Thanks for returning for another edition of green news weekly covering a few environmental news highlights from this past week. This edition features: R.I.P. Canadian penny as they are removed from circulation with the last day marked by Google’s Doodle; GRAMMYs are going green at the Recording Academy with a number of green initiatives; and McDonald’s menu items containing fish will now highlight the blue ecolabel to indicate sustainable fishing certification.
Canadian penny honoured with Google Doodle. On February 4th, Google’s Doodle paid tribute to the end of the Canadian penny as it was removed from circulation. The ultimate demise of the penny just made ‘cents’. It was costing 1.6 cents to produce each Canadian penny. The Royal Canadian Mint ceased production of the penny last year and as of Monday it was withdrawn from distribution to banks and businesses. Transactions will now be rounded up or down to the nearest nickel. There are environmental benefits to removing the production of the penny including saving base metals such as steel and nickel over and above the energy consumption required to produce them. Hopefully this will inspire other countries to follow suit. Especially in the United States, where it costs 2.4 cents for them to produce each penny. In Canada, taxpayers will save over 11 million dollars through the elimination of the penny.
GRAMMYs going green. The GRAMMY awards are this Sunday and The Recording Academy has compiled this pdf graphic to demonstrate all of their green initiatives ranging from water conservation to waste diversion to recycling. They’ve accomplished a 40% water reduction via water conserving plumbing fixtures. 30% of the furniture is recycled from the Recording Academy’s former Pico Boulevard location. 75% of the construction materials were diverted from landfills by reusing or recycling the by-products of the construction process. 26 parking spots are dedicated to car pool or fuel efficient vehicles. Air quality is clean through the selection of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) adhesives, sealants, paints, carpets and upholstery.
The Eco-labeling of McDonald’s Fish. “This month, McDonald’s will feature the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) blue ecolabel on the packaging of all of its fish menu items in the United States. McDonald’s will be the first U.S. chain restaurant to carry this label. The MSC was founded by the World Worldlife Fund and Unilever in 1995 and runs one of the world’s leading sustainable fishing certification programs. Its ecolabel has been on McDonald’s packaging in Europe’s more than 7,000 locations since 2011, and now it will appear in U.S.’s more than 14,000 restaurants. MSC Chief Executive Rupert Howes hopes this will increase consumer awareness of sustainably sourced fish, such as Alaskan pollock used in McDonald’s fish menu items. “Through this partnership with McDonald’s,” Howes says, “millions of McDonald’s U.S. customers each day have an opportunity to recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices that not only preserve fish stocks, but support seafood industry livelihoods and communities that depend on fishing.” While McDonald’s adoption of MSC ecolabeling has been praised by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, some of the MSC’s decisions have raised criticism. In particular, the organization has been criticized by Food & Water Watch for its approval of the overfished New Zealand hoki, which is found in many of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches outside of the U.S. In the U.S., all Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and Fish McBites, a new menu item, are made from MSC certified wild-caught Alaska pollock. The National Marine Fisheries Service has called the Alaska pollock fishery “one of the best managed fisheries in the world,” but others disagree. Some Alaskan fishermen plan on boycotting McDonald’s because pollock fishing fleets end up killing thousands of king salmon every year. Also, according to a 2012 U.N.Food and Agriculture Organization report, Alaska pollock is “fully exploited,” meaning its production will not increase.”
Stay tuned for more green news.
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