New Research Pushes Back on the Rebound Discussion

The benefits of energy efficiency policies have been questioned by various media organizations and think tanks due to a phenomenon called the “Rebound Effect”, also known as Jevon’s Paradox.  The Rebound Effect is the idea that consumers and businesses have incentives to spend the money saved from energy efficient strategies on the same or other energy consuming products or services, paradoxically increasing energy use because of energy savings.  According to The Breakthrough Institute (BTI), macroeconomic Rebound Effect accounts for 30%-50%…

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Iowa State University to Reduce the Use of Coal, Move to Cleaner Fuel Sources

Iowa State University”s power plant will begin phasing out the burning of coal.  In order to meet more stringent EPA emission standards and the demands from the university community to use cleaner fuel alternatives, the ISU power plant is proactively moving towards fuel diversity for its operations.  They plan to use the two newest and most efficient boilers for burning coal and biomass, but will switch the three oldest to burning natural gas.  However, it is unknown when the proposed changes will…

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Sustainable Agriculture Research from the Leopold Center

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture recently released its Winter Newsletter.  P2RIC is a happy subscriber of this newsletter; we enjoy their updates on projects and activities relating to sustainable farming practices, as well as insightful editorials on sustainabilty and resilience.  The Leopold Center-supported research has led to several scientific publications and case studies that provide valuable information on sustainable farm operations.  Videos of research being conducted on mob grazing and grazing on native grasslands are some examples published in the…

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Nutrient Management Standards Revised to Reduce Overall Use

The USDA recently revised their national nutrient standards to reduce the application of nutrients through the use of new technologies and strategies.  State NRCS centers and local nutrient management specialists are working together to develop state specific nutrient management policies to meet the new national standards.  Tools and resources related to nutrient management are provided by the NRCS Nutrient and Pest Management Division. The new strategies focus on reducing fertilizer use through technological advancements and local, site-specific information.  Recent technology advancements allow…

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Squirrel Appreciation Day

The National Wildlife Federation celebrated National Squirrel Appreciation Day on Saturday, January 21st.  The NWF website listed several reasons to appreciate these creatures including their early evolutionary response to climate change, great ability to adapt to a human dominated environment, and an uncanny skill of remembering the thousands of locations where they bury food.  This celebration brings a small yet relevant discussion to the table.  How important is it to remember and celebrate these seemingly trivial holidays?  Are they helpful reminders of the importance of…

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Shopping Music

The last day of October this year was designated as the birthdate of the 7 billionth person on earth. Many like to point to the growing population as a stressor on the well being of the planet. It’s a rising source of stress, sure, but rising even faster is the global growth of the consumer class. You’ve also no doubt seen that the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, has expanded to include increasing chunks of time on…

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Princeton Review & USGBC list “green” colleges

The six institutions in our four states: Iowa: Luther College, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa Kansas: Kansas State University Missouri: Drury University Nebraska: Creighton University  The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council has released “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges,” an in-depth look at the most environment-friendly universities. The guide includes a compilation of “green highlights” and “green facts” about each school, justifying its inclusion. The Princeton Review says the list is…

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Register for the Electronics & Sustainability: Design for Energy and the Environment Symposium

You can now register for the February 23-24, 2010 Electronics & Sustainability: Design for Energy and the Environment Symposium. Paul Anastas, President Obama’s appointee as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and considered to be the ‘Father of Green Chemistry,’ will be the key featured speaker at the symposium. Other speakers include Mike Tibbs from Walmart and Rajib Adhikary from Dell Computer, as well as speakers from Arizona State University, Purdue…

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