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Honda Will Launch Three Hybrids

According to the folks at Gearlog, Honda is planning a big push into the hybrid market.  The plan is an effort to catch up with Toyota and Ford's aggressive entry into the hybrid market, while staving off competition from GM, Daimler & Hyundai.  The three separate hybrid vehicles seek to encompass three sectors of the current car market.

Honda Hybrid

The first vehicle is five door hatchback hybrid.  This model will be smaller than the current
Civic and is designed as a market competitor to the Toyota Prius.... read more

Hip Green American Hostels, Van Jones and Green Jobs

Welcome back to a another edition of Wednesday Quick Hits, where we at KeenforGreen search the internet for some of the best bits of blogging the world has to offer. As I scan articles a great realization dawns on me, some of the most interesting articles that I found are in blogs. I think in blogs, even corporate ones, you find a great deal of experimenting with topics. This gives you the feeling of ideas, but maybe not fully formed articles as you would find in traditional media outlets. I love a good article because it is well researched but sometimes an idea is simply more raw and fascinating. Just a few quick thoughts and you can agree or disagree if you like. Now on to the show...

Hip Green Hostels

12 Hip Green Hostels in North America: Treehugger treats us to another wonderful article showcasing how we can go green in our own life. This time they feature the perfect summer list with hip green hostels across North America. Jennifer Hattam produces a list that shows all the different types of green hostels you can do, urban to desolation, touring to partying, beach to desert. Ms. Hattam lists has a little something for everyone. Check out picture above of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel which was certified as a Bay Area Green Business Program and includes a hot tub with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Sweet!

Solar Manufacturers: More Solar Robots, Less Green Jobs: Earth2Tech is providing a follow-up piece to their initial thoughts on the Intersolar Conference, which I commented on here. Katie Fehrenbacher writes that the solar industry, a beacon of job growth in the economy, is moving swiftly to automation. Why put robots in jobs for humans? It is all about costs and making solar prices more on parity with traditional energy. Still, I hope this takes a while and a few more people can get work from the solar companies. People need these jobs.

Van Jones - Green Job Guru or Communist

Green Jobs Czar Van Jones Is a Communist and Black Nationalist: Don't say that I favor one side of the political spectrum over the other. The Right Wing News has a blog accusing Van Jones of being a communist. "Jones is a San Francisco extremist who admits to having been "radicalized in jail." There then is an equation o f communism to environmentalism and a reference to Jones as a "evil kook." Isn't that like the pot calling the kettle black?

Sarah Palin's Green Ideas

Palin Slams Obama's Energy Plan: Kate Galbraith of the New York Time's Green Inc. Blog is reporting on comments made by Gov. Sarah Palin regarding President Obama's cap and trade program. In the remarks she states that Obama's program will outsource our energy needs "to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia." Do you think this woman is staying in the headlines for some reason? 2012 is not too far away....

China becoming a big green protectionist machine: Could the biggest market for green technologies be locking out foreign competitors? Well according to Alex Salkever of the Daily Finance this is occurring right now. Most regulations in China currently require 70 percent of the production process for green energy equipment be located in China. The protectionism is so bad that European and American companies are simply not bidding on projects anymore. Hopefully, this is only a temporary situation but with an autocratic government in power this is only a hope.

How Natural and Organic is Your Eyeshadow?: Finally, we move on to Greendaily which asks that serious question - how green is your eye shadow? It is a quick tip based piece with very little substance, but still made me smile. Weird because I don't use eye shadow.... or do I?

 ... read more

Companies Seek To Reduce Packaging

Some of the most obvious and low hanging fruit for companies going green is package design.  The reason is simply a push and pull dynamic.  The public right now is pushing for more eco-conscious design and corporate responsibility in relationship to sustainability.  At the same time a rise in raw material, energy, manufacturing and transportation costs are pulling the companies bottom line down.  So, why not simply cut costs and appear more green?

Well, we here at KeenForGreen.com do not really care too much about the reasoning, but do care about actual results and not mere green washing.  This is what you get when you reduce packaging so we are all for this new corporate practice.  So, let's support those companies reducing packaging.

Microsoft

Microsoft reduced their packaging for their latest Windows update, Windows 7, by focusing on three simple elements: simple clean design, easy to open, and reduce waste.  The official company blog reports that new case protecting is lighter and recyclable. The packaging has a 37% weight reduction and the econometrics score has improved by 50% over it’s predecessor.

Microsoft Reduces Packaging

TrickleStar

Manufactuers of power saving plug in devices that tackle the problem of standby power have redesigned their packaging.  The packaging is designed by a leading European design firm, is restriction of hazardous substance directive (RoHS) compliant, and is optimized for retail display.  The packaging will also reduce the amount of plastic used.

TrickleStar

Walmart

Walmart, the leading retail giant of the world, is developing sustainable solutions to product packaging. The huge company is seeking to reduce packaging by 5 perent globally by 2013, eliminate PVC from private brand packaging and become packaging neutral globally by 2025.  This is probably the most significant effort since Walmart can have an effect on their 66,000 suppliers.

These are just three companies and I know there are so much more.  So please help complete this post and comment below with more companies reducing packaging.... read more

c

The autobloggreen.com recently reported that Hyundai is planning to get into the plug-in market in the very near future.  By 2012 the Korean automaker hopes to introduce a snazzy plug-in sports sedan.  The car will be monitored on Blue-Will concept car featured this year at the Seoul Auto Show.  (Check out the concept below) The plug-in sports sedan will be powered by aa 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected powerplant and 100kw electric motor mated up with a CVT automatic transmission.  The range of the vehicle is to be 38 miles and has an overal rating of 55 mpg for its gas engine.  The Chevy Volt's competition is sure stiffening up.

Hyundai's First Plug-In Sports Sedan... read more

United States Postal Service Greens Fleet

The United States Postal Service is taking the retirement of more than 6,500 traditional vehicles to further green their fleet, while also consolidating their vehicles.  In place of these traditional vehicles will be 1,000 E-85 ethanol-capable and 900 gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles.  These delivery fleet vehicles will be purchased by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Other vehicles being purchased in fleet replacement by the GSA will be fuel-efficient, four-cylinder vehicles.

This effort by the USPS is in line with a a greater strategy of greening the delivery of mail.  For example, since 2006 alternative fuel use has increased 41 percent.  The USPS also hopes to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent in the next five years.  In reality, it has been well known that the USPS is an advocate of environmental reforms.  The USPS has been the recipient of 70 major environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle awards for environmental stewardship and the 2009 Climate Change Champion of the Year Award for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.... read more

Beep.. Boop... Recycling Robot Ready!

You know, sometimes I just need to start my day with a story like this.  May I introduce to you the world's first robot that will pick up your trash and sort it properly.  This robot is Dustcart!

 Italian Recycling Robot

Dustcart is the creation of the $3.9 million Dustbot Project.  The DustBot project is aimed at designing, developing, testing and demonstrating a system for improving the management of urban hygiene based on a network of autonomous and cooperating robots, embedded in an Ambient Intelligence infrastructure.  According to the Global Post, the adorable Dustcart will operate independently to users' calls. The robot will roll its cute little segway wheels over to that user's house, ask for a personal ID number, ask what type of waste is involved (recycle, compost or trash) and will pick up the waste.... read more

Silicon Issue Takes Front Stage at Intersolar Conference

I ran across a great article posted on the Earth2Tech Blog that I believe was noteworthy.  Author Katie Fehrenbacher goes over seven trends that will dominate Intersolar Conference currently being held in San Francisco, California.  The event will include over 15,000 execs from 12,000 solar related businesses.  The seven trends really show some pressing issues but one really took my interest: No. 2, concerning the increase of the price of silicon from a dramatic increase in demand.

Solar Power Conference

I agree with Ms. Fehrenbacher that this will probably be one of, if not the most, dominant issue affecting many solar companies, but I do not think she gave credit to a possible solution.  In this, I point directly to the use of other materials in lieu of silicon for photovalitics.  This issue was the topic of one of my earliest posts, which showed nine other materials than silicon possessing the capacity and cost effectiveness for widespread use.... read more

Pope Benedict Goes Green

Catholics Go Green

Pope Benedict XVI seems to be going green. The pontiff, head of the Catholic Church, issues a new encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth). An encyclical is a letter addressing some aspect of Catholic doctrine from the Pope to bishops and the general public. This latest encyclical, issued July 7, includes most noteworthy a call for sustainable development. "The Church has a responsibility towards creation..when "human ecology"is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits." (p.51).

Chapter Four of Caritas in Veritate is a direct discourse on environmental issues, providing a theological argument for "creation care":... read more

New Jersey Green Governor Race, South Korea and Sustainable Tourism

Welcome back to another great week of content and community at KeenforGreen.com. Let's start the week in the usual fashion and find the most exciting, interesting stories affecting the 'green' movement being covered by traditional media outlets. Today is quite the mix, from South Korean CEOs interest in sustainability to the greening of the path to the governor's mansion in New Jersey, which only emphasizes the expanding influence of the environment in society. Enjoy the stories and comment to let us know if you like this feature.

Sustainable Tourism

"Green" Asia resorts take the guilt out of luxury stays: Miral Fahmy of Reuters Life! is reporting that celebutants and one hit wonders no longer need wallow in eco-guilt because of excessive pampering. Well, not if Alila Hotels and Resorts has anything to say about it. This hotel chain with properties in the Maldives, Thailand, Laos and Indonesia is seeking to make luxury resorts sustainable. In all seriousness, this is a change that must occur in a across the globe in nations which rely heavily on tourism as an engine of growth and prosperity.

NJ Governor Race Goes Green

Trail to governor's office turns green: The Philadelphia Inquirer is describing a development in the New Jersey governor's race concerning the politicizing of sustainability. The battle between Democratic Gov. Corzine, Republican nominee Christopher J. Christie and independent Chris Daggett is centering in part on the green credentials of the three men. Though this might be a great issue for an article, it may not move that many votes.  According to a recent poll, only about 2 percent to 4 percent of his respondents named the environment or energy.

White House: Health, green jobs growing quickly: The Associated Press is reporting that the White House's economic advisers are touting job creation in health care and the environment sectors as rays of sunshine in this gloomy economy. According to the White House, these two sectors are growing more quickly than any other type of job. This seems to be part of a new campaign to put the stimulus package and President Obama's handling of the economy in the best light, but really who thought the economy would have turned around in only six months?

South Korea Green

South Korea CEOs interested in green investment: The Seoul office of Reuters is reporting that over 80 percent of 105 South Korean CEOs of major corporations plan to invest in environmental technologies and see them as a major business in the long-term. This could be the first evidence that corporate profits and responsibility may not be as mutually exclusively as long thought. But not everything is rosy in the eyes of these powerful men and women; 73 percent worry about bubbles in green industries due to inconsistent policies and unclear objectives. Sometimes I do wonder if this is becoming another dot-com era.

 

Demand on the rise for green buildings: Oscar Corral of the Miami Herald shows that even if the need for architects is dwindling in Florida, the amount of work in energy efficient, environmentally friendly building is growing. The article points out how LEED certification has exploded in South Florida where in 2005 there were eight commercial projects registered, but a mere three years later over 123 projects were. Great quick read about how LEED is affecting a specific area of the company.... read more

Green Vacation Tips

Welcome everyone to the wonderful weekend, a time with fun and family free of work (for most anyway).  Today as many of you throughout the northeast, south and west go to your favorite destination to have fun in the sun I wanted to provide some tips on greening these outings.  I hope you enjoy the posts and remember when you are out at that beach, lake or pool.  Be safe, have fun and be green.

Green Tips For Beachgoers: How To Stay Safe And Have Fun: The world famous Huffington Post recently posted four tips on how to green your beach trips this somewhere. One suggestion is green your swimsuit by going in the buff. Yes, this famous liberal bastion is proclaiming skinny dipping as a way to solve global warming and I totally agree. *Wink*

Going Green at the Beach: A really great site that involves a couple, a hundred year old beach house and a “recycled” dog named Skipper. I see your heart melting already. Learn how this old shore side chateau was transformed into a Built Green™ Five-Star, ENERGY STAR® Home, American Lung Association Health House®, a Environments for Living® and a LEED® for Homes Gold certified building. Great little story.

Have a Green Vacation: San Diego, the city known for fun, sun and beaches is asking you to go green when you visit. Yes, those in charge of promotion on the city’s website are advocating bus and trolley transportation to lower green house emissions. I will attest they are easy to take and San Diego is a mighty fine place.

Green vacation

Costa Rica Eco Lodge: Check out some great deals on eco-lodges in Costa Rica, which is a dream of mine. The lodges featured are built to preserve the environment while allowing foreigners to experience the rainforests. If you have the resources, I definitely suggest you give these trips a look.

Eco-Fair Trade

Beach Towels: What can I say other than organic, fair trade beach towels. Nuff’ said.

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