Sustainability
EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

The major U.S. and foreign auto companies are racing to catch up to Tesla in the EV market, and are using this year’s auto show in Detroit to make the PR point, but there are few vehicles ready for market yet.   According to the AP, one of the reasons is that SUVs and trucks make up 72% of the new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, compared to 49% in December 2012.  Thus, these new EVs will need to be SUVs, according to Axios.  But only two of the vehicles scheduled to be “rolled out” at the Detroit auto show are electrified, AP notes, and neither is available for sale yet. 

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Nurdles: they sound cute, they’re anything but 

Nurdles: they sound cute, they’re anything but 

Science is continually discovering the extent of the damage microplastics wreak on our planet and especially the world’s oceans. These tiny (sometimes even microscopic) plastic fragments can become so small that they are absorbed by all sorts of marine organisms–from coral to the fish we eventually end up eating. While a lot of microplastic is a result of larger pieces of plastic breaking down, evidence shows that the second-largest source of marine plastic comes from nurdles.

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Cities Saying Bye-Bye to Styrofoam

Cities Saying Bye-Bye to Styrofoam

On Tuesday, the City of San Diego became the latest U.S. city to ban the use of styrofoam within city limits.  The ban covers the use and distribution some very common products like egg cartons, food containers, coolers, ice chests, pool or beach toys, mooring buoys and navigation markers made fully or partially of polystyrene foam, commonly known as styrofoam.  Other major cities like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. also now have styrofoam bans in effect. 

Why This Matters:  Styrofoam needs to go.  The new replacements are better for the planet and completely recyclable.  For example, TemperPack’s  “ClimaCell” packaging produces 97% less carbon emissions in the manufacturing process than styrofoam and will replace tens of millions of pounds of plastic foam that would otherwise be dumped in landfills and never biodegrade.  Good for the economy and good for mother earth.  Good for these cities for taking this bold action.  

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Balloon bans to follow plastic bags and straws?

Balloon bans to follow plastic bags and straws?

If 2018 was the year of the plastic straw ban then 2019 might shape out to be the year of balloon bans in coastal areas. Before you rush to judgment and say to yourself “these bans are going too far” just consider the fact that balloons filled with helium which are released into the air […]

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Toyota goes “pedal to the metal” on electric vehicle plans

Toyota Motor Corporation announced last month that it intends to speed its development and introduction of additional electric vehicles (hybrids, battery electric models and fuel-cell electric), with a goal of having every Toyota and Lexus model include an “electrified” option by 2025. 

Why This Matters:  As we pointed out in another ODP story today, vehicle emissions are rising in the U.S. again — which is very bad news.  This announcement by Toyota shows that even though the Trump Administration is rolling back the clean car standards, the auto industry is going to move in the right direction.  Increasingly, U.S. consumers want to wean themselves off conventional gasoline cars and the market will reflect that.  What is needed is a full suite of electric options — more electric vehicles of all types, sizes, configurations and prices — and more companies like Toyota, Tesla and Volvo that are moving rapidly in that direction.  The future is most definitely electric.

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One Cool Thing: Reverse Vending Machines

One Cool Thing: Reverse Vending Machines

Reverse vending machines are a hit with shoppers all over the world where they reduce plastic waste and increase recycling rates. The U.K.’s Iceland stores had a highly successful trial last year, they announced last week.

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