Archive for the 'International Issues' Category

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.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Deadline Extended for International E-Waste Design Competition

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 by

International E-Waste Design Competition LogoThere’s still time to submit entries for the 2011 International E-Waste Design Competition. The deadline has been extended to 4:59 p.m. CT, May 9, 2011. College students and recent graduates from around the world submit ideas for reusing e-waste to create new and useful products, or for preventing its generation in the first place (e.g. by re-designing an existing electronic device to facilitate reuse or otherwise extend the product life cycle). Entries include, among other elements, a video uploaded to YouTube highlighting the proposed design idea. Six winning teams or individuals (three in each of two categories) will receive monetary prizes. The competition is part of the educational component of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI; www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu). For more information and online registration, see www.ewaste.illinois.edu, or contact Joy Scrogum at jscrogum@istc.illinois.edu or 217-333-8948.

PPRC Releases Climate Change Topic Hub

Monday, July 26th, 2010 by

pprclogo

The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) recently released the Climate Change Topic Hub™, a peer-reviewed, information-packed online resource geared toward small- to medium-sized businesses and industrial sectors that offers an extensive list of pollution prevention opportunities involving process modification, material substitution, and new technology.

Click here to read the rest of the article

February 2009 Site of the Month: Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Sunday, February 1st, 2009 by

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change was established in 1998 as a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization. The Center’s mission is to provide credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. Extensive information is available on the Center’s web site and organized into section on Global Warming Basics, Science & Impacts, Technology Solutions, and Economics. Information is also organized by policy level, including International, U.S. Federal, U.S. States & Regions and Business. The home page features links to hot topics, facts & figures, an overview of what’s new, and brief summaries of Pew Center initiatives. An e-mail newsletter and RSS feed are also available to help you keep up-to-date with new developments.

California Legislation on Green Chemistry and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 by

According to the California Office of the Governor web site, on September 30, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 375, “by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), which builds on AB 32, California’s first-in-the-nation law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by adding the nation’s first law to control greenhouse gas emissions by curbing sprawl…In order to reach the greenhouse gas reduction goals set out in AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, Californians need to rethink how we design our communities. SB 375 does this by providing emissions-reduction goals around which regions can plan-integrating disjointed planning activities and providing incentives for local governments and developers to follow new conscientiously-planned growth patterns.” The legislation directs the California Air Resources Board to develop regional greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to be achieved from the automobile and light truck sectors for 2020 and 2035, and provides incentives for the creation of walkable, sustainable communities and the revitalization of existing communities. The Governor also signed SB 372, which “establishes the Strategic Growth Council and will appropriate $500,000 from Prop 84 to the Resources Agency to support the Council and its activities.” Read the full press release regarding this legislation here.

On September 29, the Governor also signed AB 1879 and SB 509 related to green chemistry. “AB 1879 establishes authority for the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to develop regulations that create a process for identifying and prioritizing chemicals of concern and to create methods for analyzing alternatives to existing hazardous chemicals. It also allows DTSC to take certain actions following an assessment that range from ‘no action’ to ‘restrictions or bans.’ The bill also establishes a Green Ribbon Science Panel made up of experts to provide advice on scientific matters, chemical policy recommendations and implementation strategies, as well as ensuring implementation efforts are based on a strong scientific foundation. Moreover, it expands the role of the Environmental Policy Council, made up of the heads of all California Environmental Protection Agency boards and departments, to oversee critical activities related to the implementation of the green chemistry program. SB 509 creates an online Toxics Information Clearinghouse, a web-based database, to increase consumer knowledge about the toxicity and hazards of thousands of chemicals used in California every day.” A Green Chemistry Initiative has been established to develop policy options for implementing a green chemistry program. The initiative’s goal is to evaluate the health risks of chemicals and possible alternatives in a systematic way, rather than on a case-by-case basis. Read the full press release here.

International Environmental Nanotechnology Conference, Oct. 7-9

Monday, September 22nd, 2008 by

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 will host the 2008 International Environmental Nanotechnology Conference: Applications and Implications, Oct. 7 – 9 at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 E. Wacker Dr. Researchers from Asia, Australia and Europe will join U.S. scientists and government officials to discuss nanotechnology applications for environmental cleanup, pollution control and the implications of releasing engineered nanoparticles into the environment.

Opening remarks Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. will be provided by EPA Region 5 Deputy Administrator Bharat Mathur, EPA Office of Research and Development Assistant Administrator George Gray and EPA Nanotechnology Manager Jeff Morris. The conference agenda includes over 100 presentations and poster sessions.  About 40 exhibitors will be represented at the poster session the evening of Oct. 9. Registration for the entire event is $475.

Partner agencies represented at the conference include the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Science Foundation, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Energy and University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Lakes Centers for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health. Find more information at http://emsus.com/nanotechconf/index.htm, or contact EPA’s Warren Layne (layne.warren@epa.gov, 312-886-7336) or Charles Maurice (maurice.charles@epa.gov, 312-886-6635).

For more upcoming events, see the GLRPPR Calendar.

The Olympics and the Environment

Friday, August 8th, 2008 by

Today marks the beginning of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In celebration, here are some sites that explore how the Olympics are going green:

UNEP and the International Olympic Committee
UNEP and the IOC have been working together since 1994 when they signed an Agreement of Cooperation to incorporate environmental issues in Olympic Games.

International Olympic Committee Sport & Environment Commission
The role of the committee is to advise the IOC Executive Board on what policy the IOC and Olympic Movement should adopt in terms of environmental protection and support for sustainable development and, through its members, supports the IOC programmes and activities in this field. See in particular the section on Environmental Protection and the Olympic Games.

Beijing 2008 > Environment
Links to press releases and information from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

Recent news stories on the Olympics and the Environment from Google News.

P2 Go Bragh: Emerald Isle

Monday, March 17th, 2008 by

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For those of us of Irish descent (and those who pretend to be Irish, if just for today), I thought it would be appropriate to spend some time considering environmental initiatives in Ireland. Here are a few examples of green activities on the Emerald Isle:

  • Wind Power: According to Sustainable Energy Ireland, “wind energy provides electricity to the equivalent of 40 million European citizens, and wind farms in Ireland supply enough clean green power to support over 146,000 users.” Their web site provides an interactive map of existing wind farms in Ireland (as of April 2007). A recent post on the Green Tech Blog (“Ireland: Where Wind Power is King” by Michael Kanellos) discusses the great potential for further wind farm development on the island, both on and offshore.
  • Cultivate Living and Learning Centre: The Cultivate Centre in Dublin serves as a hub for environmental activities and ideas. Their web site provides a green map of Dublin; environmental workshop listing; a directory of schools, businesses and other organizations in Ireland that are teaching or training and have principles of sustainability rooted in their mission and strategies; information on energy issues and climate change; and a host of other resources. The themes addressed in their educational programs include green building, permaculture and organic gardening, renewable energy, energy conservation, and rethinking urban design and planning.
  • Cleaner Greener Production Programme (CGPP): This program of Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency encourages Irish business and industry to produce goods and services in more environmentally friendly ways. That agency defines “Cleaner Greener Production” as “the application of integrated preventive environmental strategies to processes, products and services to increase overall efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment, for example: (1) Production processes: conserving raw materials and energy, eliminating toxic raw materials and reducing the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and wastes (2) Products: reducing negative impacts along the life cycle of a product, from raw materials extraction to its ultimate disposal (3) Services: encouraging and supporting the development of higher environmental performance in the service sector, by incorporating environmental concerns into designing and delivering services.”

CGPP logo

Leaving on a jet plane

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008 by

Waiting for a plane, originally uploaded by Scott Butner.

…I sorta know when I’ll be back again.

Later this week, I’ll be heading to Busan, South Korea with colleagues from the National P2 Roundtable, to conduct P2 assessments of Korean industries. I’ll be accompanied by Thomas Vinson of the Southwest Zero Waste Network, Ken Grimm of the Pollution Prevention Resource Center; and Tony Cooper of the WA Dept of Ecology.

Computing technology, work schedule, and jet lag permitting, I will be posting a daily photo blog of our adventures in Busan on this blog, starting Saturday, March 8.

Check back daily to see what we’re up to!

SB

New York State DEC to host REACH workshop

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 by

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that it will host a workshop on the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH). REACH is a recently adopted overhaul of the chemicals management system in the EU. REACH has important implications for United States firms exporting to EU member states and the rules became effective on June 1, 2007. The training session will take place on September 26, 2007 at DEC headquarters in Albany, NY.

An earlier post described a similar workshop that will be held in Lansing, MI on September 27.

For more upcoming events, check the GLRPPR online calendar and Sector Resources.