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Sep
30th
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National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. 

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[1THING] Blog: Archive for September, 2016

[ Playing the “long game” means protecting the Arctic Ocean from oil spills, reducing climate change ]

Tim Woody

Gov. Bill Walker, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack met this week with senior members of the Obama administration, urging them to keep the Arctic Ocean in the upcoming final version of the 2017-2022 federal offshore leasing program.

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[ Legal arguments for state takeover of public lands are losers in the courts, says report from Western Attorneys General ]

Michael Reinemer

As reported in an AP story today, a report recently adopted by the Public Lands Subcommittee of the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) shows there is little legal b

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[ Westerners overwhelmingly support commonsense coal reform ]

Caroline Mosley

Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that they had received hundreds of thousands of public comments from Westerners in support of federal coal leasing reform.

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[ Tips for Greening Your Pick-Me-Up on National Coffee Day ]

Coffee lovers…today is your day.  National Coffee Day!  Make sure your cup of Joe is guilt free with these simple steps from thecoffee Sierra Club:

Ditch the paper cup:  Do your part to reduce paper waste, and opt for a reusable mug.  Bonus points if you choose a mug made of ceramic or stainless steel instead of plastic.

Forget paper filters: Instead of a traditional coffee pot, consider buying a French press, which doesn’t require a filter.  It’s also cheaper and makes more flavorful drinks. A reusable mesh filter is an option for those who already brew their Joe in a pot.

Look for socially and environmentally responsible labeling: Next time you refill on coffee beans, make sure you choose bags bearing the following labels:  USDA organic, Fair trade, and Shade-grown.

Compost coffee grounds:  Instead of tossing the grounds, add them to your compost pile, or dig or till them into the soil at a 6-8 inch depth. The relatively nitrogen-rich grounds supply bacteria with energy to decompose organic matter.

Get more tips from the Sierra Club here.

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[ 7 Tips to Fight Plastic Pollution ]

7 Tips to Fight Plastic Pollution

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thebittenword.com

 

Enormous gyres made up of plastic “soup” have been found in all our oceans. The infamous North Pacific Gyre, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, covers an area twice the size of Texas! Meanwhile, plastic chemicals like BPA are endocrine disruptors and, when ingested over time, can cause cancer, birth defects, and behavior problems.

All this plastic is wreaking havoc on our health and environment. Here are some tips from EarthShare members on fighting back against plastic pollution:

Support Bag Fees and Bans. Policy is the most effective tool to fight plastic pollution. Tell your local, state, and federal politicians that you want to dis-incentivize wasteful plastic use. Check out the cities that have already done it.

Put pressure on manufacturers. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard. Write a letter, send a tweet, or give your money to a more sustainable competitor (NRDC).

Volunteer to Cleanup a Waterway. Sign up to participate in one of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanups or Surfrider Foundation’s Cleanups. It’s a fun (and eye-opening) way to care for your local environment.

Reduce *Before* Recycling. While it’s better than the landfill, recycling plastic isn’t a sustainable solution. Plastic degrades as it’s recycled and is sometimes exported to other countries. Reduce first, then reuse, then recycle (Save Our Shores).

Keep Plastic Out of the Kitchen. Avoid heating plastic containers and use kitchen dishes and implements made of glass, porcelain, wood, and stainless steel instead (CEHN).

BYO (Bring Your Own) Everything. From utensils and mugs to bags and diapers, we can kick the single-use habit by purchasing longer-lasting products meant to be reused (Surfrider Foundation/Earth Island Journal).

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[ Refrigerator Cools With Magnetism, Not Freon ]

Some metals do a remarkable thing when they’re placed within a magnetic field: They heat up. Remove the magnetic field, and they grow cold.

It’s not difficult to see how this heating and cooling, known as the magnetocaloric effect, might be put to good use. Refrigerators and air conditioners could not only become more energy efficient but also be freed from century-old technology that relies on environmentally harmful refrigerants.

Researchers with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Building Equipment Research Group are working with General Electric Appliances to produce a refrigerator based on the magnetocaloric effect. The ORNL team is also developing an air conditioner based on the same principle.

Their efforts so far suggest such products will be not only greener but also 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional appliances.

Read the full story from the U.S. Department of Energy here.

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[ BLM chooses smart planning in Tres Rios ]

Anastasia Greene

On Monday, September 26, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management state office announced that it will be pursuing a master leasing plan in Southwest Colorado.

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[ Clean Power Plan’s day in court: 4 facts you didn’t know ]

Opponents have conceded the EPA has authority, and some other surprising elements about the case.

     
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[ Cleaning the Air and Boosting the Bottom Line ]

States challenging the president’s Clean Power Plan claim it would raise electricity prices and cost jobs, but two separate new studies say implementing the plan could do just the opposite. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is hearing arguments today in a suit brought by 24 states and several corporations challenging the plan.

But according to Jennifer Kefer, the executive director of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, their report shows that putting the plan into action would be a win for business, workers, and the climate.

“By investing in industrial efficiency, we can reduce emissions while simultaneously slashing utility bills, creating jobs and strengthening the industrial sector,” she said.

The study by Georgia Tech said nationally the plan would save more than $440 billion in energy costs over 15 years, while creating business opportunities and new jobs.

One way of increasing efficiency and cutting costs is by installing combined heat and power in hotels, office buildings, hospitals and industrial plants.

Tom McGeehan, business development director for commercial and industrial products at E-Finity, said on-site power generation using those combined systems can achieve up to 80 percent efficiency.

“It’s also a part of the governor’s new energy plan, so the state is recognizing that combined heat and power could be a huge push to help lower the emissions throughout the state,” he said.

E-Finity has installed about 20 of those systems in Pennsylvania with more coming online in the next year.

The Georgia Tech study also estimates that by implementing the Clean Power Plan, Pennsylvania industries could be saving almost $9.5 billion a year by 2030.

Dr. Marilyn Brown, the professor of sustainable systems at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy, and author of the study, said over 15 years that’s almost $85 billion total.

“Money that can be spent on plant modernization or product improvement, expanding the customer base for these products leading to business growth, local jobs, all kinds of benefits,” Brown explained.

The AIE study estimates that industrial energy efficiency alone could reduce carbon emissions nationwide by 175 million tons a year in 2030.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

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[ New research and academics helping think through economic factors that will shape the future of coal on public lands ]

The workshop, organized by Columbia University, brought together industry analysts, bankers, traders, and credit raters—with a dose of government and academic experts.

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