Sunday, December 11, 2011

US Student Interrupts Climate Talks at Durban

Good for 21-year-old Middlebury student, Abigail Bora, for speaking out at the Durban climate talks:
I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot. The obstructionist Congress has shackled justice and delayed ambition for far too long. I am scared for my future. 2020 is too late to wait. We need an urgent path to a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty. We need leaders who will commit to real change, not empty rhetoric. Keep your promises. Keep our hope alive.

Get the full story here

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Greening your Christmas List

If you're looking for an easy way to buy eco-friendly gifts this season or just want to shop greener, check out the Good Guide. Good Guide rates all kinds of consumer products on a scale of 1 to 10 in categories of health, environment and society. They have a Smartphone app so that you can scan a product's bar code and immediately find its Good Guide rating.

Browsing the Good Guide site, I see that their scientists have rated more than 2000 shampoos, 2500 coffee products, 100 jeans brands, 498 cell phone products and 3787 cars -- not bad!

What about for particular products? I checked Diet Coke, which has an overall score of 4.9/10.
It scored 2/10 in Health, because of low nutritional value, 6.7/10 in Environment because "This product has a plastic container that has a relatively low environmental impact," and 6/10 in Society, because the company has social policies that rank it in the top 15% of companies rated by Good Guide. When you click on the various scores, you get more information, but not much. I'm not sure why they say that the plastic container has a relatively low environmental impact -- compared to aluminum cans perhaps? Some editorializing for each product would be good.

Still, Good Guide makes it easy for us to start making greener buying decisions.