7 Ways to Eco Your Secret Santa

The holidays are a time of joy, giving, family, and celebration - and also a time of mass consumerism. From Black Friday lines around the block to stampedes at Wal-Mart, 'tis the season of shopping, wrapping, and exchanging. For those who are sensitive to the environment and want to extend sustainability into their holiday gift-giving practices, there are some eco-friendly alternatives to consider. The Taiga Company, a sustainability consulting firm, presented this list of 7 Ways to Eco Your Secret Santa. Check it out here. For more sustainability tips, follow @TaigaCompany on Twitter.
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The Dirty Side of Cleaning – Kitchen Sponges Have More Bacteria than a Toilet Seat

By Amanda Crater If you've ever wondered why your kitchen sponge smells revolting, it's because kitchen sponges have more bacteria than, well, the whole kitchen sink.  According to a report in the Daily Mail, kitchen sponges on average carry 200,000 times the bacteria than found on a toilet seat. The Huffington Post recently reported on the details behind this nasty phenomenon in an article called, "Your Kitchen Sponge is as Revolting as It Smells." The germs and bacteria get lodged in the nooks and crannies of the sponges, which in turn result in that foul smell you find lingering on your fingers after using it.Do not despair, however, there is hope in overcoming the stinky sponge dilemma! An eco-friendly alternative to traditional kitchen sponges exists thanks to an innovative, California-based company called Pura Naturals. Pura Naturals sponges are revolutionizing the home care cleaning experience with their line of kitchen sponges that, wait for it...NEVER SMELL. Toxin-f…
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Waterless Wash: Levi Strauss’ Innovative Tactic Yields Much Success

By Amanda Crater Sometimes the best ideas sound the silliest at first, but companies who embrace creative solutions to complex problems often have the greatest success. In this interview with Paul Dillinger, VP of Product Design and Innovation for Levi Strauss & Co. (@LeviStraussCo), Nick Aster of Triple Pundit (@TriplePundit) discusses the innovative approach that Levi's has been known to take when incorporating sustainability into their business practices. Filmed at the SXSW Eco-Conference (SXSWeco.com) in Austin, Texas last month, Aster poses the question, "how can creativity be a part of sustainability?" Citing his experience working with complex problems involving numerous committees, Dillinger reveals that often the solution can be found in the "creative unknown." An example he refers to involves the issue of the wash of the company's jeans. The "water-less" rinse program involved a "counterintuitive inversion of the meaning of wash," which resulted in taking th…
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Welcome to the Future: Solar Freakin’ Bike Paths!

Solar Freakin' Roadways We still may be waiting on those hoverboards, but at least the future of solar has finally arrived with the launch of the first solar-powered bikepath in the Netherlands on Nov. 12.  In May a viral video captured people's imaginations with a picture of what the future could look like - not quite flying cars but maybe even better! Demonstrating the spectacular potential to transform existing asphalt surfaces such as roads and lots into solar panels cells, the video has received more than 18 million views on YouTube, with a cool factor and "wow, why didn't we think of this sooner?" feel. The idea came from two engineers in Idaho who experimented with a smart-grid road made entirely of solar cells that, according to the article about them on Grist.org have t he following characteristics: "Solar Roadways’ panels have heating elements to melt snow and ice, five-color LED lighting to create road lines, and corridors for moving and storing stormwater. …
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20 Universities That Encourage Green Living

  1) Nanyang Technical University – School of Art, Design and Media - The architectural structure of this building maximizes interior daylight, makes smart use of lack of space and land in the local area, minimizes materials, and uses lower water and electricity uses.         2) Yale University – Kroon Hall - Kroon Hall at Yale University is made from 80% certified timber, 16% recycled content. Also, 34% of the purchased materials came from regional sources. As a result, there is an 81% reduction in annual potable water use, which saves an average 500k gallons of city water a year. They are also seeing a 61% reduction in energy use compared to a similar building and program. It features rooftop photovoltaic panel providing 25% of the building’s electricity. Half of the red oak paneling came from a forest in northern Connecticut that’s managed by the school itself.   3) Carnegie Mellon University – Gates and Hillman…
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