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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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Changes to Recycling Regulations in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA

Washington, D.C.: Waste management modernization act summary New provisions are moving D.C. towards increasing composting and electronics recycling, and moving away from the use of styrofoam. Among the details: Waste: Penalties significantly increase, to a maximum fine of $25,000 or suspension or revocation of registration or license, for failure to annually report total tonnage of solid waste … Continue reading Changes to Recycling Regulations in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA

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Do You Have A “Zombie” In Your Office? New Report Says You Might

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has revealed the existence of millions of “zombie” servers in the U.S. About 30% of servers in the country drain energy without doing anything. Many others operate at only 12% to 18% capacity. “It’s like an airline flying 30% of its planes empty…,” said Pierre … Continue reading Do You Have A “Zombie” In Your Office? New Report Says You Might

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Making A Difference: Play Golf, Do Good

The 6th annual Pure Earth/Blacksmith Golf Benefit returns to the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Westchester, New York, on Monday, September 29, 2014. Mike Doherty, President/CEO of Building Maintenance Services, is this year’s honoree. Thanks to all Great Forest clients and friends for helping us support this great event year after year. The benefit raises crucial funds to clean … Continue reading Making A Difference: Play Golf, Do Good

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The Greenest Hotel in New York? Apply Now.

We are excited about the launch of the first ever HANYC Sustainability Awards from the Hotel Association of New York City. Designed to encourage and recognize sustainability in the industry, the awards will be given to member hotels that have developed programs in: Environment Protection Social Responsibility Holistic Strategy for Sustainable Hospitality We encourage all eligible hoteliers … Continue reading The Greenest Hotel in New York? Apply Now.

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80-Foot High Digester Eggs To Turn Even More Food Waste Into Energy

This fall, the eight 80-foot high steel digester eggs at Newtown Creek’s Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn will be processing even more of New York City’s food waste to be transformed into “pipeline quality” natural gas (mostly methane) by National Grid. The ambitious expansion will see the amount of food waste processed each day increase from 1.5 tons to … Continue reading 80-Foot High Digester Eggs To Turn Even More Food Waste Into Energy

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The Value of Sustainability – 2 New Reports

Two new reports throw fresh light on the value of sustainability. Delivering Sustainable Buildings: Savings and Payback  Produced by BREEAM, a U.K. green building certification body similar to LEED, this report concludes that making environmentally-friendly decisions for your building does not always mean incurring additional costs.   According to the report, achieving basic certification incurs no … Continue reading The Value of Sustainability – 2 New Reports

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3 Things Your Business Can Do NOW To Reduce Energy Costs This Summer

For many businesses, summer means higher energy costs. Here are 3 simple things you can do NOW to save money and be more energy efficient this summer… and three more tips to get you ready for next summer. 1) To do NOW Use daylight: Most offices have their lights on even when they are not needed. This is especially wasteful … Continue reading 3 Things Your Business Can Do NOW To Reduce Energy Costs This Summer

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Making A Difference: Breaking Mexico’s 500-Year-Old Toxic Tradition

Renowned Poet Homero Aridjis Makes Heartfelt Plea For A Lead-Free Mexico  Did you know that millions of men, women and children in Mexico have elevated blood lead levels?  Many are “poisoned” at each meal by food cooked in or served on traditional pottery made by local artisans using toxic lead glazes. Did you know that a … Continue reading Making A Difference: Breaking Mexico’s 500-Year-Old Toxic Tradition

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New Report: To Encourage Green Behavior, Don’t Mention The Environment

You have all seen those notices in hotel bathrooms about reusing towels. A new report reveals that those messages are NOT very effective when they appeal to your green conscience like this: “Save our planet: every day millions of gallons of water are used to wash towels that have been used only once.” But are more … Continue reading New Report: To Encourage Green Behavior, Don’t Mention The Environment

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Making a Difference: Cleaning Up A Former Soviet Arms Site Sitting On Top Of a Forgotten “Bomb”

Just how hard is it to clean up a toxic polluted site sitting on top of a “bomb,” at a secret site? This month’s TCE magazine features the story behind Pure Earth/Blacksmith Institute’s work dealing with one of the most dangerous examples of legacy pollution – the toxic remains of Soviet arms production. In a … Continue reading Making a Difference: Cleaning Up A Former Soviet Arms Site Sitting On Top Of a Forgotten “Bomb”

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7-Days, 130 miles: Walk for Autism Takes Participants from Bridge to Beach

Great Forest sustainability analyst Nathan Holmes will join a group of friends this Sunday (May 25) for a seven-day adventure stretching 130 miles that will take them from the Brooklyn Bridge to Montauk, Long island. The walk, will raise funds for the Little Plains School and Children’s Residential Project of the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI), which services … Continue reading 7-Days, 130 miles: Walk for Autism Takes Participants from Bridge to Beach

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Alert: NYC Benchmarking Reports Due May 1 – Updated Checklist and Guide

Properties in NYC preparing to comply with Local Law 84 (benchmarking) by May 1 may be interested in the new benchmarking compliance checklist and guide from the Urban Green Council. It explains some of the auto upload features within the new Portfolio Manager. In particular, clients using internal resources for their LL84 compliance will want … Continue reading Alert: NYC Benchmarking Reports Due May 1 – Updated Checklist and Guide

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Earth Hour? How About Ideas For An Office Green Hour?

Earth Hour, which falls on March 29 this year, has become more than just a global effort to get people and organizations to switch off their lights for one hour. Today, it has expanded to include worldwide projects and pledges.  So why not take inspiration from the idea of Earth Hour to make a difference … Continue reading Earth Hour? How About Ideas For An Office Green Hour?

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Demand Response Incentive Changes – Get Paid Up to 4x More to Use Less Energy

Con Edison is offering new payment projections for their summer 2014 Demand Response program in New York. Properties must enroll by May 1 for June 1 participation. For properties already enrolled in 2013, these projections would increase incentives by up to 4x for the same kW commitments as last year.  These figures will be confirmed in … Continue reading Demand Response Incentive Changes – Get Paid Up to 4x More to Use Less Energy

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Chefs or Diners – Who Holds The Key to Composting Success?

Here’s a quick composting case study of two companies in the same building. A large hospitality company – we will call them Company A – decided to start composting. They launched their program in the staff cafeteria but ran into problems right from the start. Only a small amount of compost was collected, and almost none was acceptable for … Continue reading Chefs or Diners – Who Holds The Key to Composting Success?

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Polar Vortex Hits The Wallet

The extreme cold hitting much of the country has affected gas pipelines and electric production far into Canada. Some analysts have likened the polar vortex’s effect on the short term gas markets to what happened following Hurricane Katrina. Energy customers should be assured that the futures markets into 2015-16 are holding relatively steady against the late 2013 … Continue reading Polar Vortex Hits The Wallet

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Think You Should Get an EBie Award? Let Us Know

The deadline for the 2014 EBie Awards, which celebrate sustainability in Existing Buildings, is March 20. Do you have what it takes to bring the award home? Great Forest will submit at least two nominations, and we are looking for more outstanding individuals who qualify. If you think you fit the bill, let us know. Now in … Continue reading Think You Should Get an EBie Award? Let Us Know

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Is Your State in the Top Ten for LEED?

What were the top states for LEED in 2013? Illinois topped the list, with Washington, D.C. coming in at #10. Within the top ten states there were 1,777 projects certified, covering 226.8 million square feet. Did your state make the list?  See the top ten states for LEED (Infographic). * Read the rest of the Feb. 2014 … Continue reading Is Your State in the Top Ten for LEED?

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Washington, D.C. Offers Rebates for Property Managers

Washington D.C.’s Department of the Environment (DDOE) and the Anacostia Watershed Society recently launched two new rebate programs to assist property managers in improving their stormwater management practices, in some cases covering up to 100% of the costs. The RiverSmart Communities initiative provides rebates for properties investing in sustainable stormwater management solutions that may include permeable … Continue reading Washington, D.C. Offers Rebates for Property Managers

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What Should You Report, and How?

For many companies, the beginning of a new year is the time to start thinking about non-financial reporting. While reports can take different forms, Ernst & Young has identified the transition to the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 reporting as one of 2014’s top sustainability trends for businesses. Over the years we have seen many companies grapple … Continue reading What Should You Report, and How?

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New LEED Achievement – 440 9th Avenue Certified

Congratulations to the Paramount Group. Their building at 440 9th Avenue in NYC has been certified LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v2008), achieving 37 out of 38 attempted points. Great Forest managed the LEED certification process and guided the building on upgrades and credits required. Work performed included waste audits, a transit survey, as well as … Continue reading New LEED Achievement – 440 9th Avenue Certified

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Recycling Warmth: Holiday Coat Drive

With the new year greeting us with a blast of extra cold weather, we were glad to have been able to help Twinbrook Partnership with a holiday coat drive in December for their community in Rockville, Maryland. Great Forest worked with Capital Asset Recovery, an R2 certified electronics recycling vendor, to provide 30 collection bins at 15 locations … Continue reading Recycling Warmth: Holiday Coat Drive

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Looking Back: Two Examples of Success

ENERGY:  Five Steps in Five Years Energy efficiency is one of the biggest keys to sustainability. If you want to green your company and save money, you cannot avoid dealing with energy. One of our clients, a major institution, has spent the past five years on various efforts to trim their energy use and costs. … Continue reading Looking Back: Two Examples of Success

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Looking Ahead: 5 Things Business Should Do To Start The Year With Sustainability in Mind

(First published 2014) This time of year lends itself to reflection, re-evaluation, and goal setting. Here are five tips to give your business a jump start on the new year with a green advantage. 1. Take stock of your accomplishments in the previous year. What sustainability strategies did your company implement last year? Were they successful? Are … Continue reading Looking Ahead: 5 Things Business Should Do To Start The Year With Sustainability in Mind

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Tis the Season to Compost?

This month, Environmental Leader featured timely advice from Great Forest experts about composting for businesses and organizations. With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us, the amount of food waste generated is expected increase dramatically. Since 30% of waste generated in the U.S. is made up of organic and food waste, composting may be one of the … Continue reading Tis the Season to Compost?

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Solar Power for Everyone?

Have you thought of switching to solar power? Great Forest recently obtained a quote for our headquarters (a five-storey brownstone) in New York City that shows a payback in less than five years with solar providing 81% of our building’s electricity needs.  We are moving ahead with plans to adopt solar and we recommend that … Continue reading Solar Power for Everyone?

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The Link Between Selfishness, Happiness, and Being Green

At Great Forest, we are always interested in what motivates green behavior. So when we found out that our very own Kevin McNab completed his Masters thesis paper last year on the relationship between environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) and subjective well-being (SWB), we asked him to summarize his findings for us. His research, which included … Continue reading The Link Between Selfishness, Happiness, and Being Green

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Q&A: What is the most critical driver of sustainability within a business?

A new report answers that question, and more. According to Sustainability Insights: Learning From Business Leaders, some 44% of companies say engagement with business leadership is the most important factor in successfully implementing a sustainability strategy. A top-down approach, however, won’t work unless the business community puts sustainability at the heart of its operations. Source: … Continue reading Q&A: What is the most critical driver of sustainability within a business?

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Two-Week Extension To Apply For ENERGY STAR Certification

With the federal government shutdown over, access to the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool is now restored. The deadline to apply for 2013 ENERGY STAR certification has been extended. Commercial buildings now have until Wednesday, December 4 to apply. Read the ENERGY STAR notice here. Access to Great Forest’s Sustainability Metrics platform and Utility … Continue reading Two-Week Extension To Apply For ENERGY STAR Certification

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Time to Recertify Your LEED Building?

Is your LEED status about to expire?  For a small but growing number of buildings, the answer is Yes. LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED: EB O&M) requires recertification every five years. Recertification takes about a year to complete so if your building obtained LEED on or before 2009, it is time to start the process. … Continue reading Time to Recertify Your LEED Building?

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Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems: A Cushion Against Disasters like Hurricane Sandy?

If buildings affected by hurricane Sandy and other disasters had solar thermal hot water systems, they might have stood a better chance of not losing all of their domestic hot water service. This was particularly the case with electric and oil-fired systems, where deliveries were severely interrupted. With a range of incentives encouraging the switch … Continue reading Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems: A Cushion Against Disasters like Hurricane Sandy?

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Best Recycling Videos: 30-Second Tip – Flatten Cardboard

Share these fun, 30-second animated videos with your staff and tenants to get your green messages across. Then let us know what other video tips you would like to see. Here is how to correct one of the most common recycling mistakes. If you solve this easy-to-fix problem, you might be able to improve your recycling program! VIDEO: … Continue reading Best Recycling Videos: 30-Second Tip – Flatten Cardboard

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UPDATE: Government Shutdown Over – Access to Portfolio Manager to be Restored

Notification to current Benchmarking clients:   UPDATE Oct 17, 2013:  The federal government shutdown is over.  Access to the EPA’s Energy StarPortfolio Manager or archived data should soon be restored.  ## The EPA will not provide access to Energy StarPortfolio Manager or archived data during the federal government shutdown. Message on site: “The federal government is currently … Continue reading UPDATE: Government Shutdown Over – Access to Portfolio Manager to be Restored

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Q&A: Should our business switch to LED lighting?

If your commercial office building or business is planning a lighting upgrade, you can’t beat LED lighting. According to the Energy Star website, LED commercial light fixtures offer an unprecedented opportunity to save energy, maintenance and cooling costs and is a natural fit for cutting-edge renovation, new construction projects, or easy retrofits. Reduces energy costs … Continue reading Q&A: Should our business switch to LED lighting?

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Nationwide Energy News

Chicago introduces “pubic shaming” energy benchmarking laws Starting next year, owners of buildings in Chicago larger than 50,000 square feet will be required to disclose energy use through EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. Opponents have called this a kind of “public shaming” but evidence seems to show that benchmarking is working. According to the EPA, energy … Continue reading Nationwide Energy News

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Boston Tops in Energy Efficiency. How Did Your City Score?

In a ranking of 34 of the country’s largest cities, Boston has emerged on top for its efforts to reduce energy use, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. How did your city score? Check this interactive scorecard to see how your city is saving energy. Other cities moving ahead with energy-saving … Continue reading Boston Tops in Energy Efficiency. How Did Your City Score?

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Great Forest Green Office Sustainability Checklist

The Great Forest Green Office Sustainability Checklist will help you jumpstart or fine tune your sustainability efforts at work. While there are many more things you can do, beginning with items on this list will give you a solid foundation and push you further along on the sustainability maturation curve. We will update this list … Continue reading Great Forest Green Office Sustainability Checklist

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