Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

November 4, 2008

Amazon Reduces Packaging (They Took My Advice)

Category: Companies,Cool Sites,Household,Transportation – Tom Harrison – 6:33 pm

Personally, I take full credit for Amazon’s new “Frustration-Free” packaging, as it was I who came up with a list of environmental suggestions for Amazon this summer. Today they announced a new multi-year initiative. They made a fun video which shows some of the benefits.

In short: all of the incredible packaging created only to make products good for store retail are removed and replaced with packaging optimized for shipping. (more…)

August 15, 2008

Amazon: Green Shopping Section

Category: Companies,Cool Sites,Economics,Tips – Tom Harrison – 12:05 pm

Amazon Goes Green

Amazon Green

A simple and good idea. Shop at Amazon Green.

I hope they continue to make attempts to improve their shipping practices. They do claim that their packaging is “right sized” and mostly made of recycled materials, but they have to be able to do better. As one of the country’s (world?) leading online retailers, they should have some power.

Here’s my list of suggestions: (more…)

May 16, 2008

Packaging (physical injury from opening)

Category: Conservation,Cool Sites – Tom Harrison – 8:51 pm

There’s a kind of plastic packaging that I have injured myself with several times. This is intentional on the part of marketers — when packaged for retail, shoplifting is much harder.

Injurious Plastic Packaging

But I buy a lot of stuff online. (In fact, I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I enter almost any big-box retail store. They never have what I need, they try to sell me junk I don’t need, and I occasionally settle for an inferior alternative to what I want out of frustration.) Why can’t the five percent of items needed for retail display be packaged in this way, and the rest be packaged efficiently? (more…)

April 12, 2008

Relative Energy Cost of Food vs. Food Bags

Category: Conservation,Economics,Household,Organic & Local Food – Tom Harrison – 5:13 pm

Paper or Plastic? According to one article, the right answer seems to be “more vegetables.” The TerraPass blog did a very interesting article based on a study comparing the embedded energy of

  • Plastic Bags
  • Paper Bags
  • Vegetable Diet
  • Meat Diet

Their conclusion is simple: a meat diet is 186 times more energy intensive than the plastic bags used to carry it home. Paper bags were judged to be worse than plastic, meat worse than vegetables.

But, this is the wrong conclusion to draw from the facts.

I am of two minds when seeing articles like this. (more…)