Study: Candles May Contribute To Indoor Air Pollution

Study: Candles May Contribute To Indoor Air Pollution

You may want to think twice about covering up that stench in the bathroom by lighting up 25 votives. A new study by researchers at South Carolina State University found that “paraffin-based candles — the most popular kind — emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene.”

Attack of the Antibacterial Soaps!

Attack of the Antibacterial Soaps!

Triclosan, a chemical widely used in antibacterial soaps, is turning up in dolphins. The agent gets into oceans after traveling from, for instance, your bathroom sink into wastewater streams. Though 90 to 98 percent of the chemical is broken down before it reaches fresh water, even the small percentage that remains becomes significant due to antibacterial soaps’ wide use.

Scientists Say Consumerism Killing the Planet

Scientists Say Consumerism Killing the Planet

The New Scientist has an editorial this week arguing that consumerism is “eating the future.” Author Andy Coghlan sees the modern environmental crisis as the result of a Darwinian struggle: “Not only are [humans] simply doing what all creatures do: we’re doing it better.”

Walmart To Rate Product Sustainability

Walmart To Rate Product Sustainability

Walmart is developing a universal rating system to help consumers determine which products are truly sustainable. The rating system would scrutinize a product’s entire life-cycle by focusing on broad factors, rather than the usual marketing gibberish that extolls isolated virtues. So why is Walmart, of all companies, deciding which products are environmentally sound?

Got Solar Panels? Utility Wants To Charge You For Not Using Their Energy

Got Solar Panels? Utility Wants To Charge You For Not Using Their Energy

Midwest utility Xcel Energy wants to charge anyone using solar panels a monthly fee for sustainably generating their own energy. According to company spokesman Tom Henley, “We just don’t think it’s fair that customers that don’t have solar panels on their homes should subsidize these solar panel customers any further.” Huh?

Sam's Club Includes Free Giant Box With Each Pen Sold

Sam's Club Includes Free Giant Box With Each Pen Sold

Reader Steven bought some cheap fountain pens from Sam’s Club. Perhaps unaccustomed to such a small purchase, Sam’s Club had trouble finding the appropriate packaging.

Can Branding Sex Up Tap Water?

Can Branding Sex Up Tap Water?

City officials in Venice have come up with a novel plan for getting consumers to break the bottled water habit: they’ve branded their tap water Acqua Veritas and created a slick ad campaign around it.

Toothpaste Purchase Results In 3-foot Long Receipt

Toothpaste Purchase Results In 3-foot Long Receipt

CVS asks: How about some dead trees and a bunch of ads with that purchase? Not in so many words, of course: that would actually give shoppers a choice.

Plastics Industry: Reusable Bags Are Bacteria Traps That Will Kill You And Your Family

Plastics Industry: Reusable Bags Are Bacteria Traps That Will Kill You And Your Family

Those green reusable bags that are all the rage? The plastics industry this week released a study concluding that they are nothing more than bacterial totes, which might be scary if it were true. BarfBlog looked at the study’s methodology and then ate through its main points.

Is Buy.com Friendlier To The Environment Than Brick And Mortar Stores?

Is Buy.com Friendlier To The Environment Than Brick And Mortar Stores?

A study by the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh states that when comparing getting a flash drive from Buy.com versus a physical retailer, Buy.com ends up being about 30% less damaging to the environment. To reach their conclusion, the researchers compared transportation, packaging, warehousing, and energy usage both by the consumer and the retailer.

Six D.I.Y. Tips For Cleaning Greenly And Cheaply

Six D.I.Y. Tips For Cleaning Greenly And Cheaply

Harsh chemicals aren’t just bad for you and the environment, they’re bad for your wallet too. Cleaning most things, from clothes to your kitchen, can be done greenly and cheaply with these six nifty do-it-yourself cleaning recipes from Consumer Reports…

Ponderables: Why Must Amazon Ship Air All Over The United States of America?

Ponderables: Why Must Amazon Ship Air All Over The United States of America?

Reader Marc would like Amazon to stop shipping bubbles of air all over the country. He ordered two items that would have been fine to ship in an envelope — but instead he got the usual large box with several air bubbles. This makes Marc mad.

http://consumerist.com/2009/01/12/just-what-the-hell-is/

Just what the hell is “organic” dry cleaning? Nobody really knows. [NYT]

BoA To Stop Lending To Mountaintop Bloweruppers

BoA To Stop Lending To Mountaintop Bloweruppers

After activists took them on a field trip, Bank of America has pledged to phase out lending money to companies that mine coal by exploding off the tops of pretty mountains. Well, they explode ugly mountains too, but you get the point. [Switchboard, from NRDC] (Thanks to John!)

Coinstar Calls Cashing In Change 'Recycling'

Coinstar Calls Cashing In Change 'Recycling'

Douglas writes, “Coinstar wants you to ‘recycle’ your coins in their machines, and save the environment! Minus their 8.9% fee of course.” They even have a little wizard on their website that estimates how many parts of the environment—water, energy consumption, and geological waste—you save by putting those coins back into circulation, instead of hoarding them like the polar bear murderer you are. They don’t provide any source for these estimates, though, and we’re not convinced you’re doing anything “green” other than lining Coinstar’s pockets.

Sam's Club Pretends Its Polystyrene Cup Is Green

Sam's Club Pretends Its Polystyrene Cup Is Green

Gregg saw this cheerful environmentally-friendly message on the side of his Sam’s Club soda cup. Wait, what? We guess it saves Sam’s Club fuel costs to ship the cups, but that sounds more like a profit-friendly quality. Gregg notes another benefit of the cup: “[it] may never biodegrade but at least it’s easy on my drinkin’ elbow.”

Will New Square Milk Jugs At Wal-Mart, Costco Save The Planet? Or Spill Your Milk?

Will New Square Milk Jugs At Wal-Mart, Costco Save The Planet? Or Spill Your Milk?

Wal-Mart and Costco have something new they’d like you to try— a square milk jug. The NYT says the new square jugs “are cheaper to ship and better for the environment, the milk is fresher when it arrives in stores, and it costs less.” So what’s the catch? Apparently, while the new jugs are helping cut costs, they kind of suck at pouring milk.

http://consumerist.com/2008/06/25/home-depot-has-started-a/

Home Depot has started a nationwide compact flourescent light bulb recycling program. “At each The Home Depot store, customers can simply bring in any expired, unbroken CFL bulbs, and give them to the store associate behind the returns desk.” CFL bulbs contain mercury and can be damaging to the environment if thrown into regular landfills. [New York Times]