July 30, 2014

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    Where the plastic goes

    Recently, a thought provoking study on ocean plastics was published. In 2010 and 2011, after months of scouring the five major ocean gyres for plastic particulate, researchers found that 99% of all the plastic that was estimated to be floating on the ocean was missing. These findings stirred a flurry of discussion trying to assess just where the millions of tons of missing plastic debris went. Keep in mind that humans produce around 300 million tons of plastic each year. An earlier study in the 1970s estimated that about 1% of that amount winds up in the ocean. This total…

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    NTx Apps Challenge: On your mark, get set, CODE!

    It’s 101 degrees outside and most of Dallas is seeking refuge from the usual heat in the usual ways: at the pool, mall, movies or the museum. But I’m here at the “DEC” (the Dallas Entrepreneur Center), a collaborative office space on the second floor of a renovated red brick building in the West End historic district. Here with me are about 50 developers, entrepreneurs, and similarly switched-on types who are passing the day designing apps. The hackathon is part the NTx Apps Challenge, a three-month app development competition designed to generate innovative software-based solutions and companies to make North…

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    Building bridges to a sustainable future

    Dr. Jeana Wirtenberg, a nationally-recognized expert in organizational change, shares four exclusive excerpts from her new book. Here’s a glimpse into nine pioneering companies that are building a culture for sustainability. Whether they realize it or not, companies today must choose between two fundamentally different paths: the path of yesterday and unsustainability, and the path of a prosperous and sustainable future for themselves, society, and the planet. We are all immersed in the same profound transformation, from a singular focus on profitability to an integrated triple bottom line: a holistic approach that simultaneously unleashes the talent, creativity, and innovation of…

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    Live smarter, not larger

    Contemporary man won’t be measured by the old American dream of suburban providence. Before I ventured out and into the glamorous world of apartment dwelling, I grew up in a variety of homes: a trailer in a trailer park, a trailer all-alone on four acres of grass-land and trees, an antique farm house with no neighbors, then a home with a few neighbors, and eventually a home in suburban America with too many neighbors. For many Americans, getting to the suburbs is still the be-all and end-all of the all-American Dream. Craving the providence and convenience of highly socialized cities…

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    LEED for roads: Greener infrastructure gains momentum

    Snaking 1.7 miles through the mountains of west Denver, the Eisenhower Tunnel, at 11,158 feet above sea level, represents the highest point of the U.S. Interstate Highway system. But nearly 60 years since President Eisenhower initiated the greatest public works project in history, the 47,000-mile stretch of roads has its share of potholes. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, America’s infrastructure earned a D+ on its 2013 report card. Estimates for modernization of transportation, energy, and water infrastructure run as high as $3.6 trillion needed by 2020. Such an investment demands a sustainable approach as climate change, the urban…

Book Reviews

How 9 companies are creating a culture of sustainability
Posted by Claire Sommer on Thursday, July 10, 2014

How 9 companies are creating a culture of sustainability Jeana Wirtenberg knows sustainability is about people. Living, caring human beings – who get things done. It’s not “green.” Or “eco.” Not goals or dashboards. Not on their own, at any rate. It’s people who make these things actually happen. Sustainability is people at every level ...
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The Big Pivot: A realist's guide to a climate-challenged present
Posted by Claire Sommer on Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Big Pivot: A realist's guide to a climate-challenged presentIf you’ve ever thought of dropping a book on your boss’s desk, in the hopes of sparking a Ray Anderson-type conversion, here’s a tip. Don’t use the new IPCC report: It’s gloomy, terrifying and a muddle. Try this instead: Andrew Winston’s business transformation book for the “new ...
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Sweat and the city: The urban heat island effect
Posted by Ann Drumm on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sweat and the city: The urban heat island effectCities are heating up at double the rate of global climate change, with major implications for human health. Managing urban heat is just as important a response as reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the benefits will be felt much sooner.  Cities should prioritize strategies ...
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Clearing human hurdles to a sustainable economy
Posted by Anna Clark on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Clearing human hurdles to a sustainable economyIt’s 2050. The roads are much less crowded, and engine growls have given way to bird song. The old zoning rules have been repealed and sprawl is no longer subsidized; developers now pay the full costs they impose on public infrastructure. Workers still go to ...
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