Archive for September, 2008

Fluorescent bulbs get fashionable makeover

Change a light bulb and go green? Most of us are holding back not because the new fluorescent bulbs don’t work or won’t last, but because they are ugly and unattractive. A company in Gulf Breeze, Florida has solved that problem. Twister Corporation has designed a line of decorative covers that will let you go green while not sacrificing the decor in your home. The covers instantly transform ugly fluorescent bulbs with stylish decorative lenses. They work with almost all bulbs and fixtures and do not reduce light brightness. These lenses can also be customized to match your decor, while adding personal style to your lighting fixtures. “This product is meant to encourage increased use of CFLs in homes and offices. For years the public has resisted using the CFLs because of the appearance and glare of the bulbs,” stated Ed Delangis, president of Twister Corporation and a member of the Pensacola Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. “We created this product to overcome these problems and encourage a greater use of compact fluorescent bulbs. This will translate into energy conservation and reduced costs to the consumer. To further encourage consumers to make the switch to green bulbs, Twister Corporation has committed to donate a percentage of sales to the U.S. Green Building Council to further energy conservation to ultimately help reduce global warming.”

September 29, 2008 at 10:11 am

Zinio launches The Read Green Initiative

Zinio, the global leader in digital and interactive publishing, is proud to launch The Read Green Initiative(TM) to the public. This program is designed to increase the consumer awareness and use of digital reading alternatives. Many of the world’s most prominent magazine publishers, including Bonnier, Hachette Filipacchi and Greenspun Media, have teamed up with Zinio to offer up to 50 million free annual subscriptions to the digital versions of over 200 publications through The Read Green Initiative(TM) website: Free magazine subscriptions are limited to onefree subscription per person.  The Read Green Initiative(TM) was inspired by a growing number of efforts pioneered by leaders in the publishing industry to improve the environmental performance of magazines. These include increasing the recycling of magazines, improving newsstand efficiency, and using more environmentally friendly paper.  “It is our hope that The Read Green Initiative(TM) will be successful in creating an enjoyable, interactive digital reading experience that can further enhance the environmental successes we’ve already seen,” said Rich Maggiotto, president and CEO of “Our research has shown that one of the main reasons consumers enjoy reading digital magazines is because they feel like they are doing something good for the environment. The Read Green Initiative(TM) will support and embrace this consumer interest as well as introduce the public to a medium that responds to their needs, without affecting the bottom line.”

September 29, 2008 at 10:10 am

Using green building practices, REI opens new store in Texas

On Friday, Sept. 26, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, opened its second prototype store that tests the performance of green building features, including state-of-the-art technology and environmentally friendly materials, and new retail design concepts.  Located in Round Rock, Texas, the store is built from the ground up and projected to consume 48% less energy than a typical store that meets industry standards. As part of the company’s prototype initiative, findings from the working laboratory will help the company determine how it approaches green building design and construction in the future.  “The green building practices incorporated into our Round Rock store help us to dramatically reduce our energy consumption, save natural resources and provide a better experience for employees, co-op members and customers,” said Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO. “This store will not only have reduced operating costs, but we’ve significantly reduced our dependency on fossil fuels.”

September 29, 2008 at 10:09 am

Xerox provides greener printing choices for customers

Xerox Corporation is making it simpler for customers to print more responsibly. The company has unveiled a comprehensive program of papers, resources and Web tools to help customers identify the right paper, the right supplies and the right way to print with the environment in mind. “The paperless office is far from a reality as businesses still depend on the printed page for communications and information sharing,” said Frank Edmonds, senior vice president, Xerox Supplies Business Group. “Our job at Xerox is not only to provide the best technology and services for managing documents but also to help our customers print what they need in the most environmentally responsible way. It’s a logical role for Xerox to play. Our robust portfolio of ‘greener papers’  builds on our long history of commitment to environmental innovation  and helps our customers put their sustainability plans into action.” To provide its customers with “greener” printing choices, Xerox is introducing additional papers in North America that are independently certified to sustainable forest management standards and new recycled papers designed for digital printing.  In addition, Xerox has created a Paper and Supplies Sustainability web portal that provides easy-to-use resources to help customers assess their paper choices and the environmental impact throughout the paper’s lifecycle.  Tools include a comprehensive paper reference guide that educates customers about environmentally responsible paper choices, a sustainability brochure with tips for “greener” printing, webcasts from industry experts discussing sustainability practices and links to the Xerox Green World Alliance recycling program and other sites about Xerox’s environmental initiatives.

September 24, 2008 at 10:00 am

Cotton Inc. asks consumers “Do You Know Green?”

Is it more energy friendly to cool down your car with the air conditioner or by rolling down the windows? Is it better for the environment to wash dishes in the dishwasher or by hand? To underscore this and help bring some clarity to green practices, a new interactive quiz, “Do You Know Green?”, is being launched by Cotton Incorporated on its two popular websites, and  “Do You Know Green?” adapts the humor and parody style of while pointing out the serious re-consideration needed of what has been widely accepted as “green” facts.  The quiz, hosted by the popular Mystery Fabric characters fashion forward Jane and fashion disaster Susie, challenges visitors on their green knowledge through a series of ten true or false eco statements followed by a final “Lightning Round” challenge where they are put to the test with 20 seconds to select among ten everyday items that are either “green-to-go” or that should be tossed. helps visitors learn about “the unintended consequences of mystery fabrics” and enables them to engage in interactive features such as fashion victim files, caught on tape videos, a “hall of shame” of dubious mystery fabric developers, fun tools and games, “fadlib” e-cards, downloads and even an opportunity to undergo “mystery fab rehab.” is the single most comprehensive source for cotton information on the web. With content updated regularly, consumers can find a wide range of information on the site including the best of the fall season’s earth friendly fashions for women, men and children; steps to becoming an environmentally responsible consumer and tips on how cotton can help lighten the load on your wallet and the environment.

September 24, 2008 at 10:00 am

Company finds success in used cardboard boxes

Gas prices are high, the economy is in a slump and our negligence on the planet is at its worst. However, every cloud has a silver lining and (UCB) is definitely shining through.  Using a proprietary online system, UCB provides cost-conscious and eco-friendly customers with a gas-saving alternative to finding quality moving boxes. Nearly half of today’s discarded cardboard boxes are being sent directly to recycling centers, so typical “dumpster diving” box seekers are at an all-time disadvantage.  Recognizing the tremendous amount of energy wasted by used box seekers Marty Metro, founder and president of UCB, is educating consumers on the benefits of buying used cardboard boxes online, versus driving around aimlessly, searching behind grocery and liquor stores.   “With gas over $4.00 per gallon and most retailers baling their boxes for recycling revenue, people end up driving for hours, yet still not coming up with any boxes!  It’s not like the old days,” said Metro. Today, scrap cardboard is fetching over $100 per ton nationwide, so most companies bale their used boxes and send them straight to the recycler. This is great for the environment, but not so good for cost-conscious movers, looking for low-cost boxes.   Capitalizing on this economic sign of the time, Metro took his decade of technology experience and created a system to buy quality used boxes from large companies for more then the scrap recycling rate. UCB then uses the internet to sell those very same boxes to consumers, for less than new box prices. Through a national partnership with UPS, UCB offers free shipping to any residential address in the U.S. 

September 24, 2008 at 10:00 am

Study takes a global look at green building trends

McGraw-Hill Construction (MHC), part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, has released the first-ever global look at green building market trends in a new SmartMarket Report, Global Green Building Trends: Market Growth and Perspectives from Around the World. Key findings from the report, which covers market activity, key triggers and obstacles, and trends in renewable energy driving green building in seven regions around the world, were recently presented at MHC’s 2008 Green Building & Energy Efficiency International Conference at the Shanghai World Financial Center.  Produced in partnership with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), the report is based on a survey of early market adopters in 45 countries. Major findings include:

  • By 2013, 53% of responding firms expect to be largely dedicated to green building (on over 60% of projects), up from 30% today.
  • The fastest growing regional green building market is Asia, where the population of firms largely dedicated to green building is expected to jump from 36% today to 73% in 2013.
  • Solar power is the most common form of renewable energy in every region, used by over half (52%) of industry professionals today and expected to grow to 76% in the next five years. The most dramatic growth is expected in wind power use (57% expected in 2013, up from 20% today), followed closely by geothermal power (expected to double from 22% today to 45% in 2013).
  • “The right thing to do” is the top business reason driving green building around the world. “Supporting the domestic economy” is prominent in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East/North Africa, while “environmental regulations” are driving market activity in Asia and Europe.  

“Green building has truly become a global movement,” said Harvey M. Bernstein, McGraw-Hill Construction vice president of Industry Analytics, Alliances and Strategic Initiatives. “Firms around the world are awakening to the positive business, environmental and societal impacts of green building, and there is a growing need for market intelligence about global and regional trends. The level and nature of market activity varies by region, but overall  we are seeing widespread growth as green becomes increasingly visible throughout the global marketplace.”

September 22, 2008 at 10:00 am

Brighter Schools helps raise funds and sustainability efforts

Brighter Planet, a company providing practical solutions to climate change, has launched the Brighter Schools Program which allows schools to raise funds while incorporating sustainability education into the classroom.  Participation in the Brighter Schools Program is open to all public and private schools providing primary or secondary education. The program acts on three levels – personal, local, and global.  On the personal level, educational exercises help students learn about global warming and how they can fight it.  On the local level, schools can earn much-needed funding for valuable environmental programs.  On the global level, Brighter Schools mobilizes school communities to help build renewable energy projects and decrease the national dependence on fossil fuels. “Climate change is a defining issue, particularly for our children who will inherit the world we leave them,” said Patti Prairie, CEO of Brighter Planet. “We’ve heard over and over from students, teachers, parents and administrators: ‘How can I get my school involved?’ Some want to learn more about the environment; others are already passionate about doing what they can to help the climate crisis. By combining environmental education and creative financial rewards, the Brighter Schools Program helps students, teachers, and parents take action now.” 

September 22, 2008 at 10:00 am

UMB Bank launches Eco Rewards Visa®

Green may be the color of money – but now it’s plastic too. UMB Bank has recently added several new enhancements to its rewards credit card that not only benefit consumers, but the environment as well. The newly-named Eco Rewards Visa® Card has a low APR, no-annual-fee and allows consumers to earn points on every purchase, including double points, two-for-one, for qualified “green” purchases.   The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Program, Green Seal™ and the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) are partnering with UMB to support the Eco Rewards Visa® Card, and see it as a valuable tool in helping consumers make smart, eco-conscious decisions. These entities offer support of the card as third-party certifiers to the green features UMB is promoting. Qualified green purchases will include everything from FSC®-certified wood and paper to green cleaning products and ENERGY STAR® appliances.  Cardholders will simply need to complete a basic online redemption process to claim these double points. Points may still be redeemed for cash, merchandise, gift cards or travel; however, points may now also be allocated as a donation to a variety of local and national environmental organizations.  “Every person can make daily, conscientious choices that impact environmental sustainability, and we believe UMB’s Eco Rewards card will help encourage green behavior,” said Mariner Kemper, chairman and chief executive officer of UMB Financial Corporation. “UMB is continually looking for ways to positively affect the environment through green product and service offerings, modified business processes, associate education and community outreach. The Eco Rewards Card is our latest initiative, and we believe it will be a successful tool for our cardholders.”

September 22, 2008 at 10:00 am

Yankelovich finds growing interest in green behaviors, lifestyles

Compared to last year, fewer consumers are willing to pay more for green products despite growing consumer interest in the environment, green behaviors and green lifestyles, according to Yankelovich.  Going Green 2, a follow-up to last year’s report examining how much consumers actually care about green issues, indicates that environmentalism is developing among U.S. consumers — especially among Echo Boomers (ages 16-29) and GenXers (ages 30-43), who both said they are more concerned about the environment compared to a year ago. But while interest in green issues continues to grow, consumers’ willingness to pay more for green alternatives has decreased.  “There is a looming challenge for marketers of green products and services,” said Dr. David Bersoff, the EVP in charge of global knowledge and intelligence at Yankelovich and author of Going Green 2. “Consumers will be pushing for stricter governmental and institutional green policies, and they’ll be choosing brands to a greater extent based on green considerations. But at the same time, they are becoming less willing to help marketers pay for the greening of their business and products.” While concern about the environment is increasing among the population as a whole, it is still — for the most part — a minority position.  Although 49% of consumers feel that our environmental problems are severe and 51% feel that these problems demand immediate corrective action, only 41% of Americans express high levels of personal concern, a meager four-point increase over last year.  “It is important to note that, contrary to what might have been expected in the midst of rising unemployment, interest rates and fuel prices, increased levels of economic concern did not reduce levels of environmental concern,” said Dr. Bersoff. “In fact, somewhat surprisingly, consumers who have no financial anxiety appear to be the least attractive targets for new green products and services.”

September 17, 2008 at 10:00 am

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