Green tech finds: Earthships and solar get affordable

Article: Green tech finds: Earthships and solar get affordable

Think “green tech” automatically means “expensive?” Nope: costs are dropping on everything from Earthships to solar power.

An affordable Earthship: I’ve been in love with the Earthship building concept for years, but no way I’d ever be able to afford one. That may be changing, though: the “Simple Survival” model Earthship is designed to provide the amenities of these self-sufficient structures without the “mortgage bondage.” Check it out above.

A new financial model for growing coffee in a warming world

Article: A new financial model for growing coffee in a warming world

The global Fair Trade movement has done a stellar job of highlighting the economic plight of coffee farmers in the developing world, many who barely eke out a living growing one of the world’s most heavily traded commodities. And while Fair Trade has always had an environmental element to it, that may become more pronounced as these farmers become some of the first victims of global climate change.

Organic coffee… for metalheads?

Article: Organic coffee… for metalheads?

When I first saw that Rob Zombie was selling certified organic and Fair Trade coffee through his online store, I thought “That’s unique…” Turns out I was wrong… Zombie’s joining metal artists ranging from Steelheart to Dave Mustaine of Megadeth to Charlie Benante of Anthrax in lending his name and image to coffee. In all of these cases, the brands in question tout their dedication to the environment and social/economic justice.

OK, your average metal musician probably appreciates a good cup of java after a night of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, but organic and Fair Trade? Is that necessary for this demographic? Or is this just some kind of marketing ploy aimed at attracting a wider audience?

Organic coffee shop funds fair trade… and missionary work

Article: Organic coffee shop funds fair trade… and missionary work

When you hear the phrase “mission-driven business,” you likely think of a company dedicated exclusively to using commerce to address social and environmental problems. That’s definitely the case with A Cup of Organic, a coffee company and cafe based outside of Tampa, Florida. But the owners of this company take the word “mission” much more literally, too: all devout Christians, they devote a portion of their profits to funding missionary work.

Student film documents Haitian sustainability projects

Article: Student film documents Haitian sustainability projects

Hope can be a precious commodity in developing countries like Haiti. With 80% of the population living below the poverty level, residents will likely welcome any economic opportunity, regardless of social or environmental consequences. The documentary film BLOOMING HOPE: HARVESTING SMILES IN PORT-DE-PAIX documents efforts by a few Haitian citizens, community leaders, and aid workers to build financially, socially and environmentally sustainable business models in one of the country’s poorest region.

An illustrated story about coffee

Article: An illustrated story about coffee

I think it’s safe to assume that many friends and family of Sundance Channel and SUNfiltered are addicted to the delightful taste and the ritual of drinking coffee. As a sanity check, I myself recently downsized to a one cup per diem regiment. The whole eye-twitching from drinking too much coffee might have also had…

Green tech finds (8/13/09)

Article: Green tech finds (8/13/09)

Can the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid really deliver 230 mpg? Can you power your DVD player with your exercise bike? Answers to these questions and more in this week’s green tech finds…

  • Powering up with your bicycle: Exercise bikes aren’t just good for keeping fit; many people are figuring out innovative ways to harness that power and create electricity.

  • A showcase green home in Silicon Valley: Eco-entrepreneur Marc Porat has turned his 1936 English Tudor Revival home into a carbon-neutral showcase of green tech.