Not in my back yard — that’s often the shortsighted response to clean energy development, right? But it can also be an appropriate response to more threatening forms of development; no one wants a nuclear or coal plant in their “back yard,” either. But this phrase (or the acronym NIMBY) can also describe another phenomenon: the notion that important efforts at sustainability occur somewhere across the globe, in the Arctic or the Amazon — but not in my back yard.
Heard that the light bulb that won $10 million from the government will still cost you $50? Wonder if the UK’s watering ban will really make a difference in terms of water savings? Read on: we’ve got the facts on these questions and more in this week’s green tech finds.
Article: Bidder 70
In 2008 a young environmental activist named Tim DeChristopher bid on 13 parcels of land quietly put up for auction by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the waning days of the Bush Administration. This land was part of a larger offering by the BLM of federal public land in an attempt to open it up to oil and gas exploration. The majority of the land was near national parks in southern Utah.
Thought football was the main competition going on between colleges and universities this fall? Well, it will get the lion’s share of the attention… but we’re smack dab in the middle of another intercollegiate competitive event that could make a difference for the planet: the Campus Conservation Nationals.
If you haven’t heard of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative before, no worries… neither had I (and I watch out for these things). But, while most of us have been watching for news of climate change legislation out of Washington (that’s still hung up), President Obama launched this effort “…to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors” back in April. There have been listening sessions around the country all Summer long. And now, the deadline for a report from the the Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is coming due (on November 15th).
Can schoolkids do what world leaders in Copenhagen failed to do last month: lower greenhouse gas emissions in the face of climate change? You may have already seen how some students challenged leaders in Denmark with patches from the climate quilt; now, the Green Schools Alliance (a sponsor of the quilt) has persuaded 128 schools in 22 states to take direct action against global warming by participating in the Green Cup Challenge.
The United States is using less water than during the peak years of 1975 and 1980, according to water use estimates for 2005. Despite a 30 percent population increase during the past 25 years, overall water use has remained fairly stable, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report.
Article: Are we pissing away our water?
Yep… so much so that US Environmental Protection Agencies WaterSense program (an ENERGY STAR for water) has addressed the issue by making the flushing urinal the first commercial product for which it’s developed standards. According to the EPA, “Approximately 65 percent of the estimated 12 million urinals in the United States are old and inefficient. While the current federal standard for commercial urinals is 1.0 gallon per flush (gpf ), some older urinals use as much as five times that amount!”
For 90 years, a 60,000 gallon cistern at River Forest, Illinois’ Dominican University has done its job of collecting rainwater from 1920s-era buildings. That’s great… the problem is that everyone kind of forgot about it. Dan Bulow, the school’s director of building and grounds, told Trib Local’s Patrick Rollens “We knew [the cistern] was there,…
HOME is a travel notebook, showing landscapes captured from a bird’s eye view above. This film calls for a new awareness, inviting the viewer to stop for a moment in order to look at our planet and realize how we treat her treasures and her beauty.
Directed by internationally renowned French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, produced by world famous director Luc Besson and narrated by five-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close, HOME aims to change the way people see the planet and their impact on it. Shot in high definition in 54 countries and 120 locations over 217 days, the unique and first-time ever all-aerial filming style highlights the Earth’s wonders as well as its wounds and provides a necessary perspective to approach the changing environment.
Uttering the phrase “green design” can evoke images of mud-plastered huts and clothes that just scream “itchy”… all bathed in a faint whiff of patchouli. A new project from the Nature Conservancy attempts to banish such sensations, and demonstrate that beauty and function can exist hand-in-hand with sustainability.
Article: Sell your energy savings?
While many of us buy carbon offsets and similar products from companies like Terrapass and NativeEnergy to achieve “carbon neutrality,” producing and selling these credits has generally been limited to bigger players. Earth Aid Enterprises, creators of the Earth Aid Kit, would like to change that equation. A new service from the company allows Earth…
Article: Robert Redford On Solar Power
I was Too Early on Solar Power; Let’s Not Be Too Late In his State of the Union address, President Obama noted that although America invented solar energy technology, we have fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. He is right of course. I remember when America was leading the pack on…