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Find Good Stuff

Posted by on 11 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: news

Sounds useful:

Increasingly, you want to know about the impacts of the products you buy. On your health. On the environment. On society. But unless you’ve got a Ph.D, it is almost impossible to find out the impacts of the products you buy. Until now…

GoodGuide provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home.

Check it out at and let me know what you think…

Former EPA Head Talks at Kitchen/Bath Industry Event

Posted by on 11 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: business, energy efficiency, events, news, water

Christie Todd Whitman

This weekend I’m attending the 2008 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show and Conference (K/BIS). I was booked on American Airlines and my flight was cancelled so I missed the Friday morning opening keynote, but here’s what I’ve gleaned from other reports:

Christine Todd Whitman, former administrator of the EPA delivered the keynote address focused on sustainability. She said that kitchen and bath professionals can play a key role in educating the public about lessening environmental impact. “…selling green kitchen/bath design and products is very similar to selling eco-sensitive public policy: it’s about getting people to do something for the common good.”

By explaining the long-term benefits derived from an upfront financial investment, architects and designers can help open their clients’ eyes to green design “…they aren’t sacrificing anything by going green.”

A green theme is said to be present around the vast show floor and I’ll be checking out the “Implementing Sustainability” seminar Saturday to see just how quickly this old, old industry is taking the message to heart.

The Weekly Spin – Don’t be Taken for a Ride!

Posted by on 06 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: media, news

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One of my favorite newsletters is “The Weekly Spin” from the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy. They cover a couple of ‘green’ subjects each week with useful cross links. Here’s an example:

Green Ads Raise Red Flags Worldwide

Source: Wall Street Journal (sub req’d), January 30, 2008

Saab Australia ad, which has since been ruled misleading

An increase in “green” marketing has led to scrutiny by watchdogs around the world. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority recently ruled that television ads from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council were “likely to mislead viewers as to the environmental benefits of oil-palm plantations.” The ads claimed that palm oil trees “give life and help our planet breathe,” but in reality many palm oil plantations are on illegally cleared rainforest land. In September 2007, Norwegian regulators “banned all cars ads from stating that their vehicles are ‘green,’ ‘clean’ or ‘environmentally friendly,'” since car production means more carbon emissions. In the U.S., the Council of Better Business Bureaus ruled that “a distributor of infant feeding bottles had to drop ads that claimed that the plastic used in a competitor’s bottles was unsafe for both the environment and kids.” The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also planning to update its environmental advertising guidelines, which currently include standards for what can be marketed as “recyclable” or “biodegradable.” As mentioned in an earlier Spin, there are no FTC standards for “carbon neutral” or greenhouse gas emissions offset programs.

And here’s another:

Big Oil Tries to Inspire Warm Gooey Feelings

Source: Rebuilding Together press release, February 1, 2008

As ExxonMobil breaks its own record to post the largest annual profit by a U.S. company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is trying to tap some goodwill. At the Super Bowl U.S. football championship game, API is sponsoring “Kickoff to Rebuild,” highlighting its work with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that promotes homeownership. API and Rebuilding Together are launching an “Energy Efficient Homes Initiative,” which aims “to incorporate energy-efficiency measures in the more than 9,000 homes revitalized each year by Rebuilding Together.” API has been battling the oil industry‘s negative public image for years, with increased outreach to journalists and bloggers. In related news, O’Dwyer’s reports that Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry paid the PR firm Hill & Knowlton $1 million, to promote OPEC‘s “message of hope and reassurance” around its November 2007 summit in Riyadh.

If you like to read the news behind the news, subscribe at

More on Saatchi S

Posted by on 01 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: company, news

Some more on Saatchi’s acquisition of Act Now:


• Act Now to Become Saatchi & Saatchi S, part of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide
• Move Strengthens Publicis Groupe in Sustainability Communications

Adam Werbach, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S said in a release yesterday: “Saatchi & Saatchi S is where world changing global communications meets deep sustainability expertise and passion. This is about taking the vision, mission and passion of the people of Act Now to the talents, process, scale, impact and creativity of the people of Saatchi & Saatchi.’”

Full Release

Coverage via Google News

This is BIG news in the sustainability field and likely a topic of conversation for Monday morning meetings in certain investment banking circles.

Send me your tips on who might be next…

Update:  Lots of coverage via blogs and regular media.

Full Frontal Scrutiny

Posted by on 29 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: business, news, ngo, research & reports


Moving the green agenda forward is difficult enough without misinformation clouding issues. Fortunately there are organizations like Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).

Full Frontal Scrutiny is a new joint project between these two organizations that aims to shine a light on front groups — organizations that state a particular agenda, while hiding or obscuring their identity, membership or sponsorship, or all three. Google “front groups” and you’ll find CMD’s SourceWatch site at the top of the list.

CMD Research Director Sheldon Rampton summed the project up like this:

“Full Frontal Scrutiny will be like no other site on the Web. Fakers, phonies and front groups beware — you will be exposed.”

“For six years, Consumer Reports WebWatch has evaluated sites against five simple guidelines for credibility and trustworthiness,” said Beau Brendler, WebWatch’s director.

  • Who owns the site?
  • What’s its purpose and mission?
  • Does it disclose sources of funding or key relationships with third parties?

These are important questions for consumers to ask about any Web site, and they’re also remarkably effective for ferreting out sites that intend to spin, obfuscate or dress up an unpopular agenda.”


Plastic Bag Bans

Posted by on 28 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: legislation, news

Oakland is set to follow San Francisco’s ban on plastic bags at retail stores grossing more than $1m. But surprise, surprise (not!) the plastic bag industry is cranky, filing suit over the measure. Countless plastic bags end up in our ocean, harming marine wildlife. Even China, a country that reportedly uses 3 billion plastic shopping bags a day is moving to ban ’em. I say – BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag, whenever you can.

More via Google News.