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Entries in sustainability (12)


planting saplings, 2011

photo courtesy of: american We’re not sure how many trees technically make a woodland a forest, but we think we’re off to a healthy start.

As a result of everyone’s purchases made on April 22, 2500 saplings will be planted in honor of Earth Day 2011.

We dig all who participated—and a big, huge ‘Thank You’ to American Forests for doing all the dirty work.


material world: eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a diverse type of flowering tree within the myrtle family. There are over 700 species, most of which are native to Australia, and only about 9 can’t be found there.

Eucalyptus are favored as a fast-growing sustainable resource, similar to bamboo, and all of the tree—it’s wood, leaves, flowers—are broadly by: Umesh Behari Mathur

First, the flower blossoms provide nectar for insects, birds, bats, etc. and essential oils from its leaves contain natural disinfectants so it’s used in cleaning products, deodorants, toothpaste, decongestants and cough/cold medicines.

Its also a key food source for some koala and possum who are tolerant of those chemicals which can be toxic in large by: puuikibeach

On both a positive and negative note, eucalyptus trees require lots of water.

In swamp-like areas, planting them can reduce soil erosion and malaria bearing mosquitoes—ironic considering its inherent insect repellent properties—but in normal to dry or non-indigenous areas, they can prohibit other plants and native plants from thriving.

Such is the case in California where eucalyptus trees were introduced in the mid 1800s with the hopes that their fast growth would offer a vast supply of railroad ties as miles of new tracks were laid during the Gold Rush.

Unfortunately, wood from younger trees warped dramatically and wood from older trees was so dense that nails couldn’t easily secure them in place—both characteristics sealed its fate.

Although its favored as a windbreak and for curbing erosion, it’s disliked for its role in feeding forest fires (read on) and regenerating from mere trunks, so currently measures are being taken to reduce its population there.

Types of eucalyptus plants and trees have been carbon dated to tens of millions of years ago—around the time charcoal deposits have been dated as well—which is interesting since they share a common trait.

As a living plant, and at high temperatures, eucalyptus oil can be emitted as a vapor—which creates the characteristic blue haze of Australia’s landscape, shown above—but it can also be highly flammable, like charcoal.

But the wood becomes more dense—and therefore stronger, much like teak—so it’s also prized for its durability outdoors while those same natural oils help protect it from the elements.

Like most woods, eucalyptus weathers to a soft silvery grey but tung oil can be applied periodically to help preserve its original patina.


bike to work week, 2011

Who: The League of American Bicyclists
What: Bike to Work Week, 2011
When: May 16-20, 2011

This is the official site for National Bike Month this month so check the events section often to see what ‘bike month’ and ‘bike to work week’ events are going on in your community.

Use the League’s step-by-step guide on how to get started organizing and promoting a bike to work event, and post your event on their website.

Safe and happy trails!


earth day, 2011

In recognition of Earth Day 2011, CB2 is proud to have one tree planted for every sale that’s generated either in stores or on-line on April 22nd.

Actual tree plantings will be done by American Forests—the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizen conservation organization—founded in 1875.

Their efforts helped create the National Park and National Forest systems in the U.S.; and through the Global ReLeaf program, American Forests plants millions of trees each year and advocates the benefits of both rural and urban trees, good science, and sound policy.

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day kicked off the modern environmental movement as the nation dedicated itself to focusing on environmental issues. Then about 20 million Americans expressed their concerns for our environment —and now about 1 billion will acknowledge its 41st anniversary globally.

To participate, find local events at the Earth Day Network. Also check out the database at Earth911 for recycling stations and “how-to” hints. Remember, reduce first, reuse when possible, then recycle.


earth hour, 2011

Earth Hour’s ‘60’ logo created by a flashmob in Kazakhstan
photo by: greenkissblog

What: Earth Hour
When: 8:30-9:30 pm, Saturday, March 26
Where: Around the World

As a reminder to conserve energy and resources, individuals and businesses turn off or turn down as much lighting and electricity as is safe for sixty minutes—in each time zone around the world. ‘Together our actions add up’ and the results can be as dramatic as the singular voice of a chorus.

St. James Cathedral in Toronto, Canada
photo by: ltdan