Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

What's Missing From Georgia's New Transportation Investment Act? A Commitment To Bicycle And Pedestrian Accommodations

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued a bold new policy statement on bicycle and pedestrian traffic that significantly impacts how states and local communities approach infrastructure planning and improvements.
The U.S. DOT’s intention is clear: to “incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects”  and that “every transportation agency … has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems.”

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10 reasons Israel is a cleantech leader

Shawn Lesser

Israel, a global cleantech powerhouse, is now attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in cleantech investment every year.

The country gets more from its soil, water, air, and sunlight than most other nations on earth.

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Greenprints - From An Attendees Point Of View

Our guest blog comes to us from Jon Barash, construction attorney and LEED AP, reprinted with permission by Pete Marte of Hannah Solar.

Today I attended the first day of Greenprints 2010.  Greenprints is an annual conference about sustainability held in Atlanta that is hosted by Southface and the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA).  The conference features two days of educational sessions, workshops and seminars.  Monday’s keynote luncheon featured two of Greenprints Master Speakers, Alex Wilson and John Straube who were introduced by Southface’s co-founder and executive director, Dennis Creech (left photo).  Wilson is CEO and Founder of BuildingGreen and one of the industry’s leading experts in the green building community.  Straube is a principal at Building Science Corporation and a professor of building science in the Civil Engineering Department and School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

One of the sessions at the conference was put on by four representatives from GEFA. David Gipson, the director of GEFA’s Division of Energy Resources informed those gathered that approximately $238 million of ARRA funding was to be administered by GEFA for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, including 124.7 million for Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program, $84 million in economic stimulus funds for the State Energy Program, 21.6 million in new block grants, $9.3 million in applicable rebates, and 1.2 million for energy assurance programs.  Gipson’s opening remarks were followed by more detailed presentations from several members of his team who described the details of how these funds were being used and how attendees could benefit.

Greenprints also features a Green Tradeshow where cutting edge manufacturers and service providers can show off and even demonstrate their roducts and services for Greenprints’ sophisticated audience of design and construction professionals, specifiers, developers, building owners, and other attendees.  One tradeshow exhibitor was Hannah Solar, whose CEO, Pete Marte, is shown explaining the differences between several different photovoltaic solar panels the company offers for both commercial and residential solar power systems.  http://www.hannahsolar.com/

Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses?

I can't speak for everyone, but I've fallen victim to trying to keep up with the 'Joneses'.  I wanted that big screen T.V., the BMW and the house in the trendy part of town that my colleagues had or that I saw advertised on T.V..  Maybe others have fallen victim and purchased something that was outside of their budget as well.  As I thought about blog content tonight, I asked myself "Why?"

In many ways its validation, right?  After all the years of studying, hours at work, etc., you want to show the world that you've made it and can afford the finer things in life.  Or, maybe it's something more sinister?  People want to show others that they're better because the drive a BMW?  I hope I'm not that narcissistic.  Unfortunately, the need to keep or even exceed what the 'Joneses' have just purchased has created a 'one-up' society and a war between the industrial and natural world.  As Umair Haque astutely points out in the Three Dos and Don't for the 21st Century.It's business that can heal the natural world and that protecting yesterday is the path to never discovering tomorrow (I hope you enjoy his thoughts on Constructive Capitalism).

One of the things that I like most about Earth Hour is that it provides me with a better way to keep up with the Joneses.

And the countdown begins…

Physicist John Wheeler once said, “We shape the world by the questions we ask.”A simple statement, but one that generates insight, focus and forces us to gain a deeper understanding of the world that we live in. By asking better questions we become better citizens of our community and the causes that we choose to support. We learn how to put leadership and technological innovation to work supporting our beliefs’ and the vision of our future. Three years ago, the leaders of Earth Hour asked how they could raise awareness for global warming. Asking this question led to a world-wide effort raising both awareness and support for the fight against global warming.

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