See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting

November 18, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco

In 2012, we received some dismal news about food waste … The post See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting appeared first on Earth911.com.

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See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting

Kaiser Permanente’s Rame Hemstreet on reaching carbon neutrality by mid-2020

November 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

The Oakland-based company working to wean itself off of natural gas as it has done with carbon-intensive electricity.

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Kaiser Permanente’s Rame Hemstreet on reaching carbon neutrality by mid-2020

Dana Gunders of NextCourse on the future of food waste reduction

November 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

“People like to see that their employers are working on something like food waste reduction,” Gunders says.

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Dana Gunders of NextCourse on the future of food waste reduction

Method’s Saskia Van Gendt on its Chicago manufacturing factory and recyclability

November 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Saskia Van Gendt says there seems to be new energy around companies’ responsibility to take care of the environment.

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Method’s Saskia Van Gendt on its Chicago manufacturing factory and recyclability

Consumers Energy’s Teri VanSumeren on the company’s Clean Energy Plan

November 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 90 percent by 2040.

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Consumers Energy’s Teri VanSumeren on the company’s Clean Energy Plan

Blue Planet Energy’s COO Chris Johnson on the value of microgrids and resilience

November 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Two keys to developing resilience: plan ahead and store energy.

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Blue Planet Energy’s COO Chris Johnson on the value of microgrids and resilience

Rob Threlkeld on how General Motors is moving toward its RE100 commitment

November 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The legacy automaker is working to get its manufacturing and non-manufacturing operations to 100 percent renewable energy.

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Rob Threlkeld on how General Motors is moving toward its RE100 commitment

Solar-powered Austin home embraces sustainability in more ways than one

November 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

In South Austin, Miró Rivera Architects has completed the Westridge Residence, a contemporary home with an emphasis on sustainable design. Built for a family of four, the sculptural home features rounded roofs on its two structures — the main house and a detached garage with a guest apartment — connected with a trellis of rebar suspended in a natural curve. To minimize its environmental footprint, the house is powered with solar and geothermal energy and was built with durable, long-lasting materials to minimize long-term maintenance. Set on the flattest part of a wooded sloping site in the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, the Westridge Residence was designed to follow the natural terrain and minimize site impact. To take advantage of the site’s natural beauty, the home opens up to the outdoors with large windows, glazed sliding doors and outdoor decks on both levels. The outdoor Ipei deck that connects the two buildings also conceals five 2,000-gallon rainwater storage tanks that are used for irrigation and to compensate for seasonal evaporation loss in the adjacent 40-foot-long swimming pool. Related: Solar-powered Austin home can save owners nearly $100K in energy costs The main house includes an open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen as well as the master suite on the ground floor. The upper level contains two bedrooms, a playroom with a kitchenette, a small media room and a flex room in addition to the open-air covered deck. The detached guest house contains an open-air carport, workshop and storeroom below; the upper level holds a home office and a guest apartment with a bathroom and kitchenette. To reduce the home’s energy demands, the architects specified “double wall” construction for a highly insulated envelope with R-21 walls and R-30 ceilings. Installation of Energy Star-certified lighting fixtures and appliances as well as a 6.8-kW rooftop solar system and a geothermal loop field have translated to energy savings of approximately 22 percent annually as compared to an energy model from a baseline case study. During construction, waste was minimized and recycled wherever possible. In the revegetation of the landscape, invasive species were replaced with native plants. + Miró Rivera Architects Photography by Paul Finkel | Piston Design and Cris DeWitt via Miró Rivera Architects

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Solar-powered Austin home embraces sustainability in more ways than one

Excessive road salt threatens public health and wildlife

November 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Many people and municipalities turn to road salt to de-ice wintry streets and sidewalks. Unfortunately, road salt poses serious environmental and water contamination risks. Just one teaspoon is enough to contaminate 5 gallons of water, making removal via reverse osmosis extremely expensive. Moreover, the health of humans, pets, wildlife , aquatic organisms, vegetation, soil and infrastructure are heavily impacted as road salts enter the environment, seeping into groundwater and draining via runoff into freshwater estuaries. At the forefront of advocating for better practices on road salt use is the Izaak Walton League’s Winter Salt Watch program. Just last winter, the League dispensed 500 chloride test kits to volunteers across 17 states. Tests showed consistently high levels of chloride ions in waterways surrounding eight major metropolitan areas, signaling excessive misuse of road salts. This year, the League has sent out a batch of chloride test kits to more than 200 new volunteers. Related: The Ocean Cleanup reveals the Interceptor to remove plastic pollution from rivers “Our goal is to not only make residents aware of the impact road salt has on local streams but also give them the tools to advocate for changes to road salt practices that will decrease salt impacts while keeping roads safe for drivers,” explained Samantha Briggs, the League’s Clean Water Program Director. Road salts are mainly comprised of sodium chloride, ferrocyanide (an anti-caking substance) and impurities like aluminum, cadmium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. All of these components are contaminants in water and exacerbate salinity levels. What risks do they pose? The sodium chloride, for instance, breaks down into sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl-) ions. Sodium in drinking water is unhealthy for individuals suffering from hypertension, or high blood pressure, which explains the EPA’s measure of monitoring sodium content in public water supplies. Meanwhile, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has issued warnings regarding road salt ingestion and dangers to paw health of pets. Paw exposure to road salt exposure begets irritation, inflammation and cracking that leads to infection. When road salt is licked off paws or eaten, pets can exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, depression, disorientation, cardiac abnormalities, seizures, coma and even premature death. As for wildlife impacts, once road salt enters a body of water, it is nearly impossible to remove. This adversely affects bird, amphibian, mammal, fish and aquatic plant populations. Road salt in the environment elevates both salinity stress and osmotic stress, which are associated with aberrant development, nutrient uptake degradation, toxicosis, weakened immune systems, low reproductive levels, population decline and mortality. When road salt damages vegetation, that creates losses in food resources, shelter and breeding sites. Similarly, road salt’s presence accelerates infrastructure corrosion and structural integrity. Streets, highways and bridges are all subject to damage as road salt impairs asphalt and creates potholes. The corrosion extends to vehicles, as repeated salt exposure increases rusting and damage to critical vehicle components, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA) . Even more worrisome, road salts damage water pipes, causing toxic metals, like lead or copper, to leach into drinking water. To promote awareness and best practices regarding the hazards of de-icing, the Izaak Walton League has been pushing for “smarter ways” of using road salt, especially with “alternative approaches that include brine or sand application.” For those interested in volunteering as a stream monitor with the League’s Winter Salt Watch program to help gauge water quality and road salt risks, a free chloride test kit can be ordered here . + Izaak Walton League of America Image via Eddie Welker

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Excessive road salt threatens public health and wildlife

ABB’s Rob Massoudi on the value of digital transformation

November 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

With digital transformation, corporations can leverage software technologies to create new business value. The senior vice president  of digital transformation at ABB, Rob Massoudi, reveals the value digital transformation brings to the energy sector and explain how an organization can strategize from a systems level to digitize their assets.

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ABB’s Rob Massoudi on the value of digital transformation

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