Archive for April, 2012

2012 London Summer Olympics Aims to be Green

Aerial view of Olympic Park, summer Games 2012 London/Photo: London Evening Standard

Looking to raise the ‘go-green’ bar and promote enviornmental awareness, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London have been announced by the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, as the ‘Greenest’ Olympic Games in history.

Committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the 2012 Games by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, The London Olympic Delivery Authority, responsible for building the Olympic infrastructure, aims to make the summer Games a globally ecological event, inspiring collective endeavors towards a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.

Maximizing the social, health and enviornmental benefits of the Games, which begin July 27, the UK Government and the International Olympic Committee share a committment to set new sustainable standards for all the Olympic events.

With the theme of “Towards a One Planet Olympics 2012,” the government is inspired to leave a lasting legacy, making Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living beyond the 17-day event.

With sustainability guidelines incorporated into the construction of the Olympic venues, such as the new 6000 seat permanent indoor Velodrome that will host 28 cycling and paralympic events, the design makes optimal use of natural light, using little artificial light, and the wood materials used to build the structure are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Promoting energy efficiency by reducing carbon emissions, carbon management strategies include transporting the Olympic athletes and officials between the different athletic venues in electric vehicles, with 120 charging stations installed by ChargePoint. Additionally, event attendees will be encouraged to walk, bike or take public transport to Olympic venues.

Because of the negative impact Olympic Games can have on the enviornment, other key green initiatives of sustainability will be:

Energy: Energy efficient technology has been installed at Olympic Park with a biomass boiler that uses recycled woodchips to generate power and a 120m tall wind turbine that will create enough electricity for 1,000 homes.

Water: With conservation and resource management strategies in place such as reusing and recycling, the goal is to reduce water usage by 18% with the installation of water efficient fixtures at Olympic Park.

Waste: In an effort to reuse, reduce and recycle, all waste will be treated as a potential resource, ensuring that 70% will be diverted from landfills, which subsequently creates methane emissions that eventually escapes into the atmosphere.

Biodiversity: With the committment to protect the wetlands and species-rich grasslands, the Olympic Park Biodiversity Action plan includes that the London Wildlife Trust and the ecology team will work together, providing ecological management for natural habitats and species, protecting the wildlife in the Lower Lea Valley. A key area is to minimize the impact of construction activity and maintain ecological continuity awareness and the value of biodiversity.

As one of the most watched sporting events in the world, the 2012 London Olympic Games’ ecological committments hope to foster and encourage more sustainable living practices in the United Kingdom.

For more information about the 2012 London Summer Olympics’ green initiatives, visit the London 2012 Olympic Games website at: http://www.london2012.com/sustainability/ or the “Towards a One Planet 2012” Sustainability Plan at: http://www.london2012.com/documents/locog-publications/london-2012-sustainability-plan.pdf

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Trader Joe’s New Bag Fee in September

The traditional paper bag and the reusable vinyl bag/Photo/C. Giraud

Your friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s locations in the city of Los Angeles has jumped on the ‘charge for paper bags’ bandwagon in an effort to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags.

Beginning September 2012, Trader Joe’s will charge 10 cents for each paper shopping bag.

In an effort to regulate bag use and minimize enviornmental waste, this move follows in the footsteps of the city of Santa Monica’s 2011 ordinance where retail customers are now charged 10 cents for each single-use paper shopping bag, which is part of the citywide ban on plastic shopping bags.

However, the Santa Monica Trader Joe’s has been charging for the bags since the ordinance went into effect in September 2011.

On the state level, www.Plasticbaglaws.org says that San Francisco was the first city in California, and the nation to implement the ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, instead of charging a fee.

The ordinance, Californians Against Waste, is part of California AB 1998 that eliminates the distribution of an estimated 19 billion single-use plastic shopping bags a year in California, reducing plastic litter pollution.

Enviornmental groups argue the errant plastic bags are often not recycled, at only 5%, and end up floating in the ocean or littering the streets.

Currently, the Los Angeles City Council is considering an ordinance banning the use of both paper and plastic shopping bags at 7,500 stores, switching to reusable bags only.

According to the website, ‘Broken Secrets,’ Trader Joe’s was the first store to market reusable canvas shopping bags in their 1977 campaign, “Save a Tree.”

Do you think this will encourage people to buy reusable shopping bags or pay the 10 cents for each paper bag when shopping at Trader Joe’s?

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Man’s Best Friend’s Bed Goes Green

The Eco Nap dog mat comes in a variety of colors/Photo: West Paw Design website

Yes, Fido wants to get in on the eco-friendly trend too.

With the primary focus of reusing, recycling and reducing waste, the Eco Nap dog mat is made of IntelliLoft(tm) fiber fill, which is made from recycled 100% PETE plastic soda bottles.

Manufactured in the USA by West Paw Design in Bozeman, Montana, the non-toxic, earth-friendly organic dog mat is free of harsh chemicals and is enviornmentally safe.

Committed to recycling, West Paw Design estimates that each Eco Nap dog mat diverts 21 single-use plastic soda bottles, with a total of 544 tons to date, away from landfills.

With a goal of maintaining and creating a healthy planet for the next generation by minimizing their carbon trail by using less energy, West Paw Design reduces waste by cutting as much raw product as possible by reusing every piece of scrap material in the manufacturing process.

Placing values on pets and the enviornment, the lightweight, hypoallergenic Eco Nap dog mat is made from sustainable and natural resources and the super soft washable and removable cover is manufactured from 100% organic cotton.

With superior durable construction, the Eco Nap dog mat is a healthy alternative for both the comfort of your pet, while preserving the health of the planet.

For more information about the Eco Nap dog mat and their other planet friendly pet products, visit the West Paw Design website at: http://www.westpawdesign.com

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