Tag Archive: sustainability

  1. Eco-Friendly E-Commerce?

    Leave a Comment

    Given the recent coverage of major online retailers’ blue– and white-collar working conditions, many of us are contemplating the ethical implications of two-day shipping. Sure, it’s convenient, and we all love the immediate gratification of “1-Click” ordering, but at what cost to the environment (and, the workers)? Is there really such a thing as eco-friendly e-commerce? (more…)

  2. The Herb Ain’t Green

    Leave a Comment

    Indoor agriculture is touted as a way to make urban farming more prevalent, and as a method to sustainably increase food production in arid climates. But the expense of providing artificial light and the relatively high cost of urban land have largely precluded this specialized type of agriculture from widespread adoption. However, there are niche markets where economic incentives make indoor growing appealing in spite of its extraordinarily high energy costs. In the U.S., marijuana production is perhaps the most prominent (and controversial) sector to embrace wholesale indoor cultivation. For the growing list of jurisdictions where cannabis can be grown legally, localities and utility providers are worried about the energy needs of this burgeoning industry. For policymakers, the highly regulated environment for legal marijuana producers presents an opportunity to mandate operational efficiencies. But do other energy-intensive sectors stand to learn a thing or two from sustainably grown pot? (more…)

  3. The Road to Environmental Equity

    Leave a Comment

    In less than six months, California’s cap-and-trade program will expand to include suppliers of natural gas and motor fuels, requiring the producers of these greenhouse gas-emitting fuels to pay for the privilege of polluting our atmosphere. This will likely result in a modest uptick in gasoline prices across the state, which has major oil companies  (and some lawmakers) crying foul about the equity implications of higher costs that will be passed on to consumers. But is there any merit to the argument that cap-and-trade is bad for low-income drivers? (more…)

  4. A Race for Solar Power

    Leave a Comment
    Image from Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/solar_decathlon/6198586468/sizes/l/

    Image from Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/solar_decathlon/6198586468/sizes/l/

    What started out as a program solely in the U.S. has been expanded globally with Solar Decathlon Europe and Solar Decathlon China. The Solar Decathlon is a collegiate-level competition, created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2002, to encourage innovation in technology, financing mechanisms, and the design of solar-powered homes. (more…)

  5. Integrating Sustainability and Economic Development

    Leave a Comment

    Promoting environmental sustainability and pursuing economic development strategies have typically been considered two separate and (often) competing goals. But times are changing, and a growing body of evidence supports the notion that sustainability typically delivers more enduring and broad-based economic returns. Cities across the continent are beginning to wed environmental sustainability to economic development, looking at investments in a sustainable economy as one tool to build broad-based prosperity. (more…)

  6. What’s Next for California’s Cap-and-Trade Program?

    Leave a Comment

    California’s cap-and-trade program is up and running. The state’s Air Resources Board (CARB) held its first auction of greenhouse gas emission credits last month, racking up $289 million in revenue. Now, the state must decide on how best to divvy up the proceeds. Although much of the funding is legally restricted, the process for deciding who gets what promises to be contentious. (more…)