Congratulations!

Congratulations to Washington University in St. Louis for being named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation!  When I was visiting colleges, I was very impressed by Arizona State, where the whole campus is an arboretum.  Washington University stole my heart though & I feel confident I made the right choice.  I have many fond memories of my time on campus, although quite a bit of it was spent inside the engineering buildings and not laying under a tree.  I am pleased that their commitment to care of their 46 species of trees & engagement of the student body are being recognized!

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Earth Day Giveaway – Free Reusable Shopping Bag

I love reusable shopping bags, especially when they are free!  I was very excited to see on Facebook that one store in Denver will be giving away a free reusable shopping bag, recycled from their own billboards, with a purchase today (Earth Day!).  See more about Billboard Ecology, a Denver company that creates these bags here.

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Traveling on Earth Day – Save an Acre with United Airlines!

If you’re traveling on United Airlines this Friday, use their mobile boarding pass technology & they will donate $1 to Protect an Acre with our global nonprofit partner Conservation International. United Airlines will donate up to $50,000 for customers of both United & Continental Airlines.

Conservation International has saved 143 million acres of rainforest over the last 3 years. Please save trees and use a mobile boarding pass every time you travel, but especially on Friday!

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Solar Building for 9 – 14-year-olds

I am looking forward to visiting my alma mater next month and am always proud to read about green programs they are doing.  This article caught my eye because I think it is unusual that fourth through ninth grade students get the opportunity to design a solar house.  I am especially impressed because the curriculum goes far beyond students slapping solar panels onto a picture of a house they have drawn – these students learn about considerations that most adults wouldn’t think of, including energy production, energy balance, as well as the architecture of their design.  I may have been an engineering major, but this is one architecture program that I can wholeheartedly approve of.   In fact, I wish I was young enough to participate!

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New Water Sanitation Technology

Congratulations to Rebecca Ye, a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, for winning the Maine & US competitions for the 2010 Stockholm Junior Water Prize with her inexpensive method to quickly detect E. coli in water.  Unfortunately over 800 million people worldwide currently lack access to safe drinking water, so any improvement in water sanitation technology could make a difference to millions.

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Green Stay at Rancho Bernardo Inn

I enjoyed staying at the Rancho Bernardo Inn outside San Diego this summer.  I didn’t perceive any extreme conservation measures during my visit there, so I was surprised when I found this document on their website. I would enjoy seeing similar statistics from comparable resorts, but I was especially pleased to see that Rancho Bernardo conserved in these ways:

  • Reclaiming water and using it as “grey water” to water their golf course, especially given their location & climate
  • Have a recycling program that includes the following: cardboard, cans, glass, plant trimmings, toner cartridges, & CRT monitors / TV with LCD monitors
  • Collect used cooking oil & donate it for conversion into bio-diesel

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New CD packaging?

I bought a copy of Trace Atkins’ new CD Cowboy’s Back in Town this week.  I was surprised when I opened the package and discovered that the CD did not come in a traditional plastic CD jewel case.  Instead it is a heavy cardstock cover wrapped around a plastic insert that holds the CD.  I hope that more record companies choose packaging like this that reduces the weight and amount of materials surrounding their CD as well as slightly reducing the fuel needed to deliver it.

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A bit of green at Daytona

I was pleased to read this week that the contractors replacing the driving surface at Daytona International Speedway are using a mobile asphalt plant at the speedway to mix 50,000 tons of asphalt it will need for this project.  I would be more pleased if they were recycling the asphalt from the old surface, but at least this is eliminating the emissions from the trucks transporting the asphalt needed for four-layers of paving they are applying to the 2.5 mile speedway track.

For more information, read about this in the Dayton Beach News-Journal.

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Recycled stadium

The Vancouver BC Lions, members of the Candian Football League, are moving into a new stadium for the upcoming season.  But they won’t have a chance to really settle in because the stadium will be taken down when the season is over and renovations on their permanent stadium are complete.

The temporary stadium, constructed from 15,000 parts shipped from Switzerland in 70 containers, will be dismantled and shipped back to Europe to be reused as another temporary sports facility.  I think it is really interesting that the stadium will be deconstructed and can be reused, but I wonder whether that truly offsets the environmental impact of shipping the materials from and back to Switzerland.

Read more at: http://enr.ecnext.com/coms2/article_bubt100616TemporarySta

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Navy = Green

One popular book that addresses climate change is Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman.  I recently came across a review of this book which incorporated information about changes the Navy is making to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.  I was very impressed to learn that the Navy has a hybrid amphibious assault ship which uses an electric drive for speeds of less than 10 knots.  I was also pleased to know that the Navy is using biofuels as well.  I appreciate that military is reducing its use of fossil fuels as well as hopefully saving money in the process.

Thanks to the US service men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom!

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