Day: August 26, 2015

Green buildings sprouting in China cities

Read the full post at CitiSignals.

Policies designed to wean China from fossil fuels are finally paying off. Jean Chua reports for that China is emerging as a global leader on green buildings. These environmentally-friendly structures feature an array of energy-saving technologies. They include solar panels, efficient “smart appliances” and the latest innovations in insulation, the article says.

How can drones help environmentalists? Aerial surveys and monitoring has never been so easy or inexpensive

Read the full story at EarthTalk.

Conservationists are utilizing drone or “unmanned aerial systems” (UAS) technology to gather highly detailed imagery and other environmental data that is traditionally challenging to obtain. Wildlife biologist John Takekawa and his team at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center (WERC), for example, are using drones to obtain aerial images of San Francisco Bay marshlands.

Latest P2 Impact column: The circular economy’s missing ingredient: Local

The latest P2 Impact column has been published over at GreenBiz. John Mulrow, Interim Director at Plant Chicago, writes about an often-overlooked aspect of the material reuse craze. Read it at

You can view previous P2 Impact columns at

P2 Impact is a collaboration between the P2Rx Centers and GreenBiz.

Ecologists embrace their urban side

Read the full story in Nature.

A concrete megalith overshadowed by skyscrapers and surrounded by roads that roar with traffic, the convention centre in downtown Baltimore may seem an inappropriate setting for an ecology conference. But the resolutely urban backdrop for the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a fitting symbol of the growing acceptance of, and interest in, ‘urban ecology’ — the study of cities and the organisms that dwell in them as ecosystems.

Greening Game Day, and Every Day in Between

Read the full story in Sierra Magazine.

Nationwide, more than 460,000 college-student athletes compete across 23 sports annually. All those games draw a lot of spectators, a fact that CU-Boulder Environmental Center director Dave Newport is keenly aware of. “The power of sports to influence fans’ behavior is profound,” he says, and is one reason he’s worked to extend university-wide green initiatives into the athletic department.

Science Based Targets Call to Action Webinar

CDP, UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute and WWF invite you to a webinar on August 27 to learn more about the Science Based Targets – Call to Action, a joint campaign calling on companies to demonstrate their leadership on climate action by publicly committing to science-based GHG reduction targets. The call to action is part of the Science Based Targets initiative and the Commitments to business leadership convened by CDP and We Mean Business.

The objective of the webinar is to provide guidance and clarification for companies that have expressed interest to participate in the call to action. The following content will be discussed during the webinar:

1. Call to Action eligibility criteria
2. Process to submit targets under the call to action
3. Quality check process
4. Profiling opportunities
5. Questions and answers

Ban on plastic bags no sure bet for environment

Read the full commentary by Adam Minter.

When the city council in Austin, Texas, passed a single-use plastic shopping bag ban in 2013, it assumed environmental benefits would follow. The calculation was reasonable enough: Fewer single-use bags in circulation would mean less waste at city landfills.

Two years later, an assessment commissioned by the city finds that the ban is having an unintended effect — people are now throwing away heavy-duty reusable plastic bags at an unprecedented rate. The city’s good intentions have proven all too vulnerable to the laws of supply and demand.

Endangered Chimpanzee Population in Unprotected Landscape is Three Times Bigger Than Previously Believed

Read the full story from USC.

Two years spent collecting and analyzing eastern chimpanzee fecal samples from an unprotected region in Uganda has revealed a far larger population of the primates than previous estimates suggested for the area.

In the shrinking forest fragments between Budongo and Bugoma reserves – a roughly 1,200 square kilometer area along Lake Albert on Uganda’s western border – researchers found evidence for roughly 250 to 320 chimpanzees. Previous estimates, based on counting nests from the ground, put the population at around 70.

The clustering of the genotypes suggests that there are at least nine communities of between eight and 33 individual chimpanzees, said Maureen McCarthy, PhD student at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences who conducted the research.

A paper about her discovery was published in the journal BMC Ecology on August 25. Her fieldwork was the subject of a blog that can be found at and at

Webinar: Sustainable Acquisition: Biobased Requirements in the New Executive Order 13693

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (ET) by live streaming on your computer or by satellite downlink
Register at

Get the latest on the requirements for mandatory federal purchasing of biobased products.

BioPreferred related Implementing Instructions for the new Executive Order 13693;

  • Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade
  • Demonstrating Progress in Meeting BioPreferred Requirements
  • It Matters: Recent Report on the Impact of Biobased Products on the U.S. Economy and U.S. Jobs

The price of wind energy in the U.S. hits an all-time low

Read the full story at Ensia.

States hoping to increase their share of renewable energy to achieve the emissions reduction goals set forth in the President’s recently-announced Clean Power Plan may have just received an unexpected boost from wind energy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s “2014 Wind Technologies Market Report” released earlier this week, the prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers in the U.S. dropped below 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first time in history.


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