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How two guys turned recycled coffee grounds into a gourmet mushroom empire

Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez were recent grads who were supposed to go into investment banking, but they became obsessed with the idea that mushrooms could be grown in old coffee grounds, reports Sarah Stankorb at GOOD. Faster than you can say "triple bottom line" they'd interested their local Whole Foods in their first batch of mushrooms -- grown in a bucket in the basement of Velez's fraternity.

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Giant companies get real about climate adaptation

Who’s got billions of dollars and isn't going to wait for the GOP to arrive in the 21st century before they drop a significant portion of it on preparing for our climate-changed future? These guys, according to Marc Gunther at GreenBiz:

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Africa’s first green, locavore, gluten-free beer

In Mozambique, home brewing is big -- not because the country is full of mustachioed, fixie-riding expats from Portlandia, but just because it’s less expensive. So when brewing giant SABMiller wanted to figure out how to sell beer to people who are already making their own, they had to do it on the cheap, reports Marc Gunther at GreenBiz. Using local ingredients and less energy turned out to be key to keeping prices competitive with the corner moonshine still.

The result is Impala, a beer made from cassava, the starchy root endemic to Africa.

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Turning your teeth green — in a good way [VIDEO]

Nathan Swanson might be the greenest dentist in the state of New Hampshire ... or the whole country. His practice, Newmarket Dental, reduces radiation by using a digital X-ray sensor, hands out toothbrushes made with recycled yogurt containers, and is on its way to being a paperless office. Swanson can't make getting your teeth cleaned more fun, but he can make it greener. Check out the video to find out how he does it.

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Critical List: Patagonia becomes a Benefit Corporation; oil industry threatens Obama

Patagonia has become a Benefit Corporation, which means it can prioritize goals other than profit. The oil industry is sending a message to Obama: Approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or face the political music in 2012. It is possible to avoid earthquakes when disposing of fracking wastewater. It's just really, really expensive. The U.S. isn't the only country leery of the E.U.'s carbon trading airline scheme: China's protesting, too. The U.S. and Europe are threatening to embargo Iranian oil. Iran's threatening to cut off the Straight of Hormuz, an important oil shipping route. The upshot of this situation, if it …

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Facebook and coal are no longer in a relationship

Until recently, Facebook had an "it's complicated" relationship with coal; an April 2011 Greenpeace report found that 53.2 percent of the company's electricity use was coal-generated. Now, the company is pledging to move away from dirty fuel and work towards powering its operations, including energy-suck data centers, using renewable energy. And they're helping to spread the word to others. The move from coal to renewables won't be as slow or rocky as the move from Facebook to Google+, but it's not going to be instantaneous. Still, the company has committed to foregrounding "access to clean and renewable energy" when considering …

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Apple HQ could have the country’s biggest solar installation, and it still won’t be enough

The current plan for the new Apple headquarters calls for 500,000 or more square feet of solar panels, generating at least 5MW of power. That could make it the biggest corporate solar panel installation in the U.S. -- but Apple operations take so much power that this will just be supplemental. The proposed building, which would house 13,000 Apple employees, will run primarily on natural gas. The solar panels, which will cover the majority of the building's roof, are providing backup power. Five megawatts is enough to power a million AppleTVs (which I only just found out were a thing), …

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Samsung’s new Zombocalypse-proof appliances

Samsung's new line of energy-efficient, even solar-powered appliances that are robust in the face of power fluctuations and outages were built for Africa (that’s why they’re called “Built for Africa”), but they have “catastrophist stocking stuffer” written all over them. And Samsung knows it -- how else can we explain their promo shots? This girl is like "hey, power's out because of peak coal, but whatever, I'm just hanging out on this ad-hoc mesh network, IMing with my friends in Taiwan about the spot price of palm oil, 'sup." As part of the company's new "Built for Africa [and also …

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White House to make $4 billion out of $0 using energy efficiency

Everyone says energy efficiency can pay for itself, and now the White House is out to prove it, by spending zero money to produce $4 billion. Yeah, I'm not making that up. From the administration: The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers. The other half of the $4 billion will come from a consortium of private investors, assuming they all come through. The whole operation has the …

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IKEA will ship disposable furniture on disposable pallets

IKEA knows from disposable. So when the company realized it could save money and shipping space by using cardboard shipping pallets, it tossed out its traditional wooden pallets like last year's BILLY bookshelf. The new pallets can support loads as heavy as the wooden pallets could, but they’re only a third as high and weigh 90 percent less. As a rule, more efficient shipping saves energy, because those monster boats that make globalization possible pig out on fossil fuels. On the other hand, the cardboard pallets will each only get one use. But they'll be recycled. But they come with …