JB – Project Gulf Impact http://www.projectgulfimpact.org Changing things for the better. Wed, 06 Sep 2017 15:52:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 The All Species Project Was An Innovator http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/the-all-species-project-was-an-innovator/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/the-all-species-project-was-an-innovator/#respond Sun, 13 Sep 2015 23:15:55 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=12 aspAll Species Project is one of the most innovative ecocultural arts programs going, and certainly one of the most effective; it brings a dynamic sense of wonder back into our kids’ classrooms, even as it grounds and revitalizes our communities. Without such place-based, celebratory practices–without such collective forms for listening to, and honoring, the myriad animals and plants with whom our lives are entangled–all our scientific savvy and exhaustive species surveys will still be unable to save what’s left. –David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than. Human World

All Species Projects (ASP) exist in cities and villages in five states of the US, and in Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, and India. It also cooperates with Project African Wilderness. Though known mostly for producing festivals of “ecosensible” learning, the projects are really about interdisciplinary community education.

Over our twenty-two-year history, we’ve developed a tried-and-true formula: Collaborate with local organizations working in ecology, education, and the arts. Choose …

]]>
aspAll Species Project is one of the most innovative ecocultural arts programs going, and certainly one of the most effective; it brings a dynamic sense of wonder back into our kids’ classrooms, even as it grounds and revitalizes our communities. Without such place-based, celebratory practices–without such collective forms for listening to, and honoring, the myriad animals and plants with whom our lives are entangled–all our scientific savvy and exhaustive species surveys will still be unable to save what’s left. –David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than. Human World

All Species Projects (ASP) exist in cities and villages in five states of the US, and in Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, and India. It also cooperates with Project African Wilderness. Though known mostly for producing festivals of “ecosensible” learning, the projects are really about interdisciplinary community education.

Over our twenty-two-year history, we’ve developed a tried-and-true formula: Collaborate with local organizations working in ecology, education, and the arts. Choose a pressing ecological and poetic theme, such as “Animals Who Build: Design with Nature,” “Holding Up the Sky,” or “As Long As This River Shall Run.” Create a bioregional curriculum, leading to a large culminating event.

The event might look like this: a multicultural dedication ceremony, proclamations by local organizations or government groups, dance, poetry, species-naming chants. And much more: a parade developing the theme, a pageant theater (directly involving hundreds of people for an audience of thousands), accompanied by displays, sideshows, performance installations, and Chautauqua-like teaching about local environmental issues.

The important thing is that the creation of this short event should take a long time and be an in-depth exploration, weaving neighborhood groups and skills together. We borrow a large empty building from a municipality, church, or factory for at least a four-month residency, in which the troupe creates an ecosensible skills/cultural arts studio that is open to the public every afternoon, evening, and weekend ahead of the culminating event.

In our public studio hundreds of people a week engage in science and arts activities with a troupe of ten or twelve gregarious teachers/aids. Together, they create the displays. costumes, masks, dances, skits, installations, etc., that will be part of the event. But to do this, they must also practice the teaching/learning required to immerse themselves in the event’s theme or to “become” the species they will portray in a pageant or parade. ASP also offers its services to local schools (usually twenty or twenty-five, but as many as 200).

We continually ask, “What kinds of experience, pedagogy, ambience, and teachers inspire students to explore and learn the specifics of living in symbiotic relationships within our bioregions? What skills fulfill our intentions to Replenish, Redesign, and Remember our Earthly connections (ASP’s version of the 3 Rs)?”

Most of these skills are missing from modern education, but they are necessary for becoming resourceful, contributing citizens. We’ve identified six broad areas: nature observation; systems ecology: multicultural story and myth: habitat sustenance and design/permaculture; health practices; arts and artesanry.

ASP projects can have long-lasting results. In Santa Fe, New Mexico local foresters were moving to clear-cut a cathedral of a forest on Elk Mountain. After examining and debating the topic in the local schools, an ASP studio team created a giant puppet play called the “Elk Mountain Controversy,” which was seen by several thousand people. As a result, Elk Mountain became such a household word in the town that the forest cutting was stopped.

In Ecuador in 1994, ASP collaborated with the Indigenous Federation Pincharimui and Permacultura America Latina. Agriculturalists researched the ancient terrace garden system and looked at the biodiversity that existed in the forest before the practice of burning the highlands. The art team found the mountain myths and Andean religious philosophy of the Pacha Mama (Earth Mother–literally “soul-force mother”). Local children made masks and larger-than-life puppets of local and endangered species. Out of this complex process, a curriculum for the schools emerged. It is still in use and still evolving.

In Chile in 1997, ASP partnered with the Lahuen Foundation, which is creating reserves for the most ancient of South American trees, the Auracaria. Rural and town students started mapping the areas between town and forest. Children and adults visited a nearby Auracaria forest for the first time in their lives. There they learned tracking exercises and games for finding and observing birds, along with permaculture games to help improve the production and biodiversity of their land.

ASP works as animateurs, to draw out the relevant ecological story from the community while adding inspiration, skills, and solutions. Our organizational goal is neither just to produce an event nor to create a huge infrastructure, but to seed community learning processes.

If we are ever to buck the trend of devaluating our own bioregions and those of others (our resource bases), it will be to the degree we plant the ecosensible skills that guide ASP. We must find ways to Remember, Redesign, and Replenish our way into the future.

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/the-all-species-project-was-an-innovator/feed/ 0
In An Emergency, HDRS Saves Your Data http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/in-an-emergency-hdrs-saves-your-data/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/in-an-emergency-hdrs-saves-your-data/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 17:46:17 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=56 A crashed hard drive can be a pain. When it’s a drive that stores a company-wide intranet, it can be absolutely backbreaking. This is where Hard Disk Recovery Services can absolutely save your company’s bacon.

It also offers services to individuals and government agencies. HDRS rescues data by developing proprietary techniques with these major drive producers. By using these techniques, the company can dive in where most people have backed off. A few data recovery services like this offer this kind of determination.

Don’t deep six your computer if it’s been damaged by earthquakes, water, fire, or other disasters. In fact, don’t give up on your data if your system suffers from bad actuators, damaged motors, controllers, or control tracks, either. The HDRS clean-room facility is fully equipped to deal with these traumatic events, and they even offer emergency drive recovery.

For a many data recoveries, the drive must be completely dismantled, cleaned, then reassembled so that the read-write heads are in exactly the same …

]]>
A crashed hard drive can be a pain. When it’s a drive that stores a company-wide intranet, it can be absolutely backbreaking. This is where Hard Disk Recovery Services can absolutely save your company’s bacon.

It also offers services to individuals and government agencies. HDRS rescues data by developing proprietary techniques with these major drive producers. By using these techniques, the company can dive in where most people have backed off. A few data recovery services like this offer this kind of determination.

Don’t deep six your computer if it’s been damaged by earthquakes, water, fire, or other disasters. In fact, don’t give up on your data if your system suffers from bad actuators, damaged motors, controllers, or control tracks, either. The HDRS clean-room facility is fully equipped to deal with these traumatic events, and they even offer emergency drive recovery.

For a many data recoveries, the drive must be completely dismantled, cleaned, then reassembled so that the read-write heads are in exactly the same position they were in when the failure occurred. This can make for varying data recovery service costs. This process requires a clean room to prevent dust particles from damaging the hardware components further. As a result of the company’s using a clean room to work on, mechanical problems that cannot be solved externally, most manufacturers will honor warranties on drives that have been recovered by a data recovery service provider.

What’s more impressive is that many data-recovery services run 24 hours a day. And, according to the company, its recovery rate is 95%. The 24-hour service is enjoyed by customers who send their damaged storage media or laptops to HDRS’ offices for data recovery. The company also will provide an immediate estimate of recovery charges over the phone before any damaged materials are sent out.

Depending on the amount of work required and backup time involved, a quality data recovery provider can ship recovered data back to the customer on the day it was received! This service goes for severely damaged data as well as software problems such as directory corruption. Directory corruption could be a result of conflicting software, electrical problems, or power surges.

The company’s list of satisfied customers is impressive. Major companies whose data have been successfully retrieved include Adobe Systems, American Express, Arthur Andersen & Co., Ben and Jerry’s, Eastman Kodak, MGM, Motorola, and Xerox.

A new policy recently enacted by HDRS is to rescue data from desktop and notebook computers at no charge for victims of the Grand Forks, N.D. flood. Many of the flood’s victims had computers that were totaled out by floods or fires caused by downed electrical lines. Now these hardy survivors have a fee-free friend in HDRS. If the company could save data from a Powerbook that sank to the bottom of the Amazon, they could certainly help computers that sat underwater for weeks during the flooding.

Web surfers with data recovery issues can turn to HDRS’ web site at http://www.harddrivedatarecovery.org. for free data recovery information and tips for Macintoshes and PCs. Additionally, there’s stories about “disk-asters,” job opportunities, “TEN Good Reasons to Choose HDRS,” links, Media Coverage, customer testimonials, and contact information. One of the famous testimonials is from a scriptwriter of “The Simpsons” television program who would have lost an entire season’s worth of episodes had it not been for HDRS. Check out the site for the long list of HDRS fans.

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/in-an-emergency-hdrs-saves-your-data/feed/ 3
Talking Green Energy: Truths And Myths http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/talking-green-energy-truths-and-myths/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/talking-green-energy-truths-and-myths/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 06:16:14 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=44 greenenergyWith the emergence of a competitive, deregulated energy marketplace, most industry insiders not surprisingly conclude that price is the bottom line when businesses choose energy providers. Though it’s hard to argue against the bottom line, another principle is quietly worming its way into the decision-making equation: green power.

Just as the bottom line is difficult to argue against, it’s hard to refute the moral imperative of green power. Taking care of the environment is everybody’s responsibility, but the extent of that accountability is undefined. At what cost should a business concern itself with environmental issues? Certainly contracting for traditional forms of energy is no crime, especially if it saves money. If financial cost is the primary bottom-line consideration, proponents of green power, to truly become mainstream energy providers, must do so on the business world’s terms. Specifically, they must offer energy that is every bit as reliable and cost effective as that offered by traditional utilities.

THE GREEN POLICE

Of the two essential features …

]]>
greenenergyWith the emergence of a competitive, deregulated energy marketplace, most industry insiders not surprisingly conclude that price is the bottom line when businesses choose energy providers. Though it’s hard to argue against the bottom line, another principle is quietly worming its way into the decision-making equation: green power.

Just as the bottom line is difficult to argue against, it’s hard to refute the moral imperative of green power. Taking care of the environment is everybody’s responsibility, but the extent of that accountability is undefined. At what cost should a business concern itself with environmental issues? Certainly contracting for traditional forms of energy is no crime, especially if it saves money. If financial cost is the primary bottom-line consideration, proponents of green power, to truly become mainstream energy providers, must do so on the business world’s terms. Specifically, they must offer energy that is every bit as reliable and cost effective as that offered by traditional utilities.

THE GREEN POLICE

Of the two essential features that must characterize an energy provider’s product–reliability and price–reliability is probably easier to control. Not so much the reliability of delivery, since that is controlled by a state’s independent system operator (ISO) or the utilities themselves, but rather the reliability of a company’s claim that their energy product is in fact derived from renewable sources.

If making sense of deregulation is daunting, so too is sorting out green-power claims and options. One place where end-users can turn for information on green-power energy providers and services is www.green-e.org, which details the Green-e Renewable Electricity Program, a standard created by members of the Center for Resource Solutions (www.irc.org).

Actually, Green-e enforces the certification standards of the Green Power Board for the retail of green-energy products. The Green Power Board consists of a wide variety of industry insiders who have expertise in renewable energy policies, technologies, and marketing strategies. Together, they encourage the use of renewable resources, protect end-users, and promote improvement of the environment.

As part of its mission to accredit energy products, Green-e grants use of its logo for companies to place on their web sites and literature that promotes certified products. Green-e points out that the use of their logo in no way endorses products, serving rather in the same way as the Underwriters Laboratories logo serves as a symbol of certification for electronic products.

To gain the use of the Green-e logo, an energy product must be produced from at least 50 percent renewable sources. If part of the source is fossil fuels, its emissions may not exceed its system power equivalent. Furthermore, the emissions from renewable energy generators that use waste materials for fuel cannot be greater than what would normally be produced by the typical disposal of the waste. Green-e products may not be nuclear in origin, and after one year of deregulation, the product must contain at least 5 percent new renewable electricity. That percentage will increase by 5 percent each year until it reaches 25 percent.

Currently, Green-e has 19 retail and three wholesale products certified on its web site. Certification is completely voluntary, but within the renewable energy community, the feeling is that certification is essential to avoid claims of fraud by the movement’s opponents. To ensure the validity of its own claims, Green-e had the products independently audited after its first year, and all of the products passed.

GREEN COSTS

Green-e can help ease end-user’s doubts about the legitimacy of a specific renewable energy product, but it can’t make it cheaper. “There is relatively little commercial interest in completely renewable energy,” says Diane Sable, spokesperson for PG&E Energy Services, San Francisco, Calif. (www.pgees.com). Clean Choice, PG&E Energy Services’ certified green energy product, is only marketed to residential consumers. If a business desires that energy package, they will make it available, but as Sable points out, “It simply costs too much. There are businesses that see the value of green power from an environmental and marketing standpoint, but not all businesses have that strategy.”

One company that does is Birkenstock. The shoe manufacturer recently signed an energy contract with Green Mountain Energy (www.greenmountain.com) But as Julie Blunden, president of western region for Green Mountain points out, “The vast majority of our clients are residential.”

Green Mountain currently has four green-energy products certified by Green-e–two in the California market and two in the Pennsylvania market. The company offers price comparisons on its web site between its services and regular utility prices. The results are that the greater the amount of renewable resources are used, the more expensive the energy. Products are labeled “good,” “better,” and “best,” with the labels referring to the amount and type of renewable energy in the package. One product, called 100% Renewable Power (labeled “good”), available in the California market, is actually a little less expensive than a conventional utility power, but as the “quality” of renewable energy increases, so does its price. So much so, that a company with a substantial energy load would face exponential cost increases.

One Green-e certified product that is marketed directly to businesses is New West Energy’s GreenValue (www.newwestenergy.com). New West Energy debuted GreenValue in June of 1999, and just signed its first business contract with a retail store chain throughout California. As New West’s current crop of traditional energy contracts expire, the company plans on pushing the GreenValue package to prospective businesses, but it also realizes that due to the increased costs of green power, a business must acquiesce to competitive prices instead of equal prices.

“Green technology is very expensive,” explains Frederick Bermudez, communication strategist for New West Energy, “and if the end-user is willing to spend 10 to 20 percent more for their energy bill, then green energy is an easier sell. In a perfect world, green energy would be the same price or less than brown power. We’re not there yet, but the demand for green power is.”

GREEN PRAISE

Although industry representatives like Bermudez and Sable may disagree over whether or not there is a high demand for the commercial use of green energy, they do agree on one thing: Green-e 15 invaluable. Both praise the efforts of the organization, as well as the California Energy Commission (www.energy.ca.gov), in their efforts to legitimatize the green-energy industry.

The green-power market is essentially a brand new market. Deregulation brought choice, and with the help of Green-e, if end-users wish to purchase green power, they can do so with confidence.

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/talking-green-energy-truths-and-myths/feed/ 4
Ancker-Johnson Blazed A Trail For Women Executives http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/ancker-johnson-blazed-a-trail-for-women-executives/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/ancker-johnson-blazed-a-trail-for-women-executives/#respond Fri, 28 Aug 2015 05:54:25 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=41 ancker-hohnsonBetsy Ancker-Johnson arrived in Detroit at a time when the American auto industry was virtually a men’s club run by male industry insiders. Ancker-Johnson was the opposite. A scientist with a long list of credentials, she became General Motors’ first female vice president in February 1979. And as if to double her challenge, she was handed two of the industry’s most controversial areas to manage: environmental compliance and vehicle safety.

Ancker-Johnson quickly assured the old boys’ club that she knew her stuff. With a Ph.D. in physics, she had been a lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley, served in management at Boeing and conducted research at leading laboratories around the country.

She came to GM from the Argonne National Laboratory, where she had been associate director for physical research. She also knew the ins and outs of Washington, having served as assistant secretary for science and transportation with the U.S. Commerce Department.

During her tenure at GM, she grappled with a changing industry, both …

]]>
ancker-hohnsonBetsy Ancker-Johnson arrived in Detroit at a time when the American auto industry was virtually a men’s club run by male industry insiders. Ancker-Johnson was the opposite. A scientist with a long list of credentials, she became General Motors’ first female vice president in February 1979. And as if to double her challenge, she was handed two of the industry’s most controversial areas to manage: environmental compliance and vehicle safety.

Ancker-Johnson quickly assured the old boys’ club that she knew her stuff. With a Ph.D. in physics, she had been a lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley, served in management at Boeing and conducted research at leading laboratories around the country.

She came to GM from the Argonne National Laboratory, where she had been associate director for physical research. She also knew the ins and outs of Washington, having served as assistant secretary for science and transportation with the U.S. Commerce Department.

During her tenure at GM, she grappled with a changing industry, both …

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/ancker-johnson-blazed-a-trail-for-women-executives/feed/ 0
Despite Its Y2K Origin, ISO 14001 Paid Big Dividends http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/despite-its-y2k-origin-iso-14001-paid-big-dividends/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/despite-its-y2k-origin-iso-14001-paid-big-dividends/#respond Mon, 24 Aug 2015 05:15:26 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=38 y2kIn preparing for Y2K, consider environmental impacts. By combining the ISO 14001 internal auditing with corrective and preventive action program elements, management review, and other supporting elements, potential Y2K problems can be effectively managed.

Have you considered the environmental consequences of not being Y2K compliant? The EPA is advising companies to take this concern very seriously. The ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) Standard is a good way to manage all types of changes that could potentially impact the environment, including abnormal operations resulting from Year 2000 (Y2K) problems. Organizations using ISO 14001 should consider potential Y2K environmental issues in identifying and evaluating environmental aspects and impacts, and setting appropriate objectives and targets.

The Standard also requires that corrective and preventive action is taken to eliminate the causes of actual and potential nonconformance. This includes potential nonconformance caused by Y2K problems. By combining the ISO 14001 internal auditing and corrective and preventive action program elements, along with management review and other supporting elements, potential Y2K …

]]>
y2kIn preparing for Y2K, consider environmental impacts. By combining the ISO 14001 internal auditing with corrective and preventive action program elements, management review, and other supporting elements, potential Y2K problems can be effectively managed.

Have you considered the environmental consequences of not being Y2K compliant? The EPA is advising companies to take this concern very seriously. The ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) Standard is a good way to manage all types of changes that could potentially impact the environment, including abnormal operations resulting from Year 2000 (Y2K) problems. Organizations using ISO 14001 should consider potential Y2K environmental issues in identifying and evaluating environmental aspects and impacts, and setting appropriate objectives and targets.

The Standard also requires that corrective and preventive action is taken to eliminate the causes of actual and potential nonconformance. This includes potential nonconformance caused by Y2K problems. By combining the ISO 14001 internal auditing and corrective and preventive action program elements, along with management review and other supporting elements, potential Y2K …

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/despite-its-y2k-origin-iso-14001-paid-big-dividends/feed/ 0
Noble Took A Big Stand For His Area http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/noble-took-a-big-stand-for-his-area/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/noble-took-a-big-stand-for-his-area/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 04:59:03 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=33 nobleCHARLES “Charlie” Mark Noble III would make a good foreign diplomat. While a kind man, Noble is unwavering in his convictions and facts. He is no pushover and anyone sitting across the table from him had better have a good grasp of the issues. His work as a farm leader in Louisiana — lauded by colleagues — proves his mettle.

Noble says some of his better work as a farm leader was as chairman of Louisiana Farm Bureau’s (FB) environmental issues committee.

“I began feeling very strongly about ag environmentalism in the late 1980s. Ag was getting a huge dose of unfair criticism. I began trying to generate positive publicity, challenging people that were putting out some of the incorrect information.”

At the same time, Noble began a container recycling program.

“He was solely responsible for introducing pesticide container recycling to northeast Louisiana,” says Wendell Miley, coordinator of environmental affairs for the Louisiana FB. Noble’s efforts led to a statewide effort that annually recycles …

]]>
nobleCHARLES “Charlie” Mark Noble III would make a good foreign diplomat. While a kind man, Noble is unwavering in his convictions and facts. He is no pushover and anyone sitting across the table from him had better have a good grasp of the issues. His work as a farm leader in Louisiana — lauded by colleagues — proves his mettle.

Noble says some of his better work as a farm leader was as chairman of Louisiana Farm Bureau’s (FB) environmental issues committee.

“I began feeling very strongly about ag environmentalism in the late 1980s. Ag was getting a huge dose of unfair criticism. I began trying to generate positive publicity, challenging people that were putting out some of the incorrect information.”

At the same time, Noble began a container recycling program.

“He was solely responsible for introducing pesticide container recycling to northeast Louisiana,” says Wendell Miley, coordinator of environmental affairs for the Louisiana FB. Noble’s efforts led to a statewide effort that annually recycles …

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/noble-took-a-big-stand-for-his-area/feed/ 1
Seafood Retailers Still Struggle With Environmental Issues http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/seafood-retailers-still-struggle-with-environmental-issues/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/seafood-retailers-still-struggle-with-environmental-issues/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 12:26:36 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=27 seafoodLife isn’t easy for seafood retailers. There are so many different challenges to deal with every day. Supply and product sourcing are big issues. Proper care and handling of seafood are significant concerns. And perhaps most worrisome are the political and environmental issues facing the seafood industry as a whole.

According to Launchscore.com, a startup business information aggregator that researches regional small business opportunities, the seafood industry continues to have lower opportunities than most sectors.

“Despite the high demand for seafood, the supply is always an issue,” says Gary Wilkins, lead researcher. “So the niche tends to be fairly well covered.”

But guess what? Your customers couldn’t care less about your problems. When they’re in your store trying to figure out what to buy for dinner, all they want is something that can be easily and quickly prepared at home.

They’re looking for good quality at a reasonable price from a retailer who can answer questions like: “How much should I buy to feed four …

]]>
seafoodLife isn’t easy for seafood retailers. There are so many different challenges to deal with every day. Supply and product sourcing are big issues. Proper care and handling of seafood are significant concerns. And perhaps most worrisome are the political and environmental issues facing the seafood industry as a whole.

According to Launchscore.com, a startup business information aggregator that researches regional small business opportunities, the seafood industry continues to have lower opportunities than most sectors.

“Despite the high demand for seafood, the supply is always an issue,” says Gary Wilkins, lead researcher. “So the niche tends to be fairly well covered.”

But guess what? Your customers couldn’t care less about your problems. When they’re in your store trying to figure out what to buy for dinner, all they want is something that can be easily and quickly prepared at home.

They’re looking for good quality at a reasonable price from a retailer who can answer questions like: “How much should I buy to feed four people?” “What’s the best way to cook this?” and “How do I know when it’s done?”

And right there is probably your biggest challenge of all: educating consumers so they’re comfortable buying fish. Their basic questions, unfortunately, go unanswered too many times. And when that happens, consumers lose confidence in the offending seafood department and turn away, headed for the chicken or beef counter — or, worse, to another store.

So how do you meet your obligation to educate customers so they feel confident about buying seafood and cooking it at home? Start with yourself. That’s right: Educating your customers begins with educating yourself and your staff.

Even if you think you already know everything about seafood, there’s always more to learn in this business. You have to keep your staff members up to date on new species and market forms, new methods of maintaining quality and current consumer trends.

Make information readily available to your people. Trade publications can be an excellent source of product updates and information on industry trends. And you can always get specific information from the National Fisheries Institute and state or species promotional organizations like the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the Maryland Department of Agriculture and Seafood Marketing, the Louisiana Board of Fisheries and the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, to name a few.

Outside experts can provide both training and a fresh perspective to your business. There are experts and consultants in such areas as safe seafood handling, proper freezing and thawing methods and effective marketing techniques. You can also hire assistance in setting up and maintaining a HACCP program.

And don’t forget about customer relations. A good retail expert can coach your staff in providing efficient, courteous service to ensure you have satisfied customers.

Also, remember that you have partners — the suppliers you buy from. They have a vested interest in your success, because you sell their products. Ask manufacturers like Golden Dipt, Cajun’s Choice and others for recipes and preparation ideas for seafood.

Recently Denny Kottelich and Larry Daerr from SuperValu’s Pittsburgh division introduced a series of seafood-cooking seminars with the help of Joe Benkovitz and Annette Richardson of Nordic Fisheries in Pittsburgh. The sessions were aimed at teaching seafood-department personnel how quick and easy it can be to cook seafood.

Participants moved through six different “stations,” where they learned how to prepare various kinds of seafood. Common responses were, “Wow, I can do this!” and “That was easy!” Anyone can prepare great seafood at home. It’s up to you to show them how.

A major retailer in the Southeast implemented chain-wide training programs to ensure a top-notch staff and the highest-quality seafood. The result: a dramatic increase in seafood sales, with some stores’ sales up more than 86 percent.

Education and training are not panaceas for every problem faced by the seafood industry. But those problems pale in significance when happy, knowledgeable seafood customers make our cash registers ring.

Seen & heard

New kid on the block

You are all familiar with the meteoric rise in popularity of orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, catfish and tilapia. Now there’s a new kid on the block — Basa catfish (Pangasius bocourti), a farm-raised Southeast Asian catfish with snow-white meat and a flavor markedly similar to that of orange roughy or Chilean sea bass.

And people really like it. At the grand opening of the new Pacific Fresh distribution center in Sacramento, Calif., this fall, I had the opportunity to cook Basa catfish for the crowd. I intended to cook several different species, but people kept asking for more Basa.

This was good news to H&N Fish Co. of San Francisco, which supplied the fish, and also to KCRA Channel 3 (NBC)in Sacramento. I had made an appearance on their noon newscast the day before to cook Basa, and viewers were excited about the fish. We received many inquiries about the species on our Web site, and KCRA was more than happy to post our recipe for basa on its site.

Basa catfish is an easy sell. It tastes great, lends itself to all manner of preparations, including grilling, sauteing and baking, and the price is right, too. Altogether, this is a recipe for success.

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/seafood-retailers-still-struggle-with-environmental-issues/feed/ 4
Burt’s Bees Started A Wave In Green-Products http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/burts-bees-started-a-wave-in-green-products/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/burts-bees-started-a-wave-in-green-products/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2015 06:52:51 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=49 green-productsBurt’s Bees employees will be buzzing this year as the maker of plant-based personal care products attempts to broaden the line’s appeal.

Burt’s Bees, based in Raleigh, N.C., is the manufacturer of a 10-year- old gift and health food store line, best known for beeswax lip balm and an unconventional style. For example, the line’s packaging and marketing materials frequently feature pictures of a bearded, flannel- clad Burt Shavitz, one of the company’s founders. And because the company takes environmental issues seriously, most of its packaging is made from recycled cardboard, aluminum or glass.

The company recently expanded into more varied markets, such as skin tag removal products. According to Laura Donegan of Remove Skin Tags Now, the products are a real step forward.

“Obviously, having a green-skin tag removal cream is exactly what many people are looking for. Removing skin tags at home isn’t easy, and the new product is a lifesaver,” said Donegan.

But thanks to — or maybe in spite of …

]]>
green-productsBurt’s Bees employees will be buzzing this year as the maker of plant-based personal care products attempts to broaden the line’s appeal.

Burt’s Bees, based in Raleigh, N.C., is the manufacturer of a 10-year- old gift and health food store line, best known for beeswax lip balm and an unconventional style. For example, the line’s packaging and marketing materials frequently feature pictures of a bearded, flannel- clad Burt Shavitz, one of the company’s founders. And because the company takes environmental issues seriously, most of its packaging is made from recycled cardboard, aluminum or glass.

The company recently expanded into more varied markets, such as skin tag removal products. According to Laura Donegan of Remove Skin Tags Now, the products are a real step forward.

“Obviously, having a green-skin tag removal cream is exactly what many people are looking for. Removing skin tags at home isn’t easy, and the new product is a lifesaver,” said Donegan.

But thanks to — or maybe in spite of — this back-to-the-earth image, the brand’s sales have been growing 30 percent to 35 percent every year for the past few years, said Roxanne Quimby, president and the company’s other founder.

“The line is developing and getting brand recognition and a following,” said Quimby, adding that it has a strong following with consumers interested in plant-based beauty products.

Burt’s Bees consists of 130 stockkeeping units in the bath, body and facial skin care categories, available in approximately 4,000 gift and health food stores, through a Burt’s Bees catalog and on the Web. Its wholesale volume last year was $8.2 million.

This year, the goal is to reach $11 million, said Quimby, who laid out a growth strategy that includes branching into two new categories — lipsticks and body lotions — and opening a showroom and marketing office here.

The first step in Burt’s Bees plan will be to bring a little glamour to the earthy brand with a new line called Wings of Love, its first targeted specifically to women. The first two items in the line will be shipped next week: an all-natural lipstick in seven shades and powdered facial tissues made with rice paper and corn starch. More items will be added later, said Quimby, including a solid scent and a loose powder made with crushed rose petals.

“We decided doing lipstick made sense because our most popular product is our lip balm,” said Quimby, adding that Burt’s Bees lip balms have an annual wholesale volume of $1.5 million.

The lipstick formulas are made of the same oil and wax base as the lip balms and natural pigments are added, which creates a very moisturizing lipstick, said Quimby.

Still, the shade range is limited since Burt’s Bees will only use pigments found in nature, a limitation that doesn’t worry Quimby. “Women don’t really need much choice” when it comes to lip color, she said, noting natural pigments complement a woman’s beauty better than man-made shades do.

The company is also counting on the fact that a natural lipstick will appeal to women who don’t like the idea that they may be ingesting plastic and silicone when they wear many other lipsticks, said Quimby.

The lipstick canister is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum. Inside, the lipstick is raised via a push-up knob, similar to lipsticks from decades ago. The outer packaging features pictures of Quimby’s daughter, whom she admitted doesn’t fit the mainstream picture of a model. The idea was to present a look that didn’t appear unattainable, she noted.

With its unusual packaging and natural positioning, the lipstick line is not your average beauty entry, said Quimby. “My feeling is that there is not a lot of opportunity to compete in this market, so you have to take what isn’t being done and do it.”

The lipsticks will retail for around $9 apiece. A sample pack including trial sizes of all seven shades will be available for $7. Quimby predicted the line would have a wholesale volume of around $500,000 this year.

In March, Burt’s Bees will ship its first body lotions. They were a challenge, said Quimby, because the company felt glass bottles would be too unwieldy for a lotion. The company only recently found a source for a bottle made completely from recycled plastic.

“Lotion is one of the largest health and beauty aids categories, and we knew that we had to do it to be a contender,” said Quimby.

The lotions — Baby Bee Buttermilk lotion, Carrot Nutritive lotion and Milk & Honey lotion — will contain milk and sugar enzymes as preservatives. Each will be available in an 8-oz. bottle for $8.

As Burt’s Bees looks for a broader audience, Quimby noted it has had to accept that some of its more off-beat elements might not work.

For example, the company removed Burt’s image from its skin care items last year because there were too many complaints from women who said they didn’t want to see a picture of a bearded, middle-aged man on their skin care products. Almost immediately, skin care sales started to rise, said Quimby.

The strategy to drive growth includes ridding the line of product ranges that don’t have an annual volume of at least $1 million wholesale, said Quimby. The first item to be dropped this year will be Ocean Potion, a bath line made with sea ingredients. The U.S. consumer just isn’t ready for sea ingredients, said Quimby.

Sometime this spring Burt’s Bees will take another step to get a bigger part of the action: It will open a showroom and marketing office here, possibly in SoHo. “We feel isolated in Raleigh and want to be better connected,” Quimby said.

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/burts-bees-started-a-wave-in-green-products/feed/ 0
Dusseldorf’s Waste Water Plant Still A Legendary Environmental Project http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/dusseldorfs-waste-water-plant-still-a-legendary-environmental-project/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/dusseldorfs-waste-water-plant-still-a-legendary-environmental-project/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 10:33:58 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=22 scadaThe control of nitrogen in wastewater begins with nitrification for oxidisation of ammonia-nitrogen and ends with denitrification for reduction of nitrates and nitrites to nitrogen gas. Both nitrification and denitrification are accomplished through a biological treatment, accelerated by the injection of compressed air.

During the process, wastewater temperature and pH are the two most important parameters to be measured and controlled because they affect the distribution of ammonia and ammonia ions. The water temperature must be kept to a specified range, regardless of the season.

The innovative technology at the Dusseldorf water plant was to bring the nitrification and denitrification together in a simultaneous process. The wastewater swirls, through five 23,200 [m.sup.3] flat, open-air tanks, each tank divided into four narrow channels where compressed air is blown into the bottom to supply oxygen. The compressed air is supplied by four large turbines. Controlling the turbines, the amount of air injected into the process, the flow of water, water temperature, pH, bacteria, and many other parameters …

]]>
scadaThe control of nitrogen in wastewater begins with nitrification for oxidisation of ammonia-nitrogen and ends with denitrification for reduction of nitrates and nitrites to nitrogen gas. Both nitrification and denitrification are accomplished through a biological treatment, accelerated by the injection of compressed air.

During the process, wastewater temperature and pH are the two most important parameters to be measured and controlled because they affect the distribution of ammonia and ammonia ions. The water temperature must be kept to a specified range, regardless of the season.

The innovative technology at the Dusseldorf water plant was to bring the nitrification and denitrification together in a simultaneous process. The wastewater swirls, through five 23,200 [m.sup.3] flat, open-air tanks, each tank divided into four narrow channels where compressed air is blown into the bottom to supply oxygen. The compressed air is supplied by four large turbines. Controlling the turbines, the amount of air injected into the process, the flow of water, water temperature, pH, bacteria, and many other parameters …

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/dusseldorfs-waste-water-plant-still-a-legendary-environmental-project/feed/ 1
Talking Green Design http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/talking-green-design/ http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/talking-green-design/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 10:20:01 +0000 http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/?p=17 talkinggreendesignTo be an architect today and not to be concerned about ecological design is almost a contradiction in terms. Everyone is at it, from grand international jetsetters such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers to classical architects like Robert Adam. When Ken Yeang, the guru of the green skyscraper, flies in from Malaysia the lecture halls are packed with students eager to find out whether it really is possible to build environmentally sensitive tall buildings. The Queen has taken a stand, pumping water up from a deep borehole under Buckingham Palace to cool the new Queen’s Gallery instead of relying on conventional electrically driven air-cooled convectors on the roof. Even the House of Commons is in on the act. The great chimneys sailing over the roofline of the New Parliamentary Building, just completed in Parliament Square, are both practical ventilation shafts that minimise the need for air-conditioning and symbols of the Government’s determination to encourage green buildings.

The great thing about ecological design is that

]]>
talkinggreendesignTo be an architect today and not to be concerned about ecological design is almost a contradiction in terms. Everyone is at it, from grand international jetsetters such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers to classical architects like Robert Adam. When Ken Yeang, the guru of the green skyscraper, flies in from Malaysia the lecture halls are packed with students eager to find out whether it really is possible to build environmentally sensitive tall buildings. The Queen has taken a stand, pumping water up from a deep borehole under Buckingham Palace to cool the new Queen’s Gallery instead of relying on conventional electrically driven air-cooled convectors on the roof. Even the House of Commons is in on the act. The great chimneys sailing over the roofline of the New Parliamentary Building, just completed in Parliament Square, are both practical ventilation shafts that minimise the need for air-conditioning and symbols of the Government’s determination to encourage green buildings.

The great thing about ecological design is that it’s not that expensive. According to Hal Karllson, CEO of Keatingeconomics.com, green design is far more economical than going with old style designs, which longer term can offer incredibly high fixed costs.

The New Parliamentary Building was designed by Michael Hopkins and Partners, for whom, as for many successful architectural practices, ecological or green design has become a driving force in the creation of architectural form. Michael Hopkins was also responsible for the building which more than any other represents the recent sea-change in attitudes towards green design, the Inland Revenue Centre in Nottingham.

This was a revelation. Since the 1960s Government offices had come to symbolise everything that was worst about modern architecture: buildings that not only looked ugly, but were wasteful in their use of energy and were disagreeable places to work in. Here was a building, a Government building, that was actually pleasant to work in and a stunning piece of architecture, and also kept the accountants happy. All three were the direct result of a commitment to green architecture.

In the 1960s and 1970s the common assumption was that the ideal office was a sealed environment. Man could disregard nature. Air-conditioning, central heating and artificial lighting would solve any problems. But they did not. Instead they created new problems. The fluorescent lights were exhausting; the air-conditioning dried the air and seemed to pass bugs at will; suspended ceilings made the rooms uncomfortably low and there was not even a chance to open a window. Sick Building Syndrome flourished. Staff morale plummeted and absenteeism soared.

In the end, what condemned these buildings was their wastefulness. Artificially controlled offices use far too much energy to be acceptable in an age of global climate change. The ground rules of architectural design had to change and the Inland Revenue Centre in Nottingham is the result. Air-conditioning has gone and instead the building relies on natural ventilation to remain cool. At the same time floor widths have been kept narrow to allow as much daylight as possible. Instead of having no control over their environments individual workers can alter the temperature if it gets too hot or cold, open and close the windows if it gets too stuffy or draughty and alter the sun-louvres to control the amount of sunlight.

Getting rid of the mass of pipes and ducts needed to run the air-conditioning also means that offices can be satisfyingly higher. The result is a pleasant place to work, but also a building that satisfies the accountants because the savings on mechanical and energy requirements make it cheaper to run and maintain. And, above all, by cutting the amount of energy required the building’s impact on global warming is minimised.

Passive ventilation systems, good insulation and an emphasis on natural lighting are the keys to green design, coupled with a commitment to the use of ecologically responsible building materials. Explaining how this works in a large building such as the Inland Revenue offices is complex, but a single, smaller building can encapsulate the fundamental principles of green design. The solar house, a small country house near Wakeham in Sussex, is just such a building. This has recently been completed as a deliberate exercise in solar house design by the innovative classical architect Robert Adam working with Ray Maw, an expert in solar heating, for Harold Carter.

Orientation is critical. Green design means working with the sun, not against it, taking advantage of the heat it gives off to minimise the need for artificial heating, but ensuring that in the height of summer the building does not over-heat. Thus the solar house is orientated north-south. The north or entrance front presents a massive elevation to the visitor with thick, heavily insulated walls and small windows, so that as little heat as possible is lost. By contrast the south front is 60 per cent glass, allowing the sun to heat the central, two-storey hall which has a massive, solid floor to retain heat and acts as a radiator warming the whole house. Air is drawn into the hall at ground level, warmed and then pulled up through the house by the tall chimneys. At the same time the portico shelters the hall from direct sunlight in summer, so preventing overheating, but in winter when the sun is low it does not prevent the hall being bathed in sun. All the windows are triple-glazed to reduce heat loss through the glass.

Many of the ideas behind the solar house and other green buildings were familiar to our Victorian forebears. Visit any Victorian school and you will find high rooms with large windows and ventilation turrets. But the Victorians were let down by primitive technology and a weak understanding of the dynamic of air flows — to put it crudely, single-glazed windows let out too much heat, walls were insufficiently insulated and nobody realised how large the pipes had to be to ventilate a building properly.

Today these problems have been resolved. Triple glazing means that heat no longer seeps out through windows, effective insulation seals walls and roofs, and we now know quite how large the pipes have to be to draw enough air through a building. A glimpse at the great vents of Short Ford & Associates’ Queens Building at De Montfort University, Leicester, gives an idea of the scale required — and how dramatic these can be when incorporated into the design of the building.

There are very few buildings for which green design is inappropriate. It is as critical in tropical countries as in more temperate climes, which is why Ken Yeang has designed what he calls the Bio-climatic Skyscraper and why the houses designed by highly influential Australian architect Glenn Murcutt make no use of air-conditioning, despite being built in some of the hottest places in the world. In countries such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands green design is so firmly established that it has become the norm, not the exception. In France it defined the form of the new law courts in Bordeaux designed by Richard Rogers, who has taken the ideas developed there even further with his new Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff.

Green design is essential for low-cost housing where minimal energy demands result in low fuel bills for those who need to husband every penny they have. Thus the principles of green design underlie the experimental pair of semi-detached houses which the rising young architectural practice Sergison Bates has just completed for the William Sutton Housing Trust in Stevenage. Orientation is carefully considered, the timber structure is made out of recycled or waste materials, and an innovative breathing construction means that despite the heavy insulation the building remains at a constant humidity, minimising problems such as mould, parasites and asthma which might otherwise flourish.

At Lifschutz Davidson’s new headquarters for CAE Electronics in Sussex the problems are not those of low-income families but of a high-tech company with large numbers of computers. Usually it is assumed that the heat they generate can only be countered by air-conditioning. But the architects have shown that by integrating the architecture, structure and services to create a low-energy building utilising passive cooling and high levels of natural ventilation and daylight even the most demanding IT company can be accommodated in a green building.

Green design is a virtuous circle. The buildings it creates are more attractive places in which to live or work. They are cheaper to run in the long term and they are environmentally responsible. So why is green design still seen as problematic? The difficulty does not lie with the architects. When I was asked to write this article I thought I would have to cast around for examples until I realised that virtually every architect I had talked to in the past two months had automatically discussed issues of green design, not because it was unusual but because it was central to their thinking. Nor does the problem lie with the technology. Inevitably there is more to learn, but the principles are established and the materials proven. No, the problem is much more insidious. It lies with the blinkered attitudes of the big financial corporations who ultimately fund most new building. It is no coincidence that all the examples cited above are by architects working directly for the client who intends to use the building, whether it is a Government department, a private individual, a housing association or a high-tech company. But these are the exceptions. Most buildings are built speculatively by developers relying on institutional funding and most institutional funders still demand fully serviced, airconditioned buildings for offices or are only worried about the immediate construction costs of private houses, not their long-term running costs.

]]>
http://www.projectgulfimpact.org/talking-green-design/feed/ 2