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Daily Archives: December 5, 2012

International Students Carbon Footprint Challenge

This project unites high school students worldwide as they calculate their individual footprints using an online “footprint calculator” (a series of questions) and post class data on a world map. They then enter discussions about their footprints and how to work toward solutions to globally shared environmental issues. The Web site includes instructions and lesson plans for introducing the footprint calculator to students and using the collected data in the classroom.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in K-12

 

NWF Campus Ecology National Student Leadership Initiative Survey

Since the 1980s, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has supported higher education leaders at colleges and universities all across the U.S. to achieve their aspirations for healthier people, communities and wildlife. In that time, students, faculty and staff have made tangible strides in advancing conservation education in the curriculum, on campus and in the wider community.

By participating in this on-line survey, you will help NWF’s Campus Ecology Program gauge current higher education environmental needs and realities, informing our programming and plans. We are seeking insight into such issues as how the higher education community can more easily engage with the National Wildlife Federation and our affiliated state partners; how young leaders can more smoothly transition from NWF’s elementary school, to high school, college and graduate-level programming; and your level of interest in following up with NWF’s Campus Ecology team as we conduct further research and implement findings.

FACULTY AND STAFF: We are particularly interested in learning how you, as a faculty or staff member of an institution of higher education, would like to work with us to better engage students in your sustainability initiatives.

STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES: We are particularly interested in learning how you, as a student, would like to engage with NWF, as well as gain insight on your experience as a leader and active citizen on your college or university campus. We are also interested in gaining perspective from recent graduates on the same topics.

We encourage students, faculty and staff from all disciplines and departments to respond to our survey.

This survey should take about 20 minutes to complete.

We have an additional section to this survey that should also take about 20 minutes to complete. At the end of Part A, you will be asked if you would like to submit your answers and exit the survey, or if you would like to continue to Part B.

If you complete both Part A and Part B, you will be entered to win one of 5 DVD copies of the new environmental documentary Shattered Sky.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Colleges and universities

 

To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Students are demanding that university endowment funds rid themselves of coal, oil and gas stocks in hopes of bringing climate change onto the national political agenda.
 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Climate change, Colleges and universities

 

Global Warming Puts the Heat on State Climatologists

Read the full story in Governing.

Extreme weather events have intensified the climate change debate and made climatologists’ job more high profile and more controversial than ever before.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Climate change

 

Cost Effectiveness of Home Energy Retrofits in Pre-Code Vintage Homes in the United States

Download the document.

This analytical study examines the opportunities for cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits in residential archetypes constructed prior to 1980 (pre-code) in fourteen U.S. cities. These cities are representative of each of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) climate zones in the contiguous United States. The analysis is conducted using an in-house version of EnergyGauge USA v.2.8.05 (named CostOpt) that has been programmed to perform iterative, incremental economic optimization on a large list of residential energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofit measures. The principle objectives of the study are to determine the opportunities for cost-effective source energy reductions in this large cohort of existing residential building stock as a function of local climate and energy costs; and to examine how retrofit financing alternatives impact the source energy reductions that are cost effectively achievable.

 

Building America Energy Renovations: A Business Case for Home Performance Contracting

Download the document.

This research report gives an overview of the needs and opportunities that exist in the U.S. home performance contracting industry. The report discusses industry trends, market drivers, different business models, and points of entry for existing and new businesses hoping to enter the home performance contracting industry. Case studies of eight companies who successfully entered the industry are provided, including business metrics, start-up costs, and marketing approaches.

 
 

The Rise of the Sharing Communities

Read the full story at Shareable.

As the sharing economy picks up momentum, its reach has become global. In cities and towns around the world, people are creating ways to share everything from baby clothes to boats, hardware to vacation homes. There are also groups emerging that consciously identify with the big-picture sharing movement. These groups focus on education, action and community-building, and advocate for a cultural shift toward widespread sharing.

From neighborhood-level cooperatives to global organizations, these groups work to bring sharing into the mainstream. They see sharing as a new paradigm; a means to a more democratic society, and they understand that sharing is not a new fad but an ancient practice that technology is reinvigorating.

What follows is a far-from-exhaustive list of sharing advocacy groups around the world. There are, certainly, many others. Ideally, this list will serve as a springboard for connecting with a sharing community near you, or one that is aligned with your vision for a shareable world. Or even better, encourage you to start one.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Green lifestyle, Sharing

 

Policy and incentives drive energy efficiency retrofits

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Energy efficiency retrofits to existing commercial and public buildings represent a rapidly growing market that will benefit building owners, tenants, communities, and the environment.

While most energy efficiency retrofits take place because the building owner is looking to reduce energy costs, government policy is a growing influence. States, cities, municipalities and the federal government are providing incentives to those who may not previously have considered retrofitting their commercial properties for increased energy efficiency.

 
 

Webinar: Who’s Leading the Leading Health Indicators? – Environmental Quality

Monday, December 17, 2012 11:00 am CST
Register here.

Safe air, land, and water are vital to a healthy community environment. Globally, nearly 25% of all deaths and total disease burden can be attributed to environmental factors, and approximately 127 million people in the United States live in counties that do not meet national air quality standards. This 45-minute session will provide an overview of Environmental Quality, the 12th of 12 Leading Health Indicator (LHI) topics released by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The session will also highlight one county’s success in improving air quality standards by implementing a monitoring and response system and providing the community with timely notifications of potential health risks. The Webinar will be led by the Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Koh, and include a roundtable discussion on the impact of this critical Leading Health Indicator topic.

 
 

Is fracking making livestock sick?

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

Reduced milk production. Gastrointestinal, neurological and urological issues. Sudden death. These are just a few of the symptoms experienced by livestock living near natural gas fracking sites and catalogued in a recent paper studying the impact of natural gas drilling on human and animal health.
The peer-reviewed study, conducted by a veterinarian and a researcher from the Department of Molecular Medicine at Cornell University, was published in January in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, and inspired an investigative report published Nov. 28 in The Nation. (Download the full study here.)
 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Environmental health, Fracking

 
 
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