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Waste Accident Calls Into Question Nuclear Storage Protocols

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 24, 2016 8:06:43 AM

This is not the first time unexplained, dangerous accidents have challenged U.S. government nuclear storage protocol and viability.

Back in 2014, for example, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, "radioactive materials leaked from a damaged storage drum. Analysis of several accidents, by DOE, have shown lack of a "safety culture" at the facility," according to Wikipedia (photo shown).

According to the LA Times, in this latest incident, which happened in February of this year, the experts still have not determined whty the waste became unstable.

"A 55-gallon drum of nuclear waste buried 2150 ft. below the earth essentially "erupted," into a foaming mass, sending plutonium-laced airborne particles up a ventilation shaft and poisoning 21 workers.

The accident contaminated the nation's only dump for nuclear weapons waste — previously a focus of pride for the Energy Department — and gave the nation's elite ranks of nuclear chemists a mystery they still cannot unravel.Six months after the accident, the exact chemical reaction that caused the drum to burst is still not understood. Indeed, the Energy Department has been unable to precisely identify the chemical composition of the waste in the drum, a serious error in a handling process that requires careful documentation and approval of every substance packaged for a nuclear dump." (full article).

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Top Sustainable Business Trends of 2016

Posted by Joel Makower, Guest Columnist

Aug 19, 2016 2:11:43 PM

This is the year for companies to best position their business models to capitalize on sustainable growth opportunities.

By Joel Makower and the Editors of

THE NUMBER OF COMPANIES taking a more holistic, business-focused view of their environmental and social impacts by participating in natural capital initiatives is on the up: 611 had made public commitments as of 2015, up 71 percent from 357 in last year’s State of Green Business, and up 217 percent from the 2014 report.

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McKibben’s Let’s Win the War on Warming: A Must-Read on Climate Change

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Aug 18, 2016 9:27:18 AM

Every once in a while, a thoughtful piece of editorial is published that recalibrates the national dialogue about climate change. Sustainability activist Bill McKibben just wrote such an article, putting the war against global warming into perspective and calling for a massive WWII-scale mobilization that completely retools our national economy.

Climate activist Bill McKibben takes no prisoners.  He writes bold and impassioned editorial pieces that call out the major players in the fossil fuel economy.  He protests against pipelines and rallies like a rockstar.  He doesn’t hesitate to get arrested for causes that he believes in.  His perspective on global warming and the urgent need for climate action is powerful and persuasive. 

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Infographic: How Electric Vehicles are the Future of Transportation

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 12, 2016 9:20:26 AM

The auto industry continues to invest heavily in green technologies to meet pollution standards.

An infographic supplied by shows us how EVs are the future of transportation.

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Rio Raises the Bar on Climate Action

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Aug 11, 2016 8:13:00 AM

With the goal of redefining the global zeitgeist, Rio tackles the issue of climate change head-on at opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics.

In some ways, it’s ironic that Rio tackled climate change head-on during its colorful opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games.  While riddled with massive environmental challenges, the Brazilians decided to take a stand for climate action in a way that larger countries with more to lose (yes, like the U.S.) might never have done.

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The Arc House: The Case for Compact, Alternative Housing

Posted by Juliet Grable

Aug 10, 2016 5:44:57 PM

New concepts such as the 400-sq.-ft. Arc House demonstrate a viable option for moving renters into starter homes.

Today, more than ever, we need housing solutions that respond to changing demographics and economic realities, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint of the housing industry. With The Arc House, Shelter Dynamics and Green Builder® Media are demonstrating the possibilities of future housing and steering the market on a more sustainable course.

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U.S. Demand for Insulation Expected to Grow by 4 Percent by 2020

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The Freedonia Group, an industry research firm, asserts that:

Global demand for insulation is expected to rise 3.7 percent per year to 26.0 billion square meters of R-1 value in 2020.  Developing countries are expected to account for the majority of insulation demand gains, with rising building construction activity and industrial output driving growth.  For example, over half of new global demand generated between 2015 and 2020 will occur in the Asia/Pacific region.  China, India, and Indonesia are among that region's developing countries expected to post solid growth in insulation demand.  In high-income countries, a combination of recovery in construction activity and efforts to make existing buildings more energy efficient will boost insulation demand.  These and other trends are presented in World Insulation, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

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2015 Climate Data Show Frenzied Extremes

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 4, 2016 1:42:16 PM

Across the board, from local weather patterns to global heating, the Earth is showing us her displeasure with business-as-usual.

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Green Builder Media Announces 2016 Eco-Leaders

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Aug 4, 2016 8:07:21 AM

Each year, the Green Builder Media editorial team selects a handful of Eco Leaders, companies that are paving the way to a sustainable future with innovative products and forward-thinking business practices, and highlights them in Green Builder magazine.

Green Builder Media’s selected Eco Leaders are setting an example for other companies to follow, reducing their environmental footprint and improving the lives of a wide range of people through the development of enabling technologies, the advancement of the circular economy, the practice of resource conservation, and the continued reduction of carbon emissions. These visionary companies utilize renewable energy, extend the life cycle of their products, maintain a sustainable supply chain, and give back to their communities.

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SXSW Eco Announces 2016 Place by Design Finalists

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 1, 2016 10:25:55 AM

Finals will showcase 36 extraordinary designs at SXSW Eco that rethink public space’s potential.

The designs range from a maternity ward meant to lower Uganda’s infant mortality rate to an initiative to compost the deceased and they demonstrate that place-based design has far-reaching influence, and that all types of places, from the lowly median to the standard storefront, to the towering, abandoned steel plant, can be repurposed to be inspirational and of community value.

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Will You Vote for the Environment?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jul 28, 2016 10:07:08 AM

It’s hard to find words to describe this Presidential election, but there is no doubt that it comes down to two platforms of polar—and polarizing—opposites. When it comes to the climate, this election represents much more than the lesser of two evils—it may go a long way toward determining the fate of humans on this planet.

The last time a major political party nominated a Clinton for President, the world was very different.  Free trade, domestic crime, deficit reduction, and welfare reform were the critical issues then, and climate was all but ignored (only mentioned twice in the Democratic party’s 1996 platform). 

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Introducing The Arc House

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jul 25, 2016 7:37:40 PM

Living large in 432 square feet of master-crafted comfort.

GREEN BUILDER MEDIA and Shelter Dynamics have teamed up to introduce the Arc House, the latest in Green Builder Media’s forward-thinking VISION House series. This innovative “tiny home” integrates many facets of sustainability into one compelling, compact package, taking the concept to the next level with its unique form, craftsmanship and functionality.

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Report: Fracking-Friendly Political Statements from Both Major Political Camps Could Cripple U.S. Efforts to Curb Climate Change

Posted by Dierdre Fulton, Common Dreams

Jul 23, 2016 9:19:23 PM

'Currently planned gas production expansion in Appalachia would make meeting U.S. climate goals impossible,' says Oil Change International.

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