5 Eco-Friendly Ways To A Greener Workplace Thinking About Storage, Cleaning, Lighting, Waste Management Key to …

Greener Workplace. Credit: jpmatth, FlickrccNowadays, businesses are putting more focus on following their values and making sure they fall in line with their company business model. By creating an eco-friendly example for others to follow, you can create a better reputation for your company while leaving a smaller carbon footprint. At the same time, making sure that your finances stay in check while embracing your environmentalism values is important. These are the top five things to center your attention on when making sure your company stays in line with your eco-friendly values.

1. Reduce and Green Your Storage

You probably don’t think about storage when you think about your company values. However, if the primary focus of your company is to be more eco-friendly, this can be one of the most important aspects of reaching your goal. First and foremost, focus on buying eco-friendly office furniture to store your documents. Consider purchasing alternatives units to bulky metal cabinets. Wood lockers are sustainable storage options that not only look great but have a far smaller carbon impact on the environment in production than metal counterparts.

Storing paper documents in the office is actually a costly expense for your business. According to Records Nation, the average office worker will use approximately 10,000 sheets of paper per year. Since the standard box of copy paper box holds about 5,000 sheets at about $40 a case, this means each employee working in your office will go through about $80 work of paper a year. Multiply this by the many individuals you employ, and finding space for all those documents can easily become a significant expense.

Instead of creating paper reports and files, scanning documents into an online storage base can help reduce paper storage problems. Focus on purging the papers that you don’t need can free up space for things you do need. The sustainability strategist at Adobe, Vince Digneo, says that “the greenest paper is no paper at all”, noting we should all go paperless. Due to revisions, updates, and corrections, almost 90 percent of all office waste in the U.S. comes from paper. Keeping digital copies can reduce the need for physical documents.

2. Clean the Floor, Clean the Air

Chemical free cleaning is good for everyone. You can use pre-made “green” products from companies like Mrs. Meyers or Simple Green which use high quality non-toxic ingredients that are environmentally safe while remaining effective. If you want to really embrace the eco-friendly lifestyle, reuse a cleaning bottle to make your own DIY all-purpose cleaner. Most DIY cleaners use a combination of vinegar, water, and essential oils to clean away dirt and grime.

Greenify your office by adding indoor plants. Since indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks today bringing plants into the office can help purify the air and create an inviting stress free space. Interior air can be contaminated with toxic chemicals from furniture, carpeting, and paint. Having plants in the office can help increase the amount of oxygen while cleaning the toxins in the air.

Regular tune-ups and cleaning of heating appliances, lighting fixtures, and electrical units can ensure the efficiency of your company machinery. By keeping building appliances running properly, you are reducing unnecessary maintenance costs. You are also ensuring that your appliances are running cost effectively.

3. Turn Off the Lights

The way your company uses utilities is incredibly important to consider when organizing your office in line with business values. By creating an “everything-off-at-night” rule, you ensure that your company is not wasting energy while no one is in the building. Changing the settings on your computers to automatically power off after a certain amount of time is a good way to make sure office equipment gets turned off when not in use. You can also change the computer settings to “power save” mode to save even more.

Turn down the heat in your building during the night time to avoid wasting (and paying for) energy when no one is in the office. By replacing burnt out fluorescent bulbs with LED light bulbs your company will use less power. If it’s in the budget for the company, focus on converting to renewable energy sources. Depending on the size of the building, adding solar panels is a great option to add independent energy options without the excess carbon footprint.

Consider using a green app. Green Outlet tracks and tries to predict what your electric bill and carbon footprint is based on which appliances you use. It allows you to select the type of appliances you typically use in your office (computers, microwaves, refrigerators, etc), as well as the approximate hours per day that you use each. If you exceed the U.S. government’s recommended carbon output limits, the app will warn you and give you options to offset your carbon footprints.

4. Use Recycled Goods

A paperless office may still be unrealistic for your company, but cutting down where you can will make a big difference. Consider printing double-sided documents. This allows you to print the same information while saving paper. By using 100 percent recycled paper products in the office, you get a quality product you need while staying eco-friendly. Focus on purchasing chlorine-free, acid-free papers with a high amount of post-consumer recycled content for the most eco-friendly options.

Buying used furniture off of websites like Craigslist or Letgo ensures that old furniture doesn’t end up in the landfill unnecessarily. Buying furniture from auctions and liquidation sales helps retain some of the companies budget while recycling used furniture. Setting up an exchange network in your community allows you to save money and resources while reducing the overall waste going to a landfill. These exchanges can include things like furniture, computers, and electrical equipment.

5. Decrease Your Waste

The easiest way to align your business with your eco-friendly values is to increase your recycling output and decrease your waste! By placing recycling bins everywhere in the office, you avoid the need for employees to hunt them down. Also consider adding a compost bin to your breakroom. By having easy access to a place to throw away organic food scraps, you are reducing your overall company carbon footprint and your impact on your local waste facilities.

To reduce paper waste, consider unsubscribing to junk mail lists and updating your in-house mailing lists. This is an easy way to avoid sending out unnecessary documents, as well as to ensure you don’t receive documents that you will just toss in the garbage (or recycling!). Consider focusing your output information on email advertising versus direct mail or flyers. Promotional material sent through the mail is more likely to end up as waste before it is fully read than an email.

By adding hand dryers to your bathrooms, you reduce the need for disposable paper towels. If this is not an option, consider adding a recycling bin to the bathrooms. This will give employees the opportunity to recycle paper towels after using them, further reducing your companies paper waste.

By creating a business environment that falls in line with your eco-friendly values you are helping reduce your impact on our planet while being a role model for your consumers and employees, all while following your own company values.

Lancaster Waste-to-Energy Facility Processes 10 Million Tons of Municipal Solid Waste into Clean Energy

BAINBRIDGE, Pa., March 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Covanta and the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) are celebrating the processing of 10 million tons of municipal solid waste – the equivalent to over 600 football fields filled 10 feet deep – at the Lancaster Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facility.

LCSWMA’s Lancaster WTE Facility, which Covanta designed, built and has operated since 1991, primarily serves the sustainable waste management needs of Lancaster County, with the capacity to process 1,200 tons of municipal solid waste per day to produce enough renewable energy to power over 20,000 homes continuously. In addition to processing 10 million tons since start-up, the facility has:

  • Produced 5.6 million megawatt-hours of electricity, enough to supply all of the homes in the City of Lancaster for over 21 years
  • Recovered 180,000 tons of ferrous metal for recycling, equivalent to over two Golden Gate Bridges
  • Offset the equivalent greenhouse emissions of over 1.9 million passenger cars on the road for one year

The Lancaster WTE Facility has also been recognized as a Star worksite in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). VPP Star status is the highest honor given to worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems.

“Almost 30 years ago LCSWMA made the smart decision to invest in an integrated waste management system that also provides clean, renewable energy to its community,” said Joey Neuhoff, vice president and general manager of Covanta’s mid-Atlantic region. “The milestone of processing 10 million tons shows that their investment is paying off and will continue to provide important benefits to the community for many years to come.”

“We are proud of this big milestone and would like to thank Covanta for their excellent partnership in operating our facility for almost 27 years,” says Jim Warner, LCSWMA CEO.  “Together, we are truly transforming waste into a resource for this community.”


LCSWMA is recognized nationally for its leadership in the solid waste industry and its innovative Integrated System that manages over 960,000 tons of waste each year using the following assets: (1) a Transfer Station permitted to handle up to 2,200 tons per day; (2) a 1,200 tons per day mass burn Waste-to-Energy Facility in Lancaster and 800 tons per day mass burn Waste-to-Energy Facility in Harrisburg for the combustion of waste and production of electricity; (3) the Frey Farm Landfill, permitted for disposal of 3,000 tons of waste per day; (4) a county-wide recycling program; and (5) drive-through Household Hazardous Waste Facility. LCSWMA’s mission to “manage waste as a resource to protect and benefit our community”. Learn more at www.lcswma.org.

About Covanta

Covanta is a world leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions. Annually, Covanta’s modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle approximately 550,000 tons of metal. Through a vast network of treatment and recycling facilities, Covanta also provides comprehensive industrial material management services to companies seeking solutions to some of today’s most complex environmental challenges. For more information, visit covanta.com.


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SOURCE Covanta Holding Corporation

Bee’ah CEO discusses Tesla Semi and Powerpacks for clean energy HQ

Simon Alvarez

Bee’ah Group Chief Executive Officer Khaled Al Huraimel recently talked about the Middle Eastern firm’s clean energy initiatives, including its 50 Tesla Semi orders and Tesla Powerpack batteries that are set to be installed in its future headquarters in Sharjah, UAE.

The Bee’ah executive shared his thoughts about the company’s plans in a recent interview with Logistics News reporter Mehak Srivastava. Uploaded on YouTube by the Logistics News ME channel, the short segment featuring Al Huraimel was filled with new insights about Tesla’s role in the Middle Eastern firm’s future.

According to the Bee’ah CEO, the company is currently working on multiple initiatives to push its goal of exclusively adopting green technology for its day-to-day operations. Among these is Bee’ah’s aim of replacing its entire fleet of more than 1,000 trucks with emissions-free vehicles. With this in mind, Al Huraimel stated that the the firm’s purchase of 50 Tesla Semis is but the start.

“We have over 1,000 vehicles operating across the UAE, which we are now in the phase of replacing to a more eco-friendly fleet. We just recently placed (orders for) the first 50 trucks, Tesla trucks, that will be placed in the Middle East,” the executive said.

Al Huraimel further asserted that Bee’ah is in close partnership with the Elon Musk-led firm. Bee’ah is currently building its one-of-a-kind, futuristic headquarters in Sharjah, UAE. Designed by prominent architect Zaha Hadid, Bee’ah’s upcoming HQ is set to be a marvel of green technology, being completely emissions-free and functioning entirely on renewable energy. According to the CEO, Tesla’s Powerpack batteries form a pivotal part of the plans for its upcoming headquarters.

“We do a lot with Tesla, including our new headquarters, which we are building, which will become the first LEED-certified Platinum building in Sharjah. It will be powered 100% by renewable energy and the Powerpacks for the battery storage will be by Tesla.”

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a system originally developed by the US Green Building Council as a means to encourage the adoption and construction of resource-and-energy efficient buildings. As of date, the LEED certification scale features four levels — Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum — and graded on a 136-point scale. For buildings to be LEED Platinum-certified, they have to earn a minimum of 90 points from a variety of metrics from materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, and overall sustainability, among others.

As we noted in a previous report, Bee’ah’s 50 Tesla Semis will play a key role in the environmental and waste management firm’s daily operations, with some of the trucks set to be utilized for waste collection and transportation and others being used for the transportation of materials for recovery.

Bee’ah CEO discusses Tesla Semi and Powerpacks for clean energy HQ

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Valtra Takes Neste MY Renewable Diesel To Over 75 Countries – One Tank At A Time

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Valtra, a manufacturer of tractors, is the first factory in the world to fill its new tractors with Neste MY Renewable Diesel™, a fuel is produced entirely from waste and residues. Hence, Valtra takes Neste MY Renewable Diesel to over 75 countries, one tank at a time.

“In today’s world, it’s important to get through to customers with concrete actions. Neste MY gives us an easy way to make our operations more environmentally friendly. We are a large consumer of diesel, so this decision is really important,” says Valtra’s Marketing Director, Mikko Lehikoinen.

Every year, approximately 700,000 liters of fossil diesel will be replaced by Neste MY Renewable Diesel at Valtra. According to a research report* conducted at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the use of renewable ‘drop-in’ fuels in diesel engines is an easy and quick way to reduce emissions. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is such a fuel, and it can be used in tractors and forklifts as such, with no need to change current engines. The reduction in the amount of yearly emissions through Valtra’s adoption of renewable diesel is equivalent to the emissions produced by nearly 560 passenger cars, or up to 46,000 hours of tractor use without emissions. In addition to the first fill, Neste MY Renewable Diesel is also used for storing in new tractors and in the forklifts used at the factory.

“Ecological values and the environment are important to Valtra’s customers. Our customers are constantly striving to make better choices, and they will definitely take responsibility, as well as environmental and climate-related matters, such as fuel, into account when choosing a tractor manufacturer,” Lehikoinen adds.

“Valtra starting to use Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a concrete action for a cleaner future. We are very delighted that we are able to help Valtra reduce the carbon footprint of their tractors in more than 75 countries. Neste MY can be freely used everywhere in the world throughout the year, because its winter quality can be used down to temperatures of -34 °C. In addition, it has an excellent shelf life,” says Mika Hyötyläinen, Vice President of Marketing for Marketing Services business area at Neste.

In order to celebrate the cooperation around Neste MY Renewable Diesel, Neste and Valtra have launched a website called Wake Up Call to All Farmers. It gives a voice to those farmers around the world who have done concrete actions for a better tomorrow.

*) Research available in Finnish

About Valtra
Valtra Inc. develops, manufactures, markets and services Valtra tractors that are individualized for the way customers work. Renowned for their versatility and reliability, Valtra tractors are engineered to deliver high performance in demanding working conditions and on extreme terrains. Valtra is a worldwide brand of AGCO Corporation, being the leading tractor manufacturer in the Nordic countries and one of the most popular brands in Latin America. www.valtra.com.

About AGCO
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agriculture equipment and solutions and supports more productive farming through its full line of equipment and related services. AGCO products are sold through five core brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® precision technologies and farm optimization services. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2017, AGCO had net sales of $8.3 billion. For more information, visit http://www.AGCOcorp.com. For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR

Neste MY Renewable Diesel in brief
Neste MY Renewable Diesel is classified as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and it should not be confused with traditional biodiesel (FAME). Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a premium-quality product and it can be used in any blending ratio or as such in all diesel engines. Read more about the difference between renewable diesel and traditional biodiesel.

Neste in brief
Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates sustainable solutions for transport, business, and consumer needs. Our wide range of renewable products enable our customers to reduce climate emissions. We are the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, introducing renewable solutions also to the aviation and plastics industries. We are also a technologically advanced refiner of high-quality oil products. We want to be a reliable partner with widely valued expertise, research, and sustainable operations. In 2017, Neste’s revenue stood at EUR 13.2 billion. In 2018, Neste placed 2nd on the Global 100 list of the most sustainable companies in the world. Read more: neste.com.

© 2018 GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hubilu Venture Corporation Signs Agreement with Pacific Green Homes, Inc. to Install Solar Power Technology to …

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, March 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hubilu Venture Corporation (“Hubilu” or the “Company”) (OTC: HBUV), a publicly traded real estate consulting, asset management and business acquisition company, which specializes in student housing income properties and development/business opportunities located near USC and the Metro stations within the Los Angeles area, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Pacific Green Homes, Inc., to install solar power technology on the Company’s properties. This continues Hubilu’s goal of being a leader in providing state of the art student housing while reducing property operating costs, resulting in greater returns for our investors, and using green technology assists with this plan.

David Behrend, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Hubilu is excited to be working with Pacific Green Homes to install solar panels on our properties. Solar panels will limit our global footprint, add energy conservation to our properties, and reduce the bottom line, resulting in greater returns for our investors. Together with our ongoing acceptance of rental payments using cryptocurrency in the form of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, processed on the Coinbase Block Chain, this shows our progressive nature in the student housing real estate market!”

Pacific Green Homes, Inc., located in Van Nuys, CA., is a leading Southern California solar power company, which offers efficient, high quality solar panel installation, backed by years of experience. Asher Ederi, the owner of Pacific Green Homes, Inc, is looking forward to assisting HBUV with its eco-friendly, green goal, commenting, “Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


About Hubilu Venture Corporation:

Based in Beverly Hills, California, Hubilu Venture Corporation, a real estate consulting, asset management and acquisition corporation is executing on its business plan, which besides consulting to real estate companies, is seeking to acquire student housing real estate and business opportunities in the niche markets of the USC campus area and the expanding urban transportation Metro stations facilitated by the development of the Los Angeles Metro/subway system. Hubilu, inspired by Strategic Growth Through Smart Ventures, focuses on acquiring high path of growth real estate and business opportunities that it believes are recession proof and have limited downside risk, while offering upside potential in equity appreciation and cash flow.

Forward Looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Federal securities laws, concerning the future performance of our business, its operations and its financial performance and condition and potential selected offerings presented without the context of accompanying financial results. The comments of Mr. Behrend, statements regarding solar energy conservation resulting in greater returns for investors or the bottom line, are examples of forward-looking statements. A number of factors could cause Hubilu Venture Corporation’s actual results, performance or achievement to differ materially from those anticipated. Among those risks, trends and uncertainties are the general economic climate; cryptocurrency price fluctuations, the supply of and demand for real properties; interest rate levels; the availability of financing; and other risks associated with the acquisition and ownership of properties, including risks that the tenants will not pay rent, or the costs may be greater than anticipated. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements with respect to our objectives and strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to our beliefs, plans, expectations, anticipations, estimates or intentions. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations. We are under no obligation to (and expressly disclaim any such obligation to) update or alter our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For further information on factors that could impact Hubilu Venture Corporation, reference is made to our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Tracy Black
TW: @hubiluventure
IG: hubiluventure

What Makes a Truly Great Eco Lodge

Such is the prevalent situation in the hospitality industry, with an increasing number of travel accommodations boasting numerous eco-friendly features, predominantly in the realm of energy conservation, but water savings as well. Here are the essential features that make a truly great eco lodge.

What exactly is an eco lodge?

While green hotels and eco lodges are very similar, there is one distinct difference that sets the eco lodge apart from other accommodation types: its location. An eco lodge can be found secluded deep within a natural setting, typically in a forest, or overlooking a mountain range, and even nestled on a riverbank in order for the guest to truly connect with the surrounding wilderness.

    An eco lodge is almost always situated in pristine natural environments, while a green hotel is more associated with urban, populated areas. This is why eco lodges stand out as unique destinations for mindful travelers as well as those who are simply looking to rekindle their relationship with nature.

    Unlike green hotels, though, eco lodges aim to take part in the preservation of their immediate surroundings rather than just stick to interior green solutions, instead taking the environmental mindset a step further. Likewise, an eco lodge also serves an educational purpose, helping its guests better understand the importance of preserving the local flora and fauna.

    An eco lodge will also boast indigenous interior decor, depicting the local culture and heritage, which are also represented by the dishes on the menu, etc. Being a full member of the local community, the eco lodge strives to employ locally, giving fair wages and working conditions to the native people, all the while contributing to the local economy and helping preserve the cultural heritage of the area. The idea is to promote ecotourism as the best long-term business model that brings true value to the guests and the local community.

    Key features of a great eco lodge

    Indoors, an eco lodge can boast an array of green features that create a sustainable, eco-friendly living environment. Some of the basics include energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly toiletries and natural cleaning supplies. What’s more, they can include even more effective features, such as solar panels and insulation. These can usually be obtained through affordable energy improvement financing programs as PACE that allow the owner of the lodge to introduce valuable green solutions right away instead of having to catch up with the competition.

    LED lighting is the standard eco-friendly feature of green accommodation, with energy-efficient light fixtures able to conserve up to 85% of energy, unlike their traditional, incandescent counterparts that waste most of the accumulated energy on heat. Likewise, the lodge will also have energy-efficient appliances that minimize resource consumption, both in terms of water and electricity.

    Recycling is also one of the staples of an eco-friendly lodge, with almost every consumable item in the lodge being natural, locally sourced, and biodegradable. Along with locally sourced food and natural cleaning supplies, an eco lodge will also have organic towels and linens, as well as non-disposable dishes and kitchenware. When all of these features are combined with strict and efficient water conservation methods and renewable energy sources, a truly self-sustainable and eco-friendly cabin is born.

    Defining sustainable accommodation

    With thousands of eco lodges and green hotels emerging around the world, there needs to be a unified definition that allows certain accommodation to pass as an environmentally friendly unit. As things stand, it can be quite difficult to assess whether a lodge is truly deserving of the “eco” prefix. Fortunately, there are numerous reputable certification programs that mindful individuals, as well as future eco-lodge owners, can study in order to ascertain the quality of certain units.

    The most notable of all programs is perhaps the Green Seal in the United States, which is part of the Global Eco Labelling Network. The network is a non-profit association with over 25 third-party organizations around the globe under its wing, all of which aim to develop, promote, and improve green labelling classifications in various industries.

    Another important actor in the realm of green certifications is the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria partly sponsored and subsidized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. This certification is particularly important for eco lodges as it emphasizes the improvement of cultural heritage, effective sustainability planning, reducing carbon footprint and other negative impacts to the environment, as well as maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community.

    All in all, eco lodges are slowly becoming the norm in the world of green travel and ecotourism by helping in the preservation of the environment and local cultures, and also by educating mindful individuals about the importance of safeguarding the Earth.

    Lillian Connors
    Senior Digital Marketing Strategist
    Send Email

    Israeli Cities Take the Lead in Recycling and Renewable Energy

    In the central Israeli town of Kfar Sava, a team meets every few weeks at city hall to discuss a utopian-sounding project to recycle nearly all of the city’s garbage. In Eilat, 350 kilometers to the southeast, officials are working to harness solar energy for all of the city’s electricity demands. Carrying out these projects requires environmental awareness, but the driving force is largely necessity.

    Local governments want to cut their spending on electricity and waste collection while addressing environmental hazards that affect residents’ quality of life. Officials have learned that there’s no point waiting for the national government to meet its promises on the environmental front, which include the establishment of waste sorting and recycling facilities.

    “Garbage collection accounts for 40 to 60 percent of the city’s operational expenses,” says Kfar Sava CEO Itay Tzahar in explaining the city’s goal of “zero landfill.”

    “In our discussions, we refer to waste as a resource and consider how to exploit it,” Tzahar says.

    The plan is based in part on programs that are already in place, such as sending electronic waste to an innovative recycling plant for that purpose in the nearby Barkan Industrial Zone, in the West Bank. Kfar Sava hopes to increase the volume of old computers and other hardware that goes to the plant. It also seeks to partner with other communities on waste disposal, a move encouraged by the Environmental Protection Ministry. Kfar Sava is working with the Emek Hefer Regional Council, to the north, which has a biogas plant that converts organic waste into electricity.

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    Construction waste is a problem for most cities, where it is often dumped illegally in open areas near residential and commercial building projects. The Environmental Protection Ministry has promised to propose new legislation tackle the issue but for now, the waste is piling up.

    The large southern central town of Rishon Letzion has tapped a private company, Negev Ecology, to establish a recycling center for building waste. The city plans to lease dumpsters at a discount to home owners planning renovation work, to guarantee that the waste goes to the recycling facility. Kfar Sava has a similar plan and also intends to install recycling stations for smaller amounts of construction waste.

    In Eilat and nearby communities in the Arava, the area’s plentiful sunshine is the focus of environmental efforts. “Our plan is to attain energy independence, in which the city generates all the electricity that it consumes, within five years,” Eilat Deputy Mayor Eli Lankri says. “It will be done in cooperation with [other] Arava communities. We already generate 75 percent of the required daytime electricity from solar energy at facilities on our land and that of Arava communities.”

    The project is being carried out in partnership with the nonprofit organization Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy, established by communities north of the city. The electricity generated through the project is currently directed to the national electricity grid, which has a limited capacity to absorb it.

    One solutions that Eilat-Eilot and the city of Eilat are undertaking is a facility Arava with two pools of different heights. Water will be pumped to the higher pool during the day using solar power. At night, the water will flow to the lower pool and generate electricity through turbines, giving the region independence from the national grid.

    The coordinator of Eilat’s “smart city” program, Elad Topel, said the city is also drafting a municipal bylaw requiring every new neighborhood to have infrastructure for solar panels on the roofs of homes.???

    “Solar development provides employment and encourages research and development,” Topel says, adding that it also “of course helps improve the city’s environmental ‘brand’ among tourists.”

    Kfar Sava is also expanding the use of solar energy. Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of public buildings and recently it launched a project called New Under the Sun, designed to help apartment owners overcome the reluctance of fellow tenants to paying for solar panels. “Through the municipal economic corporation, we are offering every resident support in the process,” said Ella Danon, the director of the city’s sustainability department.

    For kibbutzim in the Eilat area, renewable energy takes them full circle. In the 2000s, residents saw the removal of fish breeding cages in that Gulf of Eilat, which generated a lot of money for the kibbutzim but posed ecological hazards to the gulf. In recent years, the solar energy industry has managed to provide both an income stream and employment of similar dimensions and it has also been an asset to the environment.

    For its part, Tel Aviv is for the first time planning a neighborhood with natural-gas pipelines. The neighborhood, which will replace the city’s Sde Dov airport, will have underground power plants that use natural gas. The gas will not only generate electricity but also heat water.

    Dr. Orli Ronen, the head of the Urban Innovation and Sustainability Lab at Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental and Social Studies, is not surprised by the recent developments. “Cities in Israel understand that they too, not just private businesses, can generate revenue and to do that, they also need to be involved with innovation and research.”

    From solar to backyard birds – Find eco-friendly solutions at Going Green Matters

    By Nathan Ouellette
    Medill Reports

    Going Green Matters, will feature more than 100 eco-friendly vendors this Sunday, offering everything from solar power to pedal power. Wilmette’s annual environmental fair has been showcasing clean energy solutions and technologies to Chicago area residents for 12 years.

    The fair, co-sponsored by Go Green Wilmette and the Village of Wilmette, opens at the Michigan Shores Club this year and gives visitors one-stop shopping on how to introduce new sustainability practices into their everyday lives.

    This year’s fair takes a special focus on solar.

    “We want to get solar installed as cost-effectively as possible,” said Jack Ailey, co-owner of Ailey Solar. “We do it for environmental reasons and to be fair to our workers.”

    You can meet these 10 vendors among dozens of others  at this year’s Going Green Matters.

    Ailey Solar: Founded with the mission of providing options for generating solar energy as cost-effectively as possible, Ailey Solar plans to expand operations with the growing solar market to spread across a broad swath of communities.

    Habitat for Humanity Lake County and ReStore: Habitat for Humanity constructs homes for families in need across the country. Habitat for Humanity Lake County participates in Going Green Matters to provide information, take donations and sell items from the non-profit’s ReStore to the public.  Filled with donated household goods, appliances and furniture, the ReStore offers these items at inexpensive prices and uses the proceeds to build homes.

    Habitat by New Trier Solar System Fundraising: As a partner with Habitat for Humanity, New Trier High School seniors will be at Going Green Matters to fundraise for their annual Habitat for Humanity home building project – the 18th house built by New Trier High School seniors. The home, to be located in Waukegan, will be the first Habitat for Humanity house in Illinois outfitted with solar panels.

    Illinois Right to Know GMO: Similar to other Right to Know GMO organizations, Illinois Right to Know is a small all-volunteer organization that provides consumers with their right to know information about whether their food is genetically modified. With an emphasis on education at this year’s Going Green Matters, Illinois Right to Know will concentrate on providing resources for  consumers to make well-informed choices.

    Intrinsic Landscaping:  Intrinsic Landscaping specializes in the installation of green roofs and living walls – self-sufficient vertical gardens. Since installing their first green roof in 2001, Intrinsic has outfitted approximately 4,000,000 square feet of rooftop vegetation nationwide. Family owned and operated out of Glenview, the company will highlight the benefits of residential and commercial green roof implementation.

    Little Village Environmental Justice Organization: Founded in 1994, the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, popularly known as LVEJO, is a non-profit that has promotes taking action against environmental injustices such as industrial cleanup on the Southwest Side. In partnering with the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (P.E.R.R.O.) in 2012, LVEJO was part of the Clean Power Coalition that successfully retired the Crawford and Fisk Coal-Fired Power Plants.

    Marcello’s Food Truck: Vehicles of all kinds can run on solar energy. Marcello’s Food Truck, an offshoot of Marcello’s Father and Son Restaurants, will be at Going Green Matters with a solar-powered food truck. As a substitute for generators, Marcello’s solar panels generate power for the truck’s oven, which bakes pizza in 3.5 minutes, and for refrigeration. Marcello’s is looking into installing green roofs on the brick and mortar restaurants as a way of expanding the family’s  environmental mission.

    Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago: The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on Earth, holding 20 percent of the world’s supply. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago works to protect and improve the water supply of Lake Michigan, protect businesses, homes, health and safety of the public within its service area. MWRD will be at Going Green Matters to distribute information on storm water management, reusing resources, keeping Lake Michigan clean and the proper disposal of medicine. The district will raffle off a rain barrel and distribute free tree saplings to the public.

    Wild Birds Unlimited Glenview: A diversity of wildlife in your backyard can bring bird calls to your day and help support a strong and healthy ecosystem. Wild Birds Unlimited will be at Going Green Matters with a focus  how to attract songbirds to your backyard with bird feeders and birdhouses, as a way to make people feel more connected with their environment.

    Working Bikes: Working Bikes is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit that rebuilds and refurbishes abandoned and donated bicycles. The bicycles and spare parts for sale at their storefront on the Southwest Side only make up a fraction of the operation.  Working Bikes gave 86 percent of the bikes they acquired in 2017 to local and global charities that help provide bikes to those who might not otherwise have access to transportation or basic mechanics. Working Bikes will be at Going Green Matters to promote environmental sustainability.

    Garbage in, garbage out: Incinerating trash is not an effective way to reduce waste

    These policies can drive innovations in a greening economy, but they can also provide perverse incentives to greenwash and repackage old solutions in new ways. In my view, incineration is a false solution to climate change that diverts precious resources, time and attention from more systemic solutions, such as waste reduction and real renewable fuels like solar and wind. Whether it’s an incinerator, cement kiln or coal plant, if you put garbage into a system, you get garbage out.

    Comparing campus sustainability programs at Florida universities

    College students produce a lot of trash.

    According to Boston College, each student produces 640 pounds per year.

    So instead of dumping every crumpled essay paper or discarded Coke bottle in a landfill, many universities have taken action to reduce their carbon footprint.

    Some more than others.

    Ahead is a look into FAU’s green-minded efforts for a more sustainable campus compared to five other public Florida universities.

    Florida Atlantic University:

    In late 2007, FAU launched the Mission Green Initiative — an eco-friendly campaign that looks to cut down on water and power consumption while creating a culture of sustainability among students and faculty.

    The goal, according to its online mission statement, is to recycle 75 percent of the waste generated and increase conservation efforts.

    The circa 2013 Mission Green web page boasts a bike-sharing program called “green bikes,” thriving community gardens, and more “TBA” features.

    Although, the gardens near the College of Business and T-Buildings (near IVA) appear long neglected.

    There are, however, remnants of the Mission Green initiative that are still visible on campus. Several solar-powered trash compactors with accompanying recycle slots are located on the Boca campus.

    The once-active Mission Green Student Associate position is currently vacant and in a “recruiting phase” according to the former faculty adviser Helen Kennedy.

    FAU has several LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings, such as the Culture and Society building and Engineering East. To qualify, the buildings must satisfy specific requirements for water and energy usage.

    It is unclear if the campaign is still in effect, as there are no oversight committees or recent information available online.

    Florida International University:

    FIU received silver rating in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, which highlights impactful environmental initiatives from colleges and universities.

    In the spring, the campus participates in a nationwide competition called RecycleMania in which colleges across the country compete to see who can recycle the most and reduce the amount of waste they produce.

    Last year, the school came in first in the state after collecting 680,244 pounds of recyclables — that’s more than five times the amount the second place winner collected. FIU currently has a recycling rate hovering between 25 percent and 30 percent, according to its Go Green web page.

    Its Office of University Sustainability is the central office for maintaining policies and procedures regarding the integration of environmental education, research, and outreach.

    In 2010, the university created the Sustainability Committee, comprised of an equal number of students, faculty, and staff.

    University of Florida:

    UF was highlighted in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index in the Air and Climate section for its efforts in improving sustainability.

    In April 2016, UF unveiled the Neutral UF Coalition program, which offers carpool and bicycling services. The program is designed to allow faculty and staff to “voluntarily offset” the carbon impact of their commutes to and from campus.

    The school is also a participant of RecycleMania each spring.

    The university maintains an organic garden, called the Student Agricultural Gardens, for students to grow their own food on campus.

    UF’s nine-part “strategic vision” is outlined on their Office of Sustainability web page, which details everything from energy conservation to climate change “implementation plans.”

    Florida State University:

    The FSU Sustainable Campus was created in 2010 to promote the practice of resource conservation. Today, it has numerous programs and events that encourage students, faculty and staff to participate in sustainability on campus.

    A program unique to FSU is the The Green Office Certification Program. This project evaluates faculty and staff office practices to make simple steps toward becoming more sustainable including energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and transportation.

    “Take Back the Tap” is a student-run campaign aiming to transform FSU into a “bottled water free campus,” encouraging everyone to use reusable water bottles.

    Last year, the school received silver rating in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index.

    University of Central Florida:

    Steven Diaz

    Similar to FAU’s green mission, UCF includes a plan to recycle 75 percent of its landfill-bound wastes.

    The campus features more than 13 buildings that have achieved LEED silver certification or higher.

    Preserving the natural landscape is another initiative by UCF, maintained by the university’s Department of Landscape and Natural Resources. Nearly 60 percent of the campus land is designated as conservation wetlands and diverse gardens.

    The school came in second in the state in RecycleMania last year.

    Florida Gulf Coast University:

    Named one of the top 25 Greenest Colleges in 2015 by BestColleges.com, FGCU provides detailed up-to-date procedures for its vision for sustainability on its website.

    In April 2016, FGCU became the first school in Florida to sign the Real Food Campus Commitment, a commitment to serve food at the campus cafeteria that is locally sourced and humanely raised.

    The Sustainable Campus Index awarded FGCU a Gold Rating in 2014 for its top performance in environmental conservation research.

    FGCU’s Environmental Sustainability Committee is governed by administrative staff to create action plans with clear objectives and identified offices responsible for their completion.

    Student organizations such as Students 4 Environmental Justice and the Environmental Coalition of FGCU promote sustainability programs as well.

    *University green initiatives’ masthead images courtesy of Florida Atlantic University, University of Central Florida, Florida State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Florida, and Florida International University.*

    Katrina Scales is the managing editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]