Happy Pollution Prevention Week! (Sept 21-27, 2015)

Happy Pollution Prevention Week!

(Sept 21-27, 2015)
Courtesy of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)
(Repost: September 21st, 2015 by Laura B.)
“Twenty-five years ago, Congress passed the Pollution Prevention Act. Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, celebrated during the third week of September each year (September 21-27, 2015), highlights the efforts of EPA, its state partners, industry, and the public in preventing pollution right from the start.”

Check out the GLRPPR Blog posts this week for great ideas on how to minimize waste and pollution through your daily activities.

Also, “If you’re on social media, use the#P2Week and #25YearsofP2 hashtags to raise awareness of pollution prevention as the cornerstone of environmental sustainability.”

2 World Leaders #ActOnClimate

Woke up to hopeful news this morning!

U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping coming to agreement to #ActOnClimate Change. Under this new deal, the U.S. would cut its 2005 CO2 emissions by 26-28% before 2025 and China will aim to get 20% of its energy from clean (zero-emission) sources by 2030.

The U.S. and China are two of the world’s top CO2 emissions polluters so this deal is quite significant; it sets a precedent and calls for other countries to also address their emissions in a global commitment to mitigate the most severe impacts of climate change. Perhaps there is hope for the Climate Summit in Paris next year!!

Still have questions about climate change? The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has a series of podcasts and simple to understand articles that help explain what is climate change; what changes can we expect regionally and globally; what is being done to address these changes (policy and innovations); what else can be done and how can we, individually, act?

Or, Check out Bill Nye the Science Guy explain climate change in less than 5 minutes…

then dig deeper to get wise on the topic. The more we know, the more we can do to make positive change for today and tomorrow.

All Electric Garbage Truck!?! Cool :)

[disclosure: direct re-post from here]
Chicago Unveils North America’s First All- Electric Refuse Truck

Chicago is now home to North America’s first and only all-electric garbage truck, a vehicle is much quieter than conventional diesel refuse trucks as well as has no tailpipe emissions, contributing to a healthier neighborhood environment in our communities. The vehicle saves more than 2,500 gallons of gasoline a year, has a payload capacity of 9 tons, and 200 kilowatt-hours of energy.

The truck, named the Electric Refuse Vehicle, was made by California-based Motiv Power Systems, which won the contract from the City of Chicago in 2012.

“We are constantly looking to modernize and improve the City’s fleet operations through environmentally conscious choices,” David Reynolds, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management, said in a news release.  “Chicago is proud to be home to North America’s first all-electric refuse and recycling truck, and we look forward to examining how this truck can boost efficiency, reduce emissions and save tax payer dollars in the future.”

A Summer of Dumpster Diving & Sustainability (online video)

This summer (2014) several interns supported by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency did projects at Chicago-area colleges (including Moraine Valley), each focusing on a waste reduction program aimed at increasing recycling and developing zero-waste plans. These interns presented the findings from their work and offer new insight on sustainability efforts in higher education.

A Summer of Dumpster Diving & Sustainability: IL EPA Interns Present Their Work

The audio of this event is available below:

IGEN’s Electric Vehicle Road Trip to make a stop at Moraine Valley

June 20, 2014

IGEN’s Electric Vehicle Road Trip to make a stop at Moraine Valley

Moraine Valley Community College will be a stop on the Illinois Green Economy Network’s (IGEN) Electric Vehicle Road Trip June 23-25. Illinois State Representative Kelly Burke and Moraine Valley administrators will welcome the Nissan Leaf when it pulls onto the Palos Hills campus for a “charge” around 11:40 a.m., on Wednesday, June 25.

[Moraine Valley will have a few Nissan Leaf vehicles available for visitors to check out. Also, useful information on incentives to help offset the cost of an EV as well as interesting facts will be provided. A formal program will begin at 11:40 a.m. in front of the charging stations in the C-Lot. No RSVP necessary.]

The Leaf is making its way up the Illinois Community College EV Highway to demonstrate the progress Illinois community colleges have made in strengthening electric vehicle infrastructure. It will leave the southernmost community college with an electric vehicle charge station—John A. Logan College in Carterville— on June 23 and will proceed north toward the northernmost “charged” community college, arriving at the College of Lake County on the afternoon of June 25. Along the way, it will stop at all 11 community colleges with charging stations and the Governor’s mansion in Springfield.

Moraine Valley became an EV-friendly campus two years ago when two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations were installed in the Building C parking lot.

“This is a great event to bring attention to the EV Grid in Illinois. The state and supporting partners have put forth an amazing effort to grow the grid available for individuals driving electric vehicles. It’s very exciting for Moraine Valley to be a partner in supporting this effort with two of our own EV chargers,” said Stephenie Presseller, manager of sustainability at Moraine Valley.

Event organizers hope the Electric Vehicle Road Trip will promote further deployment of EV infrastructure, and raise awareness about EV technology and the environmental issues that necessitate a move to a more sustainable transportation infrastructure. They also hope it will ease potential EV consumers’ fears such as range anxiety and battery concerns.

“The electric vehicle has come a long way in just the last five years, but even as sales rise, some pesky problems persist,” said Nate Keener, director of sustainability at Lewis & Clark Community College and lead organizer for the event. “The fear of running out of charge and being stuck without a place to recharge keeps many people from purchasing. With this trip, we hope to chase away some of those fears and show it actually is possible to drive great distances in electric and hybrid vehicles.”

The effort is being supported by Chargepoint, Nissan and the Illinois Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Offices. Governor Pat Quinn touts Illinois’ leadership in the electric vehicle arena. “In the Midwest, Illinois is leading the charge for electric vehicle infrastructure. The State of Illinois has an estimated 4,928 registered plug-in cars and 450 public and private charging stations, including the densest network of fast charging stations in the United States. Our goal is to be home to the largest network of fast chargers in the nation. As our state and nation face rising gas prices, Illinois consumers are ready to embrace this common-sense, clean energy transportation option,” he said.

IGEN is a consortium of all 39 Illinois community college districts across the state working to grow the green economy of Illinois. Its mission is to provide a platform for collaboration among all Illinois community colleges and their partners to drive growth of the green economy.  IGEN’s unique statewide cooperative approach leverages the power of a sustainability network with the deep community connections of individual colleges to expand deployment of clean energy technologies, increase employment opportunities, improve environmental and human health, foster community engagement, and accelerate market competitiveness.

For more information about the EV Road Trip, contact Keener at (618) 468-2782 or nkeener@lc.edu. To learn more about the Illinois Green Economy Network, visit www.igencc.org.






So MUCH To Do, APRIL 2014

Happy Earth Month, Y’all!

Everyday is Earth Day, of course, but this is the month we take extra time to celebrate all that is wonderful on this big blue planet, how we can behave to support its health and ultimately our health as communities and individuals.

Check out all the great events happening this Earth Month here at MVCC.

Also, there’s a really cool energy reduction challenge happening in Crawley Hall! You can watch real time energy demand and see how the building users are doing as they attempt to reduce their energy demands!

And here’s a bit from the US EPA on how to stay involved nationally and digitally. They have some pretty cool campaigns this month; definitely worth checking out.

Happy Earth Month from EPA!

April 22 is Earth Day, but we’re celebrating all month, sharing a new tip each day to help you act on climate change.

Below, we’ve listed many ways you can take action yourself and spread the word to your friends and family. Try one or many, but either way, let’s all #ActOnClimate!

Help us get the message out
Please help us share a message at noon on Earth Day, along with the link to a page full of things everyone can do to act on climate. We’re using a new system called Thunderclap to coordinate, so a message will go out from everyone at noon on Earth Day. Here’s the catch: we need 500 people to sign up or the message won’t go.

The message is: “For Earth Day, I commit to protect the climate. Take small actions that add up! #ActOnClimate http://epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/

We need your help, both to send the message and to invite your friends to send it, too. Join the effort or if you want more information about how it works, see our blog post.

Share daily tips through our website and social media
We’ve created 30 daily tips to act on climate, and we’ll post one each day. Help us get them out there:

Join a Twitter chat about climate issues
We’re going to have EPA experts available to discuss various climate issues on our @EPAlive account every Tuesday in April:

  • April 8, 2:00pm EDT – What can I do to act on climate?
  • April 15, 2:00pm EDT – What is EPA doing to act on climate?
  • April 22, 2:00pm EDT – EPA Research and Climate: What does the research show about climate change and what we can do about it.
  • April 29, 2:00pm EDT – Why is climate action important for our water?

How can you join the conversation? Just follow @EPAlive and the #ActOnClimate hashtag on Twitter. Ask us a question or share your ideas, or just read along with the conversation. In addition to using Twitter, we’ll publish a blog post for each chat, and you can ask your questions or send your thoughts as comments on the post. Here’s the first one: http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2014/04/lets-chat-about-how-to-act-on-climate/

We look forward to working with you to #ActOnClimate!

Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Cosmos Bring Science Education to Fox

An interesting new science series with one of my favorite scientists, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, premiered on Fox last week. It is an attempt to promote science literacy and bring sound scientific information, like that of climate change, to an audience that may have doubts. Neil DeGrasse Tyson expressed the ability to air a show like this on Fox as a way to educate those that are not part of the choir. Tyson has been vocal about his frustrations of the media using the excuse of providing viewers with an equal and balanced presentation of the “facts” of climate science to promote political agendas. “The media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but it doesn’t really apply in science,” Tyson said. “The ethos was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view. And then you can be viewed as balanced.” In regard to this topic, Tyson emphasizes a point that President Obama made last about not giving time to the “flat earthers”. He uses the idea of not talking any more about the very old idea that the earth was once flat versus the fact of it being round to compare to the political debate of climate scientists and the climate deniers of today. “Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick…You can decide whether or not to believe in it but that doesn’t change the reality of an emergent scientific truth.”

If you missed the first episode, you can check it out here: http://www.cosmosontv.com/watch/195050051992.

iNsaN3 # of Ev3nt5 4 EARTH MONTH 2014

Well, we did it again. Earth Day or Earth Week isn’t enough for Moraine Valley…no, no, we celebrate all year long, of course, but this year we’re giving special attention during the month of April- or as we endearingly call it, Earth Month. And… This April actually has to carry over into May! Sheesh. It’s great, for real, just hang on to the safety bar because it’s going to be fast, fun ride!

Stay tuned for a full line up and schedule both here in this blog, on our sustainability Facebook page and our college sustainability webpage. Until then, I hope you talk this up with your students, friends and colleagues.

Of special notice is this great opportunity for our students. The Student Sustainability Summit is one day of professional development and networking for college students. They will learn about the sustainability of food with speakers and workshops. The event is free, they will be fed wonderful food, and special to non-students— we can attend the keynote speaker! Please register. Click the flyer below.



A More Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gift

Thinking about what to get your sweetie on Friday for Valentine’s Day? How about a gift with sustainability in mind? Perhaps even don’t spend any money at all and give coupons to be redeemed for acts of kindness: doing some cleaning the other person usually does; laundry duty; a homemade vegetarian or vegan meal; taking the kids for an afternoon or a weekend off; sleeping in while the kids are taken out of the house so it is truly peaceful. Or how about making something homemade like grocery store bags or a great smelling shampoo? You could also go to a local owned store and buy something locally made. There is the option if you live near a grocery store that has sustainable products (most do these days though), like Whole Foods or Trader Joes, to buy some fair trade organic coffee or chocolate or Rainforest Alliance certified flowers. Remember, it doesn’t have to cost money to let someone know you love them. It really is the (sustainable) thought that counts!