Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Today's radio show on WARL 1320 and Blog Talk Radio

Features one of my rotating co-host, Jim Murphy from RI College as we look at an educational bond in the State asking for 50m to remodel facilities on campus, and use that issue to take a much broader look at how,  here in the US, we currently finance public schools, and take suggestions on how we can improve the financing model for education in the future.

Feel free to listen and send us emails or questions through our social media sites.  Just look for Renewable Now on the web.

Also, this just hit our desk this morning and will be the subject matter for a future show:  Of course, that show will look at how other states evaluate their government's green focus and progress.

You can find the report at ECRI's site or request a copy from us:

Lawmakers, Take Note:  Environment Council of Rhode Island Releases Green Report Card
The latest Green Report Card highlights an unfocused RI General Assembly with a "B-"

Providence, Rhode Island -- The Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) released its biennial Green Report Card today.  The report highlights critical environmental issues that were considered by the General Assembly during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.  State lawmakers were graded on 14 pieces of legislation that covered a broad host of affairs, ranging from matters on clean water, to state energy policies.

“The bills that are highlighted in this report card are priorities on which many ECRI members worked hard to ensure passage or defeat.  These pieces of legislation have a lot to do with determining the health of Rhode Island’s communities for future generations,” said Tricia Jedele, President of ECRI..." 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Founder's League

What is is....what does it mean?

Last week, we posted a link to our first show with a RI-based business accelerator, Betaspring.  Right after that we received their notice of helping to form a new founder's league in RI, and thought it would be of interest to our global audience as a model for what is possible, in any city or country, in assembling teams and resources to help entrepreneurs.

Here's part of the announcement.  You can find the rest at the Betaspring web site:

Introducing the Founders League!

The Founders League isn't something brand new hatched in our heads. Thanks to our friends at theCambridge Innovation Center, we have borrowed many ideas on how to build a strong, resiliant startup community. I read every email that General Assembly sends out and keep track of the programs we know we can, and should, emulate. The Founders League is lucky, not only to be within driving distance of these two very cool platforms, but to have the luxury of learning from their successes.  So....Here's the official announcement we made today. We'll be back soon with updates and opportunities to get involved! 
“Founders League” Will Strengthen Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Expand Programs for High Growth Start-ups and Entrepreneurs Betaspring, the Greater Providence Chamber of CommerceBrown University and the University of Rhode Island partner to launch next-gen entrepreneurial platform in Rhode Island
Thanks to a catalytic partnership between Betaspring, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, University of Rhode Island and Brown University, Rhode Island will soon have a new resource to help start-ups, students and aspiring entrepreneurs connect, learn and build high-growth ventures.
Guiding principles for the platform include:
--An iconic physical nexus. Place matters. Creating synergies and circulation are among the most important components of successful entrepreneurial communities and their support platforms. Physical consolidation will make it easier to create a “critical mass” of activity that bolsters programmatic efficiency and social connectivity for entrepreneurs. The long term vision is to build an “entrepreneurial campus” of interconnected services and resources.
--Co-working community. Co-working communities provide entrepreneurs with access to a strong community of peers and a physical space to work that is conducive to entrepreneurial success. Incubation also helps move entrepreneurs and new ventures through a pipeline of programs, supports and services that can significantly increase success for a new venture.
--Attract and connect students. Students represent an important resource and a key asset in Rhode Island’s effort to build a strong entrepreneurial community. Students are attracted to programs that meet and reflect their needs.  The Founders League will build on current efforts to offer a special track for students that adapts and responds to their needs, interests, and social behaviors. 
--Self sustaining business model. The Founders League will transition to a self-sustaining business model within three years.
--Enhanced programming. Building on the foundation laid over the last three years at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Founders League will offer a robust continuum of programming and services to match the spectrum of needs within Rhode Island's entrepreneurial and start-up community. 
--Engage more entrepreneurs. There are many steps to creating a venture and people need different entry points and supports along the way. The Founders League will place strong emphasis on creating a dynamic and activated environment that attracts and meets the needs of a diverse community of entrepreneurs. The platform will be geared towards high-growth entrepreneurship and offer multiple channels to serve experienced entrepreneurs, as well as those who are just beginning to explore their entrepreneurial aspirations....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Interviews from Betaspring

From the Providence Journal

A terrific story on a vacant lot in Providence that is bring planted into an urban tree nursery.  What makes this story even more impressive is watching them do this on a brownfield site...amazing.

This is a nice follow up to the segment we did with New Urban Farmers here in RI who are cultivating ugly urban lots into community gardens.  If you have not looked at their work, take a look at their site.

We love the reuse of wasted, barren sometimes abused pieces of land.  This creative investment in nature beautifies cities while increasing the value of the adjacent lands.  They also act as an attraction and mecca for the neighborhood.

Send us your stories on similar developments in your cities:

Reinvent RI: Using vacant lots to cultivate a greener city

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- It doesn't look like much from afar, just a fenced-in plot of land on a vacant block in the West End.
The site is surrounded by clumps of artemesia, spikes of mullein and other weeds. A pile of tires sits in one corner of a crumbling parking lot near rotting wooden pallets and other trash. Mill buildings rise up like walls on all four sides.
But inside the fence is an unexpected sight: 293 plastic pots lined up in neat rows. Nearly all have young trees growing in them. There are locust and American smoke bush saplings, tulip poplar and scrub oak, black cherry and viburnum, 26 varieties in all.

This is Hope Tree Nursery, Groundwork Providence's big experiment, an effort to grow trees on a polluted brownfield site in the heart of the inner city. It may be a first.
"We know of no other urban tree nursery anywhere else in the country," said Ray Perreault, a program director with Groundwork who's in charge of the nursery. "This is a unique way of growing trees."
The nursery will serve multiple purposes. It will supply trees to property owners around the city as part of a long-term project to enhance Providence's tree canopy. It will be a pocket of green space in what was once an industrial area that is slowly gentrifying. And it will be a place to train workers in tree care.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Introducing our audience to eNow

We love sharing good news and information on companies making a difference.

My company, Arpin Group, used our renewable energy company to start the process of innovating solar systems for transportation companies that would, through solar panels on the roof tops and battery systems in the truck, reduce idling and wear and tear on trucks, thereby saving the truck owners money and saving our air mountains of dirty carbon.

That work was so successfully, as tested across our own trucks, that we merged our efforts with an innovator named Jeff Flath who had helped Cooley Group install the first solar outdoor billboard in Times Square NY.

Together, we formed a new company, eNow, and that company has taken the technology to a very broad group of companies, and government agencies, who are helping us finish our testing and bring these products--products that will change the world--to market.

Here's a look, and link, to the eNow site.  We hope you visit them often, and we'd love to hear your comments on the products and their potential impact on the market place.  These products, by the way, will be available across the globe:

The link:

Their blog:

Our Blog

AltWheels Fleet Day Concentrates on Energy Costs

It was great to exhibit at the 9th Annual AltWheels Fleet Day this past Monday.

How long has solar power been around and does it work?

This question seems to be on the minds of everyone that we meet so we thought we would provide you with some key facts.

Diesel APU’s – taking a drink of water from a fire hose

Diesel APU’s have a fundamental problem in handling small electrical loads.  They need to be turned on to satisfy even the smallest electrical demand.

Can Solar Panels on vehicles be used to Power Homes & Businesses?

Next time you drive by a school or drive by a warehouse filled with parked trucks, imagine if each of these vehicles had solar panels installed on the roof.

Truck Company and Drivers Track Idle Time and Look For Improvement

As I introduce eNow to many trucking companies, I come across the same tracking metrics, truck idle per month costs.

Trucks Joining Green Race

From the rack of over 30 sample magazines the cover of one jumped out at me. It showed what at first glance appeared to be two menacing tractor trailers bearing down on a bicyclist.

Should we develop alternatives to curtail the use of oil and gas?

Oil and gas has continually increased to the point where we are environmentally threatened and dependent upon foreign producers.

How Truck Emissions Can Ruin a Relaxing Getaway

We decided to take a drive for breakfast. Our plan was to have a relaxing morning and enjoy a delicious meal. Off we went. First stop the gas station, my have prices gone up, still I thought, not as bad as that diesel price, though.

DYK—Interesting Facts on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Your carbon foot print is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support your activitites.  It is usually expressed in equivalent metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Read on for other interesting facts from

EPA Gets Approval to Mandate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

I recently read an article, at about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) winning an appeal in the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Cost of Regulations - Idle or Not to Idle?

Have you ever noticed the amount of trucks there are on the road today?  What about the rest areas?  What choices do they have when they are obligated to rest?  Read more about savings, gas emissions and the driver.

What are Gas Emissions doing to our air, health and planet?

Have you ever driven by a truck and thought “what is all that smoke doing to the air and environment”?  With all the news on renewable energy, how can we sit back and watch and not be aware of how this affects our health, economy and planet?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Terrific show yesterday with Calvert Funds

That ran live on WARL 1320 and Blog Talk Radio.  It is now available 24/7 on Blog Talk.  Here's the link.  We hope you enjoy the show.  Send us your comments and suggestions

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thanks to EcoGeek

US Military Embracing Green Energy

The military has already been one of the largest adopters of green building practices, despite the efforts of the Congress to suppress or limit the use of LEED on military projects. Green building may be a political football for the legislature, but the military takes a more functional and long-term view, and the benefits of greener practices are plainly clear to them.
Numerous military programs have looked at a wide variety of ways to save energy. About a year ago, the Army organized a renewable energy task force. The Navy has tested biofuel for jet fighters and fuel conservation programs for ships. This is not because the military is really a bunch of tree huggers, but because it makes good sense for their broader mission.
Not only is it important to have sustainable practices at the military bases and fixed facilities, but also, in the field, the use of renewable power means less need for transporting fuel and other supplies. In the current conflicts the American forces are engaged in, supply chains are one of the vulnerabilities that must be dealt with, and the costs associated with protecting and transporting material takes its toll in "blood and treasure." But using renewable power such as solar, rather than diesel generators, allows soldiers in the field to be more self-reliant and less dependent upon supply deliveries.
We often talk about the triple bottom line in explaining the numerous benefits of following greener policies. But that argument may not sway some people. Maybe that can be buttressed with a perspective of long-term strategic thinking that also makes an argument for the same policies."

Listen today on WARL and Blog Talk Radio...

As we pick up our previous conversation and talk more about global sustainable investing with Todd Dahlstrom, my co-host, and Bennett Freeman from Calvert Investing.  Here's some background, which is very impressive, on Mr. Freeman:

Don't forget we are live today from 12-1p, EST, then we'll post a link to the recorded show here so you can find it 24/7 on our the Renewable Now channel on Blog Talk Radio.  Feel free to contact us during the show.

For those of you who missed a previous episode of our show, here's the link to those shows:

Bennett Freeman
Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy
Mr. Freeman leads Calvert’s Sustainability Research Department and oversees its company research and analysis as well as its policy and advocacy work. From 2003 until early 2006, he led Burson-Marstellar’s Global Corporate Responsibility practice advising multinationals on policy development, stakeholder engagement and communications strategies related to human rights, labor rights and sustainable development. During the Clinton Administration he served in three positions as a presidential appointee in the State Department, most recently as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001. In that capacity, he led the development of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the first human rights standard forged by governments, companies and NGOs for the extractive sectors. Earlier in his career he was Manager-Corporate Affairs for General Electric and serves on the Boards of Oxfam America, the Institute for Business and Human Rights, Intervention Network and EG Justice. From 2006-2009 he served on the Board of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) representing Oxfam. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as a frequent speaker and media commentator on sustainable investment, corporate responsibility, human rights and U.S. foreign policy. Mr. Freeman received an MA in Modern History from the University of Oxford, where he studied as an English Speaking Union Churchill Scholar at Balliol College, and an AB in History from the University of California at Berkeley.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Good economic news on the green economy side

We needed some good news this week, given the demise of a major battery company,  and we got it from the National Wildlife Federation.  Note how quickly the assets of that battery company got swooped up by Johnson Controls, a terrific company:

We, too, are finding lots of great stories and successes out there.  We relish finding and reporting on success stories in this fledgling but steady new economy.  Our cameras have filmed achievements across many industries,  including fishing, farming, urban development and education.  No doubt we will find many more.

Breaking News – 98% of Clean Energy Investments Still Creating Jobs and Reducing Pollution

from Wildlife Promise

Alert: Expect to hear more hooey attacking clean energy! Today the big polluters and their political surrogates jumped into the fray to use the news on battery maker A123 as another launching pad to spin and sell us more snake—and heavy crude and tar sands—oil. Let’s demand better tonight.

Here’s the real story

Today’s headlines that start-up battery maker A123 would file for bankruptcy was quickly followed by news that major automotive and efficiency equipment supplier Johnson Controls would buy A123′s automotive business, complementing JCI’s existing investments in advanced battery facilities in Michigan and Ohio.  More on the detailshere.
As Alex Molinaroli, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions said this morning:
“Our interest in A123 Systems is consistent with our long-term growth strategies and overall commitment to the development of the advanced battery industry.”
In other words, while pundits jumped in to score political points, clean energy investments just kept on trucking.
The new Ford C-Max plug-in hybrid EV gets a 100mpge rating from EPA and is built in Michigan. Photo: Ford Motor Co.
Clean energy investments are delivering jobs right now:
  • DOE clean energy investments across some 15,000 projects in all 50 states areoverwhelmingly successful
  • In 2010 3.1 million Americans were employed in “green goods and services” as calculated by the Bureau of Labor statistics…. and that doesn’t even include most of the rapidly innovating auto industry
  • Since mid 2009, the auto industry has added over 230,000 jobs as it retools to build and sell the next generation of far more fuel efficient vehicles
  • Ohio has added nearly 10,000 auto and parts  manufacturing  jobs since July 2009. Indiana has added 20,000 and Michigan 33,000 in the same time period.
  • Toledo Ohio alone has at least $1Billion in recent investment in clean energy and advanced vehicle technologies  including a$140M investment made by Johnson Controls in their start-stop advanced battery plant in Toledo that retains 400 jobs and adds 50 more.
The electric vehicle industry is real and growing.  Yes, like any new industry the EV industry has its growing pains and its winners and losers. But real cars require real batteries and a host of other technology shared with hybrid and advanced conventional vehicles that is creating a boom in automotive innovation and jobs .
  • EV sales are growing rapidly – consumers are adopting EVs faster than they did the hybrid Prius when it was initally released.
  • Volt sales are up 300% from last year, and the Volt is currently outselling half of all car models on the market.
  • EVs are not just the Volt, the Leaf, and the Tesla, but include vehicles from Ford, BMW and others.  In fact, more than a dozen different electric vehicles will be offered next year.
Many of these vehicles, their components and batteries are being built across the US in states from California to Michigan to Tennessee, and are a part of hundreds of companies’ businesses plans.
They are also part of a clean energy transformation of the auto sector that shows that America has what it takes to combat climate change and spur an economic recovery at the same time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

First show with Betaspring

Is now on our global TV site, The Arpin Broadcast Network.

Betaspring is on our county's leading accelerators of start-up businesses, and their story is inspiring.  This is the first of a five-part series show at their offices, incubator in Providence RI, and will be followed up next month with a companion nationally radio show on our two outlets, WARL 1320 AM and Blog Talk Radio, Renewable Now channel.

For now, here's the link.  Enjoy the first segment:

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Recycled material starting a whole new company that could be a game changer.

It's a pretty nifty idea assuming it all comes together: An Israeli inventor has made a bicycle almost entirely out of cardboard and hopes to have it in mass production in months, reports Reuters. Izhar Gafni swears his $20 bike is uber-durable, thanks to a treatment of organic materials that makes it both waterproof and fireproof. It has no metal parts, and its tires are made of recycled rubber from car tires. It can accommodate a simple motor, too.

This is inspiring, look at the video to your right. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thanks to Mrs.Green's World

Forgetting back in touch with us (we did a great show with Mrs. Green last year) and sending us the email on their recent film--which we are happy to share with you--The Silent Killer.

Mrs. Green's show, which originates in AZ, does a great job of looking at the consumer side of green. That is an nice compliment, and certainly different terrain, then our focus on the business side of green.  Together, we cover lots of different stories and give you a different perspective on global sustainable changes.

Let us know what you think.  We will try to post this on our show site (Arpin Broadcast week or next. 

To Renewable Now:

Because we have been honored to have you as a guest on our show, we wanted to share our latest project with you. The Mrs. Green's World short film, The Silent Killer, has been a vision of our team for quite some time. We are very proud of the project.

Would you mind taking a look at the film? I would appreciate your time and your support by asking you to share the film with your community – especially your social media platforms. We are well on our way of reaching a 1,000 views. Our goal is to truly reach the masses – and by you sharing it with those that support you, we can reach that goal together. 

Here is the link to the film:

Thank you for your time and support of Mrs. Green's World. Our entire team appreciates you!



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Staying with Environment News Service today

Earlier this week we reported, thanks to the ENS site, on France's investment in EV's. We stick with ENS today and their excellent article on the US's update truth-in-advertising standards for "green" products and standards.

We applaud this increased scrutiny for use of "green" by advertisers as we all need to deliver on our promises, and not lose credibility with consumers as we taut sustainability improvements.  As they say, let's walk the talk.


Feds Update Truth-in-advertising Guides for Green Marketing

WASHINGTON, DC, October 1, 2012 (ENS) – Marketers can no longer make broad, unqualified claims that a product is “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly,” under revised Green Guides issued today by the Federal Trade Commission.
Instead, marketers should qualify general claims with specific environmental benefits presented in a “clear, prominent” manner to ensure they are truthful and are not deceptive.
For instance, “Claiming ‘Green, made with recycled content’ may be deceptive if the environmental costs of using recycled content outweigh the environmental benefits of using it,” the FTC advises.
The new Green Guides include updates to the existing guides, last revised in 1998, as well as new sections on the use of carbon offsets, certifications and seals, non-toxic claims, and renewable energy and renewable materials claims.
The Green Guides are not agency rules or regulations. Instead, they explain how truth-in-advertising principles apply to green marketing. They describe the types of environmental claims the FTC may or may not find deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which empowers the agency to take enforcement action against deceptive claims.
The Commission can issue orders prohibiting deceptive advertising and marketing and can impose fines if those orders are violated.
“The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products and for producers who want to sell them,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
“But this win-win can only occur if marketers’ claims are truthful and substantiated,” Leibowitz said. “The FTC’s changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people and it is one reason why we had such broad support.

Environment News Service (

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thanks to the Environment News Service

For a great article on France investment in electric mobility.  Good news and a giant step forward for EV's.

Let's see more of this worldwide.  Keep in mind these investments in infrastructure--making the way for a much cleaner transportation system--also bring new jobs into the economy.  Note the financial advantages built into the system.

The headlines:

France Invests 50 Million Euros in Electro-mobility

Part of the story:  The link for the balance of the story is:

 PARIS, France, October 8, 2012 (ENS) – A new 50 million euro investment program to support electric vehicles and charging infrastructure was launched Wednesday by French transport, environment, energy and finance officials.
The so-called “Hirtzman Mission” is named after Philippe Hirtzman, an electric transport engineer at the Bercy Economic Ministry who is in charge of overseeing the program.
Hirtzman joined Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Industrial Renewal; Delphine Batho, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy; and Frédéric Cuvillier, Junior Minister for Transport, on October 3 to announce the new program.
Montebourg said that to support the purchase of zero- and low-emission vehicles, the maximum bonus on electric vehicles will be increased from €5,000 to 
€7,000 in 2013 and the bonus for hybrid vehicles will be doubled to €4,000.
Corporate and public purchasers also will qualify for the bonus in 2013, and Montebourg said the government will ensure that 25 percent of government vehicles will be electric or hybrid.
Bonuses related to low-emission combustion vehicles will be increased by €100 or 150 as appropriate, the officials said, and these increases will be valid until the end of 2012.
The new funding will cover deployment of charging stations on highways, in parks and in public parking lots such those at supermarkets and shopping centers.
Electric cars will benefit from a “preferential rate” for road tolls and parking, the officials announced.
Cities or regions of more than 200,000 inhabitants will be eligible for program funding, they said.
The new investment is part of the automobile plan presented on July 25 by the Minister of Industrial Renewal..."

Environment News Service (

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From Environment Council

We'd like to see a stronger push for wind power, nationally and internationally.  Here's a recent note we received which bears consideration.  We love the green jobs coming out of investments in clean energy.

"Wind power companies are laying off thousands of workers across America — and that means less clean, renewable, American wind power for our homes and our communities.

And it's all because House leaders refuse to renew a simple tax credit that enjoys rare bipartisan support.

Tell John Boehner: Stop listening to ExxonMobil, the Koch brothers, and the coal industry and renew the American Wind Power Tax Credit.
This should be a no-brainer. Instead, it's turning into an American tragedy. Thanks to the Wind Power Tax Credit, wind power is an American success story. It has grown 20-fold since 2000, providing 75,000 jobs and generating as much energy as 44 coal plants… enough to power 13 million homes. If we can keep it up, that will mean even less dependence on fossil fuels, less global warming pollution, less mountaintop removal, and less fracking and tens of thousands more jobs over the next 4 years.

Yet the tax credit is due to expire on Dec. 31. So far, House leaders have refused to act. Talk about "regulatory uncertainty" ...wind power companies have let go thousands of workers in past few months because of the uncertainty about the future of the tax credits. 37,000 jobs are expected to be lost if the tax credit expires at the end of the year..."

See the rest by clicking on the link.  

Good radio show yesterday

As we touched on an institute implementing standards for packaging and recycling into manufacturing, while creating new jobs, and got introduced to an amazing new technology--wireless electricity.

When you can listen and let us know what you think.  Here's the link:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Special Radio show today

On both WARL 1320 AM and Blog Talk Radio, Renewable Now channel as we go live today, 12-1P, EST, and repeat on Weds, our normal time, 12-1P, EST, so that we can go on the road for the rest of the week (which may mean will miss a few blogs this week, but we will try to post each day as we traverse the West Coast of the US).

My co-host today is Jack Gregg, our Boston-based real estate expert and founder of Carbon Day in Boston, and we have 2 great guests.  Here's some background:

Dave Schatz, Director of Business Development, will be talking about WiTricity.  Here's sneak preview on the company:

Imagine a future in which wireless electricity makes everyday products more convenient, reliable, and environmentally friendly.

Cell phones, game controllers, laptop computers, mobile robots, even electric vehicles capable of re-charging themselves without ever being plugged in. Flat screen TV’s and digital picture frames that hang on the wall—without requiring a wire and plug for power. Industrial systems and medical devices made more reliable by eliminating trouble prone wiring and replaceable batteries. WiTricity Corp. is working to make this future a reality, developing wireless electricity technology that will operate safely and efficiently over distances ranging from centimeters to several meters—and will deliver power ranging from milliwatts to kilowatts.
WiTricity Corp.’s vision is to develop a family of wireless electric power components that will enable OEM’s in a broad range of industries and applications to make their products truly “wireless.” Wireless electric power delivered over room scale distances, and with high efficiency. Wireless electric power that is safe for people and animals. Wireless electric power—imagine no more… it’s here!
Our second guest is Scott Cassel, CEO and Founder of a great non-profit, doing great work, The Product Stewardship Institute.  Take a look and listen in today: 
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national non-profit membership-based organization located in Boston, Massachusetts. PSI works with state and local government agencies to partner with manufacturers, retailers, environmental groups, federal agencies, and other key stakeholders to reduce the health and environmental impacts of consumer products. PSI takes a unique product stewardship approach to solving waste management problems by encouraging product design changes and mediating stakeholder dialogues.
What Is Product Stewardship?
Product Stewardship is the act of minimizing health, safety, environmental and social impacts, and maximizing economic benefits of a product and its packaging throughout all lifecycle stages. The producer of the product has the greatest ability to minimize adverse impacts, but other stakeholders, such as suppliers, retailers, and consumers, also play a role. Stewardship can be either voluntary or required by law.
What Is Extended Producer Responsibility?
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a mandatory type of product stewardship that includes, at a minimum, the requirement that the producer’s responsibility for their product extends to post-consumer management of that product and its packaging. There are two related features of EPR policy: (1) shifting financial and management responsibility, with government oversight, upstream to the producer and away from the public sector; and (2) providing incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations into the design of their products and packaging.
What We Do
Using the Principles of Product Stewardship as its guide, PSI offers the following services:
  • Research, Pilot Projects, and Evaluation
  • Facilitation and Consensus Building
  • Legislative Tracking, Analysis, and Advocacy
  • Build Product Stewardship Capacity through Education and Empowerment

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Enjoy the show and tour 2012

Yesterday's radio show

Is now available 24/7 on the Renewable Now channel on Blog Talk Radio.  All of our prior shows are archived there as well.

Here's the link to a terrific show, thanks to our guest, Peter Gill Case, sustainable architect and president of the Rockefeller Family Fund, which is doing some great work on the environmental side.

Here's the link. Send your comments:

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to spark a 'renewables revolution' Part 2

Continuing from yesterday

We particular agree with his statement that we need to push ahead, aggressively, on reduced use of fossil fuels, through all available investments in efficiency, as we build clean energy sources.

Let us know your thoughts.

"...This international intrigue isn't new for Lovins. As co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and a longtime energy consultant, he's spent decades dealing with global energy issues; according to his RMI bio, he has "briefed 21 heads of state, given expert testimony in eight countries and 20+ states, delivered thousands of lectures, and written 31 books and more than 450 papers." He also quickly saw Japan's potential after the Fukushima crisis, writing in a March 2011 op-ed that "perhaps this tragedy will call Japan to global leadership into a post-nuclear world."
While Japan may be more open to an energy shift than the U.S. is, both could phase out finite fuels like uranium and coal without economic harm, Lovins said at Thursday's roundtable. It's actually in their best interest, he added, since nonrenewable fuels are costly to extract and will eventually run out. "They're not embedded in the economy because it's cheaper to leave them in the ground," he said. "Smart investors are diversifying to get out of that business and into something much more durable."
The shift to renewable energy won't happen overnight, Lovins acknowledged, but he pointed out that countries can still make improvements in the meantime by using current fuels more efficiently. Energy waste has been a focus of his for decades, from designing lighter cars that use less gasoline to pushing for simpler, decentralized electrical grids. (He even coined a term 20 years ago, "negawatt," to describe a unit of saved energy.) And while political friction tends to slow the switch to new power sources, he argued Thursday that saving energy and money has bipartisan appeal. "It's hard to find people who don't like efficiency," he said.
Lovins discussed a range of ways to promote efficiency in the U.S. or anywhere, such as performance-based design of industrial facilities, self-sufficient microgrids that reduce the need for "big, vulnerable power plants," and letting companies expense their efficiency investments. He conceded "it's hard to do big things without Congress" — where many lawmakers want to end federal support for wind and solar power — but also cited smaller, subtler ways of speeding the shift to renewables, such as cities charging utilities for their water use to discourage water-intensive fossil fuels.
The future of energy is "small and granular," Lovins said, with more diversity and distribution of power sources instead of the traditional "big and lumpy" approach. Such a paradigm shift could curb the main causes of climate change, but Lovins is more focused on the economic and logistical benefits, suggesting nonrenewable fuels and inefficiencies aren't necessarily embedded in our economy — just in our heads.
"There's a lot of hidden value that's not being recognized," he said. "But once it is, you may find yourself in a much quicker transition than you thought."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Listen to us today at 12p EST, WARL 1320AM and Blog Talk Radio

As we interview Peter Case.  Here's his bio:  

Peter Gill Case – BIO October 2012

"Peter Gill Case is a sustainable architect and developer living in Providence, RI. Through his
work at Truth Box, Inc. he continues to demonstrate that conscientious green design enhances
the revenue and balance sheet of all real estate ventures. Peter’s recent work includes
retrofitting foreclosed three family homes into green affordable housing and building energy efficient

new structures with renewable and/or reusable materials, the most notable of which is
the Box Office in Providence, made from 35 recycled shipping containers.
Peter is also president of the Rockefeller Family Fund, a leading advocate for reducing the
sources of climate change and advancing economic justice for women (among other program
areas) in the US. Peter has recently been focusing on the impact of climate change on the New
England region and how property owners and the construction industry should respond to the
changing environmental landscape.

Peter also serves as president of The Steel Yard – an arts-centered organization that provides
resources and opportunity for anyone to develop skills in the arts and metalworking trades. The
Steel Yard is building a sustainable campus on a newly remediated 3-acre brown field site in

Peter received a MArch from RISD, BA in Urban Studies at Brown, and a M.Ed from Harvard."

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How to spark a 'renewables revolution'

Japan's plan to wean off nuclear power could help lead a global push toward cleaner, more efficient civilization, says U.S. energy guru Amory Lovins.

Good article in Mother Nature Network reporting on Japan's progress in moving rapidly off of nuclear power--precipitated, of course, by their nuclear disaster--and how that push could be the impetus for other developed nations to do the same, while shifting from fossil fuel sources as well.

As you might remember, we did a fantastic interview with a rep from RMI, which is the organization Lovins heads, and you can find it here:

We'll cover this over two days, but here's the link back to the story as well:

"Ditching fossil fuels makes economic sense despite what many U.S. politicians say, energy guru Amory Lovins told a group of business and government leaders in Atlanta last week. And while Lovins continues his 40-year push for efficient, renewable energy in America, he sees more momentum on the other side of the planet.
"There is a renewables revolution taking off in Japan," Lovins said Thursday at a roundtable talk hosted by the environmental nonprofit Southface. "Japan is poor in traditional fuels, but it's the richest in renewables potential of any industrial nation."
And while many industrial nations balk at abandoning the oil, coal and gas that made them rich, Lovins thinks that could soon change if Japan's newly announced energy makeover — which aims to phase out nuclear power by the 2030s, focusing more on renewables and efficiency — goes as planned. "If the nation with the sacred sun on its flag can do this," he said, "then it will lead the whole world."
Lovins spoke at the roundtable before giving another speech Thursday night at Southface's 14th annual "Visionary Dinner" (see video below). Similar to a popularTED talk he gave in May, both discussions echoed many of the arguments from his 2011 book, "Reinventing Fire," in which he outlines how the U.S. can end its dependence on fossil fuels by 2050. And while the book concentrates on America, Lovins said it "could also work for many other countries, including Japan."
The Atlanta appearances preface an upcoming tour of Asia for Lovins, in which he'll visit several countries to discuss ideas for improving energy production, transmission and consumption. But perhaps his most anticipated visit will be to Japan, where the aftermath of last year's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis has created a rare opening for renewables and efficiency. The country's interest in Lovins was already apparent in Atlanta, as a camera crew from Japanese broadcaster NHK shadowed him for a documentary, titled "Energy Shift," that's scheduled to air Nov. 2."