Andy Tomkins brings Canon’s new circular focus into view

March 13, 2020 by  
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The sustainability engagement manager explains the goals of working for the common good with a circular business model that makes sense economically.

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Andy Tomkins brings Canon’s new circular focus into view

Keep your cat safe with these eco-friendly cat toys

February 5, 2020 by  
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Veterinarian Lynn Bahr’s coworkers laugh at her when they see her mouth full of cat toy. “When I’m designing toys, I put everything in my mouth. If my cat is going to chew on it, or my dog is going to chew on it, I’m going to chew on it first. I feel it, I taste it. I just really pretend that I’m a cat.” The pet product industry has long thought that dog owners would shell out for products, but cat owners were stingier. “Cats have always been sort of a second-class citizen and not much thought has been put into products for them. Now, that’s changing,” says Bahr, founder of Dezi & Roo  pet  product company. As cat product lines become more robust, people are growing more concerned about exactly what’s in those toys. The demand for safe, eco-friendly products is growing. Dangerous ingredients for cat toys Unfortunately, no US regulatory body is responsible for tracking  toxins  in pet toys. This means manufacturers are expected to self-regulate. With many pet toys made overseas, it’s even harder to rely on any standards. Polyvinyl chloride  (PVC) is used to make auto parts, pipes, polyvinyl flooring, raincoats, shower curtains, shoes and pet toys, among other common products. And while you probably wouldn’t chew on your shower curtain, your cat may be chomping PVC toys. Manufacturers often use  phthalates — linked to liver and kidney troubles — to soften toys and make them more flexible. PVC is nicknamed “the poison plastic” for its unfortunate tendency to leach ingredients. Bisphenol-A (BPA), another common plastic ingredient, has been linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. Lead, a neurotoxin, is still used in some imported toys, especially those that are painted. Eco-friendly, non-toxic cat toys So, what should you look for in the ultimate cat toy? Something safe for cats and that won’t cause environmental harm or clog a  landfill  for the next millennium. Instead of a plastic ball, check out  Billy Bob the Cork Ball . Made by From the Field pet product company, these balls are marinated in primo  catnip . Dharma Dog/Karma Cat  toys from Distinctly Himalayan are handmade by women’s collectives in Nepal , crafted from Himalayan and New Zealand wool and non-toxic dyes. Their packaging is also eco-friendly. Choose from adorable toys shaped like octopi, dolphins, snakes and starfish. Strictly Himalayan also manufactures cute pet beds and baskets. The baskets are made from seagrass and water hyacinth sourced in Vietnam. “Being sustainable and fair trade is actually very serious for us, and has been for decades,” Jennifer Neufeld, co-owner of Distinctly Himalayan, said. “We’re members of the Fair Trade Federation and Pet Sustainability Coalition.” Etsy  has a whole department of green cat toys. This is the place to get something really special to express your cat’s personality. You can get handmade fabric  sushi  rolls, zombie sharks and pot leaves stuffed with catnip here. About half of  Dezi & Roo’s line is eco-friendly. You can choose little felt clouds with stuffing made from post-consumer and BPA-free plastic bottles, or paper ring toys. The Hide and Sneak — which resembles a rectangular tube made from paper sacks with cardboard entries at each end — is a top seller. Bahr recommends dusting toys with silver vine, a catnip alternative. Dezi & Roo processes the silver vine in the US, then tests it for mold, yeast,  salmonella  and E. coli to ensure your pet’s safety. Making your own cat toys is another excellent option, allowing you to reuse and  recycle  things around the house. Holly Tse and her cat Furball wrote  Make Your Own Cat Toys  so other cats could have endless entertainment while reducing their carbon paw prints. Their cat crafts use old clothes and items from your recycling bin. Bahr says a good homemade toy can be as simple as wadding up some paper, dusting it with silver vine, and throwing it across the room for your cat to chase. DIY cat toy concerns Before you get too creative with your recycled toys, remember that cats often swallow things they shouldn’t. Part of the reason is just how they’re made. Those adorable sandpaper tongues are covered with backward-facing barbs designed for grooming. But those barbs can act like Velcro, forcing Kitty to swallow something before they — or you — know it. This can lead to illness, expensive vet visits, and death. So, tempting as it is to let your cat play with fun and inexpensive things like dental floss, rubber bands and hair ties, keep these easily-swallowed items away from them. Also, if your cat seems low-energy or has diarrhea after eating catnip, you might have got a moldy batch, or catnip treated with  pesticides . Find a reliable source of regular, US-grown catnip. Play with your cat Cats love to play. “I think the thing that really propels me is how many owners say their cats don’t play,” Bahr says. She blames a lack of good products, rather than your cat being too mature. This is especially tragic if you have an indoor cat. Instead of dooming your cat to life as a couch potato, try buying or making some new,  environmentally friendly toys for them. Also, supervised play is best. It bonds you with your cat, and if Kitty starts chewing up something they shouldn’t, you’ll be there to intervene. Via Lynn Bahr , Earth Easy and Pet MD Images via Teresa Bergen and Distinctly Himalayan

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Keep your cat safe with these eco-friendly cat toys

Recycling Mystery: Windows

June 27, 2018 by  
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One of the common misconceptions in curbside recycling is that … The post Recycling Mystery: Windows appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Recycling Mystery: Windows

Earthling Survey: Confused by Recycling Options?

June 27, 2018 by  
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Express your opinion and help drive environmental change. Every week, … The post Earthling Survey: Confused by Recycling Options? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earthling Survey: Confused by Recycling Options?

New York delivers huge blow to the fossil fuel industry

December 22, 2017 by  
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New York just sent a big message to the fossil fuel industry . The state is freezing all fossil fuel investments – and they are divesting almost $400 billion in pension funds from the industry, according to Grist . In a statement , Governor Andrew Cuomo said the New York Common Fund has nearly $1 billion invested just in ExxonMobil – but described such investments as increasingly risky “as both New York State and the world back away from the use of fossil fuel as a primary energy source.” Cuomo and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the divestment decision in separate proposals this week. They could divest billions from fossil fuel companies with the aim of de-carbonizing pension funds. It’s a big move – New York’s Common Fund is the third biggest in America and manages retirement assets for over one million New Yorkers. Related: The World Bank will stop funding oil and gas projects after 2019 Cuomo said in the statement, “New York has made incredible strides in securing a clean energy future for this state with our nation-leading clean energy standard, offshore wind development, and aggressive investment in the clean tech economy, yet the Common Fund remains heavily invested in the energy economy of the past. Moving the Common Fund away from fossil fuel investments will protect the retirement savings of New Yorkers.” This year, the Common Fund had holdings in over 50 oil and gas companies that have been listed among the top 100 most carbon-intensive on Earth, according to Cuomo’s statement. Neither proposal has yet given an end date for 100 percent divestment. Stringer said his office would bring a proposal to New York City pension fund trustees in coming weeks. Cuomo said he’d partner with New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to launch an advisory committee to design a de-carbonization road map. Via Grist , Governor Andrew Cuomo , and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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New York delivers huge blow to the fossil fuel industry

Whimsically windswept cabin-like kiosks are designed to soothe urban stress

December 22, 2017 by  
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A trio of tilted cabin-like kiosks is inviting visitors to escape the stresses of urban life in Mount Royal Park, the most frequented park in Montreal. Atelier Urban Face designed the three minimalist kiosks in the image of a hamlet to encourage congregation. Each building’s dramatically tilted shape is a playful expression of wind strength. Atelier Urban Face sought to create an artistic refuge that would complement the landscape. “They are not only respectful of the mountain, they participate, by their architecture in the poetry of the place,” says a description of the kiosks . “It’s an architectural achievement that does not alter the intrinsic qualities of the mountain, and has quality construction with undeniable potential for durability.” Related: Modern charred timber house juts out of Quebec’s forest landscape Set in a clearing, the steel-framed kiosks are tilted at varying degrees as if blown over by different gusts of wind. The first kiosk, tilted ten degrees, can accommodate up to 30 people. The second, inclined at 20 degrees, houses service equipment and a first-aid station. The final kiosk is the most dramatically tilted at 30 degrees and serves as the ticket office with additional storage space. The buildings’ simple gabled forms, glazed end walls , and dark zinc cladding help blend them into the environment. + Atelier Urban Face Images by Fany Ducharme and Sylvie Perrault

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Whimsically windswept cabin-like kiosks are designed to soothe urban stress

3 Ways to Improve Your Beauty Routine With Affordable DIY Baking Soda Recipes

November 9, 2014 by  
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Baking soda is a kitchen pantry necessity, but did you know that this common household product could do wonders for your beauty regime as well? From restoring the luster of your hair to skin exfoliation, baking soda provides an all-natural and affordable option to taking care of your body. Click through to see how you can use ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda to create easy DIY beauty hacks for just pennies a day. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arm & hammer , arm & hammer baking soda , baking soda , baking soda beauty hack , baking soda beauty recipe , baking soda exfoliation , baking soda shampoo , baking soda toothpaste , beauty hack , DIY baking soda beauty recipe

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3 Ways to Improve Your Beauty Routine With Affordable DIY Baking Soda Recipes

OLPC’s New XO Tablet Computer to Hit Store Shelves This Week

July 17, 2013 by  
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Fuseproject and the One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPC) just unveiled the new XO tablet, which is set to hit stores across the country this week! The powerful seven-inch Android tablet features an innovative learning interface, and it’s the only multilingual, Google-certified tablet for kids on the market. Read the rest of OLPC’s New XO Tablet Computer to Hit Store Shelves This Week Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Android tablets , Common Sense Media , Fuseproject Yves Behar , green gadgets , green technology , Kids tablets , olpc , OLPC XO-3 Tablet , One Laptop Per Child , One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPC) , teblet design , XO Tablet , Yves Behar tablet design        

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OLPC’s New XO Tablet Computer to Hit Store Shelves This Week

The Bird Brick Gives Endangered Birds a Home in Buildings and Garden Walls

July 17, 2013 by  
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For humans, it’s hard enough to find room and board in the city without a great deal of searching and no small amount of aggravation. For the winged members of the community, it is even more challenging to find a dwelling when their normal habitats have been replaced by busting metropolises and suburbs. Kingston University graduate Aaron Dunkerton has created the Bird Brick , a unit of five clamp-fired bricks that offer a cavity for birds to nest. Able to be placed in walls or buildings, the design could help stem the spiraling decline of the UK’s native bird population. Read the rest of The Bird Brick Gives Endangered Birds a Home in Buildings and Garden Walls Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aaron dunkerton , bird , bird brick , design council future pioneer award , house sparrow , Kingston University , mbh freshfield lane , UK , West Sussex        

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The Bird Brick Gives Endangered Birds a Home in Buildings and Garden Walls

Why getting serious about sustainability needs to start with training

April 29, 2013 by  
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Training is the common thread in successful safety and diversity changes to corporate culture. So where is the sustainability training?

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Why getting serious about sustainability needs to start with training

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