Daily Green Wrap-Up 16.December, 2011

Nestled in the hills outside Chattanooga, TN squats a large, brand new Volkswagen plant. Fresh and shiny, the collection of buildings houses the people and robots that turn delivered parts and materials into brand-new 2012 Passats, the first of which was just sold to a young man in the tech industry in California. VW is having good success with the sedan, with year-to-date sales up nearly 60 percent over 2010 numbers. But this story isn’t about the cars. It’s about the building that makes the cars.
Times of India reports that Mumbai now has 5800 hectares (14,000+ acres) of protected mangrove forest within the city boundaries and in adjacent areas. Conservative estimates show slightly less than half of that amount is actually within the city itself.
The world’s population hit seven billion this year and is projected to reach nine billion by 2050 – a sure sign that we better start figuring out ways to maximize space. And why not? The average house size in America has more than doubled since the 1950s, forcing us to consume more utilities and resulting in a housing culture where bigger is better. We tend to think the opposite.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added three hydrocarbons as acceptable alternatives in household and small commercial refrigerators and freezers through EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.
TreeHugger, and much of the modern Green/sustainable consumption movement, has popularized the notion that a modern aesthetic, better design, and an intelligent approach to technological progress and conscious consumerism—perhaps coupled with some modest but not insignificant behavior/cultural change—would be enough to take sustainability mainstream.
It was an enticing promise, but many people are beginning to think that it has failed. And not without reason.

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