Marc Lefkowitz | 05/19/09 @ 2:33pm
The Ohio Sierra Club in its latest newsletter looks at why the state stands to miss out on more than $50 million in federal stimulus funds aimed at energy efficiency projects. The money is ours if we update our residential building codes to the most efficient on the market. Sierra Club writes: "the Ohio Association of Homebuilders is in fierce opposition to the adoption of a stronger code, which will require stronger energy efficiency standards." This despite the participation of the National Association of Homebuilders in developing the code and the estimated $220 per year in energy savings for every household.
- One of the links from WCPN's report on the Great Lakes Restoration Plan is to a well-researched cost-benefit analysis of watershed restoration. The Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition hired teams of economists and Great Lakes scientists to determine the costs and likely ecological impacts of restoring the Great Lakes. The study concluded that restoration will provide economic benefits to both the region and the nation that substantially exceed the costs. Restored wetlands, reduced pathogens, reductions in aquatic invasive species and the aggregate impact of the restoration initiative through positive impacts on residential property values along the coastal areas (and several miles inland) all point to the tremendous natural capital in clean, healthy watersheds. One example, sewer repairs ? such as the massive Dugway interceptor project that will deal with more of the region's storm-sewer mixing problem, generate jobs which have a multiplier effect. One estimate is that the $7.5 billion in such activity contemplated in the GLRC Strategy by itself could generate 350,000 jobs in the short-run. Read the report here.
- Need to clear your attic, basement and garage of unused items, but you don't want to add to the 2 million tons of solid waste that Cuyahoga County dumps into a landfill every year? Try FreeRecyclingCleveland, an online network for donating your used stuff to someone who wants/needs it. It's like Craig's list but everything is free.
- The Great Lakes Design Collaborative is a new design studio working on adaptive reuse of urban storefronts, starting with their own along Lorain Avenue in the Cleveland EcoVillage. Read more.
- Vauban, Germany is a new model for the suburbs-designed to be nearly car-free and with 'passive house' construction so energy efficient, homes don't need furnaces. Residents report they gave up their car to move here not so much for the environmental cause but because it's no cars make it a safer and certainly less tense place to raise kids. More.
- Ohio now has four US Green Building Council chapters and every square inch of Ohio's 88 counties has coverage by one of them. Central Ohio is the latest to join their ranks with the formation of the U.S. Green Building Council - Central Ohio Chapter (USGBC-COH). The group plans to make an official announcement at the Sixth Annual Green Building Expo on May 19th at the 4H Center, the first LEED Certified building at Ohio State.