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  • Rising Meat Consumption Takes Big Bite out of Grain Harvest

    World consumption of animal protein is everywhere on the rise. Meat consumption increased from 44 million tons in 1950 to 284 million tons in 2009, more than doubling annual consumption per person to over 90 pounds. The rise in consumption of milk and eggs is equally dramatic. Wherever incomes rise, so does meat consumption. As […] More

  • Overconsumption Invokes the Six Items or Less Experiment

    As protesters continue to occupy our nation’s streets in disapproval of over-spending and government corruption, some continue to believe that more is better. Consumption is at an all-time high, and consumers are buying more things than they need. Surveys show that most women own seven pairs of jeans but wear only four regularly and buy […] More

  • Learning from China: Why the Existing Economic Model Will Fail

    By Lester R. Brown For almost as long as I can remember we have been saying that the United States, with 5 percent of the world’s people, consumes a third or more of the earth’s resources. That was true. It is no longer true. Today China consumes more basic resources than the United States does. […] More

  • E-Waste Management: The Big Picture (infographic)

    Electronic waste (or e-waste) presents a number of challenges: its growth, its toxicity, unethical approaches to recycling… the list goes on. And while it’s a big issue in the United States, it’s not limited to us: the rest of the world is also trying to figure out what to do with all of those discarded […] More

  • Oktoberfest: The Good, The Bad and The Beers

    Who can deny that a beer, a pretzel, and lederhosen are great fun?

    Well, before you drink yourself into oblivion this month, you may want to know the pros and cons of our favorite Autumnal alcoholic beverage. More

  • Book Review: Life, Money and Illusion

    Life, Money and Illuision is not about the magical arts or wizardry, though it does demystify money and Wall Street’s greedy aspirations abetted by the global push for more growth and consumption (and jobs). Life, Money and Illuision: Living on Earth as if we want to stay (New Society, 2009) by Mike Nickerson is a […] More

  • Financial Sustainability: The Best Things in Life are Free

    Millions of Americans are declaring financial sustainability, even if they don’t exactly call it that. After all, we can’t borrow our way out of debt. We’re paying down or paying off credit cards. We’re getting rid of our mortgage or putting an extra payment toward the principal balance (which has huge cost savings advantages). Or […] More

  • The Story of Sustainability

    We’ve all heard of The Story of Stuff. But The Story of Sustainability? This past weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting Dennis Paige, founder of Swiftdeer-Paige, at Inn Serendipity to share a program on storytelling with our community of friends and family. Awarded the 2008 Grassroots Conservation Leadership Award from the Audubon-Chicago Region and […] More

  • Personal Happiness and the Environment: A Sustainability Connection

    In previous posts, I discussed the “Sustainability Prism”, the link between personal happiness and the economy, and the link between personal happiness and equity. In this post, I am exploring one more connection in this prism — the connection between personal happiness and the environment. A common awareness all over the world now is that […] More

  • Wheatless Wednesday: 6 Alternatives to 87,000 Slices of Bread

    Over the course of a lifetime, the average American consumes over 87,000 slices of bread.  Yes, you read that correctly — eighty seven thousand. That’s more than a loaf per week per person, not counting the additional 5,000 hot dog buns and 12,000 hamburger buns each American devours in his or her life. All that […] More

  • SUNfiltered: Story of Stuff Deemed "Anti-Capitalist" and "Biased"

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/dz3tPxUFGbY&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1] [social_buttons]In internet time, Annie Leonard’s The Story Of Stuff is relatively old. But the 2007 web video, produced by Free Range Studios and funded by the Tides Foundation and Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption (among others) has attained cult status in American classrooms. According to the New York Times, teachers around the […] More

  • Cutting out Credit Cards: Living Within (or Beneath) our Means

    There’s more to buying that high-tech gizmo or fancy new clothes, especially if you put it on plastic.   If you’re anything like the so-called average American with combined balances on your credit cards pushing upwards of $10,000 per household, then you’re paying a lot more than the purchase price after factoring in an exorbitant interest […] More

  • Book Review: Pat Murphy’s Plan C means Community and Curtailment

    If The Long Emergency and An Inconvenient Truth sounded the alarm for us to wake up and change course, Pat Murphy’s hard-hitting Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change (New Society, 2008) presents a compelling case for joining together to implement plan C: revitalizing community and curtailing our consumption culture. For […] More

  • Robbing the Cradle to Cradle? William McDonough a Saint… and a Sinner

    As I’m still getting back into the groove of regular writing, I’m a bit late to the game on Danielle Sack’s profile of/hit piece on architect and “cradle to cradle” guru William McDonough in Fast Company. As you might imagine, this one’s already made the rounds of the green blogosphere, and most of these posts […] More

  • Do you Live to Work? Ecopreneurs Use their Green Business to Make a Life.

    Life offers more than a paycheck, corner office and promotional title. In fact, many of us are working ourselves to death. Less than 40 percent of working Americans actually take all the vacation time that they’re offered, and many who do have a hard time disconnecting from the office, voicemail and e-mail. Added to this […] More

  • Low Impact Living: 10 Ways to Cut Home Energy Consumption

    Editor’s note: Our friends at Low Impact Living point out 10 ways you can save energy this summer. This post was originally published on June 10th, 2008. The heat of summer is coming, and that means many of us are about to crank up the AC, make an extra batch of ice, and generally burn […] More

  • Meet the Burts: Unlikely Dumpster Divers

    I was intrigued by this couple after they appeared on Oprah Wednesday, February 27. I know it’s been over a week. Did you really think I caught the episode on Oprah? I heard about this from a friend who never misses the show. Honestly! OK, I watch it sometimes. Daniel Burt is an eye doctor […] More