Most and least eco-friendly states

WalletHub most-and-least-eco-friendly-states-badgeBillions of taxpayer dollars are being devoted to environmental protection efforts and energy costs., which eat up a significant portion of the average household’s take-home. Today, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2015’s Most & Least Eco-Friendly States. The report showcases the areas doing right by Mother Earth and calls out those seemingly intent on spoiling things for future generations.

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Earth-friendly art from surprising recycled materials

Cassandra Tondro uses repurposed acrylic latex paint to create visual masterpieces like her “Flowing Forest”

Artist Marc Chagall said “Great art picks up where nature ends.”

In May I attended the Women of the Green Generation conference in Los Angeles. Among the fascinating showcases was an artist who’s work utilized unusual earth-friendly materials to create unique works of beauty.

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VAST Composite Pavers Turn Scrap Tires Into Recycled “Bricks”

Consumer demand for quality recycled materials has grown exponentially as the green building industry expands.  VAST Enterprises is meeting this demand with top quality composite pavers made from recycled materials.

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Charge it up – with a convenient solar charging station

The cost of transportation just keeps going up. No wonder we’re seeing more alternative vehicles on the road. From mopeds to bicycles,  Zipcars,to electric vehicles, all of us are looking for ways to get from our garage door at point A to our necessary point B a lot less expensively.

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Animal Shelter scores LEED gold

green roof LEED

Potter League of Animals (photo courtesy of Sean Hennessey, Hennessy Productions © 2009)

The Potter League for Animals, in Middletown, Rhode Island, has just been certified LEED gold by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Complete with a vegetated roof, energy efficienct heating and cooling systems and built with recycled materials,  the League’s new $7.5 milion digs is a prime example of sustainable design.


Photo courtesy of Sean Hennessy,  Hennessy Productions © 2009

Photo courtesy of Sean Hennessy, Hennessy Productions © 2009

All their animals have rooms with outdoor views (no cages), and use radiant heat. Designed by ARQ, known for their work at the San Francisco SPCA and the ASPCA in New York City, designed the housing areas with with durable and germ-resistant materials and plenty of natural lighting.



This is a real win for the animals, especially in these tough times, which are hitting animals even harder than us two-leggeds. By the way, if you’re thinking of adopting a cute cuddly 4-legged new best friend, checkout your local shelter first.

A green White House?

White House dayAccording to an article on the Sierra Club’s website, the White House plans to green-up the White House sufficiently to earn a LEED certification. LEED -the “green” Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system of the USGBC – measures the degree to which buildings and communities implement the many elements of green building design, construction, operation, and maintenance.

Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and President of the USGBC, believes that “LEED certification of the White House is absolutely possible and viable.”  Christine Glunz,White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) spokesperson,  says the effort to get the White House to LEED certification includes energy and water systems as well as waste.

CEQ is looking to reduce the carbon footprint of the White House in a variety of ways:

  • implementing computerized energy management systems
  • automatic light sensors that turn off in unoccupied rooms and low-flow water valves
  • paints and sealers with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • biodegradable cleaners and recycled equipment to be used by White House groundskeepers and engineers
  • adding window films to lower UV rays and save energy

The White House plans to donate any leftover materials from renovations and demolitions from making the nations’s first house eco-friendly to local reuse organizations, reveals an article on the National Geographic website.

All of this is in line with President Obama’s intention to set an example for Americans on how to live more eco-friendly. Not an easy job when it comes to such a historic site, but it will be a real step forward for a country that for the past 8 years was held back from taking any real environmental stand.

First the White house, then …?

Underwriters Laboratories now “the” Green certifier

Underwriters Laboratories has been a bastion for product safety for over a century. Now they’re working to be known as a global environmental standards certifier.

On June 2nd, UL’s five month old subsidiary, UL Environment (U.L.E.) awarded their first environmental certification to EcoRock, a recycled drywall manufactured by Serious Materials of Sunnyvale, CA.

U.L.E. began testing EcoRock in January. They verified its recycled content, tested its VOC emissions and tested for mold resistance. Now a select number of contractors in northern California are testing it.

Serious Materials plans to make EcoRock available to its 1,000 wholesalers and 40 West coast Lowe’s stores in about 2 months,, says Kevin Surace, the chief executive of Serious Materials.

Surace says the U.L.E. certification will help Serious Materials sell EcoRock panels for building projects slated for LEED certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

U.L.E. is testing a number of other products, including wind turbines, dishwashers and TV’s.

Now manufacturers have a choice when it comes to certification – the standard UL product safety label and the new environmental-standards label by U.L.E.

U.L.E. plans to quickly expand its laboratories and offices. “By next year, we may have outposts in China and Japan,” said Marcello Manca, the vice president and general manager of U.L.E.. “We want to make U.L.E. more of a global presence.”

Time will tell whether this new certification gains the prestige and status of the parent company’s label. Or if manufacturers will see the advantage of spending the funds for this green come-lately.