Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Washington State Department of Ecology resources on chemicals in consumer products

Friday, September 5th, 2014 by

This post originally appeared on Environmental News Bits.

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Reducing Toxic Threats Initiative is based on the principle that preventing exposures to toxics is the smartest, cheapest and healthiest way to protect people and the environment. It supports Washington State’s Children’s Safe Product Act, which requires manufacturers of children’s products sold in Washington to report if their product contains a Chemical of High Concern to Children.

As a result of this campaign, the Department has developed several useful resources on chemicals in consumer products. They include:

Tips for a More Sustainable Move-In

Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by

The start of a new school year means millions of students are returning to thousands of college campuses across the country. Move-in day can be stressful, chaotic, and downright unpleasant, but that does not justify being careless with the disposal of the extraordinary amount of waste produced during this short period of time. The impact of move-in and move-out days typically includes streets being filled with overloaded trash cans and overflowing dumpsters, soon to be hauled away to the nearest landfill. To address this problem, many colleges and universities nationwide have begun to encourage new and returning students to green their move in with a few simple steps.

 

When purchasing items for your room, look for sustainable products.

From simply purchasing a reusable water bottle instead of bottles of water to purchasing items made solely from recycled materials, being environmentally conscious while shopping can make an extensive impact on the amount of waste produced that will be landfilled.

Pack with reusable containers whenever possible.

Not only will using plastic storage containers prevent cardboard boxes from ending up in a landfill, but they also will make move-in and move-out simple and convenient. Many storage containers are much easier to carry than cardboard boxes, especially if they are loaded with heavy items such as pots and pans. You will also be thanking yourself for this purchase in May, when move-out day comes around, and you already have everything you need to pack up.

Reuse or recycle any cardboard boxes.

If you must use cardboard boxes to move, be sure to reuse these boxes whenever possible. If you have the space, store the boxes to be used at the end of the year for move out. Another great way to reuse boxes is to use them to collect recyclables throughout the year. If reuse is not an option, be sure to break down the boxes before you recycle, to save room for others’ recyclables.

 

Many universities, such as University of Pennsylvania, Southern Illinois University, and Northwestern University, have more extensive programs to encourage a “green” move-in. From collecting unwanted items to be donated to charity to assisting students with recycling, these programs are highly successful in diverting waste from the landfill. Even if your school doesn’t have an official program for a sustainable move-in, encourage your friends and neighbors to reduce the amount of waste landfilled, as well.

Green Festival Chicago 2014

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by

America’s largest and longest-running sustainability event is coming to the Great Lakes Region from October 24-26 with the 13th Annual Green Festival. This event will be held at Navy Pier in Chicago for anyone interested in living a healthier, more sustainable life. Bringing together the world’s most innovative businesses, local artisans, and environmentally conscious consumers, Green Festival is an ideal place to promote the best in green living and offer a wide selection of products and services focused on fair trade, renewable resources, and organic foods. Attendees can enjoy vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, choose from a variety of inspirational speakers, and shop a unique marketplace of more than 250 sustainable businesses. Admission to the festival can be purchased online or at the door.

If you or your company has an interest in speaking at the festival, submit the application by early September to ensure consideration. Green Festival is also accepting applications for volunteers for the weekend. Volunteers must work at least one 4.5-5 hour shift and in return, they will receive free admission into the festival. For more information about the festival, please visit the website.

Climate Ride Midwest: September 6-9

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by

In September, Climate Ride will be hosting their first-ever ride through the midwest. Climate Ride is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness for sustainability, active transportation, and other environmental causes with various bike ride fundraisers across the country. Starting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this ride will wind its way along Lake Michigan, through the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, coming to an end in Chicago. With Climate Ride carefully planning out the details of the route and the accommodations, participants simply have to focus on the riding portion. At 60-80 miles of riding per day, this ride will be a challenging, exhilarating way to contribute to a great cause.

For those who wish to participate in the ride or simply donate to the cause, visit the climate ride website. Each rider must raise at least $2800 by August 29 to secure their spot, along with paying the $100 registration fee. Spots are filling up quickly so register soon!

You can also follow the fundraiser progress on the website, to see how much has already been raised and how close the participants are to their goals.

Brewers For Clean Water

Monday, July 7th, 2014 by

With water being the main ingredient in beer, having clean water is crucial to the brewing process. Not only can the slightest of impurities throw off the flavor of the batch tremendously, but it can also become a health concern. Dozens of craft brewers, many of which rely on water from the Great Lakes, launched a campaign last year with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), advocating for the strengthening of water quality policies. Attempts to lower the regulations on water in recent years has not only put the beer industry in jeopardy, but also threatens public health for many other industries. Watch this video to hear from the participating breweries about the campaign.

The campaign also has created a Facebook page to keep supporters informed of all updates regarding the campaign. From hosting sustainability talks with the breweries to creating petitions to be sent to the EPA, those who wish to support the campaign will find everything they need to become a part of the cause.

For more information and a complete list of local breweries involved in the campaign, visit the NRDC website.

To learn more about sustainability in other food processing industries, please visit the GLRPPR Sector Resource for Food Processing.

GLREA holds Michigan Energy Fair June 27-28, 2014

Monday, June 9th, 2014 by

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA) is holding their 14th statewide energy fair on June 27-28 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason, MI. The 2014 Michigan Energy Fair will offer countless workshops to promote sustainable energy policies, technologies and projects to businesses and the community in the area. A complete schedule of workshops can be found here. Friday, June 27th will be geared towards professional attendees, such as facility managers, engineers, and educators, while Saturday will focus on the general public who may be interested in attending and learning more about renewable energy as a form of pollution prevention.

If you are interested in preparing an exhibit for the fair, it is not too late the register! For more information on how to register, please visit the registration page.

Sustainability Awareness Promoted by Major Music Festivals in the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by

The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and music festival season is rapidly approaching. Every year, music festivals across the country attract hundreds of thousands of music enthusiasts. Many of these festivals are taking action to become more sustainable and encouraging their attendees to do so as well.

Summer Camp Music Festival – Chillicothe, IL – May 23-25, 2014

Summer Camp Music Festival has a team of volunteers that help collect and sort trash, as well as educate festival attendees about the recycling and composting programs that are offered. With color coded trash bins and portable recycling bags, Summer Camp makes it easy for fans to help keep the festival clean. Moreover, the festival requires that all vendors use compostable materials, greatly limiting the amount of trash that ends up in a landfill.

Every year, Summer Camp brings in numerous nonprofit organizations to promote sustainability, renewable energy, and carbon offsetting amongst the festival-goers. Attendees learn about many different ways that they can lower their impact on the environment, even after the festival is over.

Working with engineers at Caterpillar, Summer Camp has been able to use a higher concentration of biodiesel in their generators for all electricity needs, which significantly lowers their use of traditional energy sources. For the past three years, the festival tracked and offset their estimated CO2 emissions to reduced their environmental footprint.

To learn more about this eco-friendly festival’s sustainability initiatives, visit the Summer Camp Music Festival website.

Pitchfork Music Festival – Chicago, IL – July 18-20, 2014 

Through recycling programs, purchasing carbon offsets, and using sustainable power, Pitchfork Music Festival takes responsibility for their environmental impact, and acknowledges the importance of encouraging their fans to participate in the efforts to become a clean, green festival.

Recycling crews work with vendors to separate the trash generated at the festival, sending food waste to composting facilities and recycling as much as possible. Additionally, the festival has reduced oil demand and carbon emissions by powering the festival entirely with biodiesel and using hybrid vehicles for festival and musician transport. Pitchfork understands that being an international music festival creates the need for a lot of travel, which is why the festival has decided to buy carbon offsets to cover the transportation of all of their musicians. Purchasing these carbon offsets help fund projects to reduce CO2 emissions, so the festival strongly encourages attendees to purchase their own as well.

Visit the Pitchfork website for more information.

Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL – August 1-3, 2014

Lollapalooza is constantly seeking new, eco-friendly businesses to join the ‘Green Street Art Market’. Local businesses, as well as artisans from across the globe, are encouraged to promote their environmentally responsible goods to the thousands of fans that walk by throughout the weekend.

For the past few years, Lollapalooza has partnered with Camelbak to provide free, ice cold water to festival-goers at several filling stations throughout the park. This encourages the use of reusable water bottles and hydration packs and prevents up to 3.2 million disposable water bottles from becoming waste at the end of the 3-day festival. Lollapalooza also has hundreds of recycling bins located throughout the entire park, many of which are accompanied by a volunteer to inform people of what types of trash should be discarded into each container.

The festival implemented these programs not only to prevent the festival from causing harm to the environment and promote environmental awareness, but also to encourage volunteers from the Chicagoland area to be a part of the Environmental Initiatives programs. The application will become available mid-May, so check the volunteer information section of the FAQ page often throughout May because positions fill up quickly!

More information about the festival can be found on the Lollapalooza website.

October is Children’s Health Month

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 by

EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment requires that they continue to pay special attention to the vulnerabilities of children, and especially to children living in disadvantaged communities. Children are more affected by pollution than adults for many reasons. They are smaller, their organ systems are still developing, and their play and learning behaviors expose them to additional environmental threats.

In October and throughout the year, EPA will work with parents, teachers, and health providers to promote healthy environments where children live, learn and play.

There are events planned throughout children’s health month to promote healthy environments for children. There is also a wealth of information to explain and promote the reduction and elimination of harmful exposures in terms that are easy to understand. To learn more children’s environmental health, visit The Office of Children’s Health Protection website.

More on CH Month can be found at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/chm-home.htm.

P2 Pathways is now P2 Impact

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 by

P2 ImpactAs part of Pollution Prevention Week 2013, the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) announces that it has changed the name of its popular GreenBiz Column to P2 Impact. The name change reflects a content refocus towards a mainstream business audience. The column gives insights into greening of business processes, operation or technologies; and case studies and best business practices with respect to P2 and sustainability.

Our first author for the newly branded column is Richard Yoder, PE, SFP. Rick is the founder of the Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC), which operates from the Nebraska Business Development Center and serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. His article discusses a national survey that identifies the sectors, jobs and counties reporting higher rates of pro-environmental activities. See greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.

This year’s P2 Week theme is P2 at the Crossroads. P2 Week is the time when businesses, environmental groups and citizens can join forces for a common cause. By sharing information about pollution prevention (P2), businesses become more competitive, realize cost savings, and improve the environment.

Report demonstrates over $1.1 billion in economic benefits from P2 in Region 5

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 by

A Cornerstone of Environmental Sustainability: Pollution Prevention Results from 2007 to 2009 presents available information on the achievements of state and local P2 programs for the calendar years 2007 to 2009. The Report was produced by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) based upon the results shared by 90 pollution prevention (P2) programs in the United States.

The Report shows that nationally there were almost $6.6 billion in economic benefits and more than 7 billion pounds of pollution minimized or eliminated during the three year period.  7 billion pounds of waste is equivalent to the amount of waste generated by 350 thousand households, the approximate size of Columbus, Ohio.

In the Great Lakes states served by U.S. EPA Region 5, companies realized more than $1.1  billion in savings and 1.2 billion pounds of pollution minimized or eliminated.

This study affirms that pollution prevention results in conservation of valuable resources and significant waste reductions, as well cost savings that were four times greater than the funds used to support the various P2 programs.

The Report is a product of the P2 Results Task Force, whose membership includes representatives from State P2 programs, EPA Headquarters and Regions, Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange Centers (P2Rx), as well as NPPR. The Task Force has developed a National Pollution Prevention Results Data System, (the System). The System aggregates data that is collected, managed, and synthesized by state and local P2 programs, non-profits, companies, and other organizations.

The Report documents additional benefits of P2 activities, including: approximately 16 billion gallons of water conserved; almost 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of reduced energy usage; more than 33 billion pounds of greenhouse gases (GHG) no longer being released into the atmosphere.

NPPR will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, February 21 at 2 ET to provide an overview of the report. Register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2030884086456328960.

To view the Report, go to http://www.p2.org/wp-content/uploads/p2-results-2007-9-final.pdf.

To submit your results or view results by region, visit http://www.p2rx.org/measurement/index.cfm.