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Walnut Creek, California Retirement Community Residents Go Solar!

Community Solar 

A 4-plex of residents in a Walnut Creek, CA retirement community decide to go solar. The result is a small solar community, with other residents watching on and catching the “solar bug.” - “It's a win-win situation.”

Solar Communities” are beginning to pop up around the country – especially in states such as California and New Jersey where financial incentives are strong. A solar community is a block of residents joined together to install solar panels – often receiving the same bulk discounts you might get on a 42-pack of socks at Costco.

Tim O. of Walnut Creek, California recently did just that in his retirement community. Rossmoor is a large retirement community which houses single-family homes, duplexes, four-plexes, and condo apartments for those 55+.... read more

Boycott Taco Bell & KFC: Demand an End to Deforestation in Indonesia

Taco Bell Rainforest

Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace recently began to put pressure on YUM!Brands, parent company of many large fast food restaurants, due to the immense damage they are doing to tropical rainforests. YUM! Owns chains including Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, A&W and Long John Silvers and has over 38,000 locations across the globe.... read more

San Francisco Promotes Financial Incentives for Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) is partnering with the city Assessor-Recorder's office and Energy Upgrade California to launch the SF Home Improvement & Performance (SFHIP) incentive program. The goal of the program is to increase the affordability of "green" home improvements for San Franciscans. San Francisco is one of the only cities in California that provides governmental incentives in addition to state and federal incentives for going solar.

... read more

Meatless Mondays!!

Meatless Mondays

I am all about making small lifestyle changes to decrease my negative impact on the environment. While I may not be able to afford solar panels or an electric car, I CAN by local foods, hang-dry my clothes and do other small things which can add up to a BIG impact by the end of the year.... read more

San Francisco Electric Plug-In Car Project Faces a Few Roadblocks

Plug-in electric vehicles are becoming more affordable, available, and popular. Leading “green” city, San Francisco, passed legislation to help increase the convenience of electric vehicles in hopes of enticing residents to purchase the green cars. The city is challenged with the task of installing 80 public charging stations at 20 locations by 2012.

The city has been working for roughly two and a half years to implement the charging station policy and necessary infrastructure. ... read more

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Food: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Through What You Eat

Food Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A comprehensive study released on July 18, 2011 by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) outlines guidelines to help you, the consumer, make wiser food choices. We have long known that certain foods create an abundance of CO2 emissions. What this study adds is understanding the roll of the entire life cycle of various foods, whereas previous research mostly focuses on food production. The EWG research tracks food production, processing, consumption and waste disposal to teach us how to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and pollutions that result from our dietary habits.

“By eating and wasting less meat, consumers can help limit the environmental damage caused by the huge amounts of fertilizer, fuel, water, and pesticides, not to mention the toxic manure and wastewater, that goes along with producing meat,” said Kari Hamerschlag, EWG senior analyst and author of the report. “Choosing healthier, pasture-raised meats can also help improve people’s health and reduce the environmental damage associated with meat consumption.”

Five Worst Foods For the Environment:

1. Lamb, especially loin

2. Beef – choose grass-fed and lean meats to reduce your impact on the environment

3. Cheese (this one shocked me! Total bummer!) - Less dense cheese (such as cottage) results in fewer greenhouse gases since it takes less milk to produce it... read more

US Green Job Growth Amidst Struggling Economy - 10 cities that are leading the way

Green Job Growth

The Huffington Post and 24/7 Wall Street released articles today naming 10 US cities with the largest green job growth.  The statistics are based on a non-partisan Brookings Institute study.

While the overall US economy has struggled, green businesses added 565,337 new jobs in between 2003 and 2010. The median salary for a green job is almost always higher than that of a non-green job and many of these jobs are in the manufacturing sector, creating job growth in some older cities known for manufacturing that have been hit hard by the recent economy. The report also states that “on a per job basis, establishments in the clean economy export roughly twice the value of a typical U.S. job ($20,000 versus $10,000).“... read more

Obama Proposes Dramatic Fuel Efficiency Increases for New Cars by 2025

Obama Car Emission

Last week the Obama administration released information about the proposal for increased auto emission standards.  The proposal includes a 56.2 mpg minimum for all new cars by 2025. American car manufacturers would have to meet this number as a company-wide average.  With the demand for electric cars already on the rise, this move would give electric vehicles the boost needed to become more mainstream.... read more

The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen

The Environmental Working Group compiled 2011's lists of The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen.  They used data from the USDA to analyze pesticides in produce.

The lists are a little different than last year -- for instance, cherries dropped off The Dirty Dozen, but now lettuce is there.

Here's The Dirty Dozen, which are fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue:... read more

  1. Apples 
  2. Celery 
  3. Strawberries 
  4. Peaches 
  5. Spinach 
  6. Nectarines (imported) 
  7. Grapes (imported) 
  8. Sweet bell peppers 
  9. Potatoes 
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce 
  12. Kale/collard greens

The 2011 Toxies Red Carpet Awards

dioxin - toxiesNext Thursday, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, is holding the second annual Toxies Red Carpet Awards for Bad Actor Chemicals.  The event includes a red carpet event at 4 PM, PDT, an award ceremony, and an after party at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

The Toxies exists to educate the public on the dangers of toxic and untested chemicals, teach people how to remove these chemicals from their lives, and encourage advocacy for policy changes.   ... read more

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