2017 Greenest Cities in America – WalletHub Study

With October being National Energy Awareness Month and New York recently becoming the first city to unveil a plan that upholds the Paris Climate Agreement among nearly 250 cities that pledged to do so, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s Greenest Cities in America.

To determine which cities promote a “green” lifestyle, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 22 key indicators of environmental friendliness and sustainability. The data set ranges from greenhouse-gas emissions per capita to green job opportunities per capita to number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.

Greenest Cities in America
1 San Francisco, CA 
2 San Diego, CA 
3 Fremont, CA 
4 Honolulu, HI
5 San Jose, CA
6 Washington, DC 
7 Sacramento, CA 
8 Irvine, CA 
9 Portland, OR 
10 Oakland, CA 

Least Greenest Cities in America
91 Oklahoma City, OK
92 Cleveland, OH
93 Lexington-Fayette, KY
94 Toledo, OH
95 Tulsa, OK
96 St. Petersburg, FL
97 Louisville, KY
98 Jacksonville, FL
99 Baton Rouge, LA
100 Corpus Christi, TX

Best vs. Worst
Lubbock, Texas, has the lowest median air-quality index, 21, which is 4.3 times lower than in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, the cities with the highest at 90.

Anchorage, Alaska, has the most green space, 84.2 percent, which is 56.1 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the least at 1.5 percent.

Lubbock, Texas, has the lowest annual excess fuel consumption, 4.1 gallons per auto commuter, which is 8.5 times lower than in New York, Washington, as well as Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey, the cities with the highest, each at 35 gallons per auto commuter.

New York has the highest walk score, 89, which is four times higher than in Chesapeake, Virginia, the city with the lowest at 22.

Honolulu has the most farmers markets (per square root of population), 0.1197, which is 63 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0019.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-green-cities/16246/

Ensia talks why we MUST protect 600,000 square miles that most people will never see!

WRITERJenny Woodman 

@JennyWoodman

Science writer and educator

October 3, 2017 — Much of what lay beneath the ship was a mystery. The edge of the continental shelf plummets more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) somewhere in the vicinity of oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, which was making its way to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco.

Photo Courtesy from Ensia and Rick Starr, CBNMS

October 3, 2017 — Much of what lay beneath the ship was a mystery. The edge of the continental shelf plummets more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) somewhere in the vicinity of oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, which was making its way to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco.

They say there are better maps of the moon and Mars than of Earth — some 70 percent of this planet’s surface is under water, and water disrupts radar signals needed to generate high-resolution maps. Most maps of the ocean floor have a resolution of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), meaning only objects with about that diameter or larger are discernible.

The E/V Nautilus offers scientists, educators and others a chance to learn and share stories about marine ecosystems. Photo courtesy of OET/Nautilus Live

The 211-foot (64-meter) ship left port at 9 a.m. on August 6 on a nine-day mapping and exploration expedition with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help resolve some of that mystery by sending remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, down to identify new habitat areas and ocean floor topography. I joined the team as a science communication fellow funded by Ocean Exploration Trust, which owns and operates the E/V Nautilus.
As Ensia mentions at the beginning of the story:

They say there are better maps of the moon and Mars than of Earth — some 70 percent of this planet’s surface is under water, and water disrupts radar signals needed to generate high-resolution maps. Most maps of the ocean floor have a resolution of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), meaning only objects with about that diameter or larger are discernible.

For the entire story on Ensia

Through Pollution Prevention Let’s Talk about Solar!

Happy Belated Pollution Prevention Week! Been a bit busy! LOL

The EPA had dedicated a week to increasing efforts to reduce and eliminate sources of pollution to prevent damage to the environment, as well as maintain the planet’s resources and move towards sustainability.

One technology that has advanced these efforts greatly across the United States and the world is solar power. In the United States, .005 percent of all energy consumed comes from solar. This may seem like an insignificant number, but it’s actually quite substantial. In addition, between 2014 and 2015 alone, there was a 33 percent increase in solar power generation across the globe! Currently, the total photovoltaic (PV) power generation capacity around the world stands at 231 gigawatts.

As the solar industry grows, the demand for people working in the industry is growing too. The number of people working in the solar industry is expected to grow by 24% by 2021. Looking to get into the industry? California might be a good place to start as they have a 34% market share in solar as of 2016.

Want to learn more about the future of solar power? Check out the infographic below created by New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Electrical Engineering program.


NJIT Online

How to Prepare for and Recover from Hurricanes

This year’s hurricane season serves as a stark reminder of the danger posed by Mother Nature. While Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey have dominated headlines for their recent impacts on the southernmost U.S., more severe weather is expected before the upcoming winter months. Given the prevalence of large-scale storms over the past few years, many are basing their preparation and recovery efforts on traditional strategies as well as some brand new tricks.

The Preparation Phase

Making preparations before a storm’s arrival is the most effective way of minimizing the potential for damage. Since the majority of severe weather events are trackable with modern radar technology, you’ll likely have plenty of time to prepare.

• Plan your evacuation route. Some storms are so severe that residents are urged and, in some cases, required, to evacuate their homes and communities. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with any publicized evacuation routes before receiving notice.


• Organize your supplies. If you aren’t under a mandatory evacuation, it’s critical that your supplies are fresh and accessible. Stocking up on supplies is best done throughout the year and in the months leading up to hurricane season, but last-minute essentials are purchasable in the weeks, days and hours leading up to an event.

• Safeguard your home. Once you have a clear understanding of any evacuation plans and easy access to your supplies, it’s time to begin safeguarding your home for the impending storm. Boarding up windows, sealing leaky roofs or windows and putting away your lawn ornaments are all basic tips. You might also consider reinforcing your garage door, installing roof straps to your home and reviewing your insurance policies.

As effective as these tips are, it’s impossible to plan for the whims of Mother Nature. In extreme scenarios, your only option might involve proceeding with recovery and rebuilding efforts.


The Recovery Phase

Depending on the size and scale of the storm, recovery might last hours, days, weeks or even months. While it takes little effort to repair a broken window or repair minor roof damage, those who experience the most damage might face an entire rebuild.

• Assess the damage. Whether you’re returning home from an evacuation or emerging from a secure shelter, now is the time to assess the extent of the devastation. Some hazards might still be present, including downed power lines, toxic building materials and unstable buildings, so it’s important to take caution when exploring an impacted neighborhood.

• Rebuild and recover. Only after you’ve properly assessed the damage can you begin to rebuild and recover. Keep in mind that your local home improvement stores might experience shortages in materials, so this could hamper your efforts even further. You can minimize this effect by purchasing some replacement materials ahead of time. Modular homes, which are buildable in less than 30 days and durable enough to withstand high winds and flooding, are popular for supporting recovery efforts across the nation. 

• In some cases, your neighborhood might receive state or federal assistance. This is typically reserved for the largest and most devastating hurricanes, but smaller storms sometimes warrant funding, too. Some experts already predict that the recovery for Hurricane Harvey alone could top $180 billion.

Your exact recovery phase ultimately depends on the extent of the devastation. If you’re one of the lucky ones who avoided serious damage, consider lending a helping hand to one of your neighborhoods – they’ll certainly appreciate it.

Plan for the Unexpected and Mitigate Your Risks

Creating a foolproof plan to counteract a hurricane requires the ability to control the weather or predict the future. Barring either of these sci-fi traits, your only option is to utilize the information you have and plan according to the latest weather forecasts. Planning for a severe weather incident is never straightforward, but your diligence in the initial preparation phase can go a long way in making your recovery efforts a little more bearable.

Bio:

Emily Folk is a freelance writer and blogger from Lancaster, PA. She covers topics in conservation, sustainability and renewable energy. To see her latest posts, check out her blog Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter!

Essential Principles of Green Living to Live By

Nowadays, green living is a concept that many households are starting to get into. However, when it comes to ideas on how to live and run a more sustainable household, there are so many ideas floating around that sometimes we may be overwhelmed with choices. To help you decide which ideas are feasible and applicable for your household, here are some essential principles of green living that you should guide yourself by


• It’s all about reducing your electric consumption.

There are several advantages to lowering your household’s electric consumption. Aside from reducing your monthly expenses (thus resulting in more savings), it is also extremely beneficial for the environment as this also reduces the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Take this opportunity to take advantage of another source of energy that’s available to you for free—sunlight. If installing solar panels is too expensive an undertaking for you yet, you can opt instead for bigger windows and skylights that will let in sunlight so you won’t need to turn on your electric lights during the daytime. 

You can also opt for a programmable thermostat so your heater doesn’t have to use up much energy when you and your family are out of the house.  Also, don’t forget insulating your home. It’s payback is one of the greatest besides lighting. It’s what they call a low hanging fruit. 

Finally, make it a house rule to turn off all switches and unplug all electrical appliances when they are not in use.


• Cut down on household waste. 

Currently, the world’s population stands at seven billion. Imagine how many households that makes. And if we were to consider the amount of waste that each household throws out every day, that would accumulate into tons and tons of garbage per day, which would take a lot of toll on the environment. It falls to each and every one of us to do our part in reducing the waste we put out. There are various ways we can do this. One is to recycle and reuse household items. For instance, plastic containers of food can be recycled to store your household knickknacks. Plastic bottles and glass can be reused to decorate your house. If you have old clothing and toys that you no longer use, instead of throwing them away, you can donate them to a charitable organization so other people can still put them to use.


• Grow your own garden.

Growing your own food has many advantages to it. One is that it will reduce your household’s monthly expenses for groceries. Another advantage is that it is healthier for you and your family because you will have offered more organic fare in your meals. Finally, it will reduce your carbon footprint because you will make fewer trips to the store. To grow your garden, you can use rainwater to water your plants in order to further conserve on resources. You can store rainwater in containers provided by Rain Water Tanks Direct.

The green lifestyle is not just a trend that will pass in time. As time passes, more and more people are starting to realize the urgency and importance of leading more sustainable lives and making healthier choices that are beneficial to them, their families, and the environment.

Source: Rain Water Tanks Direct