sustainability http://michiganradio.org en Wayne State part of study on energy extraction http://michiganradio.org/post/wayne-state-part-study-energy-extraction <p>DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit university is playing a role in early but promising efforts to find and extract new energy sources.<br><br>A research project at Wayne State University is among 14 across 11 states involved in work on methane hydrates. These are structures that look like ice but have natural gas locked inside.<br><br>The project builds on what the U.S. government calls a "successful, unprecedented" test on Alaska's North Slope that produced a steady flow of gas from methane hydrates.<br> Sun, 02 Sep 2012 20:24:30 +0000 The Associated Press 8916 at http://michiganradio.org Wayne State part of study on energy extraction Detroit Green Garage looks for the meaning of "green" http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-green-garage-looks-meaning-green <p>People everywhere are trying to get a grasp on what &ldquo;sustainability&rdquo; and &ldquo;green jobs&rdquo; really look like.</p><p>That&rsquo;s an especially urgent quest in a struggling industrial city like Detroit.</p> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 22:12:28 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 5418 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Green Garage looks for the meaning of "green" A conversation with Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell http://michiganradio.org/post/conversation-grand-rapids-mayor-george-heartwell <p>In 2010, Grand Rapids was named the most sustainable mid-sized city in the U. S., by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic leadership Center and Siemens Corp. When he took office in 2004, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell implemented what he calls a &ldquo;triple bottom-line sustainability planning process. &rdquo; He talks with Michigan Radio&#39;s Jennifer White about what it takes to create a long term sustainable future for the city.</p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 21:26:01 +0000 Jennifer White 4336 at http://michiganradio.org A conversation with Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell University of Michigan commits $14 million to environmental improvements http://michiganradio.org/post/university-michigan-commits-14-million-environmental-improvements <p>University of Michigan officials say they are committing $14 million to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce solid waste sent to landfills, protect local water supplies, and support local food supplies.</p><p>In a <a href="http://sustainability.umich.edu/news/going-green-staying-blue-sustainability-michigan">speech</a>, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said the changes are a new chapter for the university, &quot;one that will alter the face of our campus and, more important, the character of our teaching, research and impact as a global leader.&quot;</p><p>Officials listed goals they hope to meet by 2025 in a <a href="http://sustainability.umich.edu/news/u-m-president-announces-ambitious-goals-sustainability">press release</a>:</p><ul><li>Cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, the equivalent of removing nearly 42,000 cars from the road.</li><li>Make the university transportation system more efficient &ndash; decreasing vehicle carbon output by 30 percent for every person in the car, truck or bus.</li><li>Shrink the amount of waste sent to landfills by 40 percent.</li><li>Protect the Huron River through best-in-class storm water control strategies and by applying 40 percent fewer chemicals to campus landscapes, and ensure that at least 30 percent of stormwater runoff does not flow into the Huron River.</li><li>Promote sustainable foods while supporting more Michigan farmers and producers. From the residence halls to the unions and hospitals, the university is introducing new purchasing guidelines and making a commitment that at least 20 percent of U-M food comes from local and sustainable sources.</li></ul><p>Officials say some of changes on campus will be noticed &quot;almost immediately&quot;: the purchase of 37 hybrid vehicles (including buses), a solar panel installation on North Campus, a geothermal system for the Weisfeld Family Golf Center, and newly renovated or constructed dining halls will go &quot;trayless&quot; (so students don&#39;t pile on food they end up tossing in the garbage).</p><p>The Associated Press reports the $14 million the University is committing to sustainability augments other sustainability spending by the University:</p><blockquote><p>That&#39;s in addition to $64 million in energy-efficient construction activity and $20 million supporting on-campus sustainability efforts.</p><p>The university says its plan is among the broadest of its kind, though efforts are under way at many campuses, including Michigan State University, Miami University in Ohio, University of Oregon<br />and University of Utah.</p></blockquote><p>Donald Scavia, the director of UM&#39;s&nbsp; <a href="http://www.graham.umich.edu/">Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute</a> and an advisor to President Coleman on sustainability,&nbsp; says the commitments and goals are important, &quot;but more impressive to me is the emerging culture shift on campus. I believe the high levels of focus, energy, and collaboration now in place throughout the university are the most significant steps in driving progress toward all of our sustainability goals -- in education, research, and operations.&quot; Tue, 27 Sep 2011 16:21:40 +0000 Mark Brush 4326 at http://michiganradio.org University of Michigan commits $14 million to environmental improvements It's not so easy to get rid of that potato fork http://michiganradio.org/post/its-not-so-easy-get-rid-potato-fork <p>Have you ever seen those plastic forks or spoons made from corn or potatoes? It&rsquo;s a big trend right now.</p><p>They&rsquo;re compostable. So in theory... this tableware breaks down into a dark, rich material that&rsquo;s really good for gardening.</p><p>So you get the convenience of disposable plastic... without adding to the big pile of plastic trash.</p><p>But here&rsquo;s where things get tricky.</p><p>Liz Shoch is with the <a href="http://www.sustainablepackaging.org/">Sustainable Packaging Coalition</a>. She&#39;s working with companies to rethink the way they package their products.</p><blockquote><p><br />&ldquo;One of the things we say a lot currently is there is no sustainable package and that goes for compostable packaging too. There&rsquo;s always tradeoffs.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p> Tue, 03 May 2011 15:06:59 +0000 Rebecca Williams 2323 at http://michiganradio.org It's not so easy to get rid of that potato fork Wind energy takes off in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/wind-energy-takes-michigan <p>Rick Wilson, the project manager for Heritage Sustainable Energy, is our guest this week as our &ldquo;What&rsquo;s Working&rdquo; series continues. Based in Traverse City, Heritage Sustainable Energy is a wind power company that has been managing the installation of wind turbines in both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan. Heritage is in the process of installing and expanding wind farms in the state, and is already producing roughly 40 megawatts of power. Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:05:40 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom & What's Working 1726 at http://michiganradio.org Wind energy takes off in Michigan New construction, expansions in Kalamazoo must furnish bike racks http://michiganradio.org/post/new-construction-expansions-kalamazoo-must-furnish-bike-racks <p>New or expanding businesses in the <a href="http://www.kalamazoocity.org/portal/index.php">City of Kalamazoo</a> will be required to include <a href="http://www.kalamazoocity.org/portal/government.php?page_id=114">space to park bicycles.</a></p><p><a href="http://www.kalamazoocity.org/portal/government.php?page_id=114">Mayor Bobby Hopewell</a> says it is part of a <a href="http://www.kalamazoocity.org/docs/sustain_covenant.pdf">broader plan to promote sustainability.</a></p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;We talk about wanting to attract young people and keep young people; we talk about wanting to be a vibrant urban core community. These are the things that urban communities do. They recognize that we can&rsquo;t only be about the automobile, we have to be about how everyone gets around in the community.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Only new buildings or those that are expanding are mandated to accommodate bike racks. The number required depends on how many people will use the building, with a maximum of 25 spaces required. Existing public and private entities will be encouraged to add places for their customers and employees to park their bikes. Tue, 04 Jan 2011 06:10:07 +0000 Lindsey Smith 730 at http://michiganradio.org New construction, expansions in Kalamazoo must furnish bike racks