Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First U.S. Carbon Auction Raises $39 Million

Reuters reports that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative held it's first carbon auction Monday, raising nearly $39 million. The auction sold permits at $3.07 per ton for powerplants for greenhouse gas emissions. Over 12.5 million permits were sold to those in the energy, financial and environment sectors. The money will be shared by Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The remaining state signatories did not finalize rules in time to participate. Another auction will be held in December and quarterly therafter.

In the absence of federal regulation, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a state-led initiative to regulate carbon emissions. The RGGI consists of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Similarly, the Western Climate Initiative is a state- and province-led initiative involving Arizona, British Columbia, California, Manitoba, Montana, New Mexico, Ontario, Oregon, Quebec, Utah, and Washington.

The Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Accord is a regional agreement between Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Kansas, and the Canadian Province of Manitoba to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop a cap-and-trade system.

For more information on regional initiatives, the EPA is offering a webinar on October 23, Green Power Markets and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives (RGGI).
Photo by Michael Smith/Newsmakers.

October 2008 Sustainability Webinars

Following is a list of upcoming sustainability-related webinars for the month of October 2008.

Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Methods and Best Practices (Oct. 1)
Elements of Green Leases (Oct. 1)
Ten Steps to Getting Started with Practice Greenhealth (Oct. 3)
Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhood Projects (Oct. 7)
Go Green From the Inside Out: Developing a Corporate Environment Program (Oct. 7)
An Eco-Design Overview (Oct. 8)
Going Paperless and the Environmental Impact of Architectural Practices (Oct. 14)
Energy Efficiency for Your Business: The Low-Hanging Fruit (Oct. 14)
Greening Your Office (Oct. 15)
Writing a Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (Oct. 15)
Energy Efficiency in County Buildings: Southeast Region (Oct. 16)
Linking Renewables and Demand Response (Oct. 21)
Green Purchasing (Oct. 22)
Sustainability Consulting 101 (Oct. 22)
Green Power Markets and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives (Oct. 23)
Energy Use in Hospitals (Oct. 24)
Financial Mechanisms for Campus Sustainability (Oct. 29)
Carbon Offsetting (Oct. 29)
Biofuels: What They Mean for County Fleets (Oct. 29)

Save the emissions...do it online!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Resources for a Green Government

Is your city or county serious about greening its operations? Here are some resources for the journey toward a green government.

The National Association of Counties' Green Government Initiative offers information, resources, webinars, a database of green county initiatives, and much more to help governments green their operations. They also sponsor the Green County Competition. Counties can choose to enter one of the two separate competitions, one to encourage county employees to reduce home energy usage and one to encourage county employees to save gasoline.

The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe discusses the characteristics of sustainable cities, barriers to implementation, and provides case studies of successful projects.

The SustainLain Government website links to numerous best practice documents. SustainLane covers (and ranks) the greening of 50 of the most populous U.S. cities. The rankings cover 16 categories of sustainability which are explained, along with methodology, to help understand what constitutes a sustainable city.

Ecocity Builders provides publications, conferences, and educational information on "reshaping cities, towns and villages for long term health of human and natural systems."

The USC Center for Sustainable Cities conducts research and offers publications in 5 major areas related to urban sustainability.

The SUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities conducts research and shares information related to urban sustainability.

The United Nations-Habitat Urban Environment Section has two programs. The Sustainable Cities Programme focuses on environmental planning and management of urban areas while the Localizing Agenda 21 Programme focuses on environmental planning and management of smaller cities and towns. The site offers a number of tools, reports, and publications.

The International City/County Management Association offers several reports and resources on green and sustainable government.

The UK Center for Sustainable Cities offers research and information on sustainable cities.

The Office of Sustainable Development in the city of Portland OR (often ranked among the most sustainable cities) offers a website detailing its various sustainability initiatives and offers a plethora of information.

And finally, the Alliance for Innovation allows county and city government members to network and share information on innovation and green strategies.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Google Launches "Project 10 to the 100th"

As part of its 10-year anniversary celebration, Google has launched Project 10 to the 100th. The Project is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible

Categories include:

  • Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?

  • Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?

  • Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?

  • Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?

  • Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?

  • Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?

  • Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?

  • Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don't fit into any category at all.

Entries can be submitted through October 20, 2008. The top 100 ideas will be selected and posted for public voting to narrow the field to 20 semi-finalists. An advisory board will then select up to 5 finalists and identify the organization(s) best able to implement the winning ideas. Google has committed $10 million for implementation of the winning ideas.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Green Jobs Now: A National Day of Action Sept. 27

Since September 27 is upon us, I would like to reprint one of our earlier posts.

Saturday, September 27 will be Green Jobs Now: A National Day of Action. Now is the time to begin planning your event. From their website:

On Saturday, September 27, we're launching a national mobilization to say, "I'm ready for the green economy." We are ready to tackle the climate crisis by building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

Green Jobs Now is a National Day of Action that will empower everyday people to stage hundreds of grassroots events throughout the country. We will have a special
focus on low-income communities, communities of color and indigenous people. This will send a message to our leaders that, when it comes to creating green jobs for a more sustainable economy, PEOPLE ARE READY!

Visit the website
to organize an event or to find an event in your area.

The Green Jobs Now Day of Action is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative of Green For All, 1Sky, the We Campaign and several partners.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Massanelli's Cleaners - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Massanelli's Cleaners (Jonesboro AR) offers dry-cleaning and fire/water recovery and restoration services.

Massanelli's Cleaners utilizes a completely perc-free, environmentally friendly cleaning process, non-toxic, odorless cleaning process that has been thoroughly tested by the Environmental Protection Agency and causes neither short nor long term health risks. Cleaning agents are 100% biodegradable and earth-friendly and the perchloroethylene-free (perc-free) cleaning process is gentle not only on your clothing and textiles but on the environment as well.

In an effort to further reduce Massanelli's Cleaners' carbon footprint, the company has joined the CarbonFree Small business program. The company has been recognized for environmental stewardship and is an official sponsor of the upcoming Green Jobs event to be held at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Massanelli's Cleaners supports numerous charitable organizations and has a strong philanthropy program.

Massanelli's Cleaners began in 1948 and is currently owned and operated by Len and Sandie Yun - Pipkin.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recycled Toiletpaper? Eew!

In a recent conversation with my students, when it was mentioned that a local company uses recycled hand towels and toilet paper, I could see the peculiar looks around the room. When asked what their idea of recycled toilet paper was, well....you can image...some students thought that perhaps it was used toilet paper placed in a bin for recycling, just like cans, glass, plastic, and paper. "Hmmm," I thought, "we need to talk."

Paper that comes 'straight from the tree' is referred to as virgin pulp paper. Paper can then be placed in a recycling bin destined for another life. Paper can generally be recycling 5-7 times. But with each recycling, the paper fibers become weaker. Through a sifting process, the stronger pulp can be pulled out and, in it's second life, paper can still be paper. However, by the time the paper goes through several lifecycles, the fibers are weak and brittle and are used for hand towels, facial tissue, toilet tissue, and similar products. For a detailed description of how paper is recycled, visit the TAPPI website.

So don't be afraid to purchase towel and tissue products made from post-consumer recycled material. It's not "icky" at all and it is good for the environment!

Monday, September 22, 2008

MBA Students to Compete on Sustainable Innovations

Two sustainability competitions are now open for entries from MBA and other graduate students. For those students ready to compete on their sustainability knowledge, these competitions allow students to showcase their skills before corporate sponsors.

The Thunderbird Sustainable Innovation Summit and Challenge registration deadline is Oct. 5 and the first online round begins Oct. 6. The top 10 finalists then advance to the finals and an on-site presentation. The Global Champion team will receive $20,000. The competition is currently accepting applications for Judges.

The Darden Innovation Challenge registration deadline is Sept. 25 and the first online round begins Sept. 26. The top 25 teams move on to a second online round, top teams will hold a conference call with the corporate sponsors, and the top 10 teams advance to the finals and an on-site presentation. The Grand Prize team will receive $20,000. The competition is currently accepting applications for Judges.

Friday, September 19, 2008

College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge Grant Program

The College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge Grant Program is now accepting grant applications. The grant allows U.S. graduate and undergraduate students to develop proposals to green their college campus. The grant competition encourages students to create a program that is either action-based or will create tangible results in the interest of helping to protect the environment.

Proposals will be judged on "creativity" (25%), "benefit to the environment" (25%), "educational impact" (25%), "efficient/effective use of budget" (15%) and "timing feasibility" (10%). Up to five $10,000 grants will be awarded.

Sponsored by Brita Products Company, grant applications will be accepted until October 15, 2008.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Earth From Above: An Aerial Portrait of the State of Our Planet

Press Release


Art installation with environmental message will travel to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2010

New York, NY (September 11, 2008) Capping a historic summer of public art exhibits in New York City, organizers today announced plans for the May 2009 New York City premiere of Earth From Above, an outdoor exhibition of large-scale aerial photographs by renowned French photographer and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The free, eight-week exhibition will take place at the World Financial Center Plaza and along the Battery Park City Esplanade from May 1, 2009 to June 28, 2009. The event is expected to draw more than two million to the Battery Park City area over the course of two months. Picture Earth, the event's U.S. producer, will then bring the exhibit to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2010. "This summer, we are seeing that New Yorkers and tourists are hungry for outdoor experiences that surprise, inspire, and engage," said Chantal Buard, creative director and co-founder of Picture Earth. "We believe Earth From Above, with its breathtaking photos and powerful call-to-action, will draw even larger audiences. We are thrilled to bring Yann's extraordinary work and message to American audiences."

Since its 2000 premiere, Earth From Above has inspired more than 130 million people in over 120 cities throughout the world, including London, Tokyo, Beirut, Sydney, Mexico City, and Reykjavik. Born from Arthus-Bertrand's book, Earth From Above, which has sold more than 3 million copies in over 21 languages worldwide, the exhibit is recognized as one of the most influential environmental art events of the 21st century.

The exhibition was created by Arthus-Bertrand both to illuminate Earth's beauty and fragility, and inspire audiences to care for the planet and its resources. Its centerpiece is over 150 4-ft. by 6-ft.aerial photographs that capture the planet in astonishing, unexpected and often abstract ways. Each photo is accompanied by captions that link the image to the environmental and social issues at stake.
"The timing could not be better to bring Earth From Above to New York City," said Arthus-Bertrand. "People are eager now more than ever to get involved and play a greater role in the future of our planet, and I believe Earth From Above can be the catalyst that inspires them to take action." He continues, "When we see the beauty of our world, we feel emotion. And emotion brings reflection."

To further raise awareness and motivate audiences to support sustainable living and development, the exhibit will also feature an "inspiration" pavilion, a walkable world map, and special educational programs.

About Earth From Above

Earth From Above is a platform for people who want to move the world toward a sustainable future. As a brand, Earth From Above includes experiences and content for the growing community of consumers, businesses, educational institutions, non-profits, and municipalities committed to reaching this shared goal.

Originally underwritten by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Earth From Above, the live event, is a large-scale, public art exhibition born from Earth From Above, Yann Arthus-Bertrand's best-selling, illustrated coffee table book. Worldwide, Earth From Above airs as a TV series, and can be found as a layer on Google® Earth. In 2008, it will launch as an online community portal in the United States (earthfromaboveusa.com). "Home," a feature documentary inspired by Earth From Above, produced by Luc Besson and financed by Francois Pinault, will premiere worldwide on June 5, 2009.

About Picture Earth

Picture Earth LLC is an eco-experiential and media company co-founded by Chantal Buard and Sivan Schlecter in 2006 to help launch Earth From Above, Yann Arthus-Bertrand's global call-to-action for sustainability with the American public. Picture Earth LLC educational products include Earth From Above live events, such as the critically acclaimed, public art exhibition, website and online community, video content, and poster kit program. Picture Earth partners with Matter of Trust, a 501(c)(3) public charity and fiscal agent. Contribution checks should be made out to Matter of Trust for Earth From Above-USA, and will help fund future exhibitions nationwide. For more information about corporate sponsorship and underwriting, visit earthfromaboveusa.com.

Patrick Kowalczyk (
Scott Piro (
PKPR, 212.627.8098

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alaffia/Agbanga Karite - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care Company (Olympia WA) is the North American retail and wholesale distributor of fair trade shea butter, African black soap, and tropical oils from the Alaffia/Agbanga Karite Cooperative in Togo Africa.

The company follows a triple bottom line approach (people, profit, planet). Alaffia's relationship with the Cooperative brings income to and empowers communities in Togo. Additionally, Alaffia and Agbanga Karite donate 10% of sales proceeds (or 30% of income, whichever is greater) to community empowerment projects, AIDS and malaria outreach, and educational scholarships in Togo.

Alaffia sponsors Bicycles for Education, donates school supplies and uniforms, funds reforestation projects, and started the Alaffia Women's Clinic in Togo. Alaffia also provides scholarships to Washington students, donates soap and lotion to women's shelters, offers Fair Trade talks and tours of the Washington facility, and community outreach and education on Fair Trade. With the help of others, the nonprofit Global Alliance for Community Empowerment (GACE) was formed to oversee community projects that focus on self-empowerment, the advancement of fair trade, education, sustainable living, and gender equality in Togo.

The Cooperative's website describes it's own triple bottom line approach:

Social Development:
We do not hire based on age, ethnicity, sex, color or religion. We work to improve the positions of disadvantaged groups, such as women and ethnic minorities. Also, we pay our members a salary that is 30% higher than the national standard and provide them with a pension plan, vacation, sick and family leave, and overtime. Our members are free to organize and are provided with education and training on how to do this. Our work environment is comfortable, well ventilated and lit, with potable water provided to all members. Finally, our revenues are invested back into the community as educational scholarships, ecological restoration projects, and renewable energy programs.

Economic Development:
Our members undergo extensive training in all aspects of our business, including production, marketing and management. The purpose of this training is to enable them to begin their own businesses in the future. A percentage of our revenues are dedicated to educational scholarships for local students to study within Togo and abroad.

Environmental Development:
We plan to switch to renewable energy sources for all our energy needs as our organization becomes established. These include solar powered grinders, presses, and office equipment. We have also converted our diesel powered trucks to use vegetable oil, which in our case is unmarketable shea butter. We do not condone the use of chemicals and actions that harm other species. We have designed our production facilities and harvesting practicies to minimize our impact on the natural environment.

Through work individually and with GACE, Agbanga Karite Cooperative has provided more than 300 children with books, uniforms and supplies for the 2004-2005 school year, paid the school enrollment fees for these children, donated desks and chairs to a local primary school in the village of Adjorogo, and donated and installed new school roofs on rural schools in central Togo.

Alaffia was founded by Olowo-n’djo Tchala.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Slugging to Work

Looking for a free ride to work and a way to save hundreds in gasoline and transportation costs each month? These are the benefits of being a slug.

Slugging is an informal grassroots ride-sharing initiative in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. No one organizes the ride-sharing system. Those who need a ride go to the sites and wait in a slug line for a ride. Those who want riders in their vehicle (so that they can travel more quickly via the high occupancy vehicle lanes) will go to the slug lines, announce their destination, and pick up riders.

There is a certain slug etiquette. The first person in line is the "caller" that announces the driver's destination to others waiting for a ride. Once a slug has taken a ride, there is no eating or smoking, no exchange of names, not much talking, no window adjustments, no cell phones, and no messing with the radio!

It is believed that slugging began in Washington DC in the early 1970s. While slugging is not for everyone, it has become so "advanced" in Washington DC that it even has it's own website, Slug-Lines.com.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Goats in Downtown L.A.?

In the past, we've posted on "green" lawn care. But the city of Los Angeles has gone one step further. The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency recently hired 100 goats to clear away brush on a steep downtown slope.

The goats are cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than weed-whackers. And it seems they were quite an attraction, too, as passers-by snapped photos and stopped to watch. Furthermore, goat keeper George Gonzales said his (goat) "crew would work long hours over the next week to 10 days, 'won't collect a pension or charge for working overtime and won't call in sick.'"

Photo credit: Brian Vander Brug, Los Angeles Times

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Get a Free $25 Kiva Certificate & Fight Global Poverty

You've long heard of the great works of Kiva, an organization offering peer-to-peer microloans to entrepreneurs in developing regions. But what if you've wanted to give but haven't had the time or money to get started?

Think MTV is offering you a free $25 Kiva loan gift certificate so you can start giving and start fighting global poverty. From their website:

Think MTV and Kiva are teaming up to help you fight global poverty. Kiva.org is a non-profit organization that enables people like you to make small loans, or microloans, to low income entrepreneurs so they can empower themselves to earn their way out of poverty.

By supporting the Kiva profile on Think.mtv.com, you will receive a FREE $25 Kiva certificate that you can loan to any entrepreneur on the Kiva site.

Use this loan to help a farmer in Guatemala, a restaurant owner in Uganda or a baker in Lebanon start and sustain their businesses to help themselves, their families, and their communities. This is a REAL way you can help REAL people. Start right now.

To get started, just visit Think MTV's website, register, and then check your Think MTV inbox for instructions on how to redeem the gift certificate to make a loan to a Kiva entrepreneur. I've just loaned my $25 gift to a group of entrepreneurs from Bolivia. What will you do with your gift certificate?

Feel free to use Sustainable Business Design (info [at] sustainablebusinessdesign.biz) as your referral source so that we can see how many of our readers made a difference! Now go loan!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IceStone - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

IceStone (Brooklyn NY) manufactures surfaces made from recycled glass and concrete. The durable surfaces can be used for countertops, window sills, indoor or outdoor flooring, shower walls, and more. But beyond the beautiful products, what does IceStone do to be a sustainable and responsible company?

By recycling glass and concrete, IceStone saves hundreds of tons of glass from landfills each year. The products are cradle to cradle certified and are manufactured in a day-lit factory. The factory has a cool, low-emissions manufacturing process. IceStone is working to become carbon-neutral, purchases renewable energy credits, and strives to reduce energy usage. The company is working toward water reduction goals and over 80% of the company's waste is recycled, recovered or composted. IceStone is implementing a grey-water recycling system. All petroleum-based machine lubricants have been replaced with soy-based lubricants. Additionally, IceStone conducts environmental education programs for employees.

IceStone’s mission also provides living-wages, health benefits, education programs and life-skill training to employees, including free English as a Second Language classes, all of which are tracked in the social audit with third-party verification. IceStone’s donation program provides free or discounted material to projects that share similar social and environmental goals, with Habitat for Humanity receiving annual donations. The company also partners with community, nonprofit, academic, industrial assistance and local social services groups to promote green-collar job creation, sustainable business practices, and the development of the green building industry.

Within the supply chain, IceStone encourages suppliers to improve sustainability standards. IceStone’s glass and mother-of-pearl are recycled from post-industrial and post-consumer sources. IceStone advocates for stronger glass recycling programs in New York in order to create an infrastructure that allows the commercial re-use of regional waste glass. The company buys cement regionally and advocates for the greening of the cement industry. IceStone continuously conducts product research to seek the most eco-friendly and local materials as possible.

Visit IceStone's website for a list of 10 things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Which Companies Are Taking Climate Change Seriously?

Are you interested in which companies are taking climate change seriously? If so, then you'll be interested in ClimateCounts.org.

Climate Counts tracks companies that are addressing climate change as well as those that are ignoring it. They tally this all up into a scorecard, which you'll want to check out. Companies are categorized as stuck, starting, or striding in their response to climate change. Of course, Climate Counts encourages you to patronize companies tackling climate change and don't patronize companies ignoring the issue.

Climate Counts is a nonprofit organization funded by Stonyfield Farm, Inc. and launched in collaboration with Clean Air-Cool Planet.

A note of caution: As the name implies, these scores are related only to climate change and do not reflect the company's social or other environmental practices.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Greening of Asphalt

There are more than 4 million miles of paved roads in the United States alone. That's enough asphalt to build a paved road that would wrap the earth 160 times or to build 16 bridges between the earth and the moon. That's alot of asphalt. So it's no wonder that researchers are experimenting with ways to make paved roads more sustainable.

In the Netherlands, Dutch company Ooms Avenhorn Holding BV has created the Road Energy System (RES). The RES lays a water piping system within concrete or asphalt to heat the water The water is then used for heating and cooling in buildings and to keep the road ice-free in winter. The system is also being used in Scotland.

Similarly, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are working to use asphalt as an solar energy source and to heat water. Roads are resurfaced every 10-12 years and could be retrofitted within that cycle. An added benefit is that removing heat from the asphalt could reduce the urban 'heat island' effect.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Asphalt Research Consortium hopes to develop “cold-mix” asphalts that use more recycled materials and require significantly less energy than conventional asphalt to apply.

Meanwhile, Dutch researchers at the University of Twente have refined air-purifying concrete paving stones. The concrete stones convert nitrogen oxide from exhaust fumes into harmless nitrates which is then washed away by rain. In the city of Hengelo, streets are being half paved with the stones to test the effect and results should be available by summer 2009.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Green Drinks - A Green Social Mixer

Green Drinks is a network of individuals interested in environmental issues who get together once a month to network and mingle. Individuals come from nonprofits, academia, government, and industry.

Green Drinks is an informal, organic, self-organizing network. Green Drinks social events have been organized in over 400 cities around the world. Melbourne Australia claims to have hosted the largest Green Drinks event, with over 1800 attendees. And New York City hosted a sizeable event with over 900 attendees.

Whether you have 5 or 500 attend your event, Green Drinks is a great way to meet and socialize with others sharing your environmental interests. Check out Green Drinks' website to find a location near you or start your own group.

From the Delmarva MD Green Drinks group: "Mix Drinks and Ideas to Ensure a Green Future." And from the Johannesburg Green Drinks group: "Saving the World One Sip at at Time."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Higher Grounds Trading Company - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Higher Grounds Trading Company (Traverse City MI) sells organic and fair trade coffee. But the company's commitment to sustainability goes beyond the products it sells.

The company's Trade for a Change fundraising program allows nonprofit organizations to sell Higher Grounds' organic and fair trade blends and thus increase sales for the coffee farmers.

With each purchase of one of the Coffees for Change blends, "Higher Grounds will donate a portion of the proceeds to worthy initiatives including the promotion of organic agriculture, education about economic justice, protection of bird habitat and indigenous rights and the construction of potable water systems!"

Through the Water for All campaign, each purchase of the Water Carrier’s Blend will result in a $5.00 donation to support the construction of sustainable water systems in coffee-growing countries.

Through the Oromia Photo Project, Oromia Coffee Farmers Grower Union farmers' activities are documented. Each week, new photos are added to the website so that you can learn more about how the coffee is produced. For each pound of the Ethiopian Oromia coffee sold, Higher Grounds will add an additional $1 tip to go back to the farmers.

Higher Grounds' Fair Trade Tours invites you to join them on a trip to partner farms and fair trade collaborators. You can choose from trips to Africa, Central America, or South America and $100 per participant is donated to a local project.

In addition, "Recycling, composting, and purchasing post consumer recycled paper for office supplies are all “business as usual” at Higher Grounds!"
Higher Grounds Trading Company was started by Chris and Jody Treter five years ago.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Converting Algae to Fuel in Arkansas

Researchers at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville are experimenting with ways to turn algae into fuel. The researchers are currently conducting a small-scale experiment in Springdale and are proposing a larger-scale experiment with OMI, a wastewater treatment plant in Fayetteville.

The algae would "eat" left-over phosphorus in the water, then be harvested every five days, and oil would be squeezed from them to produce fuel. Read the full story at KFSM News.

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