INFORM, Inc. is “dedicated to educating the public about the effects of human activity on the environment and public health.” Its goal is to “empower citizens, businesses and government to adopt practices and policies that will sustain our planet for future generations.”
The INFORM web site provides information on current projects, including Waste Prevention: Extended Producer Responsibility, Cleaning for Health, and INFORM Media, the organization’s effort to spread environmental literacy by “making strategic use of video and the web to reach a greatly expanded audience with critically important information about how to preserve the environment and protect human health.” Thus far, INFORM has produced “The Secret Life of Cell Phones” as part of its media project, with future videos planned to focus on paper, jeans, antibacterial soaps and single-use plastic bottles.
The INFORM site also provides publications and topical RSS feeds. New site features reportedly “coming soon” will include blogs and a “tools and calculators” section.
Minnesota GreenStar is a green building standard and voluntary certification program for both existing and new homes that promotes healthy, durable, high performance homes. The architect, designer, builder or remodeler is provided green building training, registers the project, completes a checklist, designs the project, gets construction plans reviewed, and the project is built. Before, during and after construction, a third-party rater tests the home and verifies performance to MN GreenStar standards. Upon passing, the home receives Minnesota GreenStar certification at either a bronze, silver or gold level of achievement.
The program’s checklist and manual for both new and existing homes is available online. The web site also provides information on registering your project, including a registration fee schedule and the cost of training. Though not yet available, case studies will apparently be included on the site under “About GreenStar” in the future. In the meantime, check out the “Project Spotlight” section under “News & Media,” which currently features one gold and two bronze-level projects with photos from the sites. The gold-level project–Live Green, Live Smart’s Sustainable House–is Minnesota’s first remodeling project to achieve Minnesota GreenStar Gold Certification and the nation’s first home remodel to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The home achieved the highest level of efficient design in both programs.
This portion of Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn’s web site provides information on the Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Act, which was enacted on August 13, 2007. Illinois schools began to be required to purchase and use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies on May 9, 2008, with the provision that they may deplete their existing supplies of cleaning products as of that date. The site includes a link to the text of the act, and the guidelines and specifications created by the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council for use by schools. Contact information is provided for questions regarding the act and guidelines, as well as a list of qualified supplies, an application for alternative qualification, an exemption notification form for schools, fact sheets on the act, and benefits of green cleaning. Links to alternative qualification standards (EcoLogo and GreenSeal) and other resources are provided, as well as a form for schools to submit their own stories regarding the implementation of green cleaning programs.
The Campus Environmental Resource Center provides comprehensive environmental compliance assistance and pollution prevention information for colleges and universities. The center was developed by the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officials with support and funding from EPA. The Web site makes it easier for school officials to learn more about applicable environmental regulations and ensure a safe and sustainable environment for their students, faculty, and staff. The online center provides information on topics including waste management, air and water resources, drinking water, and public safety. Viewers can find out what types of campus activities are regulated by EPA, see how best to comply with environmental regulations, query federal enforcement and compliance data, learn how to apply for federal grants, and e-mail comments to EPA on regulations under development.
Please note that GLRPPR Sites of the Month are now being posted on the GLRPPR Blog, and will display on the GLRPPR homepage at the first of the month. Sites of the Month from May 2008 on will be archived in the blog category “Sites of the Month.” Previous sites of the month are listed at http://www.glrppr.org/news/site_of_the_month.cfm.