Carnival of the Green #3


Welcome to the Greenest Show on Earth, aka this week’s Carnival of the Green! Many thanks to City Hippy and TriplePundit for allowing me to serve as this week’s “barker.” We’ve got quite a line-up of sustainable news and views, so step right up, pay your money and take your chances… Here we go! (And here’s a little music to set the tone…)

All of Our Rides Run on Renewable Energy…

With biodiesel leading the way! Dee’s ‘Dotes takes note of two developments in her home state of Utah: First, the Utah Transportation Authority has entered into an agreement with Ogden-based company Kellerstrass to run its buses on an alternative fuel that consist of 80% biodiesel and 20% soy. Not only is this an environmentally friendly move, but it will also save the cash-strapped UTA more than $750,000 a year. Secondly, Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson is pushing for a plan to give free paking to motorists driving alternative-fuel vehicles. I tend to agree with Dee on this one: nice idea in theory, but do we really need to encourage the use of more individual automobiles?

Dee’s not the only with biodiesel on the brain this week: Hip and Zen Pen co-author Karen responds to co-author Elisa’s rant against the lack of responsible choices offered to car consumers by taking note of the biodiesel option. Karen notes pros and cons of “veggie fuel,” and offers a few resources she’s found on the subject. Of course, my regular readers know that my best blog bud Ryan has some of the most accessible information out there on making your own biodiesel (with pictures and everything!).

Visit our Agricultural and Crafts Displays…

TreehuggerMum sent in two posts this week: one on the benefits of organic milk for kids, and another on the sustainable joys of wooden toys. While most of us know about the obvious benefits of organic dairy products (i.e. no growth hormones or Franken-feeds), I had no idea that organic milk leaves conventional moo-juice in the dust when it comes to vitamins. I agree with Mum on the aesthetic pleasure of wooden toys — plastic simply can’t compare — but would add that a toy shopper needs to check the sourcing of the wood, as some is more sustainable than others…

Urban Eco posted this week on a different kind of craft work: green home rehabbing. These folks have got some big projects in the works, namely installing new windows and a new roof, and insulating. There are ideas here on the windows and insulation, but they’re a bit stumped right now on green roofing materials. If you know the score here, let them know. I’d also suggest (which I’m sure they’ll appreciate) a green feature that will affect their roofing choice: a rainwater harvesting system .

Always a Few Con Artists Hanging Around…

You may or may not be aware that US carnivals were popular venues for grifters and con artists to ply their scams in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Well, we’ve got a few hanging around our carnival also. Geoff Johnson at The Green Life Blog (one of the best for sniffing out corporate ne’er-do-wells) claims that Chevron’s latest “Will You Join Us?” campaign is little more than another example of multinational greenwashing. Geoff’s opening line is priceless: “Chevron recommending that Americans reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by lowering coal consumption is like an ice cream company suggesting we lose weight by eating fewer hamburgers.”

Nick at TriplePundit takes note of another example of sleight-of-hand: claims that a product is “100% Recycled.” If you’re looking for products that actually remove materials from the waste stream for reuse or recycling, always make sure to check the “post consumer” percentage.

Have a Snowcone and Enjoy the Show!

Apologies for the obscure musical reference — that’s from Webb Wilder’s “The Human Cannonball.” While we don’t have anything quite that spectacular here, City Hippy recently enjoyed a great program at London’s Science Museum, “Going Green: Make it happen to your home.” For Brits interested in building or renovating green, this was a can’t-miss, as experts on green building, renewable energy, water savings and natural lighting all gave demonstrations of their wares. Al’s provided highlights for each presenter.

Also on the green entertainment/enlightenment front, the Dirty Greek provides an overview of a number of green radio and podcast programs available online. George has hit on the biggies, but let me also give a plug to local program Earthworms with Jean Ponzi on St. Louis’ KDHX Community Radio. Jean was kind enough to interview me in the days before my “Blogging ‘Round the Clock” event, and hosts an entertaining and informative show every week.

The Livestock Display

At The Evangelical Ecologist, guest blogger Ox has been blogging about his attempts to restore salmon habitat at his Oregon ranch. As you might imagine, this hasn’t been a simple process, and has involved lots of meetings with various federal officials and non-governmental organizations, but Ox claims “The Aquatic Habitat and Salmon Habitat restoration projects are moving forward and heading who knows where πŸ˜‰ ? Hopefully a quasi-Edenic refuge for world weary souls will emerge. Does that sound like a plan?” Sounds great, and its encouraging to see a landowner making environmentally responsible choices with his land… Take that, Congressman Pombo

And on our Midway…

Enviropundit is looking for help on a couple of projects: The Bright Green Living Wiki (which is a wonderful green resource) , and an email questionnaire regarding home energy use and expectations. Contact Jacqui if you can help…

Bootstrap Analysis encourages its readers to kick the habit… the mail order catalog habit, that is.
They’ve posted a huge list of companies that do big business by these catalogs, and provided contact information for the folks at each company that can remove your from the mailing list. The Center for a New American Dream also has information on getting yourself removed from mailing lists, as junk mail in general creates enormous amounts of waste.

commonground takes note of a recent Grist review of two books on corporate social responsibility. Enrique notes that the concept of CSR has been under debate for quite some time, from Milton Friedman’s arguments to these current books.

marigolds2 at The Blue Voice takes us on a journey as she reminices about bicycle rides from this past year. She started biking to work last Spring, and as winter approaches (as well as personal changes), she reflects upon the meaning of her choice to “talk the talk” of green personal transportation. (Aplogies to marigold2 for overlooking her post as I scrambled to put things together yesterday!)

And in a shameless bit of self-promotion, Greener has published my profile of model/activist/entrepreneur Summer Rayne Oakes…

Some Final Welcomes…

Shea Gunther, CEO of Skye Creative, started his new blog “Musings of an Eco-Entrepreneur” this weekend with a 24-hour blogathon kick-off. I told Shea to suggest a post from the new blog after he wakes up, but judging from my own experience blogging ’round the clock, that may not have happend yet…

And, a very big, very special welcome not only to the Sustainable Blogosphere family, but to the world itself: Coby Zephyr, the newest addition to the City Hippy clan!

Well, that was fun. Next week’s carnival is at Great Green Goods — see you there!

UPDATES: Two quick late additions: thoughts on Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices from baloghblog, and different thoughts from debitage on the US Congress’ Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act, and our larger relationship to the natural world.

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