State Representative John Shaban will be hosting a recycling forum at the Westport Weston Family YMCA on Wednesday, June 1.
The forum will educate constituents on proper recycling habits, what materials can and cannot be recycled, and proper waste streams, along with a discussion of this year’s environmental efforts and the status of various initiatives such as GMO labeling, brownfield remediation, and other environmental legislation passed this session.
Officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will be on the panel.
The forum will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Westport Weston Y’s Bedford Family Center, 14 Allen Raymond Drive, Westport.
Join the Stamford 2030 District as they recognize the achievements of those leading change in sustainability. This will be the Stamford 2030 District’s First Annual Recognition Awards, hosted graciously by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, October 21st 6 - 8:30 PM.
Recognition will be made in four achievement areas:
Brian Geller, Founder of the first 2030 District and currently Senior Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Citibank, will provide the keynote address. The evening will also feature a tribute to the Stamford 2030 District’s first year of accomplishments and a sneak peek at next year’s plans.
Tickets are $75 for General Admission and $100 VIP including pre-event reception with honorees.
Interested in becoming an event sponsor? Learn more about the event sponsorship opportunities available >>
Register and pay online using our secure online application. Please enter your name and ticket preference (General Admission at $75 or VIP at $100) in the Notes section of the payment page. As one of Stamford 2030 District’s founding members, along with the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, The Business Council is pleased to offer our online registration for this event.
The 6th Annual Live Green Connecticut! Festival is Saturday, September 19th, from 10am - 5pm, and Sunday, September 20th from 10am - 4pm at Taylor Farm Park located at 45 Calf Pasture Beach Road in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Admission is Free!
Founding partner, Xerox, and gold sponsors, Frito Lay and Stop & Shop, will share green technology that is helping to support sustainable infrastructures in our communities.
New this year is a fun new feature, the Live Green CT! Dog Parade. The parade is schedule for 2:00 pm on both days. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories. All entries will receive a gift for participating.
The Gustave Whitehead replica plane will be on display both days! On March 8, 2013, the world's foremost authority on aviation history, "Jane's All the World's Aircraft", formally recognized Gustave Whitehead's claim as “First in Flight.” The replica plane, that has been flown, has a 36’ wing span and will be on display all weekend.
Also on display will be a 1898 Riker Electric Car, courtesy of Dragone Classic Cars. The Fitness and Wellness area will feature blood pressure screenings by Norwalk Hospital, Body Fat testing by The Edge, and The Adventure Park exhibit.
The Home Improvement section and The Cool Kids’ Zone will both be returning this year as major attractions, as well as a Sawmilling exhibit and an expanded shopping area. The Cool Kids’ Zone will feature pony rides and face painting as well as a petting zoo, bounce house, prize wheel, interactive art exhibit and environmental exhibits from SoundWaters.
Thanks to Sustainable America for sending this video clip along to us!
By Heather Burns
I attended the inaugural Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) meeting led by Commissioner, CT Department of Energy, Robert Klee, and was deeply impressed by the depth of commitment and intention of the Council.
During introductions, personal anecdotes illustrated why the work “addressing climate change – the most important issue of our time” was essential for this and future generations, and a strong commitment to the mission of the Council echoed around the room. Governor Malloy addressed the Council emphasizing the importance of taking bold, swift action and to making the most of one’s time spent in government office. Collaboration and cross sector partnerships were iterated as key opportunities for developing and implementing solutions.
And while the “what” (carbon reductions); the “why” (healthy human existence on Earth) was clearly expressed; the how was not. Not unlike any multi-stakeholder group seeking to create a solutions-based plan to combat a complex problem, the how is always where the rubber meets the road.
A complex issue such as climate change – and the direct and indirect social and economic impacts of achieving meaningful carbon reductions – has deep roots in a broken system and requires clear and shared definitions before diving into the components of mapping a plan. An example was the continued reference to "clean energy" by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission as nuclear and gas rather than wind, hydro and solar which are supported by agencies such as NASA and the international science community, as well as the type of clean energy projects funded by GC3 member Connecticut Green Bank.
The “who” beyond government agencies and NGOs was also vague as a continued reference to business and industry as a key stakeholder, surfaced an absence of representation. One of the goals of the newly founded Connecticut Sustainable Business Council is to create a platform for businesses within the state to engage in processes such as these, and to be able to contribute innovative, triple bottom line solutions being developed by many companies today. We stand by ready to assist.
Even with all of the layers of complexities and dynamics to navigate, I have faith in GC3 to create clear shared definitions, include the sustainable business sector, establish realistic interim steps, and to consider implementation strategies when developing the framework of a plan.
Must watch - fully scientific based solution for transition to 100 percent clean energy!
by Heather Burns
We asked Ethan Allen what it means to understand the value of embedding sustainability principles and practices into company DNA; including finding ways to eliminate toxic chemicals from their products.
Answers provided by Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President & CEO of Ethan Allen.
How does Ethan Allen view sustainability from a business standpoint?
Ethan Allen started with its first plant in the Green Mountains of Vermont in 1932, and sustainability has been an integral part of our culture as a company and our DNA as a brand ever since. We like to say that green isn’t a buzzword here, it’s a business model. We have always been always been an industry leader on environmental issues, from establishing our own internal standards of excellence on recycling and energy consumption to partnering with the American Home Furnishings Alliance on all of its important sustainability initiatives. Wherever we do business in the world today, we are deeply dedicated to the responsible management of our planet’s precious natural resources.
What led to the decision to stop using fire retardants in your products?
The effectiveness of flame retardants has been called into question, so with the revision of upholstery flammability standards, we took the opportunity to take a leadership position in the industry, and now Ethan Allen can offer upholstery fabrics, leathers and resilient filling materials that are free of flame retardants yet still meet or surpass the most stringent U.S. flammability requirements for residential upholstered furniture. We are a client-focused company, and the safety and peace of mind of our clients always come first.
How do you anticipate this action benefiting your business?
We have always prided ourselves on taking the long view. Not just on what’s best for short-term profits, but what’s best for the people we serve and the planet we share. The decisions we make today will have lasting impact on tomorrow, and we never forget that. From a business perspective, it’s our hope that we connect with people who share those values.
What have been some of the operational difficulties or other barriers associated with this action and how has your company overcome them?
I go back to the culture of this company and the DNA of this brand. In other organizations, maybe these changes would’ve been met with resistance or grudging acceptance. But here at Ethan Allen, the challenges are always met with raised hands and the answers are always, "Yes” and “How I can be part of this?”
What is the AHFA Eco3Home certification and what does Ethan Allen hope to accomplish by participating?
This is another area in which we are partnering with AHFA on environmental responsibility issues. Basically, the initiative encourages the use of tags on a product to identify its carbon footprint. It’s a great idea. We are working closely with our AHFA partners to bring it to life. In the meantime, visit the Eco3Home section on the AHFA website. And you can always find our environmental initiatives detailed at https://www.ethanallen.com/en_US/sustainable-operations.html.
The latest research on toxic chemicals in children's car seats was released last week by the non profit Ecology Center, www.healthystuff.org.
Hold on to your hats . . . Nearly three-quarters (73%) of seats tested contained hazardous halogenated flame retardants and over half contained non-halogenated organophosphate flame retardants, some of which are hazardous as well. The study finds the hazardous flame retardant chemicals and alternatives used by companies are poorly regulated, putting consumers at risk, and questions the fire safety benefit of using these chemicals. “This is one more example of a consumer product containing extremely toxic chemicals that expose children. It is a huge concern,” stated Anne Hulick, RN, MS, JD, Coordinator of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut.
Best 2014-15 Car Seats:
Worst 2014-15 Car Seats:
Other brands with products tested include: Chicco, Cybex, Dorel Juvenile Group (Eddie Bauer, Safety First), Evenflo, Harmony Juvenile, Orbit Baby, Peg Perego.
HealthyStuff.org is now asking the one of the largest manufacturers of car seats, Graco, to take leadership to disclose and phase out hazardous chemical flame retardant additives. Consumers are encouraged to sign our petition to Graco at HealthyStuff.org.
Since 1996, researchers at the Ecology Center have tested over 17,000 consumer products, including over 370 children’s car seats, for chemical hazards. Research is conducted both through the Ecology Center’s HealthyStuff.org in-house lab and collaborating laboratories.
The Ecology Center is a Michigan-based, nonprofit environmental organization working at the local, regional and national levels for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play. Our HealthyStuff.org program is a national leader in testing products and disclosing information on hazardous chemicals in consumer products.