Author: Tammy Zborel

Looking Forward by Looking Back: Earth Day 41 Years Later

When Gaylord Nelson developed the concept of Earth Day 41 years ago, he was looking for a way to raise the profile of environmental issues at the federal level and garner political support to address a visibly ailing environment across the country. While first attempts, including a Presidential tour of national parks, began a conversation,

Continue reading

Making it go “away” – Waste reduction strategies for cities

Paper, tires, yard trimmings, glass, electronics, batteries, food, wood, leather, plastics – the municipal solid waste stream is as complex in composition as it is in its disposal. And while not necessarily the most glamorous of topics (it’s is after all just plain “trash” to most), waste management and disposal represent an important and expensive

Continue reading

President Obama Outlines Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future

This post is written by Carolyn Berndt, Principal Associate for Infrastructure and Sustainability, Center for Federal Relations, National League of Cities. This morning, President Obama laid out his plan to reduce foreign oil imports by one-third over the next decade, calling this new goal “reasonable, achievable and necessary.” Speaking at Georgetown University, the President invoked

Continue reading

International sustainability efforts – not necessarily a world apart

Stockholm, Sweden is a deserving recipient of the first-ever European Green Capital designation awarded by the European Commission and celebrated last week during a three-day conference bringing together municipal leaders from across Europe and the U.S. At the event, delegates learned about the city’s impressive efforts to restore water quality surrounding the city’s 14 islands

Continue reading

U.S. cities share best-kept sustainability secrets

There is a certain irony that at the first ever European Green Capital Conference the delegation of U.S. local leadership has garnered just as much attention and excitement as the European contingents. The U.S. delegation began the first full day of the conference with a private welcome from Ambassador Matthew Barzun followed by a press

Continue reading

Sustainability Program helps to move cities from ambiguity to action

Sustainability. Cities are talking about it, many are doing it, public is demanding it, businesses are embracing it, even the federal government is taking steps to support and incorporate it into and across their agencies. And while “it” has been rising in popularity (few would argue that they’d prefer to live in or lead an

Continue reading

May a greener future begin in a greener classroom?

A number of speakers at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs national conference this week in Washington, D.C. raised concerns that inadequate academic preparation in basic math, science, and reading skills are presenting major barriers in preparing workers for jobs in a clean energy economy. Given the subject of the conference, a significant focus on jobs,

Continue reading

Healthy urban food systems seeking committed local leaders

In celebration of Earth Day, Grist magazine highlighted 40 people working to “redefine green” in their communities. The list contains a diverse range of entrepreneurs, community activists, scientists, and venture capitalists yet what is perhaps most striking is that a third of the people featured are “altering the green landscape” through food. One of these

Continue reading

Local leadership continues following Copenhagen Accord

After two-weeks of negotiations and amid rising speculation and anxiety, the COP-15 concluded last week with the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding treaty to reduce carbon emissions among developed nations while simultaneously providing financial support to developing countries most vulnerable to the devastating impacts of global climate change. Heralded by some, criticized by others, the operative

Continue reading

World municipal leaders converge

Just returned from a gathering of municipal leaders in honor of the COP-15 host, Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard of Copenhagen. While there our team connected with several other local government leaders, including Mayor Bloomberg of New York, Mayor Nickels of Seattle, and Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, MN — the incoming president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which hosted

Continue reading