In today's speech on the economy at George Mason University, President-Elect Barack Obama spoke of his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Regarding the environment, he made the following statements:
"To finally spark the creation of a clean-energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years. We will modernize more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of 2 million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills. In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced — jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings, and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain."
For the full transcript on The New York Times website, click here. For responses from both sides, click here.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009
Last spring, Hall Street Self Storage (right) opened in Brooklyn as the first green self-storage space in the country. Now, it has changed its name to iStoreGreen, a brand which will enable the company to expand to Manhattan and also throughout the rest of the nation.
Owner Jeffrey Sitt took over the location at 12 Hall Street — which was originally a cold and dry storage facility — two years ago. He gutted and renovated the building to make it green.
Among the facility’s many green features are Green-E certified energy (Green-E is a certification process for renewable energy), and a solar water heater that was installed in October.
Wooden beams from the original building (built in the early 1900s) were taken out during renovation and turned into wood chips, which were then packed in bags (left) and sold in the facility’s retail store as green packing materials.
Self-storage manager Wanda Dash said that bags of shredded paper for use instead of bubble wrap are also sold in the store. This paper comes from the facility’s offices and otherwise would have been thrown out.
Sitt opened a “reuse” room, for clients who want to discard items. Unwanted items can be put in this room to be donated instead of thrown out.
After seeing the positive reaction from clients about green self-storage, Sitt changed the name of the facility in order to make it national.
“There’s been green dry cleaning, and even green wines available today — self-storage needs to be greened, too, especially since it’s an industry that can use a lot of energy and materials, and is one which people use every day, not a few times a week. It needs to be accessible.”
Since becoming iStoreGreen, company office desks and shelving for the storage spaces have been made out of wood reclaimed from the original building. The facility has also started distributing a booklet (printed on recycled paper with soy ink) to clients and community residents with advice on how to be green at home.
But Sitt is not stopping there. Dash said that in the future, his hope is to open more facilities that will be even greener than the first. He wants everything to be green, “from the ground up,” she told the Eagle. Instead of a green renovation, he will construct a green building, where the construction materials themselves will be eco-friendly.
iStoreGreen is now looking for its next location, which will be in Manhattan. Future hopes are to create iStoreGreen franchises, where green self-storage facilities across the country will share the name.
So, if you ever see an iStoreGreen in Illinois or California, just remember: it all started in Brooklyn.
Photos by Derek Koleba
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