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John and Cathie Imes have owned, operated, nourished and expanded one of Madison’s most historic properties.
Now, after 24 years, the couple wants to spend more time with their children and on their marriage and pass the Arbor House on to new proprietors who have a similar environmental mission, a knack for hospitality and a love of history....more
Wisconsin has some of the highest electricity prices in the nation, although the average customer spends far less on electricity than in most states.
The average residential price for a kilowatt of electricity was 10.67 cents in 2016, according to numbers released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Only 15 states had higher residential rates, a reversal from 20 years ago, when Wisconsin had the 14th lowest rates in the nation.
Commercial rates are 15th highest in the nation, while industrial rates are 18th...
Ken Notes: We gave the power companies a higher base rate to cover infrastructure cost with a promise we would see lower cost and more sustainable energy. Lets see if they step up. We have also not gotten much back in exchange for power lines that bring power from the west to the east...
SunPeak is a turnkey developer of commercial solar PV electricity systems based in Madison, Wisconsin. Businesses can be assured their turnkey project will be professionally handled from initial feasibility study to final commissioning. Projects typically range from 100 kW to 5 MW (hundreds to thousands of solar panels) and offer significant cost savings relative to conventional utility electric rates.
SOMERS — Two University of Wisconsin–Parkside students examining the intersection of business, education and environmental sustainability presented their findings on a world stage last month.
Meena Jose, 23, of Somers, and Inderjit Kaur, 24, of Kenosha, submitted papers to the inaugural International Conference on Sustainable Globalization held in Kochi, Kerala, Jan. 11-13.
The women’s presentations were among the 86 papers featured from multiple universities from 14 countries.
Sustainability among entrepreneurs
In “The Psychology Behind Sustainability of Entrepreneurship,” Jose, who is pursing a master’s degree in business administration, looked at why sustainability often falls by the wayside when it comes to business.......more
Ken Notes: CONGRATS!! The answer to their question may be that new businesses do not have the capital to pay for the up front cost needed for long range sustainability. This would be a great area for the state to invest in because even if the business fails the technology remains if place for the next user. This incentive would be attractive to a national audience interested in starting a new business. We spent million on advertising, what if we had offered millions in energy savings via alternative production. We could actually work with the power companies to develop this program...
MONDOVI — Gone are the days of small family farms — the days when most of America grew up on a farm or, at the very least, children had their grandparents’ farm to play freely on and to understand where food comes from.
Stephanie and Andy Schneider had been raising cattle, pigs and sheep on their all-natural, organic meat farm Together Farms in Mondovi for several years. With a “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profits, in that order, they wanted to create something different to foster the farm-to-table connections that had motivated them to start the farm in the first place.......more
Ken Notes: Wouldn`t it be amazing if Wisconsin became the center of organic beef, dairy and produce for the nation! For the record this market is growing exponentially.
Since Uber and Lyft have been cannibalizing CTA ridership lately, this would be a great time to promote the transit system as a cheap, efficient, green, and interesting way to get around town. But right now there are advertisements displayed on el platforms, and inside and outside of 15 Brown Line cars, showing young people looking miserable on CTA trains, along with text suggesting that rapid transit is a soul-crushing waste of time. What gives? ...more
Ken Notes: If Wisconsin focused on being environmentally friendly, with great natural resources and ways to enjoy them, green living options, and modern convenient transit, we would attract many more to this state...
WGBA has combined forces with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and together we will pilot a new model for USGBC chapters and local market engagement...
A second top state official at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is moving to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office in Chicago — an agency that oversees federal regulatory issues in the Midwest, including Wisconsin.
Kurt Thiede, deputy secretary of the DNR, is joining the EPA as chief of staff for Cathy Stepp, the recently appointed regional administrator of the environmental enforcement agency......more
As the solar revolution picks up even more speed, a growing number of utilities and municipalities are jumping on the bandwagon, but they need the right partners to succeed.
For the past five years, the solar revolution has continued almost unabated as more consumers found solar energy to be an excellent investment, both to improve their homes’ value and reduce their electricity bills.
Often, however, the largest obstacle to commercial and community solar installations, at least until recently, has been the utilities. Frequently state regulated, with guaranteed profits and with an enormous fossil-fuel infrastructure, utilities have seen solar as direct competition. After all, having customers produce their own power flies in the face of traditional, centralized electricity distribution....more
Ken Notes: We need utilities in the game or out of the way...
Miron specializes in providing innovative pre-construction, construction management, design-build, general construction and industrial services.
Republican Rep. Jim Steineke of Kaukauna authored the bill making it easier for landowners to fill some wetlands – not high quality systems, he says, but low-grade isolated ones. The bill passed in the Assembly last week.
Steineke says he’s heard from his constituents and people around the state asking for a streamlined permitting process.......more
As Wisconsin becomes a wetter place, lawmakers are pushing ahead with controversial rules to weaken protections of wetlands.
These ecologically important landscapes are currently protected by state and federal laws for a variety of reasons, including their ability to hold storm water and protect against flooding.......more
Ken Notes: We should use the ease in regulations to improve both storm water retention and publicly accessible permanent wetland preserves. I do not believe that is the intent but it is nice to dream...
SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years
Xcel Energy is planning to bring community solar to northern Wisconsin as part of the Solar*Connect Community program, and customers can learn more during the company’s “60 Minutes of Solar” next week in Ashland.
Area residents interested in community solar are encouraged to attend the meeting from 6-7 p.m. Feb. 22, at Northland College’s Alvord Theatre, 1411 Ellis Ave. Participants will gain a better understanding of the benefits and economics of community solar, as well as have an opportunity to ask questions and work with an energy expert to size their solar subscription to meet energy needs and budget.
Last month, Xcel Energy announced plans to develop a third, one-megawatt solar garden on property near the company’s Ashland service center. The program’s first one-megawatt community solar garden was energized in October 2017 in Eau Claire and construction of another one-megawatt garden in the greater La Crosse area is planned for this year.......more
President`s Budget Would Cut Great Lakes Cleanup Funding By 90 Percent.
Environmental and conservation groups are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut federal funding for a Great Lakes cleanup program.
Trump’s budget would roll back funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to $30 million.
The Obama-era cleanup program has received bipartisan support in Congress. Todd Ambs, campaign director of Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said the president’s proposal should be "dead on arrival."...
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — For a second consecutive year, President Donald Trump is trying to drastically reduce or eliminate federal support of cleanups for iconic U.S. waterways including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay.
Trump`s proposed 2019 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency released Monday would cut funding by 90 percent for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative — an Obama-era plan for dealing with pervasive pollution in the world`s biggest surface freshwater system — and a similar program for Chesapeake Bay, the nation`s largest estuary.
It would remove all EPA funding of cleanup programs for the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Champlain, Long Island Sound, San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound and South Florida, including the Everglades and Keys. The administration`s EPA spending plan said the agency would "encourage state, tribal and local entities to continue to make progress" in those places......more
The WI Sustainable Business Council is a network of Wisconsin businesses and organizations that are interested in, or actively responding to, the challenge of sustainability.
Recovery Represents Successful Conservation Story, Scientist Says
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison knew the bald eagle population grew by leaps and bounds over the last 50 years. They just didn’t know why.
"One really important strategy that a number of agencies started implementing really around the 1960s, was the use of what was referred to as these buffer zones around nest sites," said Ben Zuckerberg, an associate professor of forest and wildlife ecology at the UW-Madison. "Agencies would set up areas that would generally restrict human activity."
The idea was that any human disturbance — things like hunting, hiking, fishing or boating — can agitate eagles. Scientists believed this could cause eagles to abandon their nests...
Two hundred eighty snowy owls have been documented in Wisconsin this winter, the highest total on record, according to state birding experts.
The previous high was 253 in the winter of 2013-`14, said Ryan Brady, bird monitoring coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources.
In fact, more than 200 of the big, white owls have migrated to Wisconsin in three of the last five years, all historically large movements....more
Links we like supporting Wisconsin`s Environment and Business. More will follow each week...
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Call us - 608.334.2174 or Editor [at] WDNGreen.com....
Gary Besaw Delivers Annual State Of The Tribes Speech To Legislature
A Menominee Indian tribal member is asking the Wisconsin Legislature for tougher action to stop chronic wasting disease and to join the fight against the proposed Back-Forty Mine.
Gary Besaw delivered the annual State of the Tribes speech Tuesday to the Legislature. He thanked lawmakers for working on bills that would define protections for Indian burial mounds and legalize commercial hemp.
He then demanded legislators enact stronger protections to stop the spread of CWD, saying Gov. Scott Walker`s hands-off approach is jeopardizing treaty rights, tourism and hunting...
Ken Notes: Interesting...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tens of thousands of soybean and cotton farmers across the country are taking free but mandatory training in how to properly use a weed killer blamed for drifting and damaging crops in neighboring fields.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required the training and other restrictions last fall in a deal with three major agribusiness companies — Monsanto, BASF and DuPont. All three make special formulations of dicamba for use on new soybean and cotton varieties that are genetically engineered to resist the herbicide, using seed technology commercialized by Monsanto. The products are increasingly popular because they give farmers a new weapon against aggressive weeds such as pigweed that have become resistant to other herbicides such as glyphosate, also known as Roundup......more
Ken Notes: I love farmers, but using these products incorrectly is a huge problem for organic farmers, growers of grapes and hops, and our waterways. We need the training and enforcement and most importantly education.
We try to include links to help you consider your GREEN economic development options in Wisconsin. Businesses feel free to send us your information here. ...more
Ken Notes: Feel free to include this link and logo on your website. Our Tools and Resources are always a click away. Also a new easy to use address:
La Crosse area leaders continue to explore ways to amp up its use of renewable energy.
Michael Vickerman, program and policy director for Renew Wisconsin, told the Sustainable La Crosse Commission Thursday that with a lack of state and federal interest in promoting renewable energy, cities, counties and even school districts are in a position to lead the way by implementing programs such as energy efficiency, cooperative solar energy purchases, or electric buses...
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We may now need to build a coalition that is willing to lobby from a "greener" yet pro business perspective. Lots of HUGE issues: Sand Mining, CNG, LEED Alternatives, Focus On Energy, LED Lighting R&D, Cleaner Power Generation, Recycling, Power Lines, Electric Cars, Wind, Solar, Bio Fuels, Digestors, Green AG, Business Incentives...And of course the Greenest and Happiest of Holidays to you!
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