make bold decisions and move on them. They don't tinker when big changes are needed and they don't change things just for the sake of change. One of my pet peeves is the way some administrations will move into office and, rather than take an honest assessment of what's working and what isn't, instead set out to dismantle everything the previous administration had done just to make a point.

Of course, it's hard for leaders to act without public support. But right now, the environment is the top public concern. The public will support strong environmental leadership, so now's the time for our political leaders to act.

In the end, all that we have are our legacies. I've been on this planet now for 71 years. I don't know how many years I have left, but I promise you I plan to make the most of them. I hope our political leaders look at their terms in office the same way.

The more you rely on things, the more helpless you are... living with less

(From Article) In my early adult life, I got caught up in some very expensive entertainment, simply because I had more money than I had ever even comprehended in my life to that point. Now that I'm older, I realize that most of the things I really truly enjoy have very little cost - reading, preparing food, and so on. I guess the lesson here is to appreciate hobbies and entertainment that have little expense.

The more you rely on things, the more helpless you are when they go away - and the more companies can get away with charging you for it.
To this day, whenever I rely on a service, I make it a point to occasionally reflect on how I would survive without it, and if life without that service doesn't seem to be much of a loss, I seriously look at removing it. The lesson here is to consider what you really need and what you really don't, and live life accordingly...
Read more from posts:

Offsetting emissions - The carbon con?

"Zero carbon" companies gain the reputational benefits of being seen to be green. Offsetting also offers them the experience of working with a shadow price for carbon, in preparation for future regulation. But companies should not make these claims lightly, says Clough. "It should really be the responsibility of companies to prove that the offsets they are buying are credible and actually have environmental worth."
... Friends of the Earth, suspects that carbon offsetting is allowing companies to appear green while providing little incentive to change their, or their consumers', behavior. "I think it's being used as greenwash," he says. He accuses energy companies, of being the loudest advocates of consumer carbon offsetting, as these industries stand to lose most from more environmentally friendly behavior.
... offsets do not reduce emissions. He compares the planet to a running bath, full almost to the brim with carbon dioxide. To offset carbon dioxide emissions, by analogy, is to say: "I won't turn off my tap. I'll let someone else turn off their tap." The reality, he says, is that we need to turn off both.

Mountain Dew to fuel future bio-batteries?

Hey, if you can knock back a Mountain Dew to give yourself a boost, why can't your electronic devices go for a sugar high to keep themselves cranking, too?
A very exciting bit of news for those of us who track the rapid developments in the bioeconomy: researchers at Saint Louis University in the U.S. have developed a fuel cell battery that runs on virtually any sugar source - from soft drinks to tree sap - and has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium ion batteries.

The scientists presented their findings at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. A prototype of the stamp-sized battery runs a calculator, but future applications could include powering computers and recharging cellphones. Tree sap, soda and drink mixes have been used to power the batteries so far.
"This study shows that renewable fuels can be directly employed in batteries at room temperature to lead to more energy-efficient battery technology than metal-based approaches," said study leader Shelley Minteer, an electrochemist at Saint Louis University, in a statement. "It demonstrates that by bridging biology and chemistry, we can build a better battery that's also cleaner for the environment."
Like other fuel cells, the sugar battery contains enzymes that convert fuel - in this case, sugar - into electricity, leaving behind water as a main byproduct. But unlike other fuel cells, all of the materials used to build the sugar battery are biodegradable.
Funding for this study was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense.

World's Hottest Super-Models - Working for me ;-)

Scientists use supercomputers to process models that use physics and thermodynamics-based equations covering everything from humidity in the atmosphere to sea ice formation. Climate models aren't perfect predictors, but they "are the only thing we've got," said Gerald Meehl, a climate modeler at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. and a lead author of the IPCC report. "They're the only way we can come up with any kind of idea of what could happen."

Alarming biofuels boom is spurring deforestation...

Nearly 40,000 hectares of forest vanish every day, driven by the world's growing hunger for timber, pulp and paper, and ironically, new biofuels and carbon credits designed to protect the environment.
A a "good" example of jungle clearing in Brazil via Google Earth. This Google landmark fit the description:
If you see north west and south east of this placemark you will find a HUGE destruction of the Amazon forest spreading just like a virus.
The images indicated that from 8,920 square miles to 9,420 square miles (23,100 sq km to 24,400 sq km), or an area bigger than New Jersey, was cut down this year, said Joao Paulo Capobianco, the government's secretary of biodiversity and forests.
A United Nations report has found that illegal logging and fires have been overtaken as the primary cause of deforestation by a huge expansion of oil palm plantations, which are racing to meet soaring demand from Western food manufacturers and the European Union's zeal for biofuels.
The UN's environment program report, 'The Last Stand of the Orang Utan: State of Emergency', says natural rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia are being cleared so rapidly that up to 98 per cent may be destroyed by 2022, and the lowland forest strongholds of orang utans much sooner, unless urgent action is taken.
Environmentalists have warned that roads, dams and pipeline projects through the Amazon -- home to up to 30 percent of the planet's animal and plant species -- represent the biggest threat to the forest because they open up access to large-scale development and settlement.

House Passes Green Clean Schools Act

The Green Clean Schools Act, HB 895, is closer to becoming a state law. The House today voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, by a vote of 88-26.
This vote represents a victory for the bill's diverse coalition of supporters that includes school nurses, educators, environmental leaders, cleaning professionals, union leaders and other medical professionals.

"Green cleaning is a smart, easy, cost-effective step to improving health in schools," 
The products are cost comparable and equally effective to conventional cleaning products. The act allows exemption from green cleaning for schools demonstrating that an environmentally sensitive cleaning program would cost more than traditional cleaning.

Full details and bill status updates: (from  By Laura B.

Maryland State to Ban Phosphorus in Dish Soap

Marylanders will clean their dishes with detergent that's all but free of pollution-causing phosphorus under legislation approved by the House of Delegates yesterday, following passage last week in the Senate. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will sign the bill, his spokesman said, apparently agreeing with lawmakers that his constituents don't need to foul the Chesapeake Bay while they clean their dishes. Read full on
The industry bitterly fought Maryland's law limiting phosphorus in laundry detergent 22 years ago and succeeding in exempting dishwashing detergent. But a lot of people forgot that one of the bay's three worst pollutants was still legal in a product in every kitchen. "It just kind of lay there for 22 years," Del. James W. Hubbard (D-Prince George's), the bill's House sponsor, said yesterday. "Everybody assumed this had already been done."
"It seems almost like a comical issue: You're talking about dish detergent," Gansler said. "But it really will have an impact." Phosphorus is one of the top pollutants in the bay, along with nitrogen and sediment. Environmental advocates say it's a forgotten culprit because it's most detrimental in freshwater rivers and lakes, where it encourages oxygen-depleting algae blooms. The bay ranges in salinity, mixing fresh and saltwater. The phosphorus load could go down 3 percent without detergent's contribution, about 30,000 pounds a year, environmentalists estimate. To meet the state's water-quality goals by 2010, the bay must shed 1 million pounds of phosphorus.

But a question lingers for doyennes of the kitchen: If the workhorse ingredient in Cascade, Palmolive, Electrosol and 10 or so other brands of automatic dish detergent disappears from supermarket shelves, will the plates get as clean? Can anyone say "neuhomecare"?   ;-)

No Recess for School Chemicals

In a national kickoff, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign to help schools prevent chemical accidents.
Under this program, EPA, working with the U.S. Department of Education and industry, will help schools safely manage chemicals. Across the country, EPA estimates that about 33,000 middle and high schools have laboratory and other chemicals that could cause accidents and injure students.
"We're ready to help schools take practical steps to prevent accidents, spills, and fires. This program is not only good for our schools but also can keep our environment safe and clean for generations to come," said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
Information about Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign:

Water shortage looming crisis for Earth -

Edmonton Journal: Media coverage on climate change in Canada has focused almost exclusively on greenhouse gas emissions as have most politicians and commentators. While we do not want to underestimate the serious nature of greenhouse gas emissions, we wish to bring attention to another important cause of global warming: the global water crisis. The world is running out of water. Humans are polluting, depleting, and diverting its finite freshwater supplies so quickly, we are creating massive new ... Link

10 million face China water shortage

Agence France-Presse: Nearly 10 million people across southern and southwestern China are suffering from drinking water shortages due to a fierce drought. A lack of rainfall has affected water supplies for 9.8 million people and 9.1 million head of livestock, the Beijing Morning Post said. Both figures had doubled since early March, it said. Precipitation has been scarce or non-existent and temperatures abnormally high so far this spring in the provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, ... Link (from

Main Concern of Using Bio-Fuels

Corn crops for ethanol plants may dry up water supplies
WRIGHT, Kan. - This tiny western Kansas town, with its single-story frame homes that sidle up to neatly plowed fields, looks like just the place for one of the new ethanol plants that have been turning up across the Midwest.

"is in as much danger from environmental hazards, such as air pollution and global warming, as it is from terrorists."

Fully 83 percent of Americans now say global warming is a "serious" problem, up from 70 percent in 2004. More Americans than ever say they have serious concerns about environmental threats, such as toxic soil and water (92 percent, up from 85 percent in 2004), deforestation (89 percent, up from 78 percent), air pollution (93 percent, up from 87 percent) and the extinction of wildlife (83 percent, up from 72 percent in 2005).

Most dramatically, the survey of 1,000 adults nationwide shows that 63 percent of Americans agree that the United States "is in as much danger from environmental hazards, such as air pollution and global warming, as it is from terrorists."

When Being Green Puts You in the Black
Washington Post (March 4, 2007)
Dan Esty

Beyond The Green Corporation
BusinessWeek (January 29, 2007)
Andrew Winston
Turning Green into Gold
Marketplace (January 29, 2007)
Dan Esty
With Apologies, Nuclear Power
Gets a Second Look

New York Times (January 28, 2007)
Dan Esty
TRUEVA: A New Integrated Financial Measure of Environmental Exposure
by Robert Repetto and Daniel Dias
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies 

toxic cleaning products: don't do this at home

green cleaning products

I wonder if  SusHI ever heard of ESS ;-)
The cocktail of hazardous substances that we rely on to make our bathrooms sparkle or our floors shine is truly obscene.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air just outside—and in extreme cases 100 times more contaminated—largely because of household cleaners and pesticides.

So, Worldwatch is pushing a different approach to Spring cleaning. You guessed it: green cleaning products.
Keeping our homes clean and avoiding toxic cleaners don't have to be mutually exclusive, says Worldwatch.
Green cleaners can also be made from a range of safer substances we might already have around the house.
You won't just be making your house healthier.

How about healthier streams? In a 2002 U.S. Geological Survey study of contaminants in U.S. stream water, 69 percent of streams sampled contained persistent detergent metabolites, and 66 percent contained disinfectants.

You knew that dishwashing detergents often contain phosphates that pollute the groundwater, right?

Didja know that eleven U.S. states have banned phosphate from detergents sold within their borders?