Friday, August 31, 2018

Electric car sales up 42% in Europe so far this year

Europe’s Electric car fleet just passed 1million cars.

Aligning capital markets with sustainability-What’s in your wallet/IRA?

So many people care about sustainability issues and donate to charities but still invest in businesses that undermine our long term well-being. I told our investment team, “I’m working to make the world better; I don’t want to have our assets going toward making the world worse!”

What’s in your wallet/401-K? Unless you’ve chosen Sustainable/socially responsible mutual funds or directed your stock broker to align your investments with your values, you likely own stocks that would make you squirm. Lots of studies have shown you can do as well or better by investing in sustainable leaders, so why not join the growing number of sustainable investors and make a switch?

I’ve also found that corporations pursuing sustainability often haven’t thought about aligning their investments. And worse, most financial institutions have been amoral; if it makes money, we’re in.

But that is starting to change. Major re-insurance companies like Swiss Re have long recognized risks associated with climate change. Rising sea levels are affecting property values in Florida. And slowly major financial institutions are discovering their role in making the world better, in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. People like Steve Waygood (perfect name!) are leading the charge.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Mixing biodegradable plastic can make it more compostable

Many of the bio-plastic products like cups and forks don’t biodegrade under normal situations, like your backyard compost pile or along the roadside. Unless you have an industrial composting operation nearby, they’re just trash.

Scientists are finding that combining some of the bioplastics make them more biodegradeable under a variety of situations, making the products perform better at the same time. It can’t happen fast enough!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Medusa for Carbon: turning CO2 to stone

Fixing climate change involves more than just reducing our current and future emissions. There is already too much in the atmosphere that will stay there for a century. So some scientists are looking into ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Here’s one approach...speed up the normal geologic process of turning it to stone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Small is beautiful: McMansions falling out of favor

The American Dream is not a static concept. It’s easily influenced.

After the Civil War, the dream was to not work for others (that was viewed as akin to slavery.) Then the Industrial Revolution started and in a matter of a decade, the American Dream became to have a job. After WWII, we were persuaded to want a suburban home that looked like all those around it, 2.5 kids and a dog were what we should want. In the booming 1990’s with shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, McMansions exploded on the landscape. The size of the home even middle class people live in has ballooned, with commensurate impacts on the environment. (In 1940 the average home was 1177 sq ft and likely housed 6 people; by 2014, the average home was 2657 sq ft, often housing only 2 people.)

But maybe the pendulum is swinging back. Tiny houses are cool (although far from common.) There is some indication that smaller homes are becoming popular again. And of course, many urban Millennials figure they’ll never be able to afford one and don’t even want a car.

Monday, August 27, 2018

DC one of 19 cities commiting to net-zero buildings

It’s ironic that Washington DC is one of 19 cities so far to sign onto the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration to make all new buildings net-zero energy by 2030 and all buildings net-zero by 2050.

The cities are Copenhagen, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Newburyport, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver & Washington D.C

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Which countries are the most environmentally sustainable?

How environmentally sustainable is your country? Or the country where you or your ancestors came from? Or the country you’re soon to visit? Now it’s easy to know.

Spoiler alert: US is #27.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sweden beats its 2030 goal for renewables by 12 years

Sweden took the 1970’s energy crisis to heart. So it’s perhaps no surprise that they are well ahead of their plans to be 100% renewable energy by 2040. They just blew by their 2030 goal.

Friday, August 24, 2018

How small businesses can contribute to global goals

You’ve heard the phrase, “Think global, act local.” Small businesses can think big by adopting a couple of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Here is one example.

United Kingdom startup Globechain keeps its focus tight—targeting three of the 17 SDGs—in order to maximize impact. Founded in 2013, Globechain is a digital platform that helps large corporates, SMEs and nonprofits share reused items. Rather than send unwanted building materials, stock and other goods to landfills, larger firms can share them with charities, smaller businesses and other members of the Globechain network. 
The platform helped nonprofits and small businesses save more than $500,000 in 2016 while diverting 700 tons of material from landfills. Connections made through the platform also furnished two hospitals and sent medical equipment to developing markets like Kenya, Ghana and Sierra Leone.  
Globechain founder May Al-Karooni showcased the company’s SDG plan at the 2017 World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki, Finland. The company hopes to further goals like building sustainable communities (SDG 11), ensuring responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), and acting on climate (SDG 13) by expanding its network that turns waste into resource, she explained. 
Read more....

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Green to Go got rid of disposable take out containers

Heres an interesting business model, though it won’t make anyone rich. Instead of restaurants buying take-out containers that quickly get tossed in the trash, they can instead subscribe to a reusable take-out container service (that the health department approves of).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Make your bike electric by changing the front wheel

You don’t have to buy a new bike to have an electric bicycle. There are a number of conversion kits. This one is interesting because it is all contained in the front wheel. Pop out yours and put in this one. And this tire can’t go flat.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Corporations breaking records buying renewable power

And those are based on year-to-date figures. It’ll only get better from here.

You might be surprised which corporations are buying the most renewable power, and how they compare. Check out the chart in this article. Contemplate how much energy companies like GM and Facebook use versus what they buy as renewables. And what percentage of their carbon footprint electricity represents.

Companies Have Bought More Clean Energy Than Ever This Year, and It's Only August

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Sweet toy: Legos from sugarcane

Legos has committed to having all their blocks come from a sustainable source by 2030. They’ve started releasing “plastic” toys from sugarcane. Of course we don’t want to chop down more rainforest to grow sugarcane for Legos but this could be a good step in the right direction with a lower carbon footprint. Maybe some of the cane for ethanol could be diverted for this use; or better yet, from candy and other sweets.

Friday, August 17, 2018

How sustainable is the seafood at your grocery?

If you buy seafood, it matters where you get it. See how your grocery compares to competitors in the chart included in this article. Good news: they’ve all improved their scores in the last 10 years.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

Shell getting into the electric car market with a (potentially) revolutionary charging system

Everyone knows that electric cars are expensive, you have a limited range and then you're stuck at a charging station for awhile and that's only if you can find a charger with the right connector. But what if that all weren't the case?

Royal Dutch Shell, the oil giant, is funding a new start-up called Ample:
“Ample has invented an economical, rapidly deployable and widely accessible platform that delivers a full charge to any electric car in minutes. An alternative to traditional charging, Ample uses autonomous robotics and smart-battery technology, making it feasible for anyone to own an electric car regardless of driving needs, economic means, or geographic location.”


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sustainability election forum featured in Red Rock News

Couldn’t make the candidate forum we hosted for Sedona candidates? Here’s a news story covering it from the Red Rock News. We’ve also posted candidates’ answers (those we were sent) on our website. You can find the link under News tab on our website.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Another reason to use less plastic and recycle what you do use

It makes sense but the scientists hadn’t looked into it yet. Plastics dumped in the landfill break down, generating methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Many people are now aware of the plastic problem in our oceans, but it make be just as problematic on land if we don’t recycle them.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Levi is setting ambitious climate goals

Levi Strauss was an early adopter regarding sustainability. Now they have set ambitious and science-based climate targets.

By 2025, the company plans to use 100% renewable energy in all of its own facilities, cut emissions in those buildings by 90% compared to Levi’s footprint in 2016 and–in a move no company has tried before–it also plans to cut the emissions in its supply chain by 40%.
Inside Levi’s ambitious plan to cut its carbon footprint - Fast Company