Thank you, Saudi Arabia! For Making it Possible to Implement a Carbon Tax to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On Monday, December 7, 2015, governments and companies were lamenting the lowest price of oil in 6 years (US$37.50/barrel of West Texas Intermediate) when Saudi Arabia chose not to cut its oil production due to a lack of agreement by OPEC members. Experts are now speculating that the price of oil will drop further to below $30/barrel when Iran, a significant oil producer, has full market access.

Basic Waste Management: Stop and Think Before You Toss Your Trash

As you were eating breakfast this morning you probably didn’t think twice about where the leftovers (waste) would go once you finished. Many people don’t. Next time, take a moment and think before you throw a banana peel or empty coffee container into the dumpster. After all, much of the waste that ends up in landfills can be […]

Sustainability Plans and Municipalities

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Balancing economic growth with sustainable development is a challenge for both large and small municipalities. Sustainability planning is an opportunity for communities to develop a vision and implement long-term goals that address challenges and opportunities to become a more sustainable municipality. With a municipal sustainability plan, officials have the opportunity to demonstrate strategic, sustainable leadership.

What Does it Take to Develop an Effective Sustainability Plan?

A local government that develops a comprehensive and effective sustainability plan shows that it is committed to preserving the environment while developing sustainability strategies for the local community. Sustainability plans are developed to address environmental, community and financial sustainability, and serve as tools and road maps for assisting local governments in managing sustainability initiatives and documenting progress.

The UC System’s Water Management Battle Against the Drought

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With California’s drought reaching unprecedented levels – scientists believe that the snowpack is at its lowest point in the last 500 years – the public and private sectors are striving for new water conservation measures guided by a proper water management system. In early 2014, the President of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, declared that all UC campuses would be required to enact a sustainable Water Management Plan to reduce potable water usage by 20% per capita by 2020, with the baselines to be determined by each campus. How are the campuses faring since being given this charge? Strategies and goals have varied; let’s take a look at three of them:

Making Sense Out of Sustainability Plans

Climate change is a worldwide concern, defined as a change in global or regional climate patterns; in particular, a change apparent from the mid- to late 20th century onwards, and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. With continuous changes to climate patterns, numerous agencies have adopted Climate Action Plans (CAPs). CAPs address air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, transportation strategies, land use, open spaces, economic development, water management, recycling and more. Although various agencies may concentrate on different categories with more emphasis, the importance of CAPs are the effectiveness of the implementation and the longevity.

‘Tis the Season…To Start Hibernating!

Did you know? Many animals hibernate through the winter to make the most out of scarce resources and survive the cold weather. While most people associate hibernating with bears, other small animals such as bats also hibernate through the winter months. Another misconception is that hibernating animals sleep solidly throughout their entire hibernation period. In some bat species, particularly in temperate-zone bats, hibernation occurs in cycles with periods of rest and periods of consciousness. This blog post will shed light onto the hidden world of the hibernating bats — how they survive even with very limited resources and how they endure the cold weather.

Water Stewardship: Charting the Next Frontier on Sustainability

The last few years have brought an understanding of the imminent pressure of water-related risks to businesses around the globe. Policy-makers and non-government organizations (NGOs) are also realizing the global concern of water-related risks as rising population counts, accompanied by the economic growth of emerging markets, continue to trigger the growing demand for potable water and food.

Eating it in the Climate World

The drums have long been beating about climate change. Most of us have repeatedly heard the message of how every person can reduce their contribution to greenhouse gases through transportation and energy efficiency. But as individuals, as companies, as organizations and public agencies, what more can we do than changing light bulbs and driving more fuel efficient vehicles? What else can cause real, measurable reductions in the emissions course that the world is currently following? One overlooked area may surprise you.

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