There’s Profit in Reusing Office Furniture

Office room

When opening an office a key thing to take into consideration is where people are going to work. In these modern times just letting employees sit on the floor won’t cut it. Buying furniture can be expensive and add a lot to startup costs, so an enterprising company has taken to selling used furniture.

When companies upgrade their offices they just throw out their old furniture -8.5 million tonnes of it went into the trash last year! There’s money to be had in saving that furniture from landfills, and that’s where reusing office furniture becomes profitable.

“In Canada and the United States, the purchase of new office furniture is in the realm of a $10-billion-a-year industry, so the amount of churn is exceptional, and for the most part it’s always been considered a waste stream,” said Richard Beaumont, vice-president of strategic accounts at Green Standards. “Through resale, metal recycling and charitable donations we, on average, divert just under 99 per cent from landfills by weight.”

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Uruguay Defeated Big Tobacco

Large tobacco companies that operation multinationally and earn billions of dollars a year off of an unhealthy addictive drug often fight poor nations. They fight poor nations in the courts and the markets when those poor nations try to increase the well being of their citizens by managing tobacco sales. Recently Uruguay won a legal battle agains Phillip Morris (part of Altria) through the International Centre for Investment Disputes – it’s a massive victory too!

First, the Uruguay case will embolden other governments who have the political will to fight the tobacco epidemic but have been understandably circumspect about the possibility of multi-million dollar litigation. But the fact that Uruguay won is not the only positive lesson from the case. PMI and other tobacco multinationals have nearly limitless resources – they can launch cases even when they are sure they will lose.

Second, Uruguay did not stand alone. Philanthropists (especially former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg), civil society and academics lined up to support the government, committing both funding and in-kind help. PMI’s vast resources and the power that unfortunately often seems to flow from immorality were trumped by solidarity and a confidence of being on the right side of history. David had only his sling and stone. Uruguay had a volunteer army. Mayor Bloomberg, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have already set up an emergency fund to support other countries who fall into Big Tobacco’s cross-hairs. Those governments can count on the same army of volunteers.

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Thanks to Delaney!

Underwater Art Gallery

Art galleries are great cultural institutions and seeing one underwater is magnificent. With each installation to the underwater gallery it gets better to explore and better for life. One of the key aspects of this gallery is that it is home to a whole ecosystem.

For sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, the ocean is more than a muse — it’s an exhibition space and museum. Taylor creates sculptures of human forms and mundane life on land and sinks them to the ocean floor, where they are subsumed by the sea and transformed from lifeless stone into vibrant habitats for corals, crustaceans and other creatures. The result: Enigmatic, haunting and colorful commentaries about our transient existence, the sacredness of the ocean and its breathtaking power of regeneration.

Grow Diamonds Instead of Buying Blood Diamonds

Blood diamonds are a problem for a multitude of reasons and they really shouldn’t be since we can create diamonds from scratch. A company called Pure Grown Diamonds sell diamonds that are grown in a a lab for all your diamond needs. The market for diamonds is largely a social construct based off of good marketing, so you may as well play it safe and go for lab-grown diamonds instead of buying diamonds from sketchy sources.

How are Pure Grown Diamonds made?

Pure Grown Diamonds are produced by utilizing two gem-quality diamond creation processes: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). In both processes, a small diamond seed is placed in an environment that contains carbon. Under suitably controlled conditions, the diamond grows, atom-by-atom, layer-by-layer, recreating nature’s process.

Grown Diamonds—Eco Advantages

In a recent environmental impact analysis, Frost & Sullivan (F&S) concludes the impact of the Pure Grown Process is seven times lower than Diamond Mining.

Mined diamonds disturb more land, produce more mineral waste, use more water, create more air emissions (carbon, NOx and SOx), use more energy, have more environmental incidents, result in more lost time injury (both in terms of frequency and severity) and have a higher occupational disease rate. Based on their calculations, F&S further concludes that mined diamonds represent more than 7 times the level of impact as compared to grown diamonds.

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The Future of Green Burials Lies in the Past

The modern funeral industry took something that was natural and safe and converted it into a toxic-filled death. When people die we need to dispose of the body in an appropriate way to ensure diseases don’t spread, human civilizations have been doing this for millennia.

However, in the past hundred years we have started taking corpses and filling them with toxic chemicals which means we can’t bury the bodies like we used to. Toxic corpses are more dangerous than non-toxic ones and this has caused people to reflect on what to do.

Green burials are growing in popularity as a result. Indeed, we first looked at green burials back in 2007.

Green burials are the minimalist, eco-conscious burials of the future, but emerging from a history deeply rooted in the past. The dead are wrapped in cloth shrouds or placed in simple coffins made from natural materials like cardboard or pine and buried in a green space, such as a rural or woodland area. “It turns a gruesome procedure into something more natural and celebratory,” explained Mark Harris, author of Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial.

He describes the process as, “returning a body into the earth, where it’s allowed to degrade naturally, renourish soil, push up a tree, rejoin a natural cycle of life.” And, green funerals are much cheaper, with most costing in the low thousands, whereas the median cost for a funeral requiring a vault comes in at over $8,000. According to Harris, “the current cemetery functions less as a resting ground for the dead than a landfill of non-biodegradable and sometimes hazardous materials.”

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