Tag Archives: Environment

Starbucks Introduces Environmentally-Friendly $1 Reusable Cups

Introducing the new, reusable (and recyclable) Starbucks cup for hot beverages.

While Starbucks has sold reusable mugs and tumblers for years, what makes this new reusable cup exciting is that it’s yours for only $1. It’s a quality, low-cost option to enjoy your favorite Starbucks beverage. And since you receive a 10 cent discount each time you use it in stores, it pays for itself in just ten uses – and then factor in the fact you have saved ten paper cups.

If you use it for a month, you will help avoid using more than a pound of paper, or 3.5 lbs of wood. Plus, at the end of its life, if polypropylene (#5) plastic recycling is available in your region, you can recycle this cup and truly minimize your impact on the planet!

The program was first tested in Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle and throughout the already environmentally-friendly Pacific Northwest. It’s the same spirit that has encouraged shoppers to bring their own bags with them in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, both of which have enacted bans on plastic bags, requiring customers to bring their own or purchase reusable cloth bags. Seeing success, the reusable cups are now being rolled out to all of the U.S. and Canada.


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Back to School: The Best Lunchboxes for Kids (and Their Parents!)

Save money — and the environment — by packing your lunch in reusable containers. Whether you’re into bentos or Batman, TIME has found the perfect lunchbox for you HERE.

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Coca-Cola’s Environmentally Friendly Plant Billboard

Coca-Cola Philippines and World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF) today unveiled the first plant billboard in the country, an iconic structure to represent the long-standing partnership between the two organizations to make a positive difference in the environment.

The 60 x 60 ft. plant billboard, located along Northbound EDSA-Forbes, utilizes a thriving species of Fukien tea plant, which absorbs air pollutants. According to botanist Anthony Gao, each plant can absorb up to 13 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year, on the average. “This billboard helps alleviate air pollution within its proximate areas as it can absorb a total of 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, on estimate.” Gao says.

Recyclable materials were used for the overall make-up of the billboard. 3,600 pots were used, recycling old bottles of various Coca-Cola products. These bottles were filled with a potting mixture made up of a combination of industrial by-products and organic fertilizers-a formulation that is stable and light-weight. These bottles were also designed to contain the plants securely and to allow the plants to grow sideways. Additional holes were made for proper drainage and for holding the drip lines in place.

A drip irrigation system, also known as trickle irrigation or micro-irrigation, was especially installed for efficient water distribution. This irrigation method saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing and emitters. The system is operated on a schedule to distribute water with nutrients to the plants. It provides the plants with what they need when they need it.

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Karton Cardboard Furniture

Karton, the Australian company was born after leaving “a stack of cardboard sheets alone in a room with some of Europe’s brightest engineers.” The result of this design-by-imprisonment approach is an entire line of furniture that’s affordable, easily foldable/portable, and definitely unique.

Sitting, sleeping and storage pieces are available for purchase individually or in packages. Their office package ($370) creates an effective and green solution for furnishing a temporary work space.

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Tube-Free Toilet Paper

The toilet paper roll is about to undergo its biggest change in 100 years: going tubeless. On Monday, Kimberly-Clark, one of the world’s biggest makers of household paper products, will begin testing Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores throughout the Northeast.

If sales take off, it may introduce the eco friendly line nationally and globally — and even consider adapting the technology into its paper towel brands.

The holes in the rolls aren’t perfectly round but they do fit over TP spindles and come with this promise: Even the last piece of toilet paper will be usable — without glue stuck on it.

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Move-It Concept Is A 100% Recyclable Cardboard Trolley

Currently up for a much deserved James Dyson Award, David Graham’s Move-it concept consists of a set of self-adhesive cardboard parts that turns any box, up to 45 pounds in weight, into an easy to transport rolling trolley.

The cardboard parts include a set of wheels and two different types of handles depending on the box’s shape and size, and when you’re finished moving whatever’s in the box the parts can be re-used elsewhere, or just recycled, including the glue which is a specially designed repulpable contact adhesive that disperses harmlessly in water.

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Recycled Coca Cola Chair

Coke has teamed up with furniture manufacturer Emeco to create a special version of the iconic Navy Chair. Each chair will be made out of rPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) derived from 111 recycled Coke bottles along with some pigment and glass fiber for extra strength.

Gregg Buchbinder of Emeco explains, “When Coke came to me with this project I jumped on it. It’s a huge investment for a small company, but we have the potential of reusing the PET from about 3 million plastic bottles a year. That’s a lot of bottles and a lot of chairs too. The new chair is the strongest, and most beautiful we can make. We’ve turned something you throw away into something you want and can keep for a long, long time.”

Liz Lowe, Citizenship Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “This beautiful 111 Navy Chair reinforces Coca-Cola’s commitment to sustainability. This innovative project is part of our vision to recover and reuse all of our bottles and cans and another example of how our packaging can have real value through recycling to be  used again and again.”

The chairs will be available in June.

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The 2010 TIME 100 World’s Most Influential People List

TIME Magazine has just published their 100 world’s most influential people list for 2010.

Some of the people you’ll encounter on this list are influential in the traditional sense — heads of state like Barack Obama, corporate leaders like Robin Li, CEO of the Chinese search-engine company Baidu. But the magazine also sought out people whose ideas and actions are revolutionizing their fields and transforming lives — like Matt Berg, who is using text-messaging technology to improve community health monitoring in Africa, and Rahul Singh, whose organization GlobalMedic was among the first on the ground after January’s Haiti earthquake, providing millions of gallons of water to those most in need. You might not have heard their names before, but their innovations and efforts will help change the world for years to come.

The 2010 TIME 100 boasts some innovations too. The issue has multiple covers, wrapping front and back around the magazine. The list is now consolidated into four categories — leaders, artists, thinkers and heroes.

You can see the list HERE.

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Home Tree Initiative Kicks Off With James Cameron on Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary

Today on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, THE FIRE WIRE was invited to Twentieth Century Fox Studios to cover the release of James Cameron’s AVATAR on DVD and the Home Tree initiative.

The goal of this initiative is for fifteen countries to commit to planting one million trees native to each region by the end of 2010. Those who buy a copy of AVATAR will find a code to register online, allowing them to adopt one of the trees and see where in the world it will be planted.

The Home Tree Initiative kicked off with the director James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, members of the AVATAR cast and several hundred children planting a symbolic tree on the studio lot that represents the future trees that will be planted worldwide throughout the year. The tree was marked by a ceremonial plaque.

“This film fell on fertile soil all around the world,” Cameron stated. “Even though it takes place on Pandora, it really takes place on Earth. These aren’t partisan issues. We’re all a part of this. “This tree isn’t just symbolic. Reforestation is something we need to take very seriously.”

The global environmental themes of AVATAR resonated with moviegoers last year making the film the highest grossing movie of all time.  Now people can take this experience home with them on the new AVATAR DVD and Blu-ray.

Cameron would not say what his next project would be but did confirm that AVATAR 2 would be released in the near future and the plot would rely heavily on Pandora’s oceans.

We want to thank 20th Century Fox for inviting us to this uplifting event. It was a thrill to meet and and talk to James Cameron.

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Meet PUMA’s Clever Little Bag: The Smartest Shoebox Ever

PUMA recently introduced cutting-edge sustainable packaging that will reduce the paper used for shoeboxes by 65% and carbon emissions by 10,000 tons per year. PUMA partnered with designer Yves Béhar, of San Francisco based fuseproject, to rethink the way the millions of pairs of shoes that it sells each year are packaged — less packaging means fewer raw materials, less use of water and energy to produce, and less weight to ship and to be disposed of.

Béhar designed a “Clever Little Bag” to replace the cardboard shoebox with a re-usable shoe bag, that protects each pair of shoes from damage from the point it leaves the factory until the consumer takes it home — thus generating savings on the production side due to less material used, reducing weight during transport and eliminating the need for extra plastic carrier bags. As a result of the 65% paper reduction through the “Clever Little Bag” concept PUMA will reduce water, energy and diesel consumption on the manufacturing level by more than 60% per year.

By switching out current plastic and paper shopping bags in PUMA stores and replacing them with sustainable biodegradable bags the sportlifestyle company is looking to save another 192 tons of plastic and 293 tons of paper annually.

The retail launch of the new packaging and distribution system is planned for the second half of 2011.

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