What makes cities sustainable? One top 5 listing

November 30, 2011


Top 5 and top 10 lists are a popular format for evaluating everything from movies to sustainable cities, and of course the criteria will always be subjective in certain ways. Never-the-less, these lists can be interesting and informative and certain patterns emerge.  In the case of sustainable cities, almost every list contains San Francisco and Read more...

Envisioning the home of the future

November 9, 2011


A “Microbial Home” has been imagined and created as part of the Phillips’ Design Probes Program.  A home which features closed-loop systems where waste products from one process are used as energy inputs for another.  Example:  a central work area featuring a bio-digester.  The bio-digester is fed organic waste such as vegetable trimmings to produce Read more...

What is Cool? Compostable Organics Out of Landfills

October 21, 2011

COOL quick-reference3

Yes the initiative known as “COOL” is an acronym, and a good one too.  Comostable Organics Out of Landfills.  As they succinctly put it on their website:  Problem:  Landfilling food and paper is heating up the planet.  Solution:  Composting.  It gets bio degradables out of landfills and feeds local soils. Cool is a project of Read more...

For-Profit Businesses Can be Superheroes Too

September 12, 2011

Alex and Nikhil proudly display their mushroom kits

Now that North Americans have begun to recognize the energy and nutrient potential in organic waste, entrepreneurs have found new ways to make money from this still under-the-radar resource. Organic waste-related businesses that turn a profit while doing good at the same time have begun to spring up across North America. Back to the Roots Read more...

Composting in the Heartland!

September 8, 2011


Sometimes it seems all the cool green practices and developments in waste management are happening on the left coast.  The web is rife with stories about the strides made by San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.  Yes, in many ways, these are the leaders in municipal waste management and other green practices…..but guess what?  They Read more...

Harvest Expands “Organics Operating System” with Acquisition of Leading Soil & Mulch Manufacturer Coastal Supply

September 6, 2011


Harvest recently turned heads with its acquisition of Coastal Supply, a Delaware-based soil and mulch manufacturer. From the press release: “Coastal Supply, now known as Harvest Garden Pro, operates a robust, award-winning network of manufacturing facilities for bagged soils, mulches and stone. Each year its products and services support over one million gardens throughout 14 Read more...

Plain speaking about garbage and compost from the mayor of Portland

August 19, 2011

oregon logo_olive

Earlier this month in this blog we reviewed a major residential food waste program taking shape in Portland, Oregon.  (Portland Considers Major Food Waste Recycling Effort).  After a successful 2,000 home pilot program, Portland is rolling a major effort out to 145,000 homes.  Not everyone is thrilled about the “hassle” of separating out organic waste Read more...

Portland considers major food waste recycling effort

August 11, 2011


Portland, Oregon is the latest North American city considering a major effort at recycling and composting food waste.  The benefits of such programs are well documented and in theory could reduce the flow of garbage by nearly 30%.  Even without full participation, the reduction in garbage volume for a large city can be significant. In Read more...

Food Scraps Recycling Effort in Vancouver

July 15, 2011


Again and again we find ourselves covering developments in Vancouver.   By almost any measure, this is one of the “greenest” cities in the world, and they seem constantly immersed in innovations in environmental, recycling and sustainability projects.   Most recently an article by Jeff Lee in the Vancouver Sun reviews a new pilot project to move Read more...

Greenest cities in North America?: US and Canada Green City Index Project

July 13, 2011


Over 80% of US and Canadian citizens live in and around cities.  As the hubs of national life, these cities face significant challenges and opportunities for infrastructure development and for the environment.   In an ambitious effort to assess these challenges, a major ongoing research project is taking place. The U.S. and Canada Green City Index, Read more...

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