Small World Does Not Mean Environmentally Connected…at Least for Coffee

Ok, so those who know me know that I like good coffee. I know that coffee has a relatively large carbon footprint so I do try to minimize my impact by buying the most sustainably harvested coffee that I can find.

small world coffeeI thought that I had found a source in Small World Coffee in Princeton. The name seems so friendly. And indeed they do some good work. They are a small local company and they hire locally. To be fair, they also make very good coffee.

I wondered about whether the name, which certainly implies global thinking (mind you they never say anything about that) so I asked a few questions about the sources of their coffee. Was it organic, Fair Trade and/or Rain Forest Alliance Certified?

The answer that I received was disappointing. The owner’s answer was really such a dance around the issue. Claims that farmers wouldn’t harm their sources of income, that good coffee means proper farming methods, that they have long relationships with their sources…all cop outs…

I also tried another brand, also a small company and also local. Black River Roasters offers third party certified coffees that meet one or all of the criteria. So, I switched my brand. In other words, I used my small purchasing power to send a message.

Try it some time…sending a message that is.

Read my email communication:
Wayne DeFeo discusses Small World Coffee

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Chaz Miller…Thanks for the Years of Service

Chaz Miller recently announced his retirement from the National Waste and Recycling Association…I had the pleasure of working with Chaz over the years and his retirement article is a good summary of his efforts.

chad miller recyclingChaz knows both the solid waste and the recycling industries. His comments on recycling’s problems have always been on point.

Whether or not Chaz and I agreed on an issue, you could always rest assured that his position would be well thought out and supported by good research. Indeed, in the “old” days, I used his articles in many a class as a starting point of discussions about solid waste and recycling.

Chaz is not leaving in a sense, just moving to the next phase of work.

Thanks Chaz.

Read the full article:
Onto the Next Stage

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Rewilding, an Idea Whose Time has Come.

Massachusetts is engaged in an interesting experiment on taking a former cranberry bog and returning it to its wild state as a tidal wetland. Interestingly, the project is proving to be challenging. That is no surprise since plants and wildlife are neither predictable or able to read the books written on the subject…albeit they are few and far between.

cranberry bog

The good news is that this project is the right project at the right time. The better news is that in the vacuum being created by the new Environmental Persecution Agency…the new name for EPA under this administration, enlightened states are taking the lead and filling the void! The best news is that there are private land owners who aren’t only out for themselves, unlike some who are now in power but will remain nameless, and these enlightened landowners want to do good and well at the same time!!!!!

Best of luck on the project.

Read the full article:
The ‘Rewilding’ of a Century-Old Cranberry Bog
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Trump will be Trumped on Unwinding Climate Change Policies

Ok, we have spoken about politics over science…and the fact that it is now normal to have a page devoted in major newspapers just to the untruths of the President, so this should not come as a surprise…but…

In signing his executive order to undo President Obama’s climate change initiative, this President has simply pandered to coal miners, but in fact, he has been about as truthful in his statements about jobs as he usually is about everything else. Namely, the only people who might make money on this change are the owners.

coal and climate change policiesFirst, he is wrong about energy independence. We have already become nearly energy independent over the past 10 years. Also, he is wrong about jobs. Even where there are coal mines that are open, they are more mechanized than ever. Third, there is little likelihood that power plants will shift from natural gas to coal, thus demand will continue to drop…Just take a look at China. Even they, massive users of coal, are trying to get away from coal and thus further lowering demand.

No, as usual, this President panders to fear, preys on the financially weak and gives to those who need it less.

This order is nothing more than a sham masquerading as policy. It shows no more consideration about people, the future of this country, or the future of the planet that we live on than his choice of the EPA administrator.

Oh, and did I mention that coal is very dirty and causes serious lung ailments?

Read the full article:
Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama Climate Policies
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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