Jen van der Meer

Compost or Pay: The Journey to Zero Waste

Published: (Updated: ) in Inhabitat, Open Forum, Product Ecology, , by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: San Francisco has joined the movement to zero waste, and is now leading the charge by implementing a mandatory composting law. Within six weeks, San Francisco residents and business must compost their food and organic waste scraps, or they will risk being fined up to $1,000. Rather than protest, San Francisco residents […]

Google Wants You to Know Your Own Power

Published: (Updated: ) in Clean Tech, Inhabitat, Open Forum, by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: If you could know the energy usage of all of the appliances and gadgets in your home, right now, on your handheld device, would you look?  Would you care? Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, believes that you would care, and that you would change your behavior to lower your household environmental impact. […]

When Hard Metrics Inhibit Success

Published: (Updated: ) in Clean Tech, Inhabitat, Open Forum, , , by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: OK, so I caught your attention for a moment. In an economic cycle like the one we’re currently experiencing, it’s impossible to make any move or decision that is not tied to hard, cold, clear metrics. Increase sales by X%. Attract Y new customers. But there are times when overemphasizing […]

Entrepreneurs: The Movement

Published: (Updated: ) in Entrepreneurship, Inhabitat, Open Forum, , by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Who will save the economy? It is all up to you. The entrepreneur. The Kauffman Foundation recognizes that entrepreneurs are the backbone of this economy, but rarely represent their opinions and ideas in a unified voice. To provide a platform for the entrepreneur’s voice, Build a Stronger America was launched […]

What’s in a Rubber Duck? Stuff Under Scrutiny

Published: (Updated: ) in Inhabitat, Open Forum, Product Ecology, by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: The Ecology Center recently launched a provocative website, Healthy Stuff, which lists the environmental toxins contained in over 900 products, anything from cars to children’s toys to women’s handbags. Rather than rely on product ingredient lists or company social responsibility reports, the data comes directly from a machine called an XRF Analyzer, which […]

Paying for the Experience of Making: The Bamboo Bike Studio

Published: (Updated: ) in Entrepreneurship, Inhabitat, Open Forum, Product Ecology, , by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: It’s not enough to just buy green. The greenest consumers want to do more than just vote with their wallet. They may just want to roll up their sleeves and help you teach them how to make the very thing that you’re selling. Take the example of the Bamboo Bike Studio in […]

Gazelle.com – A Recommerce Company Making Cash from Trash

Published: (Updated: ) in Clean Tech, Inhabitat, Open Forum, Product Ecology, , by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Preparing for a move back to the east coast,Gazelle.com’s cofounder Israel Ganot took his collection of used electronics to Staples for recycling. He was surprised to discover that the recycling program asked him to pay approximately $15 for the privilege, even though he knew from his days at eBay that the […]

The Measure of Money: Social Impact Investing Grows Up

Published: (Updated: ) in Clean Tech, Entrepreneurship, Health Tech, Inhabitat, Open Forum, Open Innovation, Social Impact, , by .

For Open Forum at Inhabitat: Are financial markets a force for social good? 1000+ entrepreneurs, NGO staffers, and financiers attended the second annual Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP09) to answer the question. One year later, the conversation transformed from enthusiastic optimism to a more scrupulous discussion about measurement, metrics, and proof. Interest in environmentally and socially beneficial […]

For Profit, For Good

Published: (Updated: ) in Entrepreneurship, Inhabitat, Open Forum, Social Impact, by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Socially-minded venture entrepreneurs want a new kind of company. Choose for-profit, and you are unable to receive grants from foundations looking to fund the very social benefit you are aiming to provide. Choose not-for-profit, and you kill the entrepreneurial spirit, as you are limited from offering stock options, owning the […]

EPA Announces New Cell-phone Recycling Program

Published: (Updated: ) in Inhabitat, Product Ecology, , by .

At Inhabitat: The Consumer Electronics Show is all about the sizzle of shiny and new, but what happens to your old gadgets when you are ready for an upgrade? This week, the EPA announced an easy cellphone recycling program partnership with key phone device makers and service providers. The goal: redirect the 130 million cellphones that will be retired […]