Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Schwarzenegger says cities will lead climate change battle, Saturday, June 23, 2007

(06-23) 13:46 PDT Los Angeles (AP) --

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told U.S. mayors Saturday they must take the lead in battling global warming and creating an economy based on "clean" technology.

Schwarzenegger said California and other states are "not waiting for Washington" before promoting legislation to protect the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions blamed for climate change.

"Washington is just a little dot on the map. You are making up America. So we don't have to wait for Washington to get aboard," Schwarzenegger told the 75th annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which made the environment one of its top agenda items.

The governor cited his state's own environmental initiatives and praised efforts such as a proposal by New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make all taxis in his city fuel-efficient hybrids by 2012.

The Bush Administration has opposed placing specific limits on greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. But Schwarzenegger has signed a law requiring that California reduce emissions by an estimated 25 percent by 2020.

"I don't think we can waste anymore time. I think that global warming is real. It is a huge, huge problem," Schwarzenegger said.

Global warming has caused "longer droughts, more intense hurricanes and deadlier wildfires," he said.

Schwarzenegger urged cities to push polluting industries to change their practices in order to compete globally.

California, with its stringent auto emission standards, "may be doing more to save U.S. automakers than anybody else because we are pushing them to change," he said.

"We are growing a whole new economy based on innovation and clean technology that will spark billions and billions of dollars of new investments and create tens of thousands of new jobs," Schwarzenegger said.

"That is the future that I want to embrace," he said.

The governor said companies already are moving in that direction, and clean technology will become more affordable as it becomes more widespread.

He cited the example of the cellular telephone. Schwarzenegger said he bought an early cell phone 20 years ago for $1,600. Recently he bought his daughter a new phone "with all the gadgets on it" for $90.

About 200 mayors from around the country attended the meeting, which runs through Tuesday.

On Saturday, the conference announced that the mayors of Albuquerque, N.M., and Fayetteville, Ark., had won first place honors in this year's Mayors' Climate Protection Awards Program.

The awards honor mayors for measures to curb global warming and increase energy efficiency.

Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez was recognized for shepherding a city program that promotes "green-tech" companies, use of bicycles and purchase of cleaner city vehicles. The program has caused an overall reduction of city greenhouse gas emissions by 67 percent since 2000.

Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody was selected for a city alternative transportation program that created 129 miles of multi-use trails and 163 miles of on-street linkages to the city

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Microsoft provides IT access to farmers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

PT Microsoft Indonesia, the local unit of U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp., will provide online services and IT training to 64,800 farmers in 15 provinces over the next two years.

As part of the plan, Microsoft donated US$937,700 to the ASEAN Foundation and Formasi Indonesia, a local NGO, on Tuesday to fund the establishment of 100 community-learning centers (CTC) by the end of September.

"According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), farmers account for 45 million people. If we can provide them with access to IT, the positive effects on the whole community will be significant," said Microsoft president director Tony Chen.

The CTCs are expected to not only facilitate the provision of training to the 64,800 targeted farmers, but also to provide Internet access to 220,000 people, and introduce IT to three million rural dwellers.

Fifty-eight of the new CTCs will be built in six provinces in Java, including Jakarta, Banten and West Java, while 42 others will be established in nine provinces outside Java, including North Sumatra, Lampung and Bali.

Chen said the effects would include an increase in farmers' incomes and a decrease in unemployment and migration to the big cities.

"By being given access to IT and being taught how to use it, farmers will be able to develop their businesses, better market their products, expand their markets and obtain all sorts of agricultural information."

The 100 new CTCs come on top of the 30 CTCs that Microsoft has already established in 12 provinces since 2003. By the end of last year, it had donated $1.6 million in cash and software worth $3 million under its "IT-for-Farmers" scheme.

"Young farmers showed great enthusiasm about technology during the previous program," Chen said.

Besides teaming up with the ASEAN Foundation and Formasi, a networking organization concerned with the interests of farmers and small enterprises, Microsoft has also been working with the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), which helped design the IT-for-Farmers program.

The IT penetration rate in Indonesia, according to Chen, is very low. There are currently only six million PCs for Indonesia's 240 million people, meaning that the penetration rate is only 2.4 percent. Internet penetration is somewhat better at close to 10 percent.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Canon Tops List of Climate-Friendly Companies

Planet, US: June 20, 2007

WASHINGTON - Canon Electronics Inc., athletic gear leader Nike Inc. and food and consumer goods giant Unilever Plc topped a list rating climate-friendly companies released on Tuesday.

There was a cluster at the bottom of the list of 56 companies. Six tied for last, with a score of zero on a 100-point scale -- Jones Apparel Group Inc., CBS Corp., Burger King Holdings Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., Wendy's International Inc. and

Even for those at the top, there was room for improvement on the Climate Counts scorecard, put together by a nonprofit group organized by the New England-based environmental entity Clean Air-Cool Planet and Stonyfield Farm, a US organic yogurt maker that placed sixth on the list, with 63.

"It's not enough to recycle paper and change lightbulbs," said Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm's chief and chair of Climate Counts. "We need to significantly reduce our carbon footprint ... Nobody deserves, or for that matter is getting, an A."

Stonyfield offsets 100 percent of its carbon emissions from manufacturing, Hirshberg said, but it needs to do more with renewable energy to cut the greenhouse gases that spur global warming.

The survey ranked the 56 companies chosen for their popular household use among mainstream consumers in North America and Britain, and for leading their respective sectors, from electronics to fast food.


Companies in the electronics/computer sector did well in addressing climate change compared with media and Internet companies, the survey found, with six of the 12 studied scoring above 50.

Besides Canon, these were International Business Machines Corp., Toshiba Corp., Motorola Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sony Corp. Dell Inc., Hitachi Ltd., Siemens, Samsung Corp. and Nokia were all in double digits and Apple Inc. scored only 2.

Food services as a sector was worst in terms of climate change impact, with none of the six scoring above 50 and three with a zero rating. Starbucks Corp. ranked highest in this group, with 46, followed by McDonald's Corp., at 22. Yum Brands Inc. -- which includes Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell -- scored a 1.

The rankings were based on 22 criteria that roughly broke down into four categories: how well a company had reviewed its global warming impact, how much it had reduced that impact, how much it supported public policies that encourage this reduction and whether the company made this information available. The amount of carbon reduction was weighted most heavily, worth a possible 56 out of 100 points.

Hirshberg and others on a telephone news conference announcing the scorecard stressed that this was seen as a "snapshot" of companies' progress. But it was also supposed to work for consumers who want to make an environmentally sound choice.

To do so, they can check the group's Web site, for individual company rankings and the complete scorecard.

Florida scientists unveil eco-friendly plane, Scientists at Florida State University have revealed plans for a revolutionary new aircraft.

The designs for an all-electric plane, producing zero carbon emissions and minimal noise, have been published in today's Institute of Physics Journal, Superconductor Science and Technology.

The aircraft would be powered by liquid hydrogen, which would run an electric fuel cell, and emit only warm water, rather than harmful CO2.

Dr Phillippe Masson, a member of the research team, explained the findings: "The idea is to reduce the emissions from the aircraft and airports," he said.

"The energy needed to produce the liquid hydrogen could come from a remote power-plant".

The aircraft would also require substantially less maintenance, as it would use lightweight, computerized engines, rather than heavy hydraulics.

Google aims to go carbon-neutral by year-end

The Web search giant plans to cut or offset all of its greenhouse emissions by the end of 2007 by investing in efficiency, renewable energy and carbon offsets., June 19 2007: 7:00 PM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Google aims to voluntarily cut or offset all of its greenhouse emissions by the end of the year, the Web search leader said Tuesday.

Google is one of a number of companies - including News Corp. and Yahoo! - that are attempting to cut emissions of gases scientists link to global warming.

To make the cuts, Google is investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy like solar and will purchase carbon offsets for emissions it cannot reduce directly, the company said.

Google, Intel in 'green' initiative

"On their own, carbon offsets are not capable of creating the kinds of fundamental changes to our energy infrastructure that will be necessary to stabilize global greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels," Google said on its Web site.

"But we believe that offsets can offer real, measurable and additional emissions reductions that allow us to take full responsibility for our footprint today."

European companies can invest in carbon offsets through a Kyoto Protocol U.N. program that allows rich countries to invest in clean projects in developing nations. The United States did not ratify the Kyoto pact, but some U.S. companies have begun to offset emissions on a voluntary, unregulated basis.

Google said it would invest in projects like capturing and burning methane, a greenhouse gas with about 20 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide, from animal waste at Mexican and Brazilian farms.

"Our funding makes it possible for anaerobic digesters to be installed, which capture and flare the bio gas produced while simultaneously improving local air quality and reducing land and water contamination," Google said.

Shopping to stop global warming?

Separately, Google is planning to spend $600 million to build a data center in western Iowa that will receive power from a MidAmerican Energy plant fired by coal, the fuel that emits the most carbon dioxide. A Google spokesman told Reuters all emissions from its Iowa project were accounted for in its carbon neutral plan.

Nonprofit emissions advisers, The Climate Group, said they will partner with Google to support its offset plans.

Google last week launched a program with semiconductor-maker Intel to introduce more energy-efficient personal computers and server systems.

News Corp. pledged in May to become carbon-neutral by 2010.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Indonesian deforestation pace slow between 2000-2005

JAKARTA (Antara): Deforestation in Indonesia has reduced to 1.08 million hectares annually between 2000-2005 from 2.94 million hectares per year in 1997-2000, a report has said.

The report which was conveyed to the House of Representatives Commission IV here Tuesday stated the data was a result of a study which was conducted by the Netherlands-based Wageningen University from January 2000 to December 2005.

Deforestation pace was recorded at 1.87 million hectares annually in 1985-1997 or lower than 2.94 million hectares per year in 1997-2000.

Forest Minister MS Kaban said the government had already conducted coordination with concerned agencies like holding routine patrol in illegal logging activity-prone areas in order to reducedeforestation pace.

The government, he said, had arrested many log thief and those who masterminded illegal logging.

Guinness Book of Record has noted, however, that Indonesia is the world's fastest deforestation country as 1.08 million ha forest was gone every year in 2000-2005.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Farmers to bring back dwindling forests

"It's unbelievable these farmers could grow a forest in only five years"

Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor

After five years of hard work, a group of farmers in Bogor have brought back to life a 12-hectare area of forest and natural pasture that was suffering a slow and miserable death thanks to ongoing environmental damage incurred over a number of years.

Cipendawa village farmers in Megamendung district have successfully planted various tree seedlings and vegetables on the 12-hectare area once described as suffering "critical environmental damage".

"We were concerned with the environmental damage in Bogor, Puncak and Cianjur resort areas," group leader Bambang Istiawan said Friday.

"We could not wait for the Bogor regency administration to regreen the area, which is why we took the reforestation initiative."

And their success story has attracted Bogor regency legislative council and administration officials.

Officials visited the "mini" forest situated in Blok S of Cipendawa village, which is a part of the Bogor, Puncak, and Cianjur settlement.

Head of the agricultural resources division at the Bogor regency forestry and plantation agency Eliza said the farmers' secret to success should be adopted as an official administration program.

"It's unbelievable these farmers could grow a forest in only five years," Eliza said.

"Other farmers should be involved in such projects because there is a total of 118 hectares of critically damaged land in dire need of reforestation in Megamendung district alone," she said.

Councilor Edi Wibowo from Commission B on the environment said the administration should make it a pilot project to help restore the hills in Bogor, Puncak and Cianjur.

But the regreening project was not easy, Bambang warned.

"Planting the seedlings is the easiest part of the whole work," he said.

"Each day we had to check the seedlings, water them and replace the dying ones.

"When we started it was hard to get a good source of water so we had to dig deep to make a well.

But Bambang said after the trees had grown, two natural springs emerged.

"We did all this because we wanted to return our neighborhood to its old self when only few rich people had their villas up here," he said.

"At that time the air was fresh and the forests were still untouched.

"The villa owners just don't care about the environment in Puncak."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

CSR is the new growth mantra

A majority of Indian corporates recognise social responsibility as core to taking their business forward

Joseph Vackayil, The Financial Express

P for Profit’ is no longer the only way the corporate world recognises the alphabet. P also stands for the “planet”, meaning the environment and for “people” now. The one-track approach of just looking at bottomlines is increasingly going out of fashion in corporate boardrooms.

It’s not as if charity and philanthropy hadn’t been part of the action plan of corporates all this while. It’s just that it was somewhere on the fringes, something outside their main business of profiteering.

According to a recent survey by consultancy group, McKinsey & Co, “of the over 4000 executives from 116 countries polled recently, the vast majority of 84% embrace the idea that the social role of a modern corporation goes beyond meeting its obligations to shareholders”. The situation is not different in India. “About 72% of India’s top 50 companies undertake corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives supported by well-defined policies now,” says a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. It also adds that Indian companies are ranked number one in terms of CSR penetration.

An indication of corporate commitment to social responsibility was brought home at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-convened national summit on CSR in Chennai last week. The two-day meet was inaugurated by the chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata, and its theme was ‘From awareness to leadership: Making CSR an actionable business agenda’. Over 300 delegates from all over the country in 26 sessions discussed topics like the transformations in business models and in leadership profiles to meet development demands; social entrepreneurs: new models, new ideas; developing CSR priorities that match core business ideology, etc.

Aside from the recently concluded CII seminar, a number of India’s top companies have been doing their share for society too. Take the Tata Group for instance. It has a long tradition of ethical and responsible business and has adopted specific areas of development. Some of the globally competitive IT companies like Wipro and Infosys also have a holistic approach to responsible business.

Then there are others too. Dr Reddy Pharmaceuticals in Hyderabad has a sophisticated approach to environmental management, employee development and community involvement.

ITC Group’s e-choupal initiative uses IT to provide farmers with real-time access to customised knowledge on specially-designed websites in their own languages. This helps them align farm output to market demands, weather conditions and to secure better quality productivity and improved prices. The e-choupal initiative has already helped over 2.4 million farmers in 21,000 villages. The goal over the next decade is to reach 1,00,000 villages and 10 million farmers all across the country.

Project Shakti of Unilever — creating rural entrepreneurs — is training 13,000 underprivileged Indian women distribute the company’s products to 70 million rural consumers. The company is working with women’s self-help groups to teach selling and book-keeping skills and build commercial knowledge. The women who participate in this programme are, by and large, able to double their household income. Shakti has also allowed Unilever to increase its reach to 30% more of India’s rural population since its inception in 2000. The company is joined in its efforts by some 300 groups — NGOs, banks and various government entities — allowing it to take part in strategic public-private partnerships.

Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd, as part of its CSR programmes, is committed to sustainability and responsible corporate citizenship. A host of initiatives are being implemented in the areas of health and nutrition awareness, education and counselling, rehabilitation assistance, AIDS awareness and medical advice, safety awareness workshops, vocational training schools, entrepreneurial training to people in tribal villages, etc.

While these are some examples of CSR showpieces of Indian corporate giants, there are thousands of communitiy development initiatives undertaken by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) too. CSR has become an all-pervading corporate phenomenon in India now. It might be the result of socio-political compulsions to reach out to the local community, to satisfy the foreign buyers or collaborators who insist on a clean and sustainable supply chain and input source, but the good news is that people are benefitting in one way or the other.

These development models have pioneered the progression towards innovative social and environmental engagement. They also serve as some of the most widely published case studies at top business schools, says a CII ‘thought piece on CSR’.

On its part, CII has a CSR Policy Statement that looks at a series of initiatives both for corporate action on community issues and on corporate environmental practices. It has a CSR Networking Forum that will soon operate in each of its 50 offices across India. The plan is that each local forum will be chaired by an experienced CEO from a committed, responsible business and will involve 20-25 handpicked businesses from large and SME sectors in different states and cities. These, in turn, would be committed to look at CSR more intently.

CII also aims to bring experienced people who will facilitate awareness about CSR. This will assist members to adopt and institutionalise the social code for business, provide training through volunteers and resource persons.

The CII network will help companies adopt CSR policies and practices that are in line with national and international standards and assist CEOs and management in the process. CII has also now proposed to have a centre of excellence in corporate citizenship sponsored by the TVS Group in Chennai.

Tex Gunning, group vice-president, South East Asia & Australasia, Unilever, Singapore Ltd, gave the concluding message to the recent CII summit, calling for a redefinition of businesses. “We need to redefine the logic of business from ‘economic wealth creation’ to a new concept ‘total wealth creation’,” he said.

Summing up the key thoughts and ideas that unfolded at the two-day meet, Gopal Srinivasan, chairman, CII-TN State Council and director, TVS Electronics said, ‘inclusive growth and sustainability’ have emerged as the principal CSR philosophies for Indian corporates. There still are problem areas and dissonance between proclamation and practice, he said, but added that CSR is no longer just a diversion or some form of charity. It will attract more foreign investments, increase market share and above all, build employee loyalty. He also advised that “CSR should be top-inspired”.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Farmers group wins Kalpataru for regreening

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Sleman

Five years ago, Nganggring hamlet in Girikerto village, Turi, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, located some 10 kilometers from the peak of Mount Merapi, was a wasteland littered with disused sand mines found in most residential yards and nearby forestlands.

The Krasak River, which passes through the hamlet inhabited by around 800 people, is showered by tons of ash each time Mt. Merapi erupts. Merapi sand, which is renowned for its quality, has brought blessings to the local people.

ENVIRONMENTAL PIONEER: Sjambjah Samsinurrosyid,

leader of the Mandiri Farmers Group, poses for a
photograph next to his goat barn. JP/Slamet Susanto

However, a lust for money and a lack of environmental awareness led to some locals transforming their plots into sand mines to feed the construction sector.

"Six hectares of residents' land became a wasteland due to sand mining," said the leader of the Mandiri farmers group, Sjambjah Samsinurrosyid.

Concerned by the area's poor environmental condition, in 2003 Sjambjah motivated the farmers group to reclaim the disused mines and make concrete efforts to restore the area.

"The forested area around the Merapi is a catchment area. It does not only supply us with water, but also other areas in Yogyakarta province. If the area is damaged, all of us would be affected," he said.

Environmental destruction has also caused difficulties for residents unable to find grass, as most in Nganggring depend on livestock for their livelihood.

Through group discussions, villagers organized a money collection to rent a backhoe to level the land, on which they later grew trees such as sengon, mahogany and gaharu.

"We planted 700,000 trees of several varieties, 41,000 of which were donated while the rest we made available ourselves," Sjambjah said.

Thanks to hard work by the farmers, the wasteland is now a "green" area. To prevent the parcel from being damaged again, residents have mutually agreed to impose social penalties on whomever mines for sand in areas other than the river.

It was appropriate then that last week the farmers group received the Kalpataru Environmental Award from the Environment Ministry for its preservation efforts.

Sjambjah, a retired civil servant at the Sleman Education Office and husband of Rubiyah, said that in addition to the replantation program, his group is developing environment-based livestock breeding, food crop and horticulture cultivation, community-based forest management and fisheries.

Nganggring residents have formed groups to manage the activities -- 80 families are involved in livestock, 118 in forest management and 180 in food crop cultivation.

Now, 46 ha of residential land and 88 ha of community forestland have been replanted on a self-supporting basis since 1997. Residents have successfully planted 257,000 salak pondoh trees and 450,000 other tree varieties such as mahogany, duku, sengon and mango.

The replantation program is also having a positive impact on the livestock sector. Residents have built 80 goat pens on a 3-ha plot of land in the village to raise 1,000 Etawa goats. Under good management and superior stock, goats from the village have become highly sought after by farmers throughout the country.

The farmers group also concerns itself with non-environmental social issues. They have built their own water pipe network spanning six km to channel water to five neighborhood units or 100 families. They get their water supply from a spring on the slope of Mt. Merapi.

"We use the water for our daily household needs and livestock as well as the community forest," said Sjambjah.

China invests US$930m to fight climate change

China daily, Updated: 2007-06-14 20:09


China has earmarked more than 7.1 billion yuan (about 930 million US dollars) for technology innovations to cope with climate change since 2001, said Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang on Thursday.

Investment rose sharply in 2006 when China adopted its 11th five-year program, said Wan at a press conference.

"China is determined to find answers to climate change through science and technology," said Wan.

China has made big efforts to cope with climate change, said Wan, adding that ministries and local governments had approved a series of environmental protection policies.

He also said some Chinese enterprises were using technology to reduce energy consumption and pollution discharge.

The Ministry of Science and Technology launched on Thursday China's Scientific and Technological Actions on Climate Change. It aims to enhance the role science and technology play in responding to climate change.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Google, Intel launch energy efficiency program

Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:01pm ET26

By Leonard Anderson

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 12 (Reuters) - Web search leader Google Inc. and semiconductor maker Intel Corp. launched a broad-based program on Tuesday to introduce more energy-efficient personal computers and server systems to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Called the "Climate Savers Computing Initiative," the new program has signed on computer makers Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Lenovo Group Ltd., software maker Microsoft Corp., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and more than 25 environmental groups, companies and universities for the energy savings campaign.

The program will set new efficiency goals for computers and software tools that manage power consumption.

The program requires a 90 percent efficiency standard for power supplies, said Urs Holzle, senior vice president of operations at Google.

Read More ....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More hotels using eco-friendly design

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

Major hotel chains, big consumers of resources such as power and water, are starting to change their environmentally wasteful ways and design "greener" buildings.

Although most efforts are in their infancy, Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham are encouraging the building of eco-friendly and energy-efficient hotels.

Building green hotels isn't about fetching higher rates. Hoteliers view it as an advantage at a time when customers want to patronize green businesses, and hotel operators want to cut high bills for electricity and water.

Although green construction is mostly voluntary in the USA, cities such as Dallas, Las Vegas and Arlington, Va., are encouraging it by expediting permits, granting subsidizes or requiring it. "People want to be at a hotel that is on the cutting edge," says Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. "Whoever does it first is cool."

Marriott's only green-certified hotel, which is in College Park, Md., uses 30% less electricity than a comparable property. That means it can charge the same rates as rivals, yet earn a better profit, says manager George Trujillo.

Read More ....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Oil firms look East and to alternative sources of energy

The Nation, Thailand

Rob Routs, an executive director of Royal Dutch Shell Group, the world's second largest oil firm, told me the other day that the era of "easy oil", in which exploration and production costs were relatively low, was probably over, so it's unreasonable to expect the return of low oil prices any time soon.

The world market price for crude oil is currently around US$60 (Bt2,076) per barrel, which is high enough to justify big investment in new production capacity worldwide. In the next five to seven years, additional capacity for two million barrels per day (bpd) will come on stream to help ease the upward pressure on global oil prices, which are also periodically influenced by geopolitical factors.

According to Routs, the global oil market appeared to have reached equilibrium last year after spare production capacity of about four million bpd was used up, largely due to fast-growing demand in China and India, with economic growth rates of around 10 per cent and 6 per cent a year respectively.

For oil firms like Shell, the corporate strategy is therefore "Grow East", with more money being put into the vast region to tap the potential of high-growth markets. Besides China and India, the big oil firms are eyeing Southeast Asian markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, where GDP growth rates are also projected to be relatively high - over 4 per cent per year.

In terms of oil consumption for transportation, the US market is now growing just 1-2 per cent a year, while Western Europe has seen its markets mostly flat.

The up-trend in oil prices and growing concerns about global warming due to carbon dioxide emissions have led to significant investment in bio-fuels and a wide range of alternative energy sources, such as wind farms and solar cells.

Bio-fuels and hydrogen are among the potential new sources of power for transportation, with the number of cars and trucks projected to double from one billion units worldwide currently to two billion in 2050.

Second-generation bio-fuels such as cellulose ethanol, which is being tested at a Shell demonstration factory in Canada, promise to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 90 per cent, thanks to a new technology to make ethanol from straw or corn using enzymes. The process is also more sophisticated in that the entire plant is used as raw material.

Shell has also invested in a demonstration biomass-to-liquid fuel plant in Germany, using wood chips as feedstock in a gasification process and converting the gas into a high-quality synthetic fuel. The fuel can be blended with diesel or used in its pure form, which gives off as much as 90 per cent less CO2 than conventional diesel.

Shell currently has no bio-fuel production plans for Thailand. But it has been one of the major distributors of gasohol - petrol with a 10-per-cent mix of ethanol produced locally from farm crops.

The government has not made the use of gasohol mandatory but is providing a heavy subsidy to make the price more than Bt3 lower than for conventional petrol.

The European Union will make the use of petrol with 5.75 per cent ethanol mandatory from 2010, while the US has set a production target of 12 billion gallons of gasohol by 2012.

Routs believes that the main factor in the economic success of bio-fuels such as ethanol is the harvesting cost of the crops used as raw materials.

Asked if oil prices could really shoot up to more than $100 per barrel, as predicted by some experts, any time soon, Routs, who has been in the oil industry since the early 1970s, was quick to point out that a barrel of crude was just $10 in 1998, so no one can say for sure how high prices could go.

Still, the industry last year witnessed a record price of $78 per barrel. For consumers, the safe bet is to be more energy efficient.

Nophakhun Limsamarnphun

Saturday, June 9, 2007

UN chief plans September meeting to focus on climate change initiatives

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (AP): The Group of Eight's decision on climate change was a welcome first step, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday, but he told reporters that more needed to be done.

"While this is an important step, it is only a first step," he told reporters. "A beginning and not an end."

Ban said he would hold a meeting of leaders at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, a day before the general assembly convenes, to move the process forward before the start of talks on a new framework climate change agreement in Bali, Indonesia at the end of the year.

"This meeting will represent an important, preparatory step for achieving real progress to launching negotiations at ... the meeting in Bali in December," he said.

Ban said the decision to pursue an agreement under the framework of the United Nations was the right course of action, given its wide reach and access to experts.

"We have an ever expanding arsenal of technologists to address the threat and also have significant resources at our disposal," he said.

But "what we are desperately in need of at this time is political will at the leaders' level to make significant emission reductions and to help countries to adapt to climate change," Ban said, adding "we will need leadership by the G-8 countries."

He said addressing climate change will mean finding a common ground to utilize the various paths available, from new technology to conservation efforts to improving land use practices.

The important thing, he said, "that these policies be complementary and mutually reinforcing. The many strengths must be woven into one cloth."

Shrink your footprint and save the earth

Tony Hotland, The Jakarta Post /Jakarta

You can count your own annual carbon emissions and be responsible by offsetting them through small measures that could ease the impacts of climate change -- from changing the light bulbs you use to planting trees in the backyard.

While on a much smaller scale than the large industries that emit tons of greenhouse gasses daily, the personal activities of the some six billion people that live on the earth also contribute to the collection of gasses trapped in the atmosphere, leading to global warming.

Frequent use of private cars, exploiting green areas for construction, regularly eating meat or leaving electrical household equipment on standby affect the climate and have led to prolonged droughts, increased rainfall, a reduction in biodiversity and a rise in climate-related diseases.

The amount of carbon you produce in a year can be determined using a carbon calculator and the result is known as your carbon footprint.

It gives an indication of your impact on the environment through the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and gas, which is measured in tons of carbon dioxide emitted per year.

The Web site, for instance, assesses how you can offset your carbon emissions. If, say, you cannot give up the car, it will suggest a number of trees to plant or an amount of money to donate to companies developing renewable energy sources.

It examines factors like electricity bills, travel activities, the number of people in the household and types of private vehicle, and then tallies approximately how many tons of carbon you emit per year and offers actions to offset the emissions.

Such Web sites, including others that are more region-based, encourage the public to do their share in easing the impacts on climate change caused by their daily activities, UN Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific Erna Witoelar said Tuesday in a discussion to mark World Environment Day.

"I fly a lot and airplanes emit a lot of carbon. Thus I offset this by giving money to an organization of (Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate) Wangari Maathai to help her reforestation programs and others here," she said.

However green activists agreed that energy conservation was the best solution to curbing emissions while at the same time joined forces to push governments to carry out carbon-cutting programs on a far larger scale, such as the use of renewable energy instead of coal-fired generators, as well as reforestation.

Research shows many small actions can save energy. Reducing use of transportation and air conditioning, covering pans to heat the contents, recycling glass bottles and newspaper, buying food with less packaging, hanging washing out to dry rather than tumble drying and fitting energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the house all help.

Indonesia, an archipelagic nation with an agricultural backbone, stands to be affected the worst from climate change as sea level rises will cover parts of it while drought will cause food production problems.

Currently it ranks as the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter, mostly from its unbridled deforestation rate of 2.8 million hectares of land per year.

Related article :

Preserving the forest, West Lampung regency style

HP injects US$2m to help WWF curb climate change

By Julia Ng, Channel NewsAsia | 07 June 2007 2332 hrs

SINGAPORE : The World Wildlife Fund says besides governments, large corporations can play an important role in curbing climate change.

And one example is its partnership with global IT company Hewlett-Packard.

The company is contributing over US$2 million in cash and technology to the WWF's Climate Watch programme, specifically for initiatives in the Asia Pacific region.

Heavy industrialisation has given Planet Earth a fever and nations across the globe are feeling the heat.

When the ice comes down, the sea level goes up, flooding farmlands.

Singapore and its Asian neighbours are not spared the impacts of global warming as its people bore the brunt of flash floods and unseasonal storms.

It is a message that moved some global corporations like HP to take action.

The company has allocated more than US$2 million to set up three projects across the world, aimed at curbing climate change.

In North America, it is setting up an epicentre for climate conservation.

In Europe, HP's initiative is aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, by using information and communication technology.

But the bulk of the budget goes to India and China - 70 percent of the money allocated will be used to fund what is called a "Climate Witness" project.

It is an on-line forum aimed at recording and collating the tangible consequences of climate changes on individuals.

The aim is to get local communities to implement policy changes on climate change.

Nadeem Shafi, Climate Programme Development - Asia Pacific, WWF, said: "What the donation by HP does is it provides a useful start to that programme and... these specific projects in different parts of China and India are actually focused on key strategies, which may be able to be replicated elsewhere. So these are almost like petri dishes where we can learn by example and then potentially roll those two programmes out further beyond those two countries."

When it comes to curbing climate change, certainly a lot more can be done.

And the latest initiative by HP is just one example of how big businesses can advance the green cause, and limit the impact of climate change on the planet.

Rita Sully, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager - Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Asia Pacific, said: "In terms of carbon reduction, or reduction of footprint, HP is very involved in looking at our own facilities, and we'll be working with WWF on our own facilities and look at reducing our own carbon emissions.

"So we've made our commitment of course to reduce our own carbon emissions by 2010. So we'll be working towards that... we're also helping our customers to look at how they can reduce their carbon footprint as well."

So apart from companies, conserving energy is very much about choosing energy efficient measures and habits at the individual level.

Besides the Climate Watch programme, the WWF also runs a Climate Saver programme, where it gets large manufacturers like Sony and IBM to commit to cutting carbon gas emissions that cause global warming. - CNA/ch

Friday, June 8, 2007

RI to propose global reforestation fund

M. Taufiqurrahman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Indonesian government will propose the establishment of a global fund aimed at regreening global tropical forestlands that supply much of the world's oxygen.

State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar said Thursday the proposal would be tabled at the upcoming United Nations climate talks in Bali in December.

Rachmat said the fund would be contributed to by the world's rich countries, which do not possess tropical forests but benefit from their presence.

"The present arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol has worked against our interests as reforestation only gets 5 percent of the CDM (clean development mechanism). It's not fair, we must correct the practice," Rachmat told reporters after a special Cabinet meeting on preparations for the Bali talks.

Rachmat said the government is optimistic that the proposal will gain the support of other developing nations with substantial tropical forestlands such as Congo, the Philippines and Brazil.

"I believe that the 180 developing countries that will be present at the Bali conference will support Indonesia's proposal," Rachmat said, adding that Indonesia, as conference host, would be able to set the agenda for the meeting.

Rachmat said the proposal, if enacted, would enable countries with tropical forests to collect billions of dollars from rich nations.

"Even without such a proposal, countries such as Australia have already earmarked AU$200 million for the purpose," Rachmat said.

Another proposal to be tabled by Indonesia at the Bali meeting is the transfer of environmentally friendly technologies from developed to developing nations.

The high-level Bali meeting is expected to be a prelude to a climate summit in 2008.

Environment ministers from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the conference, which will seek to formulate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol which concludes in 2012.

Reaching consensus at the meeting will likely be an uphill struggle as any international policy on tackling climate change will require the approval of the United States, China and India, all countries that refused to ratify Kyoto.

The U.S. government has stated its stiff opposition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's fresh calls for mandatory emission limits made at the Group of Eight summit in the German town of Heiligendaam.

The UN said that a meeting between ministers and senior delegates that will serve as a precursor to the Bali talks will take place in September.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

G8 leaders agree "substantial" greenhouse gas cuts

Thu Jun 7, 2007 9:37AM EDT,

By Jeff Mason and Tabassum Zakaria

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (Reuters) - World leaders meeting in Germany have agreed to pursue "substantial" cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and integrate U.S. climate plans within the established U.N. process, an EU source said.

"They agreed on the need for substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," the source told Reuters.

The United States resisted attempts by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, host of the Group of Eight (G8) summit, to set a firm goal for cuts needed to fight dangerous climate change.

Read More ....

'Bring your own' the answer to plastic deluge

Prodita Sabarini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

BYOB, for long the acronym behind any successful potluck party, now has a new meaning. The acronym, which commonly stands for "Bring Your Own Bottle", is slowly working its way into people's minds as "Bring Your Own Bag."

The worldwide grassroots movement to fight environmental destruction by reducing the use of plastic bags has entered Jakarta, albeit with baby steps. And BYOB is at the center of it.

Plastic bags are the most ubiquitous non-biodegradable material on earth. According to the website, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used around the world each year.

The raw material for plastic bags is petroleum. The bags themselves can take from anywhere between 15 to 1000 years to naturally break down.

Shoppers walking to the doorstep of (ak.'sa.ra) bookstore in Kemang, South Jakarta, are greeted with a simple white and green poster asking them to bring their own bag next time, if they want to help fight climate change.

"We give people the choice of using a reusable tote bag that they can purchase for Rp 10,000 or use our plastic bags if they don't bring their own," the bookstore's director of operations Adinda Simandjuntak said Monday.

Inspired by the Al Gore's eye-opening An Inconvenient Truth, (ak.'sa.ra) has tried to respond to the former U.S. Vice President's message by launching its own "Going Green" campaign.

And BYOB is a key part of the bookstore's campaign.

"With Al Gore's documentary we were shocked by the fact that things were not getting better," Adinda said.

The president of the Jakarta chapter of Friends of the Earth, Slamet Daroyni, told The Jakarta Post that dealing with the solid waste from plastic bags was a matter of urgency for Jakarta.

"Jakartans consume a huge amount of plastic bags. The recycling of plastic bags to produce other plastic products such as buckets is very dangerous for the environment. It releases dioxin into the environment ... The use of black plastic bags that are made of used plastic bags is unhealthy because it can cause cancer or respiratory problems, at the very least," he said.

"If we estimate that the population of Jakartans is 9 million people, in which 3 million go to mall every day. Two million shop and take at least three plastic bags home. That means six million plastic bags are brought home that day," he said.

Going off Slamet's reckoning, Jakartans would then use 730 million plastic bags each year, which would fill the city's dumpsters.

Adinda said (ak.'sa.ra) was not just a bookstore per se, but also a community center.

"It would be wrong for us to do nothing," she said.

Eveline, a 29-year-old book shopper forgot to bring her own bag Monday, but supported the idea.

"I haven't brought my own bag yet. But I do support the movement. I think it's a very good idea. If I buy small things I ask them not to use plastic bags and to just put the things into my bag," she said.

The efforts of (ak.'sa.ra) pale in comparison to supermarkets in European countries such as Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Germany that generally charge customers for carry bags, rather than give them away freely.

"We want to introduce the movement in a friendly way. We're not trying to force them to accept it. Otherwise, rather than embracing the movement, people will resist it," she said.

Eveline said that even though she supported the movement to reduce the use of plastic bags, she said she needed them to wrap her garbage at home.

Slamet said the concrete political will of lawmakers was needed to help change how people behaved toward the environment.

"People can leave plastic bags for wrapping garbage by using trash cans that separate organic and non-organic waste. But the city administration also has to provide garbage trucks that accommodate trash separation. This should be regulated for," he said.

Slamet said that with a good policy on trash, the government could encourage retailers to begin charging for plastic bags. A bill on trash is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives.

San Francisco in the United States, for example, has now banned plastic bags from large supermarkets, the first city to do so.

"I'm sure that grassroots movements like BYOB can shape policy making into being more environmentally aware," he said.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Young Indonesians take home environmental award in Sweden

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia may be something of a pariah for its lack of commitment to environmental issues but that did not stop three young women from taking top honors in a recent international environmental competition.

From Surabaya, Agnes Santoso, 21, Vania Santoso, 15, and Wening Pranayadipta, 15, created an environmentally and user-friendly waste bin that turns organic waste into fertilizer.

The students beat 14 other finalists to win the sixth edition of the Volvo Adventure in Gothenburg, Sweden, with their "Useful Waste for Better Future" project.

The girls are entitled to the US$10,000 first prize. The jury awarded a team from New Zealand with $6,000 and second place for their "Plastic not so Fantastic" project while a South African team was third with their "EnergyWise" campaign, taking home $4,000.

"Whilst it was a stain on Indonesia's reputation being branded the dirtiest nation in the world by the WHO, it was also a wake-up call that something had to be done and in our small way, we may have helped both change perceptions and improve our local environment and economy," Vania said on receiving the award.

Theodore Oben of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said the "Useful Waste for a Better Future" project "works on many environmental levels, waste reduction, recycling and revenue earning and as such, it was the outstanding project amongst 15 excellent finalists".

There were a total of 365 projects from 47 countries this year. The event started in 2002 and the UNEP has sponsored it since 2004.

The award was presented on May 30 in Gothenburg, according to a media release sent Tuesday by the PT Central Sole Agency, which handles the Volvo brand in Indonesia.

Farmers plant trees to save environment

Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post / Bogor

A group of farmers living on the foot of Mount Salak, Bogor, planted some 2,200 trees around their main water source Tuesday, in an effort to conserve the local environment.

Supported by non-governmental groups and private company PT Chevron Geothermal, the farmers selected hard wood trees to be planted around the one-hectare forest area, in order to absorb and replenish water.

Local farmers and villagers rely on the water for the turbines they use to produce their electricity.

"We don't have access to electricity services from (state electricity company) PT PLN, so we rely on small micro-hydro plants," said Marta, the head of the group of farmers.

Marta said each of the 68 families living in Ciputri village owned a water turbine worth between Rp 800,000 to Rp 1 million.

"Each can produce between 200 watts to 300 watts of power, depending on the flow of water," he said.

A representative from environmental group Biodiversity Conservation Indonesia, Ardiansyah, said villages on Mount Salak, which serves as a water catchment area, were previously threatened by deforestation.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Converging on Water: An Innovative Conservation Partnership

The Coca-Cola Company and WWF are combining our international strengths and resources to help conserve and protect fresh water throughout the world.

Converging on Water

Water is vital to both WWF and The Coca-Cola Company.

Beverages are The Coca-Cola Company's business, and water is the main ingredient in every product we make. Safe water also is vital to the sustainability of the communities we serve.

WWF's mission is the conservation of nature and the protection of natural resources for people and wildlife. Protecting freshwater ecosystems is a top priority in WWF's work.

Now, through a partnership announced on June 5, 2007, we are combining our international strengths and resources to help conserve freshwater throughout the world.

Here is what we will do together:

* Measurably conserve seven of the world's most critical freshwater ecoregions: China's Yangtze, Southeast Asia's Mekong, the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo of the Southwestern United States; the rivers and streams of the Southeastern United States; the rivers of the Mesoamerican Carribean Reef; the East Africa basin of Lake Malawi; and the Danube.

* Improve water efficiency in our global beverage operations.

* Encourage more efficient water use by our agricultural suppliers, beginning with sugar.

* Work together on climate protection by reducing carbon emissions in our global beverage operations.

* Inspire a global movement by uniting industries, conservation organizations and others in the conservation and protection of freshwater resources around the world.

A Corporate Pledge

On June 5, 2007, The Coca-Cola Company announced a new commitment to replace the water it uses in its beverages and their production. We will:

* Reduce the amount of water we use to make our beverages.

* Recycle the water used in production processes such as rinsing, cleaning, heating and cooling.

* Replenish water by expanding support of initiatives that protect, conserve and improve access to water in communities around the world.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

HSBC to mobilise 'green taskforce' to tackle climate change

HSBC has announced a new five-year US$100 million programme to help tackle the causes and impacts of climate change.

By James Kon

The bank is joining forces with The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and WWF to form the HSBC Climate Partnership.

The partnership will mobilise HSBC employees worldwide into a "green taskforce" to address the issue of climate change.

This new partnership will build upon the good work done in HSBC's "Investing in Nature" programme, which concluded last year, after five years, and help train 200 scientists, send 2,000 HSBC employees, including those from Brunei on conservation research projects and help save 12,000 plant species from extinction.

"The HSBC Climate Partnership will achieve something profoundly important," said HSBC Group Chairman Stephen Green.

"Over the next five years, HSBC will respond to climate change to our business operations and intrinsic to the way we work with our clients across the world," he added.

The work being carried out will focus on four key areas, namely to make some of the world's biggest cities such as Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York and Shanghai cleaner and greener, to create climate champions across the world who will participate in field research and return to share their knowledge and experience with their communities, to conduct the largest-ever field experiment on the world's forests to measure carbon and the effects of climate change, to help protect four of the world's major rivers like the Amazon, Ganges, Yangtze and Thames from the impact of climate change.

The US$100 million commitment that HSBC is contributing to the partnership marks the largest-ever charitable donation given by a UK-based company.

The funds will allow charities to get more things done, in more places, and to get more people involved than there had ever been in the past.

"By working with four of the world's most respected environmental organisations and creating a "green taskforce" of thousands of HSBC employees worldwide, we believe we can tackle the causes and impacts of climate change," said Stephen Green.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Greenbottle Creates Eco-Friendly Milk Jug

Filed on May 31, 2007 at 4:29 AM PST

By Kelli Best-Oliver, Green Options

Is there a more eco-friendly way to package milk besides plastic jugs and gable-top cartons? A UK company seems to think so. Greenbottle is a new two-part milk packaging system that was recently test-piloted in Asda supermarkets during a one-week trial. The bottles quickly sold out.

Designed by Martin Myerscough from Framlingham, Suffolk, the bottle consists of a pulped recycled cardboard outer (think cardboard egg cartons) and a corn-based bioplastic bag liner. After the milk is gone, the bioplastic bag can be removed and composted, and the outer shell can be recycled or composted.

The UK produces over 3 million metric tons of plastic waste each year, of which only 7% is recycled. The vast majority of plastic ends up in landfills.

During the test run, the milk in Greenbottle's jugs cost the same as milk in traditional containers, although the packaging cost the company 30% more to produce, although they expect that margin to drop significantly as the packaging's distribution expands.