Daily Archives: October 28, 2013

Making stores ‘water neutral’: a new standard for supermarkets?

Read the full story from The Guardian

The primary water impact for supermarkets is through their supply chain, but managing direct, operational impact is an important part of water conservation.

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Green business, Grocery stores, Water


With Walmart as a lab, PSU investigates how green roofs work

Read the full story in Portland Business Journal.

Portland State University will construct a green roof research site on the top of a new Walmart store in North Portland in a bid to better understand how they work and how they can be improved.


Team uses forest waste to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Researchers report that wood-biochar supercapacitors can produce as much power as today’s activated-carbon supercapacitors at a fraction of the cost – and with environmentally friendly byproducts. The report appears in the journal Electrochimica Acta.



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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Biochar, Energy, Publications


IOM Workshop on Identifying and Reducing Environmental Health Risks of Chemicals in Our Society

On November 7 and 8, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine will host a workshop on identifying and reducing environmental health risks of chemicals in our society. Industrial chemicals include chemicals used in industrial processes or commercial products, not including those found in food, pesticides, or pharmaceuticals. Through presentations and discussions, the workshop will examine successes and areas for improvement within current regulatory programs for assessing industrial chemical safety, concepts of sustainability and green chemistry that support the design and use of safer alternatives, and innovative efforts to reduce the risk of chemicals in our society. This event will be held in Washington, DC, and is free and open to the public.

A live webcast of the event will also be available for those unable to attend in-person.



Nitrogen Fertilizer Remains in Soils, Leaks Towards Groundwater for Decades

Read the full story from the University of Calgary.

Nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops lingers in the soil and leaks out as nitrate for decades towards groundwater — “much longer than previously thought,” scientists in France and at the University of Calgary say in a new study.

Thirty years after synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizer had been applied to crops in 1982, about 15 per cent of the fertilizer N still remained in soil organic matter, the scientists found.

After three decades, approximately 10 per cent of the fertilizer N had seeped through the soil towards the groundwater and will continue to leak in low amounts for at least another 50 years.

The study was led by researcher Mathieu Sebilo at the Université Pierre et Marie Currie in Paris, France, and by Bernhard Mayer in the U of C’s Department of Geoscience, and included several research organizations in France.

Their paper, “Long-term fate of nitrate fertilizer in agricultural soils,” was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Agriculture, Publications, Water


IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP)

IRELP’s vision and mission is to:

  • Create awareness about skills gaps and labour shortages in the renewable energy sector;
  • Raise the profile of renewable energy as an attractive career option; Increase awareness of, and accessibility to renewable energy education opportunities and resources;
  • Assist, where possible, in the adaptation of education and training structures to enable a global renewable energy transition; and
  • Encourage governments to include skills and education components in renewable energy policies.

Resources on the web site include a document library and links to online training opportunities.


Special Issue: Design Options for More Sustainable Urban Water Environment

This special issue of Environmental Science & Technology addresses the theme of designing urban water infrastructure in ways that save energy, money, and resources while meeting the needs of urban users and aquatic ecosystems. With representation from Europe, America, Asia, and Australia, the special issue speaks to policy, management, and technological approaches to secure a more sustainable urban water environment.

Note that access to full-text is by subscription only.


South Carolina: National utility leads state in violation of green laws

Read the full story in The State (Columbia, SC).

In the past 20 years, state regulators have slapped Utilities Inc.-owned companies with 55 enforcement orders for water and sewer system violations, according to records kept by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

That’s more than any other company or government agency in the state, including the U.S. military, an institution with a legacy of polluting the environment, according to state environmental enforcement records analyzed by The State newspaper. The 55 enforcement cases have resulted in more than $645,000 in fines against Utilities Inc. companies – including Carolina Water Service, one of the Columbia area’s most visible private utilities.


8 historic buildings that are environmentally friendly

View the slideshow from Mother Nature Network.

When it comes to environmental kudos, ultra-modern buildings usually steal the headlines.

And while the foundations of most historic buildings were laid long before the green construction boom, many of these structures are not the energy-sucking venues that you might expect. In fact, thanks to well-planned renovations, some century-old skyscrapers are among the greenest buildings on the planet.

The following buildings — best known for their historical significance and notable design — have also been recognized for their outstanding environmental friendliness, proving that the green revolution isn’t just for new buildings.

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Historical preservation, Renovation


NYC’s big bulb change

Read the full story at Smart Planet.

New York City has 250,000 street light fixtures. And in the next five years, every single one will be replaced with energy-efficient light-emitting diodes.

The LED switch announced this week is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability program, known as PlaNYC, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of city government operations 30 percent by 2017.

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Lighting, Local government


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