Environmental advocates across the nation are applauding the announcement of the new federal carbon pollution guidelines that will address climate change, protect public health, and grow a clean energy economy. Rules that have been in the works for years were announced Monday morning that seek to reduce carbon emissions by 30% from the power sector below 2005 levels by 2030.

“With today’s announcement, the EPA is taking a big step toward cutting carbon emissions from the power sector that will decrease our impacts on the climate, have positive impacts on public health, and provide a framework for cleaner energy generation into the future,” said Michael Churchman, executive director of the Alabama Environmental Council. “This plan will help clean up unregulated pollution at power plants while creating the certainty the energy sector is looking for to invest in the future.”

(photo by Black Warrior Riverkeeper)

As many of us suffer through the final clouds of Alabama pollen, the lure of getting outdoors is irresistible, particularly with the plethora of outdoor events, festivals, and concerts. In addition to good times, such events can also produce large amounts of trash. However, with a little bit of planning and conviction, anyone can easily host a near-zero waste event. 

A recent report from The Solar Foundation found that Alabama ranks 42nd in state-specific numbers related to solar jobs in the state. With only 420 jobs related to solar, there is a lot of room for growth. This is especially true when you see that Tennessee has 2,800 jobs with 1,200 new last year and Georgia has 2,600 jobs, with 1,800 new last year. That means Alabama is set for a huge potential job growth with the right policies and economic development. Let's encourage state decision makers to support this dependable renewable energy!

The Alabama Environmental Council hosted its second POWER-UP Energy Forum on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. This was an open, public forum about energy across our state and had participants from Auburn to Huntsville, Gadsden to Tuscaloosa. Conversations centered around efficiency and conservation, alternatives, renewables, and a transparent process for stakeholders to have input in choosing our energy future in Alabama. Speakers gave local, regional, and national perspectives about what is working across the Southeast and had ample time for conversation and interaction. We enjoyed spending the day celebrating sustainability and economic opportunity and look forward to next year's event!

For a detailed summary of the event including take-aways from each presenter, follow this link.

Glass collection for recycling has resumed at the Downtown Birmingham Recycling Center located at 2431 Second Avenue North with Waste Pro, a recycling partner of the Alabama Environmental Council, providing a roll-off container and helping ship the glass to regional markets to be recycled.

     

Since starting the Business Paper Recycling Program a year ago, we have recycled over 120 tons of paper! The next time you visit these establishments, be sure to thank them for recycling.

 

Source: RecycleYourMat.com

If you’re reading this, chances are you are well aware of where to recycle the more common household consumer goods, such as paper, bottles, and cans. In my last blog entry, we explored how to recycle hazardous materials. For this second installment, we’re going to take a look at some rather uncommonly recycled items. Some of these items are so difficult to recycle that there are few businesses in the nation that have stepped up to the challenge. Click on the underlined hyperlinks to be directed to these resources.

The Alabama Environmental Council's Downtown Birmingham Recycling Center is getting, well, recycled. In early 2014, the AEC plans to demolish the building it leases at 25th Street and Second Avenue North and replace it with a new facility designed by Williams Blackstock Architects. The renovation also includes fencing and landscaping and look more attractive to the neighbors, according to Michael Churchman, the AEC's executive director.