Sustainability101 Blog

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – See What We Accomplished Together in 2016

CONGRATULATIONS ON ANOTHER GREAT YEAR 2016 has been such an eventful year. What did we all accomplish together? Below is a short list of highlights. Happy holidays from the entire Great Forest team. The EPA incorporated Great Forest’s volume to weight (VTW) data into its updated industry standard for calculating waste and recycling weights from volume. For the first … Continue reading HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – See What We Accomplished Together in 2016

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EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recently incorporated Great Forest’s volume to weight (VTW) data into their updated industry standard for calculating waste and recycling weights from volume. These conversions can now be used across all industries to help standardize how waste and recycling is tracked. This is the first time an acceptable standard is available for calculating … Continue reading EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

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Transforming Waste – A Guide To Donating For Reuse, Avoiding Landfills

Each year, over 100 million tons of material end up in landfills. This includes many reusable items–such as furniture, equipment and electronics–from businesses that are renovating or clearing out their storage spaces. Hotels, in particular, regularly find themselves having to deal with hundreds of coffee makers, lamps, curtains, bed linens, and even bulky items like beds when … Continue reading Transforming Waste – A Guide To Donating For Reuse, Avoiding Landfills

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Client Spotlight:
Hotel Establishes Ongoing Partnership With Nonprofit To Avoid The Landfill

What do you do if you need to get rid of 100 gallons of furniture polish and clear out over 400 beds? While many businesses would simply pay to get the items hauled away, often to the landfill, the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco turned to a nonprofit it had worked with before. In September, we told … Continue reading Client Spotlight:
Hotel Establishes Ongoing Partnership With Nonprofit To Avoid The Landfill

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2016 HANYC Awards: NYC’s Greenest And Most Socially Responsible Hotels Are Revealed

Congratulations! Winners of the 2016 HANYC Sustainability Awards were revealed in New York City on November 14, 2016 during HX: The Hotel Experience 2016, North America’s largest hospitality industry trade event. Presented by the Hotel Association of New York City, the HANYC Sustainability Awards recognize and honor hotels leading the way in sustainability, and making a … Continue reading 2016 HANYC Awards: NYC’s Greenest And Most Socially Responsible Hotels Are Revealed

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Your America Recycles Day Toolkit: 20 Tips and More

America Recycles Day is November 15. While recycling should be a year-round activity, America Recycles Day is a great opportunity to put the spotlight on recycling to remind everyone about the importance of recycling, reuse, and reduction. Sadly, many recyclables never find their way to the recycling facility. As of 2013, the U.S. national recycling rate … Continue reading Your America Recycles Day Toolkit: 20 Tips and More

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Regulation Updates: NYC’s Energy Efficiency Laws Expand To Cover More Buildings. Is Yours Affected?

Oct 2016–NYC’s expanded energy efficiency laws will now cover more buildings than before. An additional 10,000 properties to be more precise, covering nearly 350 million square feet. Chances are that your NYC building, portfolio of buildings, or your tenants WILL BE AFFECTED by these newest changes so take note. For this next round, newly compliant properties under LL84 will not be … Continue reading Regulation Updates: NYC’s Energy Efficiency Laws Expand To Cover More Buildings. Is Yours Affected?

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What The Surprising Results From 3,550 Site Visits Reveal About Businesses And Recycling

Oct 2016 This blog post is from Great Forest sustainability research intern Kathleen Emerson, a recent graduate from Hunter College holding a B.A. in Environmental Studies: Policy and Management. She is a zero waste enthusiast who is actively mindful of reducing consumption and properly handling waste. She is passionate about sustainability and waste management and wants … Continue reading What The Surprising Results From 3,550 Site Visits Reveal About Businesses And Recycling

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Making A Difference:
Golf, Green “Beer” and Generosity

A big thank you to Mike Doherty, President/CEO of Building Maintenance Services; Ralph Scopo from Classic, the team from Royal Waste, and all the other industry folks who turned out in force to support this year’s Pure Earth golf benefit. As many of you know,  the nonprofit Pure Earth was established by Great Forest president Richard Fuller … Continue reading Making A Difference:
Golf, Green “Beer” and Generosity

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Deadline Alert:
Last Day Approaching To Register For LEED 2009 Projects

October 31, 2016 is the last day to register LEED® projects under LEED 2009 rating systems. After that date, all new LEED projects will transition to using LEED v4. Register at LEED online with your project details, payment and any forms to show you are authorized to act on the project owner’s behalf, if you are not the project … Continue reading Deadline Alert:
Last Day Approaching To Register For LEED 2009 Projects

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How The Peninsula New York Topped the Hotel Category in the Zero Waste Challenge

Read the full story, which first appeared in Green Lodging News. The results of the New York City Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge were recently revealed, with The Peninsula New York emerging tops in the hotel category. The Peninsula was able to double its diversion rate in just a few months during the Challenge, in the process, … Continue reading How The Peninsula New York Topped the Hotel Category in the Zero Waste Challenge

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Success In Schools Prove The Power Of Standardized Recycling Labels

Have you seen our new recycling stickers?  They have been so popular that we have had to re-stock them already. And that is good news because these standardized recycling bin stickers/labels have super powers… well, sort of. What can they do?  When standardized labels were introduced into Orlando Public Schools, recycling levels increased 90%  in the … Continue reading Success In Schools Prove The Power Of Standardized Recycling Labels

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Thinking Outside the (Debris) Box: How the Generous Act of Donation for Reuse Allows Hotels to Avoid the Landfill

This post is by James Bernard in Great Forest’s San Francisco office. Recently, I was reminded of the three Rs of waste diversion—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—set to music by mellow musician Jack Johnson as a children’s song. Johnson’s deceptively simple “3 R song,” with the recurring line “we’ve got to learn to Reduce, Reuse Recycle” is a chant everyone should … Continue reading Thinking Outside the (Debris) Box: How the Generous Act of Donation for Reuse Allows Hotels to Avoid the Landfill

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Making A Difference:
Walk-Through Of Agbogbloshie E-Waste Dump Site Spreads Message About Safe Recycling

Great Forest is a proud supporter of Pure Earth, a nonprofit that works to clean up some of the world’s worst polluted communities. Our blog features regular stories about their work is Making A Difference. Recycling is a great thing.  But it has to be done properly. When improperly processed, e-waste can pollute and poison communities.  This … Continue reading Making A Difference:
Walk-Through Of Agbogbloshie E-Waste Dump Site Spreads Message About Safe Recycling

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Spotlight: Our New Standardized Labels Can Increase Recycling

Aug, 2016— Our new recycling stickers have arrived!  These new labels have been reported to increase recycling, and are part of what has been called the “#1 solution to fix recycling.” Great Forest is proud to be working with the nonprofit Recycle Across America to encourage the use of standardized recycling bin labels in order to … Continue reading Spotlight: Our New Standardized Labels Can Increase Recycling

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Regulation Updates (NYC):
Q&A On New Organics, Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do?

Aug 2016. NYC businesses should take note of new/updated rules covering organics, and waste and recycling: New organics rules went into effect July 19, 2016.  See the official notice for details. Rules enforced Jan 2017. New waste and recycling rules went into effect Aug 1, 2016. See the official notice for details. Rules enforced Aug 1, 2017. … Continue reading Regulation Updates (NYC):
Q&A On New Organics, Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do?

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New Report:
How Are NYC Buildings Using Water and Energy?

For the first time, data submitted by some of the NYC’s biggest buildings under Local Law 84 (benchmarking) and Local Law 87 (auditing) have been analyzed together to give a clear picture not only of the amount of energy and water used by these buildings, but also what heating, cooling, and other systems are being used. This data, … Continue reading New Report:
How Are NYC Buildings Using Water and Energy?

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ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’s New Waste Tracking

EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager has introduced a new feature to track “Waste and Materials” in addition to Energy and Water, in an effort to streamline sustainability data. 29 types of materials can be tracked (eg: Trash, Mixed Recycling, Paper, Glass, Metal, Compost, E-Waste, Lamps, Donations, Furniture, etc.).  In addition, trash is tracked to its … Continue reading ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’s New Waste Tracking

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Regulation Updates (Arlington, VA):
New Recycling Code, Businesses May Be Inspected

Aug 2016 — Businesses in Arlington, VA, should be on the lookout for a notice from the County’s Department of Environmental Services, which details changes to the recycling code.  Note that Arlington businesses may be inspected by the County for compliance. An inspection fee of $66 per business will be assessed by Arlington County. According to the … Continue reading Regulation Updates (Arlington, VA):
New Recycling Code, Businesses May Be Inspected

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News:
Great Forest Clients Top Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge, Become Role Models For New Organics Rule

Earlier this year, the Mayor challenged New York businesses to go zero waste. The results are in.  Great Forest’s NYC clients are among the top performers, with the Peninsula New York leading the way in the “hotel” category. The challenge attracted over 31 different businesses in more than 39 locations across all five boroughs. Great Forest worked … Continue reading News:
Great Forest Clients Top Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge, Become Role Models For New Organics Rule

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Apply Now:
Looking For Most Sustainable and Socially Responsible NYC Hotels

The search is on again. Apply now for the 2016 HANYC Sustainability Awards from the Hotel Association of NYC. The HANYC awards identify and honor New York City hotels that are leaders in environmentally friendly lodging practices and socially responsible initiatives. Now in its third year, the HANYC awards was developed by the Hotel Association’s Sustainability Committee … Continue reading Apply Now:
Looking For Most Sustainable and Socially Responsible NYC Hotels

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Award Spotlight:
What Makes A Building Outstanding? Ask First Potomac

Congratulations to First Potomac Realty Trust for their double wins at the recent 2016 TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Awards! Not only was First Potomac named the grand winner, taking the big prize of the night for their Atlantic Corporate Park property, but they also won the prize for Outstanding Building in the … Continue reading Award Spotlight:
What Makes A Building Outstanding? Ask First Potomac

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Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award, Announces Daylight Fridays

Great Forest was one of over 650 offices worldwide that participated in the 2016 Daylight Hour movement on June 17. The fun event, designed to encourage the use of daylight instead of electricity when possible, reached over 10 million people on social media, and we are thrilled that Great Forest was named “Hype Master” this year, winning the … Continue reading Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award, Announces Daylight Fridays

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Join Us Today – #DaylightHour Starts At Noon

At noon today, flip the switch to join the movement. We challenge everyone to work by daylight for just one hour. Then use this calculator to see how much energy and money you saved today.  You can also estimate what you can save if you commit to one hour of daylight all year long. See what … Continue reading Join Us Today – #DaylightHour Starts At Noon

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Rethinking “Waste” Helps School, African Orphanage, Global Crisis Nonprofit

It is that time of the year again. Over the past few weeks, Great Forest has helped clients do a bit of spring cleaning.  But instead of treating the unwanted items as trash, we found them all new homes–in a school, an African orphanage, and an international nonprofit. This is part of our effort to “rethink waste” … Continue reading Rethinking “Waste” Helps School, African Orphanage, Global Crisis Nonprofit

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GPS Tracks America’s E-Waste HalfWay Across The World
What Can You Do?

As noted in this blog a few months ago, with e-waste rules firmly on the books across the country, the trend now seems to be towards greater enforcement, with bigger, multi-million dollar fines being levied. Why? Perhaps because a new investigative report has found that some e-waste is still being illegally dumped rather than recycled. The nonprofit Basel … Continue reading GPS Tracks America’s E-Waste HalfWay Across The World
What Can You Do?

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Spotlight
Composting With Veterans

Great Forest has installed new composting programs in a number of buildings in Washington D.C. that is making a difference in more ways than one. Launched earlier this year, the program at the U.S. Department of Transportation is already diverting approximately 5 tons of food waste per month from the landfill, sending it instead to Veteran Compost, a … Continue reading Spotlight
Composting With Veterans

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Regulation Updates: May/June 2016

San Francisco is proposing the most extensive ban on Styrofoam in the country, building on its decade-old ban on most foam food containers. While some applaud the move, others are pushing for recycling the foam. Read more. NYC Approves Bag Fee.  This month, the City Council voted to require certain retailers to collect a fee on each … Continue reading Regulation Updates: May/June 2016

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NYC Alert (April 2016):
New Fines, the Retrofit Accelerator, Energy Map and more

A roundup of alerts for NYC: LL 84/2009 benchmarking enforcements: Note: beginning with the May 1, 2016 compliance deadline, submitted reports with one or more missing or inaccurate data fields will be considered non-compliant, and will result in a violation if not corrected. Read more. NYCECC and ECB enforcements: New rules covers energy compliance during … Continue reading NYC Alert (April 2016):
New Fines, the Retrofit Accelerator, Energy Map and more

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Earth Day and Beyond

Updated April 2018 “The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world” — Gaylord Nelson, Founder, … Continue reading Earth Day and Beyond

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News:
NYC’s Most Sustainable Hotels Are Identified, Artworks Awarded

Congratulations! Seven New York City hotels were honored for their environmentally friendly lodging practices and socially responsible initiatives as recipients of the second annual Sustainable Hospitality Awards, presented on Nov. 9 by the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC). This year, Great Forest worked with the HANYC to expand the number of awards given … Continue reading News:
NYC’s Most Sustainable Hotels Are Identified, Artworks Awarded

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HANYC Sustainability Awards Winners Spotlight: The Carlton Hotel

A Conversation With The Carlton Hotel On Sustainability The Carlton hotel was one of three winners of the 2014 HANYC Sustainability Awards. What have they been doing in the year since their win? How have their efforts made a difference in their operations? We found out from General Manager Vic Freeman.  But first… Green Feature Spotlight: Soap Incentives  … Continue reading HANYC Sustainability Awards Winners Spotlight: The Carlton Hotel

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2nd Annual Hotel Sustainability Awards

The search is on again. We encourage all eligible hotels to check for details and apply for the 2015 HANYC Sustainability Awards from the Hotel Association of New York City. Last year’s search identified three winners with a range of innovative programs. How green are NYC hotels?  Here are 10 insights from the inaugural awards.

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Making A Difference: Top Ten Countries Turning The Corner on Toxic Pollution

In Senegal, they replaced a polluting industry with a hydroponic garden. In Vietnam, they cleaned up a village at a cost of just $20 a person. They are among ten countries making a difference in the fight against toxic pollution — the largest cause of death in the world. Their stories are proof that in spite of … Continue reading Making A Difference: Top Ten Countries Turning The Corner on Toxic Pollution

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Shortage in Facility Managers Expected, Sustainability Experts and BOMA Help Fill Gap

Facility managers are key to running buildings efficiently.  But soon, there is expected to be shortage of experienced professionals, especially with the commercial real estate boom happening across the U.S. and in Asia. The International Facility Management Association reports that the average age of facility managers is 49. According to a report in the San Francisco Examiner, … Continue reading Shortage in Facility Managers Expected, Sustainability Experts and BOMA Help Fill Gap

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How Green Are NYC Hotels? 10 Insights From The Sustainability Awards

Last year, Great Forest worked with the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) to develop and launch the very first HANYC Sustainability Awards. In the process of reviewing and judging the pool of applicants, we gained a unique first-hand look behind the scenes at what many NYC hotels are doing in terms of sustainability. … Continue reading How Green Are NYC Hotels? 10 Insights From The Sustainability Awards

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Webinar: Register Now For Recycling@Work

Recycling@Work Research Results and Recommendations – Webinar will take place Wed, February 4, 2015 at 1:00 ET | Register Here. Keep America Beautiful has partnered with Action Research and Pepsico Recycling to conduct a research project to better understand the most effective infrastructure for increasing recycling (both quantity and quality) in the workplace.  The project covers over … Continue reading Webinar: Register Now For Recycling@Work

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Grants Available For Recycling in Delaware

Businesses, institutions and organizations in Delaware may be eligible to receive financial help to install or expand their recycling programs through the Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan Program. Grant applications are due March 3, 2015. Awards will be announced in April 2015, and projects must be completed by May 2016. Learn more and apply online.

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VIDEO: Recycling More vs. Recycling Right (Highlights From SXSW Panel)

This 3 min. video offers highlights of the panel discussion on “Recycling More vs. Recycling Right in America” at the 2014 SXSW Eco Conference on sustainability in Austin, Texas. The discussion was moderated by the National Waste & Recycling Association’s President and CEO Sharon H. Kneiss, and includes Brenda Pulley from Keep America Beautiful, and Phil Bresee from … Continue reading VIDEO: Recycling More vs. Recycling Right (Highlights From SXSW Panel)

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Regulation Updates: E-Waste, Styrofoam, and more

Update: Sept. 22, 2015 – Judge strikes down NYC’s foam ban.  The city is exploring its options for reinstituting the ban, including an appeal. We will keep you updated.  New Year, New Rules Across The Country: Here are selected highlights of new and upcoming rules affecting clients across the country.  Check back for updates. 1) NY … Continue reading Regulation Updates: E-Waste, Styrofoam, and more

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How Is E-Waste Recycled? (VIDEO)

The United Nations Environment Program calls electronic waste the “fastest growing waste stream in the world.” In 2015, NYC joined a growing list of cities and states requiring the proper disposal and recycling of e-waste. A typical building generates close to one ton of e-waste every few months.  Many buildings (and homes) have tons of e-waste in … Continue reading How Is E-Waste Recycled? (VIDEO)

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Making A Difference: What Causes 1 in 7 Deaths?

What’s the leading cause of death in developing countries? A.  malnutrition and undernutrition B.  tuberculosis, malaria & HIV/AIDS C.  pollution Click to find out.  The answer might surprise you. This stealth killer causes 1 in 7 deaths around the world. Great Forest is a proud supporter of the Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth, a … Continue reading Making A Difference: What Causes 1 in 7 Deaths?

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Why 2015 will be the year of sustainability

Happy New Year.  U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon believes that 2015 will be the year of sustainability.  We’ve been building up to it. Here are his thoughts on businesses. A sustainable approach to business can also help create decent jobs, improve public health, empower women and protect the environment. It is heartening to see many companies already reaping the … Continue reading Why 2015 will be the year of sustainability

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Be Our Guest On Dec. 2: “Sustainability In The Hospitality Industry” Conference

On December 2, the Global Center for Hospitality Management at New York Institute of Technology, the New York State Restaurant Association & Green Hospitality Initiative will be hosting a day-long conference on Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Global Perspective – Food, Operations, Work Culture, and Community. Great Forest will be among the speakers who will include leaders in the hotel and … Continue reading Be Our Guest On Dec. 2: “Sustainability In The Hospitality Industry” Conference

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How Big Is Your E-Waste “Secret”?

e-waste

  It is in your home, and in your office, lurking around in the deep dark recesses of your basement or closet – a collection of old electronics that have been stored away, taking up valuable space. Just how big is this “secret” e-waste stash that everyone has? We recently got a hint. To mark … Continue reading How Big Is Your E-Waste “Secret”?

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Top 10 Most Widely Recycled Items?

What are the most widely and easily recycled items? Keep America Beautiful has partnered with National Waste and Recycling Association, Solid Waste Association of North America and the U.S. EPA to develop a simple message designed to answer the question “What can I recycle?”  Click to see the “Top 10 in the Bin.”

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NYC’s Most Sustainable Hotels Are Identified, Artworks Awarded

HANYC Sustainability Awards - Winners, judges and Sustainability Committee members

Congratulations to the Waldorf Astoria New York, New York Hilton Midtown, and The Carlton Hotel – they are the winners of the first ever Hotel Association of New York City’s HANYC Sustainability awards.  Great Forest provided expert guidance, and worked with the HANYC to launch the awards.  Read more about the three hotels and why they … Continue reading NYC’s Most Sustainable Hotels Are Identified, Artworks Awarded

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Making A Difference: A Toxic Mystery At A School In Armenia

Recently, Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth came across a school in Armenia, where various mounds of highly toxic waste had mysteriously appeared (see photo below). The piles appeared to have been dumped there surreptitiously by a company looking to get rid of their mining waste. Children  in the school yard were playing around the exposed piles … Continue reading Making A Difference: A Toxic Mystery At A School In Armenia

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