The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1990. The NCSE is dedicated to improving the scientific basis of environmental decision making. NCSE’s Campus to Careers (C2C) Program is dedicated to providing environmentally-motivated students with the tools necessary to pursue careers in the non-profit, governmental and private sectors.
As an extension of the C2C mission, NCSE has created this environmental internship clearinghouse with support from the UPS Foundation. The clearinghouse enables university students to search for internships in the environmental field and provides a forum for internship providers to tap into a solid community of quality applicants.
Check out www.environmentalinterns.ncseonline.org for more information!
It’s always exciting to see a large and influential company real making strides towards true ecological products. Gillette (owned by Procter & Gamble Co.), as redesigned their Fusion ProGlide’s packaging. The new design incorporates moldable pulp and the need for plastic (by a remarkable 57% less than the original clamshell outer packaging and razor tray). The new material they are using is made from a slurry of raw materials which are very fibrous. The main ingredients include bamboo, bulrush, and sugar cane.
Procter & Gamble’s 2020 sustainability goal is centered around incorporating 100% renewable and/or recycled materials into every not only every product, but also all of their packaging. According to Damon Jones, global communications director for Procter & Gamble’s grooming and shave care operations:
“We were able to reduce the environmental impact of the packaging without compromising safe, effective delivery of the product. We took a design-led approach to environmental sustainability and are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and operations without compromising on the quality,”
Overall, the new design for the packaging has a great reduction on the amount of materials (with a 20% reduction in the gross weight of the package). The product’s previous packaging also included a small amount of PVC which has been eliminated through the redesign. For those who don’t know, Gillette makes most, if not all, of their of their products locally, on site in Boston, Massachusetts. Gillette also renovated and added on to their old mill building, conserving the property instead of tearing down and building new.
RPF (aka Recycled PET Fiber) Naoron paper is a leathery, soft and flexible textile derived from wood pulp and polyolefin. It does not emit noxious fumes when burned. This special paper is created using the washi-suki paper manufacturing method. to make it, recycled polyester fibers from both used plastic bottles, and textile products are used. It has the distinctive texture of paper yet does not tear easily and is highly water-resistant. RPF Naoron also does not emit noxious fumes when burned. ONAO CO.,LTD. (established in 1974) is the maker of this cool Japanese material and has teamed up with industrial designer, Naoto Fukasawa to create the SIWA series, consisting of bags, slippers, hats, and more!
The U.S. Energy Department’s Apps for Energy competition is offering $100,000 in prizes to software developers for the best new apps that help utility customers make the most out of their Green Button electricity usage data. Green Button is an open standard for sharing electricity data that is available to millions of utility customers. The objective of this competition is to use public data sources to help homeowners and businesses take action, understand their usage, and make better-informed decisions about their energy usage.
May 15, 2012 is the last day to submit an app. Following the close of submissions, an internal review and public vote will take place from May 17 to May 21. The winners will be announced on May 22. Learn more and enter a submission at the link below!
Bayer MaterialScience is testing a new initiative technology and conducting research in the area of using greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) as a component in plastics. The CO2 supplied by the power generation industry is to be used for the production of high-quality foams, replacing a portion of the petroleum usually used as a raw material. The pilot plant at Chempark Leverkusen has been using CO2 from an RWE lignite-fired power plant in Niederaußem outside of Cologne to produce a chemical used for the production of the high-grade plastic polyurethane. Industrial production of the CO2-based precursor is scheduled to begin in 2015. Polyurethane is specified for use in many types of mass produced products, including; mattresses, furniture, automotive components, as well as building, and refrigerator insulation.
Their “Dream Production” research initiative is one of the award winners in this year’s “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” competition (the pilot plant at Bayer’s Leverkusen site is one of the “Selected Landmarks 2012”). Each year this competition (under the patronage of the German President) honors 365 ideas and projects that make a sustainable contribution to Germany’s future viability. It has been held each year since 2006 and is sponsored in part by the “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative. The winners chosen by a panel representing science, industry, politics and the media are considered “indicators of Germany’s strong culture of innovation and a reflection of important future trends.” With 2010 sales of EUR 10.2 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries.
Meet Ecor®… It’s an, environmentally friendly board material which has some pretty cool properties. Ecor® products represent a new generation of strong, lightweight materials. To get technical, their product line is categorized as an “3-dimensional engineered molded fiber” (or 3dEMF if you like acronyms). Ecor® uses a variety of sustainable 100% recycled post‐industrial, post‐consumer and agricultural by‐products and requires no adhesives in the wet forming process. The resulting product is a non‐toxic and versatile material with significant profit potential along with a host of positive economic, social and environmental implications. The company uses formaldehyde‐free, non‐toxic ingredients with zero off gassing. Their material is up to 4 times stronger than other products of similar weight. Ecor® claims approximately 1/4 of the weight of comparable products which can significantly reduce shipping costs, injury, and handling or damage claims. They use a wide array of readily available, low cost, raw material sources. Ecor® has the ability to form this new material into compound curves and an almost limitless variety of shapes.
The process that produces Ecor® panels is similar to the “wet” process used for many years to produce paper and cardboard. Ecor® creates a wet fiber “stew” or matrix similar to paper pulp, which can be formed in a flat or corrugated mold to a uniform thickness. Water is extracted from the fiber matrix, first using suction, then by using heat and pressure, which are applied in a process that allows the cellulose fibers to form naturally strong and pliable bonds. The Company’s proprietary manufacturing technology for processing, molding, and bonding new and recycled cellulose fibers (wood, plants, recycled paper, etc). Their production technique achieves equal to, and even, far superior fiber adhesion, panel strength, and uniformity when compared to traditional “dry‐process” products. One main differentiator is that Ecor® material uses no toxic additives. In fact, Ecor® uses no additives at all, and therefore, no petroleum‐based products. To add to this amazing environmental attribute, the wet production process allows for a much broader range of potential raw material sources.