March 18-21, 2012: Greening of the Campus Conference, Ball State University, Indiana

This conference will allow people representing diverse areas in university communities to share information on environmental issues; areas range from the practical day-to-day management of the physical plant to “green” curriculum development and “green” utilization of campus resources. National Wildlife Federation will host workshops on the campus energy paradigm shift and how students are supporting sustainability on campus.

Taking Biofuel from Forest to Highway

Read the full story in Environmental Protection.

The world is moving from a hydrocarbon economy to a carbohydrate economy, according to University of British Columbia biofuel expert Jack Saddler. Sadler will present his work at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver on Feb. 17.

Use of Pyrolysis Biochar in the Remediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil

Download the slide deck.

Biochars offer new opportunities to develop improved biofertilizer formulations that, when used as soil amendments, may yield improved outcomes for bioremediation efforts.

How to Buy the Right CFL: A Cheat Sheet

Read the full post and view the chart at Apartment Therapy.

Deciding to switch from incandescent light bulbs to energy-saving CFLs or LEDs is easy. Figuring out how many lumens your new bulbs should be is not. Luckily, we’ve got a handy cheat sheet for you that shows the right conversions for switching your home lighting needs from watts to lumens.

Joint meeting of the IL Biochar Group and IL Biomass Working Group

March 1, 2012
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
One E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign The Illinois Biochar Group (IBG) is hosting a joint meeting of IBG with the Illinois Biomass Working Group (IBWG) on March 1, 2012, at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center in Champaign.  The meeting is an opportunity to learn more about biochar and biomass research and use in Illinois and the Midwest, exchange information, and discuss ways to collaborate on projects.

Registration information and the meeting agenda are available at  Please register if you plan to attend the meeting so we can be sure we have space for everyone.  Also please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to order the sandwich lunch for $5 – choice of  a BBQ beef, BBQ turkey, or vegetarian sandwich with sides of potato salad, assorted vegetables, dessert, and beverages. Payment will be collected the day of the meeting. Or you may bring your own lunch.

Parking is available for free in the circle drive in front of the ISTC building or along the curbed (west side only) of Griffin Drive to the west side of the building.  You may also park for free in the ISTC parking lot but only if you have a UIUC parking tag; otherwise you will need to park by the parking meters and pay the meter (cost is $1 per hour).  There is also a parking lot with meters on the north side of Hazelwood Dr.  Please contact Nancy Holm, Illinois Biochar Group Coordinator, if you have any questions
(217-244-3330 or

Can a Denim Kilt Fight Climate Change?

Read the full post at GOOD.

Clothing made from organic cotton or other eco-friendly materials may lessen an outfit’s environmental impact. But what about garments that benefit the air by sucking up pollutants? A futuristic collaboration between a nanotechnologist and fashion designer is raising the bar for environmentally friendly fashion with concept line Catalytic Clothing.

More of an academic conversation piece than a marketable brand for the moment, the designs are the work of chemist Tony Ryan at the University of Sheffield in England and professor Helen Storey of London College of Fashion. The duo premiered the project last summer with installations of air-purifying textiles, including a “field of jeans” that used photocatalysts to fight air pollution. On BBC today, Ryan and Storey announced that Catalytic Clothing will return this spring when the two attend Edinburgh International Science Festival bedecked in nitrous oxide-absorbing nanotechnology. According to Storey, Ryan will don a “catalyzed denim kilt complete with sporran (that external pouch that dangles around a kilt) and special socks, and I hopefully am going to be wearing an air purifying Vivienne Westwood top and fall frock.”

Iowa DNR releases case studies from 2011 Pollution Prevention Intern Program

Download the document.

Twenty students served as interns in the 2011 Iowa Pollution Prevention Intern Program.

Fifteen interns completed 12-week internships in August, researching and recommending projects to reduce solid and hazardous waste, water and energy use, air emissions, and greenhouse gases. The interns identified opportunities that could save companies more than $4.3 million annually. Of these, projects estimated to save $863,620 annually were implemented or are in progress.

In 2011, five interns committed to 24-week projects that will continue into November. These projects are outlined in a special section at the back of the booklet. Final results of this year’s 24-week projects will be posted to the DNR’s website in December and highlighted in the next published booklet. Additional time on site allows interns to conduct more in-depth research, collect data over time and evaluate systems through varying conditions.

Three interns from the 2010 season completed 24-week projects last November. The final results of these projects also are included in the following pages.

Collectively, these case summaries show that outstanding results are possible when companies, students and the DNR work together to achieve common goals.