Recycled Paper is a Good Start, But This is Even Better

via Green Options by Paul Smith on 4/2/09

These days it seems everybody has some sort of recycled/eco friendly paper offering. So what’s the big deal about a Swedish offering making it’s US debut on Earth Day this year?

White Lines Carbon Neutral Swedish Paper

White Lines factory reuses their carbon emissions in a closed loop, making for zero CO2 emissions, for one. Then they offset what they can’t reuse (transportation, etc) via planting trees in Africa, as coordinated by environmental consultancy U&W (interestingly pronounced “You & We” in Swedish) The wood used for the paper comes from locally sourced, sustainably managed forests, and woodchip waste from sawmills. And every package tells you the precise carbon footprint, the materials traced back to the source.

And then it gets interesting.

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Living Walls and Green Roofs Pave Way for Biodiversity in New Building

via Green Options by The Guardian Environment Network on 4/2/09

Living wall at the Musée du Quai Branly

Under recommendations from the UK Green Building Council, otters could return to urban rivers, bats could roost under bridges, swifts could flock to office blocks and peregrine falcons soar above cathedrals. Written by Felicity Carus and shared via the Guardian Environment Network.

What do the Westfield shopping centre, Canary Wharf and a Victorian museum have in common? They are all at the vanguard of a move to encourage biodiversity in buildings that could take on an unprecedented scale if guidelines published today are adopted.

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Formaldehyde in New Home Is 10 Times the Safe Level

via Green Options by Linda Kincaid, MPH, CIH on 3/28/09

RespiratorWe recently tested several new homes for formaldehyde in the air. The newest home, advertised as a “green” home, had 300 ppb of formaldehyde. Children in homes with only 30 ppb can have decreased lung function. Between 60 ppb and 120 ppb, children are more likely to have asthma and chronic bronchitis. At 100 ppb, most adults experience eye, nose, and throat irritation.

Of homes that were less than 2 years old, every home we tested had at least 100 ppb of formaldehyde. The newer homes had 200 – 300 ppb.

The 300 ppb concentration we found in the newest home is equal to the 15-minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL) for occupational exposures. A worker in that home should wear a respirator to remain inside the building for more than 15 minutes. An employer that exposes workers to 300 ppb of formaldehyde should have a Hazard Communication Program to inform workers about chemical hazards and ways to avoid illness.

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Quality Fail

via FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments by failblog on 3/28/09

fail owned pwned pictures

Dear Guests,
Our tap-water is filtered and checked directly at the hotel.  Regular monthly checks by and independent company guarantee the utmost quality.  We don’t recommend to drink it.

Submitted by Meg Y

Black Cars Won’t Be Banned in California

via Green Options by Stephen Boles on 3/28/09

// a frenzied week of mayhem in the blogosphere about a potential ban of black cars in California, the LA Times is reporting that this issue has been laid to rest by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Red flags were raised when CARB released their “Cool Cars” initiative that outlined a number of methods to reduce automotive greenhouse gas emissions. One such method was to mandate that all automotive paints had to contain a reflective coating that would reduce the amount of absorbed solar radiation. Less absorbed solar radiation would reduce the temperature inside the vehicle, requiring less use of fuel-hungry air conditioners.

The CARB report specifically stated that ‘jet black remains an issue’ because dark colors absorb far more radiation than light colors. This statement generated outrage amongst a range of right-wingers, libertarians, and probably a lot of people who just like the color black.

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