Season 2, Episode 2: Join us for a live recording of the Altitude Podcast at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, this Tuesday, November 13th at 12 PM. We'll be sitting down with eric cohen, former Asst. Regional Counsel at EPA Region 5 and Jane E. Montgomery, partner at Schiff Hardin to discuss EPA's new Affordable Clean Energy Plan and how that regulation will affect US carbon emissions and achieving our Paris targets.
Episode 1: This is Green Infrastructure
Nicole Chavas, CEO of Greenprint Partners, shares how the company found an innovative financing structure to advance the installation of green stormwater infrastructure in urban cities across the US, and all of the benefits that go along with it: cleaner water, lower costs for water utilities, enhanced gardens and parks for residents, and habitat for birds and insects. All of that, plus a positive financial return, which makes Greenprint Partners an attractive option for impact investors.
Episode 1: This is Solar Energy
Episode 2: This is Mitigation Banking
Our guest on Episode 2 is Wayne Walker, a mitigation banker & principal at Common Ground Capital. He is driving private investment in conservation and species preservation through the development of species' mitigation banks around the United States.
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Show notes available here.
Episode 3: This is Sustainable Surfing
Meet Ryan Harris, the founder of Earth Technologies and a former Nike product designer. While learning about traditional surfboard manufacturing, he realized they're made out of toxic styrofoam, a conundrum for surfers dependent on a healthy ocean. Ryan has found sustainable suppliers, upcycled old boards, and now is turning his inorganic waste stream into organic soil with mealworms! He tells us the how, the why, and all about his Kickstarter campaign.
Episode 4: This is Paleoclimatology
Our guest on Episode 4 is Sarah Aarons, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago studying dust in ice cores and around the world to tell us more about climate events over the history of the Earth! Does that sound crazy complicated? That's because it is! But Sarah breaks it down for us in language even we can understand.
Two Vanderbilt professors are taking a creative approach to solving climate change. Our guests, Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan recently released a new book Beyond Politics, discussing the role private entities can play in reducing carbon emissions even without the US government taking action. They tell us how we can make a meaningful difference by changing our behavior at home. US households emit as many carbon emissions as all of the countries in South America combined.
Episode 5: This is Beyond Politics
Locally Laid is a pasture-raised egg farm business. Jason and Lucie Amundsen founded the farm from scratch, and in 2016, Lucie published a book named for the farm, describing all the ups and downs of getting the farm off the ground. Jason Amundsen tells us about his experience starting a business, the high barriers to entry, the difficulties in getting financing, and how hard it is to take care of chickens in a Minnesota winter. We also discuss the health benefits, the improved taste, and the improved outcome for the environment--basically pasture-raised eggs are a win-win. And there are ways to get them at reasonable prices, especially considering all of the hard work that went into growing them and doing it sustainably.
Episode 6: This is Locally Laid
Episode 7: This is Sustainable Fashion
Sarah Nsikak, founder of Stone & Harper, tells us about why she started her sustainable and ethically focused clothing brand several years ago. Cheap clothing products have hazardous chemicals in the end-product, which exposes its wearers to toxins, as well as the air and water impacted in the production process. Sarah also explains the design, sourcing, and different manufacturing processes she has explored in her efforts to bring something truly sustainable to consumers. Fast fashion has become the norm in recent years, with manufacturers producing much more product than is ever actually used, typically with underpaid laborers, and leads to consumers buying more than they can wear, resulting in a culture of disposal and unnecessary waste. Stone & Harper and other brands like Apiece Apart call for us to treat fashion and clothing as something intentional and a deliberate investment, but without totally segmenting this as an expensive path only available to the affluent.
Sustainability strategy for businesses, universities, and organizations is not limited to green buildings anymore. Mike Stopka tells us about how he approaches sustainability holistically, by looking at an entire organization's footprint, what their brand is, how they define their objectives, and the values of their community, which results in a powerful cultural shift toward more environmentally conscious policies. He also explains how we have moved beyond LEED, and the gold standard being set by living buildings. Much of what's going on in this space is now focused on carbon drawdown, and innovation and creativity is driving new sustainability-driven businesses.
Episode 8: This is Sustainability Strategy
A geomorphologist explains the significance of healthy soil to the survival of civilizations throughout human history and the simple practices that can be adopted to rejuvenate soil health and reduce the need for chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. In addition to restoring soil health, regenerative agricultural practices can increase yields for farmers and reduce the need for labor and inputs. David gives some insight into how these practices are implemented across the world in different environments and climates.
Episode 9: This is Regenerative Agriculture
Episode 10: This is Modified
Caitlin Shetterly tells us how her personal health issues led her on a journey to discover the world of industrial agriculture, GMOs, pesticides, and herbicides, and learned about the potential side effects for human health. Caitlin points out that many of the chemicals that Rachel Carson sounded the alarm about 50 years ago are still in uninhibited use across America, including 2-4-D, one of the major components in Agent Orange. The awareness that all of this stuff is at use in conventional farms presents us with an opportunity to choose organic, especially for our kids, and to tell everyone we know why.