Archive for September, 2011

Happy P2 Week! (Sept. 19-25, 2011)

Monday, September 19th, 2011 by

P2 Week Poster 2011Happy Pollution Prevention (P2) Week! Celebrated during the third full week of September every year, P2 Week is a time to reflect on what you and/or your organization are currently doing to promote pollution prevention and sustainability, as well as a prime time to consider what more you could be doing. Check out the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) web site and the US EPA site for more information on activities taking place this week throughout the country; tips for increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste and sustainable practices; and news. (And of course, you can always browse through the online resources on the GLRPPR and P2Rx web sites for more information and best practices specific to your sector.)

In the Great Lakes region, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention (P4P2) will be hosting the 14th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show on Thursday, September 22.

GLRPPR’s sister Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) center, the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is hosting a 20th anniversary banquet for its regional P2 roundtable during P2 Week.  Highlights will include a presentation by Dara O’Rourke, founder of the Good Guide, and former PPRC staff member.

And to kick off P2 Week, P2Rx has announced the launch of the National Sustainable Lodging Network, an online community of sustainable hospitality practitioners and an information clearinghouse to support the work of this community, found online at www.SustainableLodging.org. This site brings lodging operations together with federal, state, local, and tribal sustainable hospitality programs, including environmental agencies, tourism boards, and lodging associations. The goals for the site are to provide forums for sustainable hospitality practitioners to share information on practices and challenges; elevate sustainable hospitality programs and the facilities that participate in them; increase the adoption of sustainable hospitality practices nationwide; and foster innovation in sustainable lodging through the exchange of ideas.

If your organization or community is hosting a special event this week, tell us about it in the comments section of this post.

Adding Social Media to Your Toolbox

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 by

If you’re still not sure what all the fuss is about related to social networking, and think that tweets are just for the birds, you may want to participate in an upcoming webinar hosted by the Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA), entitled How P2 Assistance Providers Can Effectively Use Social Media. NEWMOA, like the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR), is one of eight regional pollution prevention information centers throughout the U.S. that collectively comprise the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx).

The webinar, scheduled for this Thursday, September 15 at 1 PM Central, will explain how the use of social media and web 2.0 technologies can bring value to pollution prevention and assistance programs. The presenters will also discuss their experiences using different social media applications to reach a variety of audiences, and share tips on what has been successful. One of the presenters will be GLRPPR’s own Laura Barnes, who will discuss “How to Get Started Using Social Media.” Other speakers include Andy Bray of NEWMOA and Sarah Haas from the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP).

Social media can be a powerful tool for staying informed, networking (especially in these days of limited budgets and frowned upon travel requests), and spreading the word about your products and services without spending a great deal of money.  After participating in the webinar, I encourage you to make use of GLRPPR’s Twitter and Facebook pages. These pages incorporate items from various GLRPPR RSS feeds, such as news items, new additions to our Sector Resources, and blog posts (like this one!), so they can be a great way to catch the best highlights from many of our services in one place.  These pages also feature items re-posted (“re-tweeted”) by myself and Laura from the various other Twitter, Facebook and news sources that we monitor — our recommendations for content that you would find interesting and useful. They also offer an opportunity to comment on posts (Facebook) or use direct messages and “mentions” (Twitter), thus providing an online forum for discussion of resources. And through the use of conventions (like Twitter’s #FollowFriday and #EcoMonday) and lists of friends and followers, you can learn about other people and organizations engaged in work and interests similar to yours.

So be sure to register for the webinar on NEWMOA’s web site. We’d love for you to be one of our tweeps!

Green Gestures: Thinking Outside the Gift Box

Thursday, September 8th, 2011 by
Earth in hand

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

I’ve seen many guides to green gifts, both generic and occasion-specific. But I realized recently that there are not many, if any, guides focused on green gestures. This is the phrase I use when thinking of gifts related to sustainability that do not involve giving a tangible item to the recipient. Instead, green gestures are more symbolic for the recipient or honoree, but they may indeed have tangible benefits for the environment or for society in general. Green gestures are good to keep in mind for the person who seemingly has everything, or for acquaintances or colleagues for whom you do not have a good sense of interests and preferences. Green gestures are also a good solution to expressing appreciation when ethical considerations can make giving or receiving tangible gifts undesirable or inappropriate. An example would be thanking an elected official for speaking at your event. Such gestures are often also used as memorials or to celebrate special occasions like a birth, a wedding, or a retirement. This list is by no means exhaustive (feel free to share your ideas in the “Comments” section of this post), and should not be construed as an endorsement of any of the items or organizations listed by GLRPPR or its host agency, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. This list is for informational purposes only, and is meant to help you start thinking outside the gift box.

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