February 29, 2008

It's raining green dough

Despite US recession fears and volatile stock markets, investments seem to continue pouring in for new technologies related to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and oil consumption.

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February 25, 2008

Retailers stop toying with standards

No more child's play for retailers when it comes to selling toy products.

Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart recently announced stricter standards for their toys' product safety requirements such as increased quality assurance testing and reduction or phaseout of certain chemicals and metals in toys.

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February 22, 2008

New green chemicals offerings

The chemical industry is no fool when it comes to the green trend. Companies might whine about regulations and environmental groups' biases against chemicals but the bottom line remains - they will offer what their customers want.

Here's a roundup of some of the new green products I came across within the past few weeks:

1. Croda Crotein cashmere - the personal care industry is leaning more towards natural-based ingredients and chemical firms are responding. Croda said its new amino acid complex made from hydrolysis of the keratin fibers in cashmere wool provides good moisturization for skin, hair and nails.

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February 21, 2008

BASF bares carbon soul

European chemical company BASF SE said it is the first company ever across the globe to present a comprehensive carbon balance for its operations.

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Philips' green products light up

Marketing green products is paying off big time for electronics giant Philips.

The company reported a 33% sales increase on green products last year at EUR 5.3bn ($7.8bn) compared to EUR 4bn in 2006.

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February 20, 2008

Finding Nema in California

No this is not Nemo's sister but could be Nemo himself...except a little bit altered.

Toxicology researchers from Southern California released a study stating hormone-altering chemicals...

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February 19, 2008

R&D news roundup

Research and development on carbon dioxide is rising. As mentioned in my old CO2 post in December, there seem to be a lot of focus on the storage, reduction or new applications for this greenhouse gas.

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February 18, 2008

Green people wanted

Today's the President's Day holiday and I planned to take a break from my green blogging.

However, it seems that I can't escape. When I woke up this morning the first thing I heard when I turned on my TV was about the green trend opening up tons of new, profitable job posts, as reported on CBS Early Morning Show.

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February 15, 2008

NYC trashes e-waste

Recycling of old computers, printers, and other electronic products will soon become mandatory in New York City, according to this New York Times article.

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February 14, 2008

Be my green valentine

Thinking of what to give your environmentally-conscious, die-hard go-green sweetheart this Valentine's Day? Surprise him or her with these "green" products guaranteed to offset her carbon-filled heart.

1. Cosmetics and skin care
You won't have a hard time with these ones as there are so many natural-based/organic cosmetic products being hawked out there. Are they really natural or organic? Nobody really knows! And that's the beauty of them.

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Coke high on recycling

Coca-cola says its long term target is to recyle or reuse 100% of the aluminum beverage cans it sells in the US. How long it will take for that goal to reach remains uncertain.

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February 13, 2008

Greenpeace's dream city

Greenpeace UK recently released its virtual dream green city dubbed EfficienCity, which uses interactive animation to demonstrate how clean energy can be utilized to cut greenhouse gas emissions and lower electricity bills.

Talk about reaching mass audience especially the younger crowd! Greenpeace should be commended on using this very effective tool to educate consumers about alternative energy.

Maybe the chemical industry should use this type of media as well to educate consumers about the benefits and safety of their products.

February 12, 2008

Worldwide green issues

ICIS Chemical Business, the magazine I work for (About ICB), released on Monday its second annual Green issue covering topics ranging from consumer green trends, China's environmental crisis, to the backlash of biofuels.

These feature stories are free to access and don't be shy if you have some burning comments you want to put out about them.

1. Biofuels backlash grows in fuel versus food debate by Simon Robinson - the stakes are getting high for tortillas, corn flakes, water and bagel. Duck hunters are preparing to go on strike.

2. Consumer industry increases sustainability initiatives by Me - Big box retailers are phasing out chemicals purported to be toxic in their products and packaging. Some industry groups protest.

3. US presidential candidates tackle climate change by Mickey Carter - US climate change regulation is inevitable whoever wins the presidential election. More industry group protests on current proposals.

4. European auto and chem industries seek new refrigerants as R-134a is phased-out by Clay Boswell - the maligned carbon dioxide is being considered as the most environment-friendly refrigerant for automobiles. The fluorocarbon market could shrink extensively.

5. German chemical sector moves swiftly to cut emissions by Dede Williams - Proactive approach by various Germany-based chemical companies to comply with emissions regulations and become more green.

6. Specialty chemical distributor U.S. Chemicals focuses on the environment by Joseph Chang - the women-owned and operated business likes to choose green partners.

7. China's economic boom causes environmental crisis by John Richardson - the darker side of China's economic success. Regulatory enforcements, so far, are not working.

8. Biodegradable plastics confuse the public by Ivan Lerner - Misconception on the greeness of biodegradable plastics. The unrecyclable bioplastics can only degrade in expensive industrial composting plants.

Burt's Bees stings un-Natural labels

I was to blog about Sunday's greening Grammy Awards but Burt's Bees incoming new ads caught my attention.

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February 9, 2008

PFOA be gone

Producers of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) also known as C8, are peeling themselves away from the chemical thanks to the US Environmental Protection Agency's PFOA Stewardship program.

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February 8, 2008

Recession-proof buildings?

The US housing sector might be weak but green buildings are still expected to proliferate in the US this year and it is not because of re-painting.

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February 7, 2008

Why cleaners go for green?

It seems more consumers are willing to spend an extra buck or two to sweep away their environmental guilt.

In the cleaning market, sales for more environment-friendly and sustainable green products surge last year, according to research firms Packaged Facts and Information Resources Inc. (IRI)

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February 6, 2008

Plastics and babies

Plasticizers have been under spotlight this week targeting phthalates in baby care products and bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles.

According to a report published in the journal Pediatrics, the use of baby lotions, shampoos and powders resulted in higher levels of phthalates in infants. Around 163 infant urine samples were analyzed in the study.

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Green city breaks ground

Construction will soon start for Abu Dhabi's $15bn green city of the future.

The Masdar city is planned to be the world's first zero-carbon, zero waste, car-free community of 50,000 people, mostly with scientific pedigrees.

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February 5, 2008

Solar cells in style


Solar cells maybe new but that doesn't mean they should look ugly.

The Fraunhofer Institute in Munich, Germany, was able to develop...

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February 4, 2008

Kiss me, I'm an Irish bag


Environmental groups are hoping Ireland's success on plastic bag bans, which started five years ago, could be a catalyst for other countries to follow.

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San Francisco's idiotic bag ban

Here's an opinion from my colleague Ivan Lerner about San Francisco's recent regulation on plastic bags. The article, titled "Rally round the bag" was published on the Endpoint section of ICIS Chemical Business magazine (January 28, 2008).

San Francisco has become the first US city to ban plastic bags, meaning that litter will no longer be a problem there.

Oh, and the Golden Gate Bridge is for sale, too!

By Ivan Lerner/New York

Banning plastic bags will not stop people from being morons and filthy slobs.

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February 2, 2008

What is green cleaning?

That is the big question at last week's Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) meeting held in Boca Raton, Florida.

Some interpreted it as using renewable-based or natural/organic raw materials in their products while others try to eliminate any type of chemicals at all (is that possible??)

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