Daily Archives: July 9, 2013

Growing the will for sustainable change

Read the full story in The Guardian.

A lack of political will is one of the biggest obstacles to tackling the environmental crisis, we need to understand how to cultivate it, writes Chris Johnstone.

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Behavior change, Green business


Could crowdfunding help scale up renewable energy projects?

Read the full story in The Guardian.

There are some scary numbers bandied about when discussing the scale of the energy challenge in the UK. At the recent Economist UK Energy Summit, Katja Hall, chief policy director of the CBI, warned that “if we want to get an electricity supply that is low carbon, secure and affordable, we’ll need £110bn of investment in the next decade, and that’s the equivalent to building the Olympic stadium 20 times a year, for ten years”. Yet amid the scramble toward global and institutional investors, there is one source that doesn’t get enough a mention. Us.

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Renewable energy


Goal-Based Contracting for Energy Efficient Buildings

Live Training, Aug 1, 2013,  1:30 p.m. Eastern Time, 1.5 Hours

FEMP First Thursday Seminars provide training for Federal energy and environmental professionals. Leading experts address timely topics in 90-minute sessions, offered live via satellite or through streaming video at your desktop.

Register now to learn about ways to implement performance-based contracts that achieve high-performance buildings with low energy profiles. Learn about upfront contract provisions that lead to measurable performance benchmarks in building construction and operations.

Discover techniques that result in:

  • Innovation by design teams and contractors to incorporate energy efficiency as part of the design/construction process
  • Minimal additional cost to achieve significant energy savings (in the range of 50% reduction)
  • Owners who are focused on project management, rather than solving design/construction problems
  • Strong communications between owners, design teams, and contractors
  • Best practices, examples, and lessons learned from real experiences in implementing this process.

FEMP CEUs awarded upon successful completion of a multiple choice assessment.

Requires the Microsoft Silverlight player.

For more technical information, click here.


  • Paul Torcellini , Group Manager for Commercial Buildings Research , National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Read bio.
  • Jason Koman , Technology Program Specialist , Department of Energy Building Technology Office. Read bio.

Smarter pavement tackles urban smog

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

Smog, air pollution colloquially called the “marine layer’ in Los Angeles and the cause of choking midday darkness in Beijing, could be cleaned by special pavement.

The Los Angeles Times last week reported on a paper published in a recent edition of the Journal of Hazardous Materials. Dutch researchers had invented air purifying paving blocks (photocatalytic pavement) that were observed to have cut contaminants caused by vehicular by nearly half during a yearlong pilot study.

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Air quality, Local initiatives


Children’s Environmental Health Network first recipient of Environmental Health Innovation Award

The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) and its Eco-Healthy Child Care® program (EHCC) were presented with the first Environmental Health Innovation Award today at the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) annual conference.

The EHCC program supports child care providers in creating child care settings that are as environmentally healthy as possible.

“We are honored and delighted to be recognized for this cutting edge program,” said CEHN Executive Director Nsedu Witherspoon. “The child care environment can have a profound impact on a child’s health and development. The Network’s scientists and clinicians identified the need for this program once we realized that environmental health in this setting has been largely ignored.”

The Eco-Healthy Child Care® program (EHCC) brings basic concepts and practical steps for healthier environments to a professional community — child care providers — who have a tremendous impact on the health of the environments in which millions of U.S. children spend a major portion of their time. EHCC offers a unique endorsement and marketing model for participating child cares, as well as training and technical assistance.

“Hundreds of child care providers have already been endorsed by the Eco-Healthy program, which means healthier environments for thousands of children,” said Marilyn Krajicek, Ed.D., R.N., FAAN, Director of the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education  “As a result, we are seeing increased awareness among child care professionals of the impact of the child care environment on health and development.”

EHCC-endorsed facilities include those operated by the U.S. General Services Administration, Children’s Creative Learning Centers (CCLC), and Bright Horizons Family Solutions.

The Environmental Health Innovation Award was created to recognize a NEHA member or organization for creating a new idea, practice, or product that has had a positive impact on improving the environment/public health and the quality of life. Change that promotes or improves the environment is the foundation of this award.

“We commend NEHA for creating this award.  Emerging science is telling us much about the links between environmental exposures, such as chemicals inside a home or child care center, and a child’s health and ability to learn.  Yet the general public seems unaware of these links.  This award can help,” said Cynthia Bearer, M.D., Ph.D., CEHN Board Chair and Cobey Professor of Neonatology at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine.

CEHN, a national non-profit whose mission is to protect the developing child from environmental hazards and promote a healthy environment, has been working for more than 20 years in the areas of child-protective policy, education, and the support of pediatric peer-reviewed research.


Philly sports aim to hit waste out of the park

In the latest P2 Pathways column, author Paula DelGiudice from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) explains how teams in Philadelphia have been at the forefront of efforts to keep waste out of landfills and use renewable energy.

To read past columns in the P2 Pathways series, visit


2nd Annual Illinois Green Business Summit

Summit 2013-Ingredients for ChangeThe 2nd Annual Illinois Green Business Summit, “Ingredients for Change” will take place October 15th 2013 from 8:45am to 4:30pm at the Tinley Park Convention Center.

Hear from Keynote L. Hunter Lovins and learn effective strategies, practices and equipment for implementation beyond the low-hanging fruit for greening your organization.

Learn new strategies and how to implement them, be a leader in green business, and network with organizations throughout Illinois.

Information presented at the Summit will not only be applicable to businesses, but also to the public sector, educational entities, students, and more. Registration, sponsorship and exhibitor information, workshop tracks, and the agenda can be found at


NIEHS spurs investigation into the health effects of e-waste recycling

Read the full story in the July issue of Environmental Factor.

Each new computer innovation or cell-phone upgrade brings progress, but also a problem — a discarded item that becomes part of an exponentially growing electronic waste (e-waste) stream bound for informal, unregulated recycling facilities throughout the world.

To address the issue on a global level, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a working meeting on e-Waste and child health June 11-12 in Geneva, sponsored by NIEHS and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety. Attendees included experts and other key stakeholders at WHO collaborating centers, other United Nations organizations, and research institutions.

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in E-waste, Environmental health


How To Revolutionize Recycling: Cashfree Refunds From Smart Reverse Vending Machines

Read the full story at FastCo.Exist.

Greenbean Recycle takes the childhood joy of bringing your cans and bottle to the redemption center and makes it a lot easier to get your money (and compete against your friends).

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Gamification, Recycling


Improved Information Could Better Enable EPA to Manage Electronic Waste and Enforce Regulations

Download the document.

The purpose of this review was to determine whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has information of sufficient quality to assess the adequacy of its electronic waste (E-waste) management and the effectiveness of its enforcement policies, to assure that public health is protected. E-waste is the fastest growing domestic waste stream. It includes devices such as computers, televisions, and cell phones. E-waste contains toxic materials that pose hazards to human health and the environment if not properly disposed or recycled. E-waste also contains valuable materials. EPA encourages reuse and recycling of electronics over land-filling and incineration. To that end, EPA manages E-waste via federal regulations, voluntary partnership programs, and support of third-party recycler certification programs. This report addresses the following EPA’s Goals or Cross-Cutting Strategies:

  • Cleaning up communities and advancing sustainable development.
  • Enforcing environmental laws.
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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in E-waste, Publications, Regulation


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