Monthly Archives: April 2011

Game Changers

By Martin LaMonica  –   To borrow a line from science fiction writer William Gibson, the future of green tech is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.

Today is Earth Day, a good time to consider how the technology meant to preserve our environment and natural resources is progressing. If you consider individual green products, whether it’s plug-in cars or home solar panel leasing, the impact on the giant scale of the energy industry is quite small. Hybrids, never mind plug-in hybrids, are less than 2 percent of total sales, and renewable energy is about 10 percent of electricity generation, with most of that from hydropower.



25 wasteful things

We produce a lot of waste. In 2008 alone, Americans generated 250 million tons of trash, and though about a third of that was recycled, a lot went into landfills or was incinerated. Our culture is centered around disposability, and only we have the power to change that.

Take stock of the disposable, overly-packaged, and single-use products that you use, and then look for reusable alternatives. Not sure where to start? Here are more than two dozen items that many people use . . . and can easily live without.

25 Wasteful Things You Can Live Without:

  1. Tin foil — Use an oven-safe pot or dish with a lid.
  2. Plastic wrap — Instead, use a container with a lid.
  3. Disposable cleaning cloths, dusters, etc. — Use a microfiber cloth that can be washed.
  4. Paper towels — Use a tea towel, instead.
  5. Disposable pens — Buy a good pen that only needs the ink well changed


Cradle to Cradle

On April 12, 5:30-7pm, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Cherokee Gives Back organization present a conversation (in person or via webcast) with William McDonough, author of Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things


Welcome and introduction by Thomas F. Darden, CEO of Cherokee Investment Partners – Koury Auditorium, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School – registration site

William McDonough is a world-renowned architect and designer and winner of three U.S. presidential awards: the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the National Design Award (2004); and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2003). Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet” in 1999, stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.”

Mr. McDonough is the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, Architecture and Community Design, an internationally recognized design firm practicing ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent architecture and planning in the U.S. and abroad. He is also the cofounder and principal, with German chemist Michael Braungart, of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), which employs a comprehensive Cradle to Cradle design protocol to chemical benchmarking, supply-chain integration, energy and materials assessment, clean-production qualification, and sustainability issue management and optimization.

More about William McDonough

> View Past Events