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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Business Note/Consumption Barometer

Air Date: Week of

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Living on Earth’s Jennifer Chu reports on efforts to green the upcoming Johannesburg World Summit.


CURWOOD: Just ahead: the vanishing sage grouse and the efforts to protect its habitat. First, this Environmental Business Note from Jennifer Chu.


CHU: To prepare for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg this August, the South African government is working to green the summit it will host. To achieve that goal, the international meeting will feature a consumption barometer. During the Summit, delegates and the public will be able to monitor their consumption of food, paper and other natural resources and the amount of waste they produce daily. The barometer will measure factors like atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and water usage. Each day an index will be published based on the measurements taken on a scale of zero to seven, zero being a normal day without the 65,000 expected participants.

The barometer will appear in Johannesburg TV and newspaper ads and electronic billboards. On particularly high consumption days, a public service announcement will appear next to the barometer, urging conference attendees to recycle your plastic today or make sure your tap isn’t dripping. To help in the greening of the Summit, food caterers will be encouraged to use biodegradable packaging and florists will be arranging sustainably harvested flowers. The government will use the barometer’s results before, during, and after the meeting to try and gauge the Environmental Summit’s environmental impact. That’s this week’s Business Note. I’m Jennifer Chu.

CURWOOD: And you’re listening to Living on Earth.




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