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The Green Life: Grapevine

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September 02, 2006

Grapevine

Anheuser-Busch is test-marketing an organic beer dubbed Wild Hop, the first from a mega-brewer. * Wal-Mart, the biggest grocery chain in the United States, has doubled the amount of organic food it carries and promises it will soon sell only wild-caught fish from sustainable fisheries. * The city of Visalia, California, is building two police substations out of bales of straw, a natural insulating material that can cut energy costs in half. * "Eco-tourism" is the "buzzword of the year," according to the New York Times, which notes that 38 percent of U.S. travelers would pay more for a greener trip. * The California-based Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has saved $1 million a year since improving its energy efficiency and reducing packaging waste. * Every month, Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon offers up to 50 free gallons of a cleaner-burning biodiesel mix (made of waste from local restaurants and the nearby Kettle Chips factory) to its employees, who can fill up their cars right at the winery. * Historic landmarks on both U.S. coasts are going green: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are now powered partly by wind energy, while hybrid ferries to Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, are in the works. * The University of California at Berkeley will open certified organic salad bars in its four campus dining halls by spring 2007.

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