It’s the final day of the GLRPPR/Region 7 Conference in Indianapolis, IN. On the agenda for this afternoon is a webinar presented by Natalie Hummel of the U.S. EPA providing an overview of two new measurement tools developed by U.S. EPA Headquarters. The GHG Calculator is designed to assist P2 managers, staff and grantees in calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from established conversion factors in the following categories:
- Electricity Conservation (GHG reductions from electricity conversation or reduced use of energy)
- Green Energy (GHG reductions from switching to greener or renewable energy sources)
- Fuel Substitution (GHG reductions from reduced fuel use, substitution to greener fuels)
- Greening Chemistry (GHG reductions from reduced use of GWP chemicals)
- Water Conservation (GHG reductions from reduced water use)
- Materials Management (GHG reductions from green manufacturing processes and waste management scenarios)
- Cross Reference to other applicable tools (A reference table that provides end users an overview of applicable GHG tools and models)
The P2 Results Database, a web-based tool, designed to collect and quantify P2 progress related to air, water, waste and energy reductions from non-profits, local, state, and federal entities plays a significant role in demonstrating P2 benefits on a regional and national level. A critical part of the P2 Results Database is documenting cost savings that result from government, businesses and facilities implementing P2 activities. This database uses a P2 cost calculator to quantify cost savings based on established methodologies and sound research. Over the last several months, the Pollution Prevention Program worked to update and redesign the tool to enhance functionality and better document cost benefits over time. Today’s webinar will also provide an overview of the cost calculator tool.
If you were unable to attend this week’s conference and/or the webinar provided today, or if you would like to recommend the webinar to your colleagues, the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN) will be providing a similar webinar on June 18, 2009. See the GLRPPR calendar entry for the WSPPN webinar for details and a link to the event registration page.
For more useful calculators and links to your regional module of the P2 Results Data System, see the GLRPPR P2 Measurement & Calculators Sector Resource.
Valparaiso residents have another reason to be proud of their community as their city government has achieved “CLEAN” status and is embarking on a new, positive environmental initiative through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) CLEAN Community Challenge.
The CLEAN (Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network) Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program for units of local Indiana government that make significant commitments to environmental management. IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly presented a plaque and commemorative road sign to Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas during a CLEAN designation ceremony held at City Hall on April 13th.
“Valparaiso is a shining example for other communities through its commitment to increase recycling, improve educational outreach efforts and implement water conservation measures,” said Commissioner Easterly. “I applaud the entire Valparaiso community for its good work in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.”
CLEAN helps communities take steps to plan, develop, and implement a Quality of Life Plan, which focuses on reducing the potential environmental impacts associated with municipal operations. As part of the CLEAN challenge, Valparaiso has committed to achieving several environmental goals over the next three years. These include: working to increase municipal solid waste diversion to 70 percent while increasing residential and business recycling participation to 75 percent; recycling 100 percent of municipally-generated fluorescent and mercury containing light bulbs; holding workshops to educate residents on rain barrels and rain gardens; constructing a rain garden on city property; and implementing five water conservation measures.
“I am very excited about the opportunity presented to Valparaiso through its participation in the CLEAN Community Challenge,” said Mayor Costas. “By meeting the CLEAN Community Challenge, Valparaiso is positioning itself to further improve our quality of life with an increased public awareness of environmental issues. Through a partnership between the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the City of Valparaiso, our residents will enjoy a healthier and cleaner community.”
The Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge is administered by IDEM in partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Finance Authority. Partner agencies provide financial incentives to Indiana CLEAN Community members, such as better terms and improved opportunities for state grant and loan dollars.
Learn more about the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge at www.cleancommunities.IN.gov.
[Post author: Wayne Duke]
On Earth Day, Governor Pat Quinn signed Exeuctive Order 11. This Executive Order covers the topics of Waste Prevention, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Water Quality and Conservation, Sustainable Transportation, plus Education and Outreach. The Green Government Coordinating Council is responsible for the implementation of this Executive Order. The P2 Programs at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (on behalf of the University of Illinois) were involved in crafting the Executive Order and will be involved in overseeing the progress of the Order throughout state government, as well as colleges and universities in Illinois. To read the entire Executive Order visit http://www.glrppr.org/docs/GOVExecutiveOrder11.pdf.
The Printers’ National Environmental Assistance Center (PNEAC) website now offers The Industrial Stormwater Permit Guide to assist businesses in complying with federal stormwater regulations.
PNEAC has developed an easy to use on-line tutorial about the Industrial Stormwater Permitting requirements. This program explains federal stormwater regulations for business (not just printers), and the options available for compliance. It also provides detailed guidance on which states have permitting authority and links to state and/or federal forms that industrial facilities must submit to be in compliance with the regulations.
The tool walks the user through the regulations in order for the user to determine whether they must obtain a Stormwater Permit or are exempt from permitting requirements, and then walks the user through the process of completing and submitting the “No Exposure Certification.” It is an easy to use tool utilizing a lesson format which also provides a visual guide for understanding compliant vs. non-compliant stormwater situations.
This new tool was modeled after the EPA Hazardous Waste Manifest Compliance Assistance tool that PNEAC previously developed. You can find the full compliment of compliance assistance tools at http://pneac.org/videotraining/.
It’s holiday time again, which means you’re probably going to buy at least one gift for someone, as well as items for celebrations and holiday meals. You may wish to consult Consumer Reports Greener Choices web site, which provides information to help choose more environmentally friendly products. Articles and “green ratings” are available for the following product categories: Appliances, Cars, Electronics, Food & Beverages, and Home & Garden. Within these sections, you’ll find links to articles, information on conservation of resources (such as energy, water, fuel, etc.), resources for shopping greener, and information on recycling and disposal. The “Hot Topics & Solutions” section of the site includes the Eco-labels Center (which helps you interpret what product labels really mean), the Electronics Recycling Center, the Global Warming Solutions Center, and sections on Energy, Water, and Waste.
The “Toolkit” section includes calculators to help save energy, water, and money, as well as a Toxics Search tool to find out whether there’s a potential for exposure while using a particular product, and how that can affect your health. The “Community” section of the site includes links to Consumers Union campaigns, forums and resources for further information, as well as blogs on cars, food safety, green homes, and safety.
According to the Organic Trade Association web site:
“In 1992, the Organic Trade Association implemented ‘Organic Harvest Month™,’ a widespread promotion of organic food and agriculture through regional and local events. The objective of Organic Harvest Month™ is to highlight organic agriculture and the growing organic products industry. September is also an ideal time for consumers and retailers to celebrate the bounty of the organic harvest.”
Organic agricultural methods are relevant to pollution prevention because they typically involve the use of fewer, non-toxic, more environmentally friendly pesticides, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), composting, the elimination of the use of antiobiotics and synthetic hormones, etc. To paraphrase the National Organic Standards Board definition of “organic” as presented on teh Organic Trade Association web site, “Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony…Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water…The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.”
The Organic Trade Association web site provides a quick overview of organic agriculture and production; an overview of organic standards (including U.S., Canadian and other international standards); a section on public policy; several online directories for the use of consumers, organic product manufacturers and the agricultural industry; various fact sheets and links; as well as a newsroom, calendar and bookstore (which includes training materials, market research, and industry guidelines).
Registration is now open for the Biofuels and Sustainability Conference to be held at the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, IL on October 21-22. This event will provide a forum for researchers, policy makers, students, activists and industry leaders to share and gain perspectives regarding the entire life-cycle of the biofuels industry–from feedstock development through fuel consumption. Diverse constituencies will be able to network and develop future directions and strategies regarding this important and complex topic and examine innovations that can improve the sustainability of the biofuels industry.
See the conference website for a detailed description of the event, a list of speakers, and registration information.
Remember that if you have events related to sustainability and pollution prevention that you would like to promote to the region, you can suggest them for the GLRPPR Calendar by sending them to Wayne Duke. Events posted to the GLRPPR Calendar also appear in relevant Sector Resources and are featured on the RSS feeds for those Sector Resources.
The United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) is a non-profit association of businesses whose purpose is to deliver highly focused, collaborative projects that help its members and partners demonstrate leadership in the United States on sustainable development and realize business value. US BCSD leverages member participation and partner support to serve five platforms of activity — By-product Synergy, Ecosystem Services, Value and Supply Chain, Energy and Climate Change, and Water Resource Management. In addition to information on each of these activity areas, the US BCSD web site includes member/partner profiles, information on joining the council, and a list of upcoming events.
Cheers to the folks at Green Guardian for using the upcoming holiday to promote container recycling. GreenGuardian.com is a web site created to promote environmentally responsible purchasing and disposal choices among the citizens of Minnesota’s Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The site is sponsored by the region’s Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and is organized into sections geared specifically toward residents, businesses and children.
I receive their electronic Green Tips newsletter, and was pleased to see them taking the opportunity to tie St. Patrick’s Day to raising environmental awareness. The lead story in the latest newsletter was entitled “Kiss Me, I Recycle” and is an obvious play on the “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” slogan you’re likely to see emblazoned on t-shirts, buttons and hats starting this weekend. (Incidentally, the SWMCB web site provides a handy “Kiss Me, I Recycle” St. Patrick’s Day button template for anyone interested in wearing green and simultaneously promoting green activities.) As eluded to in my previous post, there are likely to be lots of bottles and cans associated with St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and the SWMCB and MPCA are trying to ensure that folks consider recycling and are aware of how to properly recycle as well as what can be recycled. The “Kiss Me, I Recycle” story links to a helpful can and bottle recycling guide on GreenGuardian.com. The guide not only tells you what and how to recycle (which is strictly speaking, not pollution prevention since it’s an “end of the pipe” sort of activity) but also highlights the energy savings associated with recycling, as well as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and water consumption that result from recycling containers as opposed to throwing them in the trash–all of which are important environmental benefits that are certainly complimentary to P2 activities.
This sort of campaign got me thinking about opportunities for similar outreach activities on college campuses. For example, I’ve heard that Mather House at Harvard University has a “green happy hour” for St. Patrick’s Day that involves the promotion of recycling, sustainability and waste reduction. I’m curious to know if other campuses have been involved in similar activities, perhaps on a wider scale. If you know of a “Green St. Patrick’s Day” event or promotion at a college or university, or if your organization, like SWMCB and MPCA, is tying environmental awareness campaigns to St. Patrick’s Day, please take a minute to share what you’ve done in the “Comments” section for this post.
New York State is seeking proposals to help establish a new pollution prevention institute that will promote innovative and cost effective methods for reducing or eliminating the use of toxic substances in manufacturing and other processes, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis announced recently. DEC is encouraging public or private universities, non-profit institutions, or a consortium of such organizations to submit proposals to develop and implement this pioneering project, first initiated by Governor Eliot Spitzer as part of his 2007-08 Executive Budget. When established, the institute will provide an unparalleled center for technology evaluation and development, as well as technology transfer, training, assistance and workforce development. The institute’s objective is to help make businesses more competitive by enabling them to be more efficient. The institute will foster partnerships among businesses, universities, state and local governments, health and environmental organizations to stimulate the research and development of cutting-edge environmental technologies that will focus on sustainability and toxic use reduction over the course of the product life cycle. Proposals are due by December 5, 2007.
For more information, see the RFP online at http://www.dec.ny.gov/public/37277.html. For more funding opportunities, be sure to check the GLRPPR Funding Opportunities page regularly.