Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

There are many non-profit organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area that accept donations all year. My ISTC colleague Joy Scrogum compiled a list several months ago and I’ve added to it. If there are any I missed, let me know in the comments.

Updated August 19, 2015 to the Champaign-Urbana Theater Company’s donation policies. Continue reading Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

The Moth Snowstorm: Finding True Value in Nature’s Riches

Read the full interview at E360.

Journalist Michael McCarthy has chronicled the loss of wildlife in his native Britain and globally. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about why he believes a new defense of the natural world is needed – one based on the joy and spiritual connection it provides for humans.

Energy Department announces $6.5 million to scale up the energy efficiency of U.S. commercial buildings

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number: DE-FOA-0001518

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) has announced the availability of $6.5 million for DE-FOA-0001518, “Scaling Up the Next Generation of Building Efficiency Packages.” BTO seeks proposals driving innovation in real building technology demonstrations while also fostering the collaboration of dynamic demonstration teams. The General Services Administration (GSA) Green Proving Ground program is a key collaborator, will participate in the review committee, and offer demonstration host sites.

Successful applicants will propose high impact real building demonstrations led by strategically structured teams who will identify and verify the cost and energy performance of multi-system energy efficiency packages (groups of technologies that improve efficiency across two building systems: envelope, lighting/electrical, plug, process, heating, ventilation, cooling, refrigeration, energy management and information, sensors and controls).

The objective of this funding is to generate and disseminate data, case studies, and information that lowers perceived risk regarding the efficacy and economic benefits of innovative and under-utilized commercial building technology packages that can save significant amounts of energy in new and existing commercial buildings. Demonstrations of the technology packages funded through this FOA are likely to meet the investment hurdles for the commercial real estate market at scale, but may not at the current time, and will have the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in U.S. commercial buildings. The technical and/or non-technical products of this funding will enable investment-level decision-making, and will accelerate the development of utility programs for packages of technologies that meet cost-effectiveness thresholds.

A Teaming Partner List is attached in EERE Exchange. Proposed projects or approaches may reference the goals in the BTO Multi-Year Program Plan. Interested parties should consider responding to the GSA Green Proving Ground Program Request for Information GS-00-P-17-CY-C-7001.

More information, submittal requirements, and instructions for applying to this funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0001518) can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website. To be eligible for consideration, a concept paper must be submitted no later than 11/21/2016 5:00 PM ET. Questions about this FOA may be sent to commercialbuildings@ee.doe.gov.

Submission Deadlines

  • Submission Deadline for Concept Papers: 11/21/2016 5:00 PM ET
  • Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 2/21/2017 5:00 PM ET

Informational Webinar

Please join BTO’s Commercial Buildings Integration Program for an overview of this funding opportunity. Register soon, space is limited.

  • November 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM ET

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6534736631364875266

Strategy for Addressing the Retail Sector under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s Regulatory Framework

U.S. EPA’s Retail Strategy lays out a cohesive and effective plan to address the unique challenges the retail sector has with complying with the hazardous waste regulations while reducing burden and protecting human health and the environment.

This Tiny English Village Has Completed Surprisingly Aggressive Carbon Reductions

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Ten years ago, Ashton Hayes set out to be the country’s first carbon-neutral village. According to Deutsche Welle, one villager proposed the scheme during a pub quiz, and then held a meeting. The movement grew from there. People immediately made small changes at home, taking measures to save electricity, cut down on air travel, and eventually replaced their cars and upgraded home appliances.

In New Ozone Alert, A Warning Of Harm to Plants and to People

Read the full story at E360.

Scientists are still trying to unravel the damaging effects of ground-level ozone on life on earth. But as the world warms, their concerns about the impact of this highly toxic, pollution-caused gas are growing.

Ontario recycling initiative issues school challenge

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Average fourth-graders generate their weight in lunch room garbage annually, according to the Recycling Council of Ontario.

Bringing that number down is one of the environmental issues the province’s Back to School challenge is asking students to tackle this school year.

The initiative, championed by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, is a set of 10 eco-friendly ideas that students and parents can follow to reduce their eco-footprints.

Brewers Association Releases 2015 Benchmarking Report and Sustainability Benchmarking Tools

The Brewers Association (BA) has released the 2015 Sustainability Benchmarking Report. The report includes utility, resource and production data from 79 breweries, representing a robust variety of production sizes and geographic locations. This report provides a platform to share best practices to identify how to use water more efficiently, generate less wastewater and solid waste, decrease total energy usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Moving forward, data for this annual report will be collected through the Brewers Association Benchmarking Tools. Individual brewers can input their utility usage and compare their data to other participating breweries. Using the iEHS Mobile Metrics platform, brewers can enter target usage and cost values and track ongoing monthly performance. Breweries will be able to easily identify areas to improve efficiencies and increase profitability by utilizing the Sustainability Dashboard tool to compare themselves to industry averages of similar size breweries. Both tools are usable on a web browser or mobile device. These tools will increase the number of participants contributing benchmarking information, forming a clearer picture of industry practices. The information will then be organized, verified, analyzed and distributed though the annual Sustainability Benchmarking Report. Individual breweries will not be identified in the report.

Increasingly, environmental stewardship is a priority for beer drinkers, brewers and future generations. Maintaining a healthy balance between stewardship, social enrichment, and economic vitality is important to the future of craft brewing. BA members have expressed a desire to benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs) on a consistent basis in order to set aggressive, but realistic, goals and targets. Through the Sustainability Benchmarking Report and Sustainability Manuals, the BA and the sustainability subcommittee encourages conscientious brewing practices that will ensure the long-term success of the craft beer industry.