Posts filed under ‘Sustainable Business’

Wal-Mart’s new Healthy Foods Strategy

 Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, will announce a five-year plan on Thursday to make thousands of its packaged foods lower in unhealthy salts, fats and sugars, and to drop prices on fruits and vegetables.

[Read full New York Times article]

January 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Converting Plastic Back To Oil !

November 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

The Botany of Desire – full program online

Botany of Desire

A PBS video available online featuring Michael Pollan and based on his best-selling book, this special takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world — seen from the plants’ point of view. Narrated by Frances McDormand, the program shows how four familiar species — the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato — evolved to satisfy our yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control.

November 3, 2009 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

City Offers Matching Grant to Businesses for Energy & Water Conservaiton

The City of Longmont is offering $60,000 in matching grants to local businesses to help pay the cost of energy and water efficiency improvements in commercial buildings and equipment.

The Commercial Efficiency Matching Grant Program offers financial assistance in addition to existing energy and water efficiency incentive programs available to Longmont businesses. Grant funds will be awarded to match the business or property owner’s investment after other incentives are deducted.

Matching grants are limited to the lesser of $5,000 per project or combined incentives and matching funds not to exceed 70% of total project costs.

Eligible efficiency improvements are those already approved for incentives or rebates under existing programs offered by Longmont Power & Communications, Platte River Power Authority, Public Works and Natural Resources, and Xcel Energy. Eligible measures include lighting, cooling, heating, compressors, refrigeration, motors, insulation, windows, roofing, toilets, urinals, spray valves and others.

Grant applications are being accepted through July October 31. For more program information and application materials, visit http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/lpc, or call 303-651-8386.

via Longmont Downtown Development Authority LDDA  528 Main Street Longmont.

August 17, 2009 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

Ecology Action


Ecology Action
is a Santa Cruz, CA nonprofit environmental consultancy delivering cutting edge education services, technical assistance, and program implementation for initiatives that assist individuals, business and government to maximize environmental quality and community well being.

Since 1970 Ecology Action has combined municipal, foundation, and private funding to establish cutting-edge conservation programs, prove their effectiveness financially and operationally, and establish each program as a permanent community resource.

They seek innovative ways to instill environmental awareness, promote pragmatic change, and create opportunities for individuals, businesses, and community agencies to save money, create jobs, and contribute to a sustainable local economy.

Browse some of their current programs:

Bike Smart!
Promotes safe bicycling through fun, hands-on education programs at Santa Cruz County schools.
 

Bike to Work
Provides incentives, free breakfast, and support to get you hooked on bicycling as transportation.
 

Business Waste Assessment
Waste assessment software to help government and businesses reduce waste, save money, and promote resource conservation.
 


Clean Beaches Coalition
Ongoing beach cleanups including the Annual Coastal Cleanup
 

Climate Solutions Program
A leadership initiative to mobilize the entire Monterey Bay Area to radically reduce our carbon footprint.
 

Electric Bike Information
Providing reduced prices, safety and skill training, and increased service for Santa Cruz County residents.
 

Folding Bikes in Buses
Providing reduced prices on folding bikes and bus passes to promote bike with bus transportation for Santa Cruz County residents.
 

Cabrillo College Go Green
Choose an alternative to driving alone and you can make a difference in reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gases. For Cabrillo College students, staff and faculty members.
 

Green Building
Information about the design and construction of healthy, sustainable places to live and work.
 

Green Business Program
Offers free technical and promotional assistance to help you become a certified green business.
 

Green Gardener Program
Provides professional training and certification in ecological landscaping and helps customers find certified Green Gardeners.
 

Home Composting Program
Offers a wealth of home composting resources and opportunities for the residents of Santa Cruz County.
 

Household Hazardous Waste
Provides information about local and regional drop-off facilities and alternatives to traditionally used chemicals.
 

Integrated Pest Managment
Provides information and technical assistance about less-toxic alternatives to traditional pest management.
 

Livestock and Land
Provides technical assistance and cost share dollars for manure and land management approaches that protect water quality.
 

LodgingSavers Program
Delivers a comprehensive suite of rebated energy efficiency retrofits to Lodging Properties in PG&E service territory.
 

Model Schools Program
Reduces pest problems, flooding and erosion, and the use of toxic chemicals in schools.
 

Multifamily Recycling
A partnership with twelve local agencies and haulers, implementing comprehensive recycling and waste reduction programs at low income multifamily housing complexes.
 

Oil Recycling
Provides information about local and regional used oil and filter drop-off facilities for cars, boats, and farm equipment.
 

Our Water Our World
Raises public awareness about alternatives to using hazardous pesticide and fertilizer products in and around the home.
 

Santa Cruz County Recycles
Provides information that enables people and businesses to reuse, recycle, and buy recycled in Santa Cruz County.
 

Special Event Recycling
Offers recycling and waste reduction programs at events through technical assistance, outreach and education.
 

RightLights Program
Provides subsidized lighting upgrades and free professional assistance to help businesses lower energy bills and boost cash flow.
 

Tourism Recycling
Offers recycling and waste reduction programs at events through technical assistance, outreach and education.
 

Transportation Membership Services
Encourages member employees to use other ways than driving alone to commute to and from work.
 

Waste Free Schools Program
Assists Santa Cruz County schools in institutionalizing campus recycling, composting and reduce / reuse programs.
 

May 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

GoodGuide—Ratings of Natural, Green and Healthy Products

 GoodGuide provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home. Cradle to Grave analyses.

  • Find safe, healthy and green products that protect you and your family
  • Search or browse over 70,000 food, toys, personal care, & household products to see what’s really beneath the label
  • Use expert advice and recommendations on products to quickly learn the impacts of what you buy
  • Find better products and make purchasing decisions based on what’s important to you
  • Create a personalized favorites list with the products that are right for you and your family

GoodGuide gives what they consider the best information available, wherever and whenever you need it most. It can help you find better products that represent your values, avoid products that are harmful to your health, the environment, or society – and enable you to take actions to help improve the world.

May 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews

 Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.

Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 42,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn’t require companies to test their own products for safety.

May 15, 2009 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

Green Hawai’i – Online Magazine

green-hawaii Green Hawai’i is an online magazine published by Hawaii Home + Remodeling, an established Hawai’ian home-improvement and remodeling magazine.

April 25, 2009 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

e² – PBS Ecology Series

 e² is a critically acclaimed, multipart PBS series about the innovators and pioneers who envision a better quality of life on earth: socially, culturally, economically and ecologically.

The series explores attainable solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges, and its stories are culled from a variety of fields including design, energy, transport, water, food and urban development. Episodes have profiled Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus’s efforts to bring renewable energy to Bangladesh’s rural poor through microfinance; architect William McDonough and his “cradle-to-cradle” design philosophy; and former Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa’s sweeping redesign of that city’s transportation network, emphasizing alternatives to automobile culture.

The 2008 season of e² was presented in two parts, “e² design” and “e² transport”, and will visit Cairo, Nova Scotia, Melbourne, San Francisco, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Seoul. Featured interviews include luminaries like acclaimed author Michael Pollan, His Highness the Aga Khan, and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano.

e² is a poetic combination of compelling storytelling, provocative cinematography and an emotive original music score. Narrators include Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. Currently entering its fourth season, e² continues to feature new advances in sustainable living, adaptive reuse, eco-efficient transportation and more. e² is directed by Tad Fettig and executive produced by Karena Albers and Fettig, both co-founders of the New York-based production company kontentreal.

Click here to see previews and podcast summaries of previous shows from previous seasons.

Current topic and PBS Hawaii airtimes:
  The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious
     Thursday, March 19, 9:30pm
     Monday, March 23, 1:30am
     Thursday, March 26, 9:30pm
     Monday, March 30, 1:30am

Previous seasons
  Transport
     London: The Price of Traffic
     Paris: Vélo Liberté
     Food Miles
     Seoul: The Stream of Consciousness
     Portland: A Sense of Place
     Aviation: The Limited Sky

  Energy
     Harvesting the Wind
     Energy for a Developing World
     Paving the Way
     Growing Energy
     State of Resolve
     Coal and Nuclear: Problem or Solution?

  Design: season one
     A Garden in Cairo
     The Village Architect
     Melbourne Reborn
     The Art and Science of Renzo Piano
     New Orleans: The Water Line
     Super Use

  Design: season two
     The Drunk White Lotus School – Ladakh
     Greening the Federal Government
     Bogotá: Building a Sustainable City
     Affordable Green housing
     Adaptive Reuse in the Netherlands
     Architecture 2030

March 16, 2009 at 2:29 am 1 comment

Upcoming Federal Government/Legislation/Political Action

FEDERAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LEGISLATION(via AWEA: American Wind Energy Association)
Production Tax Credit (PTC)
Small Wind Investment Tax Credit
Renewables Electricity Standard (RES)
Renewable Energy Transmission Highways
National Climate Change Legislation
Federal Agency Support for Siting Wind Power Projects and Transmission Lines
Research and Development

________________________________________________________
Production Tax Credit (PTC) Extension

Description: Under present law, an income tax credit of 2.1 cents/kilowatt-hour is allowed for the production of electricity from utility-scale wind turbines. This incentive, the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC), was created under the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Current Status: Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (passed in February 2009), Congress acted to provide a three-year extension of the PTC through December 31, 2012. Additionally, wind project developers can choose to receive a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) in place of the PTC for facilities placed in service in 2009 and 2010, and also for facilities placed in service before 2013 if construction begins before the end of 2010. The ITC then qualifies to be converted to a grant from the Department of Treasury. The Treasury Department must pay the grant within 60 days of an application being submitted.


Small Wind Systems Tax Credit

Description: Under present law, a federal-level investment tax credit (ITC) is available to help consumers purchase small wind turbines for home, farm, or business use. Owners of small wind systems with 100 kilowatts (kW) of capacity or less can receive a credit for 30% of the total installed cost of the system.

Current Status: The ITC, written into law through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, is available for equipment installed from October 3, 2008 through December 31, 2016. The value of the credit is now uncapped, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

AWEA members can access a factsheet on how to use the ITC by:

  1. Logging in to www.awea.org/membercenter/login.html
  2. Selecting “AWEA eCommunities” on the left side of the screen
  3. Selecting the “Small Wind” eCommunity
  4. Selecting “Document Archive”
  5. Selecting the “Misc.” folder

National Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)

Description: The renewable electricity standard (RES), also known as a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), uses market mechanisms to ensure that a growing percentage of electricity is produced from renewable sources, like wind power. The RES provides a predictable, competitive market, within which renewable generators compete with each other to lower prices. RES policies currently exist in 28 U.S. states, but not at the national level.

Current Status: AWEA seeks a national RES that calls for 25% of the nation’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2025. An aggressive near-term target, such as the 10% by 2012 objective called for in the Obama-Biden New Energy for America plan, is essential to ensure rapid renewable energy deployment. The target levels should increase incrementally in the years that follow. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.

Current Legislation:

Senate:

  • Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Tom Udall (D-NM) have introduced a 25% renewable energy by 2025 standard calling for 6% renewables by 2012 and consistently increasing thereafter to meet the 2025 goal.
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has a discussion draft of legislation calling for 20% renewable energy by 2021 standard, starting with a 4% renewables by 2011 target and allowing up to 25% of the standard to be met through energy efficiency improvements.

House of Representatives:

  • Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Todd Platts (R-PA) have introduced a 25% renewable energy by 2025 standard calling for 6% renewables by 2013 and consistently increasing thereafter to meet the 2025 goal.

Renewable Energy Transmission Highways

Description: The U.S. is home to vast quantities of clean energy resources, but lacks a modern interstate transmission grid to deliver carbon-free electricity to customers in highly populated areas of the country. This is perhaps the biggest obstacle to the long-term growth of wind power and other renewables.

Current Status: AWEA supports federal policies that would bring about the construction of a high-voltage interstate transmission highway system for renewable energy, as envisioned in DOE’s 20% wind report. Our agenda includes federal legislation, regulatory initiatives by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, and federal financial support. The cost would be an increase in annual transmission investment from approximately $8 billion today to $11 billion, but this investment would quickly be offset by lower electricity costs and reduced fuel costs, and would lead to greater energy independence. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.

Additional Resources:

AWEA-SEIA Green Power Superhighways White Paper (February 2009)


National Climate Change Legislation

Description: As the most readily deployable source of carbon-free electricity generation, wind power is uniquely positioned to contribute to the global warming solution, especially in the early years of the climate protection effort, when few other options are available. Generating 20% of U.S. electricity from wind would be the climate equivalent of removing 140 million vehicles from the roadways. But the potential will not be realized unless climate legislation provides an economic incentive to switch to clean energy sources.

Current Status: AWEA seeks climate legislation that includes an aggressive near-term goal, such as a 15 to 20% carbon dioxide reduction by 2020, in order to promote a near-term shift to renewable energy and get the quick start on greenhouse gas emissions reductions scientists tell us is needed. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.


Federal Agency Support for Siting Wind Power Projects and Transmission Lines

Description: Federal agencies have a key part to play in developing our renewable energy potential because of their role in the siting of wind projects and new transmission lines, especially on federal lands.

Current Status: AWEA seeks prioritization of proposals for responsibly-sited renewable energy projects on federal lands (including offshore waters) and creation of review processes at federal agencies that are streamlined, transparent and timely, with permitting and review capabilities that are scaled up as needed to meet demand. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.


Research & Development

Description: Federal funding for wind energy research and development (R&D) and other programs is inadequate, especially when compared with funding levels for other fuels and energy sources. The U.S. Department of Energy wind program currently receives about $50 million annually, which is well below its all-time high of $63 million appropriated in Fiscal Year (FY) 1980.

Current Status: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted in February 2009, provided the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program $1.25 billion in undesignated funding for applied research, development, demonstration and deployment activities. AWEA seeks to increase the annual funding level for wind research & development and other programs at the U.S. Department of Energy to $217 million over the course of the next three to five years. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.

<!– Monday, February 23
– Maui Council – Planning Committee
– Council Chamber, 8th Floor; 1:30 p.m.
– Testimony on proposal by Maui Tomorrow, Kai Nishiki and others for Maui County Council to pass a County-wide ordinance banning Superstores

Tuesday, February 24
– Infrastructure Management Committee
– Council Chamber, 8th Floor; 1:30 p.m.
– County’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan
Tesimony for or against changing Recycling budget –>

March 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

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