17 Dec 2012
Here is a list of 20 sustainability trends that are changing the landscape. We’re keeping our eyes on these…
1. From economic collapse to a green economic recovery. Interest in all things “green” continues to grow as the economy sinks. About 34 percent of people are now more likely to buy environmentally responsible products, and 44 percent say that their environmental shopping habits have not changed during this downturn. Businesses are realizing the ability to minimize costs through environmentally conscious operations.
2. From carbon footprint confusion to footprint awareness. More than half of the global population is aware of the term “carbon footprint,” up from 38 percent in 2007. As this awareness grows, consumers will likely drive the sustainability market by demanding low carbon products.
3. From carbon offset doubt to market development. More companies will continue to offset carbon emissions, with an expected growth in the global carbon offset market of 20 percent in 2009. Despite this prediction, Clownfish hope that there will be a stronger trend for direct reductions rather than offsetting; as the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”
4. From carbon-centric to water-centric. The UK has become obsessed with carbon footprints, but now the term water footprint has entered the corporate vocabulary. About 2.6 billion people have no access to clean water, a problem not isolated to developing countries. Businesses will no longer be able to ignore their water use and efficiency.
14 Aug 2012
There are greater concentrations of precious metals in our e-waste than there are in the ground. And it’s a lot cheaper and cleaner to get things out of e-waste than starting a giant mining operation. Where would you rather get the materials for your next gadget?
The mountain of electronic waste rising around the world is a gold mine–literally. Urban deposits of e-waste (discarded computers, phones and other electronics) contain 40 to 50 times the concentration of precious metals compared to ore mined from the ground at great cost to the environment, human health, and buyers of latest gadgets. We should mine it our e-waste, then, rather than the stuff in the ground.
That’s the message from the “e-Waste Academy” co-organized by the United Nations University and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). Despite the 21 billion dollars of gold and silver embedded in modern electronics each year, not to mention copper, tin, cobalt, and palladium and other metals, only a fraction of which is ever recovered. For example, 80 to 85% of gold in e-waste is lost due to crude (and dangerous) dismantling processes in developing countries and ineffective collection systems in developed countries (which are the source of most e-waste).
“Rather than looking at e-waste as a burden, we need to see it as an opportunity,” said Alexis Vandendaelen of Umicore Precious Metals Refining at the meeting.
9 Feb 2012
From Huffington Post via Women Of Green
WASHINGTON — Natural gas drillers would be required to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” on public lands, according to draft rules created by the Department of Interior. The proposed regulations would also force companies to report the amount of any given chemical injected during the fracking process.
The move for increased regulation comes after President Barack Obama touted his commitment to expanding natural gas production while ensuring the drilling is done responsibly. “My administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy,” he said during his State of the Union address last month. Fracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of undisclosed chemicals into rocks containing oil or natural gas, has drawn increasing scrutiny from environmentalists who suggest the process contaminates groundwater and destroys ecosystems.
Under the proposed regulations, companies would be required to reveal the “complete chemical makeup of all materials used,” according to a copy of the rules obtained by The Huffington Post. But environmentalists have noted that, while the regulations offer some “good elements,” the rules still offer companies considerable protections for “trade secrets,” an exemption some worry could negate the rule.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has said regulations will also cover well-bore integrity and regulation of flowback waters (the fluids that rise to the surface after hydraulic fracturing operations are complete). Further, reports detailing the ingredients used in the fracking fluids and a fluid treatment plan must be submitted 30 days before operations begin at any proposed well.
Interior spokesman Adam Fetcher elaborated in a statement.
3 Oct 2011
Eden Full, a 19-year-old Princeton University mechanical engineering student has developed a non-toxic, cheap, recyclable device made out of metal and bamboo that allows solar panels to follow or track the Sun without the use of an electric motor. This does two things: 1) it boosts the output of the solar panels by about 40% (huge) and 2) it does so using a much cheaper and simpler method than traditional trackers commonly used in commercial projects (her technology costs $10, a lot less than the typical $600 solar tracker).
Eden and the SunSaluter (being developed by her company, Roseicollis Technologies, now) have won a number of big awards for this ‘simple’ device. She just won $275,000, in the 2011 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge and $10,000 in the the EcoLiving 2011 Awards a few months ago. And she’s also won a $100,000 fellowship from the Thiel Foundation this year. Way to go Eden!
5 Aug 2011
From the filmmakers of the Sundance Award-winning film FUEL, comes the new documentary FREEDOM. In the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill; filmmakers Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell (check out our interview with Rebecca on Women Of Green) took an international journey to investigate alternatives to fossil fuels. FREEDOM offers an array of green solutions. From about advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol, to plug in hybrids, we learn about the sustainable technologies that could fulfill our transportation needs.
With insightful and inspirational interviews form former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former NATO Commander Wesley Clark, Singer/Songwriter Jason Mraz, international author Deepak Chopra and actors Michelle Rodriguez, Amy Smart and Ed Begley Jr., FREEDOM invites people to not just get mad, but get motivated.
Above all, FREEDOM calls for a revolution in how we live. Inevitably we must shift the types of houses and cities we live in, we must rethink the way we work and change the way we treat each other and the planet. Most importantly we must transform ourselves.
More information on theater location and time coming! If you are anywhere near Santa Fe, NM on August 23, I’ll see you at the screening. If not, check out the FREEDOM Film site for a screening near you.
28 Jul 2011
Pharmacy chain Walgreens plans to offer electric vehicle charging stations at about 800 locations across the country by the end of the year, making it the nation’s largest charging station retail host. Thumbs up? Thumbs down?
Read more at Environmental Leader.
25 Jul 2011
This about says it. Thank you Grist.
4 Jul 2011
I have attended many Clean Tech conferences in the southwest over the last six months. Frankly, I wish I saw more women in the room. So this post on EcoAid’s website really resonated with me, so I am sharing it with you. It’s a juicy topic. Please join in on the conversation by leaving your comments below. And if you are a woman working in clean tech now, what do you know now that you didn’t know before that could help other women wanting to enter the clean energy sector? — Carolyn
Women across the nation are preparing to play an integral role in the green economy, and the United States will need their help if we’re going to pull ourselves out of the recession and compete in the new economy on a global scale. CAP’s Jorge Madrid has the story in this repost.
It’s true that men have been hit the hardest in the recession as far an unemployment numbers go, but we will need to seize the opportunity to diversify the future workforce in a way that will incorporate all workers in all areas of the clean energy economy—including those where women have been traditionally underrepresented.
Women in Burlington, Vermont are training for careers in the fields of green construction, renewable energy, and energy efficiency as part of the Vermont Works for Women project. Women Going Green in Atlanta, Georgia is educating women in management and entrepreneurial opportunities in the clean energy economy. And young women in Los Angeles, California are receiving science, technology, engineering, and math education through the Infrastructure Academy, which will prepare them for high-paying, high-demand careers developing the next generation of clean energy technology.
18 Jun 2011
A new report from the clean tech research firm Pike Research confirms a trend that has been percolating along mainly under the radar: the U.S. Department of Defense is gung ho for clean energy. In an interesting twist, Pike states that “increased access to clean and reliable energy has become a leading priority for the U.S. Department of Defense.” By stressing the reliability of clean energy, rather than focusing on the renewable aspect, Pike effectively steamrolls over any further discussion of whether or not the U.S. should continue to promote oil drilling, at least not for national defense purposes.
5 May 2011
What’s the greenest place in America? If you answered something like the granola-crunchy, Rocky Mountain-high town of Boulder, you’d be wrong. If you guessed the sea breezes and warm sunlight of Santa Barbara, you’d be wrong again. The greenest place in America is almost devoid of nature — the buildings outnumber the trees — and the air isn’t all that great. But what it has is density and efficiency — the twin qualities that ultimately define green in the global warming era. Applying those standards, the greenest place in America is New York City — specifically, the overcrowded, overpriced and sometimes overwrought island of Manhattan, which has a per-capita greenhouse gas footprint less than 30% that of the national average.