Easy Energy and Materials Savings: A Business Guide to Source Reduction

The Nebraska Small Business Development Center and the Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC) have just published a short booklet of pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and sustainability case studies of projects done by companies in U.S. EPA Region 7.

How to Throw a Successful Yard Sale

Read the full story at Shareable.

By gosh, there’s nothing better than a good sale. And I’m not talking about shopping. Selling off your stuff can be surprisingly fun, liberating, and profitable. It’s hard work, though. To ensure good profits, your best bet is to organize a multi-family or neighborhood sale. Bigger sales bring more customers; a well-run, well-publicized event can net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

So how do you do it? Well, you’ll need more than a newspaper ad. Get organized, plan ahead, and use social media to make your sale stand out.

Businesses move on green tech sans Washington

Read the full story at CNET.

In the absence of leadership from the federal government, businesses are the best vehicle for slowly transitioning society away from fossil fuels.

That’s one of the themes from the Fortune Brainstorm Green this week, a conference to explore environmental sustainability at corporations.

UC Riverside entomologists propose pesticide-free method to increase egg production

Read the full news release.

In a research paper published online March 18 in the journal Parasitology, Bradley Mullens and colleagues argue that the chicken body louse, also a poultry parasite, can be used to effectively eradicate the mites if egg-producing commercial farms follow a simple, green strategy involving an odd twist on biological control – the science of managing agricultural pests with natural enemies rather than pesticides.

Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Area Source Categories, Subpart XXXXXX (6X) NESHAP – Questions and Answers

Download the document.

This document combines Questions & Answers identified in the Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Source Categories Area Source NESHAP promulgation package and in subsequent conversations between stakeholders and EPA personnel.

P&G Scorecard Puts Supply Chain on Notice

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The number of companies that responded to Procter & Gamble’s first supplier environmental scorecard exceeded P&G’s expectations, and after a few tweaks the scorecard will be sent out to even more suppliers and start affecting how P&G rates them.

Water Sustainability Assessment for Ten Army Installations

Water Sustainability Assessment for Ten Army Installations
By Elisabeth M. Jenicek, Rebecca A. Carroll, Laura E. Curvey, MeLena S. Hessel, Ryan M. Holmes, and Elizabeth Pearson

Abstract: A key concern for the US Army is the vulnerability of military installations to critical resource issues. Water issues of concern—including adequate supply, increased cost of production per unit volume, quality, habitat degradation and salinity issues—already impact military installations and military operations in many locations within the nation and across the globe. There is a need to assess vulnerability of regions and installations to water supply and to develop strategies to ameliorate any adverse effects on military sustainment. These analyses —completed on a watershed level and projected over a 30 year time frame— include estimates of both installation and regional water demand. Assessments were completed for ten Army bases across the United States. Results depict a range of installation water sustainability conditions that reflect the larger picture of water sustainability across the United States and around the world. The Army is applying the results of these studies to develop policies that will support sustainable long-term water supplies.

If you wish to access/download the document (257 pages, 5 Mb) in pdf format, the address is: http://libweb.wes.army.mil/uhtbin/hyperion/CERL-TR-11-5.pdf

USDA Grants Support Sustainable Bioenergy Production

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced research grants awarded to spur production of bioenergy and biobased products that will lead to the development of sustainable regional systems and help create jobs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Director Roger Beachy made the announcement today on behalf of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during the 16th 1890 Biennial Research Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia.

“USDA and President Obama are committed to producing clean energy right here at home, to not only break our dependence on foreign oil, but also boost rural economies,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “These projects will give us the scientific information needed to support biofuel production and create co-products that will enhance the overall value of a biobased economy. This will propel us to out-educate, out-innovate and out-build in the field of renewable energy and help America win the future.”

The long-term goal for the research projects, which were selected through a highly competitive process, is to implement sustainable regional systems that materially deliver liquid transportation biofuels to help meet the Energy Independence and Security Act goal of 36 billion gallons per year of biofuels by 2022. The funded projects focus on three areas: crop protection for sustainable feedstock production systems, enhanced value co-product development, and carbon sequestration and sustainable bioenergy production.

Projects were funded in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Highlights include:

  • Three projects in California that focus on determining the feasibility and sustainability of using poplar, switchgrass and sugarcane as a biomass feedstock.
  • Three projects in Michigan that focus on the environmental impact of biomass feedstock production, pest control in perennial grasses used as a biomass feedstock and developing a cost-effective fermentation process to increase the sustainability of biodiesel production.
  • Four projects in South Dakota to design an ecologically optimized feedstock production system, develop activation technologies for producing valuable activated carbon from biochar, to research methods to produce high levels of commercially-available polysaccharide gums from prairie cordgrass and an equipment grant to purchase chromatography system for research on advanced biofuels production and development of lignocellulosic biomass.

A full list of awardees can be found online at www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2011news/sus_bioenergy_awards.html.

The grants are awarded through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). AFRI’s sustainable bioenergy challenge area targets the development of regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy and biobased products that: contribute significantly to reducing dependence on foreign oil; have net positive social, environmental, and rural economic impacts; and are compatible with existing agricultural systems.

AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program and was established under the 2008 Farm Bill. AFRI supports work in six priority areas: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities.

Each award was made through a competitive selection process. An external peer review panel reviewed all proposals and made award decisions based on scientific merit to the best and brightest scientists across the nation.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. More information is available at www.nifa.usda.gov.

Meet the Zero Waste Family

Read the full story at Earth911.

The average American throws out about 1,000 pounds of garbage every year, according to the U.S. EPA. The Johnson family in California has created only one handful of trash in six months.

2011 EPA Earth Day Events and What You Can Do

In Washington DC – Join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17 for Earth Day on the National Mall. With more than 40 interactive exhibits, kids and adults can have eco-fun with hands on activities, art, music and storytelling. Visitors will learn how to. Also, the 7th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on April 15-17 on the Mall features environmentally friendly, sustainable technologies developed by college student teams from across the country.

Around the country – EPA offices around the country are listing events and activities in and near your community. Events range from easy, family-friendly events to more strenuous volunteer environmental cleanup opportunities. For example, there’s a Mystic River cleanup in Massachusetts, Auntie Litter’s Parade in Birmingham Alabama, the Mountain Area Earth Day Fair in Evergreen Colorado, and many, many more. See the events page to find events, dates, and times near you!

Events page: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/events.htm for DC and around the country.


Pick 5 for the Environment. Join others in the US and around the world and commit to small steps that fit your lifestyle, but are powerful actions that help protect the environment.

State of the Environment Photo Project – Starting in April 2011 and over the coming year to Earth Day 2012, EPA is inviting photographers to submit photos on the state of the environment as they experience it, to add to the Documerica project. Read more about the history of Documerica and how to enter your photos.

Sign up to get a daily environmental tip by email during April, and listen to the daily audio tip podcast.

Join us on Facebook and share your Earthday experiences, or use hashtag #earthday on Twitter.

On the go? Get your daily tip from EPA’s mobile site!

¿Habla español? Aprenda más acerca del Día del Planeta Tierra y de lo que usted puede hacer para ayudar a proteger el medio ambiente. Escuche los podcasts ambientales. Inscríbase para recibir un consejo por correo electrónico en abril.