Kill the K-Cup

In 2014 the use of the K-Cup reached unparalleled levels. Output became so high that there was enough discarded K-Cups to circle the earth 10.5 times. The numbers continued to grow until the day of the invasion...

In 2013, Keurig Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups — enough to circle the Earth 10.5 times. In 2014, 9.8 billion portion packs were produced. Those numbers include only the Keurig brand pods.

K-cups are composite plastic #7 and not recyclable.

1 in 8 American households now has a single-serving coffee brewer.*
1 in 5 Canadian households have a single-serve coffee machine.

60 billion K-Cups have gone into landfills so far.

13 million people currently own a Keurig machine.




Hopeful lessons from the battle to save rainforests.

"Save the rainforest” is an environmental slogan as old as time — but Tasso Azevedo catches us up on how the fight is actually going these days. Spurred by the jaw-dropping losses of the 1990s, new laws (and transparent data) are helping slow the rate of deforestation in Brazil. Is it enough? Not yet. He has five ideas about what we should do next. And he asks if the lessons learned in Brazil be applied to an even bigger problem: global climate change.

Tasso Azevedo has helped reduce the rate of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest by 75 percent — and inspired similar efforts around the world.

Tasso Azevedo founded the Brazilian non-governmental organization Imaflora in 1995 to create alternatives to deforestation. It became the leading environmental certification institution in Brazil. In 2003 he was appointed as the first director general of Brazil's National Forest Service.

In that job, by showing how the health of the Amazon rainforest is directly connected to his country’s economic stability and energy security, he led the implementation of an innovative framework of incentives for sustainable forestry that contributed to reduce the ate of deforestation in the Amazon by 75 percent -- and Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions by one-third. Today, Azevedo is focused on addressing climate change globally.


Let's save the last pristine continent.

2041 will be a pivotal year for our planet. That year will mark the end of a 50-year agreement to keep Antarctica, the Earth’s last pristine continent, free of exploitation. Explorer Robert Swan — the first person to walk both the North and South Poles — is on a mission to ensure that we extend that treaty. With passion and vigor, he pleads with us to choose the preservation of the Antarctic for our own survival.

When Robert Swan, OBE, set foot on the North Pole in 1989, he entered the history books as the first person to walk to both poles. But the South Pole, which he had reached in 1984, inspired his life's work -- to preserve Antarctica in the face of climate change.

Swan's organization 2041 (named for the date when the world’s moratoriums on mining and drilling in Antarctica will expire) leads expeditions of the world's most influential people to the continent in hopes that it will ignite their passion for preservation. The hope: to affect real and lasting environmental policy changes.


Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources markup of Keystone XL pipeline legislation, on January 8, 2015.


Scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, Earth is getting warmer, sea levels are rising, and it’s primarily because of humans putting lots of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Yet 4 in 10 Americans aren’t convinced.

Here’s what psychologists and sociologists have to say about why some people don’t believe in climate science.

Watch Part 1: “The Facts”
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The very agencies created to protect our environment have been hijacked by the polluting industries they were meant to regulate. It may just turn out that the judicial system, our children and their children will save us from ourselves, Mary Christina Wood, a legal scholar, tells Bill Moyers.

The new legal framework for this crusade against global warming is called atmospheric trust litigation. It takes the fate of the Earth into the courts, arguing that the planet’s atmosphere – its air, water, land, plants and animals — are the responsibility of government, held in its trust to insure the survival of all generations to come. It’s the strategy being used by Bill’s recent guest, Kelsey Juliana, a co-plaintiff in a major lawsuit spearheaded by Our Children’s Trust, that could force the state of Oregon to take a more aggressive stance against the carbon emissions.

It’s the brainchild of Mary Christina Wood, a legal scholar who wrote the book, Nature’s Trust, tracing this public trust doctrine all the way back to ancient Rome.

Wood tells Bill: “If this nation relies on a stable climate system, and the very habitability of this nation and all of the liberties of young people and their survival interests are at stake, the courts need to force the agencies and the legislatures to simply do their job.”


Mundano: Pimp my ... trash cart?

In Brazil, "catadores" collect junk and recyclables. But while they provide a vital service that benefits all, they are nearly invisible as they roam the streets. Enter graffiti artist Mundano, a TED Fellow. In a spirited talk, he describes his project "Pimp My Carroça," which has transformed these heroic workers' carts into things of beauty and infused them with a sense of humor. It's a movement that is going global.



Laura Singer a 23-year-old environmentalist has lived a trash-free life for nearly two years. All of the non-recyclable garbage she has produced in that time fits neatly inside one small mason jar awaiting a recycling opportunity.

Lauren says this achievable goal has benefits beyond helping the environment. She eats better, has more money, and is happier since transitioning to a waste-free life.

America accounts for about one-third of the world’s waste.


Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a natural gas collection method that poses a danger to our environment and our public health. Take action to keep dirty fuels in the ground at:


An estimated 15 000 people took to the streets on December 10th, 2014 to call for action -- for their families, their livelihoods and the planet during COP 20 in Lima, Peru. It's the last major UN climate talk before a crucial meeting in Paris next year, where a new global deal will be decided. Will world leaders step up for our planet? .


What Millennials Talk About When They Talk About Climate Change. A Video from Solutions Grassroots Tour featuring NAHKO BEAR.

The Solutions Grassroots Tour is a series of theater, film and concert events that give communities the tools and resources to build their own renewable energy. Learn more:



Are You Eating Plastic for Dinner?

This novel 3-D animation dives into how our consumption of plastics has affected marine species deaths and increased human health risks, and it explores possible long-term solutions. Motion graphic artist Andreas Tanner uses his compelling infographics to educate viewers on all aspects of plastic production, consumption, and breakdown. “Due to particular currents in the Pacific Ocean, a new continent has been born: a mass of plastic waste the size of Europe.” Tanner also offers ideas for alternative and sustainable buying habits to reduce our reliance on plastic. Learn more:


New Zealand's dairy industry is booming, fuelled by an international demand for pure Kiwi milk. But as the country's milk moguls become millionaires, there are growing concerns that the industry is turning sour.

"The demand has been insatiable out of China", explains dairy farmer Trevor, who built a 140-million-dollar farm empire from the ground up. New Zealand produces 19 million tonnes of milk a year, 95% of which is exported. Yet global prices for milk have dropped more than 40% in 2014 so far and more cows means more waste and chemicals polluting the country's water sources. As Australia signs a Free Trade Agreement with China, what can they learn from their neighbour's faltering white gold rush???


Toxic Sugar - The previously unrecognized health impacts of high-sugar diets.

Today’s generation of eaters are the fattest the world has ever seen; there are now more obese people on the planet than undernourished. Is it really as simple as humans suddenly consuming much more fat than in the past? While the amount of fat we eat has stayed largely stable over the past few decades, scientists like Prof Michael Cowley and Prof Robert Lustig point out that sugar and processed carbohydrates are the main culprits for our recent obesity. Dr Maryanne Demasi investigates how our misguided eating habits have led us to become the fattest generation of humans in history. Journeyman Films


Carbon Neutral Lunch: The tiny country with big plans, hoping to transform it's Argricultural industries and go Carbon-Neutral by 2021. By replacing conventional agricultural practices with cheap, low-carbon technologies it is aiming to become the world's first carbon-neutral country by 2021.

"We have a lot of food and many ways to feed ourselves in a healthy manner while caring for the environment", says organic farmer Jimenez. Like 550 Costa Rican families, she benefited from government training in low-carbon agricultural techniques. Innovative and inexpensive solutions such as the 'bio-gas digester' - a sealed pool of pig waste, trapping methane bubbles emissions that are used as fuel - are increasing in popularity across the country. The trend is followed by commercial giants like Dole, which is now trying to make its entire banana supply chain in Costa Rica carbon-neutral. Agriculture Minister Gloria Abraham Peralta also hopes that "the ability to be carbon-neutral gives producers an added value in the marketplace".

For downloads and more info:



Keep the Oil in the Ground.

Humanity's survival depends on not burning two-thirds of our global oil reserves, so we must act now by limiting fossil fuel extraction. The highly biodiverse Amazon basin is a keystone area in combating climate change because it regulates our planet’s health and drives global weather patterns. Preserving regions most critical for our survival—from the Amazon to the Arctic—is the solution to avoiding climate chaos. That's why we are globally calling to KEEP THE OIL IN THE GROUND, starting with the Amazon.



Fabien Cousteau: What I learned from spending 31 days underwater.

In 1963, Jacques Cousteau lived for 30 days in an underwater laboratory positioned on the floor of the Red Sea, and set a world record in the process. This summer, his grandson Fabien Cousteau broke that record. Cousteau the younger lived for 31 days aboard the Aquarius, an underwater research laboratory nine miles off the coast of Florida. In a charming talk he brings his wondrous adventure to life.


Another reason to avoid Sodium laureth sulfate!

Half asleep in the morning, you finish brushing your teeth and reach for your glass of orange juice. After taking a big swig, you spit it back out, making a face like you’ve just chewed on a lemon. Turns out, a specific chemical in your toothpaste is responsible for that nasty taste. This week, Reactions explains why toothpaste and orange juice don’t mix.


NASA Average September Arctic Sea Ice Comparison: 1979 vs 2013.

This animation compares the difference in the area, volume and depth of the average September Arctic sea ice between 1979, shown in blue, and 2013, shown in orange. The data from these two years has been projected onto a circle to provide for easy visual comparison without altering its area or volume. The depth is shown as a histogram that is uniform rotationally around the central axis. Each grid cell of the ground plane is 1,000 kilometers in width, or one million square kilometers per cell. The depth of the sea ice is measured in meters.

This data comes from the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS). This system combines real observations of the Arctic sea ice from 1979 through the present with data of the ocean and atmosphere to produce a complete picture of the changes in Arctic Sea ice area, thickness, and volume. The sharp spike at the center of the visualization represents the very real phenomenon of thick ice ridges form by ice dynamics. NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio. PIOMAS is more completely described here:



Zurich: Where People Are Welcome and Cars Are Not

When it comes to transportation options and smart city planning, you can argue Zurich, Switzerland takes the top prize in the world. The city has deployed a number of polices and practices that make commuting, living and working in Zurich a pleasant experience whichever mode (or modes) of travel you use.

For one, back in the mid-1990s, via a city decree referred to as "The Great Compromise", Zurich decided it keep their number of parking spaces fixed at current levels. So on the rare occasion they need to justify building new parking spaces, they must find other areas within the city limits to eliminate parking. And as a bonus: many of the new spaces come in the form of underground garages, which allows for more car-free streets, plazas and shared space solutions.

Secondly, Zurich has a very intricate series of over 4500 sensors throughout the city designed to monitor the number of cars entering its limits. When that number exceeds the level Zurich's streets can comfortably accommodate, all cars are halted on highways and main roads in to the city until congestion is relieved. Thus, traffic continually flows with little or no back-up in the city.

When it comes to mass transit options, Zurich has a network of comfortable commuter trains, buses, and the magnificent gem of the city: its 15 line tram system. Trams run everywhere frequently and are easy to hop on and off. The coordination of the lines is a wonder to behold as trams pull into circular hubs from all directions. It is an on-going dance of commuters: a synchronicity of transit. And it's the preferred way to travel in the city center. Business men in suits traveling to the richest banks in the world ride next to moms and skateboarders.

That's only the beginning of some of the great things going on in Zurich. We haven't even touched on the bike mode share (6% and climbing) the amazing parks and rivers that have been cleaned up and filled with people socializing after work. The wonderful car-free/light pathways are filled with restaurants and tourists all times of the day. At least if you can never get to Zurich, you'll be able to experience a bit of what it is like via our Streetfilm.

Note: statistics cited are from the Mobility and Transport Microcencus of 2010 by the Federal Government of Switzerland. The survey on the travel behavior is done every 5 years since 1974.



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