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Letters From The Earth

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January 18, 2011
Did you know that 2011 is the year of the rabbit? In the Chinese calendar, if you were born in the year of the rabbit you are elegant, worship beauty, and carry messages of mercy to all with whom you have contact. I don't know about you, but the…  Read More »
November 11, 2010
Our industry has become a more responsible steward of the environment during 2010. Further, it is exciting to see some of the changes that bring improvement to important parts of the supply chain. It is also disappointing to read that others still ha…  Read More »
October 11, 2010
The wind blew very, very hard several weeks ago here in Chicago. After the storm I went out to see if there was any damage. Our yard was fine but a neighbor lost a huge maple tree, probably 75 to 85 years old. I went over to look at the damage and no…  Read More »
August 27, 2010
I have reflected during the last several weeks on the catastrophic floods in Pakistan, India, and China and wondered if there is so much rain and water how can we project global water shortages? This gave me pause to think about the Tag & Label M…  Read More »
July 14, 2010
It is mid-June as I reflect on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded on April 22, killing 11 people. Notwithstanding the loss of life, about two million barrels of oil have contaminated the environment. As I wr…  Read More »
May 7, 2010
This year in Barcelona, label guru Mike Fairley made a fascinating presentation at the FINAT Technical Conference. His talk had these focal points: the label industry and the environment, digital label printing, and brand production and authenticity.…  Read More »
March 30, 2010
In my March/April column I wrote about wood pellets. I explained that the caloric value of the pellet is much greater because you have densified the cellulose. You have created an energy source that approximates coal. This has been one of the reasons…  Read More »
March 15, 2010
Before I begin a two part series on pellets for energy, I'd like to take one last parting shot at the black liquor funding paid to the paper industry in 2009. I promise, my last comment on the subject. The United States government paid out about $…  Read More »
January 15, 2010
I think it is appropriate to begin my 2010 columns with a few comments about the climate control conference that finished in mid-December in Copenhagen. I was just returning from a trip abroad and the conference had completed its first week of debate…  Read More »
November 16, 2009
During the last several months many of us have read or watched the debate and dialogue on climate change, sustainability, carbon footprint, cap and trade, and other green initiatives. We can't get away from it. You can't pick up a newspaper or magazi…  Read More »
October 7, 2009
In late July I was talking to a converter on the West Coast of the United States. We have been friends for quite a while. I don't remember when we'd first met, probably at an FTA function, but we have chatted and visited over the years. My friend is…  Read More »
September 3, 2009
I finished my last column with a promise to introduce a new company that will process non-recyclables and make fuel pellets for "thermal recycling" applications. Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain a release to describe its business and proce…  Read More »
July 7, 2009
I was on an "anti black liquor tax credit" kick in my last column. While I want to bring you up to date on a new green "leachate" treatment process, I am compelled first to get in one more shot at this tax credit funding scam. International Paper…  Read More »
May 8, 2009
Jeffrey Sax once said, "The US is out of melody." I happen to think harmony is a better word, but he's right, now more than ever. I see it in our industry. I see it in government policy, and I see it in private initiatives. We are out of harmony.…  Read More »
March 31, 2009
Signs. Signs and covenants. Messages that we hear and read. Promises that we make. Do we listen? Do we respond? Do we fulfill the commitment? I listened to a sermon recently about signs and covenants. Don't tell the rector but my mind wasn't entir…  Read More »

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