Webinar: Sustainable Food Management at Federal Facilities

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CST
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/795248593

Panelists will explore how federal agencies can prevent and reduce food waste through source reduction, donation, and composting programs. Content is more broadly applicable to non-federal facilities.

EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Smart Growth Assistance

EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program provides technical assistance to help communities grow in ways that improve the local economy, the environment, and people’s health. The program aims to help applicants develop solutions to local challenges, such as managing stormwater, increasing transit-oriented development, and adapting to climate change, and to share those solutions with other communities.

EPA will be accepting applications from tribal, local, regional, and state governments and nonprofit organizations that have partnered with a governmental entity for their request for assistance. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2013. EPA will provide assistance to three to four communities selected from this round of applications.

EPA is seeking applications in the following four categories:

  1. Community Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change – Projects should aim to develop planning principles and building design guidelines that ensure future development provides communities with better protection against storms, floods, and other natural disasters.
  2. Redevelopment for Job Creation – Projects should aim to support growing industries that provide quality jobs for existing residents using land use policies that direct development to existing neighborhoods, are pedestrian-friendly, allow for transit connections, and are close to businesses and public services.
  3. Manufactured and Modular Homes in Sustainable Neighborhood Design – Projects should help communities that are using manufactured and modular homes to address sudden population and economic growth. These communities should provide a mix of uses and maximize existing streets and other infrastructure investments, community gathering spaces, and water and energy efficiency.
  4. Medical and Social Service Facilities Siting – Projects should aim to explore planning for high-quality community service facilities, including health care centers and social services centers, in ways that support neighborhood economic development and healthy communities.

Since 2005, the SGIA program has helped an array of communities from across the country on issues such as stormwater management, code revision, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, infill development, corridor planning, green building, and climate change. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) became involved with the SGIA program through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. This interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. In many cases, HUD and DOT serve on the SGIA technical assistance teams, and help identify how SGIA projects can complement and build on past and future federal investments.


Sunlight Stimulates Release of Climate-Warming Gas From Melting Arctic Permafrost

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

Ancient carbon trapped in Arctic permafrost is extremely sensitive to sunlight and, if exposed to the surface when long-frozen soils melt and collapse, can release climate-warming carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere much faster than previously thought.

University of Michigan ecologist and aquatic biogeochemist George Kling and his colleagues studied places in Arctic Alaska where permafrost is melting and is causing the overlying land surface to collapse, forming erosional holes and landslides and exposing long-buried soils to sunlight.

They found that sunlight increases bacterial conversion of exposed soil carbon into carbon dioxide gas by at least 40 percent compared to carbon that remains in the dark. The team, led by Rose Cory of the University of North Carolina, reported its findings in an article to be published online Feb. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Levi’s Waste<Less Collection Boasts 8 Bottles in Each Pair of Jeans

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Levi Strauss has emerged as one of the more environmentally conscious clothing companies in recent years. Now the San Francisco-based fashion icon is amping up its sustainability efforts with its new “Waste<Less” line as part of its Spring 2013 collection. The most exciting feature of this collection, traditional yet edgy: each pair of jeans will include an average of eight recycled bottles within the denim fabric.

Renewable Energy Train-the-Trainer Academies Summer 2013

The Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET) has announced that applications are now open for its Biofuels and Photovoltaic Summer 2013 Renewable Energy Train the Trainer Academies. These academies will give educators from across the nation hands-on renewable energy experiences taught by veteran industry installers and experts.