What ‘the kids’ need from the professional world on climate action

October 30, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Five lessons from young activists at VERGE 19.

Original post:
What ‘the kids’ need from the professional world on climate action

A tour of Seattle Chocolate elicits a deep appreciation for cacao

October 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on A tour of Seattle Chocolate elicits a deep appreciation for cacao

In 1900 BCE, Mesoamericans used cacao beans to make a bitter, fermented drink. By 1400, Aztecs traded cacao as currency. Spaniards later thought to add sugar. Nowadays, we just go to the store when we want to buy chocolate, divorcing the exquisite substance from its historic origins. But a tour of the Seattle Chocolate factory helps visitors deepen their appreciation of one of the world’s favorite treats. This woman-owned, Rainforest Alliance-certified company has put decades of thought into how to make its treats both delicious and sustainable. A tasty tour Seattle Chocolate started in Seattle in 1991. But the Nisqually Earthquake of 2001 destroyed the original factory. One of Seattle Chocolate’s investors, entrepreneur Jean Thompson, took over as owner and CEO. The company found a new, 60,000-square-foot factory in Tukwila, a town just south of Seattle. Visitors go to this nondescript building for the tour. It is hard to believe that something so plain on the outside turns out more than 30,000 colorfully wrapped chocolate bars per day. Our tour starts in the chocolate classroom, where guide Chris Hardwick talks to us about the history of chocolate in general and Seattle Chocolate in particular. In class, we learn it takes three to five years to grow cacao. Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast produce 70 percent of cacao beans. Midges pollinate chocolate, answering that age-old question, what are midges good for? Related: Fueled by chocolate — Ghana’s newest biofuel Hardwick explained that Seattle Chocolate has two directions, the line with the original name, and Jcoco, more of a culinary experimental brand. “Seattle Chocolate is a fruit-forward, acidic chocolate,” he said in the assured language of a wine expert. Jcoco is more likely to include ingredients like edamame or cumin. Hardwick passes around jars of cacao beans and nibs, so we can smell the terroir of beans grown in different countries. Because every good factory tour requires a hairnet, we don blue netting before continuing on to the next part of the tour: the factory floor. As well as chocolate bars, Seattle Chocolate is known for its 20 truffle flavors in bright metallic wrapping. High on the catwalk, we look down at workers bent over enormous boxes of truffles, scooping armloads into smaller containers. It’s a chocolate-lover’s fantasy come to life. The tour ends with a chocolate tasting. We sit at placemats with six chunks of chocolate to compare. The regular tasting includes varieties of white, milk and dark chocolate. The vegan version offers several types of dark chocolate. Hardwick guides us through a more mindful tasting process, rather than a simple devouring. The experience changes how visitors interact with this sweet treat — it makes them more appreciative of it. Tours are offered year-round. But if you visit on certain days in October, you can experience an exciting bonus — a haunted factory . The company website explains, “A troublesome spirit has escaped and is creating havoc for the Seattle Chocolate Factory! Help repair the damage while gathering clues to speak with Ixcacao, the Goddess of Chocolate. With her help, you’ll brave the dark factory and cast the fell spirit out.” Hardwick assured me this family-friendly tour is fun, not gory. Sustainability measures Seattle Chocolate carefully addresses social responsibility throughout the entire chocolate life cycle. It uses Rainforest Alliance Certified cacao to ensure just labor practices and good environmental measures in the countries the cacao is grown. In the factory, workers compost 25,000 pounds of chocolate scraps annually. They use non-GMO ingredients in the bars and truffles. Wherever possible, Seattle Chocolate sources ingredients like fruits, spices, mint and honey from local partners. Packaging is especially problematic for environmentally conscious companies. Seattle Chocolate has recently developed cellulose truffle twist wraps made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees . This is significant, as it churns out 12.5 million truffles a year, wrapped in about 8,000 pounds of bright truffle twist wraps. By mid-2020, all truffle flavors will be wrapped in the new cellulose material. Customers can throw the truffle wraps into their home compost piles, where they should break down in six to eight weeks. Giving back While the ordinary chocolate fan might question the presence of edamame beans in a chocolate bar, the Jcoco line isn’t just for foodies. Thompson created the line in 2012 with an underlying goal of feeding hungry families. The company donates a fresh serving of food to those in need every time somebody buys a Jcoco bar. So far, Seattle Chocolate has donated nearly 4 million servings of food to food banks in Washington, California and New York. In addition to tours, Seattle Chocolate invites the public in for events like tastings of new seasonal chocolate flavors or classes on pairing beer with chocolate. It hosts the haunted chocolate factory in October, and a large holiday party in December. + Seattle Chocolate Images by Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat and Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority

Read more from the original source:
A tour of Seattle Chocolate elicits a deep appreciation for cacao

How marketers and advertisers can prioritize climate change

September 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on How marketers and advertisers can prioritize climate change

Brands have the power to make an impact.

More here:
How marketers and advertisers can prioritize climate change

Climate change is a public health issue amounting to billions in medical costs

September 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Climate change is a public health issue amounting to billions in medical costs

The environment shapes our society. Hence, as climate change worsens, so do healthcare costs. Both the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) jointly warn that because of these serious healthcare and medical costs, climate change is essentially a public health crisis . The NRDC-UCSF study is unprecedented. In previous surveys, healthcare costs had not been included in valuations of climate change damages. But with the NRDC-UCSF findings, links can now be established correlating health data with climate change. Prior governmental analyses only scrutinized costs related to property, agriculture and infrastructure losses. They neglected to consider costs related to mortality, hospitalization (emergency visits, outpatient medical care, prescribed medications) and lost wages. Related: Doctor’s orders — 2 hours in nature boosts mental health, study says Now, with NRDC’s new model, the research team quantified how climate change bears down on Americans’ health by examining the associated health costs. The study findings show that, over the course of 10 climate-sensitive events from the year 2012, Americans endured more than $10 billion in healthcare costs. As climate change exacerbates, costs will continue to rise. “Climate change represents a major public health emergency, but its destructive and expensive toll on Americans’ health has largely been absent from the climate policy debate,” stated Dr. Vijay Limaye, lead author and NRDC scientist. “Our research shows that health-related costs added at least another 26 percent to the national price tag for 2012 severe weather-related damages.” The research team exhorts that unchecked climate-related events will economically burden communities, especially unprepared ones. In particular, 10 harmful environmental issues — including allergenic pollen, extreme weather , harmful algal blooms, heat waves, hurricanes, infectious diseases from ticks and mosquitoes, ozone smog pollution, river flooding and wildfires —  merit public health attention. “This continuing untold human suffering and staggering cost is another reason we must take assertive action to curb climate change now,” Dr. Limaye warned. “Cutting greenhouse gas pollution and expanding clean energy , while also investing in preparedness and climate adaptation, is the prescription for a safer, healthier future.” NRDC recommends that investment in preparedness could save billions of dollars in future health costs and thus help to save lives. The research team likewise urges more comprehensive cost analyses to inform policy making, improved tracking of climate change-related outcomes as they relate to health issues, strategic community planning for climate adaptation (e.g. health advisories, early warning systems, better disease surveillance, even community redesign to better handle floods, hurricanes and wildfires) and nationwide efforts to reduce climate change triggers like pollution. NRDC also advises that taking steps now to counteract extreme climate change events would cost up to five times less than paying for event-related health consequences. Study co-author and NRDC senior scientist Kim Knowlton confirmed this. “Our research signals that all told, there could be tens to hundreds of billions of dollars in health costs already from recent climate-related exposures nationwide,” Knowlton said. “It’s clear that failing to address climate change, and soon, will cost us a fortune, including irreversible damage to our health.” + NRDC + GeoHealth Image via Robyn Wright

Read the original here: 
Climate change is a public health issue amounting to billions in medical costs

Technology uses banana leaves as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic

September 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Technology uses banana leaves as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic

Plastic pollution negatively impacts the health of our planet. Waste management has led to an irreversible environmental crisis that is felt by wildlife, especially in the oceans. One organization, called Banana Leaf Technology, is helping to address the stark reality by proposing banana leaves as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic . Using 100 percent organic banana leaves as raw material, the novel, eco-friendly preservation technology transforms the cellular structure by enhancing its properties so that the leaves remain green for an entire year without any chemicals. Plus, their shelf lifespan is extended to up to three years. Related: Bananatex launches a sustainable material revolution at Milan Design Week After the preservation process, the enhanced leaves have increased load-bearing capabilities, resistance to extreme temperatures, durability, elasticity and flexibility. Banana Leaf Technology’s website additionally states that the processed leaves are more pathogen-resistant with antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. How does it do this? The technology fortifies the banana leaves’ cell walls and prevents pathogenic agents from degrading the processed biomaterial’s cells. Currently, Banana Leaf Technology offers 30 products that utilize its preservation methods. These products include plates, cups, cones, boxes, writing paper and envelopes. Because the patented Banana Leaf Technology is customizable, other products are expected to be developed in the future, such as natural packaging alternatives. Banana Leaf Technology products provide several advantages. Besides curtailing the destructive damages to wildlife and landfills, using preserved banana leaf products decreases the risks of plastic leaching byproducts and toxins into food and beverages, making them a far healthier cookware, dinnerware and food storage alternative to plastic. Moreover, after their primary use, they can, in turn, serve as animal fodder or garden fertilizer to make soil more arable. First formulated in 2010 by Tenith Adithyaa, a precocious 11-year-old who was working in his homemade laboratory, the now-patented Banana Leaf Technology has since received seven international awards. The company’s mission, according to its website, is “to solve the global climate crisis without compromising the economy.” Adithyaa’s vision is to make Banana Leaf Technology “available to all human beings, regardless of their geographical and economical boundaries.” Interestingly, the company’s current business model is to “sell the tech license worldwide to any company” that shares in Adithyaa’s vision. The website elaborates further, stipulating that “any commercial or non-commercial company can purchase the license to this technology by technology transfer. The license will be granted for lifetime to operate worldwide.” + Banana Leaf Technology Images via Banana Leaf Technology and Pkraemer

Read more: 
Technology uses banana leaves as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic

An abandoned market becomes a light-filled homeless shelter in London

September 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on An abandoned market becomes a light-filled homeless shelter in London

We love it when old buildings can be put to good use, but it especially warms our hearts when architects use adaptive reuse to convert empty structures into spaces specially designed to help those in need. London-based firm Holland Harvey Architects has recently done just that by converting a derelict supermarket into a stunning, light-filled homeless shelter with an attached cafe. Launched in 2017, Shelter From The Storm is a charitable organization that aims to house and support people who are homeless in London . The organization approached Holland Harvey Architects for help converting an abandoned supermarket into a shelter. Working together, the charity and the architects envisioned a welcoming, temporary home that also offers holistic support to reintegrate the residents into society. As such, the design revolved around creating a purpose-built space to meet the distinct needs of an urban homeless shelter . Related: A decaying shop in Cambodia gains a new life through adaptive reuse principles The design features two parts: the shelter and a cafe. The cafe features a large, glazed entrance that leads to a well-lit interior with plenty of seating. To create the dual spaces, the designers were determined to use adaptive reuse to cut down on costs and completion time. The existing building featured brick predominantly throughout the interior as well as the exterior, which was kept intact during the renovation. For a unique touch, the team painted the brick walls various, subdued colors. The private areas of the homeless shelter feature three dorms (two for males and one for females) with 42 beds. Each person has their own bed and lockable wardrobe. In addition to required amenities such as showers and bathrooms, the building also includes meeting space, a counseling room, a clothing store and a lounge area. Behind the scenes, volunteers and residents work in the shelter ‘s commercial kitchen to prepare food for breakfasts and dinners. In addition to providing a safe place to stay and freshly cooked meals, they also offer language classes and other resources to help residents get back on their feet. Shelter from the Storm admits guests to the dorms in the evening only, but during the day, the cafe is open to the local community. Adding this public space to the project enables the locals to feel connected to the organization and those that are in need. + Holland Harvey Architects + Shelter from the Storm Via Dezeen Photography by Nicholas Worley via Holland Harvey Architects

Read the original post: 
An abandoned market becomes a light-filled homeless shelter in London

Vien Truong: business leaders can catalyze environmental justice reform

July 22, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Vien Truong: business leaders can catalyze environmental justice reform

The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. This episode: How governments, businesses and NGOs can work together toward environmental equity

Read more:
Vien Truong: business leaders can catalyze environmental justice reform

A circular city remains a destination of the future, but many are traveling there

June 25, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on A circular city remains a destination of the future, but many are traveling there

It’s still early days for circular cities.

Originally posted here:
A circular city remains a destination of the future, but many are traveling there

Human rights, access to remedy and stakeholder engagement

June 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Human rights, access to remedy and stakeholder engagement

Companies have a very real role to play in resolving grievances but are struggling to respond.

Excerpt from:
Human rights, access to remedy and stakeholder engagement

Sip, sparkle and drink: Kellogg’s turns cereal waste into beer

June 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Sip, sparkle and drink: Kellogg’s turns cereal waste into beer

The company teams up with Seven Brothers brewery to make beer from discarded Coco Pops and Rice Krispies.

Read more:
Sip, sparkle and drink: Kellogg’s turns cereal waste into beer

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1833 access attempts in the last 7 days.