Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Puma saying goodbye to shoe boxes

Shoes will go into cardboard frames wrapped in reusable bags

FRANKFURT - Sporting goods maker Puma will launch eco-friendly packaging for its sneakers next year to reduce its carbon footprint, beating governments to the punch as it kisses old-fashion shoe boxes good-bye.

Puma said it would roll out the new packaging in the second half of next year and that by putting its shoes in cardboard frames wrapped in reusable shoe bags, it would save 8,500 tonnes of paper— the weight of more than 1,400 adult elephants.

It also said the change would mean a reduction of 60 percent in water and energy used during the production process and the amount needed for transportation due to lighter packaging.

However, Puma Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz told Reuters the company would not save money with the new packaging.

"To begin with, we don't expect to save costs with this. It may even have a negative impact in the short term. But over the long run, there should be cost savings," he said.

"Sustainability is not only absolutely necessary considering the situation our planet is in, we as companies are also overdue to take responsibility," Zeitz said. "We can't wait for governments. Companies have to lead the way and we want to be among the leaders."

annual U.N. climate meetings have failed to achieve any major breakthrough since signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

December's Copenhagen summit was billed as the world's best chance to agree a new treaty. Failure to achieve a treaty or the smaller goal of binding carbon cuts for rich nations has sapped momentum and is forcing a search for less ambitious solutions.

The chief executive said he hoped other companies would follow their lead.

"In changing the packaging and distribution life cycle from the ground up, we hope our new design and comprehensive solution encourages other retail companies to follow suit," said industrial designer Yves Behar, who created the new packaging.

Puma is the world's third-largest sporting goods maker, behind U.S. bellwether Nike and local rival Adidas.

Bike Tune-ups!!

C4Cycling will conduct bike tune-ups on Wed. and Thurs., April 14 & 15 from 2-4 PM in front of 623 S. Wabash. Get your bike tuned for spring. Suggested donation $5-10. Bring your bike, for $5 you could have your bike ready to go for summer!

President Obama's Earth Day Message

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Need a rain barrel? Compost bin?

The City of Chicago is doing things a little differently this year with their rain barrel/compost bin program. The city is offering $30 rebates on your rain barrel and compost bin purchased at any local garden center or hardware store this year. Buy a rain barrel or compost bin that is just right for your garden before November 2010 and send in a completed rebate form and receipt of purchase. They will send you a check for $30.

Residents are eligible for one rain barrel rebate and one compost bin rebate in 2010 ($60 maximum rebate). Rebates will be limited to 500 of each in 2010, so send in your rebate form ASAP for the best chances of receiving a rebate. They will post on their website, when rebates are no longer available.
To get your rebate form, come out to one of the Sustainable Backyard Workshops.

The 2010 Sustainable Backyard workshop schedule is as follows:

Blackstone Library
4904 S. Lake Park Ave.
Saturday, April 24

South Shore Library
2505 E. 73rd St.
Saturday, May 8

Chicago Cultural Center
Millennium Park Room, 5th Floor
78 E. Washington St.
Thursday, May 13

Brighton Park Library
4314 S. Archer Avenue
Saturday, June 26

Chicago Center for Green Technology
445 N. Sacramento Blvd.
Tuesday, June 29

Chicago Lawn Library
6120 S. Kedzie Ave.
Saturday, July 10

Rogers Park Library
6907 N. Clark St.
Saturday, July 17

West Pullman Library
830 W. 119th St.
Wednesday, July 21

Douglass Library
3353 W. 13th St.
Saturday, July 24

3048 E. 130th St.
Saturday, August 14

For more information email

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

He knows best...

Volunteer for the 2010 Chicago Green Festival!

To register to volunteer, please visit:

May 22-23, 2010 at Navy Pier! Are you committed to environmental and social justice? Be a part of helping put on an amazing 2-day event that will educate and activate people to make choices for a just and sustainable world! Become a part of a volunteer team that helps support the largest sustainability event in the country!

Volunteers receive free admission to the event for both days, an exclusive staff organic cotton t-shirt, free memberships to Global Exchange and Green America, and a 10% discount at the Green Festivals and Global Exchange Stores. Volunteers must sign up for at least one 4.5-5 hour shift.

Volunteers can also sign up to work on our Street Team, promoting the event and recruiting the over 1,000 volunteers to work the week-end of the Festival. Street Team volunteers, who give five hours before the event, gain all the benefits of event volunteers, but without having to miss a minute!
The Green Festival is an event co-produced by Global Exchange and Green America committed to the movement towards a just and sustainable society. The festival features: Over 200 Socially and Environmentally Responsible Enterprises * Community Groups * Over 100 leading Speakers * Organic Food Court *Local Music * Hands-on/Educational Pavilions * Green films * Yoga and movement classes * Green careers sessions * Organic beer and wine * Delicious organic cuisine and live music * And thousands of attendees who want to build a just and sustainable world and have opportunities to learn, be inspired, become active, & have fun!

I’d love to sign up your group!

Green Regards,

Kristi Koehler
National Volunteer Coordinator
Seven Star Events
828-236-0324 ext. 130


Earth Day is quickly approaching and The Recycling Program is working hard to make this years Eco Fair an even bigger success then last! Check out this video for some of the highlights from the 2009 Eco Fair so you know what to expect this year!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Art Installations Up

Have you seen the Columbia Chronicle stands lately? Well, you should.
The new theme: Food Industry "Efficiency or Deficiency"

If you don't know this is a new happening at Columbia created this spring semester. Twice a semester students will create visual art toward an environmentally-related theme that will be determined by The Recycling Program. Student's submissions will be showcased in the Columbia Chronicle stands around campus. It is a great way to use art to raise awareness of the issues that surround us daily!

Here are a few examples:

Happy Tuesday,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Obama Proposes More Offshore Drilling Areas

The Obama administration is proposing to open huge coastal areas for expansive oil and natural gas drilling. This would allow oil exploration along 167 million acres of ocean from Delaware to Central Florida. Nearly 130 million acres in the Arctic Sea would be opened too. Bristol Bay, a sensitive community with a few endangered species and plentiful fishing waters will be protected. The shore off of California will also be spared.

The proposal plans to reduce dependence on foreign oil while creating a comprehensive energy plan involving clean renewable energy. But is it worth it? It is hard to deny that we still haven't figured out how to clean up oil spills (and they are wiping out ecosystems).

The Senate may have one last chance to pass climate legislation before mid-term election concerns take over. Could this be a way to appease corporate interests? Offshore drilling would be a big desire granted. The trick is, keeping a strong enough environmentally-minded bill without letting it be stripped by outside interests.

It is not known how much potential fuel lies in the areas opened to exploration, although according to Interior Department estimates there could be as much as a three-year supply of recoverable oil and more than two years’ worth of natural gas, at current rates of consumption. But those estimates are based on seismic data that is, in some cases, more than 30 years old.

The eastern Gulf area is believed to contain as much as 3.5 billion barrels of oil and 17 trillion cubic feet of gas, the richest single tract that would be open to drilling under the Obama plan. Drilling there has been strongly opposed by officials from both political parties in Alabama and Florida who fear damage to coastlines, fisheries, popular beaches and wildlife. Interior Department officials said no wells would be allowed within 125 miles of the Florida and Alabama coasts, making them invisible from shore. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

So, what do you think? A planned transition? Or stuck in our ways?

-Neale Baldyga