Archives for category: Sustainability

green halo waste tracking system leed whitewave food brandsWhiteWave Foods is a leading consumer food and beverage company and their milk dairy facility in Dallas, Texas recently received green building certificates! WhiteWave Foods produces Silk®, Horizon®, International Delight® and Earthbound Farm® products. Their 325,000 square foot facility earned the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for New Construction.

green halo waste tracking system leed whitewave food facility in dallas texas

This facility includes both a dairy and no-dairy area, there is also a 5,000 hp ammonia refrigeration system, multiple raw milk receiving bays, soy extraction area, multiple batching, filler lines and finished product coolers. This state-of-the-art facility is the result of just 8 months of renovation at a former frozen yogurt plant.

The president of WhiteWave Foods explained that the company is committed to helping people eat better and that how they make their products is just as important as what they make.

green halo waste tracking system leed whitewave food top of factory

Vendingmarketwatch.com’s article on WhiteWave Food explained how the LEED credits were earned for this building:

“The LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Green attributes of the WhiteWave facility include:

·  Nearly 90 percent of all demolition and construction waste associated with the project was diverted from landfills.

·  Landscaping that requires no irrigation

·  Fixtures that use 30 percent less water

·  100 percent of wood-based building materials certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

·  Nearly half of all building materials manufactured within 500 miles of the site

·  Use of materials and design techniques that facilitate solar reflectivity, helping to address “heat island” challenges associated with Dallas’ urban development. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F warmer than its surroundings, increasing summertime peak energy demand, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and heat-related illness.”

Since this company’s products are so popular it’s good to know that WhiteWave Foods is committed to our health and how their products are made. This building also employed 300 individuals and LEED buildings are one incredible way to help the planet.

 

Source: http://www.hill-wilkinson.com/markets/food-beverage/white-wave-foods

and

http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/news/11574721/whitewave-foods-opens-companys-first-certified-green-manufacturing-plant


Another great Green article from Green Halo

Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com

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Here it is, a list of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint according to National Geographic and the folks @GreenHaloUSA

carbon footprint erase pan green halo green environment

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

1. Make your home energy efficient.
Your home can be responsible for creating twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as your car. Since half of the energy used in your home helps to heat and cool it, making your home as energy efficient as possible will take big chunks out of your carbon footprint. Steps you can take include: Getting a home energy audit; installing energy efficient windows; insulating your attic and walls; installing a programmable thermostat; turning your thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer.

2. Drive less.
Combine your trips in the car, so you don’t have to go out multiple times to the same location. When possible, use public transit, walk or bike to your destination.

3. Buy the highest gas mileage car for your needs.
Cars contribute 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels; the better your gas mileage, the less gas you burn and the fewer emissions you create.

4. Buy energy efficient appliances.
When replacing appliances, buy Energy Star qualified appliances (these use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and can save you $80 or more per year).

5. Recycle.
Creating products from recycled materials uses up to 98 percent less energy than producing things from new materials.

6. Replace your light bulbs.
Switching to energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will save you $30 over the life of the bulb, because these they use about 75 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.

7. Buy local food.
Each ingredient in a U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles. If we all ate one meal per week of local, organic food, we’d save 1.1 million barrels of oil per week.

8. Eat less red meat.
Beef takes a lot of energy and resources to produce. Replace red meat with fish, chicken and eggs and cut your food carbon footprint by 29 percent. Go vegetarian to cut it by 50 percent.

9. Lower your water heater temperature from 140 degrees F to 120 degrees F.

10. Buy carbon offsets for the rest and make yourself “carbon neutral.”

green halo waste tracking system renewable energy windmill jazz

( Source: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/human-footprint/trash-talk2.html )

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo

Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com

 Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Earlier this week, we posted about a how you can vermicompost and create, rich, anti-fungal earth for your gardening! Well, the info graphic that we posted is Sustainable America’s most popular infographic this year, so they made a trouble shooting worm bin guide and sent is to us!

For those of you who struggle to keep your worms happy or have questions about gardening with this compost or worm casings, please see this article.

waste tracking wastetracking system vermicomposting worms in dirt with casings

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Sustainable America put out an infographic about how to compost in small places like an apartment building. It’s a common concern especially for those who cook and have food scraps or those who are gardeners (composting makes some of the most nutrient rich soil!). So how do you compost in your apartment without experiencing weird odors? Look here:

recycle gardening sustainable america infographic on composting in an apartment green halo greenhalosystems systems waste tracking

 

( Source: http://www.sustainableamerica.org/

And

https://wastetracking.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/foodfuelfuture-sustainable-americas-infographic-on-composting-in-small-areas/ )

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

This old fashion style video about sustainability is fully hosted on YouTube and it is a popular, educational and full-length movie!

The Treasure of San Buenaventura, An Environmental Sustainability Production can be viewed here:

This film takes place in the old west in 1880’s Ventura where mysterious occurrences start because a time traveling environmentalist from the future comes to San Buenaventura to start new environmental programs similar to the ones that are currently practiced.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

waste tracking wastetracking.com system apuan alps quarries mine marble carra

In Tuscany there is currently passionate dispute over land-use in the area that famously provided Michelangelo’s marble for David in a region known as the Apuan Alps. The 150 firms that run the quarries are eagerly waiting to see the outcome of the Tuscan regional government’s decision or its “final approval to the plan” this week.

waste tracking wastetracking.com system apuan alps quarries mine marble

The Apuan Alps quarries are from classical times and still have traces of the engineers that mined and the Roman artisans who sculpted. Unfortunately, these quarries left scars on the surrounding landscape and entire mountain peaks have been destroyed.

One of the quarry owners and operators was concerned that the Tuscan regional government’s plan is the first step towards closing these quarries. Shutting down the 48 will result in a direct loss of about 5,000 jobs. A spokeswoman for quarry employers said that about 150 employers have agreed to suspend all activity on Monday and Tuesday by barring workers from entering the quarries.

This lock out is being described as “anti-democratic and contemptuous of the rights of works” whereas the regional government is trying to be more responsible for their environmental impact and irreversible devastation.

 

(Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/30/tuscany-marble-quarries-shut-environment-dispute)

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

build high green halo waste tracking system xeros washer water

It’s not news that certain parts of the world have drought emergencies right now but Xeros has an new invention that is helping reduce the travesty. Xeros came out with a polymer bead laundry system which comes with enormous savings and benefits that currently attracts mainly commercial locations. This new laundry system is currently impacting the hotel, gym, and hospital industries in a great ways.

By reducing consumption in commercial laundry, hotels can conserve valuable resources, gain competitive advantages, market themselves as green to increase their brand value and improve customer loyalty in addition to reducing costs.

The Xeros washer works by utilizing the hydrophilic properties of polymer beads. Scientists at the University of Leeds School of Textiles discovered that these beads, mixed with a small amount of water and a special detergent act as magnets for stains and dirt to clean laundry better and more gently than traditional methods. These reusable polymer beads also last for hundreds of washes before they need to be recycled and the Xeros polymer bead laundry system uses 80% less water, 50% less energy, about 50% less detergent and results in better cleaning results compared to traditional methods.

Source: http://www.waterworld.com/articles/iww/print/volume-14/issue-3/features/wiser-washing.html

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

green halo systems coconut-water-splash

Tokelau, a New Zealand island has an abundance of coconuts but the same can’t be said for other natural resources that help us survive. For this reason, Tokelau’s leader Foua Toloa announced in 2009 that the island will switch to using coconuts and solar power to provide all of the energy for the island. At the moment, diesel is administered to the island from New Zealand to meet the island’s electricity demands (about 42,000 gallons annually). In addition to diesel, gasoline and kerosene is also imported to the island.green halo systems tokelau 2

In Tokelau, most of the population has modern appliances, including satellite TV and Internet. It’s astonishing to think that the island can run off of solar power and coconut oil but we applaud Foua Toloa and Tokelau for being so bold.  green halo systems tokelau

The new energy plan is to transfer most of the islands’ power generation to 93% photovoltaic solar arrays and biofuel from coconuts will supply the remaining 7% of power generated in Tokelau. Some say that this effort is purely symbolic but we should note that this is part of an effort amount South Pacific island nations to encourage renewable energy systems.fresh coconut halves on beach

Source: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678915/a-tiny-pacific-island-is-now-powered-by-coconuts

Another great Green article from Green Halo

Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com

Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

 

Altaeros Energies has announced the first planned commercial demonstration if it’s Buoyant Airborne Turbine or BAT product. The announcement event plans to deploy the BAT at a height of 1,000’ above ground which could break the record for the highest wind turbine in the world. See what the BAT looks like here:

The BAT has a helium-filled, inflatable shell which lifts the apparatus to high altitudes so that energy can be consistently generated in a low cost way as well. BAT is secured to the ground with high strength tethers and electricity gets sent to the ground from there. The reason behind traveling to higher altitudes is because the winds are stronger and more consistent higher up in the sky.

To learn more, visit: http://www.altaerosenergies.com/

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Jeff Jungsten, President of Caletti Jungsten Construction, tells us how to choose a green contractor

By: Jenelle Feole, Green Halo Systems

(MILL VALLEY, CA) – Jeff JungstenJeff Jungsten shared decades of green building industry experience earlier this week from his office in Mill Valley, CA. An avid biker and green builder, it’s obvious that Jeff cares about nature and his clients. Jeff is a game changer, a perfectionist when it comes to building people’s homes and he is deeply in tune to our planet’s needs and sustainability. He was on the Technical Advisory Committee which met weekly for over a year to devise a new green building ordinance for Marin County so that green building could be more simple and accessible to everybody.

Jeff is a Build it Green Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) and he also holds the Green Home Retrofitting and Remodeling Advanced Certified Green Building Professional certification (GHRR Advanced CGBP) – it’s a rarity. In 1995 Jeff joined John Caletti’s general construction company and complemented the already high–end quality work with a bend towards sustainability. We discussed the bleeding-edge green building technologies that are developed on the West Coast and later used worldwide, what drives green building in other areas of the globe and much more:

1 What is the story behind Caletti Jungsten? Our story really was that, and has been, that we started as a small group doing really high definition work. Started in 1987 by John Caletti here in Marin, taking on some really nice general construction work. John and I met in the mid-90’s on a small project and then took on a really big project together, honed our skills together and figured out what we really wanted to do. We’ve taken that energy and expertise that we both carry and put it into really good people and culture, and we setup a good momentum for our community. So we are really into where we work, why we work, and who we work with.

2 What does it take to be a green contractor? It takes a lot of energy, focus, drive, and understanding that there is a better way to do what we do. It takes a proactive approach, knowledge and energy around why you’re doing certain things.

3 How should one go about choosing a green builder? The best way to choose a green builder is to talk to as many people as you can who have investigated green building. There are township blogs, there are other groups like the Marin builders association. Most municipalities have a builders group of some sort. The people that are doing these things are known by great non-profits like build It Green or the USGBC. [Laughs] Google is a great way to find green builders in your area. They might be listed on the Build It Green or USGBC website of certified professionals. It’s usually just word of mouth but one of the things that we try to do is to get ourselves listed on as many boards as possible to just get the word out.

4 So people will research, or they will find out about you from word of mouth, and am I understanding you correctly that the credentials are really important? Would you say that being a GCBP is a must? It’s a must. The people that take the time to learn and study and take the energy to get themselves certified are the people that are at least trying to understand and stay current of sustainability. And, I would say that if you hire a company that has zero credentials as either a business or individuals and expect them to know more than the people who are studying it, it would be an odd choice. If you are going to hire a company that claims to be a green builder, they will have had to have had projects in that realm that are either published or known or researchable that you can look at and say: were they successful in what they sought out to do? Was is certifiable at a certain level with a certain group? What type of work have they done and where? Who have they worked with?

5 I see, so if they are not certified, one should look at work examples, but sometimes work examples are not impressive enough so take just the work examples with a grain of salt? It depends: one of our intentions was to set a relatively rigorous standard in Marin for a green building ordinance so that people would have to build better than a C- building as a norm. So even if you weren’t certified, you would have to build in a certain way that achieved a certain level of efficiency. The people who can achieve those levels of efficiency in every single building that they build and can prove it, that’s the type of thing to do your research for. To say: “What type of buildings have you built, and how have you proven them to meet the goals that you set up early on in the project?” Everybody can buy low VOC paint, find or buy recycled or reclaimed materials, and claim that they are green builders. But the people that know how to combine them in multiple ways for low cost, and who are out teaching other people or who are being involved in your community, are the people that are usually taking the biggest stride.

In 2010, the Marin Builder’s Association gave me the Leadership and Sustainability Award for being a pioneer in the community which was really cool. Similarly, a LEED Certified home, can’t be built without LEED a Certified team member, so there are certain projects which you cannot do without being certified.

6 Are you certified for LEED? I am not personally…for me I am kind of outside of that loop, and up higher in the policy programming, and the ordinance portion. The people that are actually manufacturing the product that we build are LEED Certified, Project Managers would be LEED Certified.

7 So it’s possible for people to build a LEED property through your company? Yes, absolutely. We did a LEED Gold residence here in Marin two years ago…it was in Camp Woodlands.

8 When it comes to green building, do you think that there’s an area that people are too focused on and they miss considering something else that is important? Most people say: “I want my home to be more energy efficient”. And I think that the indoor air quality part is the part that they might be missing the most. Probably the most toxic place to be is in a new home. It’s like a new car. You can have a really efficient home, seal it up really tight, and then it just develops a really bad problem where you don’t cycle the air enough. So I think that probably the one thing that people miss the most is how to make it healthy.

9 Is it more expensive to build green?

It can be upfront. It can cost more if you’re not going to be in your home for a long time. Low VOC paints and finishes and those things aren’t more expensive, but the other products, like a radiant heating system are more expensive than a forced air system. However a radiant heating system is more far more efficient and way healthier than blowing a bunch of air and dust around the house. So there’s where you have to start making your choices about what type of healthy environment and efficiency you want. Our goal is to get as many people doing these things as possible which makes them more cost effective for a normal consumer.

10 How do you calculate the payback period for green building? The client will inherently have to make choices about upfront costs vs. lifecycle and costs. Part of what any good general contractor will do is help guide a client through those value oriented decisions. Some things just don’t make sense for some clients, and it’s responsible to say: “it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on this, it will never pay off for you”. If a certain budgetary condition is installed in the relationship and things can’t be achieved, then our job is to maximize their budget in as many value-oriented places as possible. And we do that, so we have a deep preconstruction activity upfront before the job that integrates as many sustainable features as possible, using the budget as widely as possible. And not only do we do that, but we have consultants that we bring in that work with the clients directly and work with us directly…these people are experts in facilitating the conversation before it even makes it to us, so these people are incredibly valuable.

11 The architecture firm plays a big role in this too, so where does the construction company come into play and how do you add value? Some architecture firms are getting it and they are understanding that sustainability is not an overlay, it’s a design principle. We come in hopefully as early as possible and I think any general contractor that studies this deeply wants to incorporate these systems at the earliest stages of design. Even as early as the sighting of the building to help integrate these systems into the plan if possible. That’s what the good architects are doing, they are bringing in people like us…

12 So a lot of the awesome homes on your website, you’re working with architects in the early stages of development? Absolutely. Way upfront. As early as the design phase.

13 How do you collaborate with architects and the client? Once we get through the design phase, we define everybody’s role and once the project is running, everybody plays a role in that. We all just collaborate as deeply as possible, as openly as possible, with as much humility as possible. We have a project right now where we are working incredibly closely with the architect, the client, the designer, and the engineers. It’s one of the most amazing homes that we’ve ever seen and it’s really all about being as collaborative and open as possible. Everything’s open for discussion. In the sustainability world, it’s kind of mandatory. There used to be a very closed loop between 2 parties and then a 3rd party would come in- the builder, and it would be a sort of odd scenario. Our goal is to just open up that whole relationship and be as collaborative and proactive as possible with everybody and have everyone do the same. If we’re talking about money, we have to talk about money openly. If we are talking about schedules, we have to talk about schedules openly. If we are talking about systems, we have to talk about systems openly. So that’s what happening in our world, a deeper level of relationship, more client–centric and certainly more proactive for time and money.

14 What inspires you? Everything!!!! Everything! I think if I really break it down into the smallest common denominator, it’s creating beautifully healthy homes for families, structures that- people get to grow up in, get married in, and have kids in. When somebody trusts us to build their home, that’s what we focus on. You know, perfect is close enough for us. We don’t want to just take the lowest common denominator and do that, it’s easy. What inspires us is to learn our craft a little bit deeper than most and then provide that value to people and see it happen. We just love the idea of building an inspired home with more energy and care. I honestly feel that it’s noticeable…and if we do our jobs right, and we care enough, then it’s obviated.

15 I looked at your Green Halo Systems account, I see that you’ve diverted over 255 tons from the landfill, which is a carbon footprint equivalent of 26,000 gallons of gasoline. What types of insights come to your mind when you see these statistics and numbers? One of the things about Green Halo that I really enjoy is that it’s similar to this program called “Cool the Earth”, which we work with here locally. It’s a great grass roots program that’s spreading nationally. Their idea is to train kids to focus on things that they can change…show them that when they turn the lights off and then they see the energy bill at the end of the month, then they will start to see that the small things they do actually have a result. And that’s what I like about Green Halo is that we have the ability to account for the material, see the results of what we are doing, and then change our behavior and modify how we work to then enhance that savings even higher. When I saw what we have diverted since using Green Halo, I turned it into a personal conversation about how: in my smart car, that’s 3,750 fill ups or the equivalent of about a million miles driven. I’ve taken an entire life time of driving off of the planet’s carbon footprint just in this short amount of time that we’ve been using Green Halo! And if we can measure it, we can change it, and that’s what Green Halo allows us to do. They’ve done a really good job making it useful, efficient, scalable, and the best tool for the job. Individual companies like myself can use it, municipalities can use it to collect information from people like me and then they put their stats out as a county. So we use the system as much as possible, and we review it monthly, and everybody always enjoys seeing what’s happened to the material or how much we are diverting or how we can do it differently.

 

Check out http://www.calettijungsten.com/

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
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