Living Tiny

Remember a few years ago the trend was to have bigger and bigger homes? You just weren’t living right—according to lots of suburbanites—unless you had a media room in addition to five bedrooms (for your three person family), a three-car garage, an eat-in kitchen (and separate dining room) and two living rooms. Who needs two living rooms and a media room? Well, things have changed. Smaller is better. Shifts in the economy and environmental issues like climate change have led many people to seek out a life lived within their means. Yet, other folks have taken it a step further with tiny houses. According to MSN Real Estate reporter Christopher Solomon, the average square footage for a typical American family has increased by 140 percent. From 983 square feet in 1950 to 2,349 square feet in 2004, the typical family home is much larger than it used to be. Although I’m one of those people building a tiny house (it’s solar powered too!), I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t see how people … Continued

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To Solve Sustainability Problems, Ask Those Most Affected

“You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberius, but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbor.” Walter Bagehot, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist from 1860-1877. Over the years, Nero and Tiberius have made way for a large global host of dictators and oppressors whose deeds fill our media channels on a […]

Date Labeling Confusion Contributes to Food Waste

Food products’ date labeling variations leads to confusion, which may cause financial loss for stores and manufacturers, and contribute to “significant” food waste, according to a Walmart-funded scientific review paper. The paper is published in the July issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. Date labeling variations contribute to misunderstanding in the […]

Swine Waste-to-Energy System Operating at Capacity

The 600 kW Storms Hog Power facility — North Carolina’s largest swine waste-to-energy system — is operating at full capacity. The plant at the Storms Hog Farm near Bladenboro, NC, has been in near constant operation since it came on line Oct. 4, 2013, and has sustained peak or near peak output for the past 90 […]

39 Eaton Facility Achieve Zero Waste

Thirty-nine Eaton manufacturing facilities around the globe have achieved zero waste, according to the power management company, which in 2013 reduced its landfilled wastes by about 18 percent, or 4,900 metric tons, as part of a global zero waste-to-landfill program. Eaton defines zero waste-to-landfill as consistently achieving a landfill waste diversion rate of 98 percent […]

Climate-Friendly Refrigerants Approval Proposed

The EPA is proposing to increase the options for refrigerants in the US that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer. This is the agency’s first action that addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan, which calls on the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals. […]

Coke Builds $100M Green Beverage Plant

Coca-Cola has begun construction of its green plant in China’s South Harbin Industrial City. The $100 million plant is designed to accommodate nine production lines for both sparkling and still beverages, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid and Ice Dew. Upon completion, the facility is expected to deliver an annual production capacity of 1.2 million […]

Environmental Executive Moves: Panasonic, WEF, AKRF, Northern Trust Asset Management

Here’s the latest news on hirings, promotions and departures among environmental leaders. Panasonic Corporation of North America: The electronics company has appointed Dan Silver as president of Panasonic Eco Solutions North America, and he will concurrently serve as president of Panasonic Appliances Air-Conditioning North America. Silver previously held a succession of leadership positions with the […]

Insurers Tackle Natural Disaster Risk

The UN and insurance companies have launched a drive to tackle natural disaster risk by identifying the most effective measures to combat disasters and helping communities implement them. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative’ s Global Resilience Project is a phased approach to protecting communities from natural disasters. […]