Day: November 13, 2012

Webinar: Beyond Energy Efficiency: Behavior Change Tactics for the Pollution Prevention Community

Thursday, January 17, 2013, 2-3 pm CST
Register at

Join Susan Mazur-Stommen, Director of Behavior and Human Dimensions Program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), to discuss what behavior change research tells us about how people make decisions and what motivates them to make changes. She will also examine how pollution prevention technical assistance providers can use that research to influence behavior change and improve implementation rates at the companies they work with.

Plan to Turn Farm Waste Into Paper Earns Students $15,000

Read the full story from Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins engineering students won $15,000 in a national competition for adapting a traditional Korean paper-making technique into a low-tech method that impoverished villagers can use to make paper for their children’s underequipped schools.

The prize — for the design of a machine to convert farm waste to paper, inexpensively and without electricity — was presented recently in Houston during a ceremony honoring top submissions in the 2012 Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development competition. The contest attracted 422 student entrants from 173 universities. The paper-making proposal took second place.

Pollution prevention internships find lost value, launch new careers

Marie Steinwachs, Director of the Missouri Environmental Assistance Center (EAC), wrote an article for the P2 Pathways Column for GreenBiz on how P2 internship programs that match student needs for experience and companies sustainability efforts have collectively saved businesses billions.

Read article:

Here is the link to the P2 Pathways landing page:

Green chemistry works to cut pollution

Read the full story in Business Examiner.

Continuing their efforts to clean up Puget Sound, a team of South Sound leaders in business, government and the environment is strategizing to reduce toxic contaminants from this region’s waterways. And sometimes, in doing so, they find new business opportunities.

North America leads shift in global energy balance, IEA says in latest World Energy Outlook

Read the full story from the International Energy Agency.

The global energy map is changing in dramatic fashion, the International Energy Agency said as it launched the 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO). The Agency’s flagship publication, released today in London, said these changes will recast expectations about the role of different countries, regions and fuels in the global energy system over the coming decades.

Funding Available for Environmental Research and Development

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking to fund environmental research and development proposals.  SERDP is DoD’s environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, with participation by numerous other Federal and non-Federal organizations.  The Program invests across the broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development.

Proposals responding to focused Statements of Need (SON) in the following areas are requested:

  • Environmental Restoration — Research and technologies for the characterization, risk assessment, remediation, and management of contaminants in soil, sediments, and water.
  • Munitions Response — Technologies for the detection, classification, and remediation of military munitions on U.S. lands and waters.
  • Resource Conservation and Climate Change — Research that advances DoD’s management of its natural and cultural resources and improves understanding of climate change impacts.
  • Weapons Systems and Platforms — Research and technologies to reduce, control, and understand the sources of waste and emissions in the manufacturing, maintenance, and use of weapons systems and platforms.

Proposals responding to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 SONs will be selected through a competitive process.  Separate solicitations are available to Federal and non-Federal proposers.  The SONs and detailed instructions are available on the SERDP web site at

The Core SERDP Solicitation provides funding in varying amounts for multi-year projects.  All Core Solicitation pre-proposals are due to SERDP Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

SERDP also will be funding environmental research and development through the SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) Solicitation.  The SEED Solicitation is designed to provide a limited amount of funding (not to exceed $150,000) for projects up to approximately one year in duration to investigate innovative approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept.  This year, SERDP is requesting SEED proposals for the Munitions Response and the Weapons Systems and Platforms program areas.  All SEED proposals are due Tuesday, March 12, 2013.   

Hurricane Disasters and Debris: Don’t Let Renewable Fuel Go to Waste

Read the full post from the Rocky Mountain Institute.

In the aftermath of the ~1,000-mile wide “perfect storm” comprising Hurricane Sandy and an early winter front on the East Coast this week, emergency work crews have been dispatched to rapidly clean up roads and repair downed power lines. Much of this work involves removing fallen trees, grinding them down in industrial wood chippers, and trucking it all off to repositories. In this process, likely millions of tons of viable biomass fuel will be left to rot in landfills and other final resting places. There, the biomass is often comingled with contaminating debris, making it unfit for energy recovery.

Can Higher Ed Lead Institutional Green Procurement into a New Era?

Read the full post on the AASHE Blog.

Sustainable procurement work has never been more exciting. New data, science and processes are coming together with years of on-the-ground experience to create a new paradigm. A higher education pilot project is laying the groundwork for a sustainable procurement leadership recognition program, modeled on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. If that program comes to fruition, it could radically accelerate the adoption and effectiveness of sustainable procurement in sectors far beyond higher education.

Higher education sustainability news roundup

OneEnergy Renewables Announces 2013 Energy Scholars Class
OneEnergy Renewables, a developer of large-scale clean energy projects, announced its 2013 OneEnergy Scholars class at NetImpact 2012, the premier event for students and professionals using their careers for good. The OneEnergy Scholars program accelerates the careers of high potential individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and vision in the field of renewable energy.

Western, Mayo, Hillview plan greenhouse on Ivy Motel site
Sustainable urban agriculture could soon take root in downtown La Crosse, thanks to a creative solution by a community partnership. Western Technical College, Hillview Urban Agriculture Center and Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare announced Monday that they are teaming up to create the the Urban Landscape and Agriculture Center at Seventh and Vine streets. The greenhouse, which will occupy WTC’s former Ivy Motel residence hall, will lease its space to HUAC at a reduced rate.

Energy Channel debuts on campus cable
If you live on campus, you might have noticed that you have a new channel on your TV.  This one’s airing a different kind of reality show. The Energy Channel, channel 5, is currently showing on TVs in the lobbies of residential buildings across campus. The channel currently displays bar graphs showing the energy use of some of the suite-style buildings on campus over various lengths of time, including a single day, a week, and a month. Dr. Steve Hovan, of the Department of Geoscience, and Dr. Jack Makara, of the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining, were the ones who came up with the idea of monitoring energy use in residence halls. The goal of the project is to increase residential students’ awareness of their energy impact, while reducing energy consumption in the residence halls and promoting a lasting awareness among students of energy conservation and sustainability. So far, the channel is getting data from five of the eight suite-style buildings on campus. By the end of the semester, they hope to have data from all eight suite-style buildings.

Friday Night Lights Program to save energy, utility costs
The University of Toledo is taking another step toward environmental sustainability as turning off unneeded lights becomes a new priority. Two student organizations, Engineers Without Borders and the Society for Environmental Education, have teamed up with Brooke Mason, UT interim sustainability specialist, to create the Friday Night Lights Program. Students involved will spend their Friday nights turning out lights on campus that would be left on over the weekend.

University of Michigan celebrates bike week after installing pump and service stations on campus
U-M recently installed two bicycle tire pumps and a repair stand on campus and this week students, dubbed bike ambassadors, will be at the stands from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to help people with their bike problems.

Plans to cultivate on-campus garden approved
The Tallahassee Sustainability Group (TSG) is spearheading a plan to build and maintain an on-campus garden at Florida State.

CEFIA to Loan $1 Million for College Energy Efficiency Program
Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) is lending $1 million for “Campus Efficiency Now”, a new program aimed at advancing energy efficiency and promoting cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy  for Connecticut’s independent colleges.

UC Berkeley researchers, community team up to eliminate toxic chemicals
UC Berkeley researchers are teaming up with local organizations to plant thousands of ferns in a South Berkeley lot in an effort to extricate toxic chemicals and eventually create a new haven of green gardens. The project, spearheaded by the campus department of environmental science and the citywide nonprofit organization Berkeley Partners for Parks, will experiment with pteris vittata, also known as the Chinese brake — a specialized fern known to extract a thousand times more arsenic from the soil than a typical plant. If successful, the city will then transform the area into a greenway lined with bicycle paths and trees.