Daily Archives: October 7, 2013

Green Gridirons: Northwestern University

A football stadium may have green grass but does it have green habits? Each week, Great Lakes Echo highlights a Big Ten football stadium’s attempts to do the most to impact the environment the least. This week, they look at Northwestern’s Ryan Field.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Colleges and universities, Sports


Minneapolis’ Secret to Enticing Residents to Bike in the Tundra

Read the full story from the Sustainable Cities Collective.

For a state that built a city with both skyway systems and universities with mass underground tunnels for shelter in its Arctic-like temperatures, we see an opposite trend in terms of bicycling planning. While Minneapolis is known for being one of the coldest cities in America, in 2011 Bicycling Magazine also claimed it be the #1 bike city, beating out more moderate climates such as San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and the well-known bicycle capital, Portland. How can Minneapolis compete with such large powerhouse cities? Why does the bike culture here thrive in such an unforgiving climate?

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Great Lakes, Transportation


Corporate giants: Stewards of the environment

Read the full story in the Star-Ledger

Verizon has partnered with New Jersey Audubon to make its corporate headquarters more environmentally friendly. The habitat restoration project covers 25 acres of the 175-acre Basking Ridge campus. Changes include the planting of 1,300 native trees and shrubs as well as a reintroduction of grasses and wildflowers. The project also focuses on improving buffer protection along more than a half mile of the Passaic River that provides drinking water for roughly 800,000 people in northern New Jersey. The building itself is also getting greener. Five fuel cells have been delivered and installed on the roof to provide 2 megawatts of energy and soon an array of solar panels producing 375 kilowatts of sun energy will be installed.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Green business, Natural resources


4 success secrets for small business sustainability

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Companies typically implement sustainability programs because they want to improve company culture, encourage employees to contribute to positive change and increase profitability by reducing costs. Yet even when the commitment is there, implementation can be challenging, especially in small companies where resources are limited and time is at a premium.

After my company, Briteskies, recently established its own sustainability program, I’ve determined four key principles that make the difference between success and failure.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Green business


5 ‘deep’ questions to unlock efficiency in buildings

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

There is more pressure than ever for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and control energy costs, and there are more potential paths than ever that companies can take to improving their sustainability performance.

So, which sustainability initiatives are perceived to yield the optimum combination of environmental and economic benefit? And why are there often significant gaps between the choices that often get made versus the paths with the greatest combined benefits?

We set out to answer those questions and others in a recent survey of corporate sustainability, climate change and environmental management professionals in North America. It was conducted in March by Nima Hunter, with support from the sustainability and environmental services firms Cameron-Cole and WSource Group.

The results (downloadable at the Cameron-Cole link) confirm that many corporate sustainability executives believe comprehensive energy-efficiency retrofits of existing buildings represent the most effective way to reduce emissions and reduce operating costs. Despite this apparent consensus, a significant gap exists between the perceived economic and environmental effectiveness of comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits and their implementation.


How Tim Hortons closed the loop with coffee cups

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The coffee and donut giant has diverted thousands of paper cups from landfill by turning them into trays.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Green business, Recycling


Improving Water Security with Blue, Green, and Gray Water

Read the full story from the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).

Agriculture is one of the most insatiable consumers of dwindling water resources around the world. And food production will need to increase by about 70% over the next 35 years to meet the needs of a growing population. Crops aren’t creating the only demands; agriculture will face competition for water from cities, industries, and recreation.

With limited water and the increasing number of people depending on it, water security is tenuous. But integrated water management plans using “blue,” “green,” and “gray” water can increase water security. What do these colors mean and why are these waters vital?

Those are the central questions behind the symposium “Blue Waves, Green Dreams, and Shades of Gray: Perspectives On Water” being held Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 1:15 PM. The symposium is part of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America Annual Meetings, Nov. 3-6 in Tampa, Florida. The theme of this year’s conference is “Water, Food, Energy, & Innovation for a Sustainable World”. Members of the media receive complimentary registration to the joint meetings.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Agriculture, Meetings & webinars, Water


3D Printing: The Greener Choice

Read the full story from Michigan Technological University.

3D printing isn’t just cheaper, it’s also greener, says Michigan Technological University’s Joshua Pearce.

Even Pearce, an aficionado of the make-it-yourself-and-save technology, was surprised at his study’s results. It showed that making stuff on a 3D printer uses less energy—and therefore releases less carbon dioxide—than producing it en masse in a factory and shipping it to a warehouse…

A paper on their work “Environmental Life Cycle Analysis of Distributed 3D Printing and Conventional Manufacturing of Polymer Products,” is in press in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. The coauthors are Megan Kreiger, a master’s graduate in materials science and engineering, and Pearce.

Pearce’s earlier work on the low cost of 3D printing is outlined in the Michigan Tech news release “Make it Yourself and Save—a Lot—with 3D Printers.”


UF/IFAS Survey: College Students Worried About Climate Change Hazards

Read the full story from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

College students are worried about climate change-related hazards, even if they’re not worried about climate change, suggesting that the threat of climate change still seems theoretical to many, new University of Florida research shows.

A UF/IFAS study published online in September by the Journal of Environmental Management measures how worried students are about coastal calamities.

The study is a dissertation by former UF doctoral student Stuart Carlton, now a postdoctoral assistant at Purdue University. Carlton earned his doctorate in interdisciplinary ecology from the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Climate change, Publications


Webinar: Energy Planning for Climate Regulations: Lowering the Cost of Cutting Carbon

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at

As utilities, industries, investors and state governments explore ways to reduce emissions in order to meet state and federal greenhouse gas reduction requirements, many wonder how to achieve reductions in a way that doesn’t increase energy costs, harm the economy and hurt job growth. What tactics will utilities employ and how can policymakers assist in achieving targeted reductions at least cost, or with net economic benefit? This webinar will explore low carbon, high productivity options for lowering emissions while highlighting utility efforts in this area.

Speakers will include:

  • Judi Greenwald, Deputy Director for Climate, Environment and Efficiency at the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis for the U.S. Department of Energy
  • Daniel Chartier, Director of Environmental Markets and Air Quality Programs for Edison Electrical Institute
  • Jack Ihle, Director of Environmental Policy for Xcel Energy

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