Archive | July, 2010

How Much Water is Saved by Reusing Hotel Towels and Linens?

By Kimberly Watson
Welcome summer!  For most of us this time of the year means vacations.  We all look forward to getting away to a restful vacation destination where we can be pampered and taken care of.  Some of us choose to stay in hotels because they offer an array of accommodations and amenities, a few of which are not having to tidy up after ourselves or doing laundry if we don’t want to!

 

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What Did the World Get from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15)?

by Beth Gray

This past December, more than 120 Heads of State and Government traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15).  The Conference, lasting for close to two weeks, was intended to be the launching point for a comprehensive worldwide agreement on how to most effectively combat climate change.  Even with the best of intentions, however, few who attended the Conference have expressed much satisfaction with the progress made and eventual outcome of the meeting.… Read the rest

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Lower Your Pet’s Carbon Footprint

by Jennifer Lefebvre

For so many of us, our pets are a part of our family.  We feed them, pamper them, and treat them very well.  And, if you are a responsible pet owner, on your daily walks, you make sure to clean up after Fido’s bathroom breaks; maybe even being green by using your old grocery bags to scoop it up.  But have any of us ever stopped to think about the impact that particular bag of poop has on the environment? 

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Carbon Sinks? More like Carbon Banks! Carbon credit market creates new revenue stream for conservation efforts.

In 2008 the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activities in the United States was carbon dioxide (CO2), representing approximately 85.1 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. The largest source of CO2, and of overall greenhouse gas emissions, was fossil fuel combustion; from 1990 to 2008 total emissions of CO2 increased by 16.1 percent. Some of these emissions were partly offset by terrestrial carbon sequestration (TCS). TCS is the process through which carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is absorbed by trees, plants and crops through photosynthesis, and stored as carbon in biomass (tree trunks, branches, foliage and roots) and soils.… Read the rest

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Schools find Creative Ways to Finance Sustainability on Campus

by Beth Gray

The question of how to finance sustainability projects on campus can often be one of the biggest obstacles to getting a campus sustainability movement off the ground.  Often, “going green” is perceived as more expensive than not and the increasingly tight budgets on many college campuses means a lack of capital funding available to initiate projects related to sustainability.  Several colleges, however, have found creative ways to initiate and fund sustainability projects on their campuses and in turn have found that going green can often not only be fiscally feasible, but can also be a way of generating funding for additional projects. 

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Urban Farming

by Allison G. S. Knox

Farming is an industry that is complex, challenging, and has been around for centuries.  When we think of farms, we tend to think of rolling hills, the wonderful smell of the countryside, and the amazing vegetables produced.  We don’t, however, think of farms taking place on very small pieces of land, or growing fruits and vegetables in apartments.  The two ideas simply do not go together.  Urban farming, despite the vast differences between it and traditional farming, is now becoming a trend in the cities and suburbs.  It is becoming more and more popular as individuals are moving toward self sufficiency and sustainability in the wake of the climate crisis.… Read the rest

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NACUBO’s Financing Sustainability on Campus

by Beth Gray

In 2009 the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) published a resource entitled, Financing Sustainability on Campus.  Ben Barlow, a consultant for Second Nature, and Andrea Putman, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Second Nature, team up to author this resource and do a very good job at exploring a variety of funding options that can be helpful in pushing forward with sustainability initiatives.  At just over 100 pages, this publication is a worthwhile resource for anyone tasked with implementing sustainability initiatives on a college or university campus. 

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Rain Barrels and the Environment

by Allison G. S. Knox

Interest in the climate crisis has peaked during an economic recession plagued by a massive amount of foreclosures and risky behaviors on behalf of many financial institutions.  In recent decades, many people did not believe in “global warming” or the notion that our planet’s atmosphere has seen an incredible increase in the amount of carbon dioxide – a situation that is warming the oceans and melting the polar ice caps.  Perhaps because in light of the economic recession, people are finding creative ways to save money, many are beginning to believe in the climate crisis.  Many are becoming increasingly interested in the ways that addressing the climate crisis can help save billions of dollars in the long run.… Read the rest

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New EPA emissions rule may cost polluters $2.8Billion but save us more than $120Billion in healthcare

By: Wesley Holmes

When considering how to improve our natural environment through changes in our built environment, one of the chief concerns is how to reduce the impact of harmful emissions associated with building operations and power supply. One of the leading causes of respiratory health problems and related deaths is poor air quality driven by emissions. On July 6, 2010 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new rules that would protect the health of millions of Americans by helping states reduce air pollution and attain clean air standards.… Read the rest

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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding for Sustainability

by Beth Gray

In February 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the Recovery Act.  According to the Administration’s website established to track the Recovery Act and the funds allocated from it, the purpose of the Act is three-fold: to “create new jobs and save existing ones,” to “spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth,” and to “foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending.”  The Recovery Act included more than $80 billion in clean energy investments.  As institutions of higher education begin addressing their own carbon footprints and the issues related to climate change in general, there are opportunities for them to apply for funds through the Recovery Act in order to implement projects that can help.… Read the rest

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