Archive for November, 2006

ethical weddings

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It seems that Katie over at Green Girls Global has a side gig compiling a guide to green suppliers for those planning weddings.  It’s a young and growing initiative that may just be the catalyst to stopping my bitching and moaning about bridesmaid dresses and gift registries

green girls global

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

green-girls-global.gif  Green Girls Global is the blog that rose from the ashes of the now sadly hybernating City Hippy when a group of women editors decided to carry on blogging, this time with a feminista edge.  With categories that include “love & relationships” and “fair trade”, the women are doing just that.  Check out this greener Christmas link that should have made my roundup of green holiday tips.

Happy European paper week!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Looks like our developed world friends across the Atlantic are holding a little conference on paper this week.  I look  forward to any documents that might come out of such exciting sessions as:

  • The burning issue: Wood for energy or for paper?
  • Giving guidance or causing confusion – How far should ‘green’ public procurement go? Or
  • Mind the gap: Where do industry and policy makers stand on waste?


Holiday Trash

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

gift.jpg In what should no longer be a shockingly quick transition, it is now officially holiday (read: Christmas) season. Construction paper turkeys and all things harvest have been stripped from store windows to be replaced with snowmen, candy canes and token symbols of non-Chirstian festivals. My family has been emailing around such specific wish lists that shopping for each other has become more choreographed inventory filling than thoughtful selection. Of course, wish lists guarantee that what we get is what we wanted, thus reducing holiday-related waste and, worse, regifting. [I've been trying hard to see wedding and baby registries as well as brand-specific Christmas wish lists as environmentally friendly and efficient and not just tacky and materialistic.]

Green-themed gift ideas fall into a similarly questionable category. On the one hand, the products recommended are recycled, Earth-friendly and what-have-you. On the other hand, suggested gift lists play into our stuff-driven culture and I, for one, am often tempted to treat myself to a slew of new purchases at this time every year.

Here are a few of the seductive links I’ve come across so far this season…

  • Fabulously Green shares ideas for the modern home;
  • Green Loop compiles sustainable fashion and organic creams;
  • Cool Hunting starts what is sure to be a long season of helpful gift suggestions with a roundup of stylish wrapping papers (some green);
  • Great Green Baby continues its year-round mandate of green gift suggestions, while Great Green Goods includes seasonal items such as menorahs made from recylced glass and pipe;
  • The Grist holiday list takes an intellectual approach to the quest; and
  • The Groovy Green Blog argues the virtues of a living Christmas Tree.

More roundups of roundups are sure to come as the holiday lists come drifting in.

Feeling like a dirty Capitalist? Purge on this buy nothing Christmas link or check out the recycled trees rounded up by The Temas Blog.

No Waste Like Home

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

penney.jpg  Apparently the BBC has a show in which a waste expert travels the countryside helping families reduce their waste and cut back on expensive electric and water bills by saving energy.  It’s called No Waste Like Home and involves a host called Penney, whose green tips are also cataglogged on the accompanying Web site.  What I like best about this idea is that it frames trash in terms of everyday people and the cost/benefits of reducing their footprints  If only all progressives were as practical as the BBC.  They should totally remake this in the US.

coo coo for coco products

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

coconut-2.jpg  While I was out of town and slacking on my garblogging duties, my colleague Keith over at The Temas Blog was busy rounding up all the possible uses for coconuts under the sun for a two-part series on recycling their shells.  In part one, he informs us of the problem of coconut waste clogging landfills in Latin America…all those discarded husks drunk dry and tossed aside (there’s even a Utube video to demonstrate the draining and enjoying of a fresh coconut).  Then, in part two, he offers an exhaustive compilation of coconuts reimagined.  I know what you’re thinking, but you’d be amazed at all the coco byproducts out there: seat upholstery for cars, carpet padding, rope and, of course, art.  It’s inspired stuff.  

weekly compactor

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

used.jpg This week in trash news:

  • Cool Hunting reports on woods-inspired work at the London Design Festival; and also in England
  • The British experiment with trash-eating homes;
  • “Waste-to-watts” programs in Deleware make use of gas from landfills;
  • Greenloop sends out the first of a four-part eco-friendly holiday shopping guide;
  • Vietnam’s new trash law isn’t solving any problems; and
  • A Canadian garbage bag company is cashing in on new sorting regulations.

congressional trash

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Waste News comments on what the midterms mean in terms of trash: 

New Senate committee leadership picture starts to take shape
By Bruce Geiselman

Nov. 20 — Senate Democrats have named their leadership for the Environment and Public Works Committee and its subcommittees beginning next year. However, a struggle may lie ahead among Republicans, who will become the minority party.

The Senate Democratic Caucus named Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., as the new chairman of the environment committee.

However, John Warner, R-Va., said he wants to become the committee´s ranking member instead of outgoing committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla. Warner issued a statement saying he is the senior Republican on the panel, having served on the committee since January 1987.

“As the senior Republican on the Senate EPW Committee, I intend to submit my name for election as the ranking minority member of that panel,” Warner said. “I will do so in recognition of established Senate Republican conference rules and precedents.”

Warner had been chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, but will have to relinquish his leadership role on the committee because of a six-year term limit established by Republican rules. That may have prompted his decision to seek a leadership role on the environment committee.

Meanwhile, Inhofe intends to fight for the right to head up the Republicans on the environment committee. “I have been a long friend of John Warner,” Inhofe said. “However, I think he has a misunderstanding of the rules. I intend to retain my leadership position in the 110th Congress, returning as the ranking member of the EPW committee.”

Warner is viewed as more moderate on environmental and climate change issues than Inhofe, who has argued that global warming is a hoax.

Boxer has said that as committee chairman, she intends to make global warming legislation one of her top priorities.

Republicans on the environment committee will vote to select the ranking member, but the full Republican Conference must ratify their decision.

While the Republicans have yet to select their committee leader, Boxer has named the chairs of the various subcommittees.

►Boxer will serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight, Children´s Health Protection and Nuclear Safety.

►Max Baucus, D-Mont., will chair the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

►Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., will chair the Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection.

►Tom Carper, D-Del., will chair the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Nuclear Plant Security and Community Development.

►Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., will chair the Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health.

►Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., will chair the Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security and Water Quality.

Entire contents copyright 2006 by Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.

waste news

Thursday, November 16, 2006

garbage.gif Waste News, a premium source of solid waste journalism has a free newsletter called the inbox. Subscribe and you too can receive daily headlines and weekly original content on the goings on in the world of trash. Or, for trash tales past, just browse the online archive.

(Note the clip art).

peddling for clean water

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Though I have never managed to time a trip to Ouagadougou with the famous Fespaco film festival, I was lucky enough last week the attend the final day of the Salon International de L Artisanat de Ouagadougou (SIAO). SIAO is a biennial crafts fair that gathers artisans from all over Africa to display and sell their wares in huge convention center rooms. You buy a ticket to enter the fair grounds and have to pay extra to visit the air conditioned rooms. My friend Ouermi bought himself some stylish Ivorian dress shirts and I picked up a woven scarf for my mother and a small wooden puzzle in the shape of a baobab tree that I’m saving to give as a baby gift. Then we sat down and for a couple of dollars worth of local currency split a dozen small kebabs, a plate of fried plantains and two very large beers. It was a lot like visiting a state fair, what with the cultural displays and food on a stick.  Next we climbed the displays of local huts set up to show the range of dwellings found around the country. Finally, we walked the line of exhibit booths promoting environmental groups, microcredit projects, local remedies for such problems as premature ejaculation and painful menstrual cycles. It was there that I noticed some of the machines on display: a moped rigged as a bush ambulance, folding bins for carrying water and the pictured bike-pump designed for the easy drawing of clean water from the ground. Such a simple way to save energy! All in all, an educational day.

P.S. I just linked flickr to everyday trash, so click on the photo for more visuals of the fest.

Leave the trash on the conveyor belt

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The British environmental minister is urging his countrymen to leave excess packaging at the checkout as a statement to grocery stores that they shouldn’t stock over-wrapped products.  What I find most interesting about this story is one, how receptive the companies interviewed seem to be (I guess PC dictates compliance) but also the fact that there is a minister of environment in Britain and that he advocates civil disobedience.

This link, like so many before it, was scouted by the incomparable Kimberly.

trash wonders of the world

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

fresh.jpg Whew, still catching up around here and trying to get back on schedule. Thankfully, journalista extraordinaire Elizabeth tipped me off to a readymade compilation that will have to sub for the weekly compactor until I find some post-trip-report browsing time. Enjoy. And New Yorkers, note that our very own Fresh Kills made the cut! It’s a proud day for Sta’n Islanders.

intellectual trash

Monday, November 13, 2006

Salut, trashies, I’m back from West Africa and everyday trash is back to everyday living. That’s right, no more exotic trips planned for now and back to our regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for your patience. It appears the world spun a bit more quickly than usual while I was gone: the US government more or less changed hands and violence in Africa and the Middle East bubbled. To lower our blood pressure in the face of chaos, here’s a link to a New Yorker trash piece pointed out to me by my friend salmon.

trash hiatus II

Friday, November 3, 2006

My next nonprofiteering expedition is taking me to Burkina Faso, West Africa.  Regular posting may be difficult from now through the 11th, but I promise to bring home tales of trash from overseas and hope to post from afar.

images

Friday, November 3, 2006

Check it: The California Integrated Waste Management Board keeps an online clip art gallery of waste prevention images


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