Learn About Safer Choice – Same Program, New Label

News-jpeg-SaferChoiceLogoFinding cleaning and other products that are safer for you, your family, and the environment should be easy — that’s why we developed our new Safer Choice label. We all play a role in protecting our families’ health and the environment. Products with the Safer Choice label help consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance.

More than 2,000 products currently qualify to carry the Safer Choice label. Safer Choice products are available for your home at retail stores and for use in businesses like schools, hotels, offices, and sports venues.



View the Safer Choice webinar recording: Finding Safer Products with EPA’s Safer Choice Label ESRC-Logo120x120

This webinar session was provided by the Environmental Sustainability Resource Center (ESRC) for regional technical assistance providers (TAPs) and includes a facilitated exchange on how TAPs can be a conduit to promote Safer Choice and serve as a resource for program participants.



For the past 15 years EPA’s label for safer chemical products has been known as the Design for the Environment, or the “DfE,” label. We spent more than a year collecting ideas and discussing new label options with stakeholders, such as product manufacturers and environmental and health advocates. Then we took our ideas to consumers and asked what worked best for them. The result is the new Safer Choice label.

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EPA’s Annual Toxics Release Inventory Report

In 2014, 84 percent of the 25 billion pounds of toxic chemical waste managed at the nation’s industrial facilities was not released into the environment due to the use of preferred waste management practices like recycling, energy recovery and treatment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report. The remaining 16 percent was released to the air, water or placed in some type of land disposal. Most of these releases are subject to a variety of regulatory requirements designed to limit human and environmental harm.

The 2014 TRI data show a 6 percent decrease in total disposal or other releases to the environment from 2013 to 2014. Notably, air releases from industrial facilities decreased by 4 percent during this period, mainly due to decreases from chemical manufacturing facilities and electric utilities. Air releases have decreased 55 percent since 2003.

“2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Toxics Release Inventory, a program that has given people unprecedented access to information about what toxic chemicals are being used and released in their neighborhoods, and what companies are doing to prevent pollution,” said Ann Dunkin, EPA’s Chief Information Officer. “TRI data continue to be an essential part of informed decision-making by citizens, communities, industries, and local governments.”

Access the 2014 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses.

Information on facility efforts to reduce toxic chemical releases is available at EPA’s website.

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P2 Impact at GreenBiz

In the most recent P2 Impact column on GreenBiz, Jean Ponzi, green resources manager at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s News-jpeg-GreenBizEarthWays Center, explains how businesses and event planners in St. Louis are seizing the business opportunities embedded in the trend toward zero waste.

Read Jean Ponzi’s article in GreenBiz about the city’s efforts.

P2 Impact is a collaboration between GreenBiz and the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange. Each month, P2 practitioners write about topics related to pollution prevention and sustainability. The goal of the column is to tell the P2 story to GreenBiz’s business audience. View archives of P2 Impact columns. If you would like to write a column, contact Laura Barnes.

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Answering the Call2Recycle

Founded in 1994, Call2Recycle—North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program—is a non-profit organization that collects and recycles batteries at no cost for municipalities, businesses and consumers. 2014 commemorated Call2Recycle’s 20th anniversary in battery collection andCall-2-recycle-logo recycling. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted more than 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of batteries and cellphones from the solid waste stream and established over 34,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is the first program of its kind to receive the Responsible Recycling Practices Standard (R2) certification.

You can learn more about the organization and find local battery drop-off locations at the Call2Recycle website.

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Energy Cabinet Releases KY Energy Profile

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Department for Energy Development and Independence offer the Kentucky Energy Profile to provide an overview of energy consumption and production within the Commonwealth, to serve as an impartial point of reference for the general public, researchers, and policy makers, and to serve as a foundation for discussing Kentucky’s energy future.  View or download the KY Energy Reports.

The Cabinet also provides information about Kentucky’s coal production. View or download the Kentucky Quarterly Coal Reports.

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EPA Releases Sustainable Materials Strategic Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a strategic plan outlining its areas of focus for recycling, source reduction and environmentally minded materials usage over the next seven years.

The EPA document, which has been posted on the website of the National Recycling Coalition, covers the federal agency’s aspirations for sustainable materials management for fiscal years 2017 through 2022.

The concept of sustainable materials management (SMM), described by the EPA as “a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles,” has in recent years taken a more central role in the EPA’s research and reporting on national waste management issues. This year, for instance, the agency changed the name of its annual report on recycling and disposal data to “Advancing Materials Management.”

The five-year strategic plan lays out four SMM objectives: decrease the overall amount of materials disposed, reduce materials’ environmental impacts (such as greenhouse gas emissions) throughout the material life cycles, increase socio-economic benefits, and increase SMM program capabilities at the state and local level.

The first focus area is characterized as the “built environment” and includes construction and demolition (C&D) materials as well as disaster debris and architectural planning. The second focus area is sustainable food management, a realm in which the agency has been particularly active of late. The third area outlined is sustainable packaging – in discussing this point, the report notes a number of anticipated outcomes by 2022.

The EPA’s Strategic Plan document is available to view or download as a pdf.

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Bluegrass Forever Green Sustainability Summit

Bluegrass Forever Green Sustainability Summit will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort & Spa, 1800 Newtown Pike. Cost: $25, includes lunch.

The summit will share information and best practices focusing on maximizing the collective effect of regional governments, organizations, nonprofits, educational institutions and businesses dedicated to environmental sustainability and improving quality of life and economic development as an end product.

For more info, contact Bobby Clark at or (859) 227-0263. To register, go to the registration page.

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Solar Seminar for Professional CE

The Kentucky U.S. Green Building Council is sponsoring a seminar on November 13 in Louisville for professionals in the building and infrastructure, energy, planning, remodeling or design industries who wish to know more about the basics and benefits of solar, designing for solar, tips on choosing an installer, and financial incentives for installing solar. It may also be of interest to those in the residential sector.

Learn more and register for this event.

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Sustainability Summit focuses on air quality

Louisville officials are joining others in the business and environmental communities for a second Sustainability Summit, scheduled for the first week in November.

This year’s focus is on air quality, said Maria Koetter, the city’s sustainability director.

The program features discussions and presentations on air quality and health, citizen-led initiatives, buildings, land use and transportation, alternative energy, natural systems and community engagement.

Louisville’s Office of Sustainability and the Louisville Sustainability Council are sponsoring the event, which includes an opening reception on Nov. 5, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Copper & Kings, 1121 East Washington St. The reception features welcome presentations, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and special entertainment.

The working program is Nov. 6, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 West Muhammad Ali Blvd. There, participants will attend plenary and breakout sessions focused on improving Louisville’s air quality.  A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Cost after Friday, Oct. 16, is $75 for general admission. Early general admission is $50, available through the 16th.

Students may attend for $25, and sustainability council members get discounts.

Registration and more information are available through the Sustainability Council’s website.

James Bruggers – Louisville Courier Journal

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