A New York Times headline recently read “With Carbon Dioxide emissions at Record High, Worries on How to Slow Warming.” I’ve got a way to slow warming: Handprinter. I’ve just donated to their Kickstarter campaign. Here’s why. We’ve all heard about our carbon footprints, the sum total of all the carbon dioxide released as we… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Ecological intelligence
When I bought a bag of chips in England it had some bad news printed on the back. First, the chips had 14 grams of fat. Bad enough. Worse, they had caused 75 grams of carbon to be released. That bag called my attention to my carbon footprint: those 75 grams added to the 2.3… Read more »
Do you know the PDF of your shampoo? A ‘PDF’ refers to a “partially diminished fraction of an ecosystem,” and if your shampoo contains palm oil cultivated on clearcut jungle in Borneo, say, that value will be high. How about your shampoo’s DALY? This measure comes from public health: “disability adjusted life years,” the amount… Read more »
With climate legislation dead in Congress and the fizzled hopes for a breakthrough in Copenhagen fading into distant memory, the time seems ripe for fresh strategies – especially ones that do not depend on government action. Here’s a modest proposal: radical transparency, the laying bare of a product’s ecological impacts for all to see.
Three teen-aged girls are at a shopping mall looking for sunscreen. It’s an impulse purchase, and it has to be an all-natural choice. They think they’ve found what they’re looking for at one store, but on the way to the register one of the girls takes out her phone and swipes it by the barcode… Read more »
The age of ecological transparency is nigh. Business leaders now must learn to embrace “externalities” (like pollution) and work to lessen them, as Christopher Meyer and Julia Kirby argued in the Harvard Business Review last month. If this is our emerging business reality, here’s a hot tip: look into www.Earthster.org.
Here’s sobering news: any one of us, anywhere on the planet, lugs hundreds of industrial chemicals around in our bodies – and they are up to no good.
Consider a box of microwaveable, butter-flavored popcorn. The label assures buyers it has zero grams of trans-fat and “zero mg cholesterol.” But the ingredients list fails to mention that the savory butter taste and mouth-watering aroma comes courtesy of diacetyl, a flavoring long known by pulmonary specialists to cause “bronchiolitis obliterans,” a disease that causes… Read more »
I’ve got some bad news. Toxicology seems to have a blind spot when it comes to the stew of chemicals we breathe, drink or otherwise absorb over the course of life. Currently federal standards for determining toxicity are based on whether single exposures to a specific chemical cause a given medical problem. But growing bodies… Read more »
The bad news for my nine-year-old nephew Joey came when he looked up Webkinz Pink Pony on GoodGuide.com, a website that rates the environmental, health, and social impacts of the things we buy. On a scale where ten is best, Pink Pony came up with a disappointing 3.7.