Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Plastic Pioneer - Mike Biddle...

The Big SHFT: Mike Biddle, Plastics Pioneer from SHFT on Vimeo.

If there was a hall of fame for sustainable business, Dr. Mike Biddle would be one its first inductees. Twenty years ago, the trailblazing plastics engineer launched MBA Polymers in his garage. He was determined to prove that complex polymers from consumer plastics could be recycled into useful raw materials. Mike developed a patented series of techniques for separating and refining plastic waste to produce quality materials for reuse in industry. His innovative recycling process diverts plastic waste from landfills and the ocean while negating the need for new oil-based plastics. Today, MBA Polymers is a global enterprise, with large-scale industrial facilities in the US, Europe and Asia. As one of the leading figures in the recycling revolution, Mike was recently honored with the 2012 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, a prestigious prize recognizing him "for combining deep technical expertise and entrepreneurial brilliance with a drive to close the loop." For Mike, it's all about closing the loop on the waste cycle. "I consider myself an environmentalist," he says. "I hate to see plastics wasted. I hate to see any natural resource – even human time – wasted."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Patagonia.au Sale...

BURLEIGH - 15 James Street, Burleigh Heads. Ph (07) 5576 1901
MANLY - 24 Darley Road, Manly. Ph (02) 9267 7666
MELBOURNE - 485 Chapel Street, South Yarra. Ph (03) 9977 7623
SYDNEY - 93 Bathurst Street, Sydney. Ph (02) 9267 7666
TORQUAY - 116 Surfcoast Highway, Torquay. Ph (03) 5261 4420

Monday, February 11, 2013

Movement Entrepreneurs...

Jeremy Heimans (@jeremyheimans) is co-founder and CEO of Purpose.com, the world's leading incubator for social movements and new experiments in mass digital participation. Jeremy has been building movements since he was a precocious little brat in his native Australia, running media campaigns and lobbying politicians from the age of eight on issues like environmental degradation and nuclear proliferation.

His voice has since broken but those global problems persist, so Jeremy co-founded Avaaz.org, the world's largest online political movement with more than 15 million members, and GetUp.org, the Australian political movement with more members than all Australia's political parties combined.

Jeremy now leads the team at Purpose, which has built movements to fight cancer with LIVESTRONG, worked with Jamie Oliver on a national effort to transform our food culture, and launched AllOut.org, a new global movement for LGBT people and their straight friends and family.

The World Economic Forum at Davos has named Jeremy a Young Global Leader and in 2011 he was awarded the Ford Foundation's 75th Anniversary Visionary Award. In 2012, Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business. Jeremy's career began with strategy consultants McKinsey and Company. He is a graduate of Harvard University and University of Sydney, and is a citizen of Australia and the Netherlands.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Concord, Mass. Becomes First City in U.S. to Ban Plastic Water Bottles!

It has taken a few years for the ban to take effect, but as of January 1st 2013, Concord became among the first U.S. communities to ban single-serving plastic water bottles.
Water bottles might seem like a small thing, but according to Ban the Bottle: "It takes 17 million barrels of oil per year to make all the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. alone. That's enough oil to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year." Their website also states: "In 2007, Americans consumed over 50 billion single serve bottles of water. With a recycling rate of only 23%, over 38 billion bottles end up in landfills." And it's not like bottled water is a good deal for your wallet either: "The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400." The ban isn't exactly 1920s' prohibition, though. Stores will only be fined up to $50 for violating the ban and there an exemption for emergencies. So no government agents busting doors and trying to find the hidden stash of water bottles. But as a way to raise awareness and because most people follow the rules, it should be very effective and significantly reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles in circulation in the area (kind of like how even small 5-cent taxes on disposable plastic bags reduce their use tremendously). Google Maps/Screen capture Hopefully this is the beginning of a larger movement that will return bottled water to what it should have stayed: An emergency thing, when you really need water but can't get it any other way. It's ridiculous that it has become an everyday thing for so many people that have access to perfectly fine water for a fraction of the price from their tap (and there are so many great filtering systems out there for those who want to make extra sure -- though it's not like bottled water can't be contaminated either). Our colleagues at MNN have more on this story: With new bylaw, Concord opens the floodgates for bottled water bans.

Patagonia - Our Common Waters

In the midst of a pristine boreal forest in Alberta, Canada, strip mining continues for tar sands oil. Close-by, downstream, is the earth’s largest freshwater delta, a critical stopover for over a million migrating waterfowl. The oil is presently transported in large (30-inch) pipes into the United States. Pipelines cross rivers, and travel near lakes and wetlands. In 2010, a ruptured tar sands pipeline near Kalamazoo, Michigan drenched waterways with over one million gallons of oil, the largest inland spill in U.S. history. Tar sands oil companies plan to extend these pipelines across Canada, from the U.S. Midwest into Texas, as well as from Quebec through Vermont to Maine. Their goal is to reach a North American coast in order to export the oil. At every point in the chain of production and transportation, water is at risk. The water we drink, the water we fish, the only water we have. Is it worth it? Join with National Wildlife Federation Action Fund to protect freshwater and stop tar sands pipelines.
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