Close to Home
A roundup of things newsworthy
and noteworthy in your neck of the woods
May 12, 2011
Illinois – A Driving Force
Illinois organizations that have fleet vehicles are being recognized for their environmental good deeds through the “Illinois Green Fleets” program. Fleet vehicles that use clean, American fuel such as biodiesel, E-85 ethanol or electricity, qualify to publically add their name to a growing list of environmentally friendly fleets. The program also helps communicate information to interested organizations about grants and rebates to help fleets lower their impact on the environment.
Indiana – A New Kind of Grass Stain
The 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee is thinking big — and green. Their goal is 1st and Green, a challenge to offset carbon and save water while planning for the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. This collaborative effort includes planning an environmentally friendly event and raising awareness on how all consumers can contribute to the environmental welfare of Indiana.
Maryland – Bay Goes on a Diet
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is putting the Chesapeake Bay on a “pollution diet.” This diet is to limit amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that affect the bay and its tributaries. Maryland has shown superior commitment in this effort by developing a plan of action and establishing working relationships with other states and the EPA. Track the Chesapeake’s progress.
New York – Right Size for Rochester
Rochester and Detroit have something in common — their city limits are too big for their shrinking populations. The Project Green initiative will lead an effort to consolidate Rochester’s sprawling neighborhoods and limited resources. To reduce the 13 percent vacancy rate (more than twice the average 5 percent), unsalvageable structures will be cleared to balance the housing market and be used as green spots.
North Carolina – Electric Leaves
Scientists from North Carolina State University have developed new electricity-generating solar cells with similar structures as leaves. Made with a water-gel base, these ‘artificial leaves’ are excited by sunlight and produce electricity just as they would chlorophyll. Scientists say their next step is to recreate the self-generating components of plants.
Ohio – One Marina’s Waste, a Highway’s Treasure
Two hundred miles of Ohio highway are now safer thanks to marinas along Lake Erie. Since 2006, more than one million pounds of boat shrink wrap, a protective cover for boats to weather the colder months, have been recycled into highway guardrails. Previously, the shrink wrap went to the landfill; now it’s used to make highways safer. Read more >
Pennsylvania – Pumped up in PA
The PA Department of Environmental Protection recenlty helped service stations install a new kind of tire pump — nitrogen. In 2010, a total of $100,000 was made available through the Nitrogen Tire Inflation System Grant Program to service providers who inflate tires with nitrogen instead of air. Nitrogen is said to be more effective and last longer and withstand cooler temperatures, which would reduce oil consumption.
Tennessee – Going Green on the Green
Entertainer Justin Timberlake is the proud co-owner of the first certified green and sustainable golf course in the Americas. Mirimichi, the course in his home town of Memphis, reopened last September with state-of-the-art facilities such as The Mirimichi Performance and Learning Center and even electric carts for cruising the course.
Virginia – Savvy Tourists look for “Virginia Green”
Eco-aware vacationers can now choose to take some eco-friendly R & R. If a Virginia tourism Web site has the “Virginia Green” seal of approval, this means that establishment is proactive about protecting the environment. Vacationers can make reservations at these hotels, restaurants and attractions that are focusing on the green side of the tourism industry. “Virginia Green” is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Washington, D.C. – Building Green Influence
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will host the Government Summit 2011 on May 10-11 in its hometown of Washington, D.C. Since USGBC's Federal Summit launched nearly a decade ago, it has grown quickly to be the premier event for advancing the conversation about governmental leadership in green building. Educational programs at the Summit are tailored to helping local governments, planners and developers encourage and support green building within their communities.
West Virginia – Sports Team Takes on Green Challenge
The West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) announced the launch of a “Going Green” initiative, a race to the environmental top between 15 campuses. It aims to motivate student athletes to think about the environment on an individual level. Initiatives include recycling and reusing products and reducing energy and water consumption.
Wisconsin –Saving Backyard Species
Some Wisconsin residents are participating in the Landowners Incentive Program (LIP) to bring more attention to endangered native plant species. Because 85 percent of Wisconsin’s land is privately owned, the state has taken a neighborly approach to preserving native plant and wildlife species. The LIP also offers landowners assistance in identifying habitats and developing approaches to management free of charge.