Archive for the 'P2 Week' Category

A Brief Guide to LibGuides (and how this relates to P2 Week)

Friday, September 19th, 2014 by

Pollution Prevention 101 LibguideLibGuides is a web 2.0 platform that libraries use to create topical guides to help their users find information. It combines the best features of social networks, wikis, and blogs into one package. Librarians can incorporate RSS feeds, video, web links, bibliographic citations, search boxes, and other finding aids.

LibGuides also allows librarians to create polls and allows users to comment on specific resources and tools within each guide. Users can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts when new content is published, either for particular topics/keywords or for a specific librarian.

Nine of GLRPPR’s topic hubs have been repackaged as LibGuides. They are:

In addition to the repackaged topic hubs, I have developed a number of other guides on various sustainability topics, including the Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide (pictured to the right), which is a compilation of tools and resources useful for P2 technical assistance providers, particularly those who are new to the field.

Other sustainability LibGuides include:

GLRPPR continues to develop new guides on sustainability topics to support the work of the region’s pollution prevention practitioners. If there is a particular topic that you’d like to see us cover, please let us know in the comments.

Behavior change and pollution prevention

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by

Word "Change" jigsaw puzzle pieces isolated on whiteWhat do employee engagement, management buy-in,  green consumerism, pollution prevention technical assistance, and supply chain sustainability have in common?

At the root, each depends on people modifying their behavior to create lasting change. Several years ago, GLRPPR established behavior change and sustainability as one of its primary focus areas. Some of the resources we’ve developed on this topic include:

Ultimately, successful implementation of pollution prevention projects requires people to change the way they do things. Getting people to make lasting change can be incredibly difficult and frustrating. Understanding the psychology of behavior change is a critical piece of the puzzle.

If you have a tip or resource related to behavior change, let us know in the comments.

 

5 Source Reduction Tips for Electronics Consumers

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by

SEI-LinkedIn-Logo-colorHappy P2 Week, from the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), GLRPPR’s partner in creating a sustainable future! P2, or pollution prevention, is defined by the U.S. EPA as “reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.” Source reduction is a key element in P2.

So let’s talk about source reduction as it relates to electronics, and more specifically, electronics consumers. Not everyone reading this post is an electronics manufacturer, electrical engineer, computer scientist, electronics recycler, or someone else who might be involved the design, production, or end-of-life management of electronic devices. But you are all certainly electronics consumers, scanning these words on the screen of your smartphone, desktop, laptop, tablet, or other device. Given that, the following are five ways we can all practice source reduction in one way or another as we choose and use the gadgets that support our work and play.

1. Buy EPEAT registered products. Originally funded by the US EPA, Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, is a searchable database of electronics products in certain categories, which is administered currently by the Green Electronics Council. EPEAT criteria are developed collaboratively by a range of stakeholders, including manufacturers, environmental groups, academia, trade associations, government agencies, and recycling entities. Criteria for current product categories are based upon the IEEE 1680 family of Environmental Assessment Standards (IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, also known primarily by its acronym). The criteria include attributes from throughout the product life cycle–i.e. throughout the stages of design, manufacture, use, and disposal, including such relevant issues as reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials, and product longevity/life extension. The EPEAT registry currently includes desktops, laptops/notebooks, workstations, thin clients, displays (computer monitors), televisions, printers, copiers, scanners, multifunction devices, fax machines, digital duplicators and mailing machines. New products may be added to the registry in the future as criteria are developed for them.

2. Buy refurbished devices. Maybe you’re concerned about the environmental and social impacts of manufacturing electronics, such as mining, use of potentially hazardous materials, labor issues, energy use (did you know that most of the energy consumption in the life cycle of a computer is in its manufacture, not its use?). You might also worry about the ever growing mountains of e-waste that society is generating. The surest way to reduce all of those negative impacts is to reduce the number of new devices that are produced to meet our consumer demand. No, I’m not suggesting that we must all turn our backs on technology and join a commune. But if you genuinely need another device, or  a replacement for one that finally gave up the ghost, remember you don’t have to buy something grand spanking new. And that doesn’t mean you have to take your chances shopping for used electronics, which may or may not end up functioning correctly, from some anonymous source on an online marketplace. Refurbished electronics differ from “used” electronics in a key way–they’ve been tested and verified to function properly. Often these are items that have been returned to a manufacturer or retailer because someone had a change of heart, or there was some defect found while the item was under warranty. In that case, the item could be like new, or is easily repaired, but it can’t legally be resold as new. So, once it has been checked for proper functioning and repaired if necessary, the item is designated “refurbished”–and sold at a discount. Refurbished items may also have been used as display units or even sent to an electronics recycler who determined that the device still functioned, or who returned it to full functionality through repair. Finding refurbished items is pretty easy. Ask the clerks at the electronics retail outlet if there are any refurbished items in stock. If you’re shopping online, most big electronics retailer web sites allow you to search for refurbished items in their catalogs, and may even designate them as “certified refurbished” devices, granting their personal assurance that they’ve thoroughly tested those items. And some independent electronics recyclers and asset management firms have their own online stores for selling items they refurbish. If you decide to go that route, start at the US EPA’s list of certified electronics recyclers to find responsible recyclers in your area, and check their web sites. You’ll rest easy knowing you extended the useful life of a device AND saved yourself some money compared to a brand new device.

3. Use multifunction devices. Another great way to reduce the number of devices you or your organization buy, and thus ultimately have to dispose of, is to use devices that can serve more than one purpose. Classic examples are devices that can perform various combinations of the following tasks: printing, copying, scanning, faxing, and emailing. Now  “2-in-1″ computers are also popular–converting between laptop and tablet configurations through detachable keyboards or screen flipping and folding gymnastics. Besides reducing the number of devices being used, there’s also potential space saving, power saving, and cost savings to consider in favor of multifunction devices.

4. Use networking to reduce the number of printers in your home or office. Odds are your office already uses networking to connect multiple devices to one printer, but at home you might still have separate printers for the kids’ bedroom and the office space the adults use downstairs, for example. You can set up networking at home too, and you don’t have to be “technologically inclined” to do it. Check out Microsoft’s guide to setting up a network printer or this guide from About.com that can address non-Windows devices as well. And at work, even if you have to print confidential information, you can still use a network printer and not have your own machine by your desk, by using confidential printing options available on modern printers. See the University of Illinois guide to confidential printing, or this guide from Office to learn how. If these don’t exactly address the make and model of printer you have, search the Internet for “confidential printing” plus the brand of printer you have, and you’ll probably find the help you need.

5. Repair instead of replace. Again, this is not something only the “technologically inclined” can accomplish. We’ve been trained to think of our devices as both literal and figurative “black boxes” which run on magic by the grace of fickle technological gods, never to be understood by mere mortals. Nonsense. Not only can you likely find plenty of computer/technology repair services in your area (which is great for your local economy), you can actually perform repair yourself–I know you can. Check out the iFixit web site for example. They provide an online community for sharing photo-filled, easy to follow repair guides, not just for electronics, but for all sorts of things. Did your smartphone screen crack? Search for it on the iFixit site before you replace it. You might not only find the guide to show you how to fix the problem, but the new screen and the tools you’ll need to do the work as well, which will likely be cheaper than the new device you might buy otherwise. The folks at iFixit also like to assign “repairability scores” to devices, which can help you purchase items that are easier to repair, and thus keep around longer. Of course tinkering with your device might affect the warranty, if one still applies. Be sure you understand the terms of your warranties first. There are some discussions on the iFixit site related to warranties, and you might also be interested in their commentary on some of the controversy surrounding what is known as “the right to repair.”

Do you have other source reduction suggestions related to electronics? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

Happy P2 Week!

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by

Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, held during the third week of September each year, highlights the efforts of organizations across the country in making pollution prevention a cornerstone of sustainability. The 2014 theme is “Pollution Prevention: The Clear Choice for Environmental Sustainability.”

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have information about events occurring throughout the country. NPPR also has a handy P2 Week Toolkit for organizations looking for ways to participate.

Within the region, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will hold its  17th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show on September 17 in Plainfield, IN. The theme is “Thinking Global.” The conference will also include presentations of the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is hosting a seminar entitled Sustainable Manufacturing: Leading the Way to Prevention, Profit and the Future, also on September 17. The event will take place at Western Michigan University’s Fetzer Center in Kalamazoo. Michigan’s governor has also issued a P2 Week proclamation. The Department has also compiled a P2 Week Planner, which includes a sample resolution and press release.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be using press releases and Twitter to raise awareness of their P2 efforts.

Here at GLRPPR, we’ll be publishing a P2 related blog post each day and will also be spreading the P2 message on Twitter using the hashtag #P2Week.

What are you doing to celebrate P2 Week? Share your activities in the comments.

2014 P2 Week Poster

2014 P2 Week Poster from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable

A Brief Guide to LibGuides (and how this relates to P2 Week)

Thursday, September 19th, 2013 by

p2 libguideLibGuides is a web 2.0 platform that libraries use to create topical guides to help their users find information. It combines the best features of social networks, wikis, and blogs into one package. Librarians can incorporate RSS feeds, video, web links, bibliographic citations, search boxes, and other finding aids.

LibGuides also allows librarians to create polls and allows users to comment on specific resources and tools within each guide. Users can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts when new content is published, either for particular topics/keywords or for a specific librarian.

Five of GLRPPR’s topic hubs have been repackaged as LibGuides. They are:

In addition to the repackaged topic hubs, I have developed a number of other guides on various sustainability topics, including the Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide (pictured at the end of the post), which is a compilation of tools and resources useful for P2 technical assistance providers, particularly those who are new to the field.

Other sustainability LibGuides include:

 

Celebrate P2 Week by learning from P2 Pioneers

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 by

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 noon – 1:00 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8720411790387065856

This webinar, designed specifically for P2 Week 2013, will bring together a sampling of the pioneers in the pollution prevention field to discuss the development and progression of pollution prevention in policies, industries, and other institutions. This webinar will review the evolution of our field from waste minimization to pollution prevention to sustainability. It will include a discussion on the use of tools such as P2 and energy efficiency assessments, the emergence of voluntary programs, the growth of networks and partnerships, the stabilization and expansion of performance metrics, and the skill sets needed to carry out these programs.

Presenters:
Cam Metcalf, Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, University of Louisville
Cindy McComas, University of Minnesota
Gary Hunt, North Carolina State University

Cam Metcalf is a national leader in pollution prevention and energy efficiency technical assistance, training and applied research with a career that spans more than 30 years. He joined KPPC – Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center – as Executive Director in 1995.

Cindy McComas is a co-project manager for the Safer Chemistry Challenge Program, a program of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota teaching a fall course on pollution prevention and energy efficiency. Cindy served as Director of the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota from 1985 through 2010.

Gary Hunt is a founding member of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and former Director of the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance. He started as the program’s first technical staff member in 1985 and then became Director of the program for 21 years. He was also Director of P2Rx’s Southeast Waste Reduction Resource Center serving EPA Regions 3 and 4.

Happy P2 Week!

Monday, September 16th, 2013 by

2013-p2-week-posterPollution Prevention (P2) Week, held during the third week of September each year, highlights the efforts of organizations across the country in making pollution prevention a cornerstone of sustainability. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have information about events occurring throughout the country.

Within the region, the 16th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show will be held next week on September 25-26, 2013, in Plainfield, Indiana. The event combines Indiana’s annual Partners in Pollution Prevention Conference with NPPR’s annual conference. The agenda includes workshops, panels, and presentations from national and local speakers regarding pollution prevention, sustainability, and environmental stewardship. The conference will provide excellent networking and learning opportunities.

In conjunction with this conference, GLRPPR will he holding a half-day meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 24. The meeting will follow an unconference format. Attendees propose and vote on topics of discussion, then join the groups that interest them. We will have two hour-long sessions. Depending on the number of topics suggested and attendee wishes, we may repeat topics in both sessions. Submit your suggestions for discussion topics here. Register for the meeting at http://www.glrppr.org/annual2013/index.cfm. There is a $15 charge to attend the meeting, which will cover room and refreshment costs.

If you’re looking for things you can do to be more sustainable, check out Michigan DEQ’s P2 Week guide. It includes practical pollution prevention tips for individuals and organizations.

What are you doing to celebrate P2 Week? Share your activities in the comments.

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.

Regional P2 Champions

Friday, September 24th, 2010 by
Jeff Burke presents P2 Champion awards to Dr. Tim Lindsey & Phil Kaplan.

Jeff Burke presents P2 Champion awards to Dr. Tim Lindsey & Phil Kaplan.

Two people from the Great Lakes region were honored recently as “Pollution Prevention Champions” by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable. Jeff Burke, NPPR Executive Director, presented the MVP2 awards to Tim Lindsey, Associate Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and Phil Kaplan, recently retired P2 Coordinator for EPA Region 5. They were honored for their leadership and innovation in pollution prevention programs.

Congratulations to both Tim and Phil for this well-deserved recognition!

ISTC Receives Pair of National Environmental Awards

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has received a pair of national environmental awards. Awards were received for the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) and by Dr. Tim Lindsey.

MVP2 Awards

The 2010 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards presented by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) celebrate the successes of innovators in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability. These prestigious awards were presented recently at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  ISTC is a unit of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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