Perhaps it's too little too late but all efforts in stemming the stampede to slash and burn the forests in order to plant Palms for oil needs to be applauded. Sonia Cruz de Baltodano

Wilmar International’s chairman is cleaning up the industry that made him a billionaire

The sprawling palm oil industry has long been a destroyer of rain forests and tormentor of endangered species across Southeast Asia, to hear environmental groups tell it. And if one executive embodied this $50 billion business, it was Kuok Khoon Hong, a 65-year-old Singaporean commodities magnate.

Leave it to the indigenous people who are still connected to nature to understand the peril we are in. The rest of us have our backs turned and live in denial. We need to face the problems we've created by making unwise decisions in everything from how we dispose of what we consume to what type of car we buy, how we cool our hear homes, what shampoo we buy. Being aware goes a long way to helping solve the problem one person at a time. Sonia Cruz de Baltodano

The honeybees are dropping like flies. It's an unsustainable rate of loss, according to scientists. Their current population has dwindled to half of what it was in the 1940s, down to 2.5 million from 5 million in the US.

No one knows for certain why they're dying, although recent studies indicate that pesticides may be a factor. 

Whatever the cause, this is a very bad thing. An unhealthy bee population is a symptom of an unhealthy environment. Unfortunately, in a vicious cycle, fewer honeybees can exacerbate negative conditions.

The average person in the U. S. uses between 100 and 250 gallons of water a day. I know it is possible to get by just fine on one tenth that amount. The use of low water capacity toilets, flow restrictors at shower heads and faucet aerators are fairly common now.

A well designed solar house is both warm when you want it and cool when you want it; that is to say, the temperature tends to stay fairly even. Another good way to keep your cool is to dig into the earth. About six feet under the earth, you will find that the temperature varies by only a few degrees year round.

Small-scale farms that supply us with bountiful ingredients,which end up — hours later — in our meals, are nothing new (though we are by no means tired of such a healthy trend). And, of late, resort spas have been getting in on the action, using fresh-picked ingredients in facials and treatments.

While pisco a spirit distilled from grapes typically grown at high elevations in Peru and Chile that has much in common with cognac  may not yet be a household word, it is fast garnering fans of mixed drinks who are thirsting for something different. Unaged, pisco is a white spirit and more readily found than the aged version, a brown reserve. Either form of pisco works well in mixed drinks — start with the standard pisco sour and wander on from there, either on the rocks or straight up.

Nothing can be more comfortable for body and mind than living in a good solar-heated house. I say "good", because proper design is crucial to the comfort of such a house. You may have gone into a solar house and felt stifled by the glaring heat, or perhaps you shivered from the lack of it.

As "consumers" we are frequently confronted with life style decisions that can impact our environment. There are a few choices in this life that can make a big difference in what the quality of life will be for those who follow us. Going with the flow of our culture is hard to avoid, and unfortunately the flow is not in the right direction for evolving a sustainable future. One of the most momentous choices that any of us will make is the kind of house we live in. I have come up with a list of thirteen principles of sustainable architecture (listed as links on the left) that can guide you in your housing choices.