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Friday, April 18, 2014

REI Commits to Solar Energy to Reduce Climate Impact

Good news on the corporate front:

From: Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published April 10, 2014 

"REI, the $2 billion national outdoor retailer, is committed to renewable energy. The company has 26 locations with solar power systems in eight states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia). The locations with solar rooftop power systems include retail stores and a distribution center in Bedford, Penn. REI began installing solar panels on certain stores in 2008 after Davis, Calif.-based Blue Oak Energy conducted a three-year feasibility survey that found solar rooftop panels can provide 10 to 100 percent of a store’s electricity."

"Sharon Im-Lee, energy manager at REI, Seattle, toldInteriors & Sources that stores with high energy costs were a good fit for solar, including those located in California, which has higher energy rates. "Here in Seattle, our electricity costs are only 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour; in California, we’re seeing upwards of 17 to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour, so what you’re offsetting is dramatically more in California," said Im-Lee.

REI also buys renewable energy certificates (RECs). The REC purchases are equal to powering more than 130 stores, two distribution centers and its headquarters. Its annual purchase of RECs are equivalent to removing almost 8,000 cars from the road or switching over 990,000 incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents. REI purchases RECs from San Francisco-based 3Degrees, which was named Best Trading Company for RECs in North America by Environmental Finance in its 14th annual market rankings.

"We intend to generate enough local renewable energy for our total electricity needs, but until then, RECs will be an important part of our energy strategy," stated Kirk Myers, corporate social responsibility manager at REI, in a news release."

Read more from our affiliate, TriplePundit.

Special Broadcast onTuesday

To commemorate Earth Day.  Get in touch (you can contact us through our main site, if you'd like to call in and tell us what Earth Day means to you and, more importantly, how it will be an impetus for you for positive change over the next 12 months

We look forward to a great show.  Listen live at WARL 1320 AM and on their worldwide stream.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This week's update from Renewable Now.Biz/REI

Some great stories.  Here's the site:

One of the stories we are running:  Welcome REI to our newest channel:

RENEW Energy Initiative Adds New Channel to ReNewable Now Network 

Brian Keane and Peter Arpin

April 15, 2014, Providence RI:  ReNewable Now and REI announced a strategic media partnership that will include a new media channel exclusively showcasing REI content offered through ReNewableNow.Biz. The content will consist of videos, radio shows, educational resources,  articles, and profiles of the professionals that make up the  RENEW Energy Initiative team.  The REI Channel will be accessible 24/7 on-line with both live and on-demand media.

ReNewableNow and REI share a common mission of educating the public on the business potential and the environmental benefits of using clean energy while investing in sustainable businesses. REI President, Dennis McCarthy and ReNewableNow's President, Peter Arpin were on hand to cement the media partnership.    

"The partnership between the two organizations continues to reinforce our interest in seeing the Green Economy grow," stated Peter Arpin. "We are both in the business of informing the public on the potential clean energy has in helping to create jobs.  Together we'll be able to amplify our efforts in presenting the business side of green while educating a new workforce and the public."

"Partnering with ReNewable Now will help us break into new markets while reinforcing our brand," said REI President Dennis McCarthy.  "We're excited about the launch of the REI Channel and look forward to helping businesses and the public grow, while saving money! The ReNewable Now Network is where to be if you're trying to make an impact when it comes to sustainability, and if you're looking to grow within the Green Economy. "
The RENEW Energy Initiative is a non-profit business association driven to promote the expansion of alternative energy and energy-efficiency in organizations throughout New England. As a nexus to information, people, capital and other resources, REI seeks to fill the energy needs of businesses that boosts efficiencies, reduces carbon emissions and increases corporate competitiveness. Primary service delivery is through a series of member networking events and formal training programs.

ReNewable Now will be working with REI’s team of experts to enhance its content across the network. REI’s Channel, a multi-media portal, will promote innovation and actions in clean energy. The channel is committed to growing the Green Economy.  REI will be supporting ReNewable Now’s mission with a regular monthly segment called “Inside REI” featuring REI President Dennis McCarthy.  During these segments, Dennis will share insights on new trends, activities and workshops that are available to help people grow professionally. 

As McCarthy says, “We’re interested in raising everyone’s energy IQ, and we do that by connecting them to the right information, and to local trusted resources that make a difference.  By helping people access clean energy information and easy actions they can take, ReNewable Now helps us deliver on our mission." McCarthy cites as an example of the new partnership ReNewable Now’s recent coverage of REI workshops at which experts in Geothermal Technologies and Financing Sustainable Projects were educating classrooms filed to capacity on these subjects. “Renewable Now’s coverage of our workshops helped get the message out on the education available for everyone within the community, and also reinforced the importance of this growing industry.”

For Today's show/Sustainable Business Oregon Journal

We've been working for awhile to bring Mason Walker, one of the founders of Sustainable Business Oregon to the show, and today we do so.  We may run live or record and play in the next week or two but, either way, here's background on Mason and his fabulous publication.  Tune in anytime at our main site:

Mason Walker is new media manager of the Portland Business Journal and a co-founder of Sustainable Business Oregon.

Sustainable Business Oregon is a new media publication positioned at the intersection of business and sustainability. It covers breaking news in renewable energy, green building, natural resource policy, food and cleantech. It also serves as a community hub for the Northwest sustainable business discussion, hosting hundreds of community contributors, a calendar of events and an active green jobs board.

Mason’s mission is to speed the adoption of sustainable business practices to ensure a habitable and equitable future. He is a native New Yorker (the state, not the city) and holds a degree in supply chain & logistics from Portland State University. When he's not backpacking or playing futsal, you can find Mason focused on social enterprise, natural building and urban agriculture. Keep up with him on Twitter at @SustainableBzOR.

About Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon, a publication of the Portland Business Journal, is dedicated to covering the news and issues at the intersection of business and sustainability.
More about us »

Thursday, April 10, 2014


 Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the Sierra Club Future Fleet & Electric Vehicles Initiative, has contributed many times to the show and blog.  She is an accomplished, ardent supporter of EV's.

We rejoice, with others, as MASS does a giant leap forward in meeting their goals for EV's.  Tax credits work--period.  We expect to see a very nice spike in electric vehicle sales in MA this year.

Don't forget to listen to our show on electric buses going into Worcester as part of their impressive transient system:


Though there are no leaves on the trees yet, my home state of Massachusetts became a greener place to live this week. Governor Deval Patrick announced Thursdaya rebate program that will provide state residents who purchase or lease an electric vehicle (EV) a rebate of up to $2,500 - an incentive that we in the Massachusetts Electric Vehicles Taskforce enthusiastically recommended.
In the past, I've blogged about Massachusetts lagging behind other states, like Oregon and Georgia, in EV incentives and sales. The new rebate program, expected to go into effect early this summer, will allow for catch-up and help clear the air from Cape Cod to the Berkshires.

On Thursday, the governor also celebrated the launch of six new fully electric public transit buses in Worcester, MA. "This is wicked cool," said Governor Patrick (that means "really, really great" for you non-New Englanders). State transportation officials said each of the new buses is expected to eliminate 130 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year compared to diesel buses and will cut operating costs by nearly $3 million over 12 years. The buses are manufactured by Proterra, headquartered in Greenville, SC. The growing company has e-bus contracts with transit agencies in a number of other cities, including Nashville, San Antonio, and Tallahassee.

The governor was on a roll because he also announced nearly $600,000 in Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) grants for 16 municipalities, two universities, and one state agency to install EV charging stations and acquire about 200 EVs for their fleets. This is the second round of grant awards through MassEVIP since its launch last year. 
As a parent whose children take the school bus every day, I'm also excited to learn that, working in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources will provide $1.8 million in grants for eight electric school buses. These e-buses will have vehicle-to-grid capability to serve as back-up energy resources during natural disasters. It would be exciting if my daughters could ride on one of these clean driving technological marvels in our home city of Cambridge.

Massachusetts, which has signed an eight-state agreement to significantly ramp up EV programs and sales, has a long way to go to reach its commitment of getting 300,000+ plug-in vehicles on the road in Massachusetts alone by 2025. But this week, there was a jolt of real progress.

-- Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the Sierra Club Future Fleet & Electric Vehicles InitiativePhotos by XiaoZhi Lim of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Economic Buzz on European Bee Extinction

We've done some great shows on the decline, across the world, of the bee population and talked about some of the potential causes (you may know, in fact, Jim will be hosting his own show with us soon called "The Buzz").  Now, thanks to ecorazzi, we have a terrific story to share with you:

European bumblebee population decreases heavily

"A recent study shows that 24 per cent of European bumblebee species may face possible extinction.
The study, conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), showed disturbing rates of declining population within 68 species of bumblebees indigenous to Europe. Findings show that 46 per cent of bumblebees are at risk due to changes in agricultural land, development in urban areas, and intensification of agriculture.
The bumblebee is fundamental to agricultural sustainability. Three species in particular are crucial to European crops: the endangered Bombus Fragrans, the Bombus Hyperboreus, and the endangered Bombus Callumanus.
According to the international news release from the IUCN, along other pollinators, “bumblebees contribute to more than 22 billion Euros to European agriculture per year.”
Ana Nieto, European Biodiversity Officer, of IUCN stated, “such a high proportion of threatened bumblebees can have serious implications for our food production.”
Bumblebees pollinate staples in our day-to-day dietary needs such as vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, as well as fruits and seeds. Bumblebees are also responsible for the pollination of many trees and flowers.
With Europe receiving the second highest rating of all the world’s top agricultural exporters in the 2013 European Commission agricultural trade analysis of 2012, it is evident that agriculture is an international point of prosperity for the continent.
In the same analysis it was stated that “demand for EU [European Union] products is essentially driven by export markets.”
Janez Potocnik, Environment Commissioner of the EU said: “The plight of Europe’s bumblebees is a problem that needs to be tackled on all fronts. The European Union recently banned or restricted the use of certain pesticides that are dangerous to bees.
“However, efforts clearly need to be scaled up, not least through better mainstreaming of biodiversity into other policies, but also to raise awareness about the benefits pollinators bring,” Potocnik added.
Europe is currently working on a strategy that focuses on the immediate need to put an end to biodiversity loss.
An end to biodiversity loss – well that is just the bee’s knees."

About Liane Abbey

Liane is a Journalism student at Niagara College, living in Niagara Falls. She has lived a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle for nine years. Passionate about animal, human, environmental, and indigenous peoples rights, Liane participates in activism daily. She plans on traveling to Costa Rica and Kenya in the near future. In her spare time, (when she is not watching Star Trek) Liane enjoys cooking, yoga, reading and laughing. More written work and photography by Liane can be found at her personal blog. 

This week's update from Renewable Now/The Climate of Doom

Here's our lead story.  Please go to for other stories and updates.

Keep in mind we are doing a live show today, 1-2p, EST, and introduce our newest co-host:  Paul Carroll, planner and economic director of Newport, RI.  Please listen in at:


Hollywood A-listers Are Combining Their Skills to 
Combat Climate Change

No, it's not a new Indiana Jones movie, although some say the idea is intriguing. Rather, it is real life Harrison Ford and other A-list celebritiesteaming up with an A-list Production team including James Cameron for a phenomenal series and educational initiative that speaks of the impact of climate change.

The series is YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, and now the expertise and talent behind Hollywood are forming a team to bring stories to the world in an effort to understand the urgency of what is at hand.

Hollywood's brightest stars and today's most respected journalists explore the issues of climate change and bring you intimate stories of triumph and tragedy. YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY takes you directly to the heart of the story in this awe-inspiring cinematic documentary series event from Executive Producers James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger.YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY premieres Sunday, April 13 at 10PM ET/PT - only on SHOWTIME®.  But we have the first episode right here on ReNewable Now courtesy of SHOWTIME® for you to explore.

Each correspondent delves into a different impact of climate change – from the  damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy in the tri-state area to political upheaval caused by droughts in the Middle East to the dangerous level of carbon emissions resulting from deforestation. The project will portray the current and intensifying effects of climate change on everyday Americans and demonstrate how they can take action and be part of the solution.

YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY will combine the blockbuster storytelling styles of Hollywood’s top movie makers, including James Cameron and Jerry
Weintraub, with 60 Minutes’ Joel Bach and David Gelber’s reporting expertise to reveal critical stories of heartbreak, hope and heroism as the race to save the planet continues.