This water dispenser uses smart technology for a clean drink

May 20, 2022 by  
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Innovative solutions are essential for removing petroleum-based plastics from our daily life. Bevi, a bubbly, bottleless water dispenser for offices and commercial spaces, is dedicated to offering a variety of drink options, sans the plastic bottle.  Bevi currently has two models of water dispensers. The Standup 2.0 is a floor model much like the size and shape of a traditional water cooler. However, Bevi goes sustainable by tapping into the existing water supply. Then it adds technology with WiFi driven smart features. Users can choose from bubbly or plain water, add caffeine or electrolytes and create flavor combinations with each serving. The Bevi Standup 2.0 also dispenses ambient or hot water. The screen displays nutritional information such as the amount of sugar, caffeine and calories in your selection. The countertop model offers a streamlined selection of the same options, but takes up less space.  Related: FreeWater is the startup connecting people to free, clean water Bevi beverages are flavored naturally with no artificial sweeteners or flavors. Instead, it relies on fruit extracts. All flavors are vegan, kosher certified without sodium, gluten and GMOs .  The company reported each machine replaces 30,000 beverage bottles and cans. Companies around the country are seeing the potential for cost savings as well as convenience in not having to purchase and restock individual cans. Bevi works with notably large employers such as Lyft, Microsoft and Netflix to shift away from plastic waste .  Bevi also hopes to educate and support businesses who are re-evaluating their carbon footprints. They want to make it easy for these companies to prioritize sustainable decisions. Along with providing high quality filtered, sparkling and naturally-flavored water Bevi is on a mission to eliminate single-use plastic forever. In its own office, Bevi employees take the environmentally -conscious walk from office composting to community clean up projects and donation drives. + Bevi  Images via Bevi

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This water dispenser uses smart technology for a clean drink

Modern home in Ukraine merges residence and art gallery

May 20, 2022 by  
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The Residence in the Garden of Rocks is located in the southern suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine along the canal. The client wanted the house to suit his family’s needs while showcasing his collection of modern sculptures. The owner had already constructed the house’s shell when he asked the team at Palamarchuk Architects to assist with the design. He had also begun work on the landscaping and dotted the garden with various stone plinths to feature his sculptures . The architects worked on transforming the pre-existing spaces into a modern home. Since the house did not meet local energy-saving requirements, the team revamped it with a compound system of 20 centimeters stone wool insulation, heat pumps and solar collectors that saves energy and maintains comfortable temperatures. Related: This modern home built to house a renowned art collection is a work of art in itself Meanwhile, the residence comprises of a two-story volume. The ground level rests on a grassy plain while the basement nestles into an artificial hill. This allows for a separate entrance to the art gallery located in the basement, distinguishing the living spaces above and the display area below. Interior spaces are laid out along a north-south axis. The living room is at the heart of the house and bridges the other interior spaces. These include the bedrooms to the north and the shared spaces to the south, including the gym, sauna and swimming pool. Similarly, the perimeter walkways unify the interior spaces and exterior terraces. For example, the loggia on the main façade connects the street-facing terrace and the indoor pool . Its vertical louvers allow for views out and sunlight in, and prevents passersby from looking in. Sensory details, especially visual and tactile ones, are a key feature of the home. The living room has a large window that faces the west terrace, providing a beautiful sunset view. The bedrooms bring in diffused sunlight and have views to the nearby park and canal. With regard to tactile details, the design incorporates richly textured materials . Though the building is a simple brick and concrete structure, the ground floor is clad in coarse pine shingles from the Carpathian mountain range, while the basement level is studded with dark stone. + Palamarchuk Architects Photography by Andrey Avdeenko

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Modern home in Ukraine merges residence and art gallery

Japan’s first carbon capture and storage facility to be live by 2030

May 18, 2022 by  
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Japanese oil refiner Eneos Holdings has partnered with utility J-Power to set up Japan’s first Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) facility. The facility is expected to begin operations at the end of the decade, helping giant firms to cut down their carbon emissions . A site is targeted in western Japan with designs beginning next year and final financial investment decisions in 2026. The announcement comes at a time when the Japanese government is working on putting up structures for CCUS in the country. The government has pledged to have a  legal framework  for CCUS in place by 2030, allowing corporations to store the carbon they generate. The framework will also be instrumental in guiding the standards for the storage and usage of CO2 . Related: Masdar and Oil Companies to Develop Middle East’s First Commercial-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage Project CCUS is a technique vastly used by other countries that are leading the way towards decarbonization. Through this process, significant quantities of CO2 released through the industrial process can be captured and stored under the sea and through other avenues. The Japanese government says that this approach will help meet its net-zero objective by 2050. According to Japan’s Industry Ministry, the country will store 120 to 240 million tons of CO2 in the year 2050 and CCUS will play a critical role in the matter. Besides carbon capture and storage, the country has a program that targets capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Through the  Direct Air Capture , Japan will be able to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, further helping reduce carbon pollution . There has been continued growth in the global CCUS market over the past few years, with expectations that it will reach $120 billion by 2050. Even so, Japan has been left far behind by other developed countries such as the United States. Oil companies in the US have already adopted an efficient way of capturing carbon and pumping it into existing underground oil reservoirs . Japan’s announcements come almost a decade since the UAE started the same process. As a result, they are able to pump out the oil while at the same time capturing carbon. Via Nature World News , Nikkei Asia Lead image via Pexels

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10 Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses to support

May 18, 2022 by  
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With May being Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we specifically want to shed light on businesses owned and operated by members from the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. One opportunity to lift up hard-hit AAPI businesses is to show support with your purchasing dollars. Celebrate the rich history and modern contributions the AAPI community added to the American story by seeking out AAPI-created products. Aerangis Candles These luxury candles are ready to pamper you and the planet with custom-made scents created to match a recipe in your mind. The personalized service works one-on-one with you to recreate special memories through scent. Each candle is also housed in handcrafted ceramic jars. Aerangis Candles are cruelty-free, non-toxic, plant-based and made with natural fragrances. Related: Sustainable Black-owned businesses to buy from this holiday “My obsession with scent began when I was nine in my grandfather’s greenhouse, where he cultivated dozens of rare orchids,” said Founder Alicia Tsai. “I spent many afternoons by his side, learning how to care for those orchids. To reward me for my interest, he gave me one of my own: an aerangis orchid with star-shaped flowers that released a beautiful scent every night during its bloom.” Nguyen Coffee Supply First-generation Vietnamese-American Founder Sahra Nguyen started Nguyen Coffee Supply with the goal of correcting misconceptions about the inferior quality of Vietnamese coffee . Nguyen partnered with Mr. Ton, a Vietnamese fourth-generation farmer producing organic, green coffee beans at his family farm. The company offers specialty arabica and robusta blends that have been recognized in a myriad of major publications. Additionally, the company relies on direct-trade. They are also woman-owned and operated, and is committed to sustainable action throughout the growing, transport and roasting process.  Yobo Soju Yobo Soju stands as a primary example of Asian influence on American culture. Korean Founder Carolyn Kim identifies closely with that combination and said, “Our aim is to represent the ever-evolving modern Korean American identity. We aim to break new ground in soju by creating a range of highly innovative products that prioritize quality and taste above all.” As a result, the bespoke spirit is blended from sustainable, locally-sourced rice and grapes . It is a divergence from the traditional style of soju ubiquitous in Korea. The company is also dedicated to eco-friendly distillation processes. They showed their support of restaurants and food service workers by donating all profits for the first two months of 2021 to COVID-19 affected businesses. Huppy Huppy tablets are completely plastic free and made with natural ingredients. For the month of May, Asian American Cofounders David Phan and Cathy Tran are donating 5% of proceeds to AAPI Women Lead. The company is also committed to directing 2% of revenue towards sustainability initiatives. Linjer The focus of Linjer is affordable and high quality accessories that treat people and the planet kindly. Hong Kong Founders Jenn and Roman Khan rely on eco-friendly materials like recycled gold and lab grown diamonds that will offer a long lifespan. The company contributes to carbon offset projects via CarbonFund to balance out carbon-neutral shipping.  Blueland Blueland was founded when CEO and Cofounder Sarah became a mom. With that, she became frustrated by the options for cleaning supplies that were natural and earth friendly. Wanting to create a better future for her kids, she began creating products like window cleaner, lotion and toothpaste that are housed in reusable packaging. Furthermore, Blueland packaging is all recyclable , compostable or both. Blueland is climate neutral certified and has achieved B Corp status.  Loyale All linens through Loyale are produced by a handful of skilled artisans before being packaged in plastic-free, eco-paper goods. Along the way, they recycle or donate all fabric waste. Loyale believes environmentally-friendly linens is the perfect way to convert people away from wasteful paper towel usage towards a sustainable, waste-free option.  Rooted With origins in lush Hawaii and California, the founders at Rooted deeply missed the greenery of home when they moved to New York. They began Rooted to connect people with nature through plants . With the understanding that plants hold the power to improve health and happiness, the company aims to provide full-circle buying options and ongoing support following plant purchases. Plants are grown in a greenhouse. Then, they are shipped free to customers, along with educational information to aid in successful care within your home.  Esse Clothing is essential, but it should also bring joy without harming the planet. This is the premise behind Esse, a womenswear company founded by Singapore-raised Alicia Tsi. Now based in New Zealand, Alicia’s mission is to create simple designs that are long-lasting and made with attention to organic and natural materials .  Avre Avre shoewear company is owned by Taiwanese sisters Julie Kuo and Connie Kuo. It was created to address the plastic crisis by using recycled plastic bottles in every pair of shoes. Innovative technology also reduces cutoff waste through computerized precision that nearly eliminates scraps. Images via Pexels

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10 Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses to support

Helping Create a Nationwide Recycling Infrastructure

May 9, 2022 by  
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Landfills across the country are rapidly reaching capacity, and it is therefore more important than ever that we remain mindful of how we dispose of our waste. Collective action is needed on the part of industry and business leaders, cities and governments, and citizens around the world to develop an infrastructure that promotes recycling, the composting of organic materials, and ultimately, that helps to bring about the end of waste. The journey to zero waste will be defined by steady progress, not instant perfection. Businesses and governments cannot achieve zero waste overnight. Instead, they should aim for measurable, attainable goals in shorter time frames. Furthermore, there would be a large benefit to private and public entities working together to drive more sustainable waste and recycling solutions. A large component of Rubicon’s mission to end waste lies in having strong recycling infrastructure.  Download our report now to read examples of how Rubicon® and its partners are working together to create a recycling infrastructure across the United States.

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Helping Create a Nationwide Recycling Infrastructure

American Express issues a green and social development bond

April 27, 2022 by  
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American Express Co. , the country’s leading small business cards provider launched its first-ever environmental and social initiatives bond. The bond will test whether there are potential investors interested in investing in the future of the environment and social affairs.  Specifically, the bond will target global investors with an interest in environmental investments . The company tasked Bank of America Corp, Morgan Stanley, HSBC Holdings Plc, and Wells Fargo & Co. to arrange and handle the bond.  Related: Bank on green by investing in the environment An insider on the matter told Bloomberg that the bond will be made available to all interested parties from across the world. However, it will focus exclusively on environmental , social and governance issues. Additionally, there are possibilities of a dollar-dominated issuance to follow. This may in the future lead to the inaugural sustainability note offering if all goes well. The proceeds from the bond would go into funding eligible green and social projects. These would include the purchase and fabrication of recycled materials from Amerca Express consumer and business cards. Further, the money will be pumped into waste recycling projects, green buildings and the enhancement of diverse business suppliers and vendors. Furthermore, supporting women and LGBTQ -run vendors. The move by American Express comes at a time when companies and governments across the world are selling ESG-linked debt at a record speed. These projects have proven vital for providing funds to attain sustainability goals for many companies. Last year, global sales of green, social and sustainability bonds crossed the one trillion dollar ceiling for the first time. It is expected that this year the performance of such bonds will be even much better. America Express claims to have been carbon neutral since 2018 on its website. The giant card company says 100% of its businesses use renewable energy across the world. Its decision to issue a global green bond just follows in the footsteps of its competitors such as Mastercard and Visa, which have issuers ESG-related bonds. Via Bloomberg Lead image via Pexels

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How to become a B-corporation with Grain Design Studio

April 25, 2022 by  
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Design and manufacturing studio Grain Design joined the Benefit Corporation community of over 4,000 visionary businesses across more than 75 countries. They are only in thousands committed to balancing profit and benefit to the earth as a certified Benefit Corporation. The studio dedicated its work to social and climate responsibility. Their work combines manufacturing technologies and traditional craft techniques to produce small batch-run goods. “B Corps are driving the global movement of business as a force of good and we are deeply humbled to have our efforts working towards this common goal,” said Grain Studio Owners James and Chelsea Minola. “We cannot overstate how much this commitment means to us. When we founded our studio in 2008 in our island home and garage shop, we weren’t 100% sure what we would be making, but we knew that it needed to center around social and environmental responsibility.” Related: Sustainability is a top priority at this Texas office Grain applied to be a B Corp in January 2021. They learned that B Corp received over 4,000 other applications in 2020. That was when businesses started to think about how they could legally commit to making a difference for the planet . This was more applications in one year than B Corp had in the previous 15 years. “Our hearts burst with this news knowing that something had fundamentally shifted,” Grain founders said. “Businesses across our planet are seeking to do things differently and to change our economic system from within. They are volunteering to put themselves through this rigorous assessment to learn best practices, hold themselves accountable and lock arms to create a movement of cultural change.” If you would like to become a B Corp, you can take a free confidential assessment. Then, you’ll be able to measure your business in certain categories such as: governance, workers, community, environment and customers. Grain scored 89.1, which is higher than the required cutoff of 80 to become a B Corp. Additionally, it is higher than average B Corps in the studio’s country , sector and size range in every category. However, the full potential score is 200, which leaves room for growth. Every three years, all certified businesses are required to go through the assessment process again. If they wish to remain a B Corp, they need to keep up with the latest in ethical business practices. For Grain, they are working with the living wage calculator from their first assessment to make sure their employees are paid a living wage for their region. They are working toward paying their employees a living wage for a family. Additionally, the business began offering all employees health care reimbursements in 2021. However, they would like to work towards offering employees retirement savings benefits. Furthermore, B Corp also helps Grain and similar businesses assess how they can have a bigger impact on the community. This includes diversifying their supply chain . They have developed a screening process for vendors that assess partner companies the way they assess themselves. It also looks for local or minority-led businesses, veteran or disabled-owned businesses. Moreover, B Corp helps Grain continue to improve their environmental practices. They work with domestic hardwoods that are Forest Standard Certified (FSC). That way, they manage for biodiversity and sustainable economic opportunities of forestry workers and communities. In the future, Grain says they will be integrating local urban and salvage wood. Additionally, Grain became Climate Neutral certified in 2020 to offset emissions by purchasing carbon credits to fund climate solutions. They are also planning annual reduction goals on future emissions. In 2022 and beyond, the studio will bring production, textiles, rugs, glass and metal parts in house to reduce shipping and increase use of carbon neutral materials like cork. “This process is not about perfection,” said Grain owners. “It is about a transparent and accountable way to measure social environmental responsibility . It is an effort done in community to benefit community and we are here to support anyone who is curious.” + Grain Design Images via Grain Design

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Rice Love gives rice to families in need with each purchase

April 22, 2022 by  
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Rice Love strives to help end world hunger, increase education about poverty and recycle readily-available materials into beautiful and usable statement pieces.  Rice Love makes bags , backpacks, clothing and accessories. For each purchase, the company delivers one kilo (2.2 pounds) of rice to a family in India, the primary food in the country.  Related: This backpack is made from locally sourced cork and recycled materials The company was born out of a passion to do good for people and the environment . Founders Coney and Corbin came from strikingly different backgrounds, yet found a common desire after meeting in 2013. Coney was born into an extremely poor family in an area of India with few opportunities. After his father managed to send him to America for school, Coney felt an unquestionable draw to help his native countrymen upon his return to India.  On the other hand, Corbin was born in California . After some travel and work with the poor in South America, he ended up in Hawaii. From his home on the islands, he is passionate about helping those less fortunate. Now living in separate parts of the world, Coney and Corbin run their business on a global level. Meanwhile, each purchase provides a positive impact for families and workers in India.  Furthermore, the company organizes trips that include tours of India. There is an opportunity to meet the families and deliver the rice personally. Even without catching a flight, customers can connect with the families who benefit from their purchase. Each bag is adorned with an identifying tag. Thereby, customers enter the tag number on the website to see pictures and find out more about the family who received the rice. Providing this staple allows families in India to divert money away from food for things like medical care or education. In addition, Rice Love prioritizes Fair Trade material selections and employee treatment. For the bags, they buy burlap rice bags locally from India. The material is then recycled into unique handmade bags, each different from the next. The bags in the Recycled Collection are made from plant-based fibers, biodegradable and eco-friendly. “We have given over 50,000 kilos of rice,” Rice Love said. “There are an equal number of wanderers wearing our bags and sharing our story around the world . Our goal is to give 1 million kilos of rice by the end of 2024. We invite you to join the movement. Buy a bag. Feed a family.” + Rice Love  Images via Rice Love

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Rice Love gives rice to families in need with each purchase

Earth Day and how you can make a difference this year

April 20, 2022 by  
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Earth Day 2022 presents another opportunity to honor and protect our precious planet. From picking up trash to getting involved politically, there are a million ways to take action against pollution and animal endangerment, increase knowledge and understanding, and protect the resources that surround us. As stewards of the land, it’s our burden to share, and Earth Day is a catalyst to ignite action. Make a plan to get involved this week. Then, make a plan to diversify your efforts once the organized celebrations subside. According to EarthDay.org, the primary organizer of Earth Day events worldwide, this year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” While many of the environmental protection goals repeat over the years, this year’s theme “is focused on accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat, climate change , and to activate everyone – governments, citizens, and businesses – to do their part. Everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable.” Related: Greta Thunberg to release ‘The Climate Book’ this fall The hope is that every level of citizen and organization will find unity in efforts towards effective action. EarthDay.org states, “The goal of EDO’s campaign is to push aside the barriers erected by the ancient, dirty fossil fuel economy and their co-conspirators – old technologies of centuries past – and redirect attention to creating a 21st century economy that brings back the health of our planet, protects our species, and provides opportunities for all. EARTHDAY.ORG’s campaign is focused on reframing the conversation, accelerating action, and bringing us together to understand that this is within our reach if we work together.” So what can you do? The possibilities are limitless! Join a local event Organizers in communities across the country and around the globe make it easy to join forces with action in progress. You can find an existing event or register your own event on the  EarthDay.org database . Participate in a community cleanup, plant trees, initiate a recycling program, change your purchasing habits,  install rainwater barrels , walk to work or incorporate pollinator-attracting plants into your yard. These are just a few ideas! Take action towards a green economy In alignment with Earth Day 2022’s specific theme, consider the financial aspect of climate change, land management, agriculture,  food  and products. How does your dollar affect what businesses do?  Today’s businesses are quick to understand the balance between profits and processes. Consumers hold the power to keep these businesses focused on clean manufacturing, fair treatment of workers, quality material selection and  energy efficiency . We need to hold all businesses to a higher standard or take our money elsewhere.  Hold government accountable From city councils to federal decision-makers, getting involved in government decisions is not only a way to make your voice heard and perhaps shift the focus if needed. It’s also part of your civil responsibility. Start or sign a petition, attend a meeting about land or resource management in your area, or write to your congressperson.  Act clean On an individual level, there is much you can do to honor Mother Earth in your everyday life. Consider where you can make cuts in your energy consumption. Turn off lights when not in use, lower the heat a degree or two, install a programmable thermostat and turn down the  water  heater or move to an on-demand system. Look for Energy-star certified appliances and replace all light bulbs with energy-efficient LED options. Insulate the windows, walls, water heater, outlets, cracks — everything! In addition to conserving energy, create  renewable energy  through solar panels, wind, hydro or geothermal. You can also reduce your  waste  through conscientious shopping choices, recycling and reuse. Consider joining a Buy Nothing movement in your area, too. To preserve air and water quality, select cleaning and self-care products void of harsh chemicals and made from natural ingredients.  Earth Day 2022 events As mentioned above, there are countless events scheduled to bring attention to the needs of the  environment . For example, several areas of New York City are participating in Car-Free Earth Day, where streets will be closed to cars.  On the opposite coast, the 11th Annual Green Generation Project Showcase brings together the Long Beach community. Organizers say, “The purpose of the Green Generation Project Showcase is to highlight and recognize student projects representing a wide variety of disciplines that explore sustainability concepts and/or solutions.” Show your love of nature by joining the Hug-a-Tree Challenge between 12-1 p.m. PST to “help establish a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the most photos of people hugging trees uploaded to Instagram in one hour.” You can even virtually participate in EarthyUniversity’s online geoscience presentation and discussion regarding living in harmony with nature.  If climate anxiety has taken hold, join in the Earth Day Meditation, where the goal is to, “ Meditate & send healing to our planet & all of its inhabitants, experience individual healing benefits, and connect with like-minded communities in an optional guided share.” Via EarthDay.org Images via Pexels

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Conservation projects on track to score $1 billion

April 13, 2022 by  
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The new America the Beautiful Challenge will help tribes, territories, states and NGOs apply for grants for  conservation  projects. The Biden administration plans to use the new $1 billion program to help reach its goal of conserving 30% of U.S. waters and lands by 2030. Over the next five years, an initial $440 million will fund the challenge. The  Biden  administration hopes that philanthropic and private donations will boost America the Beautiful to its $1 billion target. Related: Supreme Court ruling could derail Biden’s climate plans The program “will help mobilize new investments in locally led, voluntary conservation and restoration projects across the country, while making it easier for  communities  to access these resources,” Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement. Many types of terrain stand to gain. Coasts, rivers, forests, grasslands and  wetlands  are all eligible for the award money. Groups working on expanding outdoor access, helping animals navigate landscapes, and increasing resiliency to climate impacts such as drought and coastal flooding can also apply for funding. Private nonprofit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will oversee America the Beautiful. Tribal and Indigenous-led projects have priority.  Ecosystem  restoration funds of $375 million came to the Interior Department through a bipartisan infrastructure law. The Forest Service is kicking in $35 million in grants for improving water quality and preventing invasive species. The Department of Defense’s $25 million will help preserve natural resources near military installations. Not everybody wants to conserve land, though. Several climate-denying and anti-fed groups are hosting a Stop 30×30 Summit later this month in  Nebraska . Some big-name Republicans will be there to rant against the initiative. If you go, don’t expect any decent vegan refreshments. But many who understand the program are happy. “Protecting 30% of America’s lands and  waters  by the end of the decade can only be accomplished through partnerships and knowledge on the ground in all 50 states,” said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the conservation group Center for Western Priorities, as reported by HuffPost. “This billion-dollar commitment shows the administration is on the right track to reaching 30×30.” Via HuffPost Lead image via Pexels

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