Sunday, March 31, 2013

Event - Fuel-Efficient Car Show at the Silver Diner

The Fuel-Efficient Car Show at the Silver Diner will take place on May 19, 2013 at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Cherry Hill, NJ. Have high gas prices got you down? Come check out dozens of car models that get at least 35 MPG highway, including hybrids, electric cars, and high-mileage cars that run on gasoline and diesel.

There will also be a fully-electric, zero-emission motorcycle that runs up to 113 miles on a charge, and an electric charging station.

In Cherry Hill, NJ, car and truck emissions account for nearly 30 percent of our greenhouse gasses. Be part of the solution and drive a fuel-efficient car!

Sponsored by Cherry Hill's It's In Our Power campaign.

Event - New England Independent Schools Sustainability Conference: GSAx Northeast

GSAx Northeast will take place on April 15, 2013, between 9am and 3pm, in Windsor, Connecticut. This event is Hosted by Loomis Chaffee and Co-Sponsored by Suffield Academy and the Green Schools Alliance. Educators and students will be present at this conference which focuses on what really works in independent schools. Participants can attend workshops and meet vendors providing innovative, energy-saving solutions.

GSAx Regional Conferences, Training Workshops and Resource Fairs, co-sponsored and hosted by a GSA School, bring schools together with experts, businesses and non-profit organizations to share knowledge and grow the movement.

Event - EcoLinks2013: Environmental Educators Conference

EcoLinks2013 - Environmental Educators Conference  will take place on May 3 - 4, 2013 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

EcoLinks is a professional conference for all educators who want to incorporate environmental content into any subject and at any grade. The event is focused on practical, hands-on workshops. There will be informative classroom sessions as well as opportunities to get out into the beautiful adjacent nature areas for hikes, dip-netting, paddling on the river and more.

Event - IAIA13 Impact Assessment: The Next Generation

IAIA13 Impact Assessment: The Next Generation is the 33rd Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment, it will take place on May 13-16, 2013 at the Calgary Stampede BMO Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The IAIA13 theme focuses on how impact assessment (IA) itself will evolve in Canada as well as in the rest of the word as we face global changes (e.g., climate change, biodiversity loss, soil degradation and loss, ocean productivity changes, loss of aboriginal cultures, and more) as well as changes in IA regulations and procedures. The “next generation” refers to both a new generation of practitioners and new approaches to IA practice.

Event - UNCCD Scientific Conference on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought

The Third Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3) with the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought and the Eleventh Session of the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 11) will take place from 9-19 April 2013, at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany.

The issue of encroaching deserts has become urgent because of renewed droughts that have plunged millions into poverty in Africa’s Sahel belt last year and in East Africa the year before.

The scientific meeting is scheduled to take place under the UN's global desertification convention which is known by the acronym CCD. There 193 countries that have signed on will be meeting to address the issues related to water scarcity. The Conference theme is, “Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.” At CST S-3 scientists, governments and civil society organizations are to carry out the first ever comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of desertification, land degradation and drought.

The Symbolism of Easter in an Ecological Context

Easter is associated with new life, rebirth, and renewal. From an ecological perspective this is precisely what is required as we engage the serious work of being better environmental stewards. A number of symbols have become part of the Easter tradition. Some are directly related to the life of Jesus Christ and some have a pagan background.

For Christians, Easter is a celebration of Christ's resurrection, the ultimate symbol of rebirth. Easter's pagan roots date back to the 8th century, specifically an Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess known as "Eostre," whose name may be derived from "eastre," meaning spring.

The Easter Egg is taken from Celtic and Teutonic pagan traditions. Eggs are directly associated with springtime festivals in many older texts and narratives. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Video - World Water Day: What Individuals Can Do

United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) - Video in English created by United Kingdom based students at the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, for World Water Day. The contribution is part of UNRIC's partnership with Fabrica.

To help promote a series of UN International Days, prestigious European design schools and academies produce short videos part of a partnership between UNRIC and Fabrica, the Benetton research centre on communication.

The schools belong to a network established by Fabrica to promote youth creativity. Video content produced by the students is promoted by the UN and showcased on Benetton storefront Live Windows.

Author: Rory Tatton
Tutor: Craig Burston
Institute: UCA Farnham, United Kingdom
Cover: Gastón Lisak (Fabrica resident)
Music: Jhon William Castaño (Fabrica resident)

Video: World Water Day: Problems and Solutions Animated Short

This animated short video offers a condensed review of water related issues in the developing world and what we can do to address it.

Video - The Big Thirst the Business of Water

The golden age of water—where water is unlimited, safe, and free—is over. Award-winning investigative journalist Charles Fishman reports on his three-year odyssey to uncover how the world of water is changing and the enormous implications for each of us, no matter where we live. This video briefly explores the cutting edge of waters bio-chemistry. Our relationship with water is one of the deciding things of the next century.

Water is not only a matter of life and death. Dirty water is not only deadly, treating water-born illnesses is a very expensive proposition. India spends more on diarrhea than the total economic output of half of the nations in the world.

The US uses more water in a day than oil throughout an average year, and more water in four days than the entire world uses oil in a year. However, the US uses less water than it did in 1980. In the last 25 years the country has more than doubled its water productivity. This makes the point that it is possible to be a modern economy and use substantially less water.

We need to pay attention to what businesses are doing, this includes both risks and the opportunities. Positive change starts with putting a price on water. This will not only reduce use it will drive innovation. Fishman goes on to cite three examples of water innovation by businesses around the world.

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Video - World Water Day: What Individuals Can Do
Video: World Water Day: Problems and Solutions Animated Short
Video - World Water Day 2013: Message from UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon
Documentary - Water on the Table
Worldwatch Institute: The Looming Threat of Water Scarcity
World Water Day 2013: International Year of Water Cooperation
Solutions to the World Water Crisis Requires International Cooperation
Solutions to Diminishing Ground Water
Reducing Water Use in the United States
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Alarming Facts About Water
Population Growth and Climate Change will Add to the World Water Crisis
Fracking: a Tragic Waste of Water

Video - World Water Day 2013: Message from UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon

World Water Day (22nd March 2013): Video Message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the importance of Water Cooperation, the theme of World Water Day 2013.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The EPA's New Tier 3 Standards Offer Environmental, Economic and Employment Benefits

The Obama administration has unveiled a proposal that will benefit the environment and the economy. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) historic new rules, known as the Tier 3 standards, will reduce sulfur in gasoline and tighten car and truck emission standards. The rule is still undergoing a White House budget office review, but it is expected to come into effect nationwide in 2017, except for California where it is already in place.

The new rule is part of a global trend that will bring US sulfur content in gasoline closer to current norms. Tier 3 will see a 60 percent reduction in the sulfur content of gas which translates to content reductions from 30 parts per million (ppm) down  to 10 ppm.

Tier 3 standards will also reduce vehicular emissions including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. The rule is expected to reduce nitrogen oxides by as much as 80 percent, which would eliminate 260,000 tons of the pollutant, or the equivalent of taking 33 million cars off the roads.

Canada Withdraws from UN Efforts to Combat Desertification

The Canadian government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has opted to withdraw from the UN's global desertification convention which is known by the acronym CCD. Of the 193 countries involved, Canada is the only country to pull out.

Due to over-farming and over-grazing in the prairie provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan), 200,000 km of the country's breadbasket suffer from desertification. The affected areas cover 80 percent of the country's farm lands.

When it comes to environmental issues Canada is increasingly isolated on the world stage. Withdrawing from a global effort to combat desertification, is but the latest environmental insult from Canada's ruling Conservative government.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Republicans Oppose the PTC but Support Oil Subsidies

It is not surprising that many Republicans who oppose the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy, support fossil fuel subsidies. Although the PTC was extended through 2013, some Republicans have vowed to continue their push to kill it. Conservatives are well known for their love of free markets and distrust of government subsidies, unless of course it involves fossil fuels. Some Republicans in Congress have made it clear that they will seek amendments that erode the PTC.

Republicans including the 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, wanted to let the PTC expire. Romney and other Republicans who oppose the PTC say it costs too much and props up businesses with government subsidies.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in an email that Romney "believes the government should stop playing venture capitalist and doling out open-ended subsidies, and instead encourage private sector innovation and market competition.” This is part of the same conservative philosophy that advocates for unbridled free markets and supports deregulation.

US Wind Energy Doubles and Eclipses Natural Gas in 2012

In 2012 the US added 13.1 gigawatts (GW) of wind power, which for the first time is better than natural gas. New US gas capacity in 2012 was around 8,7GW. In total, 40.5 percent of new US electricity generation capacity came from wind power installations as compared to 33.1 percent for natural gas. (Globally, wind added 44.7GW last year).

US installed wind energy in 2012 has almost doubled compared to 2011 (6.8GW). Total US utility-scale wind power capacity, through the 4th quarter of 2012 was at more than 60GW. To get an idea of the significance of surpassing the 60GW milestone, that is enough energy to power more than 15 million homes or the equivalent of almost 50 coal-fired power plants. However, unlike fossil fuels, wind energy offers the compelling benefit of having no emissions. The emissions reductions offered by wind power in the US are equal to taking more than 15 million cars off the road.

A Condensed History of the Production Tax Credit (PTC)

After 20 years and many extensions, the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired at the end of 2012, but then miraculously it was once again resurrected in an eleventh hour addendum to the fiscal cliff deal. On Jan. 1, 2013, the final vote of the 112th Congress secured the extension of the PTC. Although 60+ tax provisions were due to expire the last minute deal granted the PTC a stay of execution.

In the final hours of the fiscal cliff negotiations, a provision in the American Taxpayer Relief Act (P.L. 112-240) added a $12 billion, one year extension of the PTC. The $12 billion figure ($12.1 billion to be exact) was estimated by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. Just before 2 A.M. on New Year’s Day 2013, the Senate overwhelming voted in favor of the deal (89-8).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

US Government Support for Renewable Energy Projects

The US federal government has shown that it can collaborate effectively to support the growth of renewable energy across the country. The Department of the Interior has worked with industry, state, tribal, and local partners to approve 34 renewable energy projects on public lands in western states and to build an offshore regulatory framework in the Atlantic.

The renewable energy projects include 18 utility-scale solar facilities, 9 geothermal plants and 7 commercial wind farms. In addition to providing 13,000 jobs, these projects will provide 10,400 megawatts of energy, or enough to power 3.4 million homes, all without the emissions associated with fossil fuels.

RGGI is Increasing Renewables while Reducing GHGs and Spurring Economic Growth

According to a report released on March 26th, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has spurred the growth of renewable energy, reduced greenhouse gases (GHGs) and helped to grow the economy in the US Northeast. Between 2000 and 2010, the economies of the ten Northeast states grew twice as fast per capita as other states while per capita carbon dioxide emissions declined 25 percent faster.

These are the findings of a report released by Environment America. The report titled "A Double Success: Tackling Global Warming While Growing the Economy with an Improved Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative," shows that it is possible to increase renewable energy, lower GHGs and grow the economy at all at the same time.

“By promoting clean energy and energy efficiency programs, RGGI helps keep energy dollars in our local economy while reducing the risk of climate change-related costs,” said Pat Stanton, senior vice president for policy and advocacy at the Conservation Services Group (CSG), a large energy services company. “In the last five years, RGGI has helped to spur CSG’s growth. We have added over 450 new employees and improved the efficiency, comfort, and affordability of thousands of New England homes.”

The US Transportation Sector can Reduce Petroleum Use and GHG emissions by 80% over the Next Few Decades

According to a new government study an 80 percent reduction in petroleum use and GHG emissions is possible in the transportation sector by 2050. This is the finding of research by the Transportation Energy Futures (TEF) project, a nine-part study undertaken by the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Argonne National Laboratory.

As reported in CleanTechnica, NREL Senior Analyst Austin Brown said: “Transportation accounts for 71 percent of total US petroleum consumption and 33 percent of our nation’s total carbon emissions. It presents significant opportunities to cut oil dependence while taking a bite out of greenhouse gas emissions. The finding that there are many options increases our confidence that a clean transportation solution is possible in the long term.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top 25 Sustainable Brands on Twitter

Here is Triple Pundit's list of 25 for-profit businesses who are using Twitter to support their advocacy of people, planet and profits.

1. @SCJgreenchoices: Daily tweets from SC Johnson’s Global Corporate Affairs, Communication & Sustainability team on environmental topics, tips & green choices.
2. @Unilever: Sharing new content and engaging topics like marketing, business strategy, results, and sustainable living.
3. @SustainableSAP: Tweeting general sustainability and CSR info, and news about SAP’s sustainability solutions/efforts.
4. @CiscoCSR: Sharing resources for nonprofits & NGOs as well as global corporate social responsibility news & updates from Cisco.
5. @WalMartGreen: WalMart believes that together, we will create a more sustainable world to help people live better. 6.

Comprehensive Summary of US Green Legislation

It is essential for businesses to keep abreast of the legal imperatives that impinge on their operations. Keeping up with green legislation in the US is no easy task. To help make this effort easier, Greenful has put together a comprehensive summary of environmental legislation from the Clean Air Act (CAA) which was passed in 1967 to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (Cafe) of 2012. Here are 27 links that cover all major green legislation and related amendments:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Webinar - NWF Emerging Leaders Professional Development

The NWF Emerging Leaders Professional Development Webinar Series: Finding Meaning, Money and Community in a Changing Word - A Discussion with Billy Parish, co-author of "MAKING GOOD" will take place on March 26, 2013 from 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST. The National Wildlife Federation’s Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI) will host its second webinar of their Professional Development Webinar Series:

The webinar is free, but registration is required, please click here.

Course - Environmental Law & Regulation

The course Environmental Law and Regulation takes place on March 27, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m (Check-in time: 8 a.m.)in New Brunswick, NJ.

Redesigned and updated for 2013, this interactive course is "TEAM" taught by NJ's top environmental attorneys, regulators and consultants. Case studies in the areas of air, water and land use will be presented in a way that demonstrates the different roles and viewpoints of all members of the team. A client's perspective will also be incorporated into the case studies. The team leaders for each featured topic will present a lightning-round overview of the important statutes, regulations and case law related to their subject areas so that all discussions have context. The consultant and agency representatives will coordinate with the team leaders to present a real-world view of the operation of the law in question from a permitting, enforcement and litigation point of view as they affect both businesses and individuals.

Event - ISSP Conference 2013

The ISSP Conference 2013 will take place on May 8 -10, 2013 at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The event will feature speakers from GRI, Alaska Airlines, The Nature Conservancy, Presidio Graduate School and other top flight organizations. Sustainable Urban Communities, Integrated Reporting, Sustainability In the Industrial Sector and Green Architecture are just a sampling of the great content that will be presented.

In addition to a high quality agenda and a gathering of sustainability leaders from around the world, the program includes exciting pre-conference workshops, and the inauguration of the next class of inductees into the ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame(TM), collaborative work on the ISSP signature Sustainability Lexicon Project(TM), and an interactive World Cafe that will help chart the future of the profession.

Event - Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference

The Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference will take place on April 15-16, 2013 in Bethesda, MD. Colleges and universities are incubators of innovation, tackling the biggest challenges of society through creative means. The 2013 Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference provides the setting to learn, share and explore how campuses are using their passion for innovation to develop technologies, infrastructure, programs and curricula that address the world's most pressing environmental and sustainability challenges.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Event - Marketplace Sustainability Summit

The Marketplace Sustainability Summit will take place on April 16th (14:00 to 17:30) at Guildhall on Greshan Street in London. As part of Responsible Business Week, this Summit aims to raise the quality of the conversation around sustainability - from the Boardroom to the customer's sitting room. How will you ensure your business thrives in an increasingly complex world? Significant population growth, greater resource constraints and other global mega-trends are challenging business models throughout the economy. Taking action to make your business more sustainable cannot be deferred any longer.

Event - Engineering Sustainability

Engineering Sustainability will take place 04/07/2013 - 04/09/2013. This all day event will take place at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

Sponsored by The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh and The Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research at Carnegie Mellon University, Engineering Sustainability 2013 will bring together engineers and scientists from academia, government, industry, and non-profits to share results of cutting edge research and practice directed at development of environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure

For more information click here.

Event - Cleantech Forum Europe 2013

Cleantech Forum Europe 2013 will take place on 04/16/2013 - 04/18/2013 at the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall in Bilbao Spain.

As the sense of economic malaise and a confidence crisis deepens, we are all in urgent need of a lift. We are hungry for new voices and new leaders with new ideas, for new companies, alliances and partnership models, to show us a new path toward economic growth and job creation. Cleantech Forum Europe 2013 will venture to the heart of these challenging issues.

Event - Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference (2013)

The Good Jobs Green Jobs event will take place on April 16-18, 2013, in Washington, DC The 2013

Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference will bring labor union members, environmentalists, business owners, community leaders and elected officials from across the country together in one place for one of the country’s largest discussions on how to build a cleaner, more efficient American economy.

In the face of all that has happened, we have a tremendous opportunity.

For more Information click here.

Event - Climate Change and the Common Good

Climate Change and the Common Good will take place on April 8-10, 2013 at Notre Dame, IN. This event will provide a multidisciplinary exploration of the challenges and opportunities society faces in addressing climate change and resource scarcity. From scientists and ethicists to policy and national security experts, this groundbreaking conference will bring together a diverse array of scholars and leaders to approach the complexities of climate disruption in a meaningful and productive way.

Event - Future of Wind Energy in BC

BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) Vancouver Chapter and Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) are hosting a speaker event on Wednesday April 10th, 2013 at the Bill Reid Gallery, 639 Hornby Street in Vancouver, about the future of wind energy in British Columbia. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. The evening will feature presentations by experts on wind energy, energy policy and sustainability issues in BC to incite discussion and learning about the future of wind energy in British Columbia.

Event - National Adaptation Forum: Action today for a Better Tomorrow.

The National Adaptation Forum (NAF), subtitled "Action Today for a Better Tomorrow," will take place on April 2-4, 2013 in Denver, CO. NAF is the first of its kind national convening on climate change adaptation presenting state-of-the art and science adaptation practice. It combines professional development training, individual presentation, peer networking, and working group innovation opportunities, in order to create the most productive event possible in three days!

This professional development event affords attendees the opportunity to learn more about how to make their work climate smart, share what they have learned with others, and develop a stronger network to be climate savvy in all that they do.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Video - Indian environmentalist and CEO Shares his Support for Earth Hour

Indian environmentalist and CEO of Paharpur Business Centre & Software Technology Incubator Park, Kamal Meattle, shares his support for Earth Hour.

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Video - Business supporting Earth Hour

This video from Royal Business Center reviews what businesses can do to support Earth Hour. Businesses do more than just turn off the lights of the premises and ask staff and customers to do the same. Businesses support Earth Hour by implementing practices and offering services all year round that reduce environmental impacts.

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WWF's Earth Hour Playbook for Business

To help businesses with Earth Hour, WWF Canada has put together a Playbook for Business. The official playbook includes all sorts of activities and events to run not only during Earth Hour, but beyond the hour too. There are a number of things that businesses can do in addition to participating in Earth Hour, promoting the event in the workplace, and encourage employees to participate in Earth Hour at home.

Business activities run the gamut from awareness raising trivia quizes to work programs and ongoing actions. Host a departmental energy trivia challenge and test your employees with energy-related facts and prizes. To check out the energy trivia from Living Planet click here.

Companies are invited to join WWF’s Living Planet @ Work program. It includes access to free online tools and ideas for implementing sustainability initiatives, plus background documents on sustainability in the workplace. To see WWF's Living Planet @ Work Program click here.

Earth Hour: Tangible Action Beyond the Symbolism

Earth Hour is about more than symbolic gestures designed to consolidate support for action on climate change. While the importance of bringing people together for environmental betterment cannot be overstated, Earth Hour also produces tangible benefits. The event is a catalyst for thousands of environmentally oriented actions and initiatives around the globe. From Africa to the Americas, businesses and governments are getting involved alongside millions of people all around the world.

Last year in the US, nearly 35,000 Girl Scouts led a Save Energy Project for Earth Hour. They installed 132,141 energy efficient light bulbs in homes and community centers, eliminating 77,553,119 pounds of CO2 emissions, the equivalent to the CO2 sequestration from planting 7,495 acres of trees per year.

WWF's Earth Hour 2013: Why You Should be Part of It!

Earth Hour is the largest grassroots environmental event in history. Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to turn off their lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change. In 2012 a total of almost 7000 towns and cities in more than 152 countries got involved. In 2013 Earth Hour takes place on Saturday March 23, from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM local time.

Earth Hour is a global movement that demands large-scale action. Shutting off your lights for Earth Hour is a highly visible symbolic act that is a catalyst for action on the issue of climate change. While turning off your lights for one hour will not put an end to climate change, hundreds of millions of people acting together across the globe can make a difference.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Documentary - Water on the Table

This documentary about water was the Winner of the Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2010 Planet in Focus International Film and Video Festival.  The film features Maude Barlow, who has earned the nickname “Water Warrior.” She is the National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians and former Senior Advisor on Water at the United Nations General Assembly. Maude cares about the environment and she won’t back down from a fight with corporations who threaten the access to clean and free water.

Water sustains life, but in many countries water has also become a commodity. Barlow wants to put a stop to considering water a profit-generating good and have it declared a human right. Marshall takes us on the road with Barlow as she works to preserve Canada’s freshwater systems. We travel with them to Canadian and international speaking engagements and get to watch as they crash political meetings. Marshall’s character-driven social commentary is a visually stunning meditation on the beauty and all-encompassing need for clean water.

For more information click here.

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The Carbon Trust's Water Standard

The Carbon Trust's Water Standard is a new resource that helps companies to measure and manage their water usage. Carbon Trust worked with Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sunlight and Branston — the four companies that have already adopted the Carbon Trust Water Standard — to develop the methodology for the new standard.

To achieve the Carbon Trust Water Standard organizations must:

Infographic - How Much Water Does Fracking Consume

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Fracking: A Tragic Waste of Water Resources

The natural gas mining method known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is another major source of water usage and a serious source of contamination. The EPA estimates one well in a coal bed can require anywhere from 200,000 litres to more than 1 million litres while a horizontal well in a shale formation can use between 7.5 million to 19 million litres of water.

The EPA estimates anywhere from 15 to 80 per cent of water is recovered. There are several ways of disposing of the water used in the process. It can be stored underground in impermeable injection wells that prevent it from leaking into the environment or in steel tanks or pits; recycled for use in another fracturing well; or treated and discharged back into the water supply. Because of its high salt content, the waste water is often also bought by municipalities for use in de-icing and dust suppression on roads.

Although the fluid used in fracking is mostly water, some acids, emulsifiers and other chemicals are added to make the water more viscous and effective at fracturing the rock. These include guar gum, boron, zirconium, titanium, iron and polyacrylamide.

Infographic - Plumbing Heroes: Water Stewards for the 21st Century

Plumbers are heroes
Click Here for an interactive version - Able Skills Construction Courses

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Water Efficiency: Stopping the Flow from Leaky Pipes

One of the most obvious keys to responsible water management is increasing water use efficiency (WUE) and this entails arresting the prodigious flow of water from leaking pipes. All around the world countries are facing massive water losses form leaking pipes. Thankfully there some innovative new solutions to this wasteful problem.

Even a small leak adds up over time. To illustrate the point a dripping pipe can lose about one litre of water per minute. Over eight weeks that amounts to approximately 80,000 litres of wasted water. A leaking faucet in anther source of water loss. A faucet that drips one drop per second, would waste 27,000 gallons of water annually.

In Asia around 29 billion cubic meters of urban treated water is lost every year due to leaking pipes. This is worth about nine billion dollars annually. According to the Asian Development Bank, "by cutting physical losses to half the present level, 150 million people could be supplied with already treated water."

Reducing Water Use in the United States

This op-ed was written for World Water Day by Danielle Nierenberg, Co-founder of Food Tank. The article offers five steps that we can all take to reduce water waste in the United States. Danielle has spent the last two and a half years traveling to 35 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, conducting research on environmentally sustainable ways of reducing hunger and poverty. Over the last fifteen years she has been published in hundreds of publications around the world, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Seattle Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and dozens more. Her research has been featured on National Public Radio, Voice of America, ABC, and CNN.

How Much Water is there on Earth

The graphic shows three blue spheres representing relative amounts of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. [The third is so small it is hard to see.] These images attempt to show three dimensions, so each sphere represents volume. Overall, it shows that in comparison to the volume of the globe the amount of water on the planet is very small - and the oceans are only a "thin film" of water on the surface.

If you took all the water on earth – in oceans, ice caps, lakes, rivers, groundwater, the atmosphere, and living things – and wrapped it into a sphere, it would have a diameter of about 860 miles. That 860-mile-high sphere is represented by the largest bubble in the picture, which stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kan. It has a volume of over 332 million cubic miles. If you popped this bubble with a giant pin, the resulting flow would cover the lower 48 states to a depth of about 107 miles.

Solutions to the World Water Crisis Requires International Cooperation

Sharing water across international boundaries is a complex international challenge that requires coordinated water policy formulation and responsible governance. To meet global water requirements governments at all levels need to work together to craft clear policies and enact enforceable laws. To address the world water crisis, governments, corporations and other concerned parties need an ambitious mission, long term vision, strategic goals and specific detailed planning.

Water is important for all living organisms. Without water, there will be no life. Entire civilizations have collapsed due to water shortages, therefore the pressing importance of finding international water solutions cannot be overstated.

People have been controlling water for more than four thousand years. The issue we face today is not about whether we should manage water resources, the issue is how this can best be achieved.

World Water Day 2013: International Year of Water Cooperation

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation,/ World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Infographic - Forests and Land Use

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Challenge to the Lacey Act
Scientists Defend the Lacey Act
Video: Reducing Emissions Through Forest Preservation with REDD
Arbor Day Business Partners

International Day of Forests 2013

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed March 21 to be the International Day of Forests. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, local, national and international activities take place involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. Click here for the full text of the UN Resolution.

Trees, forests and their surrounding environments are vital to the health of the planet and our local communities. Forests are also offer a wide array of economic and employment benefits.

On this day at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture organizations (FAO) of the UN, there will be an opening ceremony and technical seminar entitled "Forests in the Landscape Context." It will provide updated country-based and technical information on the ways in which forests can maximize landscape products and services.

NASA Imagery Shows Trees are Dying in US Forests

Years of drought and high temperatures are thinning forests in the upper Great Lakes and the eastern United States. According to 2013 NASA satellite imagery which is part of the third National Climate Assessment, nearly 40 percent of Mid-Atlantic forests have lost tree canopy cover. Other afflicted areas include southern Appalachia, the southeastern coast and to a lesser extent, the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

The combination of less water and higher temperatures are making trees, especially southern pines and the upper Midwest's hardwoods, more vulnerable to insects and new pathogens.

Worldwatch Institute: The Looming Threat of Water Scarcity

Some 1.2 billion people-almost a fifth of the world-live in areas of physical water scarcity, while another 1.6 billion face what can be called economic water shortage. The situation is only expected to worsen as population growth, climate change, investment and management shortfalls, and inefficient use of existing resources restrict the amount of water available to people, according to Worldwatch Institute's Vital Signs Online service ( It is estimated that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, with almost half of the world living in conditions of water stress.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Webinar - Extreme Weather and the Insurance Industry

The odds are pretty high that you know someone who has personally been impacted by Superstorm Sandy, record droughts in the American Midwest, or forest fires in the West. These extreme weather events, exacerbated by climate change, have literally cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Now, imagine what would happen if there was no insurance to offset the damage and set businesses and homeowners whole again.

President Obama's Clean Energy Trust Fund

President Barack Obama wants to create a $2 billion clean-energy research fund with fees paid by oil and gas producers to help lower US dependence on oil. The President has urged Congress to support the $2 billion fund which would fuel cutting edge clean energy research projects, While the trust will focus on transportation, it will support research into a variety of fuels and technologies.

President Obama has already deployed billions of dollars for major cutting-edge clean tech research projects, so the $2 billion over ten years is not an astronomical figure. However, it does suggest that the President is serious about weaning the nation off fossil fuels and transitioning to cleaner alternatives.

One of the more interesting aspects of the trust is the fact that it will be funded by oil and gas profits through a designated tax that applies only to their operations on public lands.

Pope Francis the Environmentalist

Hundreds of thousands of worshipers gathered in the Vatican Tuesday morning to celebrate Pope Francis's inaugural mass, applauding as he instructed the world's dignitaries, clergy and Catholic lay people to work for the world's most vulnerable people and protect the environment. People from all around the world and all walks of life attended the new Pope's first mass including 132 formal delegations. Pope Francis stressed the environment as an individual, political, economic and social responsibility.

Formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Francis was selected for the job by 114 other cardinals last week followed former pope Benedict XVI's surprise retirement.

It is noteworthy that the new Pope has taken the name Francis, derived from St. Francis of Assisi, who was well known for his love of animals, nature and the environment. Francis preached that it was the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves. On November 29, 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis to be the Patron of Ecology.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

White Paper & Case Study: Environmental Compliance Theory and Practice

Keeping up with EH&S news and regulations is not an easy task. Yes, you can read a news article every now and then or watch a webinar but making the transition from a theoretical concept to real life application and putting it all together can be a challenge.

This White Paper & Case Study (E-book) presents environmental compliance theory side by side with real life case studies. It gives the reader access to the latest best practices in Environmental Compliance and Sustainability management:

Obama Resurrecting Nixon to Advance Environmental Policy

President Barack Obama is resurrected the ghost of former Republican President Richard Nixon to move forward on the environment. The President is about to set guidelines that require all federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of major projects. With this move President Obama will make good on his State of the Union promise to act alone if Republicans continue their obstructionist course on environmental issues. The new standards are being reviewed by the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

The bold new move by the White House was covered in a March 15th Bloomberg report. The guidelines will be issued in the coming weeks and would apply across-the-board to all federal reviews. This directive will play a decisive role on a wide range of projects from highways to gas permits and it may well be the determining factor challenging the Keystone XL pipeline.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Webinar - Rethinking Sustainability Communications: Brand Strategies, Risks & Opportunities

The complimentary one hour webinar, "Rethinking Sustainability Communications: Brand Strategies, Risks & Opportunities" will take place on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm GMT Summer Time or 11:00 am Eastern Daylight Time.  This webinar will help executives responsible for sustainability communications, whether sitting in sustainability or marketing functions, to understand the different strategic approaches and the business case for enhancing communications.

Verdantix will reveal five sustainability communications strategies used by organisations today, and outline the benefits of adopting sustainability as a key brand attribute and implementing innovative sustainability communications.

In the last two years, a small number of leading firms have started to integrate sustainability within corporate communications, in pursuit of brand benefits. Between these and the ones that still refuse to talk about sustainability sit the bulk of $1 billion plus firms, keeping sustainability communications in a silo and pushing out messages and reports to limited audiences, primarily the ‘green ghetto’.