Food Waste Diversion to Smarter Transportation: EPA Awards 22 "Climate Showcase Communities"

reduce food waste photo

Image: Florian via flickr

The EPA announced yesterday the latest round of grants for climate showcase communities, and the list is filled with some pretty exciting projects.

Visit the EPA's Climate Showcase Communities site to learn more about all of the grant recipients, but here are a few of my favorites:

Food Waste Diversion
Humboldt County, California is being awarded for its development of a "food waste collection program that maximizes the GHG reductions achieved from food waste diversion--reducing emissions via diverting food waste from landfills, reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and using biogas to offset fossil fuel use."

Reducing Industrial Packaging Waste
Also in California, Alameda County is: "launching a project to reduce the use of limited-use transport packing materials (such as wooden pallets and cardboard boxes) by helping businesses convert to sustainable and reusable alternatives." Check out StopWaste for more info.

Sustainable Urban Density: EcoVillage
And Tompkins County, New York, to meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2008 levels by 2050 (and 20 percent by 2020), has three pilot projects planned. They sound pretty promising:

The first pilot project will be a rural hamlet, known as TREE, which has a target of emitting 80% fewer GHGs than typical American homes. The second pilot project will demonstrate sustainable development practices in a classic urban neighborhood. The project, the Aurora Development Circle (ADC) will create a micro-neighborhood within walking distance of downtown Ithaca, and will demonstrate a comfortable community with 5-8 homes on one urban lot with shared gardens and 80% fewer GHG emissions than a comparable community. The third pilot project will demonstrate a sustainable village using 26 acres of County-owned land slated for development. The County will issue an RFP for developers to create densely clustered, walkable neighborhoods of 37-45 homes, while maintaining open space and easy walking distance to public transportation and community services.

Smarter Transportation
Dubuque, Iowa is going to equip 1,000 households with advanced electric and water meters, and GPS units, to track their vehicle miles traveled—and then use the data collected to educate the local population and promote a "carbon diet" for the community.

Showcase Communities Already in Motion
Last year, awards went to some other great community projects, including West Union, Iowa for a plan to install a geothermal-powered heating and cooling system for the downtown area, and Chicago for its green healthcare initiative to reduce energy consumption in hospitals.

More on the EPA and community activism:
Goldman Environmental Prize Awards $150K to Clean Air Activism on the Gulf Coast
Putting the Green Back in Community Development

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