Banana fibers Ecofacts V.10 n.12

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I recently met someone who is helping to build another kind of bio-economy, a rural, local economy that employs people and banana fibers to solve an age old problem. Menstruating girls and women in developing countries who cannot afford access to hygenic methods of dealing with their periods must often miss school or work for days every single month. The alternatives are rags, leaves and/or mud … [Read more...]

Toxic Chemicals in Paints and Coatings – Which Ones to Avoid

Just about every surface you can think of gets coated – Floors, walls, counter & table surfaces, fabrics & furniture, cars, covers, packaging, toys, phones, electronics, the list goes on and on. What we need to pay attention to, however, is what they are coated with, because these coatings of paint, varnishes and sealants are what we are in daily contact with, and we absorb them and what … [Read more...]

Bioeconomy & plants Ecofacts V.10 n11

Green Energy in the Age of the Internet

Modern humans rely on about 150 plants for their diet & the bioeconomy, out of tens of thousands of edible ones (FAO estimates more than a quarter million) Of those, corn rice and wheat make up two thirds of the world's calories, and are grown on two thirds of all arable land.   And here is a shocker from the FAO: "Today 75% of the world's food is generated from only 12 plants and 5 animal … [Read more...]

Guest Blog Post from Jay Watts of AFM Safecoat, our expert on all things AFM!

Jay Watts, AFM Safecoat

I would like to welcome guest blogger, Jay Watts, from AFM Safecoat.  Jay has agreed to help us better understand the three part carpet care system from AFM. "We are repeatedly asked for recommendations on how to effectively seal new carpeting. Over the years, our customers have effectively controlled new carpet emissions in a three step approach using AFM Safecoat  Carpet Seal and LockOut. The … [Read more...]

MENA Energy and Water – Ecofacts V.10 n.9

Water and Energy Saving Month

The Middle East  - MENA (Middle East North Africa) is a unique region in the world's energy and water nexus. It is loaded with fossil fuel, holding nearly 60% of the world's oil reserves, and nearly 45% of its natural gas reserves. Fuel rich and water poor, it is home to 6.3% of the world's population and has access to only 1.4% of the globe's fresh water supply. 14 of the world's 20 most water … [Read more...]

Surfing sustainably? – Ecofacts V.10 n.8

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Surfers are certainly passionate about the ocean environment, and riding the waves is pretty darn clean fun. But what do they ride? Generally boards made of oil derived chemicals - foam cores, fiberglass and resins - polluting and toxic in their manufacture. And what do they wear? Neoprene wetsuits, also a synthetic petro product, which can be bought from China for a buck a yard. One wonders about … [Read more...]

Rethinking Progress – Ecofacts V.10 n. 7

Rethinking Progress

Progress is a process that leads to something better. For a nation, economic growth has always meant progress. This model has been one of take-make-dispose. It is linear and finite, like the resources that feed it. We have progressed to now rethinking progress. We buy electronic devices, and myriad things in complex packaging, and then throw them away, out of our vision. But there is no away. … [Read more...]

The Power of Film – Ecofacts V.10 n.6

The Power of Film

Our International Film Festival always brings gems from so many realms, literal and figurative. On one day this past week I was lucky to attend two that were each mind blowing, one from its sheer astonishing beauty, and the other, from the power of its information delivery.  Jean-Michel Cousteau's Secret Ocean in 3D uses technology that allow us to see the tiniest and most beautiful forms of … [Read more...]

Real v. Political Climate Change – EcoFacts V.10 n.5

Real v. Political Climate Change

A poll just out shows that the great majority of Americans support government action to curb global warming.  83%, including 61% of Republicans, agree that global warming will be a serious problem in the future if nothing is done to reduce emissions. Nearly half of Republicans are more likely to support a candidate who will work towards this, also half of Republicans believe that these actions … [Read more...]

The Economics of Water – EcoFacts V.10 n.4

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An email arrived a few days ago announcing the proposed water rate increases in Santa Barbara, the revenue from which would be used to help manage our ever dwindling water supplies, and possibly reactivate a very expensive desalinization plant that was never put into use. Much has been written on the City's water situation  with Cachuma's level being around 28% and Gibraltar's even lower. But, if … [Read more...]