Environmentalism and Innovation at Sierra Nevada Competition

The Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge featured innovative companies and products that could change industries, the environment and peoples lives

California has long had a reputation for moving environmentalism forward while fostering innovation. This was more than apparent at the first annual Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge, held at the Sierra Nevada Brewery last week.

The range of products presented was a kaleidoscope of innovation, creativity and ingenuity.

To learn more about the remarkable new companies, products and innovations that participated in this exciting competition, go to http://bit.ly/LDVDEM.

U.S. Army Goes Green

New Army buildings must now meet LEED standards for environmental sustainability. Between 2004 and 2007, the Army reduced their overall water usage by one-third. Tents in Iraq and Afghanistan are sprayed with foam to reduce energy loss.

These are just some of the methods the Army has implemented to green their practices, as outlined in their first annual Sustainability Report http://www.aepi.army.mil/internet/FINALArmySustainabilityReport2007.pdf(PDF), released in September.

Positive as these steps are, the Army faces some basic major hurdles to greening itself. For one, they produce an inordinate amount of hazardous waste – over 45 million pounds in 2006 alone. Another is the amount of toxic chemicals Army facilities release annually – 23.9 million pounds in that same year from eighty-one facilities.

Third is the Army’s commitment to “war machines”. /True, they want to produce more environmentally-friendly “WM’s”, but using better materials and systems that use less oil doesn’t change the fact these systems are designed to take lives and destroy landscapes. It’s challenging to see how those can be classified as “eco-friendly” by any terms.
Yet perhaps any steps in the right direction are important to recognize. In the ultra-conservative environs of the military, taking steps towards environmentalism may be the most radical actions taken in its history.