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NAScar-bon Neutral?

Motor sports make an improbable environmentalist example
May 30, 2007

nascar_1.jpgYou may think the trees that ring the track at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway are an improbable background for a sports car race. After all, leafy trees and clean air are not necessarily what come to mind when you think about race tracks. Cheering fans, maybe. Revving motors that sound like gravel going through a blender, sure. An ice-cold foamer, of course (if you’re legal!). But not hippies and tree-hugging.

And yet Andy Cusack, the chief of our local speedway in Scarborough who orchestrated the planting of trees, grass, and flowers on the grounds, may be an unwitting trendsetter in the burgeoning movement in motor sports to go green.

Got any lingering doubts that environmentalism is becoming increasingly mainstream? If so, turn for proof to the wildly popular — and populist — sport of car racing. An improbable role model, you might say (and you’d be right). But anyone trying to get their minds around the complicated puzzles of greenhouse gases and global warming can learn a thing or two by watching how motor sports are adapting to the growing pressure to become eco-friendly. Full story...

The Allure of Off-Grid Living

Americans Discover the Allure of Off-Grid Living
May 18, 2007 — By Joseph B. Frazier, Associated Press

solarcells_1_1.jpgLAKE BILLY CHINOOK, Oregon -- Before power lines, people had no choice. They used lanterns, lit fires for warmth and packed away winter ice against hot summers.

But now, a growing number of Americans are shunning power lines, choosing to live "off the grid," without commercial power -- and still enjoying their computers and large-screen televisions.

In the 250-home Oregon community of Three Rivers, everyone gets most of their power from solar panels on their rooftops or on nearby structures positioned to more efficiently capture the sun.   Full story...

Green Graduation Gifts


boygrad_1.jpgIt's almost summer, and for many parents and their children that means graduation - that time for family and friends to shower the graduate with love, congratulations, and gifts.

Many families have raised their children in homes where environmental values are instilled from an early age. In other cases, it's the child, now a feisty and optimistic young adult, who has tried to lead the green life and swayed the household. Either way, it's important to encourage these newly independent young people to keep their environmental values at the forefront as they make their way to college and beyond. And what better way to help keep them on the green living path than with some green graduation gifts?   Full story...

Fast-growing bamboo offers 'green' option

Technically a grass, not a tree, and sustainable, it makes a good floor material
By JOHN DARLING for the Mail Tribune
May 24, 2007

bamboo_1.jpgYou're putting in a new floor. You want wood. But you don't want to mow down a forest and feel guilty. You also would like to brag that you did it up green and used something called "eco-timber."

What's eco-timber? It's wood that's good for the environment because it's sustainable, renewable, low-impact, doesn't have to be flown across half the world and doesn't exploit Third-World labor, even if they do need the money.  Full story ...

Packaging Gets Reduced, Recycled

Incredible Shrinking Packages
May 12, 2007 -  By CLAUDIA H. DEUTSCH, New York Times

Marketers usually boast about what they have added to their products. Increasingly, though, they are bragging about what they are taking out — by cutting down on packaging and its impact on the environment.

Procter & Gamble, for example, has introduced rigid tubes for Crest packaging_2.jpgtoothpaste that can be shipped and displayed on shelves without boxes. Aveda, a beauty products company, is expected to soon roll out a men’s care line that is packaged in bottles made of 95 percent recycled materials.
And Coca-Cola plans to cut the plastics in its Dasani water bottles by 7 percent over the next five years, just by tweaking the shape of the bottle and the cap.  Full story ...

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