Archive for April, 2011

What it Means to go Green

Monday, April 25th, 2011

We are encompassed by the words green, eco-friendly, and sustainable, but do we really know what it fully means to be eco-friendly and go green? Going green are steps we can take to replace environmentally harmful behaviors with behaviors that are friendly. These new behaviors can be simple or complex based on small or large scale atmospheres. Smaller scale behaviors can be done at home by an individual or a few others, while large scale operations can be done by corporations trying to become more sustainable overall.

Going green is centered around three words: reduce, reuse, and recycle. There are many ways to put these words into action and become more eco-friendly. One person can make a difference by following those three words in their everyday lives. One can reduce the amount of plastic bag usage by bringing their own bags when shopping. Reusable bottles can be used for water, juice, ect instead of drinking bottled beverages. And a person can take part in a recycling program at home so items can have the chance to be made into something else instead of going to the landfill.

Corporations can take their part in helping the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Companies can find ways to make their packaging more eco-friendly by reducing ink and print content or the use of plastics. Amazon did this with their “frustration free” packaging by reducing content on their boxes and just having words on their packaging. They can also take their waste products from production and find ways to reuse them in other aspects of their business. PepsiCo’s UK Walkers brand potato chips did this by using the starch from their unused potato peels. Companies can also sprinkle eco-friendliness in their offices by initializing a recycling program and getting employees involved.

Every little bit of time we take to do things to be more eco-friendly helps our planet. So what does it mean to go green? Anything that will help the earth is an act of going green. Whether its done by an individual or a corporation, we can all take out part in protecting our planet.

Happy Earth Day 2011

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Today is the day we honor our home planet and bring awareness to environmental causes, hoping to inspire and educate people to act eco-friendly. The first Earth day was in 1970 and since then over 175 countries celebrate our planet and promote environmentalism. This year Earth Day has been centered around a campaign called A Billion Acts Of Green. This is personal, organizational, and corporate pledges to live and act in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner. This campaign is the largest environmental service campaign in the world and is constantly gaining individuals, companies, and governments committed to taking their part in helping the environment. Whether an individual decides to take an initiative and create a change or a corporation decides to create sustainability in their company, A Billion Acts of Green welcomes an sort of help in reducing carbon emissions and helping the Earth.

This campaign shows how people can take their part in protecting our planet. Every bit of help counts. When individuals and organizations make commitments to better our environment, possibilities for success are endless. Cooperation and dedication are portrayed when millions come together to support a cause.

Other elements of Earth Day 2011 include:

-Athletes for the Earth: Voices of Olympic and professional athletes speak out to help the environment
-The Canopy Project: Deals with the restocking of existing forests and woodlands which have been depleted from the effect of deforestation
-Green Schools: Helping schools become eco-friendly
-Women and Green Economy (WAGE): Encouraging women leaders to develop ways to green our economy
-Creating Climate Wealth: Finding ways to solve the concern about climate change
-Arts for the Earth: Honor environmental artists who have made art that has brought sustainability to our world

Happy Earth Day!

First Dell, Now Ford

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Last week we featured a blog about Dell using mushrooms for their cushions in the packaging of their servers. Well this week we will be talking about Ford. They have also decided to dabble with mushrooms. Evocative Design is an eco-start-up company specializing in the development of using mycelium to make biodegradable materials. They collaborated with Dell and now are working with Ford to develop a biodegradable foam made from mushrooms. This foam could potentially be used in bumpers, side doors, and dashboards, and will replace petroleum based foams and insulators.

This new breakthrough has allowed Ford to become a more sustainable company. Not only is the mycelium material eco-friendly, but it is also cost effective, fireproof, waterproof, and will decompose in about a month when it has reached the end of its life. Ford plans on using Evocative’s mycelium material to outfit every car in the near future. They have also started to explore other environmentally friendly options including cooked chicken feathers, algae, and wheat straw. Ford has rigorous goals to make their vehicles more green and plan on replacing 30 pounds of plastic per car.

Mold Turns Eco-Friendly

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Dell has become a company that is dedicated to finding green alternatives for their packaging. They have announced that they will be using mushrooms as part of their cushioning for their server packaging. The brilliance behind using mushrooms is they are grown, not manufactured. This allows less energy to be used to produce the packaging. Mushrooms are also more dense, meaning they can support the weight of Dell’s servers and they can be grown quickly. The end result is an eco-friendly alternative for packaging that consumers can compost. Dell has already experimented with bamboo packaging in 2009 and will combine it with the new mushroom based packaging.

The process of conducting such a sustainable creation for packaging is very interesting. It is a fairly short process, lasting between 5 and 10 days. It starts out using agricultural waste products, mainly cotton. The cotton hulls are placed in mold and then implanted with mushroom spawn. It then develops into a root structure of a mushroom. They have tested and retested this new development in sustainable packaging and will pilot run it with its PowerEdge 710 server. If this test is proven to be a success, they will expand the mushroom packaging to their other servers.

Dell has many goals in becoming a more sustainable company. They plan to eliminate 20 million pounds of packaging material by 2012 and make sure packaging is recyclable. They have made an extraordinary accomplishment by finding a green alternative for their packaging. Dell also keeps working hard everyday, looking for other ways to reduce their carbon footprint and be a more environmentally friendly company.

Sustainable Packaging Forms an Organization

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Sustainable packaging is now getting a voice on issues related to green packaging. Big companies have joined forces to help make the packaging industry more eco-friendly. ConAgra, Colgate-Palmolive, DuPont, Kellogg, and Proctor & Gamble are among the companies that have formed AMERIPEN, The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment. This organization plans to lobby for science-driven packaging policies and reach out to others to find ways to work together. The key issues are to find ways to improve sustainability of packaging and how to reduce waste.

AMERIPEN is trying to enhance sustainability initiatives and help save the environment by producing eco-friendly packaging. The efforts in finding ways to reduce waste and minimizing the impact on the environment are the two of the main reasons this organization was formed. They also hope to play the role of influencing opinion leaders to further improve the packaging industry’s value chain. The packaging value chain is rapidly changing as eco-friendly and sustainable trends are among us. As we become a society trying to find ways to save our environment, AMERIPEN is here to do their part, within the packaging industry.