First carbon positive hotel in the US breaks ground

May 19, 2022 by  
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The first carbon positive hotel in the U.S. is currently under construction in Denver , Colorado . Designed by environmental steward Urban Villages, it is called Populus. It is expected to open in late 2023.  The 265-room hotel will offer everything visitors to the mile high city expect, including a rooftop restaurant and bar with 360 degrees views. Additionally, the green roof features native plants to help with temperature control inside the building. It also helps to filter air in gathering spaces and is a visual representation of the building’s overall green design.  Related: Miller Hull’s EMission Zero program offsets tons of carbon “We’ve created Populus to be a catalyst for change and to meet the increasing preference by today’s consumers to travel responsibly, experience places in an authentic way and connect more deeply with nature and each other,” said Jon Buerge, chief development officer and partner at Urban Villages. “An earth emergency demands that we strengthen our influence, and Populus is just the beginning.” Moreover, the carbon positive aspect of the venture comes through a collaborative effort between Urban Villages and Studio Gang, an architectural and urban design studio. Furthermore, a focus on low-impact material selections and system efficiency marks the sustainability groundwork within the aspen-tree inspired hotel. The overall plan focuses on reduction of embodied and operational carbon at every phase.  Specifically, the goal is achieved through the use of low-carbon concrete and high-recycled content materials. Structural efficiency was maximized across the 13-story structure, which requires less materials and minimizes construction waste. Also, window overhangs offer shading and energy efficiency. Varying sizes of windows throughout the building offer copious natural light and views of the Colorado landscape. Offsite, the company made an initial commitment to plant over 5,000 acres worth of trees to offset remaining operational carbon.  “To truly impact our earth, carbon neutral developments are no longer enough. Populus will be entirely carbon positive starting with its construction and continuing through to its ongoing operations while acting as a vibrant social center for locals and visitors,” said Grant McCargo, Urban Villages’ cofounder, chief executive officer, chief environmental officer and partner. Populus is targeting LEED Gold Certification.  + Urban Villages Images via Studio Gang and Ryan Dearth

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First carbon positive hotel in the US breaks ground

Meet the startup shrinking industrial carbon capture

May 18, 2022 by  
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Carbon Clean, which just raised $150 million, touts its ability to install equipment in a much smaller physical footprint than other carbon capture systems.

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Meet the startup shrinking industrial carbon capture

This is how one company is helping regenerative farmers

April 29, 2022 by  
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Regenerative farming may well be the answer to many environmental and food supply issues. CIBO, a science-based technology company, developed a system to support growers making the transition to regenerative agriculture. Called CIBO Grower, the technology connects farmers with incentive programs they may qualify for.  In a press release, the company said, “The new application helps farmers and their trusted advisors easily navigate and participate in the evolving landscape of incentive programs such as carbon credit markets, Scope 3 emissions reduction and premiums for regenerative and low-carbon grains.” Related: Why regenerative agriculture will reverse climate change Through a simple process, farmers register for CIBO Grower and securely enter data about their fields and management practices. They are then immediately matched with applicable programs. The data about the programs not only ensures eligibility, but allows growers to understand the financial aspects of various regenerative agricultural incentive programs. Growers can then choose the programs that best match their operation and even enroll immediately. “The bottom line: We want to unlock the true power of regenerative agriculture ,” said Dr. Jenette Ashtekar, SVP of product management at CIBO Technologies. “First, we need to get enough growers to make the transition to these management practices. It takes upfront capital and ongoing incentives. It takes good data, technology and other technical support. And we need strong partnerships between growers and companies with Scope 3 emission goals. CIBO is bringing all of these pieces together so we can collectively reach our climate goals.” What is regenerative agriculture? The terms regenerative agriculture or regenerative farming describe an assortment of farming practices that sequester carbon, improve the soil, reduce waste and improve yield. The movement encompasses actions like composting , growing organic food and creating crop diversity. Carbon sequestration is encouraged through no-till farming, cover crops and animal management.  While sustainable agriculture is undeniably good for the planet and the population, adoption has been slow for many reasons. Part of the hesitation is the expense of changing current operations. This is where incentives can take away some of the risk involved.  Many farmers who have already made the transition, or are trying to incorporate regenerative farming practices, understand the potential benefits of not only reducing, but reversing global warming. While much of the public discussion is focused on the damage caused by carbon emissions through the use of fossil fuels, the other side of the equation is carbon sequestration. Plants are the miracle that keep the carbon in the soil where it can be stored eternally. However, with traditional farming practices such as tilling the fields, that carbon is released back into the environment.  Making better animal, land and crop management decisions results in a reduction of carbon. Not only that, but also reduces air and water pollution caused by fertilizers, insecticides and other chemicals.  Why is the CIBO Grower helping regenerative farmers? The CIBO Grower software supports farmers who are trying out new methods or expanding their efforts within regenerative farming practices. The goal is to educate farmers leaning into regenerative agriculture about incentives that can help them achieve their goals. Then, CIBO Grower makes it easy to access those resources , from qualification through enrollment.  “CIBO Grower simplifies the process of qualification and enrollment into a variety of incentive programs that can support farmers transitioning to regenerative agriculture,” said Daniel Ryan, CEO at CIBO Technologies. “The powerful program engine underpinning CIBO Grower enables rapid development and delivery of a multitude of incentive programs.” At launch, the CIBO Grower platform evaluates three incentive programs. The first is CIBO Carbon Bridge. “CIBO Carbon Bridge eliminates risk for new adopters of regenerative agriculture when entering carbon markets,” said the company. “Growers receive fixed payments — up to $35 per acre in the first year — and free agronomic support during the crucial early years of building soil health and creating carbon credits.” The second is called CIBO Certified Regenerative. It recognizes farmers adopting regenerative agriculture with a one-time cash payment and a certificate verifying low-carbon yields. Finally, the third program is known as CIBO Carbon Credits: Verra Project 1. This program, “offers a new revenue stream for growers as they make their operation more climate-friendly , resilient, and profitable.” CIBO was founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2015 with a focus on using advanced technology to make a difference in the realms of climate change, agricultural systems , food development and sustainable practices. The company plans to regularly add incentive programs.  + CIBO Images via CIBO 

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Carbon markets can bridge gap to sustainability goals

April 19, 2022 by  
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Sponsored: Carbon markets provide an opportunity to bridge the gap between current commodity markets and supply chain-based goals.

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Carbon markets can bridge gap to sustainability goals

How the war in Ukraine marks the end of the fossil fuel era

April 19, 2022 by  
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As the world’s largest exporter of fossil fuels, Russia sits on the fault lines of the accelerating shift to clean energy.

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How the war in Ukraine marks the end of the fossil fuel era

The Green Production Guide helps Hollywood reduce its footprint

April 15, 2022 by  
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Hollywood may not come to mind first when considering climate impacts, but feature films require enormous amounts of building materials, energy and travel. To address this, the Green Production Guide helps movie studios find sustainable solutions. Everything from catering to set design can help production companies reduce their environmental impact. What climate difference does a movie make? Movie production can be made more eco-friendly. In fact, sustainable film production not only helps the environment but is also good for the studio’s bottom line. According to Forbes and The Hollywood Reporter, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”   saved $400,000 by focusing on sustainability. The wardrobe department started a recycling program and sourced textiles from farmer’s markets. Over 49 tons of materials were recovered from the movie’s sets for donation or reuse. Catering donated 5,862 extra meals to local shelters. The set also used biodegradable snow and water-based smoke. Reducing plastic water bottle usage and opting for eco-friendly detergents also boosted production’s sustainable goals. Overall, these measures resulted in a total of 52% waste diversion from landfills, making “Spider-Man 2” the most sustainably produced and financially successful film in Sony’s history. Other studios are now considering ways to make their productions more sustainable , but it can be challenging to set up a system that catches all possible areas of improvement and tracks the results. That’s where the Green Production Guide can help. How the Green Production Guide helps make movies sustainable The Green Production Guide Toolkit is divided into sections for ease of use. They include a sustainable practices checklist, carbon footprint calculator, and worksheets to reduce plywood, food and material usage or track donations of overages. Also included are infographics, further resources and awards programs that recognize sustainability in film. The Sustainable Practices Checklist:  The PEACH (Production Environmental Actions Checklist) & PEACH+ (with added measures) include practices that each department can implement throughout production. Go through the document with each department during planning, then again at wrap to track achievements. The PEACH also serves as an application for an Environmental Media Association Green Seal (just save and send to  EMA  to apply). The Carbon Footprint Calculator:  The PEAR (Production Environmental Accounting Report) is a tool to measure the environmental impact of your production based on the energy used in offices and on stages, the fuel used in vehicles and generators, and the emissions from air travel and accommodations. The PEAR can also report on waste, donations and other environmentally-impactful purchases like water bottles, plywood and paper. The Plywood Tracking Worksheet:  The PLUM (Production Lumber Material) worksheet tracks your plywood usage, primarily focusing on Lauan/Meranti to ensure sustainable sourcing. You can track how much plywood production uses and where it comes from. Food and Materials Donations:  Often, reducing waste can also mean giving back to the local community. Explore the guide’s resources for donating excess food or set materials. Impact can be tracked by reducing waste and also by how much positive impact your production has on the community. Green is the new normal Onset, sustainable practices can become the new norm. Craft services can reduce and recycle single-use plastic containers used to feed and hydrate the cast and crew. Sustainable and reduced travel can lower production’s carbon footprint, with green screens and post-production technology filling the gap to diversify filming locations. While most costumes, sets and temporary quarters are discarded or used only for short periods on movie sets, production companies explore sustainable practices to support climate action and help their bottom line. Donations, reusing costumes, recycling, green travel practices, technology and even reducing studios’ post-production energy can help movies become more profitable and sustainable. If you’re looking for ways to make your set more sustainable, check out the Green Production Guide. The “Getting Started” presentation includes tools to create a timeline for tracking sustainability practices through production and offers calculators for everything from water and fuel usage to lumber and commercial air miles. The goal is to help production companies track and reduce the usage of precious resources while budgeting for less expensive productions. Even if you start with small changes, these resources can make a difference and reduce wasted production expenses. With time, these standards could become the new normal for Hollywood studios. + Green Production Guide Via Forbes Images via Pexels

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The Green Production Guide helps Hollywood reduce its footprint

The Green Production Guide helps Hollywood reduce its footprint

April 15, 2022 by  
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Hollywood may not come to mind first when considering climate impacts, but feature films require enormous amounts of building materials, energy and travel. To address this, the Green Production Guide helps movie studios find sustainable solutions. Everything from catering to set design can help production companies reduce their environmental impact. What climate difference does a movie make? Movie production can be made more eco-friendly. In fact, sustainable film production not only helps the environment but is also good for the studio’s bottom line. According to Forbes and The Hollywood Reporter, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”   saved $400,000 by focusing on sustainability. The wardrobe department started a recycling program and sourced textiles from farmer’s markets. Over 49 tons of materials were recovered from the movie’s sets for donation or reuse. Catering donated 5,862 extra meals to local shelters. The set also used biodegradable snow and water-based smoke. Reducing plastic water bottle usage and opting for eco-friendly detergents also boosted production’s sustainable goals. Overall, these measures resulted in a total of 52% waste diversion from landfills, making “Spider-Man 2” the most sustainably produced and financially successful film in Sony’s history. Other studios are now considering ways to make their productions more sustainable , but it can be challenging to set up a system that catches all possible areas of improvement and tracks the results. That’s where the Green Production Guide can help. How the Green Production Guide helps make movies sustainable The Green Production Guide Toolkit is divided into sections for ease of use. They include a sustainable practices checklist, carbon footprint calculator, and worksheets to reduce plywood, food and material usage or track donations of overages. Also included are infographics, further resources and awards programs that recognize sustainability in film. The Sustainable Practices Checklist:  The PEACH (Production Environmental Actions Checklist) & PEACH+ (with added measures) include practices that each department can implement throughout production. Go through the document with each department during planning, then again at wrap to track achievements. The PEACH also serves as an application for an Environmental Media Association Green Seal (just save and send to  EMA  to apply). The Carbon Footprint Calculator:  The PEAR (Production Environmental Accounting Report) is a tool to measure the environmental impact of your production based on the energy used in offices and on stages, the fuel used in vehicles and generators, and the emissions from air travel and accommodations. The PEAR can also report on waste, donations and other environmentally-impactful purchases like water bottles, plywood and paper. The Plywood Tracking Worksheet:  The PLUM (Production Lumber Material) worksheet tracks your plywood usage, primarily focusing on Lauan/Meranti to ensure sustainable sourcing. You can track how much plywood production uses and where it comes from. Food and Materials Donations:  Often, reducing waste can also mean giving back to the local community. Explore the guide’s resources for donating excess food or set materials. Impact can be tracked by reducing waste and also by how much positive impact your production has on the community. Green is the new normal Onset, sustainable practices can become the new norm. Craft services can reduce and recycle single-use plastic containers used to feed and hydrate the cast and crew. Sustainable and reduced travel can lower production’s carbon footprint, with green screens and post-production technology filling the gap to diversify filming locations. While most costumes, sets and temporary quarters are discarded or used only for short periods on movie sets, production companies explore sustainable practices to support climate action and help their bottom line. Donations, reusing costumes, recycling, green travel practices, technology and even reducing studios’ post-production energy can help movies become more profitable and sustainable. If you’re looking for ways to make your set more sustainable, check out the Green Production Guide. The “Getting Started” presentation includes tools to create a timeline for tracking sustainability practices through production and offers calculators for everything from water and fuel usage to lumber and commercial air miles. The goal is to help production companies track and reduce the usage of precious resources while budgeting for less expensive productions. Even if you start with small changes, these resources can make a difference and reduce wasted production expenses. With time, these standards could become the new normal for Hollywood studios. + Green Production Guide Via Forbes Images via Pexels

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New DISSOLVE pods help cut down on plastic waste

April 15, 2022 by  
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As part of its efforts to reduce plastic waste, SC Johnson announced its new  DISSOLVE™ Concentrated Pods  in its Windex®, Scrubbing Bubbles® and fantastik® brands in the U.S. Combined with a refillable bottle, the company says this system will use 94% less  plastic  per refill. To use these products, you drop one concentrated pod into the empty bottle, add warm water, twist on the spray top, and then shake until the pod dissolves. This sounds like a big improvement over throwing an empty plastic pod in the  landfill . Related: HP moves toward 100% plastic free with Choose Packaging “Plastic  waste  is one of the great environmental challenges we face today, and at SC Johnson we have a responsibility to help reduce waste and provide more sustainable product choices for consumers,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Since launching our first concentrated refill more than a decade ago, we have continued to develop products that enable people to reduce even more plastic in their everyday routines.” Consumers can buy a starter kit, which includes concentrated pods and a reusable, 100% recyclable trigger bottle, or a la carte refill pods. The new pods are for sale now on Amazon and at brick and mortar retailers nationwide such as Target, Meijer and  Walmart . The Racine,  Wisconsin -based company has a whole list of waste-reducing initiatives, including increasing the amount of post-consumer recycled plastic from its current 19% to 25% of product packaging by 2025 and making 100% of its plastic packaging recyclable. SC Johnson’s Ecover® brand has been testing a refill station concept in the U.K., Belgium and the Netherlands. If you try the new pods, remember that they are full of concentrated  chemicals  that are harmful if you eat them or get them on your skin. Be sure to keep this product away from kids who might be intrigued by a sapphire blue Windex pod, or dogs who will chew on anything. Via SC Johnson Images via SC Johnson

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New DISSOLVE pods help cut down on plastic waste

New DISSOLVE pods help cut down on plastic waste

April 15, 2022 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

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As part of its efforts to reduce plastic waste, SC Johnson announced its new  DISSOLVE™ Concentrated Pods  in its Windex®, Scrubbing Bubbles® and fantastik® brands in the U.S. Combined with a refillable bottle, the company says this system will use 94% less  plastic  per refill. To use these products, you drop one concentrated pod into the empty bottle, add warm water, twist on the spray top, and then shake until the pod dissolves. This sounds like a big improvement over throwing an empty plastic pod in the  landfill . Related: HP moves toward 100% plastic free with Choose Packaging “Plastic  waste  is one of the great environmental challenges we face today, and at SC Johnson we have a responsibility to help reduce waste and provide more sustainable product choices for consumers,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Since launching our first concentrated refill more than a decade ago, we have continued to develop products that enable people to reduce even more plastic in their everyday routines.” Consumers can buy a starter kit, which includes concentrated pods and a reusable, 100% recyclable trigger bottle, or a la carte refill pods. The new pods are for sale now on Amazon and at brick and mortar retailers nationwide such as Target, Meijer and  Walmart . The Racine,  Wisconsin -based company has a whole list of waste-reducing initiatives, including increasing the amount of post-consumer recycled plastic from its current 19% to 25% of product packaging by 2025 and making 100% of its plastic packaging recyclable. SC Johnson’s Ecover® brand has been testing a refill station concept in the U.K., Belgium and the Netherlands. If you try the new pods, remember that they are full of concentrated  chemicals  that are harmful if you eat them or get them on your skin. Be sure to keep this product away from kids who might be intrigued by a sapphire blue Windex pod, or dogs who will chew on anything. Via SC Johnson Images via SC Johnson

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New DISSOLVE pods help cut down on plastic waste

All-natural soap is a perfect solution for your dirty pets

April 14, 2022 by  
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The health and beauty industry has its share of bad publicity when it comes to the use of chemicals in its products. As consumers become more aware of the damage caused by products that set out to make us look and smell good, the wave has rolled over into products for pet care too. WashBar natural pet care is front and center, wagging its tail for attention as all-natural products that keep your pet looking, feeling and smelling his or her best. The New Zealand-based brand offers pet shampoos that are different from other brands in a variety of ways. Firstly, the shampoos are shaped into a bar of soap. This eliminates the need for shampoo bottles, which are typically made of petroleum-based plastic .  Related: Wanderruff makes puppy products from recycled bottles Secondly, the bar itself arrives in a recyclable cardboard box. It’s an example of only using the amount of packaging needed to do the job and minding the needs of the planet at the same time. Another benefit of the bar design is that a little goes a long way. Each bar is equivalent to an average 20-ounce bottle of liquid shampoo . A price comparison will show it’s an economical choice. Using the bar is also noticeably easier than handling a slick plastic bottle while trying to manage the animal. Finally, their shampoos are made from all-natural ingredients. Of course this is better for your pet, but it’s also a win for the environment . It avoids toxins that find their way back into our water stream. Making a full circle, that means it is better for humans too! The WashBar Original Soap for Dogs is made from natural ingredients. This included neem leaf, lemon scented tea tree oil and manuka oil to provide a wash that leaves your dog’s fur naturally soft and clean. It’s recommended for all skin types and is safe for puppies too.  The ManukaBar is another WashBar shampoo that is designed for animals with sensitive or problem-prone skin. It’s formulated with a nourishing blend of natural ingredients like manuka oil, kanuka oil, neem oil and lemon myrtle to help calm and soothe dry, irritated skin.  Often, chemicals are to blame for Fido’s skin problems anyway. So ditching the synthetic fragrances and colors, sulfates and parabens means the ManukaBar is safe for all dogs, along with smaller domestic animals like ferrets, guinea pigs and kittens. The bar is a bit smaller than The WashBar Original Soap for Dogs, so it can be more easily used on smaller animals . Each bar contains the equivalent of over 15 ounces of liquid shampoo.  On the other hand, the Paw Balm can be used for your dog’s dry patches, including the particularly persistent dry nose and paws of winter . With Paw Balm, even pets can lower their carbon pawprint by eliminating toxins in favor of natural ingredients that include kanuka and copaiba oils, as well as familiar ingredients such as beeswax, apricot and carrot. It aims to help repair cracks and minor wounds on paws and offer aid for minor skin conditions found in wrinkles, tail flaps, ear creases and on noses. The all-natural ingredients mean it’s safe for the inevitable licking that will occur. The Paw Balm comes in an easy-to-use and convenient 50 milliliter tin. WashBar is as dedicated to the planet as the health of your pet. To highlight this commitment, they are partnering with Trees that Count. They plant one tree for each Original or Manuka soap bar ordered during Earth Day weekend (April 22 to April 24). This effort will contribute to reforestation of New Zealand’s beautiful and biodiverse landscapes.  WashBar product review With three German shorthaired pointers in the house, I was more than willing to give WashBar a try. These are working dogs that get into everything during daily runs through fields, ponds and mud . Plus, one of them insists on rolling in every smelly thing she can find. Yuck! The company sent the WashBar Original Soap for Dogs and it wasn’t long before I had an occasion to try it out when the aforementioned pet , Dharma, brought a nasty stench home with her. This was the kind of stink that hits you when you enter a room. Since it was cold out, we enticed her into a small shower enclosure by the scent of peanut butter on a spoon and gave her a washdown with the WashBar.  The bar was somewhat slippery, yet much easier to maneuver in a small space than a plastic bottle that typically requires several pick ups and set downs to apply more shampoo. Overall, I found it convenient to have an extension of my hand in the bar soap rather than trying to identify spots with liquid shampoo on them.  I wouldn’t say the product produced a lot of sudsy action. It’s more of a lotion-type feel. However, it rinsed away easily and left her coat feeling really clean. Even better, the stink was gone. Completely gone, even while she would typically still be promoting “wet dog scent.” The bar itself has a lovely lemon-citrus scent, but after use, the dog didn’t smell like anything — which is exactly the result I hoped for.  They also provided a tin of the Paw Balm. My same pet Dharma, a.k.a the problem child, has severe allergies that causes her nose to dry and crack. I used the Paw Balm on it and found it to be very moisturizing with a pleasant scent. Of course, her predictable response was to begin licking her nose. I couldn’t decide if it was because she liked the flavor and scent, or because she was trying to get it off. So I held the container out in front of her to see if she would shy away. But instead, she began repeatedly licking and moved towards it as I moved it away so I guess I have my answer. Give it a try.  + WashBar Images via WashBar 

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