The State of the Plastic Bottle

January 26, 2022 by  
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In the 1954 movie “Sabrina,” Linus Larrabee declares that the future of business is plastics… The post The State of the Plastic Bottle appeared first on Earth911.

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The State of the Plastic Bottle

State of Green Business 2022

January 24, 2022 by  
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  The 15th annual “State of Green Business” report comes at an exciting and perilous time for companies, their stakeholders and the world in general. Business — and, indeed, humankind — is undergoing an epochal transition. Nearly everything must be reinvented if we are to equitably prosper into the future. If any institution on the planet has the resources and wherewithal to provide the human and financial firepower to get it done, it’s business. The good news is that companies are making great progress, with lots more on the way. But will it be too little, too late? Download the free State of Green Business 2022 report to explore the top sustainable business trends of 2022, as well as two new components of this year’s report: the state of green jobs and skills, developed in collaboration with LinkedIn, and the state of net zero, by S&P Global Sustainable.  

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State of Green Business 2022

Best states in America for owning an electric vehicle

December 30, 2021 by  
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Electric vehicles (EVs) are taking to the roads in record numbers. Car manufacturers drive huge sums into innovating better solutions for range and battery recyclability . States in America are working on infrastructure in anticipation of the changing dynamics on the highways. The federal government is working towards massive tax advantages for those who make the change to electric vehicles too. Bumper, an automotive site aimed at facilitating well-informed car sales and purchases, has put together a ranking of the financial and infrastructural aspects of owning an electric car in the U.S. Which state has the most readily-available charging stations? Where will you receive the largest kickback for your purchase of an electric vehicle? Related: Public art electric vehicle charging stations merge design and function The key takeaway is that Washington is the best overall state for owning an EV. Utah comes in at a close second, followed by Colorado, Massachusetts and California. The top 10 is rounded out, in order, with Maryland, Oregon, New York, Nevada and Hawaii . Alaska lacks infrastructure and ranks last.  There are many aspects to consider when evaluating the best places to own and operate an electric vehicle — from the initial purchase to the life of the vehicle. After all, it does require some special considerations in regards to range, benefits to the environment and the practical factors when it comes to charging availability and costs.  Financial incentives were rated with consideration for metrics, including rebates and tax incentives, recharging costs, the price of gas in the area, average travel distances and costs associated with an EV versus those of a gas-powered vehicle. Combining these factors, Washington and Illinois are the top states for financial incentives to own an EV. Utah, Colorado , Oregon and Maryland rank high as well. New Jersey, Hawaii, Ohio and Nevada round out the top ten with slightly lower financial advantages.  As for infrastructure, the research team looked at the number of charging stations that have been installed in the past four years and the number of charging stations per 100,000 populations. They also calculated number of EVSE ports per 100 charging stations as well as the number of EVSE ports per 100 EV vehicle registrations. EV registrations as a percentage of all motor vehicles in the state were the final consideration. In all, Vermont and California top the list for best electric vehicle infrastructure. Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also ranked high. Colorado, Utah, Georgia, New York and Nevada also offer strong infrastructure for EV owners.  Interestingly, California ranks high in several individual categories, yet came in fifth overall in the state rankings. This is likely because they came in 11th for incentives, at least those available at the time of the study. However, California ranked first in new EV registrations as a percentage of total registrations, so it’s clear the population is adopting the EV option. In fact 425,300 registered EVs in the state. That’s an impressive 41.73% of all registrations nationwide, giving California a dominant lead in getting EVs on the road.  In return, the state is responding effectively to this growth with the number one spot for charging station growth and a second-place ranking for overall EV infrastructure. It also ranks second for the number of charging stations to serve the population, as a measure of stations per 100,000k. The problem areas came to light through this research too, with California ranking 36th in the country when it comes to rebates plus tax incentives. Federal changes may also facilitate change at the state level in the near future. The state came in even lower for recharge costs. This is a reflection of the cost of electricity and plummets California into the 44th position.  The comprehensive report breaks down the data for each state, offering a detailing of the financial and infrastructural benefits and disadvantages in each area. It’s a snapshot of where the adoption of EVs is strong and where it’s barely made the radar . For example, by comparison to California, Alaska and Montana each registered 940 electric cars in 2020 and Mississippi logged 780 while North Dakota is late to the game with a paltry 220 new EVs on the road. Also on the lower end is South Dakota with 410 and West Virginia with 600.  Population has a big effect on the numbers when it comes to percentage of the total EV registrations across the nation. As mentioned, California registered a dominating 41.73%. The next closest was Florida with 5.71% and Texas with 5.12%. Washington breaks the mold with lower population from a smaller state, yet still coming to the table with 4.96% of national registrations. New York clocked 3.2%, New Jersey 2.98% and Arizona 2.82%. In addition to those mentioned on the lower end, Wyoming, Arkansas, Nebraska and Rhode Island rank in the bottom 10 states for new EV registrations.  Via Bumper Image via Nathaniel Blum

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Best states in America for owning an electric vehicle

What should you do with all your holiday trash?

December 27, 2021 by  
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The holiday season is filled with social events with family, friends and co-workers. All that celebrating is not only hard on the waistline, but the environment too. So after all that sipping candy cane cocktails, wrapping gifts and dipping strawberries in the chocolate fountain, be sure to reduce, reuse and recycle along the way.  Conscientious purchasing Waste begins with purchasing. If you’re in charge of the event, or have any influence in the matter, start by finding party supplies that are low waste. Rent plates and glassware or use the real stuff in your home instead of single-use disposables. When it comes to food and drink, buy containers made from glass or metal whenever possible. Better yet, make your own juices with a power or manual juicer. Watch for the copious plastic wrapped around food, gifts and decorations and refuse to buy items stuffed with plastic foam (Styrofoam).  Related: Need eco-friendly holiday gifts for friends? We’ve got you covered. Compost unwanted leftovers With good planning, you can achieve minimal food waste , but there will always be some to dispose of. While you’re scraping plates after the big meal or when you’re disposing of the seeds from your peppers and skins from your onions, remember the compost pile loves all plant-based scraps. You can also toss in undyed toilet and paper towel rolls and brown paper bags. Recycle where you can Recycling is a tricky industry. There are some materials that are widely accepted in nearly every market. For example, glass, cardboard and metal can commonly be recycled curbside or at a drop-off facility. Plastic is more location specific. However, most recycling services accept large jugs. Others may take smaller containers like those used for yogurt, salsa and sour cream. Again though, since only about 10% of plastic is actually recycled, your most eco-friendly choice is to make those foods from scratch and make every effort to avoid plastic at the purchasing level.  Holiday wrap and bows are another sticking point. Most paper-only wrap can be recycled while anything with glitter and other finishes cannot. To minimize waste, use classic wrapping paper and real ribbon you can reuse for years to come. Bonus points for relying on jute or other natural materials . At the end of your gift-unwrapping frenzy, sort the ribbons and bows from the tissue paper and wrapping paper. Crush all boxes and recycle them with paper. Identifying items that can be recycled in your area is only a portion of the task. The next step involves ensuring you recycle correctly. For example, all items, including food containers, should be clean and dry before going into the bin. Food remnants can actually pollute the entire recycling line, meaning that perfectly good cardboard and paper might have to be pulled out and thrown away if soiled. Similarly, keep small items out of the recycling. Although caps might be technically the right materials for recycling, they can jamb machines and cause big problems during processing so make sure they’re attached to the container rather than left loose.  Items that cannot be recycled curbside include lights , ribbons, electronics, bubble wrap and cellophane, along with wrapping paper, cards and gift bags that are any material other than basic paper.  Other Materials If plastic foam makes its way on scene, check your community for places that recycle it. You may have to pay a few dollars for the service.  If your strand lights are garbage, check for community collection events rather than throwing them into the trash can. These events are commonplace at home improvement stores.  Electronics can be donated to a local recycling center or mailed in to an e-waste recycler. Some large stores recycle household batteries. Check with Lowe’s if you have one in your area. Other batteries are often accepted at the recycling center, such as car batteries. Plastic film like that used for Ziploc storage bags, shopping bags and as the shrink wrap around toilet paper and paper towels can be collected and dropped at select locations. Get online to see which stores in your area provide the service. Also watch when you enter grocery stores as there is often a drop box near the entrance. If you live in a state with a beverage bottle, make sure you keep them separate from other debris. Provide an easy deposit spot for your guests and return them for recycling after the party. If your state is one that still hasn’t adopted this practice, write your state representative asserting the idea and then be sure to properly recycle each glass, aluminum and plastic container.  Make a donation pile If you don’t plan to save used holiday bags and unused wrapping paper, put it in the donation pile. Also include any items in good working condition that you replaced during the holiday season. This might be cookware, clothing, tools, electronics or bedding, for example. What about your tree? If you have a live tree this year, you can keep it in a pot and move it outside to plant in the spring. If you’ve cut a tree for the season, be sure to responsibly recycle it. Most city yard waste recycling companies offer pickup of most trees in the weeks following Christmas. This is an easy fix. All you have to do is remove all ornaments and lights and drag it to the curb on pickup day. Be sure to remove every strand of tinsel too. Trees larger than eight feet tall may need to be cut down in size. Avoid placing trees in plastic bags. Note that flocked trees cannot be recycled in this way and will end up in the landfill.  Lead image via Pexels

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What should you do with all your holiday trash?

California sues Walmart for allegedly dumping hazardous waste

December 23, 2021 by  
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The state of California , through its Attorney general, has filed a lawsuit accusing Walmart of allegedly illegally disposing of hazardous waste in landfills across the state. The  42-page document  directly implicates Walmart for dumping 160,000 pounds of hazardous waste each year over the past six years. Among the items that are said to be disposed of by the retailer include insect killer sprays, lithium batteries, aerosol cans and LED bulbs. The giant retailer stands accused of violating California’s environmental laws in its dumping of hazardous waste in landfills that are not equipped to handle such waste. Attorney General Rob Bonta and 12 other California district attorneys are working together over the allegations.  Related: Loophole allows 1M tons of sludge to be dumped on Great Barrier Reef “Walmart’s own audits found that the company is dumping hazardous waste at local landfills at a rate of more than one million items each year. From there, these products may seep into the state’s drinking water as toxic pollutants or into the air as dangerous gases,” Bonta said in a  statement . In defense, Walmart’s spokesperson said the company will defend itself and said the lawsuit is “unjustified,” according to NPR. “We have met with the state numerous times and walked them through our industry-leading hazardous waste compliance programs in an effort to avoid litigation. Instead, they filed this unjustified lawsuit ,” Walmart Spokesperson Randy Hargrove said. “The state is demanding a level of compliance regarding waste disposal from our stores of common household products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law.” This is not the first time that the retail finds itself in hot soup over waste disposal misconduct. In 2010, the company reached a $25 million settlement agreement with California’s Office of the Attorney General for the illegal disposal of dangerous waste . According to the Attorney General’s office, investigations have proven that the illegal waste dumping has continued since then. “ Walmart is a responsible corporate citizen in California and everywhere we operate. We take our obligation to protect the environment seriously and have industry-leading processes in place to comply with local, state, and federal environmental laws,” Hargrove said. Via NPR and CNN Lead image via Unsplash

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California sues Walmart for allegedly dumping hazardous waste

Reno reveals its carbon footprint to the world

December 15, 2021 by  
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Starting this week, the whole world can see Reno’s  carbon footprint . The Nevada city launched a public portal that measures emission, energy and utility info.  The new portal is a partnership between Reno and the 24/7 carbon-tracking platform  Ledger8760 . Now both policymakers and the general public will be able to find out exactly how much carbon Reno’s  buildings , vehicle fleet, meters and public utilities are emitting. Related: Renewables can power the world, according to new study “By making our emissions data public, we are setting a new standard for transparency, as we work to reach our sustainability goals,”  Reno  Mayor Hillary Schieve said in a statement. “We look forward to the invaluable insights we will gain through this partnership to inform action plans that will make a real impact in 2022.” Reno officials hope that by tracking emissions 24/7, they can better understand energy usage patterns according to time of day and season. This intel should help them make better energy decisions. Already the data has indicated that it’s more energy efficient to charge the city’s  electric vehicles  during the day rather than at night. “Our city-wide sustainability goal in Reno, aligned with the state of Nevada, is to reduce our annual greenhouse gas  emissions  by 28% from 2008 levels by 2025, and with that date fast approaching, the accuracy of the data provided by Ledger8760 puts us in a position to better understand how to achieve broader goals,” said Suzanne Groneman, sustainability program manager at the Reno City Manager’s Office, in a statement. “We have a responsibility to our citizens and now we are able to ensure we are making the right investments and decisions with those funds to make for a more sustainable Reno that can be enjoyed by all.” Washoe County and the state of  Nevada  will launch similar public energy dashboards in the near future, also in partnership with Ledger8760. Senate Bill 358, recently passed by the Nevada state legislature, requires electricity providers to use renewable energy to meet at least half of customer needs by 2030. By 2050, that requirement soars to 100%. Via City of Reno Images via Ledger8760 / Reno Public Portal

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Reno reveals its carbon footprint to the world

Climate change may drive up Christmas tree prices this year

December 9, 2021 by  
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Thanks to climate change, you will have to dig much deeper in your pocket to buy a real Christmas tree this year. Christmas tree prices have gone up by 10-15% since last year, according to Jeri Seifert, president of the California Christmas Tree Association. The trouble started due to the wildfires and heatwaves earlier this year. Christmas tree farmers in Oregon and California took the hardest hit from the disasters. With Oregon farmers being the largest producer of Christmas trees in the U.S., their predicament has affected the entire country. Usually, the state produces about 40% of Christmas trees bought in the U.S. However, their production this year is much lower due to the heat and fires. Related: London tree rental service solves a Christmas quandary “I had 30% mortality, but every single seedling is damaged without question,” said Tom Norby, a Christmas tree farmer in Oregon. Norby, who is also the president of the Oregon Christmas Tree Growers Association, says that farmers across the state have experienced similar issues. “There are literally fields with hundreds of acres of dead seedlings. Just 100% mortality across the entire field. If you produce a million trees a year, you don’t have time to deal with that,” Norby added. In Oregon, the main killer for the trees was the June heatwave . According to Norby, the trees were largely spared from wildfires, but the heatwave killed most of the young seedlings. “The heat dome came at the absolute worst time. It came when those new seedlings were trying to take root on that fresh soil and push out new shoots, and they just couldn’t compete with that heat,” said Norby. The resulting tree scarcity is driving up this year’s Christmas tree prices. Despite this, California farmers are optimistic to get back on track next year. For Oregon farmers, the supply might be affected for the next decade. Christmas trees take over six years to mature to a harvesting height. If a farm is destroyed, it takes a lot of time to repair the damage. If the trees are exposed to too much heat and not enough moisture, they may suffer sunburns that destroy the tree entirely. “When you lose a plantation, there’s a huge process that goes into regrowing those trees, so it takes many years to recoup,” says Seifert. Via CNN Lead image via Pexels

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Climate change may drive up Christmas tree prices this year

California needs to face the climate and health cost of pesticides

December 2, 2021 by  
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For too long the state has allowed undue regulatory influence by pesticide companies.

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A billion-dollar solar investment is coming to Texas

November 17, 2021 by  
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Chem-Energy has announced a planned investment of $1 billion in a solar and battery plant project. Development will take place in Central Texas starting spring 2022. The petroleum products giant is among the many firms in the industry seeking to diversify as the world phases out fossil fuels. The firm will set up two facilities with a capacity to generate 400 MW/800 MWh of battery storage. Another facility with 600 MW of solar power will be built in Caldwell County, Texas . The first of the facilities will be built on 3,511 acres of land in Uhland, Texas, and start generating power in 2023. Exact dates have not been provided. Related: Renewables can power the world, according to new study The facilities will help generate clean energy and provide stability to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the general Texas grid. Robert Hayward, COO of Chem-Energy Corporation, said that the facilities are strategically located to serve the state. “Caldwell County is the perfect strategic choice for our flagship operations in Texas,” said Hayward. “With available land in a growing region, close proximity to Texas State University and a robust workforce pipeline, the Texas Innovation Corridor provides an ideal environment for our organization’s growth.” Construction is expected to offer employment opportunities for locals. According to the company, 400 permanent jobs will be created in the first year of operation. Officials have not given figures concerning temporary and indirect jobs. The project will also be home to America’s first standardized solar PV and battery storage training facility. Engineering firm Mortenson Construction will help realize these plans. For power storage, KORE Power will help provide high-density NMC batteries . Maintenance and back-office administration services will be handled by Invenergy Services. As Brad Heitland, business development executive for Mortenson Construction, said, “Chem-Energy’s innovative approach to solar energy will result in a facility design unlike anything seen before in the industry. Solar projects tend to be larger and more complex than other energy generators . I firmly believe that we will be setting a new standard for energy production both in the Texas Innovation Corridor and throughout the state.” Via Renewable Energy World Lead image via Pixabay

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A billion-dollar solar investment is coming to Texas

Clean trucks rules are good for New Jersey

October 26, 2021 by  
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Failure to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks rule by the end of 2021 will lead to thousands of new diesel vehicles entering the state’s roads over the next five years.

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