Over on the ResearchBuzz blog, there’s a very useful article about searching the newly revamped Google News to find what you need without tearing your hair out. If you do any searching for news/current events, it’s definitely worth a look.
Washington State Department of Ecology resources on chemicals in consumer products
This post originally appeared on Environmental News Bits.
The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Reducing Toxic Threats Initiative is based on the principle that preventing exposures to toxics is the smartest, cheapest and healthiest way to protect people and the environment. It supports Washington State’s Children’s Safe Product Act, which requires manufacturers of children’s products sold in Washington to report if their product contains a Chemical of High Concern to Children.
As a result of this campaign, the Department has developed several useful resources on chemicals in consumer products. They include:
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in General Consumer Products (published August 2014)
- Flame Retardants in General Consumer and Children’s Products (published June 2014)
- Phthalates in Children’s Products and Consumer and Children’s Packaging (published March 2014)
- Database of manufacturer data on chemicals in children’s products
- Information resulting from product testing done by Ecology
- Selecting Safer Chemical Alternatives
- Tackling Toxics: Testing Children’s Products (video)
Green Festival Chicago 2014
[Post author: Lauren Murphy]
America’s largest and longest-running sustainability event is coming to the Great Lakes Region from October 24-26 with the 13th Annual Green Festival. This event will be held at Navy Pier in Chicago for anyone interested in living a healthier, more sustainable life. Bringing together the world’s most innovative businesses, local artisans, and environmentally conscious consumers, Green Festival is an ideal place to promote the best in green living and offer a wide selection of products and services focused on fair trade, renewable resources, and organic foods. Attendees can enjoy vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, choose from a variety of inspirational speakers, and shop a unique marketplace of more than 250 sustainable businesses. Admission to the festival can be purchased online or at the door.
If you or your company has an interest in speaking at the festival, submit the application by early September to ensure consideration. Green Festival is also accepting applications for volunteers for the weekend. Volunteers must work at least one 4.5-5 hour shift and in return, they will receive free admission into the festival. For more information about the festival, please visit the website.
Climate Ride Midwest: September 6-9
[Post author: Lauren Murphy]
In September, Climate Ride will be hosting their first-ever ride through the midwest. Climate Ride is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness for sustainability, active transportation, and other environmental causes with various bike ride fundraisers across the country. Starting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this ride will wind its way along Lake Michigan, through the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, coming to an end in Chicago. With Climate Ride carefully planning out the details of the route and the accommodations, participants simply have to focus on the riding portion. At 60-80 miles of riding per day, this ride will be a challenging, exhilarating way to contribute to a great cause.
For those who wish to participate in the ride or simply donate to the cause, visit the climate ride website. Each rider must raise at least $2800 by August 29 to secure their spot, along with paying the $100 registration fee. Spots are filling up quickly so register soon!
You can also follow the fundraiser progress on the website, to see how much has already been raised and how close the participants are to their goals.
Brewers For Clean Water
[Post author: Lauren Murphy]
With water being the main ingredient in beer, having clean water is crucial to the brewing process. Not only can the slightest of impurities throw off the flavor of the batch tremendously, but it can also become a health concern. Dozens of craft brewers, many of which rely on water from the Great Lakes, launched a campaign last year with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), advocating for the strengthening of water quality policies. Attempts to lower the regulations on water in recent years has not only put the beer industry in jeopardy, but also threatens public health for many other industries. Watch this video to hear from the participating breweries about the campaign.
The campaign also has created a Facebook page to keep supporters informed of all updates regarding the campaign. From hosting sustainability talks with the breweries to creating petitions to be sent to the EPA, those who wish to support the campaign will find everything they need to become a part of the cause.
For more information and a complete list of local breweries involved in the campaign, visit the NRDC website.
To learn more about sustainability in other food processing industries, please visit the GLRPPR Sector Resource for Food Processing.
GLREA holds Michigan Energy Fair June 27-28, 2014
[Post author: Lauren Murphy]
The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA) is holding their 14th statewide energy fair on June 27-28 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason, MI. The 2014 Michigan Energy Fair will offer countless workshops to promote sustainable energy policies, technologies and projects to businesses and the community in the area. A complete schedule of workshops can be found here. Friday, June 27th will be geared towards professional attendees, such as facility managers, engineers, and educators, while Saturday will focus on the general public who may be interested in attending and learning more about renewable energy as a form of pollution prevention.
If you are interested in preparing an exhibit for the fair, it is not too late the register! For more information on how to register, please visit the registration page.
Sustainability Awareness Promoted by Major Music Festivals in the Great Lakes Region
[Post author: Lauren Murphy]
The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and music festival season is rapidly approaching. Every year, music festivals across the country attract hundreds of thousands of music enthusiasts. Many of these festivals are taking action to become more sustainable and encouraging their attendees to do so as well.
Summer Camp Music Festival – Chillicothe, IL – May 23-25, 2014
Summer Camp Music Festival has a team of volunteers that help collect and sort trash, as well as educate festival attendees about the recycling and composting programs that are offered. With color coded trash bins and portable recycling bags, Summer Camp makes it easy for fans to help keep the festival clean. Moreover, the festival requires that all vendors use compostable materials, greatly limiting the amount of trash that ends up in a landfill.
Every year, Summer Camp brings in numerous nonprofit organizations to promote sustainability, renewable energy, and carbon offsetting amongst the festival-goers. Attendees learn about many different ways that they can lower their impact on the environment, even after the festival is over.
Working with engineers at Caterpillar, Summer Camp has been able to use a higher concentration of biodiesel in their generators for all electricity needs, which significantly lowers their use of traditional energy sources. For the past three years, the festival tracked and offset their estimated CO2 emissions to reduced their environmental footprint.
To learn more about this eco-friendly festival’s sustainability initiatives, visit the Summer Camp Music Festival website.
Pitchfork Music Festival – Chicago, IL – July 18-20, 2014
Through recycling programs, purchasing carbon offsets, and using sustainable power, Pitchfork Music Festival takes responsibility for their environmental impact, and acknowledges the importance of encouraging their fans to participate in the efforts to become a clean, green festival.
Recycling crews work with vendors to separate the trash generated at the festival, sending food waste to composting facilities and recycling as much as possible. Additionally, the festival has reduced oil demand and carbon emissions by powering the festival entirely with biodiesel and using hybrid vehicles for festival and musician transport. Pitchfork understands that being an international music festival creates the need for a lot of travel, which is why the festival has decided to buy carbon offsets to cover the transportation of all of their musicians. Purchasing these carbon offsets help fund projects to reduce CO2 emissions, so the festival strongly encourages attendees to purchase their own as well.
Visit the Pitchfork website for more information.
Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL – August 1-3, 2014
Lollapalooza is constantly seeking new, eco-friendly businesses to join the ‘Green Street Art Market’. Local businesses, as well as artisans from across the globe, are encouraged to promote their environmentally responsible goods to the thousands of fans that walk by throughout the weekend.
For the past few years, Lollapalooza has partnered with Camelbak to provide free, ice cold water to festival-goers at several filling stations throughout the park. This encourages the use of reusable water bottles and hydration packs and prevents up to 3.2 million disposable water bottles from becoming waste at the end of the 3-day festival. Lollapalooza also has hundreds of recycling bins located throughout the entire park, many of which are accompanied by a volunteer to inform people of what types of trash should be discarded into each container.
The festival implemented these programs not only to prevent the festival from causing harm to the environment and promote environmental awareness, but also to encourage volunteers from the Chicagoland area to be a part of the Environmental Initiatives programs. The application will become available mid-May, so check the volunteer information section of the FAQ page often throughout May because positions fill up quickly!
More information about the festival can be found on the Lollapalooza website.
October is Children’s Health Month
EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment requires that they continue to pay special attention to the vulnerabilities of children, and especially to children living in disadvantaged communities. Children are more affected by pollution than adults for many reasons. They are smaller, their organ systems are still developing, and their play and learning behaviors expose them to additional environmental threats.
In October and throughout the year, EPA will work with parents, teachers, and health providers to promote healthy environments where children live, learn and play.
There are events planned throughout children’s health month to promote healthy environments for children. There is also a wealth of information to explain and promote the reduction and elimination of harmful exposures in terms that are easy to understand. To learn more children’s environmental health, visit The Office of Children’s Health Protection website.
More on CH Month can be found at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/chm-home.htm.
P2 Pathways is now P2 Impact
As part of Pollution Prevention Week 2013, the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) announces that it has changed the name of its popular GreenBiz Column to P2 Impact. The name change reflects a content refocus towards a mainstream business audience. The column gives insights into greening of business processes, operation or technologies; and case studies and best business practices with respect to P2 and sustainability.
Our first author for the newly branded column is Richard Yoder, PE, SFP. Rick is the founder of the Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC), which operates from the Nebraska Business Development Center and serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. His article discusses a national survey that identifies the sectors, jobs and counties reporting higher rates of pro-environmental activities. See greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.
This year’s P2 Week theme is P2 at the Crossroads. P2 Week is the time when businesses, environmental groups and citizens can join forces for a common cause. By sharing information about pollution prevention (P2), businesses become more competitive, realize cost savings, and improve the environment.
Report demonstrates over $1.1 billion in economic benefits from P2 in Region 5
A Cornerstone of Environmental Sustainability: Pollution Prevention Results from 2007 to 2009 presents available information on the achievements of state and local P2 programs for the calendar years 2007 to 2009. The Report was produced by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) based upon the results shared by 90 pollution prevention (P2) programs in the United States.
The Report shows that nationally there were almost $6.6 billion in economic benefits and more than 7 billion pounds of pollution minimized or eliminated during the three year period. 7 billion pounds of waste is equivalent to the amount of waste generated by 350 thousand households, the approximate size of Columbus, Ohio.
In the Great Lakes states served by U.S. EPA Region 5, companies realized more than $1.1 billion in savings and 1.2 billion pounds of pollution minimized or eliminated.
This study affirms that pollution prevention results in conservation of valuable resources and significant waste reductions, as well cost savings that were four times greater than the funds used to support the various P2 programs.
The Report is a product of the P2 Results Task Force, whose membership includes representatives from State P2 programs, EPA Headquarters and Regions, Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange Centers (P2Rx), as well as NPPR. The Task Force has developed a National Pollution Prevention Results Data System, (the System). The System aggregates data that is collected, managed, and synthesized by state and local P2 programs, non-profits, companies, and other organizations.
The Report documents additional benefits of P2 activities, including: approximately 16 billion gallons of water conserved; almost 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of reduced energy usage; more than 33 billion pounds of greenhouse gases (GHG) no longer being released into the atmosphere.
NPPR will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, February 21 at 2 ET to provide an overview of the report. Register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2030884086456328960.
To view the Report, go to http://www.p2.org/wp-content/uploads/p2-results-2007-9-final.pdf.
To submit your results or view results by region, visit http://www.p2rx.org/measurement/index.cfm.