Category Archives: Policy & Government

“Safe” Air Isn’t Safe Enough

Cars and trucks at a near standstill on a 9-land highway.

Photo: URBAN TEXTURES, © 1998 PhotoSpin, powerphotos.com. Via Flickr

A new study released this week shows that levels of air pollution that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deems safe may not be safe enough. The study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that long-term exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and ozone — even below current standards established by established by the EPA — increases the risk of premature death.

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Teen Activist Pushes Town to Go Idle-Free

Alex Scaperotta is a teen environmental activist in Wilton, CT, on a mission to convince drivers to stop idling

For more than half of his life, 17-year-old Alex Scaperotta has been fighting to end unnecessary vehicle idling in his hometown of Wilton, Conn. As a third grader, Scaperotta became interested in climate change. Wanting to make a difference, he … Continue reading

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New York City May Enlist Citizens to Help Enforce Idling Laws

I Turn It Off Bumper Sticker

Laws against idling vehicles are on the books across the country, but in many places, including New York City, they aren’t heavily enforced. Two New York City Council members are hoping to change that by introducing a bill on Wednesday that will reward citizens for reporting idling violators. If adopted, citizens could upload videos of idling vehicles to a city website and receive a payment if fines are collected.

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Sustainable America Celebrates Launch of Stamford 2030 District

Downtown Stamford, Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut is the newest 2030 District.

What if our cities could help solve pressing climate and energy issues instead of contributing to them? That’s the idea behind the 2030 Challenge for Planning, a national movement that asks the global architecture and planning community to find ways to reduce energy use, water use and transportation emissions from new and existing buildings dramatically by 2030.

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New Efficiency Standards Ordered for Heavy-Duty Trucks

Photo Credit: static bob via Compfight cc

As part of an ongoing efficiency and conservation effort, President Obama announced this week that his administration will set higher fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by March 2016, a move that could reduce dependence on foreign oil, cut fuel costs, and lower consumer prices.

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8 States to Push Zero-Emission Cars

In October, governors from eight states, representing almost a quarter of the U.S. car market, announced an agreement to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads of their states by 2025. Here’s a state-by-state snapshot of how these states support clean cars.

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Indianapolis to Launch Largest All-Electric Car Share Service in U.S.

Photo Credit: francisco.j.gonzalez via Compfight cc

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is at it again. At last month’s Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) Conference, Ballard announced that he will bring the French company Bolloré’s electric car-sharing service, already a great success in Paris, to Indianapolis.

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Obama’s Plan to Curb US Oil Addiction

traffic congestion

Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa via Compfight cc

This Tuesday, President Obama unveiled a new plan aimed at curbing carbon emissions and reducing America’s dependance on oil.

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The U.S. Food Waste Challenge

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Earlier this month, the USDA and the EPA teamed-up to launch the U.S. Food Waste Challenge. The challenge asks individuals and groups from every facet of the food system – including farmers, producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, government agencies, and consumers – to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills.

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3 Cities, 3 Great Food and Fuel Projects

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Now that the five winners of the Mayors Challenge have been announced, we would like to check in on some of the runners-up. Hillsboro, Oregon; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Knoxville, Tennessee all proposed programs addressing fuel and food issues in their communities.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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