Sustainable Manufacturing

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Minimum Impact Logging?

Feller-gatherer harvesting trees in the FSC- and SFI-certified forests of the Adirondacks for Finch Paper Recently, I blogged about a trip I made to Finch Paper in Glens Falls, NY, where I got to see sustainable forestry and integrated, environmentally sensitive papermaking in action. One of the most powerful images in my mind from the […]

August 19th

Do Plastic Envelopes Undermine a Green Mailing?

Recently, I was privileged to participate on a judging panel in an international printing contest. One of the categories was environmental printing. In that category, an entrant had submitted a very interesting postcard made of 100% recycled paper and containing seeds in the paper fiber, enabling the postcard to be planted. The message was environmental, […]

What’s Your Green Resolution for 2010?

It’s the time of year when people are making resolutions to lose weight, better manage their finances, better manage their anger, and myriad other things. Is increasing your commitment to environmental sustainability on that list? As I wrote in my very first post for The Inspired Economist in the fall of 2008, the neat thing […]

December 29th

Mass Customization’s Role in a Sustainable Economy

Mass production has been used since the industrial revolution as a means of creating large quantities of standardized products. It has many advantages over one-at-a-time production. It reduces coast and provide interchangeable parts.  Its disadvantages are that it can over produce and it dehumanizes labor. Mass production will often continue to build inventory in spite […]

September 27th

Taking Sustainable Packaging to a New Level

When we think about “sustainable packaging,” we think about recycled paper and plastics, but there is a lot more to sustainability than that. In running across a company called Distant Village Packaging, which specializes in sustainable packaging, that fact was brought home in a powerful way. . . in pictures. I learned of A Distant […]

August 19th

Growing Plastic: A New Use for Biomass

In the constant push for ever newer and greener technology and energy, we sometimes forget that it is often both simpler and cheaper to revisit old techniques in new ways. And that’s exactly what a group of researchers in California has done. By combining several old and well understood chemical techniques and reactions, they have […]

June 19th

Ford Invests $550 Million to Build Small Cars and Electric Vehicles

[youtube=] Kelly Blue Book Video Review of the Ford Focus Earlier this week, Ford announced that they are retooling their manufacturing facility in Michigan, which previously built SUVs, to now produce the small and fuel-efficient Ford Focus in 2010, and the battery-electric Ford Focus by 2011. With this investment of $550 million worth, Ford continues […]

Companies Unite to Foster Green Chemistry

In the January 5, 2009 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, the official trade journal of the American Chemical Society, the ACS announced the formation of the Formulated Products Roundtable. This organization, which will begin operating later this month, is an industry-financed partnership between the ACS’s Green Chemistry Institute (GCI), a not-for-profit group devoted to promoting green chemistry, and sixteen prominent companies that manufacture cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, detergents, and other household and industrial cleaning products. Its aim is to share knowledge of green chemistry among its members in order to create products that are more sustainable, more environmentally friendly, and safer – and hopefully, more profitable too.

January 14th

Supply Side Economics: Transforming Carbon Emissions Into Useful Products

Carbon Sciences, Inc. has developed an innovative technology to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) – which is implicated in the issue of global warming – into a number of commercially useful, earth-friendly carbon products. The company calls this technology advance: GreenCarbon Technology. The aim is to extract value from carbon emissions by transforming the gas into a product that holds commercial value.

October 15th

Forest Stewardship Council Files Suit Against U.S. Government

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which provides chain-of-custody certifications for forestry-based products (including office and printing papers, as well as the suppliers that print on, distribute, and dispose of those products), has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government, the first-ever legal action in its 10-year history. The letter from Corey Brinkema, president of the […]

September 30th