Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Happening: America Is Going Green

I am starting to notice signs of businesses and individuals going green. Many of these observations are from simply walking around my Miracle Mile neighborhood in Los Angeles and snapping pictures with my new Samsung Reclaim mobile phone I recently purchased at the Sprint Store.

The phone is made of 80% recyclable materials including 40% of the casing built with bio-plastic materials extracted from corn. In addition to the Reclaim, I also bought an eco-friendly carrying case made with biodegradable cotton and linen and a hybrid solar charger made by Better Energy Systems.

So now I don't have to use dirty coal-fired power plants to charge my phone -- I can use the clean renewable energy of the sun.

I've been noticing more electric bikes and scooters zipping around Los Angeles lately. Here are a couple that were parked along Wilshire Boulevard. The second one is a Schwinn scooter that was bought used on E-Bay for only $150. Just a few years ago I would have seen maybe one electric scooter or bike in six months. Now I've already seen two in less than a week.

While I was walking to the grocery store the other day I was amazed to see a Coca Cola Hybrid Electric Truck. While I'm critical of the very idea of bottled soda as not a healthy choice, at least Coca Cola is going green with their delivery methods. The company is a model for how to deliver supplies in an environmentally friendly way.

And last week I was walking to grab some food and there was a Burger King commercial being shot at the El Rey Theater. Now while I could go on about how bad Burger King is for your health and the environment just like Coca Cola and soda, the encouraging thing is the methods, not necessarily the actual product. 

Commercial productions can be an incredibly wasteful endeavor with much energy used. Sometimes these shoots last for days or weeks or even months and sometimes five or six takes are done before getting it right. That means a lot of trucks are idling and equipment stays on for long periods of time. So it was really encouraging to see one of the equipment trucks powered by clean-burning biodiesel alternative fuel.

Since I've become more of a vegetarian I've re-discovered Subway. They've turned the concept of fast food on its head by offering healthy, affordable choices to consumers. I've been hooked on the Veggie Delite sub with their new Omega-3 bread. I remember a heartbreaking scene from the film "Food, Inc." in which a poor family is forced to eat at McDonald's because they can't afford healthy food at the grocery store. Well, Subway provides healthy, affordable options for lower income folks with their Veggie Delite. Some Subway stores are also offering fresh packaged apples for a decent price as well.

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