Do you remember to bring your reusable tote bag to the grocery store for a ten-cent discount? Would you remember to bring an inexpensive reusable tumbler back to Starbucks for your daily coffee? Starbucks is hoping that some people do, offering the new cups and a discount in an effort to cut back on the total number of cups the the chain uses per year.
Keurig’s single-use coffee pods might be convenient, but they can’t be recycled. Clean Water Action is calling on them to clean up their act, and Keurig has promised to try really hard.
Netflix is on a rough run lately, chasing customers away with a price increase, announcing poorly-received spin-off plans for its disc rental service and failing to secure the Twitter account for its new brand, Qwikster. Now the company is tangled up in a lawsuit over its plans to build a new Bay Area headquarters.
If you’re into buying, selling, trading or eating shark fins in California, you may want to live it up before a bill calling for the ban on sharkfin trafficking becomes law. The legislative effort, dubbed the California Shark Protection Act, would also make it illegal to dine on the Chinese delicacy of shark fin soup.
Not all organic eggs are created equal. While different cartons of eggs might all have the same “Organic! Yay!” label slapped on them, standards for what that means can vary from farm to farm. One might meet minimum USDA or Federal standards while another has no real outdoor access for the chickens to speak of. To help you navigate the bedeviling array of options, The Cornucopia Institute has created an Organic Egg Scorecard to rate farms on a 5-egg system. Small farms with lots of pasture for the chickens to frolic in rate highly, while eggs put out by Trader Joe’s, Kirkland, and Price Chopper only get a one egg rating.
Malt-O-Meal’s Bag the Box site claims the discount breakfast cereal line is doing its part to inflict minimal damage on the environment because its product doesn’t use boxes like its competitors do. But because Malt-O-Meal didn’t recently shift from boxes to bags and is vague about resources used to create its packaging, GreenBiz argues it’s hard to discern whether or not the company is easier on the environment than boxed cereal manufacturers.
You don’t have to line your roof with solar panels, disconnect all your appliances and install a sun roof in every room to green up your home. Nor do you have to wage a destructive deforestation campaign against the green in your wallet to work your way into the good graces of enviro-snob acquaintances.
Quick, what uses more energy, room air conditioners or central air? What saves more energy, turning off the lights, or switching to CFLs? If you picked the first answer to these questions, you’re like most Americans: totally wrong.
Ideally, companies choose to lessen their environmental impact because it makes financial sense, not because it makes them feel good–which is a good thing, since companies don’t have feelings. Today, FastCompany published a slideshow that looks at 12 ways the mega-retailer is trying out various green initiatives. Some of them are more about selling the concept of green to consumers, which is dumb, but the ones that deal with shipping, energy consumption, and market creation are pretty impressive.
Do you enjoy Starbucks chilled beverages, but hate the waste that comes from so many disposable plastic cups? Do you also want to keep your friends and co-workers from knowing about your secret environmentalist tendencies? Maybe you should consider purchasing the reusable Starbucks cold cup, a sturdy plastic tumbler made to look just like its flimsier, single-use cousins.
Many stores offer discounts to customers who bring their own reusable bags to shop. Now, CVS is integrating their customer loyalty program with a green initiative, and plans to reward customers with 25 cents every time they use reusable bags.
We’re not always pessimists on Consumerist. Why, sometimes we actually like silver linings, if only because it gives us a chance to complain about argyria. (Don’t take colloidal silver, people!) Today’s silver lining is that sales of bottled water “have fallen for the first time in at least five years,” says the Los Angeles Times. We’re apparently showing common sense and opting for tap water over branded and labeled water, proving that in a tough economy it’s hard to compete with (nearly) free.
A Reuters story says some environmental groups are going after a climate bill meant to clear the air will do no favors for consumers. The piece of legislation, which is expected to come to a vote within a couple months, is geared to slash greenhouse emissions by nearly a fifth of 2005 levels by 2020.
In addition to a good invention, the internet, Al Gore also gave us an evil one — global warming. Luckily Paul McCartney has come to the rescue, using one to defeat the other. He’s asking fans to go meatless on Mondays for now on, in sort of a modified old-school Lent, in order to slow global warming by reducing emissions of farm animals.
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…
Enpalo is an online calculator that lets you estimate the flight emissions of your next airplane jaunt—you choose an airline, enter your origin and destination, then sit back and light up a cigar while you laugh about how many baby polar bears you’re drowning.