Archive for Sustainability

Green Travel…Are we there yet?

Although it is not that overwhelming, only 25% of hotels have a sustainability program and it is becoming more commonplace to see such hotels. Even more promising, there are more tour groups that try and run socially and sustainably oriented travel programs.

I think that it is equally promising that cruise lines, long notorious polluters of the air and water, are, pardon the pun, getting on board and becoming more environmentally conscious.

environmentally responsible

Why? As I have pointed out in prior posts on many topics, it is both doing good and doing well at the same time. Companies are beginning to realize that they need to both protect the resources that their tours and programs rely on, and that being more environmentally responsible means that they can increase their profit margins.

It is a small effort to make when looking for environmentally responsible travel.

So, why not get onto the trend and commit to such travel?

Read the full article:
Where Sustainable Travel Is Headed in 2017
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Why doesn’t Dunkin Donuts use recycled paper coffee cups?

From the Dunkin Donuts Web Site:
Why doesn’t Dunkin’ Donuts use recycled paper coffee cups?
Dunkin’ Donuts is committed to selling fresh brewed coffee in containers that are safe for the consumer. Our foam cup is one of the strongest in the industry and it insulates better than paper cups we have tested. By using foam, we are reducing the added waste that occurs with double cupping, cup sleeves and/or extra napkins. In addition, foam cups are recyclable, paper cups are not, and we encourage you to check with your local/municipal-recycling program as to whether or not they will accept #6 plastic.

ARGH…Misinformation is such a nightmare.

I recently presented at my Alma Mater for a group of sustainability students and they asked what they could do on campus to make a difference in the solid waste generation on campus. I suggested that they try to get styrofoam cups removed from all food service, starting with Dunkin Donuts.

Well, I thought that I should look this up first…and the above misinformation is what Dunkin Donuts is espousing…

First, while it is true that paper cups cannot be recycled after they have been used, it is equally true that styrofoam cups cannot be recycled after they are used either. More importantly, very few programs exist to take styrofoam in any event.

Why? Well to answer the Dunkin Donuts people who are encouraging your community to subsidize their use of styrofoam by paying for a recycling program to take their product, which it can’t do in any event…the answer is…

It is not economical in any way to recycle styrofoam. Even if collected, it is so light that we would waste more energy moving this material than we could save.

Dunkin Donuts Styrofoam Cups

The Dunkin Donuts website is simply asking you and I to support corporate welfare by putting these programs in place.

I have a better idea…look at some of your more environmentally conscious competitors and learn.

As for us, why not forward this blog to 10 friends and start a petition to get DD to change?

Any takers?


Dust Particles

Maybe cleanliness is not the best thing from a sustainability stand point. In a recent study it turns out that all those dust particles may be good for us after all. From my perspective, the really interesting part of this is the fact that exposure to the natural world, with all of its inherent potential infectious agents and dust particles seems to strengthen our immune systems and reduce asthma.

Why this is a surprise is a mystery to me. We evolved as a species exposed to the world. We now know that buildings are healthier that allow access to fresh air and natural daylight. It should come as no surprise that exposure to animals and dust from barnyards, rich in organics is good for us.

Dust Particles

Of course, this bucks the trend that lead us to kill 99.99 percent of all germs…I don’t worry about the 99.99 percent, just the .001 percent that can survive. So stop that cleaning at home…Sounds like a good excuse to me.

Read the full article:
Barnyard Dust Offers a Clue to Stopping Asthma in Children
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Reusable Meal Kits…Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Talk about a society of convenience…Meal Kits to the home are now multiplying in number, quality and diversity. Finally, at least one company, FreshRealm, has determined that it should not produce waste as a product of the packaging used for these kits. Good for them.

Reusable Meal Kits Grilled SalmonThey have developed completely Reusable Meal Kits. The kit is sent back to them for sterilization and reuse. Now other companies are ordering these packages from them. Hmmm, didn’t we used to refill containers all the time? Soda, beer, etc? Well, it seems that were are coming full circle.

This does not make meal kits a sustainable resource. After all, we are requiring that individual meals and packaging be shipped to and from different addresses. That consumes fuel, and utilizes natural resources. But it is a start.

Read the full article:
A Tantalizing Offering From a Meal Kit Service: The Box
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.