[The P2Rx Center Directors have offered to post occasional entries in regional blogs. Thanks to Rick Yoder from P2RIC for the following.]
On April 19-20, I attended the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountain Consortium Green Jobs Conference in Des Moines. The consortium is comprised of IA, NE, MT, WY, UT (event info here). Much of the ARRA funding in these states went toward trying to get a handle on where green jobs are and whether they are increasing in number and whether the educational support structure (plans of study as offered by Career Clusters) are available.
My great disappointment with their efforts is that they chose not to tie any measurement of green jobs to environmental outcomes. (Really?)
But the wonky side of me likes the definition of green jobs that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) crafted, especially the segment that focuses on process rather than the part that focuses on specific NAICS segments or products. I think it’s a bit wrong-headed to say that all jobs associated with building and installing wind turbines are green. Environmental impact varies with material and process choices. But I do like the idea that every job can have an impact on energy efficiency of an operation.
It’s unfortunate that BLS isn’t going to support an annual survey of this second, process-oriented, part of their green jobs definition.
Because it’s just this sort of improvement that technical assistance providers have been doing for decades. In my mind, such a survey offers a real opportunity for EPA’s P2 office to help other federal agencies identify measures that promote source reduction.
There’s still time to submit entries for the 2011 International E-Waste Design Competition. The deadline has been extended to 4:59 p.m. CT, May 9, 2011. College students and recent graduates from around the world submit ideas for reusing e-waste to create new and useful products, or for preventing its generation in the first place (e.g. by re-designing an existing electronic device to facilitate reuse or otherwise extend the product life cycle). Entries include, among other elements, a video uploaded to YouTube highlighting the proposed design idea. Six winning teams or individuals (three in each of two categories) will receive monetary prizes. The competition is part of the educational component of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI; www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu). For more information and online registration, see www.ewaste.illinois.edu, or contact Joy Scrogum at email@example.com or 217-333-8948.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is now accepting nominations for the third annual Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Award. The awards, modeled on the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards program, honor industrial, academic, student, and non-profit efforts to green Michigan’s economy.
Past awardees were recognized for work to advance principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture or use, or promotion activities that support or implement those technologies.
The awards are open to individuals, groups and organizations in Michigan, both nonprofit and for-profit, including academia, educators, nonprofit advocacy groups and industry.
To learn more about Michigan’s green chemistry program or obtain a nomination packet for the Governor’s award, go to www.michigan.gov/greenchemistry.
Entries must be sent by Aug. 5. Awards are presented during the 2011 Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference. This year’s conference: “Advancing Innovation for a Sustainable Future,” is scheduled Oct. 27 at the University of Michigan’s North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor.
For more information, call the DEQ Environmental Assistance Center at 800‑662-9278.
For those of us in the U.S., the deadline (April 15) approaches to submit taxes for 2010. Whether you’re still scrambling to fill our your forms, or feeling the satisfaction of having turned everything in on time, take a minute to read this informative post on Earth911‘s web site called Green Tax Credits You’re Missing. Author Alexis Petru provides information on incentives for home energy efficiency, renewable energy systems, credits for purchasing greener vehicles, and deductions you can take for donating to your favorite charitable organization or non-profit. Even if these incentives don’t apply to you for this round of taxes, consider what’s available as warmer weather approaches and you begin planning home improvement projects. You might be able to take advantage of incentives next year at tax time and make your choices “greener” in more ways than one.