• Learning from students

    July 22, 2008
    || Several weeks ago, I was so frustrated with the "I'm gonna do it" group. These are the people and companies that are forever proud of their future changes and achievements. The problem is that they never do it, they never make the changes. I was so f…

  • Driving Green

    May 13, 2008
    || The president called me and asked, "Are we green?" "Heavens no," I responded. There was a pause and he asked, "Can you help us get green?" I replied, "Sure, I can help you. But at the end of the day it's up to you, you and your team. You have to driv…

  • Crisis and commitment

    April 8, 2008
    || There was a great editorial in one of the trade publications that I read that wondered if "concerns for the earth is a passing fad." It caused me to speculate about the pending transfer of the world champion polluter title. Part of my thought was: Wh…

  • We just don't get it

    March 14, 2008
    || To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology." Or, " Such a product fulfills the manufacturer's desires…

  • Money

    January 15, 2008
    || Most of you are aware of the Bali Climate Change Conference that occurred in early December. Hundreds attended, including government officials, industry lobbyists, environmental campaigners, observers, and yes, even the United States sent representat…

  • Better chemistry

    November 2, 2007
    || Do you recall the reference in my last column to the battle with British Petroleum's (BP) wish to send increased quantities of effluent from its refinery in Indiana into Lake Michigan? Well, we won the battle. BP is retreating, at least temporarily,…

  • Thanks for doing nothing

    August 31, 2007
    || As I start this column, those of us who live in the Chicago area of the United States have just learned that the State of Indiana, right nearby, and federal regulators have approved the expansion of a BP refinery in Whiting that will lead to increase…

  • Waste or by-product?

    April 27, 2007
    || During a recent AWA conference on release liners, Corey Reardon, principal of AWA, summarized the key factors affecting global demand for liners. His final slide was titled, "Threats". There were three: linerless labels, waste and alternative technol…

  • Waste & Consequences

    February 27, 2007
    || During the last several months I've traveled to Russia, India and five or six countries in Europe. All of my travels are driven by business, not by some whimsical curiosity. I visit converters, press manufacturers, laminators, coaters, paper mills, a…

  • Less clamor, more action

    November 1, 2006
    || Sustainable packaging, sustainability, corporate responsibility, corporate social responsibility, environmental coalitions, and on and on, ad nauseum. What about "best practices"? What is all of this? Are these mere buzz words? Are these colloquialis…

  • Facts and hogwash

    August 28, 2006
    || Would it be too presumptuous to ask your indulgence as I scroll through a few environmental news briefs? I believe it will help set the stage for the continuing need for change that will make us a better industry. Remember, these are "Letters from th…

  • Good stewardship

    July 17, 2006
    || A few weeks ago I attended a global warming conference. Because I read and constantly hear about the loss of water tables, wind energy, environmental taxation, lack of environmental leadership in Washington, the decline of oil, and on and on ad nause…

  • They just don't care.

    May 11, 2006
    || I've just returned from chairing a roundtable forum in Europe on liner recycling. The forum was part of an AWA Alexander Watson Associates conference on release liners and, with only one exception, was attended by representatives of all parts of the…

  • Worker safety

    March 3, 2006
    || Letters from the Earth is a rather ubiquitous column. It allows the author plenty of liberal editorializing. While topics are or should be generally "green", the column can engage readers in any area of environment or health or safety. Or, at least,…

  • Happy holidays

    November 28, 2005
    || I thought it appropriate to end the year with a holiday message, one that demonstrates the complexities of eco-economy. It begins with a conversation between God and St. Francis of Assisi. God: "You know all about gardens and nature. What's going…

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