Thursday, July 27, 2017

Your Better Bathroom Is Closer Than You Think

Image of a bathroomBathrooms are by far the largest water users in the home, accounting for 60 percent of all indoor water use. Whether you are making simple fixes with your fixtures or tackling a bigger remodeling project, a better bathroom that saves water in style is closer than you think!
There are more than 24,000 WaterSense labeled models of bathroom fixtures available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and prices to help you create your dream bathroom that also saves water, energy, and money. These fixtures include tank-type toilets, showerheads, sink faucets, faucet accessories, and even flushing urinals for residential bathrooms. A bathroom remodel that replaces older, inefficient bathroom fixtures with WaterSense labeled models provides water savings and satisfaction, since WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models.
Not ready for a full remodel? Dip a foot in the water with these simple “bath hacks” that result in serious savings:
  • Flip that flapper. Most people don’t realize that the rubber flapper in their toilet tank wears out over time and can cause water to be wasted down the drain. Replace that old flapper for a few dollars and put an end to silent toilet leaks.
  • Put a little air in your flow. WaterSense labeled faucet aerators reduce water use in your bathroom sink by 30 percent without a noticeable difference in flow. If your sink already has an aerator, it might be time to change it out for a new, labeled model.
  • Swap out a showerhead. WaterSense labeled showerheads are not only independently certified for spray force and flow, they save water and energy used to heat the water. You’ll clean up every time you wash up!
Learn more to get your better bathroom

Climate Alliance States Have Significant Leverage

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a group of more than a dozen states set on upholding the Paris climate accord goals despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement in early June.

Even with the United States officially out of the Paris accord, some are optimistic that the U.S. can still meet the Paris targets, even without the support of Washington.

For the U.S., that means reducing emissions by 26 percent by 2025, based on 2005 levels. But meeting the Paris targets will likely also mean higher energy costs and tougher regulations.

“Even before the announcement about the Paris Agreement, it was going to be very very difficult,” said Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

Collectively, Stavins said, the climate alliance states — including New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota — represent about one-third of U.S. gross domestic product, which gives the alliance some significant leverage.

“The most important thing that these states can do is to link their policies together,” Stavins said. “That will bring down the cost for all of them.”

“The 14 or 12 states that are part of the coalition represent a small and a declining share of total U.S. emissions, because these are the states that have been out ahead already,” Larsen noted.

In addition to the states, over 300 cities are also pledging to help, many of which already have projects underway, such as Richmond, Virginia’s, new $49 million bus rapid transit line, scheduled to open later this fall.

“Just like getting on to a metro train, it's the same thing as that. The signals will all be timed to favor the bus, so the bus is not waiting with traffic like the cars are,” said Alicia Zatcoff, Richmond’s sustainability director.

Developing public transit will help take cars off the road, but without support from Washington, can states still pull the rest of the country along to reach the Paris targets?

“From my vantage point, I think the answer is yes,” Zatcoff said. “We’ve already reduced our emissions 15 percent, and we’re really just getting started.”

Full story here.

Six Richmond Groups Win Keep Virginia Beautiful Awards

Keep Virginia Beautiful awards grants of $500 to $1,000 for projects in four categories each year: Community Beautification and Greening, Litter Prevention, Recycling, and Cigarette Litter Prevention. In addition, this year there were five bonus grants of $2,000.

A panel of experts review the applications in May and announced the 30 Grants in 30 Days recipients during the month of June. This year's local winners were:

Keep Hopewell Beautiful, Hopewell for Beautification
Richmond Guardian Angels, Richmond for Beautification
Robious Elementary PTA, Midlothian for Recycling
Linwood Holton Elementary PTA, Richmond for Recycling
Richmond Clean City Commission, Richmond for Litter
Friends of Pocahontas State Park, Chesterfield for Beautification
Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, Richmond for Recycling
Renew Richmond, Richmond for Beautification
Groundwork RVA, Richmond for Litter

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ginter Park Urban Gardener Training Enrollment Ends Aug. 11

Program Overview

This 12-week training program teaches sustainable horticulture, urban greening and community building within urban areas. The program is designed to provide citizens with the skills necessary to increase the number of sustainable urban green spaces supported by the community. The increase of green space in urban areas is documented to increase resident’s pride of place, stimulate economic vitality, and provide healthy, engaging spaces where communities come together for shared social experiences. The goal of the Ginter Urban Gardener program is to build the capacity of neighborhoods and individuals to carry out community greening improvements with best practices in community engagement, place-making, and volunteer management.

Fall 2017 Training Schedule

Wednesday evenings, Sept. 13-Dec. 6, 6:30 -9:30 p.m.

Location: Bon Secours Center for Healthy Living Sarah Garland Jones Center
2600 Nine Mile Road, Richmond, VA 23223

Saturday Service-Learning Sessions, Sept. 16-Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m
First meeting at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden; subsequent meetings at community sites

Fall 2017 Application

Completed Application is due by Aug. 11.

Program Highlights
  • Learn best practices in sustainable horticulture, urban green space design, and urban greening 
  • Network with dynamic community leaders and passionate program participants 
  • Gain volunteer coordination and project management skills for community greening projects 
  • Develop authentic relationships across diverse communities based on shared common good 
  • Learn the basics of asset-based community development 
  • Build community conversation and facilitation skills through intentional dialogue 
  • Create neighborhood-inspired green spaces in response to community-identified place-making priorities 
  • Participate in the transformation of our region into a more Beautiful RVA 

Selection Criteria
  • Must be 18 years old, and reside in greater Richmond tri-cities region 
  • A commitment to inclusion, diversity, social justice, and volunteerism 
  • Some prior interest in gardening and urban greening 
  • Willingness to learn new skills and apply them in community settings 
  • Ability to attend training sessions and participate in service-learning experiences 

Commitment and Cost
  • Attendance at all sessions 
  • Volunteer 30 hours as a Volunteer Site Coordinator after completion of training 
  • Application fee is $150 (some financial assistance is available) 

Associated Benefits
  • 72 hours of civic engagement and urban greening training, valued at $2,160 
  • Automatic enrollment as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden volunteer 
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden first-year individual membership, valued at $65 

Exclusive Private Showing for "Inconvenient Sequel" Aug. 3

Virginia Conservation Network in partnership with the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, invites you to an exclusive private screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power.

Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017
Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas at Movieland on the Boulevard
Registration opens at 6:15 p.m.. Programming begins at 6:30.

Seating is limited, so reserve your spot now. Tickets to this special screening are available for a $5 donation. Your generous support allows us to advance climate action and move us closer to our goal of 100 percent renewable energy in the Commonwealth.

RSVP here

About the Film
View the trailer here:

A decade after "An Inconvenient Truth" brought climate change into popular culture comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes in moments private and public, funny and poignant as he pursues the empowering notion that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion. Renowned filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk ("Audrie & Daisy," 2016 Sundance Film Festival) have taken the baton from 2006 Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim. What started then as a profound slide show lecture has become a gorgeously cinematic excursion. Our extraordinary former vice president invites us along on an inspirational journey across the globe that delivers the tools to heal our planet. The question is: Will WE choose to take the baton?

Register for James River Regional Cleanup Sept. 9, 2017

Registration is open for the James River Regional Cleanup, Saturday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join the James River Advisory Council to clean up the James River watershed.

Each year, hundreds of volunteers make the cleanup a success. They collect hundreds of bags of trash and recyclable materials. Be a part of this tremendous regional effort!

Registration is easy. Select from a list of official James River Regional Cleanup sites, complete the online registration and show up Saturday, Sept. 9. Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m., and refreshments will be provided between noon and 1 p.m.

This annual event is open to individuals, families, groups, boaters and paddlers! Bring water and gloves and wear closed-toe shoes.

Friday, June 30, 2017

How are Richmond's climate resiliency efforts going?

How is Richmond doing with sustainability?