Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Making toilet paper at the office

While the article doesn’t give many details, it looks like the White Goat machine turns traditional office paper into toilet paper. In about 30 minutes, the machine converts approximately 40 sheets of office into a fresh roll of toilet paper. The process involves shredding the paper, dissolving it in water, thinning it, drying it and winding the paper around a roll. According to the manufacturers, the White Goat is pricey, retailing at $100,000.  The cost to produce one roll of toilet paper however is cheap at 12¢ per roll.

White Goat machine

Definitely a steal at 12¢ a roll, I wonder how it compares to Charmin or Cottonelle? Can you think of one item that you wouldn’t buy recycled?

Source:  Mother Nature Network

Follow me to Earth Day in 40 Days!!

Meatless Food for Thought


Meatless Monday featured this interview with Daphne Oz, author of The Dorm Room Diet, a national bestseller that helps college students create healthy eating habits.  

The introduction to The Dorm Room Diet welcomes readers of varying nutritional backgrounds. How can young people change their eating habits despite an upbringing that didn’t include healthy dining choices?

The trick to forming healthy dining habits, because or in spite of the habits you were raised with, is to live in the moment. Make every eating decision consciously. When you do splurge, just make sure you’ve actually made a decision to indulge, and are not quickly cramming food into your mouth simply out of habit, boredom – or because you think no one is looking (your waistline will be!).

Proper nutrition during your college years can have benefits beyond your immediate health. How do healthy eating habits impact academic success?

The blood sugar spike that occurs when you ingest a ton of simple carbohydrates gives a huge jolt of jittery energy, followed almost immediately by a blood sugar crash that can leave you exhausted and craving another sugar fix. Obviously, this makes focusing on classwork incredibly difficult. Making sure you are getting plenty of fruits and veggies, complex carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats can aid in mental acuity, information retention, and concentration.
In your book, you write that students should consume three small servings of protein a day, but you also state that only one serving should come from meat. What other foods offer protein and what benefits do they hold over meat products?

The next time you’re weighing whether you “need” to eat meat for your third meal of the day, keep in mind that Americans, on the whole, get up to 5 times more protein than they need. Also, meat isn’t the only source of protein, and you do NOT need it in your diet (certainly not on an every day basis). Consider this: A 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak has 38 grams of protein, but it also has 44 grams of fat!

Some of my favorite meatless protein sources from my college days are kidney beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lowfat cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, protein bars, tofu/seitan jerky, cooked lentils, spinach and soy crisps.

What tips do you have for students who are trying to make healthy meatless choices?

I would say that the most important thing is to plan your meals. If you can, pack your own food, but it is also possible to get a healthful variety in the cafeteria. Most colleges provide extensive salad bars, as well as cooked meatless options (whole grains, vegetable stir fry, sandwiches, etc).

Many students find trips to dining hall overwhelming. Do you have any tips for successfully navigating the wide range of choices?

I certainly found adjusting to cafeteria eating to be one of the more difficult transitions I had to make. You’re confronted with so many options! It’s not so hard though once you come to understand that food is meant for fuel, not a social lubricant or time waster. Establishing a healthy eating menu early on in the school year can spare you some of the stress of decision making while you’re still getting your bearings.

One fail safe way to make sure you stay on track is to choose your salad items first: pile your plate high with lettuce, fresh veggies, beans and legumes. After you’ve made your salad choice, go back for the less healthy options, and take half portions. Eat the salad first, then eat what you like of the rest of your meal.

Thankfully LIFE students can always find healthy food selections in the Socrates Cafe. Since the cafe opened do you find yourself choosing healthier food options? Have you tried foods that you wouldn’t ordinarily order…or had never eaten before?

Considering a Verizon iPhone 4?

If you have been watching the news you know that yesterday, Verizon introduced its iPhone 4 in stores.  From personal experience, I know that when I get a new cell phone (or any electronic device for that matter) if I don’t recycle it right away it eventually ends up in the trash. If you’re thinking of upgrading an electronic device there are plenty of reuse/recycle opportunities.

There are always traditional e-waste drop off centers that accept a wide range of electronic devices from computers to televisions. However, if you decide to sell your device there are websites like eBay which include shipping your device. Sometimes the time, effort and costs associated with shipping and handling are prohibitive.

Another option is NextWorth which can be found online or in over 800 Target stores across the nation. In the case of the iPhone (and other popular phones) customers can trade in old phones to get credit towards a new phone or get a Target gift card.   

Local NextWorth locations include:

TARGET 1197 – Atlanta
3535 Peachtree Rd Ne
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone: 4048140074

TARGET 1964 – Atlanta
1275 Caroline St Ne
Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone: 4045251009

TARGET 2443 – Alpharetta
2600 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 7706490011

NextWorth seems like an easy way to get credit towards a new phone and  to keep our landfills free of electronic devices? Have you tried NextWorth? If so, tell us about your experience.

Congratulations to Lucia Paolucci of the Executive Office the winner Wednesday’s trivia question. Stay tuned for more opportunities to win.

Have telephone books become extinct?

With all the technology that surrounds me, I no longer have a need for a phone book. Actually, I think it would take me longer to look up a number in a phone book than to find it on the internet. (A side from my personal opinion)…..From an environmental standpoint, about 19 million trees and 7.2 million barrels of oil are used annually in the production of phone books. This equates to a lot of resources being used in the production of an unwanted product.

It seems like the City of Seattle shares my sentiments.

Seattle is on the verge of passing the  nation’s first phone book “opt-out” law. The “opt-out” registry will be funded by publishers through a 14-cent fee for each book distributed. The publishers are upset that the law does not apply to other forms of media and the Yellow Pages Association offers its own “opt-out” option and disagrees with the city maintaining a separate registry.

Seattle officials state that the “opt-out” registry which will be managed by a third party will reduce clutter, increase residential security and save the people of Seattle, money.  explains the nuts and bolts of the new ordinance

THE DETAILS: The Seattle city ordinance would require the various publishers of yellow pages phone books to establish a city-administered opt-out website so people can choose to receive which of the three business phone directories they want, or none at all. The publishers would also be required to pay a licensing fee to cover the cost of operating that site, as well as a $148-per-ton fee for any books that are delivered to residents; that fee is the amount it costs the city to recycle phone books. (The law doesn’t apply to standard residential phone directories, as Washington state law requires that phone companies publish those.)

Not surprisingly, publishers of yellow pages phone books aren’t happy about the new law. Two companies that publish the books, as well as an industry association, have sued the city on the grounds that it infringes on their First Amendment rights to free speech and being able to communicate with whomever they wish. Adding to their complaint, the industry association has already developed a nationwide opt-out site, so a second city-administered site would be redundant. And they’re concerned that, should other cities follow Seattle’s lead, multiple city-administered sites would just create confusion.

WHAT IT MEANS: The ordinance is still being debated in city courts, but it’s scheduled to take effect on January 1. Who will win remains to be seen, but it is a sign that city and local governments are increasingly weary of coping with cumbersome recyclables.

What do you think about Seattle’s new law? Should it be passed? How often do you use your phone book and would you opt-out of receiving one if  you could?


Green Week Hits NBC

Green is Universal presents its 4th annual Green Week. From November 14th -21st NBC will feature easy ways to help make a difference.


 Football Night in America (7:00pm EST)

Football Night in America kicks off Green Week for the 4th year in a row! Look out for the announcement plus a ‘green’ highlights at NBCU reel


 Today Show (6:00am EST)

Across 4 days, TODAY will have 4 green segments per day. Topics include: green cleaning, green moms, home energy diets, and water.

Days of Our Lives (1:00pm EST)

Chloe (a new mom) will get a visit from her friend, Philip, who brings a gift of eco-friendly, organic diapers.

 Beyond the Barrell (8:00pm EST)

CNBC looks at ways to create new energy sources including a northern California company working to turn toxic emissions into building blocks for tomorrow.

 Chase (10:00pm EST)

Congressman Nevins tells Luke he is there to implement a green initiative to retrofit all U.S. Marshall offices.


Liquid Assets (8:00pm EST)

While some believe water should be the same as air…free for everyone, others see it as the business opportunity of a lifetime. CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera explores a global crisis in the CNBC Original Production “Liquid Assets: The Big Business of Water.”

 Parenthood (10:00pm EST)

Max’s class is creating little houses out of recycled egg cartons.


 Undercovers (8:00pm EST)

Shaw on “Undercovers” gives the workers at Bloom Catering Co. a hard time about not recycling.

 Trash, Inc. (8:00pm EST)

Garbage. It’s everywhere — even in the middle of the oceans — and it’s pure gold for companies like Waste Management and Republic Services who dominate this $52 billion-a-year industry.


 30 Rock (8:30pm EST)

Keep your ears perked for more green jokes from your favorite funny lady, Liz Lemon.

 The Office (9:00pm EST)

Michael attempts to help the planet by recycling.

 Outsourced (9:30pm EST)

In “Outsourced,” Gupta charges his flashlight instead of using chemical batteries.


 Dateline (9:00pm EST)

Will feature an hour long interview with Prince Charles, leading into the Prince’s Harmony special.

 Harmony (10:00pm EST)

A feature film and television special documenting The Prince of Wales efforts to combat climate change and find innovative solutions to the global environmental crisis.


 Notre Dame vs. Army (7:00pm EST)

Will weave in green tips and mentions throughout the 4-hour broadcast.

 Law & Order: Los Angeles (9:00pm EST)

It’s a new coast, but the same crime mystery formula, with a whole lot of green drama where environmental neglect looks like a crime to Detectives Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and Jarusalski (Corey Stoll). The victim is a scientist dedicated to water clean up in Los Angeles County’s polluted creeks and rivers. After word gets out that the scientist knew about his employer’s improper waste disposal practices, clues suggest the corporation’s likely involvement in the murder.

The Suze Orman Show (9:00pm EST)

The program will have an all-green “Can I Afford It?” segment. Callers ask Suze about an $18K solar roof; a $230K Energy Star-certified “Green” Home; a $33K geothermal system; a $700 bicycle; and a Nook.

 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (10:00pm EST)

Keep an eye out for special ‘green’ members of the cast.

 Source: NBC

When will my favorite airline go green?

Meatless Monday Update: Well breakfast went as usual (oatmeal), lunch was not as successful. We like to get out of the office for lunch sometimes….so we went to Olive Garden. Our intention was soup, salads and breadsticks…but the veggie soup didn’t sound appetizing. So we chose a basic angel hair pasta and tomato sauce dish, which was tasteless! Needless to say we got full on salad! And not being able to stand another disappointing meal and starving…I had cereal for dinner. Any ideas for restaurants on Meatless Mondays???  features an “Earth Talk” column which answers questions about the environment. A Sustainable Life will occasionally share some of these Q&A’s with you.

Dear EarthTalk: Can airplanes be run on cleaner fuels or be electric powered? Are there changes afoot in the airline business to find cleaner fuels?

Given air travel’s huge contribution to our collective carbon footprint—flying accounts for about three percent of carbon emissions worldwide by some estimates—and the fact that basic passenger and cargo jet designs haven’t changed significantly in decades, the world is certainly ready for greener forms of flying. But since air travel emissions were not regulated the friendly skies aren’t much greener than they were a few decades ago.

Nonetheless, some airlines and airplane manufacturers are taking steps to improve their eco-footprints. Southwest and Continental have implemented fuel efficiency improvements, waste reduction programs and increased recycling, and are investing in newer, more fuel efficient airplanes. Another airline on the cutting edge of green is Virgin Atlantic, which made news in early 2008 when it became the first major carrier to test the use of biofuels (liquid fuels derived from plant matter) on passenger jet flights. Now Air New Zealand, Continental, Japan Airlines (JAL), JetBlue, and Lufthansa are also testing biofuels.

Even airplane maker Boeing is getting in on the act by developing a carbon-neutral jet fuel made from algae. Boeing’s newest commercial jet, the much vaunted 787 Dreamliner (now in final testing before late 2010 delivery to several airlines), is 20 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessors thanks to more efficient engines, aerodynamic improvements and the widespread use of lighter composite materials to reduce weight. Airbus is also incorporating more lightweight composite materials into its new planes.

On the extreme end of the innovation spectrum are zero-emission airplanes that make use of little or no fuel. The French company, Lisa, is building a prototype small plane, dubbed the Hy-Bird, that uses solar power (via photovoltaic cells on the elongated wingspan) and hydrogen-powered fuel cells to fly with zero emissions—and nearly no engine noise.

Even more unusual is the proposed fuel-free plane dreamed up by Mississippi-based Hunt Aviation. The company is working on a prototype small plane that harnesses the natural forces of buoyancy (thanks to helium-filled pontoons) for lift-offs and gravity for landings—along with an on-board wind turbine and battery to power everything in between—to achieve flight without any fuel whatsoever.

Don’t look for these futuristic planes on airport runways anytime soon. It will likely be decades before this technology filters its way up to the big leagues.

Which companies top the list of green businesses?

Newsweek has partnered with environmental research organizations to rank the “greenness” of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the US.  The research included a comparison of the environmental footprints, policies and reputations of each company.

Each score was composed of three categories: the Environmental Impact score (45%), Green Policies score (45%)  and the Reputation Survey score (10%). Without getting into the hundreds of complicated formulas and metrics involved in the methodology of determining the rankings…here are the Top 20 companies and the rankings of some other popular companies. You can view the full list at Newsweek.

I have to say I was most disappointed by Whole Foods ranking and most surprised by Sprint Nextel. I expected that 8 of the top 10 companies would be from the technology industry, but was shocked to see Johnson & Johnson, a pharmaceuticals company in the top 5.

 What do you think? Which company’s ranking surprises you? Which doesn’t?

#1 Dell 100.00
#2 Hewlett-Packard 99.32
#3 International Business Machines 99.20
#4 Johnson & Johnson 99.02
#5 Intel 97.57
#6 Sprint Nextel 94.98
#7 Adobe Systems 94.15
#8 Applied Material 92.67
#9 Yahoo! 92.67
#10 Nike 92.66
#11 Accenture 92.04
#12 Advanced Micro Devices 91.17
#13 Cisco Systems 91.07
#14 Johnson Controls 90.94
#15 Baxter International 90.59
#16 Eaton 90.54
#17 Briston-Myers Squibb 90.45
#18 Office Depot  90.14
#19 Allergan  90.02
#20 PG&E  88.64
And other big names…..
#29 Microsoft 86.84
#33 Starbucks 86.65
#36 Google 86.25
#41 Wells Fargo 84.63
#43 Motorola 84.52
#51 Walmart 82.94
#61 Target 81.91
#62 UPS 81.83
#79 McDonald’s 80.28
#83 General Electric 80.10
#93 Whole Foods 79.31
#98 eBay 78.87
#99 Verizon 78.86
#124 Bank of America 76.94
#136 Kroger 76.70
#234 Delta Airlines 71.25
#285 Washington Post 68.98
#286 Time Warner Cable 68.93

Thanks to Mother Nature Network  for bringing this article to our attention.



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