As much as I try to stay up on local green events, especially when it comes to getting rid of waste responsibly, I don’t catch it all early. So here is a last minute bit of info I just read on our friend’s at GoingGreenDC’s blog:
On Saturday, January 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., drop off your old electronics before you shop for your organic groceries. Accepted items include laptops, modems, phones, faxes, printers, wires/cables, CD ROMs, floppy drives, keyboards, mice, circuit boards, CRT monitors, mainframe computer systems and much more. Televisions are not accepted. Esquire Environmental will scrub and destroy memory on all hard drives.
Participating Whole Foods include Bethesda, MD; (Kentlands) Gaithersburg, MD; (Tenleytown) DC; (Georgetown) DC; Reston, VA; Falls Church, VA; and Fair Lakes, VA.
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People are environmentalists for many different reasons – many of which stem from a desire to preserve the amazing natural beauty in the world, but more so I am realizing (and hoping) people are caring about the environment because they also see the great risk to us – as humans- if we don’t care about it. This is survival we are talking about! And this newsfeed from the EPA I just read is just one more reality check that we are contributing to a changing earth and really need to wake up and do something about it. According to the EPA: “Science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity”.
Here is the full article:
WASHINGTON – After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat.
GHGs are the primary driver of climate change, which can lead to hotter, longer heat waves that threaten the health of the sick, poor or elderly; increases in ground-level ozone pollution linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses; as well as other threats to the health and welfare of Americans.
“These long-overdue findings cement 2009’s place in history as the year when the United States Government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Business leaders, security experts, government officials, concerned citizens and the United States Supreme Court have called for enduring, pragmatic solutions to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing climate change. This continues our work towards clean energy reform that will cut GHGs and reduce the dependence on foreign oil that threatens our national security and our economy.”
EPA’s final findings respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. The findings do not in and of themselves impose any emission reduction requirements but rather allow EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation.
On-road vehicles contribute more than 23 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions. EPA’s proposed GHG standards for light-duty vehicles, a subset of on-road vehicles, would reduce GHG emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons and conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of model year 2012-2016 vehicles.
EPA’s endangerment finding covers emissions of six key greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of scrutiny and intense analysis for decades by scientists in the United States and around the world.
Scientific consensus shows that as a result of human activities, GHG concentrations in the atmosphere are at record high levels and data shows that the Earth has been warming over the past 100 years, with the steepest increase in warming in recent decades. The evidence of human-induced climate change goes beyond observed increases in average surface temperatures; it includes melting ice in the Arctic, melting glaciers around the world, increasing ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, acidification of the oceans due to excess carbon dioxide, changing precipitation patterns, and changing patterns of ecosystems and wildlife.
President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress’ efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation. However, climate change is threatening public health and welfare, and it is critical that EPA fulfill its obligation to respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants.
EPA issued the proposed findings in April 2009 and held a 60-day public comment period. The agency received more than 380,000 comments, which were carefully reviewed and considered during the development of the final findings.
Information on EPA’s findings: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment.html
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photos by Brad Trent
Business Week’s new feature “When Going Green Isn’t About Marketing“, by Amy Barrett, gets at the heart of what Green Living Consulting preaches daily – it’s possible to green your business in a way that saves money and reduces your impact on the environment. Our client Ripe has demonstrated how you weather a tough economy in both a fiscally and environmentally responsible way by greening up your operations.
Ripe, a DC-based web and graphic design studio, has been in the creative world for many years and continues to be a leader in innovative design practices, increasingly incorporating sustainable design into their products and services. But that’s not all. They have embraced sustainability as not just something they should consider when designing, but in every aspect of their business – from how they get to work (see Maryam’s bicycle below right), to how they light, cool, and heat their office, and even what they use to clean it.
Ripe also looks for opportunities to giveback, for example by donating laptops to the One Laptop per Child Foundation, whose mission is to create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. Tomas, owner of Ripe, even subsidizes alternative transportation for his employees – something not unusual for DC given the number of federal employees that receive transit benefits, but for this 5-person design firm, that’s a major commitment.
The studio’s design also incorporates sustainable materials: bamboo floors, low-VOC paints, and recently added Sansevieria plants, which are a big favorite of ours for cleaning the air naturally indoors. This plant is great because it is low-light tolerant, requires little water, and absorbs many of the toxins in the air that we don’t even know are there (See NASA study excerpts on how house plants absorb potentially harmful gases indoors).
Ripe was also the first design firm in Washington DC to adopt the Design Accord – a global coalition of designers, educators, and corporate leaders, working together to create positive environmental and social impact. Adopters of the Designers Accord commit to five guidelines that provide collective and individual ways to take action.
Ripe also recently received its Green Living Consulting certification, in which they rated SILVER in our Scorecard Assessment for their green actions across our 8 pillars of sustainability. We can’t wait to help them reach GOLD and keeping climbing the green ratings from there.
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imagine my delight when a friend forwarded me the Daily Candy Weekend Guide (Everywhere) today and I saw resusable bags that are practical and eco-chic. you know that pang of guilt every time you end up at the grocery store and you’ve forgotten your own bags, again. have that feeling no more. with flip and tumble‘s reusable bags in their cool colors and unique designs, you’ll find it hard not to take these everywhere. here’s to living green, the eco-fabulous way.
be well. live green.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )