Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

Halle Bree


Member since April 23, 2013

  • Crown Environmental Capital Management Solutions Green Cleaning... What a Great Scam!

    Many ideas and theories behind "Green Cleaning" are great. I truly believe most people's and even company's hearts are in the right place. But, just because you put the word "Green" on the label and throw up a picture of a leaf (don't look at our logo) doesn't mean it's environmentally friendly.

    I believe our best plan for minimizing our carbon footprint, from the cleaning side, is to use common sense more and cleaning products less.

    Here are 6 ideas to help accomplish this goal:

    1. Use the least amount of cleaning product possible

    Most green cleaning products have the "green" title because the chemicals they use or don't use are supposed to be biodegradable and/or less harmful if they find their way into the ground. I'm sure that is true, but our goal shouldn't be to find the most ecological product, it should be to use as little cleaning product as possible.

    Recommendation: Buy only concentrated cleaning products in the largest size you can or make your own.

    1. Be more concerned about the plastic bottle than the chemical inside

    The negative environmental impact of the plastic bottle, even if you recycle it, may be far greater than the chemicals inside. The bottles needs to be made, stored, shipped and recycled. Each one of these steps require energy and fossil fuels.

    Recommendation: Buy good quality trigger sprayers (the good ones will last a long time)...

  • Rodeo refinery pitches gas project as an environmental boon and jobs bonanza, but many residents are skeptical

    RODEO -- Phillips 66 pitched a project to Rodeo residents this week promising to make their air cleaner, create jobs, bring business to downtown merchants, and generate tax revenue for public agencies.

    And according to Mark Hughes, community relations manager for Phillips' Rodeo refinery, it comes with "no significant environmental impacts."

    Hughes' upbeat portrayal of the proposed Phillips 66 Propane Recovery Project was seconded by Rodeo Chamber of Commerce officials; the steelworkers union Local 326 president; an armed forces veteran; and Contra Costa County Democratic Party Chairman Chuck Carpenter, appearing on behalf of Rodeo's New Horizons Career Development Center.

    But a gallery of skeptical

    A view of the Phillips 66 refinery shows rail tracks in Rodeo, Calif. on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.(Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group) residents at a Rodeo Municipal Advisory Council meeting Thursday at the Rodeo Senior Center warned that the projected 200 new high-paying jobs would be mostly temporary and filled by nonresidents, and that the propane project would bring more noise to Rodeo and threaten the town's safety at a time when the downtown fire station has been shuttered for budgetary reasons.

    Several portrayed the refinery as a bad neighbor and major polluter and warned that an accident or terrorist act could set off the large quantities of...


    Renewable energy investments are shifting to developing nations as countries from Morocco to Chile pursue power sources that wean them off fossil fuel imports, two studies promoted by the United Nations said.

    China’s $67 billion of investment in wind, solar and other renewable projects led developing nations to $112 billion of spending in 2012, according to an e-mailed statement today from the UN and other groups involved in the studies. That compares with $132 billion of expenditure in the industrialized world.

    The gap on renewables spending between richer and developing countries shrank to 18 percent last year from 250 percent in 2007, marking a “dramatic change” in investment patterns, the statement said. Two-thirds of the 138 nations that now have clean-energy targets are in the developing world.

    “The uptake of renewable energies continues worldwide as countries, companies and communities seize the linkages between low-carbon green economies and a future of energy access and security,” UN Environment Program Executive Director Achim Steiner said in the statement. “More and more countries are set to take the renewable energy stage,” he said, citing “the logic and the rationale of embracing a green development path.”

    UNEP and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management worked with Bloomberg New Energy Finance to produce one of today’s reports, whil...

  • Renewable energy for GDOE raises concerns

    Environment, Environmental Design

    A bill that could help the Department of Education cut the cost of electricity using renewable energy sources raised some concerns voiced by utilities' officials.

    Speaker Judith Won Pat introduced Bill 74, which would allow Guam DOE to enter into a partnership with a qualified renewable energy provider to help contain the millions the school system spends yearly on power bills.

    Superintendent Jon Fernandez wrote in support of the bill, noting the agency's power bill continues to climb.

    "Unfortunately, despite the conscientious effort of reducing our power consumption, GDOE continues to experience an increase in our billings," Fernandez stated in his written testimony.

    The school system had a power bill of $14.46 million in fiscal 2012. Fernandez said the school system's kilowatt-hour usage in the first half of fiscal 2013 decreased by nearly 6 percent when compared to the first half of fiscal 2012, yet its power bill still increased by $174,000 -- roughly 2.4 percent.

    He added that any savings would be diverted into the classrooms and school sites to improve the services and infrastructure for students. Alternative energy cap

    Fernandez has noted that there's a cap on the amount of alternative energy the department is able to use, which could limit the agency's ability to use alternative energy sources to their full potential.

    Bill Hagen, co-owner of Pacific Solar & Photovoltaics, who submitted written testimony in support o...

  • Biosphere 2 gives up some of its secrets

    Environment, Environmental Design

    More than two decades ago, eight people entered a sealed, self-sustaining glass enclosure near Oracle, Ariz., called Biosphere 2. For two years, the Biospherians, as they were called, lived almost exclusively off the complex’s various biomes — mini-ecosystems like savanna, rainforest and wetlands –— that represented various Earth climates.

    Only energy and information were to be exchanged with the outside world. That included sunlight, electricity and communications with a support staff. Food was grown on site. Oxygen and carbon dioxide were regulated through photosynthesis. The goal: Show that future space colonists could survive and thrive in similar environments on deep space missions or planetary colonies.

    It didn’t all go according to plan. Controversies ranging from supplemental oxygen to opened airlocks swirled around the original two missions. Today, most of the people inside the Biosphere at any given time are the photo-snapping tourists who stream through the biomes on a daily basis.

    That doesn’t mean Biosphere 2 isn’t still in the business of cutting-edge scientific research. For instance, there’s the Landscape Evolution Observatory, a long-term experiment designed to investigate how our planet’s landscapes evolve over time. Another ongoing simulation is the model city project, which examines energy and water conservation.

    But beneath the biomes, less has changed. The ghosts of researchers...

  • Environmental Agency Uncovers Shocking Alleged Corruption Scam at India's National Solar Mission | Craiglist India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is touted as the country’s most ambitious attempt to switch to a more sustainable path of development. This mission is one of the world’s largest publicly funded renewable energy programs and aims to generate 22,000 MW of solar power by 2022. The National Solar Mission also strives to reduce the cost of solar energy and promote the manufacturing of solar technology in India by encouraging transparency and competition in the sector.

    In order to achieve these goals, the first phase of the mission, which aims to commission 1000MW of grid-connected solar power projects by 2013, set a limit on the number of projects that could be alloted to a single company, in order to allow a greater number of companies to participate in the scheme. However, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non-government environmental agency, has announced that they have discovered a case of shocking corruption where one major private power company acquired much more stake than legally allowed.

    The CSE reports that this company was awarded nine of the projects, and a quarter of the MW allocation to be derived from solar radiation by floating front companies to evade government regulations. While the company’s name only appears in two projects, the CSE alleges that it owns a 99% share in seven other companies that were awarded projects...