San Francisco city officials say they are moving to block purchases of Apple desktops and laptops, by all municipal agencies, after the company removed a green electronics certification from its products….
Post written by Monica Wilson at GAIA, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 650 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries whose ultimate vision is a just, toxic-free world without incineration.
The U.S. could create 1.5 million jobs through recycling. Right now, public funds for expensive, dirty “waste-to-energy” incinerators hold back job growth – and Congress is about to make it worse.
The U.S. could add nearly 1.5 million jobs if it adopted a 75% national recycling rate. Wow, that’s a lot of jobs! Instead of propping up the dinosaur economy highlighted in The Story of Broke, we can be investing in more jobs and a healthier future by keeping the stuff we use in our economy, instead of dumping or burning it….
Originally Posted at EarthTrack, which works to make government subsidies that harm the environment easier to see, value, and eliminate.
Like implant dentists or utility accountants, subsidy wonks go to trade meetings (yes, meetings on natural resource subsidies do exist) to find people who talk our language. In that “safe” space, we can be met with a knowing nod as we wax poetic on the difference between revenue loss and outlay equivalents, or what is missing from a price gap estimate….
Originally posted at Global Exchange, an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world.
The Occupy demonstrations have raised a central issue that we must confront: how does capital get invested and who is controlling the process?…
If you are a parent of a school age kid in the U.S., it’s hard to avoid the back-to-school marketing that is in full swing, even with 3 more weeks of summer vacation left.
The last thing most kids want in the middle of a sunny August day is to be reminded of the impending return to school.
And the last thing parents want is to inadvertently expose their kid to hazardous chemicals.
Unfortunately, many of today’s common school supplies contain PVC, a toxic plastic found in items such as backpacks and 3-ring binders. Not only is PVC itself bad news, but many PVC items – including school supplies – contain additional toxic chemicals, like phthalates, that are harmful to children’s health.
So, before you stock up on school supplies, take some time to learn how to recognize and avoid PVC….
ORIGINALLY POSTED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR HUMANE EDUCATION
From the time we arise in the morning until after we fall asleep, we participate in a continuous cycle of using stuff that affects ourselves, other people, animals and the planet. We do what we can to buy products and use stuff that do more good and less harm, but it can be a real challenge to uncover the details of how these gadgets and goodies that we buy to meet our wants and needs are produced, transported, and disposed of and whether the secret lives of our stuff reflect our deepest values. Industry and government don’t make it easy to find out. Fortunately, people passionate about creating a better world are creating more resources to help us. Here are 7 resources for finding out more about the impact of your stuff on people, animals and the earth:…
One of the best, and one of the worst, parts of my job is being on the road a lot. I love meeting new people, learning about how sustainability issues are surfacing in different places and seeing what people are doing about them in diverse communities. Usually, these trips fuel my hope, as I see first hand so many solutions being implemented by students, parents, artists, farmers and businesspeople all doing their bit to make the world better.
Valentine’s day is not a favorite day among my more cynical friends. They complain that the holiday has been overly commercialized and they certainly are right about that. It’s downright gross how the local stores devote whole aisles of shelf space to red plastic heart shaped stuff, often starting as early as December 26th, as soon as they clear away the red plastic Santa shaped stuff.
Inspired by The Story of Electronics, hundreds of people sent letters to Lenovo President and CEO Rory Read yesterday, telling the company to green its products and “Make ‘em Safe, Make ‘em Last, and Take ‘em Back.” Within hours,Read got back in touch to say he “could not agree with [us] more.”
We’re excited that Lenovo wants to do better, but with their weak track record on responsible recycling and failure to follow through on a commitment to get PVC and brominated flame retardants out of their products, we’re not ready to take them at their word just yet….share this post:
World’s top corporations cause $2.2 trillion in environmental damage
A study currently underway for the United Nations is calculating the cost of pollution and other environmental damage caused by the 3,000 biggest public companies in the world. The study, which will be published this summer, has found that the economic cost of environmental damage by these top 3,000 companies is $2.2 trillion dollars, or more than one-third of their profits if they were held financially accountable. This includes greenhouse gas emissions, other pollution, and water degradation. The final amount is likely to increase once additional costs – like toxic waste – are incorporated.
In an article about this upcoming report, the Guardian newspaper wrote: “The report comes amid growing concern that no one is made to pay for most of the use, loss and damage of the environment, which is reaching crisis proportions in the form of pollution and the rapid loss of freshwater, fisheries and fertile soils.”
So basically, what this upcoming report says is that a big chunk – about 1/3 – of the profits that these big companies are making is due to the fact that they are not paying the full costs of operating. They are shoving a whole range of costs – from pollution to climate change to water depletion – onto communities around the world – onto us! Communities around the world are bearing the costs with degraded health, soil, water and climate change. That’s just not fair.
In the Story of Stuff film, I talked about how externalized costs allowed me to buy a little radio for the irrationally low price of $4.99. This report in a good first step at showing the global scale of externalized costs. If we’re going to get our economy and environment back in order, a top priority must be forcing companies to pay the full costs of production. In economist-speak, this means internalizing externalities. That would be a strong motivator to get companies to invest in the cleaner, less polluting approaches and encourage all of us to avoid superfluous consumption. If the true cost of that cotton t-shirt or iPod was really included in the price tag, we might think twice before chucking and replacing it before we really need to. Think about that next time you look at those insanely low prices on so much consumer stuff – who is really paying the full cost of producing all this? Apparently not the companies which make it!