Friday, September 30, 2011

The Global Green USA Green School Makeover Competition

The Global Green USA Green School Makeover Competition offers a chance to win $65,000 to green your school! Founded in 1994, Global Green USA is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. For more than 15 years, Global Green USA has helped create nearly $20 billion worth of new green schools, affordable housing, and municipal construction that saves energy, improves health, reduces CO2 emissions, creates green jobs, and continues to help foster a sustainable future.

A Green School is a High Performance School

Green schools are on the rise in America and around the world, but what exactly is a green school? According to Global Green USA, a green school, also known as a high performance school, is a community facility that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner. Green schools protect occupant health, provide a productive learning environment, connect students to the natural world, increase average daily attendance, reduce operating costs, improve teacher satisfaction and retention, and reduce overall impact to the environment.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Energy Efficiency: Obama's American Jobs Act and the Green Schools Program

President Obama's American Jobs Act, and programs like Green Schools, leverage efficiency initiatives to make America greener and stronger. In addition to being cost effective, energy efficiency is the quickest way of reducing electric power consumption.

Energy Efficiency with the Green Schools Program

The Alliance’s Green Schools Program helps students to reduce costs by reducing their school's energy consumption. With approximately $6 billion in energy costs each year, there is an enormous amount of possible savings.

Investing in Education is the Key to Developing the Green Economy

In President Obama's State of the Union Address, he spoke about how America can win the future by out-educating, out-innovating and out-building the rest of the world. The challenge of building the green economy is dependent on well educated students and this depends on government investment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

State Department Hearings for the Keystone XL Pipeline

On September 26th, the State Department began a series of hearings on the Keystone XL pipeline. Two very different views were expressed at public meetings in two states on Monday. People in Kansas criticized the Keystone XL pipeline for being environmentally destructive, while people in Texas praised the pipeline.

An Invitation to Join the Tar Sands Action in DC on Nov. 6th

This call to action was issued by a diverse group of movement leaders to bring together a massive rally on November 6th in Washington DC. To join the rally, sign up here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Arrests Mark One of the Largest Acts of Civil Disobedience in Canadian History

At the Ottawa action on September 26th 2011, approximately 200 people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience on parliament hill. These people were protesting the Alberta tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Supporters of the Ottawa Action Opposing the Tarsands and the Keystone XL Pipeline

A number of high profile organizations and individuals supported the Ottawa Action protesting the Alberta tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. Here is a summary of the organizations and individuals that endorsed the action in Ottawa.

Ottawa Action Opposing the Tar Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline

On Monday, September 26th 2011, more than 1,000 people people came together in Ottawa for a peaceful protest against tar sands oil and the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline will transport toxic tar sands across the continent from Alberta to Texas. If we are to address the climate crisis we need to move away from fossil fuels, particularly tar sands oil.

Training for the Tar Sands and Keystone XL Ottawa Action

On Sunday September 25 between 1pm and 8pm there was a training for participants in the September 26th tar sands/Keystone XL civil disobedience.
The training was intended to ensure that people understood the legal implications and practical logistics of the action. The training was mandatory for all participants and it emphasized the importance of non-violent direct action.

An Invitation to Join the Protest Against the Tar Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline

"There comes a time…"

There comes a time when you need to take a stand. When sending letters and signing petitions isn't enough. When together we must say, "enough is enough — not on our watch".

That time is now. We must act together for the health of our planet, our air, our water, our climate, and our children.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Protest in Washington and Now Ottawa

Late this summer, mass protests against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline took place in Washington. On Monday September 26th similar protests are planned for Ottawa. Before the Keystone XL protest in Washington came to an end, many people were jailed included 350.org leader Bill McKibben. Even NASA's leading scientist was arrested.

Video: Why People are Confused about the Scientific Veracity of Climate Change



In 2008, Professor Stephen Schneider delivered a speech for the Stanford University Office of Science Outreach's Summer Science Lecture Series. He discussed the science of global warming and reviewed the reasons why so many people are confused about the science of climate change. He also stresses the importance of American leadership. Quoting Margaret Mead, Schneider says climate change is the last symbol of global interdependence.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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Video: Moving Planet at the U.N in New York City



Anti-fracking demonstration at Dag Hammarskjold Park in New York City. This speaker reviewed the dangers associated with natural gas from fracking. The overall issue was climate change and the importance of renewable energy, particularly solar power.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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Video: Moving-Planet: Bill McKibben on Solidarity

Video: Moving-Planet: Bill McKibben on Solidarity



Bill McKibben addresses Moving-Planet at Civic Center, San Francisco. McKibben talks about Moving Planet around the world and what he refers to a the "great global solidarity." He talks about ways that this solidarity can change things in a big way.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Moving Planet Across Canada

Nearly every province in Canada got involved in Moving Planet. Canadians participated in more than 100 events including a Dene drum circle in Yellowknife, a bike ride in PEI and a massive bicycle march through downtown Vancouver.

Moving Planet Unites the World

Global warming is the one problem that affects everyone everywhere. The idea behind Moving Planet is simple, to win the fight against climate change, we need a global movement. Millions of people on different continents and in different languages, sharing the common idea that we need to move beyond fossil fuels.

Moving Planet: Beyond Fossil Fuels

On Saturday September 24th 2011, Moving Planet, is bringing people together with the message that we need to move beyond fossil fuels. The event is organized by 350.org which is a movement that does more than just sign petitions. Their members have pushed for action on climate change by protesting in front of the White House and picketing outside of embassies and consulates around the world.

Friday, September 23, 2011

GOP Resorts to Fraud to Ease Passage of Anti-Environment Act

Republicans are working hard to push the TRAIN Act through the House, they have even resorted to fraud to try to ease the bill's passage.On Thursday September 22, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's GOP leadership inaccurately claimed that they have the support of a number of green groups.

Stop the Republicans Anti-Environment TRAIN

On Friday September 23, the US House is expected to bring to the floor the TRAIN Act – one of the most extreme anti-environmental bills in memory. The measure, known as the "Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act," or "TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401)," is set for a final vote.

The I AM Fighting Climate Change Challenge

Global Green USA is behind the "I AM Fighting Climate Change" challenge. Global warming is causing our sea levels to rise and putting our coastal cities, and the billions of people that live in them, at risk across the globe. Global Green is working hard to protect these cities and other communities affected by climate change.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Greenpeace Exposes the Koch Brothers

Greenpeace has been following the climate killing crusades of the infamous Koch brothers for a long time. Greenpeace has reported on how these brothers have used their vast oil wealth and influence to divert huge sums money for massive misinformation campaigns. The Koch brothers are big funders of right-wing think-tanks such as Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, which they use as part of their propaganda arsenal.

Lego and Mattel Bow to Greenpeace Pressure and Eliminate Unsustainable Packaging

Lego has bowed to Greenpeace pressure and has discontinued its sourcing of packaging made from unsustainable forests. Lego has agreed to drop supplier Asia Pulp and Paper, and vows to use packaging material certified by the Forest Stewardship Council from now on.

Nike and H&M Bow to Greenpeace's Detox Challenge

A Greenpeace initiative known as the "Detox Challenge," is working to create a future free of toxic substances. Nike bowed to pressure from the Greenpeace campaign after only five weeks, and H&M agreed to comply not long after that. Both companies have promised to eliminate hazardous chemicals throughout their entire supply chains.

Greenpeace Turns 40

On Saturday September 15, 2011, Greenpeace celebrated its 40th anniversary in Vancouver, Canada, the city of its birth. Sadly, Canada is now exploiting Alberta's tar sands and actively working against other countries who are trying to develop meaningful climate targets.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ten Things New Sustainability Managers Need to Know

Those who are tasked to lead their company’s sustainability efforts must be familiar with a wide assortment of issues. What do they need to know? How do they make sense of all the available information?
Network for Sustainability have answered some of the more common questions, and included links to resources that can help. Here are the 10 questions new sustainability managers need to answer.

International Sustainability Professionals Conference 2011

The 2011, International Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) conference takes place between September 21st and 23rd in Portland, Oregon. This conference is designed to help manage the huge amounts of information on business sustainability. The goal is to help managers oversee their company's sustainability efforts.

Green Building Council's World Green Building Week 2011: Powerful Plants

World Green Building Week takes place between the 19th and the 23rd of September. Green Building Week is a global event organised by the World Green Building Council.

Defend Clean Air and Oppose the TRAIN Act

Americans are resisting the TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401) ahead of a House floor vote which is expected on Friday September 23rd 2011. If passed, the TRAIN Act will sacrifice tens of thousands of lives, pollute the air, and expose children, families, and communities to toxic air pollutants that cause illness and developmental disorders.

ZeDay: The Global Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Combustion

ZeDay takes place on September 21 and it is a day for people all over the planet to strive for zero emissions. In 2011, the fourth ZeDay, has the theme, “Get creative!” How can we all make the most of the moratorium? Rather than feeling disempowered – how might we all feel energized without using fossil fuel energy?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

GreenBlue's Packaging Design Guidelines Close the Loop on Recycling

A lack of coordination between packaging design and packaging recovery is a major obstacle in creating closed loop recycling systems for materials. To address this issue, the non-profit organization GreenBlue has released a suite of reports that provide technical guidance on designing packaging to be compatible with common recovery methods. GreenBlue initiated this project to provide similar guidance for all packaging material types.

Packaging Strategies' Sustainable Packaging Forum 2011

Packaging Strategies' Sustainable Packaging Forum 2011 takes place between September 20 and 22 in Dallas, Texas. This Forum focuses on the latest sustainable packaging practices, business strategies and technologies from across the globe that support company growth while meeting today's sustainability challenges.

The 3 Stages of a Recycling Loop

A recycling loop includes the design, manufacturing and marketing of products. A fragmented recycling system only moves trash around, a recycling loop collects recyclables, transforms them into useful products and distributes them in the marketplace. The symbol of recycling represents the three stages of collection, processing and market development.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Paperless Future: BenchPrep is Taking Textbooks and Study Groups Online

New technology applications are emerging in social networks that may one day put an end to the tree killing paper used in school texts and paper notebooks. Students already have access to digital networks that assist with their academics in addition to their social lives. About 150,000 people are taking advantage of the services of a company called BenchPrep. In addition to digitizing test prep materials, they are also giving students online access to study aids and virtual study groups.

How to Start a School Recycling Program

According to Treehugger, on average, schools throw out 38 tons of paper each year, which equals 644 trees. However, each ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees. Schools represent an important opportunity for increased recovery of high quality paper much needed to make new products. Here are 10 steps from Earth 911, for the development of a school recycling program.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Building a Sustainability Strategy Online Course

This interactive webinar course on sustainability is composed of four modules. It is 1.5 hours per week for 4 weeks (October 4, October 11, October 18 and October 25). The course starts at 1:00 pm EST and ends at 2:30 pm EST.

College Students Touring the Nation to Promote Sustainability

In the summer of 2011 a group of college students traveled the country in what they call, "The Big Green Bus" to teach people about the importance of sustainability.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Video: Introduction to 24 Hours of Reality



Between September 14th and 15th, the event 24 Hours of Reality saw people around the globe calling attention to the climate crisis and working to solve it. By the time former Vice President Al Gore finished his presentation on the evening of September 15th, the 24 hour long event had 8.6 million views.

Video: Trailer for The Antartic Ozone Hole - from Discovery to Recovery



The documentary 'The Antartic Ozone Hole - from Discovery to Recovery, a Scientific Journey' presents leading atmospheric scientists describing in simple and compelling terms the evolution of the Antarctic Ozone Hole from its discovery in 1985 by the British Antarctic Survey through to the present day situation, prognosis for its recovery and linkages with climate change.

For more information click here.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

The 16th of September is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, this year the theme is: ‘HCFC phase-out a unique opportunity’. To commemorate the day, UNEP has announced the release of a new report entitled: Risk Assessment on Illegal Trade in HCFCs. This report provides a summary of recent cases of illegal trade in HCFCs and the policy measures in place to combat smuggling of ozone depleting chemicals.

Australia's National Solar Schools Program

The National Solar Schools Program (NSSP) officially commenced in July 2008 and offers grants of up to $50,000 for schools in Australia to install solar power systems. The program also applies to other sustainable initiatives such as rainwater tanks and a range of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

Coca-Cola's Solar Rebuilding in Japanese Schools

Coca-Cola is installing solar panels on Japanese schools to help with the country’s rehabilitation. The Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund was established under the Coca-Cola Educational & Environmental Foundation. This fund has allocated 1.5 billion yen (US$18.9 million) to integrate solar power into the rebuilding of public elementary and junior high schools damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Bill Increases Energy Efficiency in Oregon's Schools

Bill 2960 is bringing energy efficiency upgrades to Oregon schools. The bill enabled school districts to apply for low cost financing to pay for energy efficiency upgrades in schools.

Utility bills are one of the largest expenses for most Oregon school districts and are growing about 10 percent every year. Upgrading older buildings improves efficiency, ventilation and lighting while riding schools of mold and asbestos.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BIXI Bikes Takes a Bite of the Big Apple

New York City has selected Montreal-developed BIXI to create the largest single bike sharing system in North America. The New York system will be comprised of 10,000 bikes and 600 portable, solar-powered docking stations. Additional stations are also being studied.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Science and Pernicious Ignorance of Climate Change Denial

It is nothing short of tragic that so many Americans continue to dismiss the scientific veracity of climate change. Deniers are not moved by the coherency of the research that weaves together the different points of measurement. The plethora of data includes higher global mean surface temperatures, melting glaciers, retreating sea ice, increasing water temperature, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and extreme weather. The data is unequivocal yet there are scores of confused people who are woefully unaware of the facts.

24 Hours of Reality

This event is a 24-hour worldwide marathon all about the reality of the climate crisis. 24 Hours of Reality will be broadcast live online, over 24 hours, representing 24 time zones and 13 languages. The Climate Reality Project will host the live streaming event, which begins on September 13 at 8 p.m. EDT and ends at the same time on September 14.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creating Climate Wealth UK Summit

Creating Climate Wealth (CCW) UK summit, will be held at the University College in London (UCL), on September 13 and 14, 2011. The UK is at a low carbon economy crossroads. A ‘transition to 2050’ requires long term planning, huge infrastructure investments and sustained action on many fronts. Yet it also offers an immediate transformational opportunity to create new wealth, jobs and global competitiveness.

Cleanovation 2011: Israel and Texas Working Together for Cleantech

The Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Government of Israel’s Economic Mission to the Southern Region will host Cleanovation in Houston on Sep 14, 2011. More than 300 participants are anticipated to attend, along with leaders from Fortune 100, select emerging growth companies and the public sector with many having headquarters in Texas or Israel.

Princeton is Building the Largest Solar Array of Any University

Princeton University is planning to build a 27-acre solar field consisting of 16,500 photovoltaic panels making it the largest solar field for any US college or university. It will produce enough energy to power 700 households. The EPA estimates that the solar array is equivalent of taking more than 1,200 cars off the road, which translates to a reduction of 3,090 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Online Course: Environmental Mechanisms and Impact Assessment Methods

This course explores how the various impact assessment methods are modeling the fate, transport & exposure pathways (causality chain, mechanisms) of emissions. The course allows participants to understand each impact category and why your results change when you use different impact assessment methods.

Solar Powered Schools In California

An increasing number of California's schools are using solar electricity installations as a teaching tool. The Foundation for Environmental Education has partnered with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to bring renewable energy education into under-served communities through highly-visible solar installation systems. The Foundation for Environmental Education is a non-profit organization that is seeking to build the next generation of thinkers who will carry the renewable energy torch far into the future. California's Solar Schools initiative will help the state save over $1.5 billion in energy costs over the next 30 years.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The UK's Sandal Magna Community Primary School

The Sandal Magna Community Primary School in Wakefield, England is one of the UK's most carbon efficient schools. Designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, the complex incorporates reclaimed materials, energy conservation, and renewable energy. The school recently won the RIBA award for both its green efforts and its unique looks.

2011 International Green Schoolyard Conference: Engaging Our Grounds

Between September 16th and 18th, the 2011 International Green Schoolyard Conference will be held in San Francisco and Berkeley. The green schoolyard movement is growing rapidly and flourishing around the world. Schools are re-imagining their grounds, replacing their extensive paved surfaces with a vibrant mosaic of outdoor learning and play opportunities. Schools in many different countries are leaders in this field, finding innovative ways to weave curricula into their landscapes, diversify their recreational offerings, enhance their local ecology, and reflect their unique location and cultural context.

Report from The Green Economy Action Roadshow

The Green Economy Action Roadshow took place on September 9 and 10, 2011, at Moraine Valley Community College, in Palos Hills, Illinois. This green event gave participants the opportunity to meet with businesses, public agencies and experts involved in the Green Economy. Presented by The Delta Institute and Mindful Metropolis, the Green Economy Action Roadshow is a two-day event designed to connect, transform and empower green business, government and lifestyles. The event is focused on helping people to find partners and other resources to help grow with the Green Economy.