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Sustainability : In the News

98 Sustainability Articles | Page: | Show All

LTU "off the grid" house on display in DC

Lawrence Technological University is one of 20 schools from around the United State in Europe competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, DC this week. Each team had to build a home that was completely self-sufficient, or off-the-grid.


"We want our house to be a stage for educating homebuyers about the possibilities for dramatically decreasing the carbon footprint of their homes," said team member Christina Span, who graduated from Lawrence Tech in May with a degree in architecture. "Making homes more energy-efficient is the single biggest thing we can do as a country to reduce our country's energy consumption and reliance on foreign oil."

Taken together, these 20 houses represent many of the best ideas for changing America's perception of housing. The structures demonstrate how pleasant it can be to live in a relatively small but well-designed space. The contest requires houses to be 800 square feet or less, and in most of the houses the actual living space is well under 700 square feet.

Read the entire article here.

Chrysler creates entreprenuerial engineering division geared towards hybrids

Chrysler has launched an engineering division charged with developing hybrids and electric vehicles.


CEO Bob Nardelli has said he wants Chrysler to develop more environmentally friendly vehicles, in part to meet stricter fuel economy rules. The company’s existing lineup is heavily dependent on trucks and SUVs.

Last week Nardelli hired Jim Press, who spearheaded Toyota Motor Corp.’s aggressive hybrid push in the United States.

Read the entire article here.

Go Solar headed to Oakland County

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association is bringing its Go Solar program to Oakland County, utilizing bulk purchasing methods to lower to cost of solar products for homeowners.


Program options include a solar domestic hot water system or a one-kilowatt photovoltaic solar electric system or both.

The systems in the Go Solar program are standardized. Therefore, as the contractor continues installing identical systems, they are able
to reduce labor costs. All of this translates into savings for the homeowner.

During 2007, federal tax credits are available to homeowners installing solar electric and solar water heating systems. In addition to savings, program participants get the satisfaction of working with a local business.

Read the entire article here.

Warren Civic Center and Kresge HQ nab real estate awards

The Warren Civic Center and Kresge Foundation headquarters in Troy have been awarded 2007 Impact Awards by the Detroit chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women.

The winners will be feted at a September 20 luncheon. Registration and more information are available at the CREW Detroit website.

Green Michigan works to better environment of Macomb County

Green Michigan has worked to improve Macomb County's environment for 30 years.


Green Michigan Executive Director Brian Brdak said the idea is to keep the environment a priority in a county with Lake St. Clair, the snaking Clinton River and plenty of parks.

"Our goal is to educate the public about environmental issues," said Brdak, a county commissioner from New Baltimore. "We need to keep the environment a priority."

Read the entire article here.

Ren Cen honored for energy efficiency

General Motors received the Corporate Energy Management of the Year Award from the Association of Energy Engineer for commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy, in part of the Renaissance Center, which was named one of GM's two "Energy Projects of the Year by the organization.


"Constantly increasing the energy efficiency of our vehicles and the manufacturing plants that build them is an important goal for General Motors," said Thomas W. Neelands, global director, GM Energy and Utility Services. "This recognition from AEE means a great deal to us because our peers in the energy business – the people who manage energy for their livelihood – nominate and vote for the winner. It’s a great honor."

General Motors manages the energy used in its facilities on several fronts, including conservation efforts at its global facilities and the development of new renewable energy sources.

Read the entire article here.

Economics of greening of auto industry topic of August 17 breakfast

Timed to coincide with the Dream Cruise, MEDC and NextEnergy are co-sponsoring a breakfast that will discuss the economic implications of the greening of the automotive industry.


The event features no less than three panel discussions on related topics. The first is called "Green Cruisers, Past and Future," and features executives and engineers from Vlkswagen of America Inc. and Ford Motor Co. The second panel is titled "Hybrids, Diesels or Ethanol: How Do We Power Future Cruisers?" It will offer comments from officials from BMW, General Motors Corp., J.D. Power and Associates and Robert Bosch LLC. The final panel, "Can Michigan Fuel the Future?", features comments from DaimlerChrysler, NextEnergy and Biofuel Industries Group LLC.

Read the entire article and link-though to the pre-registration here.

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.

98 Sustainability Articles | Page: | Show All
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