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Sustainability : In the News

91 Sustainability Articles | Page: | Show All

Progress continues on LTU's solar house

In three months, the solar house that Lawrence Technological University students are currently erecting on-campus will be on display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as one of 20 competitors in the National Solar Decathlon Competition.


LTU's house - like those of MIT, Carnegie Mellon and other competitors - must collect and store enough solar energy to run air conditioning and other appliances and operate home computers. Extra power will power a lightweight vehicle.

Read the entire article here.

Ford will debut soy-based foam in 2008 Mustang

Ford and Lear have teamed up to develop soy-based foam for use in seats and will debut it in the 2008 Mustang.


Ford has a rich history in incorporating soy based materials into its products. The Model T, for example, once contained 60 pounds of soybeans in its paint and molded plastic parts. Ford again showcased its industry-leading work with soy-foams in 2003 on the Model U concept, which featured soy-based seat cushions as well as a soy-based resin composite tailgate.

Ford was the first automaker in the world to demonstrate that soy-based polyols could be used at high percentage levels to make foam capable of meeting or exceeding automotive requirements. In 2004, Ford and Lear formed a partnership to commercialize soy-foam applications, with initial work concentrating on the molding of headrest and armrest components.

Read the entire article here.

"Dump the pump!" on June 21

Thursday, June 21 is the second annual "Dump the Pump" day that calls for the parking of cars and the riding of public transit as a way of calling attention to the environmental and economic benefits of using public transit.

A transit fact:

From 1995 through 2006, public transportation ridership increased by 30 percent, a growth rate higher than the 12 percent increase in US population and higher than the 24 percent growth in use of the nation's highways over the same period.

Find out more here.

A2 market owner supplies store with produce from his own local farm

Bello Vino Market owner Louis Ferris grows 30% of his store's produce on his own 85-acre farm located just miles away from the grocery store.


What the store can't get from the farm it strives to buy as locally as possible, relying heavily on the Amish community around the town of Homer, said Jennifer Ferris, daughter of Louis Ferris and vice president of the store. In all, about 80 percent of the store's produce over the course of the year comes from what can fairly be called local sources, she said.

Bello Vino customer Judy Dyer said knowing much of the food she buys there is locally produced is important to her for reasons of ecology, even though she wasn't aware what farm may be producing it.

"I know that they sell local products, and I buy that,'' Dyer said.

Read the entire article here.

Oakland Land Conservancy hosts native plant sale

The Oakland Land Conservancy will host its annual native plant sale on June 3 in Auburn Hills and in Oxford.

A special purchase is a 32-plant balanced butterfly and bird garden, which is available as a package for $64.

Find out more at oaklandlandconservancy.org

Bike to Work down the Woodward Corridor on May 18

Detroit Bikes! is locally coordinating National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18 along the Woodward corridor between Royal Oak and downtown Detroit.


From Royal Oak south to Campus Martius, with stops along the way in Ferndale, Palmer Park, New Center and Midtown, participants will roll into downtown just after 8 a.m.

Held both to draw attention to the viability of cycling as a means of transportation and to bestow a bit of group courage to the novice cycler, the event is free. Last year -- its first -- the Woodward Avenue Bike to Work drew 50 riders; event organizer Alexander Froehlich expects up to 75 this year.

Read the entire article here.

Michigan Growth Capital Symposium to be held May 15-16

The Midwest's largest venture capital gathering, the Midwest Growth Capital Symposium, will be held May 15 and 16 in Ypsilanti.


A carefully screened group of 40 companies, representing industries ranging from information technology, life sciences, and alternative energy, will present in three tracks for an audience of venture capitalists, angel investors and institutional investors. These companies represent high potential deals in the Midwest and are seeking their initial investment, a first institutional investment or expansion financing.

Find out more and register here.

Community Foundation spreads $15.4M around SE Michigan

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan announced the awarding of $15.4 million in grants.

Awardees include:
  • Detroit Zoological Society,
  • Eastern Market Corporation,
  • Washtenaw County, for support of the Food System Economic Partnership,
  • Brookings Institute, to study the region's transformation from rust belt to knowledge belt, and
  • Boys and Girls Club of SE Michigan
Read the entire article here.

Ford creates new executive position to focus on sustainability

As part of its strategy to tackle global warming, Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mullaly announced that the company has instituted a position of senior vice president in charge of sustainability, environment and safety engineering.


"It's about sustainability, it's about mobility, it's about safety, it's about (being) stewards of our environment," he said. "This is the biggest agenda we have at Ford. I think it's going to be one of the most important considerations to the customers that buy our products and services going forward."

Read the entire article here.

Ann Arbor to host transportation public workshop Apr. 23

Ann Arbor will host two workshops on the future of its transportation system on April 23 -- one at 4 p.m. and one at 7:30, both at Huron High School.

Excerpt from website:

Each workshop will include information about the current state of transportation in Ann Arbor and will begin with a short presentation to help participants make informed suggestions. The presentations will be followed by the project team receiving public comments from groups formed from attendees. Those attending can express their opinions about the direction of transportation in the city and talk about their priorities with other participants.

The workshops are intended to gather information that will help the city set priorities for the rest of the transportation planning effort. Officials expect the City’s transportation planning process to take approximately one year.

Find out more here.

Dearborn Heights to add curbside recycling to its roster of city services

Dearborn Heights is considering adding no-fee curbside recycling to its list of city services as both an environmental benefit and a cost-saver.


"Environmentally, recycling is the right thing to do — not just for our city, but for the planet," [Mayor Dan] Paletko said. "We take pride on being an environmentally sound city, and this is just another step in the right direction."

Marketplace-ready energy efficient vehicles eligible for millions of dollars in prizes

The X Prize Foundation is launching a multi-year competition to find fuel efficient production-ready vehicles -- that will ultimately award the most promising designs with millions of dollars in cash prizes.


Although there have been many contests to design super-efficient vehicles, this one is unique because of its emphasis on market viability, according to Neal Anderson, senior director of the Automotive X Prize. Participating teams must develop a business plan for producing at least 10,000 cars per year. The contest is divided into two classes: the mainstream class, in which teams develop more conventional vehicles with four wheels and room for four or more passengers, and the alternative class, which allows for more innovation but is allotted a smaller share of the prize money.

Read the entire article here.

Green building consultant discusses local trends

James Newman, area green building consultant, talks with Crain's about local trends in green building and LEED certification.


Interestingly enough, Michigan is eighth highest among the 50 states in terms of green buildings. Five of the states which are ahead of us — Washington, Oregon, California, New York and Pennsylvania — all have policies which encourage building green and sustainable. So we’re not doing too badly considering we have no help from our government or our utilities. The only available assistance at this time is from nonprofit organizations or foundations.

I would welcome comments from our legislators or our utilities.

Read the entire article here.

Farmington Hills boasts high recycling rate

Farmington Hills exceeded state and regional recycling rates in 2006.


Mike Csapo, general manager at Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County, reported Farmington Hills' recycling rate is 33 percent and the city diverted about 11,000 tons of trash from landfills during 2006.

Read the entire article here.

Environmentalists call for expansion of bottle deposit law

Environmentalists are calling for an expansion of Michigan's bottle deposit law to account for water and juice containers.


By most measurements, Michigan's law has been an unqualified success. Folks return more than 97 percent of the 4.3 billion bottles and cans of carbonated beverages sold here each year, according to state records. That tops the return rate of all other states and ranks Michigan's as America's No. 1 bottle recycling program.

Read the entire article here.
91 Sustainability Articles | Page: | Show All
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