Environment – The debauchery that is Fat Tuesday ended with thousands of party-goers flooding the streets of New Orleans, along with an estimated 25 million pounds of plastic beads, cups, and tokens. Instead of the items ending up in a landfill, a few companies worked towards making Mardi Gras a bit more eco-friendly.

    Verdi Gras, an environmental group in New Orleans, partnered with Arc Enterprise to recycle the millions of beads handed out during parades. Last year they recycled over 100,000 pounds of beads that were turned in by the citizens of New Orleans, school bead drives, and through recycling bins set up outside of grocery stores.

    This year Verdi Gras and Arc Enterprises joined together and created a float called “Catch and Release” that followed three parades and collected 1000 pounds of discarded goodies. Parade attendees even joined in on the movement by throwing back any extras that pile up on the sidewalks. Bins were also set up along a six-block stretch during the Krewe of Pontchartrain parade to encourage recycling.

    Next year the groups plan to increase the Catch & Release trailers to cover all the parades.

    Arc Enterprises sorts the beads in their facilities where they are re-sold to float riders for other festivities. These recycled beads are not just an answer to pollution, but also to the many workers overseas who cram out new beads each year under questionable working conditions.

    Warning: Video may not be suitable for all viewers.

    To read more visit Nola and Treehugger.



    Independent video game distributor Humble Bundle has been pretty progressive since its inception in 2010. The website has always used a pay-what-you-want model in selling 100% DRM free indie game packages and they’ve supported a number of different charities including Child’s Play, the Electric Frontier Foundation, and the American Red Cross.

    For its latest deal that launched April 19, Humble Bundle is selling a group of three games from Amanita Design: Botanicula, Machinarium, and Samorost 2 with their respective soundtracks. According to Humble Bundle, the brand new release, Botanicula, “has players adventuring as a motley band of tree creatures trying to save their home from parasitic invaders.”

    It’s fitting, then, that the World Land Trust is this deal’s beneficiary organization. The English-based conversation charity was founded in 1989 and has since helped protect the earth’s most threatened habitat, acre by acre.

    When gamers purchase the bundle, they can choose how much they want to pay, as well as how the funds are divided between the developers, World Land Trust, and Humble Bundle. According to their tracking widgets on Humble Bundle’s site, more than 56,000 people have bought the deal, therefore preserving almost 900 acres of land.

    The Botanicula bundle is available across all platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and fans who pay more than the current average for the games will also receive a download of Kooky, a feature-length film by Jan Svěrák and an additional click puzzle game called Windosill created by Vector Park.

    Read more at Develop and the World Land Trust.



    Environment – Dr. Seuss stories have the warmed the hearts of children and adults alike for years. The Lorax, a popular favorite, will be hitting the silver screen soon and this time it’s about going green and not just with ticket sales.

    The Lorax, is about a creature that speaks for trees and fights against the industrialization in their area. Universal Pictures, who will be releasing the film, has partnered with over 70 companies to teach others about the environmental lesson the book provides.

    Instead of focusing on toys, the companies plan to focus on things like planting trees and conserving energy. For example the EPA is using the Lorax to promote low-power appliances carrying the Energy Star label. The Hortus Botanicus botanical garden in Amsterdam is creating a Lorax-inspired route through its garden that houses some endangered trees. And Seventh Generation, a brand of green cleaning products, is planning to put “Lorax Approved” labels on millions of items.

    “It’s important to connect these dots between energy savings and efficiency and a cleaner environment,” EPA administrator Lisa Jackson told The Associated Press in a statement.

    IHOP also has plans to bring back its green eggs and ham promotion as it did for Horton Hears a Who! along with handing out seeds for planting.

    In addition to these environmentally friendly marketing drives, the National Education Association’s Read Across America Is encouraging teachers to read the book to children on the film’s opening date, March 2nd.

    If that date doesn’t ring a bell, it just so happens to be Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday.

    To read more about how you can get involved visit The Associated Press.

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