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Author Archive

K-cup, Hummer and compost

Green Cars, Coffee and Kitchen Scraps

Can Americans get over our love affair with big, gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs? Are you considering environmental impact when you choose your car or coffee maker? One of our goals at GrowthBusters is to make it second nature to consider your footprint in all you do. The newest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast examines EPA plans to rollback auto fuel efficiency standards. What policy prescriptions would be fair AND effective in encouraging us to make lower carbon-footprint decisions?

The Ultimate Guide to Recycling K-Cups, from Consumer Reports, sparks a lively discussion and quest to determine the lowest-impact way to brew your coffee. Did Ben and I hurt Kaitlyn and her parents’ feelings when we characterized the Keurig single-serve coffee craze as “silly”? Not our intention, but what do you think? Do we really need single-serving coffee pods? You might be surprised that these account for a huge percentage of the coffee maker market. The conversation does reveal fascinating facts about the recyclability of various types of pods. . . .

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bottled water, apartment bldg and skull and cross bones

Small is Beautiful After All

A new episode of the GrowthBusters podcast is out.



On tap:

If you haven’t yet committed to avoid purchasing or drinking factory-bottled water, a recent study offers one more reason. Learn more on the podcast. Although I do encourage you to, as I’ve done, commit to avoid bottled water at all costs, let me be the first to tell you:

It will NOT save the planet.

Having grown world population WAY beyond a sustainable level of 2 billion and having continued to grow the global economy after we first exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity in the mid-1970s, we are so far into overshoot that “being green” – while important – is not nearly enough. Unless by “being green” you mean conceiving no more than one child, living as simply as you can, and telling politicians that promising economic growth will NOT earn your vote. Still…skip the bottled water. More about “why” on the podcast. . . .

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Would You Eat a Bug to Save the Planet?

Would You Eat a Bug to Save the Planet?

To what extremes are we willing to go, to fit more and more people and bigger and bigger economies on a finite planet? It seems we’re willing to give up many freedoms, conveniences, safety and security, but we’re not willing to acknowledge we’re overpopulated or overconsuming. Addressing those root causes is not an option.



So, get ready to give up that dream home, meat, golf, rock concerts and air travel; and start whipping up a batch of cricket smoothies. In this episode of the GrowthBusters podcast, the  team discusses the newest footprint-shrinking strategies and whether we’ll adopt them before things are “semi-apocalyptic.” How far will we go, before we’re willing to strongly suggest limiting our offspring and settling for a smaller, stable and sustainable economy? . . .

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GrowthBusters Podcast

Trashing the Planet is Macho

A new study reveals some men feel environmental stewardship is not manly. Is this just one more reason we should leave the women in charge? Or should we market green behavior the same way we sell pickup trucks? In Episode 10 of the GrowthBusters Podcast, the team explores the ins and outs of masculinity and femininity in relation to being green. Also: Ben does something shocking with carrots. Your co-hosts: Dave Gardner, Kaitlyn Hickmann, Ben Bacher

Discussed in this episode:

Scientific American: Men Resist Green Behavior as Unmanly

Bust: Men Aren’t Recycling Because It’s Too Girly

Washington Post: Your manliness could be hurting the planet . . .

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More Kids, Fewer Kids, or No Kids?

Are children bad for the health of the planet, and therefore human civilization? Should we stop making them? Or do we need to step it up and make lots more than we’re currently making (does anyone have a good recipe)? Or does the intelligent answer lie somewhere in-between?

The GrowthBusters podcast team doesn’t shy away from tough topics when the fate of human civilization hangs in the balance. In this episode, Ben, Kaitlyn and I discuss recent news headlines about fertility rates and offer their opinions on the views of Matt Lewis (The Daily Beast) and Travis Rieder (Berman Institute of Bioethics). Over 15,000 of the world’s scientists also weigh in. . . .

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