Our Founder – an Emmy-Winning Producer!

ReenaTwenty-five years ago, a committed environmentalist gathered a supportive team and proposed her vision: Green Seal – an independent and trusted certifying organization that could push industry to develop more sustainable options for consumers and institutional purchasers. That individual was Reena Shulsky David – our founder – who has since continued to push for environmental initiatives in many sectors including, most recently, Hollywood!

Her recent project is the Emmy Award-winning Years of Living Dangerously, a 9-part documentary on Showtime that tells the stories of individuals’ lives which are increasingly disrupted by the effects of climate change.

Years of Living DangerouslyShowtime’s description of the series is the following: “Hollywood celebrities and respected journalists span the globe to explore the issues of climate change and cover intimate stories of human triumph and tragedy.”

Celebrities featured in Living Dangerously include: Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, and many other blockbuster actors., and the series crescendos in the final episode during which New York Times’ Thomas Friedman interviews President Obama.


Check it out: You can watch the first episode for free on Showtime’s website – it is about one hour.


In addition to featuring renowned actors and politicians, the documentary was produced with close support from scientific experts including James Hansen (Former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies ), Joseph Romm (Founder of the blog ClimateProgress), and Heidi Cullent (Chief Climatologist for Climate Central). The full production and scientific teams are listed on the Showtime website.

We are extremely proud of Ms. Shulsky David’s ongoing support of environmental awareness campaigns and greatly look forward to watching Years of Living Dangerously. In related news: we are also excited to soon celebrate Green Seal’s founding twenty-five years ago at our Anniversary Gala in Washington, DC on October 8th! We invite you to join us to honor Ms. Shulsky David and others who helped break ground in 1989 with Green Seal’s formation.

MarBorg – California Recycler – Receives Recognition from Green Seal

Marborg#AwardWinning #EcoLeadership #AboveAndBeyond

Earlier this summer, Green Seal presented an environmental leadership award to California-based Recycler MarBorg.

Marborg uses compressed natural gas to fuel their trucks, they train hawks to prevent seagulls from approaching their facilities, and some of their locations are partially solar powered.

Beyond these impressive initiatives, MarBorg also specifically uses Green Seal-certified cleaning products at its facilities to reduce their environmental impact and provide a safer environment for their workers.

“We are committed to resource efficiency. By using Green Seal-certified products, we are able to reduce the impact to the environment,” MarBorg’s Kathy Borgatello Koeper said when she received Green Seal’s award in June.

We thank MarBorg management and staff for their commitment to environmentally-responsible operation and facilities.

Read more from the Pacific Business Times who reported on this event.

* Photo Credit: Photos By Priscilla

Wicked Problems & an Example: Greenwashing

Molly Buxton Headshot By GS Summer Intern Molly Buxton, West Virginia University

Molly’s post is the first in a two-part series covering the idea of wicked problems and the examination of greenwashing as a wicked problem.


 

When discussing my major—Design Studies—the topic always becomes, “What is Design Studies?”

My answer to that question is: design studies, although within the name, isn’t your typical design major; it isn’t a studio course where you design a room, or a building, or an article of clothing, but rather a thought-based program where you design ideas.

As a design studies student, we’re constantly asking the question “how can we make it better?”

(more…)

colonists

The Age of Plastics: A Chemical Introduction

graduate-plasticsI just want to say one word to you— just one word.

Yes, sir.

Are you listening?

Yes I am.

Plastics.

Exactly how do you mean?

There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

Yes, I will.

Enough said. That’s a deal.

Ubiquity & Mystery

When it comes to plastics, there are typically two narratives that dominate the conversation: one of ubiquity and one of mystery. Hopefully, this blog post will eradicate the latter.

This comical 1967 scene from The Graduate takes place after plastics had already penetrated many different industries like the textile industry. The commercialization of plastics occurred much earlier during World War II when natural sources of latex, wool, silk, and other materials were cut off, making the use of synthetics critical. During this time period, we saw the use of nylon, acrylic, neoprene, SBR, polyethylene, and many more polymers take the place of natural materials that were no longer available. Yet this scene capitalizes on the overwhelming feeling that plastics’ potential is exceedingly endless. (more…)

CALL FOR PUBLIC INPUT – OPEN UNTIL AUGUST 7th

Cassie-ColorAn Announcement by Cassie Johnson, P.E., Green Seal’s Environmental Engineer II


Green Seal is planning revisions to our paints and coatings standards, GS-11 and GS-47, in the near future. We intend to expand the scope of these standards to add new product categories. We are also evaluating the potential of combining these two standards into one and considering updates to some of the criteria.

Our current review has been focused primarily on identifying product categories that could be added to the scope of these standards, mainly those that are similar in purpose or chemistry to those included in the current scope. The criteria in GS-11 effectively exclude clear, tinted, and transparent architectural coatings, and floor coatings other than latex paint. These products are not included in scope of GS-47, since it includes only products intended for use on wood or metal surfaces.

We are currently considering the following product categories for inclusion in the scope, for both interior and exterior use:

  • Permanent floor coatings (e.g., coatings for tile, stone, terrazzo, and vinyl floors)
  • Concrete sealers (non-breathable)
  • Concrete guards (breathable)
  • Clear wall coatings (e.g., anti-graffiti)
  • Masonry sealers
  • Coatings intended for fire resistance (e.g., intumescent paints)

As a preliminary step prior to our revision process, we are seeking your suggestions for any additional categories that could be added to the scope of Green Seal’s paints and coatings standards. Feedback can be provided either through Green Seal’s online forum or by e-mailing us.

Please provide your feedback by Thursday, August 7, 2014.

To Provide Feedback through the On-Line Forum

To Provide Feedback by E-Mail

If you have any questions regarding this commenting process, please e-mail Cassie Johnson at cjohnson@greenseal.org, or call (202) 872-6400.

Thank you for your interest and assistance with this process!

Cassie Johnson, P.E.

Environmental Engineer

World Cup Stadium Food and Sustainability

Photo CroppedWritten by GS Summer Intern Sundara Bhandaram

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan soccer player, has taken a few bites out of his rivals….[meanwhile]…. soccer fans in Brazil have been taking more acceptable bites out of tambaqui con fritas, or fish and chips. Over nine million fans at the twelve different stadiums have had the chance to try local Brazilian foods, as well as international favorites. As you can imagine, daily food consumption is tremendous.

And with great food consumption comes great responsibility. Food waste is a big problem at international sporting events. Most of the waste is kitchen waste, the result of over purchasing, or the lack of proper disposal bins. This is a big issue because the decomposition of food in a landfill produces methane [PDF] which is a greenhouse gas twenty one times stronger than carbon dioxide.

Sustainability GOOAAAAlDuring the 2010 FIFA event in South Africa the games attempted to reduce their environmental impact. All of the events were hosted in zero-emission green buildings to lower carbon emissions. Metro transportation was established to reduce congestion and promote a more eco-friendly transportation system.

There were also recyclable waste bins which collected over 200 tons of waste. However the problem with the waste collected was that the waste management companies were overwhelmed by the quantity generated and dumped food waste into landfills. Overall the South Africa FIFA games made an effort towards sustainability but did not meet their potential in this specific sustainability category. (more…)