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PERC Reports

The magazine of Free Market environmentalism

Volume 16, No.3, Fall 1998

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Green Venture Capital

The EcoEnterprises Fund offers a new twist on venture capital by targeting environmentally responsible and conservation-minded businesses. The fund will invest an average of $100,000 to $200,000 in small start-up ventures in Latin America and the Caribbean. The fund, also known as Fondo EcoEmpresas, is a joint effort of the Inter-American Development Bank and theContinue reading "Green Venture Capital"

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Ragweed To Riches

As many midwestern farm families struggle to make a living off the land, the Jones family of Afton, Iowa, has found a new source of revenue growing in their pastures. For two summers, the family has been picking the flowers off the ragweed plants that flourish in their fields and corrals. The flowers are groundContinue reading "Ragweed To Riches"

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Treetop Walkway

High above West Africa’s Upper Guinean rain forest, tourists on gently swaying walkways stroll cautiously through the forest canopy. It is a nature experience still rare even in the realms of eco-tourism. Kakum National Park, the 140-square-mile preserve where the walkway is located, is home to several endangered species including the forest elephant. It isContinue reading "Green Venture Capital"

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Looks Like Wood

The picnic table, the park bench and the boardwalk look like wood, but they are actually made from plastic. Impervious to water, salt, oil, chemicals, and insects, the building material comes from chipped and melted milk jugs and detergent bottles. This new use for high-density polyethylene is making profits for outdoor furniture manufacturers and checkingContinue reading "Green Venture Capital"

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Forest Of Toyota

A group of researchers at Japan’s largest car manufacturer are concentrating on designer trees rather than fuel efficiency. This odd turn for Toyota is an effort to develop a new tree with a ravenous appetite for the noxious gases produced by gasoline-powered automobile engines. Since 1991, the company has been working on biology- based methodsContinue reading "Green Venture Capital"

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What We Did in Virginia

  From January 1994 to January 1998, I was Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Republican administration of Governor George Allen. My goal was to change the paradigm that has governed environmental programs from the “fearsome master” approach to the “helpful servant” approach. I intended to do this by decentralizingContinue reading "Green Venture Capital"

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Politics-Green But Dirty

Businesses routinely lobby to avoid heavy burdens from government regulations. But some businesses lobby in favor of regulations that give them a market edge. Environmental regulations are riddled with provisions that are less about saving the planet than about helping a particular industry or special interest. The latest example comes from a business group thatContinue reading "Green Venture Capital"

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