$10,000 Prize and Publication for Best Essay about Sustainability

The Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a program of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, has teamed with Creative Nonfiction magazine to create the $10,000 Walton Sustainability Solutions Best Creative Nonfiction Essay Award. The award-winning essay, as well as other select submissions, will be published in a special “Human Face of Sustainability” issue of Creative Nonfiction (CNF).

CNF and the Sustainability Solutions Fair, one of the programs within the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, chose to launch this competition because of the growing conversation around this issue on both a global and an individual level.

In addition to the $10,000 prize, the winner will be invited to a special launch event hosted by ASU’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. The contest deadline is May 31, 2013, and “The Human Face of Sustainability” issue will be published in Spring 2014. The issue will be guest edited by Donna Seaman.

Additionally, the magazine is seeking an artist to illustrate the issue. The artist chosen will receive $3,500 and have their work profiled prominently for at least three months on CNF’s website. He or she will work closely with CNF’s editorial and design staff to create 8 to 10 original designs to be featured on the cover and interior of the magazine. All styles of interpretation, as well as various media (e.g. line drawings, watercolor, collage) will be considered, providing they are well suited to a print format.

Complete submission guidelines are available at www.creativenonfiction.org/sustainability.

Military Base Saves $300,000 with Composting

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

The US military composted 670 tons of food waste at its Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., in 2012, diverting the food from landfills and saving $300,000 in disposal costs, the base’s official newspaper The Northwest Guardian reports.

Revenue and savings from the program support the base’s recycling as well as its programs for family, morale, welfare and recreation.

The food waste, which is collected from Army and Air Force Exchange Service restaurants, unit dining facilities, child care centers, and other facilities, is delivered to the JBLM Earthworks composting facility several times a week. The JBLM Lewis Main Commissary alone recycled 261,760 pounds of food waste last year, saving $21,062 in disposal costs.

Webinar: Exploring the Toxics Release Inventory’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Information: A New Resource and a P2 Provider’s Perspective

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/269134136

Join the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Safer Chemistry Challenge Program for a free webinar: Exploring the Toxics Release Inventory’s Pollution Prevention Information:  A New Resource and a P2 Provider’s Perspective.

This webinar will provide an overview of the pollution prevention and waste management data collected by the TRI Program and introduce participants to a new search tool that makes this information easy to access, visualize, and use.  Additionally, participants will hear about the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), how they use the TRI information, and how they plan to integrate the new pollution prevention tool into their outreach activities.

Featured presenters will include:

  • Daniel Teitelbaum, Pollution Prevention Staff Lead, TRI Program Division, Office of Environmental Information, US EPA
  • Laura Babcock, Ph.D., Director, MnTAP
  • Robert Lundquist, Senior Engineer, MnTAP

Fall 2012 National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE)

Download the document.

This report presents the views of American citizens on the existence of global warming, including their reasons for belief or disbelief, with particular attention on the role played by recent notable weather and climate events, including severe drought conditions throughout large regions and the historic devastation of Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast. The findings are drawn from the Fall 2012 versions of the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) from the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and the Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College. These surveys included a total of 917 interviews in the period before Superstorm Sandy struck in late October (early Fall iteration) and 998 interviews conducted after the storm’s arrival (late Fall iteration).

Key Findings

An increasing number of Americans indicate that there is evidence of global warming, with 67% now expressing a belief that the planet has warmed over the past four decades. It marks the highest level of belief in global warming since a 72% measure in 2008 and is up from 52% in spring 2010.

In comparisons between surveys before and after the landfall of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, the importance of hurricanes as a factor cited by individuals in their belief that global warming is happening rose significantly.

More Americans than at any time since 2008 attribute increasing global temperatures entirely to the activities of man, with over 4 out of 10 individuals stating that human activity is the cause of the change.

Among the shrinking percentage of Americans who doubt global warming’s existence, there appears to be both a decreased impact of personal experiences on their views on this subject and an increased prominence for personal religious and political factors in the determination of their doubts.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Wins with Biochar

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is funding a fantastic biochar processing project through the NGOs Radio Lifeline and Black Earth Project in Rwanda. One of the lesser known and most underestimated renewable energy options, biochar is a process that breaks down biomass into a fertilizing substance that sequesters carbon, and that is the stuff that makes the Amazon’s soil so productive.

How NASA Scientists Are Turning L.A. Into One Big Climate-Change Lab

Read the full story at Atlantic Cities.

Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and elsewhere are turning the entire Los Angeles metro region into a state-of-the-art climate laboratory. From the ridgeline [of Mount Wilson], they deploy a mechanical lung that senses airborne chemicals and a unique sunbeam analyzer that scans the skies over the Los Angeles Basin. At a sister site at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), researchers slice the clouds with a shimmering green laser, trap air samples in glass flasks, and stare at the sun with a massive mirrored contraption that looks like God’s own microscope.

These folks are the foot soldiers in an ambitious, interagency initiative called the Megacities Carbon Project. They’ve been probing L.A.’s airspace for more than a year, with the help of big-name sponsors like the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Keck Institute for Space Studies, and the California Air Resources Board. If all goes well, by 2015 the Megacities crew and colleagues working on smaller cities such as Indianapolis and Boston will have pinned down a slippery piece of climate science: an empirical measurement of a city’s carbon footprint.

NYC’s ‘90 by 50’ Plan Sets High Bar For CO2 Reduction

Read the full story at EarthTechling.

New York is a city made of bold statements and gestures that are sometimes backed up by bold deeds. For this reason, the Big Apple is the focus of the Urban Green Council’s latest plan to reduce the CO2 emissions in the city by 90 percent by the year 2050, mostly through the use of better building materials and techniques.

Many emissions reductions projects have been planned in many others cities before with middling success. What makes this long-range plan, called “90 by 50,” a bit different is that it is based almost entirely on green building technology that is currently feasible and somewhat affordable. As the report says, “The greatest obstacle to a responsible approach to climate change mitigation is a sense that the problem is insoluble.”