Thu, 24 January 2008
January weather in Philadelphia didn’t stop more than 400 people from attending the Urban Sustainability Forum on bike sharing. This event focused on the array of benefits from established bike sharing systems in Europe and the United States. It received quite a lot of good press, including a great blog post from a PennFuture member and a couple of articles where you can learn more.
Public use bicycle programs are changing urban transportation in cities worldwide. In this podcast, PennFuture's Christine Knapp first interviews Gilles Vesco, the Vice-president Communaute Urbaine de Lyon who oversees for the highly successful Velo'V system implemented in Lyon and duplicated in Paris.
Nate Kvamme, Director of Humana's Innovation Center, also discusses his initiatives in Louisville, KY to develop the FreeWheelin' bike sharing program for Humana healthcare.
Bike sharing programs offer many benefits including healthier citizens, livelier streets, and less noise and pollution. Luckily for Pennsylvanians, we have an extensive network of trails and a variety of biking organizations statewide. Explore some of the organizations listed below, or comment on our blog if you have your own story to share.
Dasani Blue Bike Program
Great Allegheny Passage
Streets Philadelphia Bike Map
Thu, 17 January 2008
Every year in Harrisburg those who cultivate, grow, harvest, and farm the bounty of land throughout the state gather together for the largest indoor agricultural convention in the country, the Pennsylvania Farm Show. This year marked the 92nd annual gathering, and PennFuture’s Jan Jarrett was on site to talk with some of the leading renewable energy groups at the convention this year.
Not surprisingly, more and more sustainable, green products are cropping up at the annual convention. This year, show organizers embraced this detail and called the show “New Ideas for New Markets?. Special attention was given to promoters of wind energy, biofuels, solar energy, and other state-harvested sources of fuel and power.
Tune in to explore with us research advancements in biofuels, integrated solar energy construction methods, Pennsylvania carbon trade, and the International Solar Decathlon.
To learn more about PennFuture's Safe Foods, Safe Families campaign and our other work to promote healthy, sustainable agriculture policies, visit our Web site. There you can also make a donation to support our work. We welcome your comments! Simply send us an e-mail or click on "Comments" below.
Fri, 11 January 2008
LaRoche College near Pittsburgh recently sponsored the "Global Problems, Global Solutions" conference, with a focus on the need to reduce toxics in the environment. PennFuture's Sharon Pillar attended and captured a portion of the event for this podcast.
We hear from Dr. Terry Collins, Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry and director of the Institute for Green Oxidation Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Collins is an internationally-recognized leader in the field of green chemistry. There is a clear relationship between sustainability and chemistry, in that the more than 80,000 chemical compounds that are today in commercial use have not, for the most part, been adequately assessed for their toxic effects on humans or the environment. Obviously chemicals can and do cause many serious problems. For the first time in nearly 150 years, chemists are beginning to think very carefully about how to solve those problems in advance, by creating chemical products and using chemical processes that remove hazards before chemicals get to the marketplace.
The consequences of this new approach to chemistry are extraordinary. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that already, green chemistry is eliminating 1.2 billion pounds of hazardous chemicals from the environment each year; saving 16 billion gallons of water annually; and preventing 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released (the equivalent of taking 37,000 automobiles off the road).
Listen in as Dr. Collins explains how new technologies and approaches to chemistry can be part of the range of powerful solutions we need to attain a sustainable future.
Visit our Web site to learn about ways that PennFuture is working to protect our health and the well-being of the places we live, work, and play. There, you can get involved in helping make important policy changes that will shape our cleaner, healthier future. You can also make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work. We welcome your comments! Simply e-mail us or click "Comments" below.
Thu, 3 January 2008
PennFuture and our friends annually celebrate the diverse achievements of businesses, people, and institutions that are blazing the trail towards a cleaner, healthier Pennsylvania by purchasing green power, advancing policies that develop the renewable energy market, and taking the lead in creating new renewable supply. You can peruse the Green Power Awards Hall of Fame list on our site to get a sense of the wide array of contributions being made toward Pennsylvania's clean energy future.
In this podcast, PennFuture's Joy Bergey takes us back to our 2007 Green Power Awards luncheon where she spoke with some of the honorees and partners at the event about their many projects and endeavors.
Since the Pennsylvania legislature still has major work to do on the Energy Independence Strategy, it is fitting to kick things off in 2008 with a sense of the enormous impacts that renewable energy is already making in the Commonwealth, with an eye toward all that can (and must) be achieved if we are to reduce our contributions to global warming, cut our addiction to fossil fuels, and spur new economic growth.
Joy first speaks with Bill Capouillez from one of the 2007 award-winners, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, about the Wind Energy Collaborative and the Game Commission's work with the wind energy industry on addressing environmental concerns, siting issues, and wildlife protection. To date, 17 wind energy development companies have voluntarily agreed to cooperate with the Game Commission when pursuing new projects, signing an agreement that is truly a national model for addressing wildlife protections.
Next we hear from Bruce Arnold, a member of the national 25 x 25 Project. The project has a straightforward goal: derive 25 percent of our energy in the U.S. from clean, renewable sources by 2025. Today, we are at 7 percent. Next Joy talks with Ian Bowman from Energy Window, assisting large companies with making renewable energy purchases.
Joy speaks with another 2007 awardee, Peter Alyanakian from Epuron. The company was recognized for their new Philadelphia project, where they are building a 3-megawatt solar field on a 14-acre brownfield site. Epuron is a European company, yet another of the many new companies that are investing significantly in Pennsylvania through renewable energy projects or related support industries.
Andrew McDowell, a Chester County-based environmental activist, and Nadia Adawi from the Energy Co-op, describe ground-breaking new work in Chester County in partnership with the Krapf bus company to convert a number of their school buses to biodiesel thanks to new funding.
And finally, Joy talks with another 2007 award-winner, Richard Rosey from Solar Power Industries, based in Westmoreland County. The company manufactures solar cells, and has been developing new rooftop technology. The company has nearly doubled in size in the past two years, selling out its products. The demand for solar energy products is outstripping supply in many cases.
To nominate a person, business, or institution for a 2008 Green Power Award, visit our site. There you can also see a list of all of the 2007 awardees, including the Philadelphia Eagles, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and many, many more. To support PennFuture's work to promote green energy and stop global warming here at home, make a tax-deductible contribution. As always, we welcome your comments.