BP Oil Spill One Year Later: Volunteers Still Needed

Today marks the one-year anniversary of BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the past year, more than 47,000 federal, state and local responders have worked on the cleanup efforts, according to the U.S. federal government. But the area is still recovering, and volunteers are needed to help families affected by the oil spill, as well as perform long-term monitoring of the coast line. Potential volunteers can search www.volunteerlouisiana.gov for opportunities to help in Louisiana, www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org in Florida,  www.mcvs.org in Mississippi and www.servealabama.gov in Alabama. Alabama nonprofits Mobile Baykeeper and the Alabama Coastal Foundation are also currently recruiting volunteers. “Volunteers are still needed to monitor our shorelines though Mobile Baykeeper and Alabama Coastal Foundation’s Volunteer Field Observer program and in the near future to help build oyster reef and plant marsh and sea grass,” said Casi Callaway, Mobile Baykeeper’s executive director. “The Volunteer Field Observer program enables us to document the shoreline both for health and any potential impacts from the BP oil disaster.” Individuals interested in the Field Observer program can … Continued

Disney Parks Reduce Waste by 60 Percent in 2010

Disneyland aims to be the happiest place on earth, but it also aspires to send no waste to the landfill. In its Corporate Citizenship report released last month, the Walt Disney Company revealed that last year, it diverted from the landfill 60 percent, or 181,838 tons, of the trash produced at its theme parks and resorts. The Burbank, Calif.-based company has a long-term goal of achieving zero waste to landfill at its parks and resorts. 2010 will be the second consecutive year that Disney exceeded its interim target of diverting its waste by 137,556 tons annually or 50 percent of the total waste its parks generated in 2006. Disney was able to hit its waste reduction goals despite an overall increase in waste produced at its parks from 2006 to 2010 because of construction at Calif.’s Disneyland Resort. To keep on target, Disney collected construction waste for recycling, increased its existing recycling programs and created new recycling programs at every park. In addition to collecting paper, cans and bottles from guests for recycling, Disney parks … Continued

BornFree Introduces Recyclable Baby Bottle

Maker of baby bottles and cups BornFree recently announced its new line of recyclable baby bottles and the launch of a national recycling program for these baby bottles. Like BornFree’s original baby bottles, the new eco-friendly bottles are free of chemicals Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, as well as the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The new bottles are made from new, unused materials and available in 5 or 9 ounces. [search type="recycling" what="baby products" whatlabel="baby products"] The main difference between BornFree’s original bottles and the new line of eco-friendly bottles is the new bottles’ recyclability. When families no longer need the bottles, they can be returned to BornFree to be recycled into toys, furniture and utensils. BornFree is in the process of establishing collection centers for the bottles at retailers that sell BornFree products, Babies ‘R Us, Target, BuyBuyBaby and Bed Bath & Beyond. In the mean time, customers can mail in bottles to the company and receive free postage by registering their return on BornFree’s website. “BornFree has always been committed to a baby’s … Continued

White House's Easter Eggs to be Made from Sustainable Wood

This year, Earth Day and Easter hit the calendar within days of each other, so it’s only fitting that the annual White House Easter Egg Roll is aiming to be greener. This year’s souvenir eggs are made from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which verifies the wood’s sustainable production from the forest of origin through the supply chain.  Available in four pastel colors, the eggs feature the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady. Packaging for the souvenir egg is designed to be easily recyclable through local recycling programs. Made from paperboard certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the packaging features eco-friendly vegetable oil-based inks and a water-based coating. All children under 12 years old receive the White House Easter Egg as a souvenir when they attend the Easter Egg Roll on the White House’s South Lawn on Monday, April 25. Souvenir eggs are also available to the public for purchase through the National Park Foundation. You may also like… Staples’ New Paper Line from Sustainably-Managed Forests President Proposes 12.6 Percent Cut … Continued

Sprint Unveils New Green ID Pack, Eco Phone

SAN FRANCISCO – Today Sprint announced a new feature for its smartphone customers to easily access mobile content on sustainable living. Sprint’s Green ID pack allows customers to individualize their smartphones with eco-minded apps and widgets in a single download. “It couldn’t be simpler to download…then your phone works just the way it normally does – your email, your texting, your Twitter, your Facebook,” Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, said during the launch event. “If you like it, you can tell your friends about it, and we hope to have it available on all Androids in the future.” The Green ID pack’s “Green Now” home screen streams environmental news from Earth911.com, TreeHugger.com and GreenBiz.com. It also features Earth911’s free iRecycle® app, which lists more than 800,000 recycling and disposal options for more than 240 materials and covers news and trends in recycling and product stewardship. The Green ID Pack’s second screen, “Live Green,” provides weekly tips on green living from Green America and a personal carbon footprint calculator. On the “Shop Green” screen, customers can find … Continued

Recyclebank Launches Green Your Home Challenge

Recyclebank already rewards participants for adopting greener habits like recycling with discounts and deals from local and national businesses. Now the New York-based company is offering more than 100 prizes to people who pledge to take green actions in their homes and motivate their friends to do the same with the Green Your Home challenge. Each week on the Green Your Home website, Recyclebank will “unlock” a different room of a house, revealing new green tips and challenges for that room. In the kitchen, for example, participants can take a tutorial on product labels such as “organic” and “fair trade” and pledge to use one less paper towel a day. Participants’ scores are tabulated based on the number of challenges they complete and the number of friends they convince to take actions. The challenge runs until April 30. The contest’s grand prize is an $18,000 green kitchen makeover by green living expert Danny Seo and includes LG Energy Star appliances, chairs made of recycled plastic Coca-Cola bottles and a one-year supply of Ziploc products, featuring … Continued

PHOTOS: San Francisco Green Festival

Photos by Alexis Petru, Edited by Amanda Wills Billed as “the nation’s premier sustainability event,” the San Francisco Green Festival was held last weekend, April 9-10, and Earth911 was there to get the story. In its 10th year, the event featured green businesses, instructional workshops on green living, organic wine and beer tastings, games for kids and expert speakers. Nonprofits Green America and Global Exchange will host upcoming Green Festivals in Chicago, Seattle, New York and Los Angeles. Farm Fresh To You delivers organic produce from its family farm to your doorstep.

Meet the Zero Waste Family

The average American throws out about 1,000 pounds of garbage every year, according to the U.S. EPA. The Johnson family in California has created only one handful of trash in six months. This family of four aims to reach zero waste – producing no trash going to landfill – or as close to it as possible. And they’re already pretty close. SEE: Slideshow of Zero Waste Family The Johnsons, who live just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley, aren’t just simply recycling their way to reach zero waste. “Recycling is a last resort,” says Béa Johnson, who led her family’s waste reduction efforts and chronicles her experience in the blog, The Zero Waste Home. Johnson is referring to the fact that while recycling is better for the environment than extracting and manufacturing raw materials, it still uses energy and creates pollution. To make her home zero waste, Johnson relied on the three Rs of the recycling hierarchy in their order: reduce, reuse and recycle. Johnson even added her own R to the front of the … Continued

DOE Lab Studies Uses for Expired Electric Vehicle Batteries

With electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt set to be available to consumers later this year, what will happen to the cars’ batteries when they are no longer usable? The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced last week that it will partner with a team of industry and universities, led by the California Center for Sustainable Energy, to study second uses for EVs’ lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Researchers think that old Li-ion batteries may be used to manage residential and commercial electric power and to stabilize the power grid. The batteries could also store energy generated by renewable sources such as wind and solar and be tied to the electric grid. According to the NREL, this is the first comprehensive study into the feasibility of secondary uses for Li-ion batteries. Reusing Li-ion batteries is not only good for the environment, but it may also have economic benefits. Researchers will investigate the economic feasibility of giving EV purchasers a credit for the remaining value of a used battery, which … Continued