News From TreeHugger: Thursday, October 29

photo: <a href="">friti agung</a> via flickr.

Editor’s Note: A weekly roundup from our friends over at TreeHugger. Enjoy!

Only One-Sixth of European Retailers Showing Sustainable Palm Oil Progress

Back in May, WWF said it would starting outing companies not living up to their sustainable palm oil commitments. After all, only a fraction of the certified sustainable palm oil being produced is actually being purchased. Well, their Sustainable Palm Oil Scorecard for 2009 has been released and only one-sixth of European retailers are making much progress.

In What World Can You Call Tetra Pak Green?

All sorts of effort has gone into making Tetra Paks using greener materials, but is it enough? No way. Green is reusable. Green is refillable. Green is not disposable and downcylable, for the lucky 20 percent of Americans who have access to it, and landfill for the 80% who don’t. Tetra Pak is the most elaborate greenwashing scheme ever, and they are doing a very good job of it.

Ecuador Moves Forward With Plan to Not Drill the Amazon in Exchange of Funds

We spoke about this campaign being in the making before, and about a presentation of it a month ago at the UN, but now it’s a fact: Ecuador is promoting the measure internationally to get funds, and says Germany, Spain and France have shown interest in backing up the plan. The country is also considering forming a consortium of countries with natural resources.

Illegal Logging Makes Indonesia World’s Third Largest Emitter of Greenhouse Gases

Indonesia is made up of 17,508 islands, most of which were totally covered by forest until about 50 years ago when that number dropped to 80 percent. But now, illegal logging and the burning of forests are making the country the third biggest emitter of GHG in the world (!) behind the U.S. and China.

More COP15 Expectation Management: UN Plans Post-Copenhagen Talks – Kerry Says We’ve Done All We Can

Though the grand exercise of managing expectations regarding the possibility of actually getting a global climate deal signed at the COP15 talks has been going on for a couple months now, here are the latest examples courtesy the United Nations, which is talking now about just having a framework in place for a legally binding deal, and Senator John Kerry, who is saying the Senate’s done all it can before December.

Good Way to End Paper Recycling Completely: Make Ethanol Motor Fuel From Paper Waste

Today’s printing and writing papers commonly have 20-30 percent recycled content. For fiber packaging materials, 60 to 100 percent recycled content is typical. It took decades for industry to reach those levels. Can you imagine what would happen if the paper industry had to price-compete against oil companies for waste paper feedstock? Recycled content of all manner of papers would surely decrease.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

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