Day: August 27, 2013

Louisiana invests in biofuel

Read the full story in CivSource.

Louisiana is making an investment with Be Cool Energy to bring three bio-refineries to the state. The company will build the new bio-refinerys with a $168 million investment. The project will consist of modular biomass-to-gasoline refineries in Alexandria, Natchitoches and a site to be determined.

Water Woes: Vast US Aquifer Is Being Tapped Out

Read the full story from Yahoo News.

Nearly 70 percent of the groundwater stored in parts of the United States’ High Plains Aquifer — a vast underground reservoir that stretches through eight states, from South Dakota to Texas, and supplies 30 percent of the nation’s irrigated groundwater — could be used up within 50 years, unless current water use is reduced, a new study finds.

Researchers from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., conducted a four-year study of a portion of the High Plains Aquifer, called the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides the most agriculturally important irrigation in the state of Kansas, and is a key source of drinking water for the region.

How Sports Teams Divert Waste Using Bioplastic

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The Moda Center (pictured), home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, achieved an 87 percent landfill waste diversion rate in 2013 to date and has saved more than $567,000 in costs associated with waste disposal since 2008.

This is one example of how major league teams are using compostable food service items and new collection practices to divert organic waste from landfills, says NatureWorks, which makes Inego biplastic.

Assistance Available to Improve Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has teamed up with 360 Energy Group to award funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), to help local governments update and retrofit public facilities to improve energy efficiency and save money.

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus’ Public Sector Energy Efficiency Program combines expertise and streamlines programs to help local governments by:

  • Identifying energy efficiency improvements. Technical experts will assess your facilities and recommend optimal improvements;
  • Completing assessments, technical reports and bid specifications for you;
  • Providing direct grant and application assistance to help you take advantage of all state and private funding available to pay for energy efficiency improvements and;
  • Offering the opportunity to participate in bulk purchasing. By aggregating the energy efficiency needs on behalf of all participating communities you can buy materials and labor at the lowest cost.

Municipalities, park districts, townships and other local governments are invited to participate.  Proposal forms are due by October 31, 2013.  Early proposals are encouraged. Lighting projects for municipal buildings received by September 12th may be eligible for significant additional funding.  Also, all projects completed by October 31, 2013 are eligible for an additional 10% bonus.

  • Review the full RFP.
  • Please tell us about your public building energy efficiency needs by completing the Proposal Form.

Questions? Contact Mike Stanch, 360 Energy Group, at 312-403-5835 or michael@360eg.com or Edith Makra, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, at 312-201-4506 or emakra@mayorscaucus.org

Can one phone use as much energy as two refrigerators?

Read the full story at Smart Planet.

The energy draw of smartphones and tablets are dwarfing what we traditionally think of as energy hogs in the home, according to a new study. And all those data centers, wireless base stations, and wired networks are largely powered by coal. IEEE Spectrum reports.

NRDC releases report profiling sustainability efforts at collegiate sports departments

Download the document.

The collegiate sports greening success stories featured in this report provide valuable lessons for all campus departments and other organizations, whether they are directly involved with the sports industry or not, highlighting what sports departments, students, venues, and championship events are doing to protect our planet and educate their fans.

Collegiate Game Changers demonstrates the many benefits of greening sports, including cutting costs, enhancing university brands, strengthening community ties, developing new sponsorship opportunities, and providing a healthier workout environment. Each campus case study explains (1) what motivated the campus sports department(s) to implement more environmentally preferable practices; (2) how each program got its start; (3) challenges each school faced, tactics used to surmount them, and ongoing issues still being addressed; and (4) important lessons from the field as departments implemented their green initiatives.

Sticking Power of Plant Polyphenols Used in New Coatings

Read the full story from Northwestern University.

A simple kitchen sink experiment helped Northwestern University researchers discover that green tea leaves not only can be used to steep a good cup of tea, but they make an excellent antibacterial coating, too.

And so can red wine, dark chocolate and cacao beans, they found. It’s the powerful and healthful polyphenols at work in a new way. (Polyphenols are naturally occurring molecules found in plants whose functions include structural support and defense against bacteria and oxidative damage.)

Polyphenols are sticky, and the researchers exploited this useful property, while also retaining some of the compounds’ well-known biological properties. They made new multifunctional coatings based on tannic acid and pyrogallol — inexpensive compounds resembling the more complex polyphenols found in tea, wine and chocolate.

Simply dissolving polyphenol powder in water with the proper dash of salt quickly produces colorless coatings that have antioxidant properties, are non-toxic and can kill bacteria on contact.

EPA Launches Online Green Sports Resource Directory

The U. S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA) is unveiling a new online Green Sports Resource Directory that can help teams, venues, and leagues save money and reduce carbon pollution through increased energy efficiency, a key part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

Additionally, the new directory contains information that can help teams reduce waste and gain recognition for their programs that reduce the environmental impact of their events. EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe made the announcement today during the third annual Green Sports Alliance summit in New York City.

“As a founding partner of the Green Sports Alliance, EPA is committed to working with its members to help teams and sports venues green their operations, and engage fans,” said Deputy Administrator Perciasepe. “EPA’s new Green Sports Resource Directory will provide easy access to information on Agency tools and programs along with success stories to serve as examples of what can be achieved with a winning game plan for going green.”

Currently, the Green Sports Alliance has more than 180 members and is working with more than 75 teams at both the professional and collegiate levels and over 100 stadiums and sports venues across the country, with participation increasing daily. This week’s Summit includes a number of EPA speakers as well as leaders from across the sports community who recognize the potential for real environmental benefits from greening sports events and venues, and the potential for teams to inspire fans to adopt greener practices in their daily lives.

The Green Sports Resource Directory brings together Agency resources to support teams and their fans, stadiums, and venues, who want to improve their waste management, water and energy conservation, and other sustainability efforts.

EPA compiled a Green “Scoreboard” that highlights a number of winning efforts across numerous sports leagues and some statistics on the environmental and saving benefits. The Scoreboard is available on the Green Sports Resource Directory.

More on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf

Visit the Green Sports Resource Directory and view the Scoreboard: http://www2.epa.gov/green-sports

More on the Green Sports Alliance, this week’s Summit, or to learn if your team is a member: http://greensportsalliance.org/

EPA Releases New Climate Change Video Series

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a new series of short public service videos on climate change. The videos cover a range of topics related to climate change, including its causes and impacts, actions Americans can take to reduce their impact, and the benefits to the economy of addressing climate change. The new video series supports the President’s Climate Action Plan by encouraging American families to reduce the amount of energy they consume, cutting down on their utility bills and protecting people’s health.

On June 25th, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change. A warming climate can adversely impact water supplies, agriculture, power and transportation systems as well as health and safety of Americans and the nation’s economy. These videos show that there are simple things that all Americans can do to help.

Tool Calculates Pharmaceutical Products’ Carbon Cost

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

The Carbon Trust and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) have launched a spreadsheet tool to help UK companies estimate the carbon footprint of tablet medicines in blister packs.

The tool, which the organizations say is a first of its kind for the pharmaceutical sector, was funded by the ABPI, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen (J&J), Eli Lilly and Pfizer.

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