There are plenty of planet-friendly playthings now on the market, writes Jennifer Berry. In this piece, she looks at five of them -- from organic stuffed animals to fully functioning miniature greenhouses.
Going green has environmental benefits, but until now there has been little data to show how retrofitting buildings with greener technologies can save energy and money. Now, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is financing the creation of a database of hundreds of retrofitted buildings in New York. "The largest obstacle to making these practices go mainstream is data that will convince building owners to retrofit their properties," said Gary Hattem, foundation president.
The World Wide Fund for Nature has unveiled an online game that puts players in charge of a company and lets them work out strategies for reducing their climate emissions without going broke. Players can choose how to invest their R&D funds in order to turn a profit while helping the planet.
Environmentally minded nicotine addicts could soon be puffing away on sustainable smokes, thanks to a company that offers compostable cotton-and-hemp based cigarette filters. With current filter designs taking 15 years to biodegrade, the new technology could help mitigate the effect that the habit has on the environment.
Researchers have found a way to reduce fuel consumption by almost 20% in trucks and about 30% in cars without increasing manufacturing costs. The new engine that would replace heavy-duty engines would combine gasoline and diesel in precise quantities to make combustion more efficient. The lighter-duty alternative uses gasoline with an additive to improve fuel ignition.
Wall Street firms have been encouraging their employees to volunteer as they intensify their effort toward corporate social responsibility. For example, Bank of America is aiming to exceed the 800,000 volunteer hours it logged last year with its One Million Hour Challenge this year.