Moving mountains for Earth’s sake at Caterpillar

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

This week I spoke with Tim Lindsey, Global Director of Sustainable Development at Caterpillar. We discussed his career path, the culture of sustainability at Caterpillar, the company’s relationship with customers and suppliers, its remanufacturing division, its partnerships with Waste Management and the World Resources Institute and more.

Webinar: Environmental Sustainability and Behavioral Science: Meta-Analysis of Pro-environmental Behavior Experiments


Tuesday, May 7,  1-2 pm CDT
Register at

There have been over 100 published psychological experiments that have attempted to get people to do the right thing for the environment. These experiments have covered many different kinds of behaviors (recycling, energy conservation, etc.) and have used many different ways of motivating people (incentives, information, feedback, etc.) What is the big picture that comes from all of this research? In this webinar, Dr. Richard Osbaldiston will discuss his recent meta-analysis of these studies, and he will share what we know—and what we don’t know—about promoting pro-environmental behaviors.

About the speaker: Richard Osbaldiston has been studying environmental issues for over 15 years as both an engineer and a psychologist. He is equally comfortable talking about kilowatt hours or intrinsic motivation. And in fact, it is the marriage of these disciplines that gives the greatest insight into we what need to do to change behavior and protect our environment.

This event is part of the P2Rx Social Media and Behavior Change webinar series.

DOE Wireless Metering Challenge

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office announced plans to issue a new Wireless Metering Challenge  to spur the development of low cost electric metering devices that can serve growing interest in panel level sub metering being seen throughout the commercial sector. According to a 2006 Federal Energy Management Program study, energy costs can be reduced by taking action to resolve problems identified by examining metered data. While metering systems do not directly improve energy efficiency, they do enable focused, energy efficiency actions and upgrades. It is estimated that using systems results in energy efficient actions that deliver electricity energy savings of at least 2%.

Key features of the challenge specification include a low cost target, essential requirements for electrical energy measurement, and wireless data transmission to an onsite collection point. Draft specifications for the wireless metering device are now available for review.

The Department of Energy invites the commercial sector, manufacturers, and federal agencies to participate in the Wireless Metering Challenge.

Once a final version of the specification is released, engaged stakeholders will be asked to decide if they want to formally participate in the Challenge and sign a letter of intent. Manufacturers who sign on to the Challenge will be announced during the formal launch of the program in late May.

Today’s Google Doodle

Today’s Google Doodle honors Maria Sibylla Merian, a naturalist and scientific illustrator who studied plants and insects and made detailed paintings about them. It’s her 366th birthday today. The Christian Science Monitor has an excellent article about her life and the importance of her work.

So why should we care about Merian all these centuries later? Well, as the website of the J. Paul Getty Museum puts it, Merian and her daughters (and more on them later) were not just extremely talented artists. They were also pioneers, who “raised the artistic standards of natural history illustration and helped transform the field of entomology.”


Campus Project Demonstrates How Recycling ‘Adds Up’

Read the full story at WOUB.

Ohio University Campus Recycling has created a visual representation of how recyclable materials can add up over the course of just four weeks.

The group is in the process of creating a giant sculpture at the former Howard Hall site comprised of four weeks’ worth of recycled #1 and #2 plastics collected on campus.

The project, entitled “It All Adds Up,” will be a cylinder 16 feet high and 50 feet in diameter and will remain in place until Friday, when the 31,400 cubic feet of plastic bottles will be recycled through the Athens Hocking Recycling Center.

The structure is also made partially of wood from waste pallets and plywood, which will be donated to a local charity when the sculpture is dismantled.

Wash U. to spend $30 million on energy conservation projects

Read the full story in the St. Louis Beacon.

Washington University plans to spend $30 million on sustainability efforts over the next five years, a push that comes as the institution gears up to host a big meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

The university announced on Wednesday afternoon that it plans to spend $30 million over the next five or six years on energy conservation projects.

Hank Webber, the university’s executive vice chancellor for administration, said that money will accelerate investments in improving energy efficiency,  heating and cooling systems and waste management.

Music gives attention to environment issues

Read the full story at Fourth Estate.

UW-Green Bay students and faculty joined in efforts to enforce daily environmentally friendly practices. Compartmentalized garbage bins, hydration stations and a charge for plastic bags at the Corner Store are just a couple of things being done to promote a green campus.

At the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts March 1, the UWGB Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble showed their support for the environmentally conscious curriculum. UWGB Director of Bands, Kevin Collins, conducted a performance that not only displayed musical talent, but it embodied the concept of keeping the environment unpolluted.

The creative theme for the concert was “Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.” It made connections with the university’s environmental viewpoints and recycled old music to new.