Fuel Efficiency Driving Onshoring | Roland Hwang’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Fuel Efficiency Driving Onshoring | Roland Hwang’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC.

Lost in the current debate about “offshoring” is the remarkable story of the “onshoring” of fuel-efficiency manufacturing.  Thanks in large part to stronger standards, American drivers no longer have to buy foreign if they want to trade in their gas guzzler for gas sippers. Fuel-efficiency is driving sales and jobs growth in the auto industry.  And as demand grows, so does the business case to make fuel efficient cars and components in America.

Hybrid productions exemplify this trend.  With U.S. hybrid sales booming (up 63% this year), Toyota and Honda are bringing production to the U.S.  Most recently, Honda Motor Co. plans to invest $40 million and bring all global Civic Hybrid manufacturing to its Greensburg, Indiana manufacturing plant from Japan, creating 300 jobs by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Toyota announced it would bring production of its Highlander mid-size SUV, including the Highlander Hybrid, to its Princeton, Indiana plant from its current plant in Japan.  The move to expand capacity represents an investment of $400 million and will add another 400 jobs.  Furthermore, Toyota plans to begin producing the Prius hybrid in the U.S. by 2015, bringing production inshore from Japan to a yet-to-be specified plant.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Have you ever been to Jamba Juice? Where I grew up they made the best fruit smoothie in town. Congratulations to Mia Hansen for her successful petition, and a big shout-out to Jamba Juice for pledging to eliminate their styrofoam cups by 2013! I’m looking forward to enjoying a healthy smoothie in a green cup soon.

Grist

As far as I’m concerned, if they ever market a one-size-fits-all People Chow like they do for pets, it should basically be smoothies. But it’s asinine that smoothie company Jamba Juice, which bills its product as healthy and natural, serves your People Chow in an Earth-unfriendly giant styrofoam cup. Ten-year-old Mia Hansen thought so too, so she started a Change.org petition to get the chain to stop using styrofoam — and it worked. Mia collected over 130,000 signatures, and Jamba Juice agreed to phase out styrofoam by 2013.

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New Tool Can Help Paper Buyers Measure Environmental Impact of Paper Usage

Reblogged from: EcoWatch

The Environmental Paper Network has released a new version of the Paper Calculator to better assist paper buyers with measuring the environmental impact of their paper usage and shifting to paper that supports climate and endangered forest protection.

The Paper Calculator is the original and most independent paper life-cycle impact estimator available. The improvements make the Paper Calculator easier to use, and include updated industry data and technical input from diverse stakeholders. The Paper Calculator is made available to users for free by the Environmental Paper Network thanks to its coalition members, supporters and through Power User premium sponsorships.

The original analytical model for the Paper Calculator was developed by Environmental Defense Fund based on research by the multi-stakeholder Paper Task Force. In 2011, ownership of the Paper Calculator was transferred to the Environmental Paper Network. Today, the Paper Calculator is utilized by more than 50,000 users per year and appears on millions of pieces of environmentally improved paper products from companies such as Office Depot, Sprint and Starbucks.

The key improvements in version 3.2 include:

  • More completely capturing the life-cycle water use of both recycled and virgin fiber based on consultation with industry associations and life cycle experts
  • Updated national average data on mill performance
  • Calculates the environmental savings of both post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content
  • Updated decomposition rates for each of the paper grades based on new data

The Paper Calculator is committed to independence and transparency, and a detailed documentation of the Paper Calculator version 3.2 methodology can be found by clicking here.

The Environmental Paper Network also recently introduced the Power User premium sponsorship program, which offers additional features and technical support. The program’s inaugural members include respected NGOs and business leaders including New Leaf Paper, Office Depot, Hemlock Printers, Computershare, Staples, GreenerPrinter, FutureMark Paper and Friesens Corporation.

The Environmental Paper Network is a coalition of non-profit organizations working together to protect the earth’s climate and endangered forests by transforming the production and consumption of paper products. The Steering Committee of the Environmental Paper Network is CanopyClimate for IdeasConservatreeDogwood AllianceForestEthicsGreen AmericaGreen Press InitiativeNatural Resources Council of MaineNational Wildlife Federation and Rainforest Action Network.

Visit the new Paper Calculator today by clicking here.

Where Does Your Electricity Go When You’re Not Home?

Most people have heard of “phantom watts” – the electricity that is consumed when an appliance or phone charger is left plugged in while it is not in use. Although minimal, this extra electricity does add up.  Mother Jones recently published an article about the 6 electronic devices in your home that zap the most electricity when you’re not using them. While it might be a hassle to go around unplugging everything before work in the morning,  remembering to “unplug” before you leave for a long weekend can help save energy–and save you a few dollars off your electricity bill! View the full article here.

(1) Cable boxes.

(2) Computers.

(3) Televisions.

(4) Audio/visual equipment, like DVD players, iHomes, home theaters.

(5) Game consoles.

(6) Digital picture frames.

Simple Homemade also has some great tips for conserving energy at home, check them out here! What are some ways you conserve energy around the house?

Remember to unplug and plan ahead. Every little bit makes a difference, and it all starts with you!