Monthly Archives: August 2008
At our August 25 meeting, we discussed purchasing products made from recycled materials – a simple step businesses can take to reduce their environmental impact and support recycling systems. Lyndall McKernan from the Buy Recycled Business Alliance (BRBA) highlighted the importance of ‘buying recycled’ and provided an overview of Australia’s first national Recycled Product Directory (see www.brba.com.au) developed as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anyone looking to source recycled products – ranging from furniture and stationery products through to hardware and packaging materials. The Buy Recycled Business Alliance (BRBA ) is a national not-for-profit alliance of organisations united by a commitment to … Continue Reading
On August 11, our meeting discussed how business enterprises will benefit from rethinking their processes in an economy, which must consider finite natural resources and the need to strive for a sustainable future. Helen Weston gave a talk about how to understand the new government policies, including the new carbon pollution reduction scheme and what these policies mean for small businesses. Helen has a broad business background and is applying her experience to the development of methods of reducing the cost and optimising the business opportunities of carbon reduction strategies and sustainability practices.
GreenBiz Café now has a presence on YouTube. Our first video is “Coal: What the Hell Are We Doing?”.
Logging of a Ghanaian forest submerged 40 years ago by a hydroelectric dam could point to an underwater timber bonanza worth billions of dollars. In October, a consortium led by Canadian company Clark Sustainable Resource Developments will begin logging timber submerged for 40 years by a hydroelectric dam in Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in Africa. Cutting equipment will be mounted on barges, guided by sonars to grab trees below water. The project aims to harvest 14 million cubic meters of timber worth about $4 billion. Exploiting submerged rot-resistant hardwoods such as ebony, wawa or odum in Lake Volta, … Continue Reading
According to a United Nations report, cattle are "responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together." But why are cattle so bad? And are other sources of meat equally bad? There are about 1.3 billion cattle occupying 24% of the world’s entire land area. Cattle consume more than a third of the world’s grain. Producing one kilogram of steak requires almost 20,000 litres of water. Not eating 500 grams of steak would save more water than not showering for a year. In regard to greenhouse gases, the problem with cattle … Continue Reading
A policy brief issued for the World Water Week in Stockholm reports that as much as half of all the food produced in the world is wasted. The brief, authored by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Water Management Institute, shows that the current food crisis is less a crisis of production than a crisis of waste. "More than enough food is produced to feed a healthy global population. Distribution and access to food is a problem," the brief states. "We are providing food to take care of not only our necessary … Continue Reading
The Queen has taken steps to make Balmoral, her Scootish residence, completely self-sufficient in energy. She has installed a small hydro-electric plant on a stream in the estate. It generates enough to supply electricity to the 1,000 residents in the area with the excess sold to the national grid. The Queen has registered all the woodlands with the Forestry Stewardship Council which supports sustainable forestry worldwide. All farming practices are registered with the Soil Association, which promotes organic food and farming. All the organic waste on the estate is recycled. The Queen’s security staff patrol on mountain bikes rather than … Continue Reading
US company, Solazyme, has announced that it will be capable of mass producing millions of gallons of biodiesel derived from algae within 3 years. Solazyme is the first company to produce algae diesel that meets US standards but until now has not announced a timeline for mass production. According to Solazyme CEO, Jonathan Wolfson “The technology is moving a lot quicker than some people would expect." The key to Solazyme’s ability to bring its product to market quickly is its process of growing algae in the dark in large tanks by feeding it with biomass. The algae then eat the … Continue Reading
Google is investing $US10.5 million in three research projects on the potential of using geothermal energy from deeply buried hot rocks to produce electricity.
Australia’s "60 Minutes" has broadcast an item called "Crunch Time" which made much of the opinions of David Evans, a computer programmer with a PhD in electrical engineering who once worked on a mathematical modeling program for the Australian Greenhouse Office. Dr Evans put two arguments to support his view that global warming is not caused by carbon emissions. Dr Evans first point was that, although carbon emissions have continued to increase, global temperatures have not increased for the last eight years. Here is the graph of global temperatures from the UK Met. Office’s Hadley Centre. It’s difficult to see … Continue Reading