Showing posts with label the weather channel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the weather channel. Show all posts

Friday, August 8, 2008

Best US Green Places to Live?

Country Home magazine, in conjunction with Sperling's BestPlaces, reveals that Burlington, Vermont is the 2007 Best Green Place to live in America.

Burlington is located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain between the Adirondack and Green Mountains in northwest Vermont and has a population of 40,000. With programs like Burlington Eco Info Project, the community of Burlington, including the residents, businesses and government, values a green lifestyle and makes it a priority.

"We are seeing a real interest, by both our readers and the marketplace, in exploring a green lifestyle," said Editor-in-Chief Carol Sheehan. "We wanted to find out who in America is actually taking action, where they are, and what they are doing."

Best Green Places
Burlington, VT
Ithaca, NY
Corvallis, OR
Springfield, MA
Wenatchee, WA
Charlottesville, VA
Boulder, CO
Madison, WI
Binghamton, NY
Champaign-Urbana, IL
Ann Arbor, MI
San Diego, CA
La Crosse, WI
Pittsfield, MA
Eau Claire, WI
Durham, NC
Norwich-New London, CT
Eugene, OR
San Francisco, CA
Chico, CA
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA
Barnstable Town, MA
Utica-Rome, NY
Missoula, MT
Asheville, NC

The Best Green Places study, which is based on data discovered by Sperling's BestPlaces, examines 24 data metrics in 5 major categories -- including air and watershed quality, mass transit usage, power usage, farmers markets, organic producers, and number of green-certified buildings -- to determine which metro areas are the best places to live a green life. Sperling's BestPlaces ranked the 379 major metropolitan areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Over 80 percent of all U.S. residents live in these 379 metro areas.

Data was collected from sources which include the Census Bureau, the U.S. Green Building Council, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the online directory.

Among its unique green attributes, Burlington has developed a compost facility that collects food scraps from restaurants, supermarkets, institutions and food manufacturers, and the yard clippings and leaves from local residents and landscapers. Once finished composting, local farmers, gardeners and landscapers purchase this nutrient rich soil to use.

Over 16 percent of Ithaca residents (or 5,000 people) walk to work -- the highest percentage in the nation. Combine that with bike riders, mass transit users and home office workers and Ithaca has the greenest commuters.

In Corvallis, over 15 percent residents, as well as the city government, purchase renewable energy. Corvallis was the first city on the West Coast to achieve the Green Power Community designation from the U.S. EPA. The achievement was met after the Corvallis City Council passed a resolution encouraging residents to switch to 'green power.'

Springfield's ReStore accepts donations home improvement materials and sells them to the public at low prices in a convenient retail setting. Inventory includes used and salvaged materials and surplus stock from the building industry.

Wentachee is dedicated to teaching young people about alternative energy resources. Each year at the world's only Solar Drag Race, high school and college students, build and race battery-less, sunlight-propelled dragsters for a chance to win scholarships.

The Charlottesville community puts a value on trees, parks, greenspace, streams and biodiversity. In an effort to balance the natural and built environment and practice sustainability, Charlottesville encourages the use of green roofs, rainwater harvesting, porous paving and rain gardens. These concepts are being demonstrated by the city to encourage adoption in parks and public spaces.

Boulder has the country's best organic food supply. The state's largest farmers' market is in Boulder and runs from April to November and is backed by Whole Foods and a network of co-ops and local producers.

In Madison, the Eco-Fruit project, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has both policy and field components that enable Wisconsin fruit growers to reduce pesticide use without sacrificing fruit quality. In the Eco-Fruit project's first two years, growers reduced pesticide risk by 58 percent and increased their reliance on Integrated Pest Management strategies by 13 percent.

Binghamton nonprofit organizations extensively promote healthy and organic eating habits. One volunteer group, Club VEG reaches out to educate the public, health care professionals, and health organizations about the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Renewable Energy Initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is working to meet the state's renewable portfolio standard which requires that, by 2006, at least 2% of the electricity sold to Illinois customers be generated from renewable resources. The amount of electricity from renewable resources is required to increase at least by 1% annually, reaching at least 8% in 2012 and 16% in 2020.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Greenpeace intercepts Hong Kong e-scrap shipment

Members of environmental watchdog group Greenpeace (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) recently boarded a cargo ship at a Hong Kong port claiming the ship was carrying e-scrap illegally exported from the U.S.
The activists boarded the vessel and unfurled a banner reading "Toxic waste not welcome here." Camping out on the containers, the Greenpeace activists demanded, in their words, that Hong Kong's "Environmental Protection Department (Hong Kong) amend their toxic waste regulations."
Greenpeace claims that it tracked three containers of printed circuit boards from the Port of Oakland, California on May 30th.
The group was able to get a verbal promise from the DEP to detain the containers, to "announce to the public their decision to detain the containers and at the soonest available time, they will begin discussions with Greenpeace to figure out the best way to tighten up Hong Kong’s toxic waste disposal regulations."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Sahara

Sahara made slow transition from green to desert

A picture taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satelliteon shows dust blowing northward out of the Sahara Desert and over the Mediterranean Sea. The Sahara became the world's biggest hot desert some 2,700 years ago after a very slow fade from green, according to a new study which clashes with the theory that desertification came abruptly.

The Sahara became the world's biggest hot desert some 2,700 years ago after a very slow fade from green, according to a new study which clashes with the theory that desertification came abruptly.

Six thousand years ago, the massive arid region dominating northern Africa was quite green, a patchwork of trees and savannas as well as many sparkling lakes.

The region, larger than Australia, also was inhabited, according to the European-US-Canadian team of scientists behind a study in Science dated May 9.

Most of the physical elements that could tell the tale of the Sahara's geographic evolution have been lost. The scientists studied layers of sediment in one of the largest remaining Sahara lakes, Yoa, in a remote spot in northern Chad, which took them back through six millennia of climate history.

They looked at sediments, did soil tests and reviewed biological indicators such as plant and tree pollen and spores that were present before the desert encroached. They also studied the remains of aquatic microorganisms.

Their findings contradicted previous modeling that indicated a rapid collapse of vegetation in the region in a sudden end to the African Humid Period, about 5,500 years ago, said Stefan Kropelin, a geologist at the Prehistoric Archaeology Institute of the University of Cologne who took part in the new study.

In 2000, a study by Peter de Menocal of Columbia University of sediments in the west of Mauritania found a sudden increase in wind-carried dust blown off the Sahara region, suggesting swift climate change.

But data from Lake Yoa shows the opposite, and the transition to desert took its time, said Kropelin. He said he believed de Menocal's data were not wrong but misinterpreted.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Printed wiring board scrap holds its record course

The average price of printed wiring board scrap metals hit yet another record high in March, at $5.03 per pound. The March price was up 43.8-percent over the year-earlier level and 5.2-percent over February's level, which also had been a record high. The price for the first quarter of 2008 was $4.74 per pound, up 38.6-percent over the first quarter 2007.
This data represents the full metallic values of boards over time and are not the recycling values, as those values do not include the costs involved in actually extracting metal from boards, including freight, sampling charges, assay assessments, smelting, refining, process loss, return on investment, and penalties for various elements, including beryllium, bismuth and nickel.
These values are for the estimated intrinsic metal content of recovered PC boards. Some consumers label such material as mid-value. Lower-value scrap includes monitor and television boards. Higher-value scrap includes network, video and IT cards and mainframe boards.
The March 2008 numbers were the highest of the last six-plus years, with a printed-wiring board value at $5.03 per pound; the lowest was $1.62 per pound (November, 2001).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Where and what to recycle

RecycleWhere to Recycle | Schools and State Agencies | Resources

Recycling is the practice of recovering used materials from the waste stream and then incorporating those same materials into the manufacturing process.

Many communities in California now offer curbside collection or drop-off sites for certain recyclable materials. But collecting materials is only the first step toward making the recycling process work.

Successful recycling also depends on manufacturers making products from recovered materials and, in turn, consumers purchasing products made of recycled materials. Do your part--"close the loop" and buy products made of recycled materials whenever possible.

Where to Recycle
Construction debris. You can search for facilities by county that reuse or recycle types of construction and demolition (C&D) debris, such as asphalt, drywall, and metal, on our site.
Plastic. You can also find facilities that reuse or recycle specific types of plastic, such as acrylic, nylon, high density polyethylene (HDPE), and low density polyethylene (LDPE) on our site.
Electronic Waste. Discarded electronic products can present environmental hazards if not properly managed. Search this directory by county and/or product type to find an organization near you that may handle anything from televisions and monitors to cell phones and CPUs. To find out more about California's electronic waste recycling law and what it means to you, please visit
The Waste Prevention Information Exchange recycling page includes a comprehensive list of recycling databases.
Find Your Nearest Recycling Center. Enter your ZIP code to go to the "Earth's 911" website and find local centers for recycling materials, including household hazardous waste.
Recycling for Schools and State Agencies
School Waste Reduction and Recycling. Schools can help communities reduce their waste, while saving money and teaching kids valuable lessons.
Project Recycle. Recycling programs for State agencies.
Resources and Tools
Beverage Containers. Beverage container recycling is managed by the Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling.
Food Waste. Food scraps can be turned into valuable soil amendments through the simple techniques of composting or feeding a worm box.
Recycling Tools. Helpful tools listed on this page include lists of manufacturers of containers for home and office and of recycling processing equipment.
Tire Recycling. Californians use a lot of tires, which can be recycled in California to produce crumb rubber for new products, recycled in rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC), used in civil engineering applications, or combusted as fuel.
Used Oil Recycling. Oil doesn't wear out, it just gets dirty! Find out more...
Recycling Coordinator Information and Resources. Materials and assistance to help you set up and operate a successful waste reduction program in your business, office, or locality.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (Taipei, China) presented concept bamboo-clad computers at this year's CeBIT 2008 in Hanover, Germany. ASUS' green line of computers includes more than the use of alternative materials, it also highlights innards labeled for easy repair and recycling that are truly upgradable — a relative rarity for most laptops … While the New York City Council's new electronics recycling bills await their fate at the hands of Mayor Michael Bloomberg,

The New York Times has turned its attention to Big Apple citizens' reticence to recycle end-of-life electronics … Circuit City (Richmond, Virginia) is offering to trade newly-obsolete HD DVD players for a Blu-ray player for the next 90 days. The consumer electronics retailer did not say what would happen to the returned merchandise … e-Scrap Destruction (Islandia, New York) is offering locked drop-boxes for secure on-site scrap electronics storage and pick-up, an interesting solution that has been popping up more recently.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Teachers teaching Green

Hundreds of profs in many disciplines hold green 'teach-in' to encourage environmental actionCollege campuses: Hundreds of professors hold “green” teach-in

By JULIA SILVERMAN Associated Press WriterFriday, February 1, 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Global warming issues took over lecture halls in colleges across the country Thursday, with more than 1,500 universities participating in what was billed as the nation's largest-ever "teach-in."

Organizers said the goal of the event, dubbed "Focus the Nation," was to move past preaching to the green choir, to reach a captive audience of students in many fields who might not otherwise tune in to climate change issues.

Faculty members from a wide spectrum of disciplines — from chemistry to costume design — agreed to incorporate climate change issues into their lectures on Thursday. Community colleges and some high schools also took part.

"It's about infusing sustainability into the curriculum of higher education, so students can graduate prepared to deal with the world they have been handed," said Lindsey Clark, 23, who organized events at the University of Utah.

The day's activities were the brainchild of Eban Goodstein, an economics professor at Lewis & Clark College in Portland who authored a widely used collegiate textbook on economics and the environment. Major funding came from Nike, Clif Bar and Stonyfield Farms, among other companies and foundations.

Goodstein, who has spent years training people to speak on climate change, said he issued a call to arms to fellow professors across the country a few years ago, as his certainty grew that time was running out to address global warming.

Some participating professors said the climate change issue already had been woven into their syllabus, in areas as disparate as philosophy and urban planning.

"For my students, three years ago, it felt like I was shoving this down people's throats. Now it feels mainstream," said Jane Nichols, who teaches interior design at Western Carolina University. "Students don't want their future clients to know more than they do."
Nichols said global warming is relevant to interior design because a designer's choice of materials has environmental implications. Bamboo floors and furnishings, for example, are more environmentally sustainable than old-growth wood, she said.

Other schools held panel discussions with political luminaries, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who participated via video satellite at the University of Nevada's campuses in Las Vegas and Reno.

A few schools took the concept beyond the classroom. At Lewis & Clark, student actors portrayed presidential candidates for a mock debate on climate change issues, with the Hillary Rodham Clinton character stressing the need for "green collar" workers and the John McCain figure echoing the candidate's calls for a cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon emissions.
Glendale Community College in Arizona and the University of Kentucky have been serving "low carbon" meals all week. Organizers at New York's Fordham University put up a mock wind farm to show people that "solutions are close at hand," said philosophy professor Jude Jones.
Western Carolina University hosted a recycled fashion show. And at the University of California at San Diego, a student dressed as a polar bear sat in a mock electric chair to illustrate how climate change could erase the species' habitat.

Goodstein said the event comes at a crossroads for those involved in the climate change movement: There's less debate over whether global warming is happening, but many people have the sense that it's too late to change course.

"If you go back to 1960, most Americans felt that segregation was wrong, but they were fatalistic about it," Goodstein said. "But now, 40 years later, Barack Obama is a serious contender for the presidency. And 40 years from now, when our young people have finished the job of rewiring the planet, they will look back and say that 2008 was the year Americans woke up."

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles