<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Green News - Energy Saving Tips, Environmental News]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/green http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago https://www.nbcchicago.comen-usTue, 12 Dec 2017 03:10:55 -0600Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:10:55 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Polar Bears Get Snow Donations]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:13:52 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DIT+POLAR+BEARS+GET+SNOW+THUMB.jpg

High temperatures at a Finland Wildlife Center were making life uncomfortable for a family of polar bears. However, the child of an employee at a local ski resort had an idea on how to cool them off: the resort could donate excess snow they had saved up from last winter. After some initial hesitation, the bear family seemed much happier with the new addition to their pen.

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<![CDATA[Last Orca Born in Captivity Dies]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:18:23 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DIT+SEAWORLD+DEATH+THUMB.jpg

The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld’s former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company’s San Antonio park. Veterinarians were treating the calf for an infection, possibly pneumonia, but her health continued to decline. The park discontinued its breeding program in March 2016.

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<![CDATA[Macron Targets 'Make Our Planet Great Again' Site at US]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 18:18:13 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-683370816-Macron.jpg

In the wake of the United States' withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron fired back on Thursday with the launch of a new website titled "Make Our Planet Great Again."

On the site’s homepage, Macron calls President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement "unfortunate" but adds that the decision “only reinforced our determination.” He calls for those working on climate issues to do so in France. 

"To all the scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland," Macron said in a video address on the site’s homepage. "I call on them, come and work here with us to work on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment."

The site includes information for researchers, educators and students on applying for a four-year grant to study in France, according to Business Insider. Businesses and NGOs can also apply to receive funding from the French government.

"You will be able to stay in France at least for the duration of the grant, and longer if you are granted a permanent position," the site explains.

The site cost €22,000 (approximately $24,637) to build is produced and managed by Business France, according to Politico.eu.

By clicking on the "I Want to Make Our Planet Great Again" button on the homepage of the website, users can describe why they are fighting climate change. They can also detail current projects and "dreams" of carrying out the fight against climate change.

"The planet needs your innovative skills. So are you IN to change (literally!) our daily lives and make our planet great again?" the site reads.

The title, a play on President Trump's signature campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," reflects the increased efforts to combat climate change by France and other signatories of the Paris agreement. Macron first used the modified slogan in an address from the Elysée Palace on June 1, after Trump announced the withdrawal.

You can visit the Make Our Planet Great Again site by clicking here.



Photo Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Build It Green: TreeHouse to Open World's 1st Net-Zero Energy Store]]> Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:52:56 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/treehouse-store.jpg

Home improvement has long been synonymous with Home Depot and Lowe's. But a Texas-based green conscience start-up is aiming to make sustainable home improvement appeal to more than just environmentalists.

TreeHouse will open the world's first energy-positive home improvement store in Dallas Friday. Through the use of 539 rooftop solar panels and two Tesla Powerwalls the store will actually generate energy well in excess of its needs.

“This store runs on 100 percent sunshine,” Treehouse's Ben Kusin said, adding that the excess renewable energy that the store generates will be put back onto the power grid and made available for others to use.

The company is the first retailer authorized to sell Tesla's home energy storage battery.

"A home battery could make energy bills an archaic relic of a past system," said TreeHouse co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard, speaking at Tesla’s energy storage event in California. "You can now own your own production and storage of the energy you need. This takes us one step closer to completely powering homes without fossil fuels."

The store will be the retailer’s second location. It's flagship store opened in Austin in 2011. An additional store, planned for the Plano area, is due to open this fall. Dubbed the Whole Foods of home improvement, TreeHouse's expansion highlights a demand for eco-friendly products and a desire to reduce carbon footprint. 

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Yet, President Donald Trump is expected to announce Thursday whether the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. White House sources tell NBC News that the president is leaning toward an exit. 

The 2015 agreement, which is not a binding treaty, was spurred by the overwhelming global scientific consensus that rising global temperatures over the last several decades are caused by man-made activity. The accord's goal is aimed at preventing the planet from warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which scientists warn could have damaging consequences.

The agreement calls on countries to make voluntary national pledges to reduce emissions. Despite Trump's decision, businesses like TreeHouse will forge ahead with eco-friendly alternatives.

"The home consumes the highest amount of our natural resources, such as water and energy, produces the largest amount of landfill waste, and is where we will be exposed to the greatest number of toxins in our lifetime," the company said. "By working to solve these problems, TreeHouse finds new routes to dramatically change the quality of our lives. We can build better shelters for ourselves, our communities, and our planet."

TreeHouse offers a carefully curated selection of products and services that promote healthful and sustainable living spaces, with an emphasis on performance and design. Every product is scored based on health, performance, corporate responsibility and sustainability.

“TreeHouse is reinventing home improvement with the twin goals of ecological and human health,” the company explains on its web site. “Our core principles are applied to everything in the store. From thoughtful and innovative products to comprehensive, high-quality services -- every element is designed to build a better home.”



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Green Initiatives of Top Companies ]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:00:25 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DIT+Earth+Week+Companies+THUMB.jpg

In honor of Earth Week, NBC looked at 5 of the most valuable companies to see what kind of green initiatives they are engaged in.

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<![CDATA[From Your Recycle Bin to China: 360 Recycling Plant Tour]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:26:04 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/360+Recycling+THUMB.jpg

What really happens to your recycling? Take a 360 video tour of the Burbank Recycle Center to see what happens to your recyclable waste and learn how you can be a more eco-friendly consumer.


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<![CDATA[Badlands National Park's Climate Change Tweets Deleted]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:04:07 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Badlands+park.jpg

The Twitter account for the Badlands National Park in South Dakota published a series of tweets Tuesday on climate change. A few hours later, the tweets were deleted.

The first tweet, posted an hour after President Donald Trump signed executive orders advancing the construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, said: “The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm.”

Just moments later, the account posted another tweet: “Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years” — with the hashtag “#climate” added for good measure.

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The next tweet said: “Flipside of the atmosphere; ocean acidity has increased 30% since the Industrial Revolution. ‘Ocean Acidification’ #climate #carboncycle” 

The last tweet said: "Burning one gallon of gasoline puts nearly 20lbs of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere." 

According to a National Park Service spokesman, the tweets were posted by a former employee who is not authorized to use the park's account. Tom Crosson, NPS's chief of public affairs, told NBC the park was not told to remove the tweets but "chose to do so when they realized that their account had been compromised."

"At this time, National Park Service social media managers are encouraged to continue the use of Twitter to post information relating to public safety and park information, with the exception of content related to national policy issues," Crosson added.

Tweeting about climate change isn't out of character for Badlands. The park's Twitter account feed addresses the national security implications of climate change, rising water temperatures and the decline of species driven by global warming. But it does contradict President Trump's stance on the issue. He has repeatedly claimed climate change is a hoax.

In response to the tweets being deleted, DNC national press secretary Adrienne Watson released the following statement: “Vladimir Putin would be proud.”

Tuesday's tweets followed a brief suspension Friday of the National Park Service’s Twitter account, as well as those of all its bureaus, over retweets the Department of the Interior deemed "inconsistent with the agency’s mission."

The prohibition came after the National Park Service’s official Twitter account, a bureau of the department, retweeted a pair of posts to its 315,000 followers. One of the tweets was a photo that compared the crowd gathered on the National Mall for Trump to the much-larger gathering that stood in the same spot eight years earlier for President Barack Obama's first swearing-in. The tweets were later removed from the feed, and the National Park Service apologized for sharing them.

A day later, Crosson said the agencies could resume tweeting “Now that social media guidance has been clarified.” It was not immediately clear what information was in the guidance. 



Photo Credit: Badlands National Park
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<![CDATA[Greenhouse Gases Biggest Threat to Polar Bears: Study]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:55:39 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-77960094polarbears71151.jpg Greenhouse gas emissions remain the "primary threat" to polar bears, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey. Polar bear populations will decline even if emissions are stabilized by the end of the century, the study said. Polar bears have been categorized as a "globally threatened species" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act since 2008. The two main threats to polar bears are melting sea ice and disappearing prey. The study concluded that polar bears would suffer whether carbon emissions grew at their current pace or peaked in 2040 and then declined. The only optimistic scenario would involve "immediate and aggressive" cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said.
Get More at NBC News

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Want to Save Coral Reefs? First, Save the Fish: Study]]> Wed, 08 Apr 2015 18:04:11 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP080816183919.jpg A new study has found that more fish may be the answer to saving coral reefs, NBC News reported. Overfishing on reefs and other threats like pollution can lead to a collapse of underwater ecosystems, so keeping fish on the reefs is crucial to their health, according to the study of 832 reefs. "The methods used to estimate reef health in this study are simple enough that most fishers and managers can take the weight and pulse of their reef and keep it in the healthy range," Tim McClanahan, WCS senior conservationist and study co-author, said in a release. "Fishers and managers now have the ability to map out a plan for recovery of reef health that will give them the best chance to adapt to climate change."
Get More at NBC News

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning Historic Photos of Air Pollution ]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:36:12 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/air-pollution-AP7004221649_7.jpg Click to see some fascinating images of air pollution throughout the US from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Green Car Wash Sanitizes Without Soap]]> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:37:08 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/128401773.jpg A car wash in Arizona installed a water filtration tank allowing high levels of oxygen to sanitize the water they use to clean customers' cars — all without soap. An environmental engineer at Arizona State University is skeptical about the car wash's filtration system.]]> <![CDATA[Energy for Sale: Is It Worth It?]]> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:58:12 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000003170932_722x406_37270083593.jpg Door-to-door salesmen, telephone calls and direct mail, all trying to sell you electricity or natural gas. The pitches promise to save you money. They are called alternative energy suppliers. There have been more than 1,000 consumer complaints about them to Maryland and D.C. authorities so far this year, and we've been receiving emails asking whether these companies are real and are the deals worth it. CLICK HERE for a list of legitimate suppliers.]]> <![CDATA[Giant Head Sculptures Pop up on Michigan Avenue]]> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 18:30:08 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000003595469_722x406_35825219986.jpg New sculptures are turning heads on Michigan Avenue and getting people to think green. LeeAnn Trotter reports.]]> <![CDATA[State-of-the-Art Green Workplace Provides Lunch, Games and Slides]]> Wed, 01 May 2013 13:13:33 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Slide_aweber.jpg AWeber Communications headquarters in Chalfont, Bucks County, Pa. isn't your average workplace as it features video games, a pool table and even slides. NBC10's Jesse Gary reports ahead of the ribbon cutting.
Click here for information on jobs

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Junkyard Trash Turns to Art]]> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:42:18 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/ben+in+trash.JPG With his castoff treasures rattling in the cart, Ben Cowden wheeled back toward his art studio in San Francisco's Recology Recycling Plant to continue work. Joe Rosato Jr. reports on a man who turns others trash into treasure. Read the full story here.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Cemetery for Green-Friendly Burials]]> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:17:32 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/meadow.jpg A cemetery in Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, has become environmentally friendly for burials.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Baxter Brewing Company Goes Green]]> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 12:49:39 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/baxter-brewing.jpg Luke Livingston, president and founder of Baxter Brewing Company, talks about ways in which he is expanding his business sustainably, with the help of John Rooks, president of The SOAP Group.]]> <![CDATA[D.C. Has The Worst Traffic]]> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 09:49:47 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/traffic-4.jpg Washington, D.C. has the worst traffic congestion in the nation, according to a new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.]]> <![CDATA[Mayor Lays Out Environmental Roadmap]]> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:44:45 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Rahm-Emanuel-Sierra-Club.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make Chicago the greenest city in the world and says that doesn't have to have a negative impact on jobs.

In fact, he said the two goals can be achieved together.

"I do believe this is going to be the century of the city. And to have a city that grows and prospers both economically and for families, you have to  have an environmental policy and a jobs/economic growth policy that work together," Emanuel said Tuesday at a Sierra Club luncheon. "I think from everything from mass transit to water policy to open parks to recycling to closing two coal-fire power plants, it's all part of one integrated strategy."

Emanuel said his administration's plan -- dubbed "Sustainable Chicago" -- set clear environmental goals the city hopes to achieve by 2015.

One of the long-term goals is to get homeowners to use water meters so they can be charged based on the amount of water they use rather than an estimate. But he said the city isn't ready to make those water meters mandatory.

The mayor was honored by the Sierra Club for what the organization said were impressive signs of progress toward a healthier, greener city.

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<![CDATA[Emanuel Deflects Questions About Solyndra]]> Fri, 03 Aug 2012 22:31:05 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/188*120/AP100524019427.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday deflected questions about his role in a loan guarantee for Solyndra, a green energy company that ultimately went bankrupt.

“It’s simple, you just talk to the White House counsel," the former White House Chief of Staff said during an appearance on WLS-AM. "They are answering all the questions and they will answer any questions you have on the matter."

Those questions come in response to a House Energy and Commerce Committee report, released Thursday, that shows Emanuel was a driving force behind the deal.

Included in the report is information -- previously reported -- contained in an Aug. 19, 2009 email sent from Aditya Kumar, the Deputy Assistant to Vice President Joe Biden and a senior advisor to Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, to Jacob Levine with the Office of Energy and Climate Change:

"Ron [Klain] wants to have this move through the process and NOT be in a ‘holding pattern.’ He has talked to Rahm about this, and feels like Rahm wants this too (barring any concerns) -- POTUS involvement was Rahm’s idea."

Last September, Emanuel denied any knowledge of the Solyndra loan.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and House Republicans have been critical of the Obama Administration deal.

Emanuel has said he's not concerned about the matter.

At a west side event outlining the expansion and overhaul of Early Childhood Education programs, Emanuel touted his progress locally in job creation, the housing market and education when asked about Solyndra.

"I'll leave Solyndra to you. I'm going to focus on the children of the city of Chicago," he said before walking away from the podium.

Solyndra was given more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars. It filed for bankruptcy in September 2011.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago's Top 14 "Eco-preneurs"]]> Thu, 05 Jul 2012 15:09:55 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/earthdaygallery.jpg Though some have called the "green" movement a passing fad or accused green-goers of being "trendy," some of those green-goers have a lot invested in sustainability: business. Of the many businesses with a primary interest in providing sustainable products or services in a sustainable way, there are a few that stand out. These fourteen entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams have set a high standard for green business ventures.]]> <![CDATA[Lincoln Park Offers Green Home Tours]]> Fri, 29 Jun 2012 15:17:43 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/lincoln-park-green-home.jpg Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) wants to put Lincoln Park on the path to being a completely sustainable community. On June 25, the ward hosted a "Green Homes Tour" of several neighborhood spaces. Alicia Roman reports.]]> <![CDATA[Children Learn At A "Green School"]]> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:39:36 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/ACADEMYOFGLOBALCITZENSHIP.png Alicia Roman reports on the efforts of The Academy of Global Citizenship. It is a unique Chicago Public Charter school in that it incorporates green learning into their curriculum. ]]>