Waste threatens to overwhelm natural ecosystems and the health of people and other life, primarily because our society produces so much waste in the form of short-lived or single-use materials and products that do not lend themselves to re-use or even recycling. And the problem of too much ‘stuff’ is multiplied by the volume of excess packaging.
If we recycle 100% of the recyclable materials and compost as much as possible, that will help — but will not solve the waste problem. Back in the early days of the environmental movement, someone coined the phrase ‘Reduce – Reuse – Recycle’ — and intentionally put recycling in 3rd place.
The problems of too much ‘stuff’ are often complicated by municipal & private trash collection systems that provide all the wrong incentives. Here are a few thoughts on what a better system might look like. The key is to make … more
A unique and excellent addition to the Lehigh Valley’s offerings, the Social Research Social Justice Conference began in 2003 as a collaboration between faculty and students in the Department of Media and Communication at Muhlenberg College, with the goal to … more
The benefits of making a clear commitment can be dramatic, especially over the long term. When students, faculty, staff, and alumni know that the college or university is making a broad and comprehensive commitment to sustainability, they are more likely … more
This is another no-brainer. Recently, colleges and universities have been earning an average 6–8% return on their endowment funds. Most facilities projects to reduce energy & greenhouse gas emissions [GHG] have a 5–7 year payback — a 14%–20% return—which means … more
A ‘Green Revolving Fund’ provides funds for small projects such as the one described above, projects that will make the college or university more sustainable and, in most cases, pay for itself by reducing expenses for energy. Any project that … more
Allentown Environmental Advisory Council May 13, 2012 On March 29, 2012 Allentown signed a 35-year contract with a private NJ company, Delta Thermo Energy (DTE), to build an incinerator on Kline’s Island in Allentown for disposal of the city’s trash … more
Waste Incinerator in Allentown – Documents Documents related to the waste incinerator to be built in downtown Allentown: Documents from the Sierra Club and other experts: Al Wurth – March 6 message to Allentown City Council Sierra Club letter to … more
Note: Much of this material was originally posted as a call to action regarding the City of Allentown’s proposal to contract with Delta Thermo Energy to build a ‘Waste to energy’ plant in downtown Allentown. That proposal was approved and … more
Forward thinking companies realize value in providing sustainable, renewable, organic, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, sweatshop free, biodegradable, and locally-produced products and services. In the long run, our steadfast demand for such ethical products will yield greater profits to ethical suppliers. I believe … more