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Green Outdoor Fun, Green Fourth of July Independence Fun

Good morning and hopefully this is the start of your relaxing holiday weekend.    Our fun Friday quick hits is all about the Fourth of July, specifically how you and your family can green your Independence Day celebrations.  Providing tips on how to green your celebrations to news about "green" fireworks and ideas for activities to do this weekend, we at KeenforGreen.com want to give you all the resources necessary to have a sustainable and fun time this weekend.  Take a gander below and enjoy the resources.

Green Fireworks

How to Have a Green 4th of July Party: Associated Content is providing ten tips for an eco-conscious celebration. Some of the tips are obvious, such as providing receptacles for recycling and compost, while others not so much. For example, have you thought about the time of day when your celebration will take place? To conserve electricity, consider having your 4th of July party at a naturally comfortable time of day, like dusk or evening when things have cooled down, rather than in the height of the noon sun.

Organic Veggies!

July Fourth preview: Ice cream social goes green, Compostable material to replace plastic utensils: The Williston Observer of Vermont is reporting on how an annual ice cream social in this small town is going green in their annual ice cream social. Instead of Styrofoam plates and plastic spoons, attendees will eat with compostable utensils and biodegradable bowls. This is all part of the WING Green Initiatives Committee, which meets every two weeks, has sponsored environmental film viewings and other green events.

Green fourth of July Picnic

The Green4th: Now this was quite the find on the internet. An entire site dedicated to Americans greening the environment. I really enjoyed the classic American posters. Stop by and give this site some great traffic and enjoy the varied posts.

 

Green4th

'Green' Fireworks For 4th Of July - Can You Get The Same Boom With Less Pollution?: Scientific Blogging has a great article on environmentally friendly fireworks. It discusses alternatives to the usual pyrotechnics, which include potassium perchlorate salts (potassium and ammonium). Perchlorate is a pollutant with unknown effects on people and wildlife. These new type of fireworks keep the explosion and remove the pollutants.

 

Fourth of July Activities: How stuff works is providing an extensive list on activities that parents can do with their kids. This family friendly fun includes craft ideas such as Red, White, and Blue Bugs and independence themed fingernails.

Red, white and Blue Bugs

Vacation Ideas for Nature Lovers: The National Resource Defense Council has a wonderful resource and article to help with summertime vacations. The resource is a map including over 300 locations in the United States that will be the basis of a lot of family fun. Go to the site and research places to go in your area.

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Legal Issues in Green Construction & Other News

Wednesday quick hits is focusing on green construction and the law surrounding the field. Today, we have gathered a number of great articles from across the net to illuminate different elements of green construction. They range in topics from LEED to lighting standards to eduction. Please read and tell me what you think of the choices.

I also know many of you are wondering how I pick posts to highlight on quick hits. Well, their really is two criteria. One, did I find it interesting. If I gained a novel insight into a topic or a fresh perspective on then I was interested. Second, do I think others will find it interesting. As someone with a JD, I sure do love the minutia of legal arguments, but I doubt many others would. So I try to pick sophisticated but accessible blog entries. I hope this gives you a little glimpse in how I read when I search the internet for information and will aid in your enjoyment of the pieces.

Victor Schinnerer: New LEED AP Program Raising Standards of Care, Changing Risk Profiles: Stephen Del Percio of the Green Real Estate Law Journal reviews Schinnerer's recent report and provides commentary. The subjects discussed include liability and design issues.

Green Roofs

Education, Our Biggest Challenge: What is the biggest block between sustainable building practices? Well according to the folks at Green Challenge it is Education. “Education is our biggest challenge because with the demand for knowledge rising combined with the lack of direct information it is hard to reconcile the knowledge barrier and may actually affect corporate sustainability efforts.”

Green Schools An Education For Us All: Green Building and Environmental Trends has a concise opinion post on the possibility of the new spending in school modernization to serve as a learning tool in sustainable methods for the construction industry. I am hard pressed to confer since I see many of those receiving these contracts as being existing experts in the field. Why would schools risk major retrogrades with untested companies? I just think the post is misguided but tell us what you think.

LEED Dorms

Salem State College Announces LEED Dormitory: LEED Blogger reports that Salem State College is opening a new dormitory that will meet LEED certification. The $57.5 million dollar facility will be made of recycled content materials and include a green roof.

US Department of Energy

DOE Passes New Lighting Standards--A Must Read!!: The Department of Energy recently updated standards for lighting. Green Energy and Development Law seems to be extremely excited about the prospect of saving so much energy from a small standard change and you should be too!

 

Wednesday Quick Hits

Wednesday Quick Hits



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Mandatory Composting In San Francsico

Once again, San Francisco is taking the initiative in mandating environmental controls. This time it is composting.

SF Mandatory Composting

Last week, Mayor Gavin Newsom signed into law a sweeping ordinance mandating the recycling and composting of waste or face fines. This new ordinance is part of a broader plan to make San Francisco the first city sending no solid waste to landfills in the nation.

This really isn't the beginning of composting for the city, in fact it actually produces a tidy profit from compost already. The city last year created 400 tons of compostables collected from about 1,800 San Francisco restaurants. The compost was sold under the Jepson Prairie Organics label at twelve dollars a cubic yard. The compost sold out in peak season because of its favor with local growers and wineries.... read more

Green News - Legislation & LEED

Welcome everyone to this beautiful Monday..err... Tuesday morning. I want to apologize for the inconvenience this past week of the lack of original articles and features from KeenforGreen.com. A little something came up. Well, exactly a 20 inch, 6 pound and 6 ounce little something came up. Yes, the stork made a visit to my house this past week and dropped off a beautiful little girl named Anne Kristine. Just so I can show her off to the world, take a gander below.

 

Keen For Green Baby!

Precious, no? Well now onto the exciting news of the day being provided by traditional news outlets. Enjoy and don't mind my new rose-colored glasses. I feel like I am on top of the world and the lack of sleep won't stop me from smiling.

Editorial: Stepping up on climate, green energy: A greatt read from the Milford Daily News of Massachusetts about Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act passed by Congress. The editorial supports the bill and presents detailed reasoning on how and why this bill is good for America. I actually found some of the comments below the editorial to be more interesting, who knew people still did not accept global warming?

Milford Daily News

House passes landmark climate change bill: Article discusses the great victory Obama reached by securing passage of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act. The bill would require larger U.S. companies, including utilities, oil refiners, manufacturers and others, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases associated with global warming by 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, from 2005 levels. It would do this through a cap and trade policy. To understand what this means click here.

Climate Bill

Playing loose with LEED: The next article comes our neighbors to the North as Canada's Globe and Mail asks are developers using LEED without meeting certification? Well it does seem to be true since many are promoting LEED specifications throughout the construction industry without ever actually achieving certification, in violation of marketing guidelines. Great read and it has a lot of information on the US economy also.

Oregon had 51,402 ‘green jobs’ in 2008: The Portland Business Journal is reporting some good economic news about the size of the green sector in Oregon. This information was gleamed from a survey done by the Oregon Employmenty Department which also states the average wage for a green worker in Oregon was $22.61 and a 14% increase is expected between 2008 and 2010.

Could I Get LEEDS With My Taco?

Yum! Brands Inc. is an international powerhouse in global food service.  With brands such as KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut & Dong Fang Ji Bai (for those of you in China) this huge conglomerate holds significant sway in the restaurant industry.  So, it is exciting to see this company embrace LEEDS standards in building.

US Green Building- Leed Certification- KeenforGreen

Yum! Brands opened up its first LEED building in the United States with a joint KFC and Taco Bell in Northampton, Massachusetts.  This building, opened this past December, represents a step in environmentally friendly building.  The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. ... read more

Toyota Unveils Plans For Fuel Cell Car

And you thought the American car companies were going to corner the market on fuel cells.  According to the world's largest carmaker, Toyota, they expect to have a fuel cell vehicle on the market by 2015. This new vehicle will produce zero emissions and signal the new generation of cars.

Toyota Fuel Cell Car... read more

Is the Key to Earth's Energy Problem Mars?

Of course not, but I did grab your attention.  I think this has much more to do with how we are going to survive the next fifty years as fossil fuels begin to reach their life cycle end and before large scale adoption of alternative powers, including nuclear.  Currently, crude oil and its' derivatives make up 35% of the world's energy portfolio, but demand is in the process of usurping supply.  If this occurs, the results could not only be catastrophic for the world's economy but also the population.

Mars is Key to Energy? - KeenforGreen... read more

Hybrids Popping Up Everywhere

The population of hybrids on the road is steadily increasing every day.  As more and more companies realize the change in consumers habits and preferences, more and more varied type of cars are becoming eco-friendly.  In this past week, both BMW and Toyota have introduced two new type of hybrids for the consumers.  Oh, watch that market grow.

From Toyota is a brand new sports car. The car would utilize Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 along with its Synergy hybrid system to put down 400 horsepower.  It will be based on earlier re-imagining of the Supra and is scheduled for release in 2011.... read more

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