Wildlife Works Launches CODE REDD Campaign to Save the World’s Threatened Forests

Emergency campaign calls for immediate action from the private sector to reduce their carbon footprint while supporting innovative forest protection projects.
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As corporations recognize their responsibility to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint by lowering emissions and offsetting the rest, the CODE REDD campaign aims to make it easy and compelling for corporations to pledge to buy REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) carbon offsets.  Which is why Wildlife Works announced the launch of CODE REDD, an emergency action campaign to save the world’s wild forests using private sector financing within the Voluntary Carbon Market.

The Campaign will also ensure that those offsets are generated by specific high quality forest protection projects that have proven they can protect threatened forests while at the same time providing unprecedented sustainable development opportunities to local forest communities.

“The goal of the CODE REDD Campaign is to dramatically increase the demand for REDD project carbon offsets now.  With increased demand, REDD can scale to overcome the massive threat to the worlds forests and make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change.” said Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works and the creator of the CODE REDD Campaign.

Wild forests are disappearing at the alarming rate of 13 million hectares per year (FAO 2010) and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17% of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions (UNIPCC 2007). The effects of deforestation are having devastating impacts on people and wildlife throughout the world and are threatening the resources humans need for survival. Climate change experts widely agree that climate stability cannot be achieved without the conservation of the world’s remaining forests.

“Reducing your carbon footprint is not a UN obligation. It’s a global responsibility. It is time for the private sector to show innovation and leadership and do something REDD,” said Korchinsky.

Source: Wildlife Works

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NYSERDA Funding For New Campus Buildings Helps Reduce Energy Costs by a Combined $167,000 Annually

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recognized Monroe Community College and the University of Rochester with a High Performance Building Plaque last week for energy-saving investments that will reduce energy costs by a combined $167,000 annually.

Monroe Community College’s PAC Center and the University of Rochester’s renovated Data Center were supported by $300,000 in NYSERDA incentives, which helped fund the purchase and installation of advanced energy efficiency technologies, including high performance lighting and occupancy controls, high efficiency fans, pumps and motors and a water-side economizer, which uses free outdoor air to cool water used in data center air handling systems, among other measures. 

“Energy efficiency and sustainable building materials are the most cost-effective investments college and universities can make for long-term savings and a healthy indoor learning and work environment for students, faculty and staff,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “I commend the leadership of these academic institutions for the high priority they have placed on conserving energy and protecting our environment.”

“NYSERDA’s support of Monroe Community College’s sustainability program and the PAC Center reaps positive returns for our community,” said MCC President Anne M. Kress, Ph.D. “Together with Monroe County and our building partners, we are honored to receive NYSERDA’s High Performance Building award, recognizing the college’s efforts to reduce energy consumption and incorporate sustainable building practices.”

“The University of Rochester has made sustainability a guiding principle in facilities planning,” said David E. Lewis, Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer at the University of Rochester. “The NYSERDA incentives made it possible to build a sustainable, energy-efficient Data Center that supports the diverse and evolving needs of a world-class research university and a premier regional health care system.”

The energy savings—more than 945,000 kilowatt hours—is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by 137 single-family homes annually and will be realized by these institutions every year for years to come.

NYSERDA High Performance Building Plaques are presented to hospitals, colleges and universities, schools, businesses and other organizations that have constructed or substantially renovated buildings to perform at least 30 percent above the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code. 

Monroe Community College and the University of Rochester are the 49th and 50th recipients of the plaque, and their new buildings are rated to perform 33% and 42% above code, respectively. Other Rochester Region recipients of this award include the City of Rochester Water Authority, Roberts Wesleyan College’s Golisano Library and the YMC East Side in Penfield.

Since 2009, NYSERDA has provided more than $6.5 million to help reduce electricity consumption by approximately 22.8 million kilowatt hours in 119 new construction projects throughout Monroe County—the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of nearly 3,315 single-family homes.

NYSERDA’s New Construction Program provides assistance to incorporate energy efficiency measures and sustainable building practices into the design, construction and operation of new or substantially renovated buildings. Green building incentives also are available to customers pursuing LEED certification. These measures are designed to save energy through reduced electricity demand, and therefore reduce building operating costs.

For existing facilities, NYSERDA incentives can be used for lighting retrofits, upgrades to motors systems, energy management systems, heating and cooling systems and other operations. Assistance also is available for energy audits to help indentify cost-effective opportunities to increase energy efficiency, develop greenhouse gas emission inventories and more.

For more information, visit NYSERDA

Infographic: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Power Storage. Why Electric Vehicles Matter!

BY TXCHNOLOGIST

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind only generate electricity when the wind blows or the sun is out and that isn’t always when customers need power. Batteries large enough to hold megawatts of electricity are prohibitively expensive but another potential source of battery storage is fast emerging: electric vehicles.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) storage allows the smart grid to use EVs (and even hybrids) as a distributed network of batteries that can store power at off-peak times and help power the grid when demand peaks. Here’s how it works:

1. Power is generated from a renewable source, like wind, and transferred to the grid.

2. Electricity flows from the grid to EV batteries when there is excess capacity (e.g. when the wind blows in predawn hours). The power flow is reversed when demand on the grid is higher.

3. Customers can control when the smart grid can access battery power from their EVs, which can put out enough power to run 10 houses, and even control how far the battery is discharged.

Top image: Paul Anderson via geograph

Overstock.com and Carbonfund.org Partner to Launch Carbon-Neutral Shipping Program for All Worldstock Products

Overstock.com, Inc announced carbon-neutral shipping for every purchase made from its Worldstock Fair Trade inventory, effective immediately. This sustainability effort establishes Overstock.com as one of the largest online retailers to take responsibility for the environmental impact of its product shipping program. Through a partnership with the Carbonfund.org Foundation, a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, Overstock.com will mitigate the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the trucks delivering items purchased from Worldstock Fair Trade by funding third-party validated carbon reduction projects like reforestation. This offer is free to the customer. Now, in time for Earth Day’s 41st anniversary, Worldstock Fair Trade purchases are supporting this important environmental initiative, as well as artisans around the globe. To learn more visit www.overstock.com/sustainability

“Overstock.com recognizes that we all have to take responsibility for preventing climate change, and as a major retailer its positive actions will have a huge impact,” said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Through this commitment, Overstock.com is leading by example by investing in a low-carbon future for everyone. We’re thrilled to partner with Overstock.com on this exciting program.”

Founded in 2001, Worldstock Fair Trade is Overstock.com’s socially responsible department for products handcrafted by artisans from developing nations and rural areas of the USA.  It carries handcrafted products from artisans in over 60 countries and between 60 and 70 percent of the cost is returned to the artisans. To date, Overstock.com has returned more than $60 million to Worldstock’s artisan suppliers.

“This carbon-neutral shipping program is in addition to other measures the company has taken to recognize consumer demand for environmentally sustainable business practices.  Other measures include ride sharing and corporate recycling programs,” said Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne. “We recognize CO2 emissions are only one component of our operational impact, and we are working to reduce environmental impacts across our entire supply chain.”

Lawn and garden source usepa

Green Choices for Lawn and Garden

Source: The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy offers 5 practical steps to prevent nutrient pollution

Lawn and garden source usepa

Everyone needs clean, fresh water. Keeping our water clean is crucial to supporting life, for both people and nature. As spring weather spreads across North America, The Nature Conservancy wants consumers to know that the decisions they make about lawn and garden care can affect the fresh water in your local river and everything downstream – all the way to the ocean.

Hundreds of millions of people across the country rely on fresh water for drinking water and recreation, and these sources need to be protected so they can stay clean for us and for future generations. One frequent way that water becomes polluted is through excess nutrients – fertilizers, both chemical fertilizers and manure, running off farm fields and suburban lawns.

“Every living thing needs nutrients, but overloading a freshwater system with nutrients can be disastrous,” said Jeff Opperman, a senior freshwater scientist with the Conservancy. Too many nutrients cause algae to grow in unnaturally high quantities, leading to fish kills, drinking water problems and “dead zones” in places like the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.

“Globally, agricultural chemicals are a primary source of these nutrients, but the way people manage their lawns and gardens has a real effect on the streams and lakes in your neighborhood,” Opperman said. What can you do to make your lawn truly “green,” and not just lush?

Five Ways to ‘Green” Your Lawn and Garden Care
  1. Use Less Fertilizer
    Excess fertilizer flows off your lawn and garden and ends up in nearby rivers and lakes and eventually make its way to the sea. If you must use fertilizer, get a soil test first. Find out what your lawn needs. Many lawns don’t need phosphorus, for example, so phosphorus-free fertilizers might just work for you. Use only what you need, and make sure it stays on the lawn. If you spill some on the sidewalk, sweep it up. And only use it when the lawn is growing. Remember that any kind of fertilizer, organic or chemical, can be over-used.
  2. Slow Your Runoff
    We all want to keep our properties from flooding, but when all the water washes off city streets and our rooftops and yards, it carries a lot of nutrients and sediment with it. These materials can be harmlessly processed by the soils and plants on your property, but in a lake or river they can cause real problems. To slow that water down, don’t cut your grass along a creek or drainage swale. Better yet, replace grass with native plants that will bind the soil and slow down the water. Or maybe create a water garden, which is both functional—it holds and slows down stormwater—and an attractive landscaping feature. Or buy a rain barrel for the water coming off your roof. The rain in the barrel can then be used to water your gardens and lower your water bill.
  3. Create Less Waste
    Grass clippings are high in nutrients so you want to keep them out of the water. Use a compost bin or use a mulching mower or both. Often, mulching your grass clippings can help reduce the need for fertilizer. And it’s good to keep the nutrient-rich grass clippings and leaves out of storm drains and of ditches. Cutting your lawn high (3-4 inches) also increases its vigor, shades out unwanted weeds, and requires less water.
  4. Use Native Plants
    In general, using more native plants that are right for your part of the world reduces the need for fertilizers, pesticides and watering. Replace some of your lawn with wildflower gardens, for example.
  5. Buy Sustainable
    Although home lawn care can play a significant role in keeping fresh water clean, you can also help promote healthy land and water with your food choices: what you buy, when you buy it, and the producers you support with your purchases. You can make choices about food that support the kind of farmers who work to minimize water pollution. Organic farms, for example, don’t use chemical fertilizers and are required to demonstrate that they are protecting their watershed.