Category Archives: Green Technology

The Metropolitan Council approves a $2M grant to fund a landmark, transit-oriented development in the heart of St. Louis Park, Minnesota

St. Louis Park, MN, December 11, 2015 — /EPR ENVIRONMENT NEWS/ — On December 9, 2015 and after overwhelming enthusiasm and support from a rigorous application and vetting process, the Metropolitan Council approved funding for PLACE’s St. Louis Park Community. The Council approved 2 million dollars in funding from its Livable Communities Account for a Transit-Oriented Development (LCA-TOD) grant after the proposed project demonstrated a breakthrough approach to meeting housing and economic development needs in the Twin Cities. The funds will be used to help secure site acquisition at the former McGarvey Coffee property, pioneer alternative energy sources, and integrate stormwater improvement with infrastructure like green roofs and an urban forest.

A nonprofit called PLACE (Projects Linking Art, Community, and Environment) heads up the community endeavor in concert with the City of St. Louis Park, fellow eco-minded and socially conscious companies like Allianz Life, Stantec, Shaw-Lundquist, Lindquist & Vennum, MSR, LIFT, and Rachel Contracting that have invested in the project, other private partners, and public collaborators like Hennepin County. The community will elevate affordable living, design, and artistic culture in the city and will be located near the expected Green Line extension (Southwest Light Rail) Wooddale Station. The development’s potential positive impact is staggering, with healthy homes for 300 households across the income spectrum supported by a mobility hub, urban agriculture, live and work spaces, a hotel, and a renewable energy generation system that consumes food waste created by its inhabitants and surrounding neighbors.

Chris Velasco, PLACE’s Executive Director, observed, “I think this project will be of national significance for communities that want to effectively leverage their scarce resources.”

Ryan Kelley, City of St. Louis Park Planner, says, “The City of St. Louis Park is extremely proud to be the co-recipient with PLACE of the Met Council’s largest transit oriented development grant for a new sustainable community of regional significance.”

“PLACE is an excellent project, for the city and the region. Turning vacant, unused property into a community space with alternative energy features, that is connected to other uses, like transit, is just the kind of investment the Council wants to make toward a livable communities and a prosperous region” – Erin Heelan, TOD Grants Coordinator, Metropolitan Council Livable Communities.

Executive Director Velasco thanks the Metropolitan Council for its confidence and support on behalf of the entire team and the residents of St. Louis Park.

MEDIA CONTACT

Peter Sieve (612) 326-0409 pete@welcometoplace.org
Elizabeth Bowling (612) 326-0399 elizabeth@welcometoplace.org

www.welcometoplace.org

 

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Renewable Home Energy.org Educates and Connects

Renewable energy – if you haven’t noticed, it’s the buzz around the world. We are using an alarming amount of fossil fuels every day; fossil fuels that won’t last forever. Some experts say we will be known as the generation that destroys the earth unless we change our energy behavior now.

“Renewable Energy makes sense from both a financial and a green responsibility” says Todd Sachs, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of www.renewablehomeenergy.org.

“We are committed in educating consumers on how to turn their homes into Renewable Energy Homes. We help by connecting consumers with qualified installers throughout the United States so they can save money on their fast rising energy bills, create more value in their home investment, and join together in reducing dependency on fossil fuels; together reducing the carbon footprint.” Sachs says.

A recent press release from the whitehouse.gov states the following:
“President Obama is committed to an “all-of-the-above” approach that develops all American energy sources in a safe and responsible way and builds a clean and secure energy future. That’s why the President’s plan:

Challenges Americans to double renewable electricity generation again by 2020. In order to double generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources by 2020, relative to 2012 levels, the President called on Congress to make the renewable energy Production Tax Credit permanent and refundable, which will provide incentive and certainty for investments in new clean energy. Instead of continuing century-old subsidies to oil companies, the President believes that we need to invest in the energy of the future. During the President’s first term, clean energy tax incentives attracted billions of dollars in private investment in almost 50,000 clean energy projects, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Permanent extension keeps the momentum building, while creating new jobs in clean energy.”

Once Americans realize just how possible it is to remove their home from the grid completely and/or partially, many will turn to clean energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal for home energy systems. Renewable Home Energy (www.renewablehomeenergy.org) just launched last week and is serving-up a great way to connect homeowners with qualified renewable energy installers throughout the entire United States.

Renewable Home Energy is committed to working with local governments, manufactures and installers to help develop affordable ways for consumers to save money with Renewable Energy to remove them from the grid and reduce the carbon footprint by reducing the usage of the finite fossil fuels.

The process is easy. Just click on www.renewablehomeenergy.org and learn about Renewable Energy for your home. You can also complete a form to connect with a Renewable Energy Installer. You will be contacted by qualified installers in your immediate area. They will review your current energy consumption and suggest the best Renewable Energy alternatives for your home.

There are great tax incentives for you to install renewable energy in your home, and great finance options with 4% or less interest rates for up to 10 year terms for qualified buyers.

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Compostory.org Launches IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Campaign to Develop Digital Learning Platform

Educating local government officials on the benefits of recycling their cities’ organic waste is about to become a whole lot easier, thanks to the digital age. Compostory.org, a brand-new media company with operations in Malmö, Sweden and San Francisco, California, just launched its maiden 35-day crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com.

Compostory.org is dedicated to packaging an unprecedented online learning platform for local governments in effort to bring officials up to speed on organic waste management practices. The team is driven by Camille W. Duran, a recognized media expert specializing in building digital platforms for the knowledge industry.

“As of today, it’s not easy enough for influencers from around the world to get basic education on organic waste management” according to Duran. “The difficulty of the early-stage research is a real barrier to action. We want to build a platform showcasing industry knowledge and great stories, to equip participants with a vision and a thorough understanding of the topic.”

Compostory.org is currently leveraging different funding avenues. The IndieGoGo.com 17k goal will directly finance the production of a first course, featuring seven to twelve minute documentary-style videos with whiteboard animated lessons designed by industry experts. The open course, comprised of several modules, will be accessible on-demand from an online course catalog for free. The first course will be initially distributed to 200 local governments in the US and Europe and aims at encouraging officials to start effectively managing and profiting from their city’s organic waste stream.

Access to best practice guidelines, expert opinions, cutting-edge research and most importantly, success stories in neighboring cities, packaged in one online platform, can ultimately pave way for a domino effect. “It’s very exciting to see the impact that online education is having on other industries” says Camille, “and it’s time for the recycling industry to truly profit from it as well.”

Compostory.org aims to become a premium digital platform for knowledge sharing in the field.

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Indianapolis To Be Site Of Premier Green Building And Sustainability Conference In May 2012

The Indiana Chapter of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) is host for the 9th annual ‘Greening the Heartland’ Regional Conference (GTH2012) at the Indianapolis Convention Center from May 16th to 18th of this year. Over 1200 attendees from the 12 state Heartland Region are expected. Building industry professionals, business community leaders, nonprofit organizations, educators and students will be arriving in Indianapolis to collaborate on green building and sustainable growth. With a comprehensive format including keynote and break out education sessions, a large exhibit hall, along with various networking events, the 3 day program is anticipated to be one of the largest assemblies of green-minded professionals and citizens ever held in Indiana.

This year’s theme for GTH2012 Building Community is intended to emphasize the diversity of people, businesses, and municipalities coming together to share vision and solutions for sustainable Heartland communities in which to work, play, learn and live. The GTH2012 programming focus specifically explores the interdependent elements of true community sustainability as characterized by the conference tagline: watts, water, waste and wheels. “Whereas green building projects are ideal components of sustainable community design, their ultimate advantage relies on addressing critical pathways and infrastructure for clean energy, clean water, a sustainable means of arrival, and the efficient use of material resources while minimizing waste. GTH2012 attendees will gain a greater understanding of these concepts and similar environmental and economic trends of the maturing 21st century” said Mac Williams, Conference Co-Chair and Indiana Chapter Board member. The theme reflects bringing people together to share visions and solutions for sustainable communities in which we work, play, learn and live.

The conference brings nationally renowned keynote speakers Charles Fishman, journalist and author of ‘The Big Thirst’ and Jeremy Rifkin, economist/futurist and author of ‘The Third Industrial Revolution’. A final keynote presentation will feature the new Wishard/Eskenazi Health hospital project in Indianapolis now pursuing LEED® Silver certification making it one of the greenest hospital facilities in the nation. Multi track educational sessions featuring more than forty additional speakers offer continuing education units for interested professionals. USGBC Indiana is especially excited to hold this conference in downtown Indianapolis following the urban success story of SB2012. Plans are underway to feature some of the greening efforts of that event including the design of the SB Village and legacy projects. In addition, tour access and information will be presented on key LEED® certified buildings within Indianapolis. For more information, visit www.greeningtheheartland.org or email at info@greeningtheheartland.org.

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How One Dollar Lights Up Africa

In the beginning there was light for all – and a little later there was electric light for, well, only some of us: 1.5 billion people still live in darkness. Dutch startup Off-Grid Solutions makes an end to developing countries’ killing kerosene dependency. They want their high-tech, low-cost WakaWaka solar LED lamp to light up Africa ‘like a Christmas tree’.

Via Kickstarter.com, the general public is now enthusiastically pre-ordering WakaWaka´s for 35 dollars each. The minimal support to contribute to their mission is one dollar. Thanks to this innovative way of crowdfunding, WakaWaka grows at the speed of light .And with it, the dream of providing all Africans with a sustainable light solution becomes more real by the minute.

1.5 billion people live off-grid. They depend on kerosene fuel for their basic lighting needs. Annually millions of children suffer severe burns from accidents with kerosene lamps. The toxic fumes cause even more health problems. World Bank reports that each day 780 million women and children inhale the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes as a result of indoor air pollution.

Fuels for lighting take up to 20% of income of people who try to survive on less than $2 a day. This way, the poor stay poor. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: WakaWaka solar LED light.

The WakaWaka (‘Shine Bright’ in Swahili) solar lamp uses the latest in patented solar technology developed by Intivation, allowing for superior charging in any weather conditions.

Each day of free solar charging gives 16 hours of decent reading light. It has different light intensities and fits on a bottle, stimulating recycling and opening up opportunities for joint promotions. Innovative distribution methods will reach even the most remote rural areas. Various accessories (cell phone chargers, radios, etc.) are already in development, which will further enhance livelihood and help people get out of poverty.

Co-founder Camille van Gestel: ‘I genuinely believe that if you can make a difference, you must. I have never done anything with so much passion. The support and inquiries we are receiving for WakaWaka from all over the world are as stimulating as they are heartwarming. We are doing the right thing.’

Let’s hope this new bright light spreads fast, for all and everybody. LED there be light.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/229055906/wakawaka-is-the-coolest-solar-led-light

http://www.wakawakalight.com

************************************************************************

About Off-Grid Solutions
Founded in 2011 by 4 partners: sustainable entrepreneur, inspirator and guru Maurits Groen, hands-on change maker and entrepreneur Camille van Gestel, carbon emissions consultants Do-Inc, experts emerging markets and finally Paul Naastepad seasoned executive in clean tech industry.

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New Generation Of Philips Ledino LED Lamps Brings Sustainable, Warm White Lighting To Your Home

LED (light emitting diode) lighting also known as SSL (solid state lighting) continues to evolve and Philips second generation of Ledino luminaires brings the latest high-power LED technology and elegant design to accent your style at home while at the same time reducing energy cost and supporting the environment.

Clear, warm white light can be dimmed at the touch of a button to change the mood of your space. A selection of the range even has the ability to be tuned from clear light to warm, when installed, allowing customers to adapt their lighting solution to their own needs.

“People at home have their own style, reflected in their interior. With the beautiful, stylish Ledino range we are helping customers create a beautiful light effect matching their style and home environment.”, said Allard Bijlsma, CEO Philips Consumer Luminaires.

Thanks to advanced LED technology the Ledino range uses up to 80% less energy than traditional lighting with an operational lifespan of up to 20 years. That makes Ledino good for the environment as well as your wallet. Another benefit of LED technology is instant start-up with full light output. Given that LED lamps contain no hazardous materials such as mercury, and do not generate UV or IR rays, this make them the ideal sustainable lighting solution too.

“The new Ledino range builds further on its innovation legacy through combining elegant minimalist design with a state-of-the-art LEDs by Lumileds that can reach a colour temperature of 2700 Kelvin. This major enhancement in Ledino LED lamps provide a warmer light with light yellow tint effect to create a more homely cosy atmosphere.” asserts Peter English, Managing Director, LEDVISTA.

LEDVISTA is proud to provide the current full ranges of both Ledino Indoor and Ledino Outdoor luminaires. Visit the LEDVISTA On-line LED Lighting Shop to learn more and get access to compelling price discount.

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Corporate Social Responsibility TV Channel In Hong Kong Needs Your Video

Corporate Social Responsibility TV Channel is an ipTV newly setup in Hong Kong for promoting CSR, green policies and charity organizations activities. TV is seen on TV box in Hong Kong, www.carehk.tv has some basic info.

Corporate Social Responsibility TV Channel In Hong Kong Needs Your Video

www.carehk.tv is the Web TV and also seen on iPhones and Smartphone with flash player capability.

We need your help to provide some good CSR video, Green video and Charity organizations videos. This is free for charity organizations but some charge for corporations.

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Local Quoter Commit To A Brighter Future With Solar Panels

Large online quote comparison site Local Quoter have pledged their commitment to the future of a green Britain by offering its customers free quotes on solar panels for the home. Customers simply type in their requirements to receive free quick solar panel quotes from three local companies offering solar panel installation at low prices.

Local Quoter Commit To A Brighter Future With Solar Panels

“We know that people often dismiss green measures as too expensive before they’ve looked into it and that’s why we’ve introduced the quick quote for solar panels, to enable people to make that informed decision about solar energy”, said Les Yates of Local Quoter.

“We already offer our loyal customers the lowest quotes for things like double glazing and other home improvements and this was the next natural step towards creating energy efficient homes”.

Solar energy is an environmentally friendly way of harnessing the sun’s power to heat water and homes and with global warming, climate change and high electricity and gas bills at the forefront of people’s minds, solar power is one way of addressing all these things in one step. Installing solar panels can give you half of all your hot water for free over the course of 12 months, saving you huge amounts of money and reducing your carbon footprint.

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US Firm Experiences Spike In Demand For Green Building Materials

Florida-based home improvement quote website Local Quoter America has announced a spike in the level of demand for environmentally friendly building materials since the start of 2010.

The company, which has its head office in Miami, said more and more households are looking to use ‘green’ building materials such as vinyl siding in their home improvement projects, in an effort to minimize the effect of their properties on the environment.

One of the strongest themes to come out of last month’s 2010 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, was the increasing desire to build sustainable homes in America. The proof that more emphasis is being placed on eco-friendly products such as siding, can be found by looking at recent trends witnessed by Local Quoter.

Les Yates is head of the online price comparison website www.localquoter.net/us which searches for home improvement quotes from a database containing thousands of building companies across America.

He said: “So far during 2010, over 50 per cent of all the enquiries we have received through the website have been related to siding quotes. I think it really shows how important the use of environmentally friendly materials is to homeowners, as well as a strong indication of the way the building industry is going.”

Siding has always been a popular product in America as an exterior cladding for houses, but increasing knowledge about climate change issues and the importance of using sustainable building materials has boosted awareness considerably. Like other sustainable products, the vinyl siding manufacturing process is very efficient, with little waste produced. The product is also virtually maintenance free and only needs periodic cleaning with soap and water much like the materials used in the frames for replacement windows.

Calli Schmidt, director of environmental communications at the Washington-based National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), backed up the recent trend seen by Local Quoter America. She said the organisation is also expecting to see increased demand for green materials, although “it is not a landslide yet”, with the state of the credit market holding back building projects whether they have green credentials or not.

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npower Boiler Scrappage Scheme Gets Off To A Flying Start

npower hometeam has revealed that it has seen a six-fold increase in customers enquiring about replacement or new boilers since the announcement of the Government’s boiler scrappage scheme.

npower Boiler Scrappage Scheme Gets Off To A Flying Start

Six times more appointments were booked through npower hometeam on the first day of
the Government scheme, compared to the previous day. The company, which installs, services and repairs boilers, has drafted in extra staff to meet the demand while existing staff are working overtime.

In December npower became the first energy supplier to launch its own boiler boiler scrappage scheme, but with the Government announcement consumers could now be eligible to receive as much as £800 towards the cost of a new gas boiler installation as well as saving nearly £235 off an annual gas bill*, when replacing one that is G rated. This week has seen some of its competitors follow npower’s example.

npower has also announced that it will honour the full £800 scrappage discount for customers who, due to the cold weather, need to have their broken down ‘G rated’ boiler replaced before the end of January, subject to availability. This is to help customers who may need a new boiler before the government vouchers are available (January 18th at the earliest).

Kevin Miles, CEO npower retail, said: “As we enter the coldest winter for 30 years, we are finding that the boiler scrappage scheme is really striking a chord with our customers. With the HHIC estimating the average cost of a boiler installation to be around £2,500, £800 is a significant discount.

“We are encouraging any interested parties to act quickly to benefit from the scheme, as the Government has a finite pot of money which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.”

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Scrappage Scheme For Windows Earns Wide Industry Backing

Boiler replacement grant scheme up and running – campaigners hope plan to encourage installation of latest, energy-efficient double glazing will be next.

Scrappage Scheme For Windows Earns Wide Industry Backing

More than 3,450 people have signed a petition calling on the government to introduce a double glazing scrappage scheme, just as the first applications are coming in from householders looking to take advantage of a similar incentive to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes.

The government’s boiler scrappage scheme was launched in early January, promising to save up to 125,000 eligible households £400 on the cost of replacing an old boiler with a more modern, fuel-efficient equivalent.

Now, support is growing for a similar scheme for double glazed windows, with a petition on the 10 Downing Street website attracting 3,450 signatures, as at Monday January 11.

And home improvement price comparison website LocalQuoter has backed this idea, believing that it will encourage window installers and manufacturers to step up to the challenge of addressing the environmental impacts of their work.

“We fully support any scheme which will help people reduce their CO2 emissions,” said LocalQuoter boss Les Yates, “and we’re sure our customers will too.

“We’ve already shown them the benefits of using local, suitably qualified and experienced tradespeople, and we welcome any moves to encourage our trusted industry partners to show a commitment to cutting the environmental impact of their work.

“Having state-of-the-art windows and doors installed is proven to help achieve substantial reductions in CO2, and can play a major part in helping the UK achieve the drastic emissions cuts which we are looking to achieve over the next decade,” he added.

The government has committed to cutting the amount of greenhouse gases, of which CO2, or carbon dioxide is the most common, by 70 per cent in the UK by the year 2020.

Installing modern windows can help maximise savings on energy bills over many years, according to Nigel Rees, Chief Executive of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF), the umbrella body representing double glazing manufacturers and installers.

“Energy Efficient Windows (EEWs) have a huge role to play in improving the thermal performance of the existing housing stock,”, said Nigel Rees. “EEWs can reduce emissions by 10% from dwellings nationally and reduce national domestic energy expenditure by 10%. “

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npower Welcomes Start Of Boiler Scrappage Scheme

npower has welcomed the start of the Government’s home boiler scrappage scheme, and has pledged to continue its own, potentially doubling the savings offered to customers who choose to replace their boiler.

npower Welcomes Start Of Boiler Scrappage Scheme

In December 2009 npower became the first energy supplier to launch its own boiler scrappage scheme. The combination of the two scrappage schemes means consumers could be eligible to receive as much as £800 towards the cost of a new boiler, when replacing one that is over 10 years old (G rated).

Kevin Miles, CEO of npower retail, said: “It’s vital we play our part in supporting this Government initiative. Customers can now enjoy £800 off the cost of a new boiler as well as saving nearly£235 off an annual gas bill, compared to a G Rated boiler*. We are delighted to welcome some of our competitors who have followed npower’s example and pledged to match the Government’s scheme.”

As well as its boiler scrappage scheme, npower hometeam npower hometeam installs, services and repairs boilers, in addition to offering a wide variety of heating cover options. npower hometeam provides a thorough, 30 point gas boiler service and safety check. hometeam also offers boiler repair with a choice of two ways to pay: fixed price repair, which ensures no extra charge for call out, parts or labour, and also comprises a no fix, no fee guarantee, and pay as you go repair, which covers call out and the first half hour of labour, with all work guaranteed for 12 months. npower hometeam is also offering a variety of heating cover options in conjunction with homeserve, including gas central heating breakdown cover, gas boiler breakdown cover, electrical heating breakdown cover, landlord’s gas central heating cover, home emergency cover, electrical emergency and breakdown cover, and gas supply pipe cover.

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Reducing Diesel Soot is Faster And Cheaper Than Reducing CO2 in Effort to Slow Global Warming

In his new book, Addicted to Energy, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Elton Sherwin claims that reducing diesel soot is key to affordably protecting the planet from rapid warming.

Drawing on research from UC Berkeley, Stanford and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography , Sherwin says that reducing diesel soot is faster and cheaper than reducing CO 2 . “We still need to dramatically reduce CO 2 , but eliminating diesel soot is a quick, affordable way to lessen the likelihood of crossing a major climate threshold or tipping point.”

Some models show California ‘s Central Valley getting 10 degrees hotter this century. “We in California should be very motivated to get this right, to lead the world in developing strategies to reduce diesel soot. This is primarily a financing issue, not a technology issue. The technology exists to do this.”

Stacy Jackson in her work at UC Berkeley has shown that primary active ingredient in diesel soot, black carbon, will have a significantly greater impact on the world’s climate than CO 2 in the short term.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, one of the world’s leading climate scientists at Scripps Institute for Oceanography in a recent article in Foreign Affairs , says that existing emissions-control technologies could “be enough to offset the warming effects of one to two decades’ worth of carbon dioxide emissions.”**

In his book Sherwin suggests including diesel soot in California ‘s cap and trade system. “ California ‘s oil companies paid to retrofit dry cleaners in southern California to offset their emissions. If diesel soot were included in a cap and trade system, California ‘s largest polluters would immediately buy soot filters for the trucking industry, because this is such an inexpensive way to reduce emissions.”

About Elton Sherwin:
Elton Sherwin is a venture capitalist and the Senior Managing Director at Ridgewood Capital, where he invests in private energy-tech and clean-tech companies. He holds eight patents and sits on the boards of several clean-tech companies. His widely acclaimed first book, The Silicon Valley Way, was translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Korean. Published in 1998, it continues to be used by entrepreneurs and universities around the world.

About Addicted to Energy:
Addicted to Energy is written as a guidebook to a fictional governor, with advice on how to manage both the climate and energy crises. The book devotees thirty pages to California’s AB 32 legislation. The book contains many charts and graphs, as well as practical tips for homeowners, businesses, and local governments.

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Algae Collection Technology, LLC Moves a Major Step Closer to Estuary Clean-up and Alternative Energy

Algae Collection Technology, LLC (ACT) conducted a macro algae harvesting demonstration for Florida permitting officials, in the Indian River Lagoon, just east of downtown Melbourne. The successful demonstration was a major step towards securing harvesting permits that will allow the company to remove excess harmful algae f r o m estuaries, and then work with their partners to convert the algae into commercially beneficial products such as alternative energy sources.

Algae Collection Technology, LLC Moves a Major Step Closer to Estuary Clean-up and Alternative Energy

ACT’s goal with the demonstration was to show that the environmental impact appeared negligible so a permit could be issued to do a research pilot program. The research f r o m the pilot will measure the amount of harmful nutrients removed f r o m the estuary when excess algae is removed, the impact and volume of any by-catch, the improvement of water quality by avoiding anoxic conditions created by decomposing algae, the impact on sea grasses and juvenile species, and the potential improvement in water clarity/quality. It will also allow ACT’s partners to explore the yield f r o m commercial uses of the product. For example, Global Renewable Energy Resources (GRES) intends to conduct extensive research on the algae harvested in the pilot period to determine if newly invented enzymes can break down the algae into a high yield energy source.

In attendance at the demonstration were representatives f r o m the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the St. John’s River Water Management District, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Department, and Brevard County. Viewers saw the exact harvesting equipment that will be used during the research pilot, and were briefed by Clark Giangarra, the President of ACT on how the equipment was designed, and the objectives of the harvesting. As Mr. Giangarra indicated, removing the algae has“two major ecological values. First, the algae acts like a sponge for run-off nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen (fertilizers). When you remove algae, it takes the nutrients with it and keeps the estuary f r o m simply adding more and more nutrients to the system. Second, this algae grows into huge deposits that are often several feet thick. If they are not removed, those algae deposits die and create anoxic conditions where all surrounding sea life dies.” Mr. Giangarra went on to say that the cleanup process that removes the algae can be expensive, but interest f r o m potential partners such as GRES has convinced him that the commercial value of the product will ensure that the estuary cleanup is financed by those participating partners at no governmental expense.

The two hour demonstration featured ACT’s harvesting and wash-down system as algae was collected. The harvesting equipment is a simple hand-operated collection device that skims over the bottom. The wash-down system was designed to return by-catch to the estuary, thereby minimizing by-catch impact. As the harvesting was conducted, representatives f r o m Fish and Wildlife and DEP actually sifted through the algae noting and counting any species. In addition, divers f r o m DEP followed the harvesting equipment to observe and note any potential impact on the estuary bottom.

At the conclusion of the demonstration, an out-briefing was conducted to voice any concerns and observations, and to clarify the objectives and processes of the pilot research project. In the end, all parties had a clear understanding, and the permitting authorities agreed to allow ACT to move forward with the application for the research pilot permitting process.

“This was a huge step forward, because if we were not able to convince all parties that we apparently had minimal ecological impact, and that the pilot research project will provide extensive documentation, then they wouldn’t have even let us proceed with a permit application” said Clark Giangarra. Today, we are closer than ever to cleaning up a harmful nuisance and creating alternative renewable energy than ever before thanks to the Florida permitting officials.

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npower Helps Provide Solar Panels For Two Stockton-On-Tees Schools

npower has helped Bader Primary School and Ingleby Mill Primary School in Stockton-on-Tees to feel the warmth of the sun and lower energy bills this year thanks to its grant of £46,500 and the support of the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

Bader Primary School, is home to 267 children aged between 4-11 years old and since being built in 1971 has not seen many modifications. npower has provided £10,000 of funding for a Photovoltaic (PV) system and display panel, heating control upgrade and pipe work insulation.

Ingleby Mill Primary School is a modern school with 658 pupils, npower has pledged£7,000 to the school to implement a photovoltaic (PV) system with display unit. The remaining £25,000 will fund other PV systems in local primary schools next year.

Stuart Marrow from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, “We have been working with npower for over a year and are seeing some really exciting projects taking off. The Solar panels at Bader and Ingleby Mill Primary Schools will go a long way to reducing Carbon Dioxide production and cutting energy costs as well as raising pupil awareness of the potential of renewable energy.”

npowers Climate Cops programme runs green-themed activities for schools right across the UK – and pupils from both Bader Primary School and Ingleby Mill Primary School have already taken part in a ‘Climate Cops Academy’ – a highly interactive day about saving energy and the planet. npower undertook an energy audit in 2008, which showed that both schools were energy efficient and would benefit from alternative methods of energy production. Both schools were prime candidates to benefit from one of npower’s Climate Cops grants.

Clare McDougall, head of the Climate Cops programme, commented, “Both schools in Stockton-on-Tees enjoyed the Climate Cops Academy day and were already very good on energy efficiency. We have worked with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to look at other green energy measures, the PV systems will generate a substantial amount of hot water and electricity, making both schools amongst the greenest in the area.”

npower’s Climate Cops programme has committed £500,000 in energy efficiency measures for schools, 15 projects have been completed so far and – if all the measures are implemented – the participating schools would annually save a total of around £100,000 and 650 tonnes of CO2.

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npower Funds National Trust Community Led Project

An npower funded project will see two historic villages owned by the National Trust attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and energy bills as part of a community led programme. The initiative, which is similar to the government’s Low Carbon Community Challenge, will show how major energy efficiency improvements are achievable in homes of any age – not just modern buildings – with savings possible from the biggest mansion to the average family house.

The low carbon village pilot – supported by £600,000 funding from the National Trust’s energy partner npower – is being trialled at the National Trust owned villages of Coleshill in Oxfordshire and the Wallington Estate in Northumberland. As well as funding the project, npower is also giving advice on effective energy saving tips for tenants of the properties.

The project involves 62 houses at Coleshill and 73 cottages and 14 farms at Wallington, with properties dating from the 1850s and 1750s respectively. Through community engagement, each village will decide what measures to take to reduce their carbon footprints with the added incentive of making savings to their energy bills.

Residents at Coleshill wanted to find out their current energy consumption and carbon emissions as a starting point so that any success could be measured. On assessment, the average carbon footprint for homes and appliances was 7.57 tonnes of CO2 each year, slightly higher than the national average of 6.15 tonnes.

At Wallington, the community’s overall carbon footprint for heating and electricity was 879 tonnes of CO2, equating to 9.5 tonnes of CO2 per property per year. The reason for this higher emission level is because, like a third of all rural areas in the UK, Wallington is off the gas network. The village therefore has to rely on carbon-intensive oil and electricity for heating which pushes up carbon levels as well as the bills.

Celia Robbins, the National Trust’s project manager at Wallington, said: “By introducing our energy efficiency measures and helping people understand their energy use we hope to make a real difference to both people’s pockets and to the environment.

“Installing sheep’s wool loft insulation and improving the efficiency of off-grid electricity generation will reduce Wallington’s carbon footprint by more than 10%

“On advice from npower’s energy advisor, we are also encouraging residents to monitor their electricity with a Smart Meter which shows how much any appliance uses every six seconds. Using the display can be quite a revelation because although electricity is invisible this helps people see exactly how much they use and the associated costs.”

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The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As ‘Living Laboratories’ To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Climate modelling undertaken by the Forestry Commission suggests that by 2080, the temperature in Manchester will mirror that of the current climate in Naples. This will mean that during the height of summer, the temperature in a typical office building will reach up to 28°C.

The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As 'Living Laboratories' To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Michael Oglesby, Chairman of Bruntwood said: “Although the battle to gain acceptance of global warming is now almost won, the task of gaining a clear understanding of what practically and realistically can be done to adapt to its impacts is to a large extent still the topic of much debate and uncertainty.”

Climate modelling predicts changes to the rainfall in the UK, which will become heavy and more infrequent compared with the fine and persistent rainfall the UK is used to. Such changes in the climate will have a significant impact on the way people live and work.

The Eco Cities project will explore methods of adapting existing office space to the effects of climate change to ensure comfortable working conditions can be maintained, without relying on energy hungry technology.

Working with a global network of individuals and organisations, the project will provide Greater Manchester with a blueprint for a climate change adaptation strategy that will become a resource for planners and other relevant stakeholders with a responsibility for action in this field.

In addition to the adaptation of commercial property, it will also equip Greater Manchester with knowledge and understanding on how its public spaces and homes need to adapt.

Michael commented, “Reducing our output of CO2 is a task requiring government action but of equal importance is a clear understanding at city and individual level as to the vital role that they have to play in adapting our urban areas to a changing climate.

“Eco Cities aims to make a major contribution to the adaptation debate and to give clear and scientifically verified guidance to local government, companies and individuals.

About Eco Cities:
The project seeks to provide Greater Manchester, by the end of 2011, with a climate change adaptation blueprint. This will be based on leading scientific research, extensive stakeholder engagement and best practice examples of new programmes successfully piloted during the project. Eco Cities is funded through charitable donations from Bruntwood and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.

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New MapGuide By The National Geographic Society Council To Capture The History And Heritage Of The Sierra Nevada Region

The National Geographic Society has partnered with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Sierra Business Council to capture the history and heritage of the Sierra Nevada Region in order to create an interactive Web site and print map. The Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project seeks to celebrate the Sierra Nevada as a world-class destination, while contributing to the economic health of the region by promoting sustainable tourism. History buffs and adventurers, backpackers and foodies, birders and sightseers can discover unique destinations based on recommendations from those who know best — residents of the Sierra Nevada.

Sierra residents and visitors, community organizations, tourism stakeholders and local businesses will nominate sites for potential inclusion in a print MapGuide and interactive Web site. Unlike any other mapping project, a favorite local restaurant, farm, winery, hiking or biking trail, swimming hole, museum or artist gallery are samples of the type of nominations National Geographic and its project partners will be seeking. The Web site will target a variety of growing travel niches — adventure and nature tourism, cultural heritage travel and agritourism – and allow for residents to select the one-of-a-kind places integral to a distinctive character of place.

“The breadth of the beauty in the Sierra Nevada is tremendously unique. Lassen National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are incredible jewels in this 400-mile-long region,” said Steve Frisch, President, Sierra Business Council.

“The Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project is the perfect synthesis between economic outreach to culturally rich communities and respect for the planet,” he added.

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism helps travelers to tread lightly and enjoy a locale’s sense of place.

“An inherent benefit of geotourism is connecting diverse interests under a common goal,” said Jim Dion, Associate Director of National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. “The design of the MapGuide process, specifically in forming a regional stewardship council, encourages and builds mutually beneficial partnerships.”

A Geotourism Council will oversee the Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project. Working with the National Geographic Society, the Geo Council will:

1. Encourage community participation in the collection of nominations for the geotourism Web site and MapGuide during the three-month nomination period.

2. Review the nominations and identify themes for the project; work with National Geographic on the writing, editing, fact-checking and design of the Web site and print MapGuide.

3. Develop a marketing plan for the site; oversee the MapGuide’s distribution and contribute fresh material to the Web site; and encourage long-term stewardship of the Sierra’s natural, historic and cultural assets.

Nominations begin in the Yosemite Gateway region at the August 19 press event, with the initial Web site slated to launch January 2010 and completion of the Web site covering the entire range slated for November 2010.

The National Geographic Society has worked with community-based alliances to develop similar Geotourism MapGuides in several other regions around the world. MapGuide projects have been completed in Greater Yellowstone, the Central Cascades (Oregon, Washington), the Crown of the Continent (Alberta, British Columbia, Montana), Guatemala, Montreal, Sonoran Desert (Arizona, Sonora), Romania, Norway, Honduras, Peru, Baja California, Rhode Island, Vermont and Appalachia.

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Monarch School’s New Green Building Earns EPA’s Rare DEES Designation & Saves $170,000

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program last week recognized The Monarch School’s new green building as exemplary with the EPA’s rare and coveted “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” (DEES) designation. The school’s Chrysalis building achieved a score of 86 out of 100, meaning it ranks among the top 14 percent of buildings in the United States. This building is designed to use 33 percent less energy and carbon than an average, comparable building, saving more than $170,000 and nine million kilowatt-hours in energy over the next 25 years. The efficient design also qualified The Monarch School as the first private school to receive a cash rebate — $2,300 — in CenterPoint Energy’s SCORE program.

Monarch School's New Green Building

In the coming weeks, the Chrysalis building will become the new campus for The Monarch School, a national leader in therapeutic education for hundreds of children with neurological differences, many of which are related to autism.

“We’re excited about our students’ future, and about promoting a healthy, sustainable Texas,” said Head of School and Founder Dr. Marty Webb. “As we began planning the future of the thousands of people who will use this building in the next century, we were delighted to find that energy-efficient design could be another affordable, practical way for The Monarch School to serve more families, better.”

The Chrysalis building will use 33 percent less energy and carbon than an average, comparable building, which will save more than $170,000 in energy bills over the next 25 years. The 9,000,000 kilowatt-hours saved are the annual equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 1,200 passenger vehicles, or the electrical usage of more than 900 homes.

Dr. Webb said, “This DEES designation confirmed that our early decisions to bring together an experienced ’green team’ have helped our donors’ contributions go farther today and over the coming century.” The sustainable design team included:

– Architects: Jackson & Ryan Architects
– Green Building Consultants: Green Building Services, Inc. (GBS)
– MEP Engineers: Wylie & Associates
– Energy Modeling: BVM Engineering
– Civil Engineers: Brewer & Escalante
– Structural Engineers: Matrix Structural Engineers
– Acoustical Engineers: HFP Acoustical Consultants
– Landscape Architects: TBG Partners; Home & Habitat
– Green Electricity Broker and Sustainability Consultant: Momentum Bay Associates LP (d.b.a., GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS)

The school also earned a cash incentive of more than $2,300 from CenterPoint Energy’s SCORE Program, which rewards participants for incorporating energy-efficient design into new and existing buildings, specifically for more efficient lighting, HVAC and building envelope systems. The Monarch School was the first private school allowed to join the program.

The Chrysalis building is expected to help the utility avoid nearly 6,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years, and reduce peak demand for electricity significantly, by saving:

– more than 12 kW in electric demand above ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 requirements for lighting and HVAC, and
– 30,558 kWh/yr in energy, roughly the annual electricity used by three average homes in Houston

The efficient design complements the school’s ongoing sustainable operations strategies of conservation, energy efficiency, hybrid transportation and green power. For example, The Monarch School’s two existing campuses approached a zero carbon footprint over the past three years, largely by purchasing 100 percent green power. The new campus has also contracted for 100% green power, continuing The Monarch School’s commitment to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and 100% Purchasers group.

“With electricity and green power prices at six to 10-year lows, our little nonprofit has found it quite economical and practical to approach carbon neutrality and strive with others for clean air and a healthy, sustainable Texas,” said Dr. Webb. “While market research, case studies and anecdotes have confirmed a zero to three percent premium for the design of green schools and green buildings over the past decade, this DEES designation confirms that our building’s energy savings alone may yield the equivalent of nearly a 14 percent-off coupon on our design professionals’ fees. That’s a healthy value.

“When other school administrators ask ‘How was The Monarch School able to secure cash rebates, energy savings and avoided emissions?’ I answer two factors: a great team and great tools,” shared Dr. Webb. “First, our design team members pursued exemplary design throughout the project. For example, we committed to pursuing LEED® for New Construction certification for not only the Chrysalis Building, but also the entire campus’ future buildings.

“Second, we wanted to articulate these benefits for our students, families and donors and set ongoing operating budget goals,” continued Dr. Webb. “The EPA’s Target Finder tool and DEES designation helped us quantify and communicate much of the LEED-NC benefits long before we could receive LEED certification for the campus. In fact, the energy modeling required by DEES may have propelled the project into a higher level of LEED certification.”

Dr. Webb concluded by saying, “Achieving the DEES designation is still quite rare nationwide and in Texas, with just over twenty DEES buildings in Texas. What that fact means, though, is that our team merely followed the lead of other rational, forward-thinking Texas neighbors. And, that decision really paid off. ‘Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR’ clearly makes business sense for commercial offices and even schools.”

About The Monarch School
Founded in 1997 by Dr. Marty Webb, The Monarch School is now one of the nation’s leading schools that provides an innovative, therapeutic education for children ages 3 to 25 years old. It serves the needs of children with neurological differences, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, PDD-NOS), Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Tourette’s Syndrome, Mood Disorders (Bipolar Disorder, Depression), Anxiety Disorders, and other neurological differences. With a ratio of 2.5 students for each teacher/mental health professional, the school develops individualized plans to help each student make progress in the school’s four core goals: executive functions, relationship development, self-regulation/self-awareness and academic competence.

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Sierra Business Council — Where Business Leads For Integrated Success In Environment, Economic And Social Solutions

The Sierra Business Council and Sierra Nevada Conservancy hosted the Sierra Solutions Conference October 3-4. Over 200 members gathered from across California to share insights and learn from leaders in housing, sustainable development, carbon sequestration, and sound energy policies and practices.

The Sierra Business Council’s (SBC) mission embraces community, environment and the economy, and this was reflected in the broad range of speakers and topics.

During the day Thursday, 20 high school students from urban and rural areas throughout California were out on the trail hiking, rock-climbing and exploring the Sierra through SBC’s Sierra Nevada Youth Empowerment Program. Engendering the next generation of stewards is a priority with Sierra Business Council, and with the support of the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, these students participated fully in the entire conference, adding their important voices throughout the conference and to the closing comments.

Thursday evening some 100+ guests shared their experiences at the Sierra Leadership Institute Alumni dinner, celebrating the success of SBC’s Sierra Leadership Institute (SLI). The SLI is an annual collaborative leadership training session founded in 1996 and is designed to improve individual professional skills while enhancing the civic infrastructure of our region, over 250 Sierra Leadership Institute alumni currently work throughout the Sierra, contributing to the quality of life and economic well being of the region.

SBC Founder and Past President, Lucy Blake, opened Sierra Solutions with a return to the values that began the Sierra Business Council, looking forward to a vision where business leads for integrated success in environment, economic and social solutions.

Chief Executive Officer Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, Rusty Gregory, made sure everyone felt at home for the Sierra Solutions Conference. Mammoth Mountain is the first ski resort in California to put in place a measurement program with the California Alpine Resort Environmental Cooperative (CAREC). A tour of the erosion control test plots at Mammoth Mountain was held on Sunday, October 5. In the opening remarks, Gregory noted the need for balance in embracing unique opportunities as an organization. “Mammoth is long-term orientated, but also focused on surviving the short-term, so we get to those long term goals.” Mammoth Mountain Executive Chef Reed Hearon provided memorable meals using local foods, showcasing ranches and farms in the Eastern Sierra with extraordinarily delectable results.

Sierra Business Council honors outstanding community member efforts with the annual Vision 2020 Award. This award is designed to recognize those firms and individuals charting the course for a sustainable future by the year 2020. The conference dinner on Friday opened nominations for this prestigious award.

The SBC’s Board of Directors will select the award winners from member nominations and present the 2009 awards on March 19 in Sacramento, California. Sierra Business Council’s 2009 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration will feature presentations from Vision 2020 Award winners, comments from past winners, a Slow Food Dinner and of course, important news from the Sierra Nevada. SBC established the Awards in 1996 to recognize and reward innovation and leadership in the Sierra Nevada region.

“We are honored every year by the remarkable accomplishments of our friends and neighbors; they are the people in our communities who do the heavy lifting to make our futures bright. One of our greatest pleasures is being able to recognize them for their innovation and hard work,” said Rich Morrison, Chairman of the Board, Sierra Business Council.

“The Vision 2020 Awards are being held in Sacramento as a way to bring the importance of the Sierra Nevada in California to the State Capitol. This change is both symbolic and practical in communicating our message to the population of the entire state,” commented Steve Frisch, SBC president.

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