greening it up – wed 16 july 2008

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-07-16 10:02

Inspirational bike-sharing programme in Paris. Almost 1500 bike stations are spread around the city of Paris with over 20 000 bicycles and 3 million subscribers. They’ve saved roughly 10 million kilometres of car trips. Considering the rising price of petrol, this is something cities the world over should be considering. [treehugger] Other than walking, there is no more earth-friendly mode of transportation than a bicycle. Bikes have an incredibly low manufacturing footprint when compared to a motorized vehicle. They’re cheap to operate, don’t pollute the air, and provide more miles per calorie of energy than any mode of getting around known to humankind. Find out how to pick a great used bike. [lighterfootstep]

V Schalkwyk comes down on polluters of the atmosphere. After blustering away at the ineptitude of the G8 summit [reuters], the minister of the environment is now punishing pollution of the atmosphere by a fine of up to two million rands and imprisonment for up to five years, for a first offence, and up to five million rands and ten years in jail for a second. The new offences outlined in the National Environmental Laws Amendment bill include actions which cause or are likely to cause pollution or degradation of the environment, omissions which detrimentally affect or are likely to affect the environment, and refusal to comply with a directive issued under the act. [the times]

Fish and GM chips anyone? The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has been conducting field trials for several years with a GM potato called Spunta G2, genetically engineered to kill a pest called the Tuber Moth. They have given notice that they will apply to the South African GMO Council for a general release permit in the next few days. Major potato players such as McCains, have indicated their reluctance to use GM potatoes. In the US, champions of GM technology, GM spuds were shelved because major fast-food chains refused to buy them. Egypt terminated their field trials because their major trading partner, the EU, would not buy them. Now the orphan potato project has found a home - they are being fast-tracked through South Africa's weak and permissive regulatory framework. [biosafety Africa] [related articles on urban sprout]

Green IT is the future. Green IT is a growing global phenomenon, with customers now seeking out IT vendors whose offerings are more energy-efficient, more material-efficient, less hazardous, designed for greater recyclability, and supported by end-of-life recycling programs. [itweb]