Ohio Stadium goes Zero Waste

Read the full story from Ohio State University.

Ohio State football fans will see a big difference in their Ohio Stadium surroundings this season.

For the first time in the Horseshoe’s history, there will be no trash cans on the premises — the evidence of an ambitious green effort to make the entire stadium a Zero Waste zone.

High Mountain Glaciers and Climate Change: Challenges to Human Livelihoods and Adaptation

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Climate change is causing signifcant mass loss of glaciers in high mountains worldwide. Although glacier systems show a great amount of inherent complexity and variation, there are clear overall trends indicating global glacier recession, which is likely to accelerate in coming decades. Large gaps remain in our understanding and ability to model accurately the key processes and cause-effect relationships driving glacier response to climate change. In addition, a lot of data on glacier mass changes are not available to the public due to national interests concerning water supply.

Climate Change Indicators in the United States

Collecting and interpreting environmental indicators play a critical role in our understanding of climate change and its causes. An indicator represents the state of certain environmental conditions over a given area and a specified period of time. Examples of climate change indicators include temperature, precipitation, sea level, and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

EPA’s Climate Change Indicators in the United States (80 pp, 13.3MB) report will help readers interpret a set of important indicators to better understand climate change. The report presents 24 indicators, each describing trends related to the causes and effects of climate change. It focuses primarily on the United States, but in some cases global trends are presented to provide context or a basis for comparison. EPA will use these indicators to examine long-term data sets to:

  • Track the effects/impacts of climate change in the United States
  • Assist decision–makers on how to best use policymaking and program resources to respond to climate change
  • Assist EPA and its constituents in evaluating the success of their climate change efforts

Solar Makes Cents: A Residential Consumer’s Guide to Harnessing the Sun’s Energy

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This guide for residents of Ohio considering the use of solar power offers information on the benefits, financial incentives, and costs of solar energy use, together with relevant Ohio state laws and regulations.

Groundbreaking Environmentalism

Read the full post from Governing.

Most urban parcels in the middle of Northeast or Midwest cities have some form of environmental contamination caused by a previous use. Would-be developers of these parcels typically face a long and unpredictable regulatory cleanup process that leaves many properties languishing for years in a state of neglect.

So it was big news last month when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gathered with a group of city and state officials in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn for a development groundbreaking. The big news wasn’t the development, but the fact it was being built on a contaminated site. Home to a former gas station, it had been vacant for four years — the type of site most developers avoid because of the fear of environmental red tape.

Instead, the contaminated dirt will now be removed. The new development, which includes a diner, 50 new apartments and several small retail shops, will not only energize the neighborhood, but also add to the city’s tax rolls. It was the first municipally run “brownfield” development in the nation. Hopefully, it won’t be the last.

The project’s success was possible because environmental regulators came to see their role as, “How can we enable environmentally beneficial development?” In this case, city and state regulators worked together with the developer to create a clear path to cleanup and rebuilding.

U.S. government buys its first electric vehicles

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

The federal government handed over the keys to a handful of electric vehicles it purchased Tuesday. The 116 cars — a mixture of Chevrolet Volts, Nissan Leafs and Think Cities — are the first electric vehicles to be purchased by the U.S. government for the federal fleet. They will be distributed to 20 agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Defense, in five cities across the country.

For Dow, Burning Hard-to-Recycle Plastic Better than Landfilling

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Burning trash doesn’t sound like much of an eco-friendly strategy, but Dow Chemical Company found out that when it comes to dealing with plastics that aren’t easily recyclable, incineration has benefits over landfills.

As part of a test project, Dow took 578 pounds of scrap plastic film from one of its laboratories and burned it in a kiln at a waste treatment plant, using the energy generated to fuel the incinerator.

Dow said that 96 percent of the available energy from the plastic was recovered in the process. Dow currently sends scrap plastic from that lab to landfill.

General Motors Doubles Oil-Spill Waste Collected from Gulf Disaster

Read the full story at GreenerDesign.

General Motors is reporting that the project to collect booms from the Gulf of Mexico and recycle them into parts for the Chevy Volt has far exceeded its original goals, with more then 212,000 pounds of waste diverted from landfill. The material has more than met the annual demand for air-deflecting baffles in the Chevy Volt.

How Dirty is your Data? A Look at the Energy Choices That Power Cloud Computing

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“How Dirty Is Your Data?” is the first ever report on the energy choices made by IT companies including Akamai, Amazon.com (Amazon Web Services), Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo, and highlights the need for greater transparency from global IT brands on the energy and carbon footprint of their Internet infrastructure.

Information Technology (IT) is disruptive. Largely for the better, IT has disrupted the way we travel, communicate, conduct business, produce, socialise and manage our homes and lives.

This disruptive ability has the potential to reduce our dependence on dirty energy and make society cleaner, more efficient and powered renewably. But as we applaud the positive, visible impacts and measurable, game-changing potential of IT, we also need to pay attention to what’s behind the curtain.

Using ICTs to Tackle Climate Change

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Information & Communications Technologies (ICTs) can be used in a number of ways to meet the requirements of the three main pillars of the Bali Action Plan arising from COP-13 in December 2007: enhanced action on adaptation, cooperative action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and actions on mitigation of climate change.

ICTs can address these and the problems that all countries (particularly developing countries) face with respect to Climate Change. ICTs can be used to mitigate the impact of other sectors on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to help countries adapt to climate change.

These impacts are described in this paper.

This report was prepared by a team of experts led by Keith Dickerson (Climate Associates) comprising Daniela Torres (Telefónica), Jean-Manuel Canet (France Telecom), John Smiciklas (Research In Motion), Dave Faulkner (Climate Associates) and Cristina Bueti, Alexandre Vassiliev (International Telecommunication Union).