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April 21, 2006--Apple® today announced an expansion of its successful recycling program, offering free computer take-back and recycling with the purchase of a new Macintosh® system beginning in June. US customers who buy a new Mac® through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com) or Apple's retail stores will receive free shipping and environmentally friendly disposal of their old computer as part of the Apple Recycling program. Equipment received by the program in the US is recycled domestically and no hazardous material is shipped overseas. And now you know.

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The spread of Wal-Mart

Yeesh. Here's a short video of Wal-Mart's spread in the U.S. It accompanies a paper called "The Diffusion of Wal-Mart and Economies of Density" (PDF) by the University of Minnesota's Thomas Holmes. (via Kottke)

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Green-Up on Aisle Six

Supermarket chains now offering store-brand organic foods The hippies-and-yuppies stereotype that's long stuck to organic food may soon fade, as mainstream supermarket chains in the U.S. introduce hundreds of store-brand organic products. Supermarket organics can cost 10 to 15 percent less than national-brand organics, while still adhering to the same federal standards. Consumer demand is driving the trend: the market for organics has leapt from $3.6 billion in sales in 1997 to an estimated $15.5 billion this year. Organic farming is still relatively niche, "but the suppliers and growers are understanding the opportunity, and capacity is growing," says Safeway's senior …

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How companies are tapping the benefits of saving water

Name this critical and declining natural resource: It is pumped through pipelines and delivered by trucks. It is essential to our daily lives and to every business process and function. Its uneven distribution around the globe leads to vast chasms in countries' development and economies. Wars have been fought over it. Water saved is a dollar earned. Photo: iStockphoto. If you've read the headline, you already know that the resource in question is not oil, but water. For companies, it's a liquid asset that's long been undervalued and overconsumed. The world's freshwater supply is at risk, and the question is …

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David Ford, biz consultant and forest advocate, answers questions

David Ford. With what environmental organization are you affiliated? I am the president and CEO of Metafore, an enterprise nonprofit based in Portland, Ore. How does it relate to the environment? We help businesses align their practices so they achieve positive social and environmental outcomes. In Metafore's view of the world, "Every business is in the forest business." Photo: iStockphoto. Our initial focus was on how businesses can have a positive effect on the world's forests and the people who depend on those forests through their wood and paper purchasing practices. Today, we are beginning to look beyond the trees …

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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Blaming

Rising oil prices send lawmakers into frenzy of empty gestures The American public will take lots of things lying down -- inaction on climate change, ill-conceived wars, erosion of civil liberties -- but expensive gas? Hell no! With oil prices topping $75 a barrel, gas prices sneaking up on $3 a gallon, and some East Coast gas stations running dry, Americans are demanding demagoguery from their lawmakers, and lawmakers are asking "how high?" Some legislators are pushing for a windfall tax on oil companies; others are calling for inquiries into price gouging; still others want to loosen environmental regulations on …

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We Hope This Goes Better Than the Whole Dot-Com Thing

Internet bigwigs are putting their money on cleantech Some people know a good investment when they see one: Steve "Founder of AOL" Case, Bill "Founder of Microsoft and Stoopid Rich" Gates, and John "Early Investor in Amazon and Google" Doerr. Now they're seeing in green technology what they once saw in the internet, and they're putting their considerable financial clout behind "greentech" like car-sharing programs and ethanol refineries. Other tech-oriented big guns, like Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, are also getting involved, particularly in biofuels. The greentech sector is small but growing: In 1999, companies …

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An eco-career guru answers reader mail

As director of program development at The Environmental Careers Organization, Kevin Doyle knows a thing or two about job searching. In this recurring column for Grist, he'll explore the green job market and offer advice to eco-job-seekers looking to jumpstart their careers. Here's a career-development tip for would-be writers and bloggers: Don't miss your deadlines! I'm sorry for letting so much time pass between postings. To get back in your good graces, I've decided to dip into the mailbag and address some of the many questions you've asked. Happy reading, and thanks for your patience. I am an undergraduate student …

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An interview with Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott

Last week, Wal-Mart joined leading energy executives in their startling call for mandatory caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. The heart of this monolithic retail Grinch grew three sizes that day -- or so it seemed to many environmental Who's. Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott. For many enviros, the name "Wal-Mart" has always triggered a shudder. The world's biggest retailer has been charged with exacerbating suburban sprawl, burning massive quantities of oil via its 10,000-mile supply chain, producing mountains of packaging waste, polluting waterways with runoff from its construction sites, and encouraging gratuitous consumption. (And those are just the environmental complaints.) But it's …

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Big Oil and Big Auto get into a war of words

Writing on a private company blog directed at journalists and analysts, Chrysler's head spokesflack Jason Vines aimed the big guns at Big Oil: Despite a documented history of blowing their exorbitant profits on outlandish executive salaries and stock buybacks, and hoarding their bounty by avoiding technologies, policies and legislation that would protect the population and environment and lower fuel costs, Big Oil insists on transferring all of that responsibility on the auto companies. Yes, even though the automakers have spent billions developing cleaner, more efficient technologies such as high-feature engines, hybrid powertrains, multi-displacement systems, flexible fuel vehicles, and fuel cells, …