Earth Day Links–Save the Environment!


Harvard Business Review:
Companies Must Account for the True Cost of Their Products

If companies paid the full costs of their externalities, the now de facto taxpayer-subsidized things they produce — from energy and consumer goods to food and everything else — along with the ways they manufacture them would quickly become cleaner, safer, healthier, and more efficient and sustainable. In short, all the things we desperately need our world to be. We would no longer have a world where the “good stuff” is more expensive than the “bad stuff.”

The New York Times:
The Dandelion King
I soon learned that the carpets of green in suburbia are the product of assiduously applied chemicals. “Pre-emergent” herbicides are laid down more than once in the spring (mixed in with the fertilizer) to sabotage the germination of crabgrass, dandelions and other undesirables. If this fails, post-emergents may be applied en masse. And as the summer wears on, local pockets of resistance can be wiped out with a spray canister of poison……….And next time you see a yardful of sprouting dandelions, note that they look remarkably like things we call “flowers.” And later, when the flowers turn into fluff balls, look closely at one of those fluff balls and ask yourself whether it’s really so unattractive. Meanwhile, absorb the fact that the lawn you’re looking at is doing nothing to harm pets, toddlers or people in general.

Huffington Post:
Ten Anti-Plastic Heroes
There’s something suffocating our planet. It’s light, multipurpose, endemic to our modern lifestyles, and has a half-life of a few thousand years. It’s called plastic and it’s here to stay. Literally. Plastic products will live for anywhere from 1,000 to 1 million years. Let me give you a frame of reference for those dates.

The Economist:
Extended producer responsibility spreads;Junk bond;Governments oblige manufacturers to take back used goods for disposal
FOR seasoned shoppers, “buyer’s remorse” is a familiar feeling. “Seller’s remorse” may also become common soon, as ever more governments order manufacturers to assume the cost of disposing of their products after consumers are done with them. Until recently, most laws on “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) or “product stewardship” applied only to specific types of goods, such as car tyres or electronics. But in late March Maine, following the lead of several Canadian provinces, became the first American state to enact a blanket EPR law, which could in principle cover any product.

Also see Life Cycle Thinking: Corporate Responsibility for Products and Packing Past Consumer Purchasing


Flower picture from University of Auckland
Redwoods picture from Redwood Forest blog

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