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Chinese New Year - Doo Consulting Blog

Wishing You A Lucky, Prosperous And Happy Chinese New Year!

January 23, 2012 starts the Chinese New Year – the year of the Water Dragon. The water dragon, in Chinese mythology, brings a willingness to take risks, easier access to money, and the need for good counsel.

At Doo Consulting, we’d like to share with you a few resources that are likely to make 2012 an even greener year than 2011:

FoodPool.org – What To Do With Your Leftover Green(s)

The Water Dragon’s abundance may come from unexpected places in 2012.

Enter FoodPool.org, an intriguing choice for the gardener.

FoodPool.org is a non-profit effort to share excess greens – and produce of every kind – with those in need in our communities. It’s a “matching” service that brings together the overwhelmed gardener with the hungry family. At their website, you can sign up to start a Food Pool in your community, participate in an active group, or spread the word to needy families in your town or city.

 

At Doo Consulting, we raise a variety of vegetables and fruits in a 16′ x 60′ plot by our Towson office. Many of our neighbors do the same. When the zucchini is in, we can’t give it away! Even with canning, a big freezer, a produce-rich diet, and sharing with neighbors, we still can hardly keep up. What to do?

FoodPool came to our attention last year and we hope to coordinate a group on Piccadilly Road in 2012! You can get involved in your area, too.

For more information, please visit: www.FoodPool.org.

Savenia Labs – Green Savings Energy Star Misses

You may be surprised to know what your toaster oven or coffee pot costs you over its lifetime. Whether you bought the least or most expensive  appliance on the shelf at the local hardware store, there’s just no way to know how much energy is needed to operate it. Until now.

A peer of ours at the Bethesda Green Business Incubator in Bethesda, Maryland, is changing all that. The Year of The Dragon is a good time for pioneers. We predict that, in 2012, you’ll hear more in the news about Savenia Labs.

Savenia Labs is a new independent testing laboratory that provides lab-tested energy and environmental impact ratings on popular appliances. Savenia Labs is bringing crucial cost-of-operation information to the energy-conscious customer.

We believe the tracking of Savenia Labs certified small appliances within a project could contribute to LEED credits.

For more information, go to Savenia Labs’ website: www.SaveniaLabs.com

Enterprise Green Communities Carbon Offset Fund – The Green Building Carbon Fund

The Enterprise Green Communities Offset Fund offers an opportunity for organizations, individuals, and events to offset their carbon emissions by helping create carbon-reducing homes for low-income families.

Through the Fund, Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit, raises and deploys contributions to enable community-based groups to create homes for low-income people, homes that generate lower carbon emissions by being more energy efficient and using renewable energy. All contributions to the Fund are also tax deductible.

Last year, for the Brickstainable building industry competition, Doo Consulting selected the Enterprise Community Partners Carbon Offset Fund to offset the emissions from its awards program.  While some carbon offset programs plant trees in distant lands, Enterprise helps local families in need, right here in the US. Expect to hear more about Enterprise Green Communities Carbon Offset Fund in 2012.

Consider using Enterprise Green Communities Carbon Offset Fund to green your next project or event. Find out more at their website: http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/offset-fund.

To Your Abundant 2012!

The team at Doo Consulting looks forward to helping your green building and sustainability projects to harness the exuberant spirit of the Water Dragon in 2012.

BrickStainable Awards program - Doo Consulting Blog

Doo Consulting offsets carbon from 2nd Annual BrickStainable Awards program

On March 31, 2011, Potomac Valley Brick (PVB) hosted its Second Annual BrickStainable Awards program. As in the first year’s event in March 2010, winners were flown to Washington, DC, from their home cities and countries to participate in the awards celebration. The day-long event for the winners included a round table discussion of the selected designs with the winners, representatives of the competition jury and this year’s keynote speaker, Alan Short.
For the purpose of estimating the carbon impact, PVB calculated the carbon consequences of all flights for winners and guests, hotel stays based upon the block reservation, preparation of the awards dinner and use of the National Building Museum for the evening. Transportation of local guests to and from the awards venue has been estimated at twenty-five miles per attendee. This estimate is averaged from those who will walk or take transit from locations within the City and those who may be driving from distances farther away. Based upon an estimated attendance of 200, the carbon consequence of the Second Annual BrickStainable Awards program is calculated to be 24 tons of carbon.

As a supporter of BrickStainable, Doo Consulting LLC purchased the carbon offsets for the awards program. These were purchased from the Enterprise Green Communities Carbon Offset Fund.

Enterprise’s Green Communities Offset Fund offers the opportunity to offset carbon emissions caused by conferences or meetings by helping low-income families live in green affordable homes. As a building industry competition, BrickStainable sought to find an industry related offset fund. Supporting the creation of green communities and the construction of green affordable housing is consistent with the mission of BrickStainable and its sponsors.
Individuals can offset carbon emissions caused by your corporation or organization, or you and your family’s daily activities through this fund as well. To learn more, visit the Enterprise Carbon Calculator site at http://www.greencommunitiesonline.org/tools/carbon-calculator.

Happy 40th Birthday EPA - Doo Consulting Blog

Happy 40th Birthday EPA!

Happy New Year To You and Happy 40th Birthday to the EPA.

As I reflect on 2010, I am aware that December 2, 2010, was the 40th birthday of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The turn of the year is a time of reflection as is the fortieth birthday of an organization. In spite of the challenging economy of the last few years, the rising attention to the environment and the business response has been astounding. The term “LOHAS” (Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability), describes a group of consumers attracted to a marketplace for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. An estimate of this market in 2008 was $290 billion and growing. This year, the total volume of LEED certified buildings exceeded one billion square feet globally. People are increasingly aware of the environmental challenges before us and are clearly voting with their wallets.

Given this, the New Year seems a good time to celebrate the 40th birthday of the EPA and to reflect on its creation, accomplishments and future goals.

In the 1960’s the cumulative effects of our false presumption that our environment was limitless and self-cleaning; that we could dump our waste into our air, water and land and that it would “flush” itself, were brought sharply to our attention.

In 1962 Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring”, documenting the effects of pesticides on the environment, particularly birds. Becoming a best-seller, this book raised public concern about pollution in our environment and its effects on animals and man. DDT sprayed into the air and on plants to kill mosquitoes and other insects, poisoned the food supply for birds and other creatures. The question was, “Could it poison us?”

In 1969 the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire, and not for the first time. Filled with sludge and debris, river fires in the Cuyahoga had become a regular occurrence beginning in 1868. A river fire in 1952 caused over 1.5 million dollars in damage. The 1969 fire caused Congress to pass the Clean Water Act and inspired the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In April of 1970 the first Earth Day was held. Originally focusing on the United States, Earth Day is now celebrated in over 175 countries every year.

On December 2, of 1970, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was founded. One of its first acts was to ban DDT, the chemical pesticide that was the subject of Rachel Carson’s book in 1962. Growing public concern about the state of the environment, reinforced by the first Earth Day celebration in April 1970, led President Richard M. Nixon to call on Congress to reorganize the federal government’s approach to the environment by “pulling together into one agency a variety of research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities now scattered through several departments and agencies.”

In his special message to Congress which he transmitted in July 1970, Nixon wrote, “Our national government today is not structured to make a coordinated attack on the pollutants which debase the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land that grows our food…. Despite its complexity, for pollution control purposes the environment must be perceived as a single, interrelated system.”

10 of EPA’s Accomplishments

The Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit organization, recently published a report [pdf] that details 10 ways the EPA has strengthened America over the past 40 years. Those accomplishments include:

  1. Banning the widespread use of DDT
  2. Removing the acid from acid rain
  3. Rethinking waste as materials (drawing energy from waste streams and reusing materials to get more value from them before their final disposal)
  4. Removing lead from gasoline–and from the air
  5. Clearing secondhand smoke (by classifying secondhand smoke as a known cause of cancer in humans, and banning smoking in indoor public spaces
  6. Increasing vehicle efficiency and controlling emissions
  7. Working for environmental justice and a cleaner environment for all Americans
  8. Controlling toxic substances
  9. Achieving cleaner water
  10. Enforcing community right-to-know laws and improving public information about the chemicals and/or pollutants to which Americans may be exposed in their daily lives

Today, the EPA continues in its mission to protect our environment.

 

Seven Priorities for EPA’s Future

In the next 40 years and beyond, EPA commits to making strides in those issues that most affect the environment and communities we live in:

  1. Taking action on climate change
  2. Improving air quality
  3. Assuring the safety of chemicals
  4. Cleaning up our communities
  5. Protecting America’s waters
  6. Expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice
  7. Building strong state and tribal partnerships

It is interesting to point out that the environment has never been the partisan issue it seems to have become. Strong leadership for environmental protection from both parties is evident in past legislation. Under Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, and a Democratic Congress, the United States government created the National Parks system.  Again, under a Republican President, Richard Nixon, and a Democratic Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency was born. As someone once said, “Conservation is conservative,” and that is a conservative notion that, I’m confident, liberals can live with.

Challenges to our environment must continue to be addressed on a bipartisan basis. The challenges before us and the potential costs or benefits to our communities will not recognize State or national borders or political party. The EPA’s agenda for the future targets those challenges that have the broadest affect on our communities. The stated priorities of the EPA are built around their mission to protect human health and the environment for all Americans. We now understand that protecting the environment and protecting our health are one and the same. For those who would suggest that “It costs too much” or “It will cost American jobs,” it is clear that all that we have comes, in one way or another, from the Earth. There is no economy without the environment. Let’s keep it healthy for our jobs, ourselves and our children.

Happy Birthday EPA and keep up the good work!

Why We Build LEED Buildings - Doo Consulting Blog

Why We Build LEED Buildings

In the eight years since I became LEED accredited in 2002, green building has gone from the interest of a few to business-as-usual for most. Indeed, if it’s not all that people in the building and development communities are talking about, it is certainly a large part of the conversation. Every architect, every builder, every manufacturer and supplier and nearly every owner wants to know how to be green, if not certified. It has become big business.
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Healthy Environment for Everyone - Doo Consulting Blog

Aspiring to a Healthy Environment for Everyone

Two local health care organizations dedicated to serving a vast constituency in the Baltimore area, including indigent and low income communities, have achieved high levels of LEED certification in 2010.  Doo Consulting LLC acted as the LEED consultant to Baltimore Medical System and Maryland Health Care for the Homeless as each owner pursued their project goals.

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