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Archive for February, 2012

28
Feb

Brownbag: DC Sustainable Energy Utility

Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:32:25 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DC Environmental Community:

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) is designed to help District households, businesses, and institutions save energy and money through energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Led by the non‐profit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), the DC SEU is a project of the Sustainable Energy Partnership under contract to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).

This utility is arguably the biggest and best funded entity in the District of Columbia government whose programs will result in reductions of carbon emissions. 

Join us tomorrow to learn how the DC SEU has already left a mark and be part of the future of this utility by sharing your thoughts and ideas as to what we need to do to make this one of the best programs in the country.  RSVP for this Environmental Community Oversight Discussion & Report Here!

All are welcome. Hope to see you tomorrow at noon.

28
Feb

Support Healthy Food for Our Kids!

Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 12:17:25 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

My friends at Parents for Better D.C. School Food asked me to post this information.

Did you know that DCPS Food & Nutrition Services ran a deficit of $14 million last school year?  D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson wants a quick fix – to hire another food service company to provide school meals.  Playing “musical vendors” like this is a short-term band-aid solution.  We can and should do better for our children.

The Chancellor recently rejected her food service director Jeff Mills’ proposal to move school meal production in-house.  Instead, she hastily ordered her staff to establish a new contract with an outside vendor (or vendors) to cut costs, even though it’s not clear what the reported cost overruns are attributed to.

In light of all the progress made in DCPS cafeterias recently, we ask you to join numerous community organizations and concerned parents in demanding that Chancellor Henderson take a strategic look at what’s best for DCPS food services in the long term before acting on a short-sighted solution.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE (http://bit.ly/DCPSMealsPetition) and SPREAD THE WORD!

For more information:

Blog post by Ed Bruske “Kaya Henderson Turning Out the Lights on School Food”
http://bit.ly/A6iBQo

Washington Post Article by Bill Turque “Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Top Staff in Food Fight”
http://wapo.st/xHJC8C

Link to full DCPS Food & Nutrition Services RFP
http://bit.ly/yC9Vzf

26
Feb

Pesticide Hearing Alert!

Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 12:49:12 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

24
Feb

Fukushima One Year Later

Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:57:08 AM EST

by Paul Walker, Director, Security & Sustainability, Global Green USA

On March 21st at Noon, join Global Green USA (1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor) and DC Environmental Network for an important update on:

“Fukushima One Year Later: A Discussion on Energy Futures and Climate Change with Experts and Activists from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Norway”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join a brown bag luncheon roundtable discussion with seven nuclear experts and activists from the former Soviet Union and Norway to discuss lessons learned from the March 11, 2010 nuclear reactor meltdown at Fukushima, the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, and the current state of thinking about alternative energy futures, climate change, and nuclear safety and security in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and beyond.

Panelists will include Kaisha Atakhanova from Kazakhstan; Oleg Bodrov, Natalia Mironova, Tatiana Mukhamedyarova, and Andrey Talevlin from Russia; and Pavel Tishakov from Norway, all members of Global Green USA’s “Energy Futures Working Group.”

RSVP for this discussion here! All are welcome!

24
Feb

See What Happened at Our Recycling Jobs Webinar!

Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:10:06 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

On February 16th, Susan Collins, Executive Director of the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) and Clarissa Morawski of CM Consulting explained the design and findings of the new CRI report, “Returning to Work: Understanding the Domestic Jobs Impacts from Different Methods of Recycling Beverage Containers.” This webinar was organized by the DC Environmental Network in Washington, DC and included participants from the United States, Canada and Serbia.

SEE the PowerPoint Presentation Here!

Watch and Listen to the Presentation on YouTube!

The DC Environmental Network wants to work with DC Mayor Vincent Gray and the DC Council to bring recycling jobs to the District and Washington, Metro region. If you are interested in being part of this effort let us know.

19
Feb

DC Environmental Community Oversight on Climate!

Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:28:56 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

On March 1st at Noon join the District’s premiere climate activists and other environmental leaders for our March networking opportunity featuring an environmental community oversight discussion on the reality of the accomplishments of the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU):

Our panel will feature:

– Theodore “Ted” Trabue, Managing Director, DC Sustainable Energy Utility
– John Macgregor, Chair, Politics & Prose Climate Action Project
– Dan Moring, Program Manager, IBC Engineering Services, Inc.

This important DC Environmental Network oversight discussion will take place on March 1st at Noon at the offices of Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW (11th Floor) here in our nation’s capital city. All are welcome.

RSVP for this Environmental Community Oversight Discussion & Report Here!

Background:

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) is designed to help District households, businesses, and institutions save energy and money through energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Led by the non‐profit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), the DC SEU is a project of the Sustainable Energy Partnership under contract to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).

The idea to create the DC SEU was conceived in 2008 by metro Washington energy activists, modeled after Efficiency Vermont, and born as legislation coming out of the DC Council. (The DC Environmental Network played a role in bringing interested activists together to hash out a vision for this utility and helped marshal support for its passage.) Since then, even with significant oversight and attention from the architect of the legislation, Council-member Mary Cheh, it has taken numerous years to put the structure in place to make this vision a reality.

Now, in 2012, the DC SEU is finally reporting a string of accomplishments in its first official year of operation. A recent DC SEU press release stated:

Since the approval and signing of the contract in March 2011, the DC SEU has completed more than 5,600 energy efficiency projects in the District, ranging from direct installations of efficient products and renewable energy measures in multifamily buildings and small commercial buildings to “mini-retrofits”—small energy efficiency measures—in single-family homes. Throughout the summer and fall, the DC SEU designed and implemented five “Quick-Start” programs using local contractors to perform energy-saving upgrades to low-income multifamily buildings, small businesses, and single-family residences in all eight Wards of the District. From installing energy-efficient light bulbs to insulating electric water heaters, these measures were simple and non-disruptive, and can save families and businesses noticeable amounts of money on their energy bills each month.

  • The DC SEU’s Low-Income Multifamily Quick-Start Program provided more than 4,700 residences with energy-efficient upgrades and met its FY 2011 goal of dedicating 30% of the DC SEU’s contract budget to improving energy efficiency in low-income housing.
  • The Single-Family Residential Quick-Start Program, which served 169 homes, provided residents with lighting upgrades, low-flow water devices, hot water tank and pipe insulation, and air sealing and insulation measures.
  • Through its Small Commercial Direct Install Quick-Start Program, the DC SEU served 754 facilities with upgrades of lighting, pre-rinse spray valves, hot water tank and pipe insulation, and ENERGY STAR® air conditioners.
  • The DC SEU also created the Commercial and Institutional Lost Opportunities Program, which was designed to capture energy efficiency opportunities with large commercial customers when they were making energy choices to replace old equipment, renovate a building, or begin new construction. As part of this program, the DC SEU partnered with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) to pilot demonstration programs, including lighting retrofits, the installation of new energy-efficient light fixtures, and a lighting management program to reduce energy consumption at the UDC campus.
  • In addition to these commercial and residential direct installation programs, the DC SEU implemented a Renewable Energy Quick-Start Program a full year ahead of schedule, enabling the installation of 15 rooftop photovoltaic systems and 3 commercial solar hot water systems.

In addition to its program goals, the DC SEU also: Designed and implemented a comprehensive consumer education and marketing plan; Recruited, hired, trained, and is now mentoring a committed and talented DC SEU staff; Developed strong relationships throughout the District.

Our Panel:

On October 12, 2011, Ted Trabue, Jr. was named Managing Director of the DC SEU. Trabue, a public affairs professional and a regular participant in the local political tapestry, has served in numerous capacities including most recently as Executive Director of the Green Builders Council of DC. Trabue also currently serves as President of the District of Columbia State Board of Education. He recently stated:

“I am proud to join the DC Sustainable Energy Utility and provide leadership in the organization’s effort to reduce energy consumption in the District of Columbia,” said Trabue. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue my work in environmental stewardship by helping DC residents and businesses reduce their energy costs, while also supporting local job creation. We will be working aggressively in our customer outreach and look forward to making a positive impact on our local environment and economy.”

Our Discussion:

DCEN discussion participants will be able to get to know the new Managing Director and will have an opportunity to dig into the details of what the DC SEU has accomplished and what we might look forward to achieving in the next few years.

RSVP for this Environmental Community Oversight Discussion & Report Here!

 

15
Feb

DCEN Webinar: New Container Recycling Institute Report!

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:10:11 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

7
Feb

DCEN Webinar: Recycling Equals Jobs!

Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:07:13 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Director, DC Environmental Network

“In these times of record-breaking unemployment in the United States (to say nothing of record-breaking costs for energy and landfill space), few solutions are more urgent–and none more logical–than creating jobs out of what we are otherwise throwing away.” – “Returning to Work”

Returning to Work: Understanding the Domestic Jobs Impacts from Different Methods of Recycling Beverage Containers

All Metropolitan Washington area decision makers, government agencies and advocates are invited to this important green jobs webinar:

On February 16th at 10:00 am, join the DC Environmental Network for an important green jobs webinar.

Susan Collins, Executive Director of the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) and Clarissa Morawski of CM Consulting will go over the details of the new CRI Report “Returning to Work: Understanding the Domestic Jobs Impacts from Different Methods of Recycling Beverage Containers.”  (Clarissa Morawski, CM Consulting and Jeffrey Morris, Ph.D., of Sound Resource Management Group in Olympia, Washington, are the primary authors of this report.)

RSVP here to recieve webinar information!

Key findings of “Returning to Work” include:

– Deposits create more jobs than curbside recycling relative to beverage containers.

– Recycling creates more jobs than disposal, and CDR creates the most jobs of all.

– Material throughput is the primary driver of recycling jobs.

– The secondary driver of container-recycling jobs is the number of workers required to collect, sort and transport the containers.

 – Jobs gained in recycling far outweigh any jobs lost in extraction of virgin materials.

– U.S. PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) reclaimers currently operate at less than 60 percent of capacity. Increasing to capacity–that is, processing an additional 230,000 tons annually–would create nearly 500 new jobs, based on an employment factor of 2 FTEs per 1,000 tons. Yet the United States exports 400,000 tons of PET to overseas markets each year–the equivalent of 800 jobs.

– Jobs gained from recycling far exceed any jobs lost in virgin extraction, land-filling or domestic manufacturing.

Susan and Clarissa will describe the potential of green jobs and reference case studies of successful programs in the United States and Canada.

After the presentations participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Our panelists:

– Susan Collins, Executive Director, Container Recycling Institute, San Diego, CA – Susan has spent 20 years advising over 80 municipalities on municipal solid waste and recycling programs and sustainability issues. She recently completed an extensive international research project comparing the financial, operational and policy aspects of container deposit and packaging systems in California, Germany and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. She spent nine years on the board of the California Resource Recovery Association, has a B.S. in manufacturing engineering from Boston University and an M.B.A. from UCLA.

– Clarissa Morawski, Principal, CM Consulting, Ontario, Canada – CM Consulting provides research, analysis, communications and strategic planning services in the area of waste reduction and regulatory affairs. Clarissa Morawski works with industry, federal, provincial and municipal governments as well as the not-for-profit sector, and has more than sixteen years of technical, analytical and communications experience in waste-minimization policy and operations. She has built her career around understanding the various program elements that make up empty-beverage-container management in terms of reuse, recycling and disposal. Ms. Morawski is a contributing editor to Solid Waste and Recycling Magazine and has written for Resource Recycling and Biocycle magazines.

RSVP here to recieve webinar information!

All are welcome!