Must watch - fully scientific based solution for transition to 100 percent clean energy!
Must watch - fully scientific based solution for transition to 100 percent clean energy!
Applications are currently being accepted for “Environmental Justice Small Grants” to support projects that address local environmental and public health issues within affected communities. EPA’s New England regional office expects to award four grants of $20,000.
The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program is designed to help communities understand and address their exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. The long-term goals of the grant program are to help build the capacity of an affected community and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environmental in the future.
Application packages must be postmarked by midnight Monday, June 30, 2008. Guidance outlining the eligibility, purposes, goals and general procedures for the application and award are available on EPA’s Web site (epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html#applications) or by registering for a conference call being held June 18th between 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (EDT). To register, please contact Kwabena Kyei-Aboagye at (617) 918-1609.
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
- EJ Small Grant program epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html#applications)
- EJ Issues in New England (http://epa.gov/ne/ej/index.html)
"We never had a landfill crisis. What we have is a resource-efficiency crisis. There are resource wars going around the planet right now to get the raw materials that are being destroyed in our landfills and our incinerators."
For Other Trash Talk from NPR this week see "Getting Rid of Junk, Staying Green."
A few years ago, many considered Connecticut one of the least green states in the nation. But thanks to individuals, organizations, and businesses realizing the multitude of benefits to building green, that's no longer the case.
According to a post on Auctor Verno's blog, here's just a taste of commercial green building projects underway in Connecticut.
"Donald Trump got into the green game and announced the Trump Parc Stamford will be built to LEED standards and Naugutuck will get a $700 million green make-over courtesy of a public/private partnership between The Conroy Development Company of Fairfield, Connecticut and the Borough of Naugatuck and the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation.
Some other green projects recently announced are either just getting started or close to being finished include:
Metro Green, Stamford
Harbor Point, Stamford
Georgetown Land Development, Redding
Fairfield Metro Center
Campus at Greenhill, Wallingford
Wall Street Project, Norwalk
Mansfield Town Center
L.L. Bean Store, South Windsor
The Henry Lee Institute of Forensic Science, West Haven"
Do you know of a commercial or residential green building project you'd like to share? Contact Us.
One of the best things about this blog has been all of the inspirational people, organizations, and businesses who have reached out and contacted us to let us know what they're up to. One such serendipitous phone call led us to a wondrous discovery.
You may or may not know about our fascination with Biodiesel, but even if you haven't been following CTGreenScene, the title of this post probably gives you a hint. Certain we'd have to wait while the plant near Hartford is being constructed to get a taste of the ecofriendly fuel, a little birdie in the Connecticut transportation industry told us about BioPur, born out of a local goat farmers garage and now producing 400,000 gallons of pure Biodiesel every year. Thankfully, they've been so successful they plan to double production in the next year.
Anyone out there want to take on getting the school buses in Connecticut to switch over?
It's a wonderful thing when large corporations realize the benefits of lower impact living. Take Mortgage Lenders of America, for example.
As this article in GreenBiz.com points out, "MLN's headquarters, in Wallingford, Conn., features an employee cafeteria with healthy offerings such as herbs and vegetables grown on the premises, and food fuel zones: employee break areas stocked with complimentary snacks such as fruit from local orchards. Yet, Smith says their green building strategy is about more than just keeping employees happy and healthy." That's not surprising for the steep price of $75 million, nor is the fact that a little birdie told me (the comment below) that MLN went belly up. Even so, when big business is able to get a nice return on their investments made in people and the environment, so much the better.
Due in part to the popularity and success of the Solar PV Rebate Program, the Clean Energy Investment Committee of Connecticut Innovations recently approved several program enhancements that increase the rebates to include PV installations of up to 10 kilowatts. Under the revised program, the maximum rebate available on residential solar installations is $46,500. Details of the program changes can be found at www.ctcleanenergy.com/solar.
This program offers rebates, through designated participating installers, to Connecticut residents, nonprofits and governmental organizations that install small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Over the past two years, 192 residential solar installations have been approved, totaling just over 840 kilowatts. One hundred thirty-two of the installations have been completed, and the remaining approved systems are scheduled for construction. During this same period, three small nonprofit and governmental installations were approved, totaling 22 kilowatts.
Source: CT Innovations
Each green dot on the map to the left represents a Connecticut Clean Energy Fund community--nearly 75 percent of communities in the state. Thanks to all of you out there who have helped spread the word and convince your towns to bring clean energy to Connecticut. From Lise Dondy and her work as President of the Connecitcut Clean Energy Fund to father, middle school teacher, and Portland Connecicut resident Andy Bauer--the citizens of Connecticut are making a difference!
Lise Dondy says, "In addition to community-based initiatives designed to create awareness and demand for clean energy, 244 clean energy systems - including fuel cell, solar photovoltaic, biomass and advanced hydro systems - have been installed or are under way. These will provide the energy equivalent of electricity for 70,000 homes. These clean energy systems include: 36 commercial installations (27 solar, 6 fuel cell, 3 biomass), 8 demonstration projects and 200 residential solar photovoltaic systems, 100 of which are installed and 100 which are in process.
Source: Connecticut Innovations
Many young couples are concerned about climate change. Davie and Tiffany Foley, a newly wedded couple received an unusual wedding gift from their relatives--this forest in Costa Rica designed to balance their carbon emissions for the next 25 years.
CO2 is responsible for climate change and global warming. The average annual per capita CO2 emission of each U.S. citizen was 23.5 metric tonnes in 2004, up 18% since 1990. A couple who does not take measures to reduce their emissions is thus responsible for 47 tonnes each year.
In addition to buying hybrid cars, installing solar panels, switching over to clean energy, and reducing our use of electricity, another option for managing CO2 emissions is to sponsor a carbon-offset forest. Working with farmers to reforest pastures in 25-year contracts, programs like Reforest the Tropics manage new forests to produce wood for farmer income and to sequester CO2 on behalf of U.S. emitters.
I recently stopped by to fill my car up at Global off of exit 8 on 84W and thought I'd see what would happen if I asked the cashier when we could expect bio-diesel. She looked at me like I had three heads, and then a guy behind me said, "I don't think we have any of that stuff here in Connecticut."
Maybe I'll stop by the White House next week and ask when we can expect World Peace.
From the Hartford Courant July 20, 2007
By Lynn Doan
SUFFIELD - A bio-diesel company is looking to build the state's first large-scale bio-diesel production facility on an 18-acre plot at the end of Firestone Drive.
Representatives from CT Biodiesel, a Hartford-based renewable fuel company, came before the board of selectmen Wednesday with plans for a 25,000-square-foot building, in which soybean and canola oil would be transformed into 50 million gallons of bio-diesel a year. Bio-diesel is currently produced in Connecticut on a much smaller scale, with UConn's Biofuels Consortium producing 50 gallons a week out of restaurant waste oil for the university's vehicles.
By Heather Burns-DeMelo
A few weeks ago I read an article in the Danbury News Times about a man named Dr. Herster Barres whose program, Reforest the Tropics, partners with farmers in Costa Rica to plant and manage trees in order to offset personal and corporate CO2 emissions.
While working for the United Nations and as Director of the applied research program, Reforest the Tropics, Dr. Barres has studied the fastest growing and best carbon-gulping tree species in order to sequestor 25 tons of CO2 per year, per 2.5 acres. To date, 54 New England emitters have sponsored 263 acres of new forests in Costa Rica.
Carbon offsets are a hot topic these days, especially with corporations frantically trying to "green" their image. Credit companies like GE are offering card holders the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets, but as this Yahoo! article points out, the carbon offset market isn't regulated, so there's no way to be certain if your carbon is truly being offset. That is, of course, unless you purchase your credits from Reforest the Tropics, where a real person answers your questions, addresses your concerns, and they work hard to keep each sponsor in touch with their forests.
Want to make your home more energy efficient, but don't have the money? Join the club! I have dreams of solar panels, rain gardens and energy efficient appliances but can't seem to find the money. Dsire.org lists tax incentives and rebates and while energy efficient upgrades aren't free, Connecticut is one of the few states left with a grant program available to homeowners.
Anyone else out there know of other grants, incentives, or tax breaks available to Connecticut residents?
Well, last year a courageous group of 4th and 5th graders in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, boycotted a class fundraiser by refusing to sell the candy bars and potato chips they'd learned about in health class. Miles away in Westport, Connecticut, resident and owner of Natural Neighborhood, Rosie Haas, got an idea while reading an article about the students. "Customers of Natural Neighborhood were asking me if they could sell our natural and organic products to raise money for their kids' classrooms, I put two and two together and Fundraise Naturally was born," Haas recalls.
As of June 2006, schools in the U.S. have been required to form wellness committees to create and enforce nutrition in school-based cafeterias and other activities--such as the elimination of unhealthy products from fundraising programs. Haas says, "On the whole, schools are beginning to rethink the way they use their resources in the school environment and the impact on the greater community and that means seeking alternatives to fundraising as usual."
Fundraise Naturally only uses products that are eco-friendly, and are ethically made by caring manufacturers with the hope that as students experience entrepreneurship in an ethically-sound way, they will feel connected to their community and the planet, and get a real-life lesson in how small contributions can make a big difference.
Rosie Haas will be a keynote speaker at Fairfield County Green Drinks in September.
Sustainable or "green" energy is a clean and inexhaustible source of power (providing the world as we know it doesn't end any time soon). Each year one 215-foot-tall wind turbine prevents the release of nearly 4 million pounds of global warming CO2. When compared to the average electric generation mix, the carbon dioxide benefit is equivalent to planting over 3,800 trees or taking 315 cars off the road each year!
There are other types of nifty renewable energy available too--small low/impact hydro, solar, and biomass, which is energy created from a combination of organic materials such as discarded wood, plant material, and landfill gasses. Not only is the environmental impact of harvesting, producing, and using these types of "green" energy less than burning conventional oil and coal, but the sources are renewable, making them plentiful for future generations. So how can you get some?
We switched our home and offices over to 100% clean energy in celebration of Earth Day this year, and at .5 cents more per kilowatt hour, our bill is only $7 more per month. That's $84 a year to feel good about doing something big for the environment.
I came across this video clip while reading the latest post on Colin Beaven's No Impact Man blog. It's an interesting argument and I'd love to hear what all of you out there think.