Defining a Brand: One Message, Two Business Lines
Jun 18, 2020 by Julia L F Goldstein
I’m struggling to define my brand. Am I the writer who can learn enough about photolithography or lithium-ion battery chemistry to write about those topics in understandable English? Or am I the author trying to change the world by spreading the message of environmental sustainability and smarter use of materials?
Rethinking Reusable Containers and Packaging Waste
Apr 10, 2020 by Julia L F Goldstein
My reusable Starbucks cups sit in a cabinet in my kitchen gathering dust. Yes, I could go to a drive-through at Starbucks and show the barista one of the cups to save ten cents on the cost of a latte. The barista would then hand me my drink in a disposable cup. But I see no point in flashing my decorative cup. My habit of bringing reusable cups has nothing to do with the discount.
Three Takes on Materials and Sustainability
Nov 01, 2019 by Julia L F Goldstein
In October, I had the opportunity to speak to three very different audiences: 1) semiconductor packaging industry executives and engineers; 2) members of a synagogue who are part of the congregation's "green team"; 3) university students enrolled in an environmental health seminar.
Travel and the Environment
Jul 29, 2019 by Julia L F Goldstein
I recently sent an email to my subscriber list in which I asked their opinion about whether I should drive my 2016 Nissan Leaf to the Sleeping Lady resort in Leavenworth, WA, which is located 105 miles from my house. Several people replied and said to go for it, so I did, even though my husband was worried and thought we should take his gas-powered car instead.
Glass, Plastic, or Aluminum?
Jul 07, 2019 by Julia L F Goldstein
Spotted on the road: a Coca-Cola truck emblazoned with an image of the product in a glass bottle and these words: “Enjoy the Coke, recycle the bottle.” But what happens to these bottles when someone turns them in?
Wash Before Wearing
May 05, 2019 by Julia L F Goldstein
You probably own clothing with a tag that reads, “wash before wearing.” There’s a good reason for this. In some cases, the dyes in clothing need to be washed away sufficiently that your jeans won’t stain your skin. In other cases, the fabric is coated with a finish that wicks moisture, repels water, or makes the clothing last longer. Unfortunately, many finishes cause irritation or allergic reactions or, even more worrisome, contain toxic chemicals linked to serious health problems.
What's in a Name?
Sep 09, 2018 by Julia L F Goldstein
Do you know what ASBC stands for? If you answered American Society of Brewing Chemists, you’re right. That organization appears in eight of the ten first-page Google search results for “ASBC.” The chemists, or the folks they hired to design their website, seem to be on top of search engine optimization. The other two organizations that show up are the American Sustainable Business Council (#5) and the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Virginia (#8).
Peanut Butter, Donuts, and Forests
Jul 06, 2018 by Julia L F Goldstein
I like peanut butter. It’s delicious on toast and makes for a healthy snack. I often buy the varieties that contain only peanuts and salt to avoid added sugars. The labels say, “oil separation is natural.” Just because oil separation is natural, though, doesn’t mean that it’s not annoying. Those natural peanuts butters take a lot of stirring to mix in the oil. If you don’t stir all the way to the bottom when you first open the jar, then it will be nearly impossible to spoon out the last of the refrigerated peanut butter at the bottom.
Searching for Greener Materials
Apr 07, 2018 by Julia L F Goldstein
For a materials geek like me, the best part of the GoGreen conference in Seattle on April 4 was walking around the exhibit hall and talking to the people working the booths. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed hearing from local mayors about what their cities are doing. I’m encouraged by efforts of brands, from family-owned businesses to large corporations, that are taking a stand on politically-charged positions. When it comes to the role of materials in environmental sustainability, though, the exhibit hall was the place to be.