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Yes Print Day!

You may recall that we snatched victory from the jaws--er, branches, perhaps--of defeat last summer, when the printing industry pressured Toshiba into canceling its "No Print Day," which had been scheduled for today, October 23.

Still, it seems apt that we mark the occasion in some fashion, so perhaps we should call today Yes Print Day. Now, mind you, we do not advocate wasteful and random printing; that is, don't just start outputting stuff willy-nilly. But if you are printing today--and if you are a commercial print establishment, you'd better be!--perhaps raise a glass of bubbly or slap on a "Yes, Printed with Pride!" label or, heck, put on a Yes album...I'm just blue-skying here.

At any rate, perhaps we should take today to reflect on and announce from the rooftops not only the advantages of print, but the inherent environmental sustainability of paper and print. Visit our friends at Two Sides and/or PIA for copious amounts of data, case studies, and other info.

Print! Yes! Yours is no disgrace!

(Thanks to our friend Mr. Tree, if that is his name, at Dead Tree Edition for the reminder.)

Fast Fact logo

WhatTheyThink's Going Green has joined forces with Two Sides to help address the "perceptions" that paper destroys forests, that electronic media are "greener" than print and paper, and that recycling is the solution to all environmental ills.

While writing about the new Earthworks Recycle My Cell Phone Web site, discussed elsewhere in this issue of the Going Green Digest, I happened to come across the figure that "only 10% of old cellphones are recycled," according to the EPA. And that's perhaps an optimistic estimate.

Why Should You Care?

As today is our self-decreed "Yes Print Day!" (formerly "No Print Day"), we should take this opportunity to point out that as many people and organizations are--falsely--decrying how environmentally damaging print and paper are, the ubiquitous devices that everyone has clapped to their heads represent a potentially far more pressing environmental problem in the form of e-waste, especially given how quickly upgrade cycles are. (Funny, my 80-year-old aunt is still perfectly happy with her old rotary dial Bakelite phone from the 1960s. You can't update your Facebook page on it, but you can actually hear a telephone conversation--unless she's talking to someone on a cellphone, that is.) Sure, discarded print often ends up in landfills, but at least when it does, it doesn't leach potentially toxic materials into the groundwater.

For more Two Sides facts see www.twosides.us/mythsandfacts.

If you've got green news, or know of a green event you'd like to see listed on Going Green, burn a few electrons and email me, Richard Romano, Managing Editor, with all the details.


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Newsweek Announces Green Rankings

Newsweek is in the news on two front. First, as you likely well know by now, it has decided to cease print publication effective at the end of this year.

More relevantly, for the purposes of The Blog, Newsweek has just released its fourth annual Green Rankings, wherein the magazine, in conjunction with Trucost and Sustainalytics, evaluate the 500 largest U.S. companies and give them a Green Score. GreenBiz outlines the criteria:

an Environmental Impact Score (45% of the total) compiled by Trucost, involving more than 700 metrics--a comprehensive, quantitative, and standardized measurement of the overall environmental impact of a company's global operations;

an Environmental Management Score (45%) compiled by Sustainalytics, an assessment of how a company manages its environmental footprint, including its environmental policies, programs, targets and initiatives of both its own operations and its suppliers and contractors, as well as the impact of its products and services; and

an Environmental Disclosure Score (10%), evaluating the quality of company sustainability reporting and involvement in key transparency initiatives such as the Global Reporting Initiative and Carbon Disclosure Project.

Such rankings are inevitably open to debate, but the good news this year is that unlike last year, where they rejiggered the criteria, we get a better sense of how this year's results compare to last year's. And the big story may be that there is no big story; few companies have moved dramatically up or down. But:

Not that there weren't some big movers, both up and down. For example, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. hit the jackpot, rising 238 slots to #128 on the U.S. list. Goodyear Tire got traction, moving up 178 slots to #74. Hershey's sweetened its position, rising 172 slots to #256. All told, 26 companies moved up 100 or more places in the U.S. rankings.

Who are the top "green" companies? IBM, HP, and Sprint Nextel are the top U.S. companies; Santander Brasil, Wipro, and Bradesco are the top worldwide companies; and UPS, Owens Corning, and Kimberly-Clark are the top three "transparent" companies in the U.S. As for the U.S.'s least green companies? Black Rock, Alpha Natural Resources, and CF Industries holdings.

Recycle Your Old iPhone

Some time ago, we posted about a potential e-waste problem with the new Apple iPhone 5, and all the potential discarded legacy iPhones. To help stanch that flow of old handsets, Earthworks has launched its Recycle My Cell Phone Web site where you fill out a simple form and they will tell you where to send your old phone. If you collect more than 20 handsets (through legal channels, I hasten to add) they will cover shipping. They also offer steps on how to organize a cellphone collection drive. Earthworks has partnered with MPC, which handles the actual recycling. As Earthworks points out:

recovering the gold, silver, palladium and copper found in the 50 million iPhone 5s projected to enter pockets and purses by the end of the year would reduce the demand for newly mined metals by nearly 14 tons, eliminating 20 million tonnes of mining waste.

Or, you can even hang onto the old one and use it for other purposes. When I bought my iPhone 4 several years ago, I put my old first-gen iPhone to use as a dedicated iPod for the car. Six years after I originally bought it, it still functions perfectly fine.

Also, too: Apple will help you recycle your old handsets and other electronics, in-store or via mail.

No Whey!

Here is one of those stories that just may freak some people out, but I tend to be much less squeamish about things like this. A team of New Zealand researchers have bioengineered a hypoallergenic cow--creatively named Daisy (what, was Elsie taken?)--that can produce milk devoid of the protein (β-lactoglobulin) that causes the allergic reactions common to those who have problems digesting whey. The research is all still in the early stages, and they have found that although Daisy's milk lacked β-lactoglobulin, it was higher in casein, another protein that also can trigger allergies, albeit those unrelated to whey allergies. One other weird thing: Daisy was born without a tail, which the scientists believe is unrelated. And thereby hangs a...well, maybe not.

Although the anti-GM folks will likely, ahem, have a cow, it bears mentioning that Daisy-esque milk is a very long ways away from the grocer's dairy case. "We are nowhere near any clinical tests--what we are currently doing is to show that milk from our transgenic cow is indeed less allergenic," said study author and scientist at AgResearch in New Zealand Stefan Wagner.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


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