Since it’s coming on to spring, I thought I’d talk about some green shoots, such as the ones in my little balcony garden (see picture; I thought for sure I’d killed those onions!).

– There’s the Vegawatt, a device that takes a restaurant’s waste cooking oil, which the restaurant would normally have to pay to have hauled away, and turns it from an expense into an extra source of power and hot water. It’s got rave reviews from its customers so far. (Go here to hear Vegawatt inventor James Peret discuss which sorts of customers he feels are best suited for his machine.)

Sharon Busch in Akeley, a small town in northern Minnesota just a little south of the headwaters of the Mississippi River, inherited from her mother a prized melamine utensil that was part ladle, part scoop, and all useful: the unique design enabled her to get the last bit of soup or goulash out of any kettle, without spilling. When the handle on it broke after decades of use, she couldn’t find a replacement, so a friend of hers suggested she start a business making new ones. And so she did: http://www.soupsaverscoop.com/

Wind power is poised to reach cost parity with coal sometime in the next four years — and that’s without taking wind-power subsidies into account. That’s also assuming nothing’s done to put a higher price on coal, to reflect its true cost to the planet.

So what’s shooting up green in your neck of the woods?