Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sustainability Victory for Seattle and Overbrook Grantee

Due to long-term goals and often complex measures of success, many sustainability and conservation projects tend to progress slowly and incrementally. So a clear "green victory" is always cause for celebration -- and even more so when an Overbrook Foundation Environment grantee is at its center!

The Product Stewardship Institute, supported for the first time by Overbrook in June of this year, just participated in a major victory for resource conservation in Seattle. The City Council passed a phone book opt-out ordinance last night, requiring directory publishers to pay for phone book recycling costs and making it easy for consumers, through a registry, to prevent unwanted yellow pages from appearing on their doorsteps. Seattle's is the nation's first phone book opt-out program, and with vigilance its influence will spread to other cities.

Overbrook directed its PSI funding last June toward the consumer opt-out campaign for phone books, a project PSI has been working on for a number of state and local governments since 2006. Although Seattle passed legislation the battle continues; it is estimated that discarded phone books account for 660,000 tons in the waste stream each year, and opt-out programs are critical for saving trees and money spent on recycling costs.

Catalog Choice, also an Overbrook grantee, partnered with PSI on the phone book registry.

Read the Seattle City Council ordinance here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Environment Program Grants Awarded September 2010

At its September 2010 Board Meeting and Retreat last week, The Overbrook Foundation's Environment Program awarded $583,400 in grants to 10 organizations in the categories of Latin American Biodiversity Conservation, Sustainable Production and Consumption, and Public TV, Radio and Other Media. Nine are either renewals or from organizations previously funded, and one is a first-time request.

For its work supporting Latin American Biodiversity Conservation, the Foundation awarded $158,400 in grants. Organizations awarded were: Nature and Culture International, for its expansion of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and carbon financing programs in Ecuador; the New York Botanical Garden, for its work creating a certification program and tree species inventory in Brazil; and People and Plants International, for its biodiversity conservation and sustainable community work in central Mexico.

For its Sustainable Production and Consumption work, the Foundation awarded $345,000. Organizations awarded were: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), to further its continued research on consumer behavior and sustainability; Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), for the continuation of its work advancing a new materials economy in the United States; Global Green USA, for the expansion of its Coalition for Resource Recovery's paper food packaging recycling program; ForestEthics, for general operating support of its work promoting sustainable forestry; Health Care Without Harm, for its Healthier Hospitals Initiative; and The Story of Stuff, for continued operating support of The Story of Stuff Project.

The Environment Program also supported the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity for the development of a communications framework to address the problem of ocean acidification.

Once again, the diversity of its grantees reflects the Environment Program's commitment to conservation and innovation. Click on the links above to learn more about these wonderful organizations!