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San Francisco, California achieved a remarkable diversion rate of 80% which is higher than any other U.S. city and they plan to be a zero-waste city by 2020! Talk about an extreme amount of planning, consideration and most importantly a great shift in habits.

Since 2009 the city’s municipal ordinance requires city-wide source separation of all organic materials, that means that urban food waste and composting measures were put into effect. There are also three bins for composting, recycling and lastly their (sometimes smaller) trash cart! Besides requiring San Franciscans to contribute food waste to compost, and the three bins which encourage recycling, the third effective phenomenon that has been seen in San Francisco is a reduction in the amount of convenience items such as plastic bags that shoppers use.

Now, the city has 20% more waste diversion to go to reach their goal of zero waste and our source has a good point that this last bit might be the most challenging. Although San Francisco has the right incentives, technology, habits and laws, there are still more convenience items in their waste steam that will be key in achieving zero waste.

Please, tell us what you think @greenhalousa on Twitter

Our recent blog posts about San Francisco working towards zero waste:

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall–Who’s the Greenest of Them All?
San Francisco Bans Bottled Water on City Property
Cultivate Festival

 

 

Sources: http://bit.ly/UO3Zkg

and

http://bit.ly/1oR5dYq

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A new Whole Foods opened in Brooklyn, NY and it’s called “Third and 3rd, Brooklyn” which has an awesome green parking lot. The parking lot roof has a lot of solar arrays, the streetlights are solar powered and wind-powered, and there are electric car charging stations as well

nyt_waste_tracking_wastetracking_whole foods opens new location in brooklyn 3rd and third waste tracking wastetracking system whole foods solar parking lot

In addition to having one of the most efficient parking lots made so far, this Whole Foods offers:

Bike Repair and Parking: Bikes are beloved by Brooklynites and Whole Foods Market, so we want to support people’s ability to maintain and ride them. This form of alternative transportation contributes to a reduced carbon footprint and a healthier lifestyle.

Knife Sharpening: Knife sharpening services from Scott Jennings of X-Calibur Knife & Scissor Sharpening and Christopher Harth ofNYCutlery and products including knives and specially-made Third & 3rd cutting boards.

Vinyl Records and Wrecords by Monkey: A vinyl venue featuring music as well as reclaimed vinyl jewelry and accessories fromWrecords by Monkey, a Brooklyn-based design and lifestyle brand

THE ROOF: Serving a variety of local and seasonal menu items from snacks to salads to entrees, including vegan and vegetarian offerings, as well as 16 beers on tap, The Roof, offers indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Gowanus Canal, surrounding neighborhoods, and the Manhattan skyline. Hours 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

YUJI RAMEN: Chef Yuji Haraguchi will serve his praised Japanese mazemen dishes with a twist; including Bacon & Egg, Salmon & Cheese, Miso Roasted Vegetables and Spicy Tuna. The takeout venue will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

JUICE Etc.: a made-to-order juice bar, offering fresh-pressed fruit and veggie juices and smoothies.

Shopping at Whole Foods is a pleasure, if you can make it out to Brooklyn to see this one let us know what it’s like! You can tag this store with #thirdand3rd and don’t forget, we are @GreenHaloUSA on Twitter!

 

(Source: http://wastetracking.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/new-wholefoods-is-super-efficient/ )

Another great Green article from Green Halo

Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com

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Bad environmental news such as the Great Pacific garbage patch, and the recent findings of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes had this writer wondering what would be a good treatment for the plastics that many people use and pollute the environment with. Our research found an amazing company called Blest.co.Ltd. which turns plastics such as polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene back into oil! When using one of Blest.co.Ltd.’s machines, the user simply places acceptable plastics in a chamber, presses a few buttons and watches as the recycling gets heated and the steam gets distilled resulting in mixture oil. The mixture oil can be further processed to make gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil, and heavy oil. The link to order your own Blest machine is here: http://www.blest.co.jp/index-english.html

To make matters even better, Blest’s Founder and CEO, Akinori is so passionate about this machine that he visits children in developing countries and other parts of the world to change their perspective about trash and to educate them about recycling. Akinori converts plastics into oil in front of children’s’ eyes because he is so inspired by preserving the environment for children. To see Akinori and this fabulous invention, please play this video and prepare to be amazed:

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

 

San Franciscans mark your calendars for June 7th. Chipotle brings free “FOOD, IDEAS & MUSIC FESTIVAL[S]” to various locations which can be seen here: http://chipotlecultivate.com/

A line up of all of the awesome bands and chefs are shown as well as maps to give you all the information that you’ll need to get there…the rest is up to you!

While the Cultivate festival is free, you can also choose to volunteer! Just email sustainability@chipotle.com to learn more and you can receive free t-shirts, lunch tickets and a card for a dinner for 10 at any Chipotle-worth $100!

Cheers!

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

 

Consumers heading down to their local Best Buy for a new laptop or microwave will now be able to pick up solar panels as well. Best Buy and SolarCity have announced a new partnership to sell off-the-shelf photovoltaic systems in 60 Best Buy stores in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New York, and Oregon. To give the new program an exuberant kick off, SolarCity is giving every customer a $100 Best Buy gift card when they sign up for solar service through Best Buy before Earth Day on 22 April, 2014.

Green Halo - Best Buy Now Sells Solar PanelsThe San Mateo solar company hopes this new partnership will reach homeowners too wary or intimidated by installing solar panels on their homes. The initiative is an expansion of a pilot program the two companies carried out last year at Best Buy stores in California and New York. Previously, the company also teamed up with the Home Depot and Honda to provide affordable solar panels.

Despite these efforts, a recent SolarCity survey of U.S. homeowners detailed that only 45 percent of residents thinks that solar power is more affordable than it was three years ago. SolarCity has a long history of experimental strategies to reach more consumers. Before this new program, the company provided systems for free in exchange for long term contracts, or financing installations through investment institutions like pensions and hedge funds.

If you would like to get in on the deal, you can sign up here for a free consultation to discuss a plan. SolarCity promises to install photovoltaic panels for free with no up front costs. As long as the customer is enrolled they will receive green, renewable energy at a lower price than they currently spend on electricity.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

CVS Caremark announced Wednesday it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its CVS/pharmacy stores by October 1,  2014.

The retailer said the move makes CVS/pharmacy the first chain of national pharmacies to take tobacco products off the shelves.

Green Halo CVS Stops Selling Tobacco Cigarettes

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

Here is what the president Obama had to say:

CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy in the United States based on total prescription revenue, according to the company. It operates more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide in addition to more than 800 MinuteClinics, which are medical clinics within the pharmacy locations.

Health-oriented organizations and President Barack Obama praised the move.

“As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today’s decision will help advance my administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs — ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come,” Obama said in a statement Wednesday.

“This is an important, bold public health decision by a major retail pharmacy to act on the long understood reality that blending providing health care and providing cigarettes just doesn’t match,” said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society.

“We need an all-hands-on-deck effort to take tobacco products out of the hands of America’s young generation, and to help those who are addicted to quit,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “Today’s CVS Caremark announcement helps bring our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation. I hope others will follow their lead.”

It remains unclear whether other pharmacies will follow CVS’ lead.

Check out this video courtesy of CNN:

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa