Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ASES National Solar Tour

Just because 2010 is an off-year for the biennial Solar Decathlon doesn't mean you can't get your solar fix. The nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is coordinating a grassroots tour of homes and buildings across the country: check out their website to find a tour near you. Most tours are taking place on the first Saturday in October, but other events will spill over into the rest of National Energy Awareness month.

I braved the rain and mud at the Solar Decathlon on the mall in DC last year, and glad I did!  The 2011 Solar Decathlon will be held Sept 23 - Oct 2, here's the website: and the EERE announcement from the Department of Energy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Go Mountaineers!

EPA Welcomes West Virginia University as Newest Partner in Regional Sustainability Initiative

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - - September 21, 2010 Today, West Virginia University became the latest organization to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainability Partnership Program (SPP) in a signing ceremony held at the University President’s Office. EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin joined Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) in recognizing West Virginia University (WVU).

University President James P. Clements signed the agreement on behalf of the school, formalizing the new working partnership.

“WVU has already taken many progressive steps to reduce the overall environmental footprint of the campus, and EPA is pleased to support and further those efforts” said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, Shawn M. Garvin. “Through our partnership we expect that both sides will benefit as we build on current successes and then share those practices with other colleges and organizations.”

The Sustainability Partnership is an innovative program developed by EPA’s mid-Atlantic region to create a one-stop shopping approach for organizations that use large quantities of energy, water, and natural resources and want to go green. Instead of dealing with each of EPA's voluntary programs individually, EPA staff will work out a comprehensive ‘green’ plan for organizations that often saves money and makes good business sense. The overall goal of the SPP is to minimize the use of energy, resources and waste generation in the mid-Atlantic states.

The centerpiece of West Virginia University's sustainability effort is a performance contract to make existing buildings energy efficient. By 2016, the university expects to spend $50 million on updating equipment and installing energy saving upgrades in all of its campuses, including WVU Tech, Potomac State College and WVU-Parkersburg. So far the Evansdale campus has been completed, and the university has already spent about $20 million.

Following this project, the university is expected to reach a carbon dioxide emission level that is 31.5 percent less than a typical educational complex its size.

"We are pleased to partner with the EPA as part of our commitment to a sustainable campus," said WVU President James P. Clements. "We have integrated sustainability practices throughout the University - from buildings to our transportation systems, to the cleaning products we use. I would like to thank Clement Solomon, WVU's director of sustainability, and all those throughout the University who demonstrate this commitment daily."

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has entered into an agreement with EPA and is helping to promote the SPP throughout the state.

“It is a great day for West Virginia University with the signing of the Sustainability Partnership Agreement,” said WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman. “West Virginia University’s commitment to developing sustainable energy, water, and waste conservation practices in harmony with preserving West Virginia’s economy, environment, and communities for future generations speaks volumes of the many contributions already made to create a sustainable school. By signing this agreement, West Virginia University is well on their way to preparing our young people for generations of sustainable living, through its education, its fabric, and its daily practices.”

For information on the Sustainability Partnership go to: or call, 215-814-3110.

More links:
Individual Sustainability Partnership Programs Mid-Atlantic Sustainability Partnership US EPA

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Living in Mesh

Good book review from about Mesh - the living network of sharing

The Mesh website sums it up best...

The Mesh is the new way of doing business. Mesh businesses leverage data and social networks to enable people to share goods and services efficiently and conveniently—to gain superior access to what they need without the burdens or expense of ownership. There are already thousands of these businesses—in transportation, fashion, food, real estate, travel, finance, entertainment and many other categories—with more starting every day.The Mesh has emerged as the best new creative engine for getting more of what we want, exactly when we want it, at less cost to ourselves and the planet.

Check it out:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weatherize now!

Tis the season to weatherize your home for winter!

Here's a link to a comparison-shopping guide for weatherstripping on the DOE website:

Also, now is the best time to get your furnace serviced, chimney swept, and all that jazz before heating season is upon us.