Monday, July 27, 2009
And if you're going to buy a car, now's the time, right?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Mainly, I posted it for the comments that follow. So, read the article, then read the comments. You get to decide: green or not?
(Apparently, some people think Cadbury doesn't taste very good, in any case.)
Monday, July 20, 2009
Hold the phone. Are we talking about Walmart here? Interesting.
The project is to be implemented in three phases:
1) a survey of all Walmart's suppliers, regarding four factors that determine a product's sustainability;
2) developing "a Sustainability Index Consortium, a coalition of universities and suppliers, retailers, NGOs and government entities working together to build a global product-lifecycle database, measuring the impact and resource use of products from raw materials through to end-of-life; and
3) developing (as part of the consortium) a rating system allowing shoppers to choose products based on their environmental impact.
Whew! Pretty ambitious. But is it real or is it greenwashing? Commentators weighing in on this include:
Joel Makower, "Walmart's Sustainability Index: The Hype and the Reality" (cautiously supportive)
Marc Gunther, "Inside Walmart's Sustainability Index" (just the facts)
Catherine Greener, "Quality Expert Says Walmart's Sustainability Journey is the Real Deal" (highly supportive)
Okay, but has anyone who writes for someone other than GreenBiz.com given an opinion?
Well, here's something rather hopeful from Treehugger (by Brian Merchant) (which asks if the sustainability index is "the greenest thing ever to happen to retail").
And Joel Makower's article also appeared in Worldchanging. This article is the most circumspect, examining some of the sustainability criteria a bit more closely and with a slightly more jaded view than others. The article states: "Like so many things related to both Walmart and sustainability, there is both more and less going on here than meets the eye."
However, it goes on to say: "Do such shortcomings render the Walmart Sustainability Index as greenwash? No. This is a solid first effort."
Wow. Pretty high praise for a jaded source.
In conclusion, Makower's article says of Walmart's initiative: "It's definitely a bold move, one that stands to raise the bar on sustainability and transparency, empowering both retailers and consumers to leverage their buying power to affect change. It stands to spur innovation in products and processes. And it appears to be around for the long haul. Walmart has gone well beyond talking the talk here. It's changing the game. How quickly and dramatically the game really changes will be something we'll all be watching, very closely."
FWIW, Brian Merchant made that last observation in his Treehugger article, too. I suspect sustainability advocates of all stripes will be watching this quite closely.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I'd like to deviate a moment from the usual subject of this blog, to talk about a couple of special opportunities: to get a download of my novel--for free--and to get 10% off a print copy.
Smashwords is offering a big promotion this month. My mystery novel, IDENTITY CRISIS, is available as a free download until July 31. Just click on this link and follow instructions to get the discount.
In IDENTITY CRISIS, a simple domestic abuse case turns deadly when the alleged abuser is killed and Stephanie Ann “Sam” McRae’s client disappears. When a friend asks Sam to find Melanie Hayes, the Maryland attorney is drawn into a complex case of murder and identity theft that has her running from the Mob, breaking into a strip club and forming a shaky alliance with a private investigator to discover the truth.
The book has received some great Amazon reader reviews.
So, check it out while you can–hey, it’s free, right?
Turns out, if print books are your thing, Lulu is having a July promotion. If you buy my book, IDENTITY CRISIS, before the month’s end at http://www.lulu.com/content/3923913, just enter the code ‘JULYCONTEST10’ at checkout. You’ll get 10% off your purchase.
So, if you’re looking for a good summer read, consider buying IDENTITY CRISIS. It’s fast-paced, entertaining and reasonably priced at 10 percent off, no less.
But act fast--these specials only last until July 31.
We now return you to our regular scheduled programming.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This one from yesterday was good, too. Not about greenwashing per se, but . . . close enough.
It must be "green" week on "Dilbert." So click here, if you want to keep checking "Dilbert" online this week.
Thanks, Scott Adams, for covering my subject for me.
And thanks, Rick Holton, for pointing out to me that he did. :)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
These posts presented an unusually balanced, complete and coherent discussion of a topic marked by controversy and complications. And it did so with little sign of an agenda (rampant or otherwise). In Part II, Price even questions a few assumptions made by reporters at Grist--an environmental news organization with a distinct agenda (albeit, one that most enviros go for--including me, to be honest).
To sum it up: I'm impressed! Thus, I hereby declare ecocurious a blog worthy of note. This one goes on my must-read list.
Friday, July 3, 2009
The article states: "Researchers Holger Prothmann, Jurgen Branke, Hartmut Schmeck, Sven Tomforde, Fabian Rochner, Jorg Hahner and Christian Muller-Schloer have developed an organic [there's that word again] computing model for a decentralized traffic-control system, one that in tests in Hamburg, has led to 'significant' cuts in the number of times vehicles have to stop, in the length and frequency of delays and overall duration of car trips.
"It's a cool idea, and certainly one that's much needed, especially in car-centric countries like the U.S. However, this research reminds me of a much simpler and even more intriguing idea I learned about earlier this year: cell phone-based traffic monitors."
Oh, good--more gadgets to distract us while we drive. I'm sure the ensuing accidents will help keep lots of cars off the road--and in body shops.
But wait, wait--here's a nutty concept for you. Why don't we reduce traffic by improving public transportation? What a thought . . .