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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen. | Show Photo

Sustainability : Buzz

26 Sustainability Articles | Page: | Show All

This once grimy city is now a leader in green, clean living.

Organic Gardening's "Living" section touts Pittsburgh's green innovations as some of the best in the country, especially considering what some might call a grimy history.

"One writer called the place 'hell with the lid off.' That's what some people still expect to find on a trip to Pittsburgh. But they'd be wrong. Visitors emerging from the Fort Pitt Tunnel today are welcomed by a spectacular view of a city experiencing a vibrantly green renaissance that is the pride and joy of gregarious Pittsburghers. A walk through the city's Strip District reveals a burgeoning locavore food scene with an emphasis on freshly sourced and prepared ethnic food, an eclectic collection of unique shops, and an equally diverse crowd scene. Every Saturday morning, Farmers@Firehouse, an organic farmers' market, is held in a parking lot right next to a former firehouse."

To read more about Pittsburgh's green revolution, click here.

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring still igniting controversy after 50 years

Less than a year after "Silent Spring" was published in 1963, Rachel Carson found herself testifying before a Senate subcommittee on pesticides.

What almost no one knew then was she was 56 and dying of breast cancer. She’d already survived a radical mastectomy. Her pelvis was so riddled with fractures that it was nearly impossible for her to walk to her seat at the wooden table before the Congressional panel. 

Her book, published 50 years ago this month, has changed history and continues to be a source of hot debate today. It has also  influenced the environmental movement as no one had since Henry David Thoreau's "On Walden's Pond."

Read about it here.

Evive launches campus kiosks with filtered water, washing system

With colleges moving to or actually banning bottled water, a Pennsylvania-based startup, called Evive Station, has developed an innovative, ergonomic solution for providing campuses (and beyond) with a better alternative, reports Tech Crunch. "Evive has decided to go with the kiosk approach to the bottled water problem. With design help from Daedalus, the startup developed its “stations” to provide campuses with the world’s first on-site bottle cleaning and filtered water-dispensing service.
That doesn’t sound that cool, says the 16-year-old cynic in you. And you’re right, plenty of universities and organizations provide what are known as “sinks” and “dishwashers” and “hydration stations” often called “water fountains.” Fair enough. But even if you buy a plastic water bottle and use it once, it can get filthy pretty quickly, and sticking it in the dishwasher isn’t a workable solution.
So, what’s cool about Evive is that they offer users double-walled stainless steel reusable bottles, which means no more plastic, and lower carbon footprints. In turn, their kiosks filter municipal water, offer unlimited re-filling and cleaning of those steel bottles by way of a patent-pending process that only takes a minute. And everything other than the bottles are free.

Read the full story here.

Pittsburgh Public Market ranked among nation's best

In a list that includes Pike Place and Reading Terminal Market, the new Pittsburgh Public Market was named one of the country's best. Not bad for a place that just opened last August. The array of shops and arts venues highlight the city's ethnicity and thriving art scene, says Frommer's.

"You'll find plenty of organic, grass-fed, and gluten-free foods, along with homemade empanadas, gourmet marshmallows, pierogies, and locally foraged mushrooms. Here, you can also shop for one-of-a-kind items, such as handmade knits and hand-drawn collages."


Pittsburgh among 14 cities leading the way on green infrastructure

Sustainable infrastructure, systems that capture rainwater, stop runoff pollution and keep the region safe and green, are important solutions that need to be addressed by cities across the county. Pittsburgh was named among 14 such cities that are working on these issue to stay ahead of the curve, setting a good example of sustainable stewardship

Read the "Rooftops to River" report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Cornell's Solar Job Report ranks Pa. among the top 10 in the country for solar jobs

So what does Pittsburgh and other cities in Pa. have over sun-drenched states like Florida?

More jobs in the solar industry, apparently. A report from Cornell University and BW Research Partnership ranks our state among the top 10 in the country for solar jobs, above sunnier states like Florida. The reason is stable incentives, renewable goals and programs that make it easier for property owners to adopt and finance solar installations.

Read it in The Miami Herald.

It's cheap, lives a long life and is toxin-free. Will the new battery by Acquion power the world?

With $30 million in venture capital and plans to move into full production, Pittsburgh-based Acquion hopes to change the way we use batteries with a product that is a water-based electrolyte mixed with materials such as sodium and manganese. Landfills are already breathing a sigh of relief.

Read it in MIT Technology Review.

And the Heinz Award winners are...a PSU scientist, an Alaskan composer and more

Among the 10 recipients of the coveted Heinz Awards are an Alaskan composer, sustainable food humorists and a Penn State polar ice scientist, Richard Alley, who discovered that massive climate shifts can happen quite abruptly.

The Heinz Family Foundation and Teresa Heinz have presented the awards since 1994 in memory of Sen. John Heinz III.

Read it in The Washington Post.


Louise's kayak adventure is the latest animated Riverlife video by Scott Benson

10-year-old Louise shares the story of how she paddled her kayak on the river to help break the World Record on World Environment Day 2010 in Pittsburgh in this latest video from Riverlife's "Living in a River City" series.

Watch the YouTube video!

Accelergy receives $1.3M to construct coal-biomass-to-liquids plant here

The state of Pennsylvania has awarded Accelergy Corp. $1.3 million to construct a demonstration facility for its coal-biomass-to-liquids technology. The plant will be producing and testing several types of non-petroleum fuel that feature a carbon dioxide capture and recycle process that uses algae to convert the carbon dioxide into additional liquid fuels and a bio-fertilizer.

Read it in Green Car Congress.

Why is EQT's Murray Gerber (and his pooch) driving a natural gas-powered Hummer cross country?

A little more than a year ago, EQT CEO Murray Gerber announced he was stepping down to take a more active role in "advancing the interests of the natural gas industry." Just what did he mean by that? Well, by the looks of it, Gerber, his wife and his pooch Seamus had a cross-country trek in mind. The trio recently left Last Cruces and are heading east, blogging all the way on the joys of natural-gas driving at gonatgas.com.

Chronicling Pittsburgh's transformation as an art-inspired paradise

A stay in at the "uber-contemporary" Fairmont, tours of the city's world-class art museums and a walk along the recreation-filled riverside prompts this out-of-towner to marvel at the changes that have transformed Pittsburgh.  

Read it in The Sun Chronicle.

Alcoa research hopes to turn pollution into something useful

Researchers at Alcoa's technical center in Pittsburgh are leading a project, with the help of two other companies, to capture carbon emissions, neutralize them and turn them into something better for the environment.

Read it here.

Pittsburgh has what Cleveland wants

Pop City's sister publication Fresh Water says the cycle scene here in Pittsburgh is turning them green with envy. That, along with Pittsburgh being named Most Livable City.  Cleveland is wishing they had a little more black and yellow in their blood. It's okay, we're always willing to share.

Click here to read the entire article.

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