Month: January 2012

Artist creates geeky decor from e-waste

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

Technological advances and an increasingly reliance on electronic systems has left its mark. We are now inundated with a vast amount of electronic waste.

An estimated 50 million tonnes of e-waste is produced each year by ‘developed’ nations, who then need to find areas in which to remove surplus, unrecyclable waste products. This, in turn, can lead to electronic waste leaving ports illegally to be dumped overseas for developing nations to have to deal with.

That is where one innovative artist has stepped in with a new method of reusing this waste material.

No Politics, Just Science: A New App Explains Climate Change

Read the full post at Good.

Climate change“: At this point, does that sound more like a political buzzword than a real scientific event? Even though most scientists agree that climate change is well underway, the public’s understanding of it lags behind—whether due to confusion, religion, or willful ignorance. Our country’s acceptance of the phenomenon has actually retreated in the past few years.

A new, free app for iPhones and iPads called Just Science jolts us back to reality by translating the science of climate change into layperson’s terms. The app takes two centuries of data from the comprehensive Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study, then converts it into a color-coded moving map that shows how today’s monthly temperatures compare to historical averages since 1800. The result, according to developer Nick Orenstein, is a gradual, everyday reminder of what’s happening to the planet.

Energy Efficiency: The Slip Switch to a New Track Toward Compliance with Federal Air Regulations

Download the report.

The U.S. is poised to make a major transition from dirty, outdated, and wasteful energy resources to a cleaner, more efficient energy system. Over the next decade, a suite of federal regulations required under the Clean Air Act will impose compliance obligations and set standards for multiple air pollutants. While energy efficiency has been a significant energy resource for decades, the convergence of new air regulations, a recovering economy, and an aging network of outdated power plants makes energy efficiency an increasingly attractive option.

Recognizing this, the EPA has crafted rules that allow for energy efficiency to be used for compliance or as a complementary compliance tool. EPA has provided guidance for how energy efficiency can be used in the context of air regulations, but past efforts to incorporate energy efficiency as part of an air quality compliance strategy have had limited success. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, stakeholders and policymakers will need to proactively, and strategically address some long-standing barriers to using energy efficiency as a tool to comply with air regulations.

This report provides an overview of the opportunities as well as a brief history of previous efforts to use energy efficiency as a tool to comply with federal air regulations. The report concludes with a discussion of major barriers that have arisen in this context and makes recommendations for how these barriers can be overcome.

Dream: Algae Landscape and Architecture Designs

Read the full story at Algae Industry Magazine.

How will algae production be designed into future landscapes, buildings and communities? What will they look like and how will they work?

Algae Competition invited algae enthusiasts, architects, designers, visionaries, builders, students and teams to design integrated algae production into future landscapes, farms, coastlines, cities, buildings and eco-communities. Algae Landscape Design categories ranged from urban landscapes, integrated commercial farms, community micro farms, village farms, suburban landscapes, rooftop systems, parks and gardens, agricultural landscapes, greenhouse systems, new model communities, and sea and ocean landscapes.

Global Reporting Initiative Publishes New Guidelines for Green Events

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Event organizers can now report on sustainability issues like impacts on communities, natural environments, and local and global economies, thanks to new guidance just published by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) helped developed the guidance as part of a multi-stakeholder Working Group and Advisory Group.

University of Vermont Offers Online Course on Greening Colleges

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Lauded for its green practices and curricula, the University of Vermont has developed a certificate program to enable other colleges to integrate sustainability into their operations.

The UVM certificate program in Sustainable Campus Innovation, which begins in March, will be conducted entirely online in a series of three eight-week courses.

Retail Group’s First Sustainability Report Puts Green Lens on Industry

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

Target aims to achieve Energy Star certification for at least 75 percent of its sites by 2015. The Home Depot‘s work to shrink its environmental footprint includes using local materials, native plants and building controls at stores. Lowe’s is working with the carriers that transport its goods to be smarter about fuel efficiency.

The initiatives are a sampling of the environmental efforts detailed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association in its first report on sustainability practices among some of the largest retail companies in the United States.

RILA’s 2012 Retail Sustainability Report, released this morning, offers an interesting look at the evolving philosophy on sustainability within an industry that has the largest energy bills and the second largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial sector of the U.S. economy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sustainable Apparel Rating Tool Set For Mid-Year Public Launch

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

On the cusp of its one-year anniversary, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition appointed its first executive director and will start tweaking its Apparel Index rating tool for a mid-year public release.

The Apparel Index is intended to help companies understand what’s going into their products and the impacts of their supply chains, essentially acting as a measuring stick for sustainability, said Executive Director Jason Kibbey, who took his position at the start of the year.