"A city is judged by how clean it is" In February 2006 the City of Oakland, California, passed ordinance 12727, which enacts a fee on fast-food restaurants, gas stations, and convenience markets to cover litter and trash clean up. The fee is expected to raise $237,000 a year, which will be used solely to fund the clean up program. The ordinance is intended to discourage the … [Read more...] about Tax on Businesses that Generate Litter
Focus on Pages
The "Focus On" section provides in-depth information and opinion on many facets of sustainability. (Although these topics may appear quite distinct and separate, it’s important to remember that they are interconnected and interdependent in multiple ways — in general, the 4 basic principles of ecology apply to all complex systems.)
When you select a Focus On… topic, the system will select all the articles and posts in that category with the most recent pages at the top, just under a brief introduction to the topic. (Many articles appear in multiple categories.)
Background & detail information is organized into the main categories listed in the left sidebar.
Place & Infrastructure
The U.S. was built through settler colonialism, which involves taking over lands already in use by other people, displacing the people and often destroying their cultures. (Sometimes the goal was simply to use the land for their own settlements; in other cases the goal was to extract minerals & other resources. In the U.S. & Canada, settlers not only made war on the … [Read more...] about Colonialism
by Doug Roysdon Over the past few years, we have come to a new and better understanding of how this place we call our town represents a unique social and cultural opportunity. It is our place to celebrate, invest in and promote—our place to make. And, in this brave new world, a popular term full of promise and possibility—creative place-making—has come to resonate broadly as … [Read more...] about Creative Place-making: A Matter of Words
by Mary Catherine Foltz How can Universities and communities work together to promote sustainability? Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative (SSI) has developed a few different ways to answer this question in the past years. Recently, we worked with community partners and citizens of Bethlehem to develop community gardens and to begin the process of imaging a pedestrian … [Read more...] about South Side Initiative
By Zeke Zelker Land Use and Development As a teenager, I spent hours walking in the cornfields of Lower Macungie, searching for solace in the serene pastoral landscape. I would traverse this landscape alone, rummaging through my confused adolescent mind trying to figure out some big problems. Why do people act so irrationally? Why were people homeless? Why do people … [Read more...] about Land Use and Development
[Updated March 18, 2015] The following open letter is prompted by several stories in the Express-Timesand Morning Call reporting that almost all of our high schools already have synthetic turf fields (as do most colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley)—and the few exceptions are planning to add synthetic turf in the near future. In addition, at least two municipalities … [Read more...] about Open Letter to Anyone Considering Synthetic Turf (March 2015)
by Tom Moroz Impact Hubs are part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community center. They offer their members a unique ecosystem of resources, inspiration, and collaboration opportunities to grow impact; they believe a better world evolves through the combined accomplishments of creative, committed, and compassionate individuals focused on a common … [Read more...] about Is it time for an Impact Hub in the Lehigh Valley?
Following are the principal sources we used to prepare these pages, with updated information added as it becomes available. Reports, Fact Sheets, & Scientific Studies Synthetic Turf – Industry’s Claims Versus the Science – A Careful Analysis Of Studies That Industry Uses to Justify Safety Claims [Environment & Human Health, North Haven CT] Athletic Playing Fields … [Read more...] about Sources & Links for More Information on Synthetic Turf
by Bruce Wilson Imagine a world where there is a climate crisis and most people, feeling helpless about the vastness of the problem, ignore the easiest changes that can make the quickest impact while providing a good return on investment. Well, there is a climate crisis here on our world and we are virtually ignoring improving the efficiency of our buildings. Let’s face it; … [Read more...] about Energy Improvements to Existing Buildings—a Potent Tool for Reversing Climate Change
In addition to the health & safety concerns for athletes, synthetic turf raises environmental concerns: Both the grass and the infill are made from toxic products and will wind up in landfills when the fields need to be refurbished (10–12 years); they are not biodegradable, so they will continue to leach toxins into the environment for centuries;The infill material … [Read more...] about Environmental Pros & Cons