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Alberta introduces economy-wide carbon tax, "Great green marketing."

Sun, Nov 22, 2015 @ 10:26 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Green Building Marketing


(This was just too important not to repeat it here. The tax will be $20 per ton and raise a home's energy cost and estimated $470 per year but the effects of this will be far reaching. We can't wait for the tranformation to come.)

There are no hard carbon targets, but under the plan, Alberta’s carbon emissions will begin to fall under today’s levels by 2030.

The government promised the moves would be revenue-neutral, and all money would be reinvested in the province on such things as new technology to fight pollution and into a new “adjustment fund” to help affected families and businesses deal with the changes.

Alberta’s climate-change strategy was released only hours before Ms. Notley was set to meet with Canada’s other premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Monday. Mr. Trudeau and most of the premiers will be headed to Paris for the summit. “Alberta is showing leadership on one of the world’s biggest problems, and doing our part,” Ms. Notley said in statement.

Ms. Notley’s six-month-old government says the lack of a wide-ranging climate policy has hampered the province’s energy industry as it has tried to persuade the United States and other trading partners to accept more shipments of crude from the oil sands.

Indeed, U.S. President Barack Obama said early this month that his country’s efforts to battle climate change would be tarnished by approving TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline that would ship Alberta oil to Texas refineries. He rejected it after seven years of review.

The energy sector had warned that any onerous new costs would be disastrous for an industry under severe financial pressure due to the collapse in crude oil prices.

Still, the plan won endorsements from some of the energy sector’s top executives, including Suncor Energy Inc. Chief Executive Steve Williams, Cenovus Energy Inc. CEO Brian Ferguson and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Chairman Murray Edwards, who had been among the sharpest critics of the NDP’s economic policies.

“The framework announced will allow ongoing innovation and technology investment in the oil and natural gas sector. In this way, we will do our part to address climate change while protecting jobs and industry competitiveness in Alberta,” Mr. Edwards said in a statement.

New measures in the policy include:

– A cap of 100 megatonnes on carbon emissions from the oil-sands sector, which had been Canada’s fastest-growing source of emissions, once new rules are adopted. It currently emits 70 megatonnes annually.

– An economy-wide tax of $20 per tonne on carbon-dioxide emissions starting in 2017, rising to $30 in 2018. Equal to seven cents per litre of gasoline. The average household will see heating and transportation costs increase by $470 annually by 2018 under the new rules.

– A phaseout of coal-fired power by 2030.

– Incentives to promote more use of renewable energy sources as well as to improve energy efficiency. The province is aiming for nearly a third of its power to be generated from renewables such as wind and solar power by 2030.

The NDP devised the new strategy with data from research conducted by a panel it appointed, led by University of Alberta economist Andrew Leach.

Politicians, business leaders and environmental activists react to Alberta's strategy to fight climate change

Calgary Alberta Premier Rachel Notley released a sweeping plan on Sunday for reducing carbon emissions. Here is some reaction:

Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change: “This is a strong, positive step in the right direction. We want to send a clear signal to Canadians and our partners around the world that Canada is back and ready to play our part ... Alberta is taking a leadership position on phasing out coal, and as Minister of Environment and Climate Change, I will be looking at ways to help accelerate the reduction of coal power right across the country.

Al Gore, former U.S. vice-president and global climate activist:“Today’s announcement by Premier Notley that Alberta will put an economy-wide price on carbon, phase out coal and increase its commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency represents an inspiring addition to the legacy of leadership and forward thinking action by Canadian provinces to speed our transition to a low carbon economy.”

Tim McMillan, President of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: “There are opportunities in there – as coal is phased out, natural gas has been identified as one of the major backfills. The changes to the carbon price and the cap that’s put on oil sands, the details are going to matter a lot and we’re keen to be at the table.”

Brian Ferguson, Chief Executive of oil sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc.: “It enables Alberta to be a leader, not only in climate policy, but also in technology, innovation, collaborative solutions and energy development. I believe it will lead to Albertans and Canadians receiving full value for their oil and natural gas resources, while addressing climate change.”

Brian Jean, leader of Alberta’s opposition Wildrose Party: “This new carbon tax will make almost every single Alberta family poorer, while accelerated plans to shut down coal plants will lead to higher power prices and further jobs losses.”

Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario: “Alberta’s new climate strategy, combined with a new federal government that is a true climate change partner for the provinces and territories, positions Canada to enter the Paris conference with a united voice. This unity is a departure from the past.”

Mike Hudema, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace:“These policies are important first steps, but much bigger emission reductions will be needed for Alberta to do its part to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius.”

- Jeffrey Jones, Calgary

Follow us on Twitter:  @the_Jeff_Jones@justincgio

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Green Marketing? Getting Creative with Coveted Sustainability

Thu, Oct 22, 2015 @ 09:05 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Marketing, Internet Marketing, Green Building Marketing, Business to Consumer Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, marketing agency


Curbside Recycling Isn’t Enough for Sustainability

Recycling isn’t a new idea, though curbside collection and legally enforced recycling in the United States is only about thirty years old, which is relatively new. If you are old enough to remember either of the World Wars or the Great Depression, then you probably remember collecting scrap metals or re-using household items until they couldn’t be used any longer. If you’re in your thirties or forties, you were probably taught how and what to recycle from a young age; and if you’ve grown up in or around big cities, odds are you know exactly what those crate-sized green bins appearing weekly on either side of the street are doing there. 

While it can often seem like much is being done in the way of recycling, the statistics surrounding waste management are quite astounding. According to the Clean Air Council, enough paper and plastic forks, spoons, and cups are thrown away each year in the US that if one was to line them up, they would circle the globe more than three hundred times. In addition, 102.1 billion plastic bags are used, but less than 1% of those bags are recycled. Even more shocking - every American uses enough paper and wood products each year to bring down a 100-foot-tall Douglas fir; while a typical office worker in the US will use 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. These are not statistics from twenty years ago - this is what the average American consumes each year in the United States today.

At the time of this writing, the US ranks 33rd in the world on the Environmental Performance Index published by Yale University each year. This ranking takes into consideration multiple aspects of environmental health when calculating each country’s score: health impacts, air quality, water and sanitation, water resources, agriculture, forests, fisheries, biodiversity and habitat, and climate and energy. If, despite all of its resources and the vast amount of knowledge available, the US still comes in 33rd - what can possibly be done to reduce waste and encourage those who are not recycling to begin?

Sustainability Lust

This is where coveted sustainability comes into play. Though it sounds like a complicated and technical environmental science term, it isn’t. "Sustainability" is an idea that focuses on balancing society, economy and the environment in order to improve and protect a community’s current and future health. “Coveted Sustainability” is simply a sustainability that is attractive enough to inspire or provoke others into achieving the same thing. 

mage from Why biophilic architecture works: five reasons and case studies. Click on image to go to site.

Coveted sustainability comes in many different shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a company taking a large, unused landmark and turning it into something that benefits the environment and community, such as The Highline in New York City - a park that was created on the foundation of an abandoned railroad; or a carpenter who builds furniture using only the materials he can find, like abandoned barns or fallen trees; or simply a college student finding an abandoned bookshelf on the side of the road and using the wood to build a desk - all take materials that have already been processed and find creative ways of bringing them new life, saving the environment in the process. 

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Art

Some of the biggest supporters and producers of coveted sustainability have been artists. In the last few years, in fact, there has been a movement meant to bring about an increased awareness of the benefits of recycling using coveted sustainability in art pieces that are designed to inspire. These projects range from environmentally-friendly public artwork like the crocheted bicycles that hit Cape Town, South Africa a few years back to an artist in Berlin who turned trash into playful installations, to a company called Sojourner Cyclery, that builds wooden bikes. In an effort to bring this work and the inspiration it provides to the public, “green” organisations across the country are taking advantage of the wealth of artists delving into coveted sustainability, and putting together shows that will, in effect, advocate for the environment in a unique and powerful way.

But I’m No Artist

Does coveted sustainability translate to the average American? It does if you’re willing to get creative. There are more ways to recycle than simply throwing a milk jug into the bin and bringing it to the curb for collection. Thinking about tossing all of those old cds? Think again. If you aren’t looking to make a profit in recycling, try gluing several together in a creative way to make a coaster, or even a table platter. Paint them - turn them into Christmas ornaments. Want to buy a new comforter for your bed but aren’t quite sure what to do with the old one? With a little needle and thread, you can make several couch cushions from the cotton and material. 

The foundation of sustainability is reinvention. Most items in your home will be made of materials that can be repurposed into something more basic. Items like cotton, wood, paper, plastic, and tin can be broken down and saved for craft projects. Do It Yourself sites are full of ideas for recycling every day household items. Old sheets become rags to wash your car. T-shirts you love but don’t really wear anymore become a unique quilt full of your favourite memories.

Image from Sojourner Cyclery. Click on image to go to site.

Get Inspired - Get Art

If you’re looking for some inspiration to get you started in your own coveted sustainability art installation, why not check out some of the work others are doing? Cincinnati Green put on a “Coveted Sustainability” Art Show at their LEED Platinum Office in Over-the-Rhine Cincinnati. Sojourner Cycling featured a wooden tandem bike ridden across country by a father and son team, and other installations will include anything from vintage IKEA furniture to candy wrapper handbags. After the show, when taking inventory, one piece was stolen, so it proved that sustainability is coveted!

Taking a look at the resources you have access to every day is the first step to improving the sustainability of your environment. Get creative - and don’t forget to have a good time doing it!


"Can You Save Money by Recycling?." money. http://www.money.co.uk/article/1010366-can-you-save-money-by-recycling.htm (accessed May 29, 2014).

"Coveted Sustainability Art Show." http://www.greenumbrella.org/event/coveted-sustainability-art-show (accessed May 29, 2014).

"DIY Network." - Home Improvement How-To & Remodeling Projects. http://www.diynetwork.com/ (accessed May 29, 2014).

"EPI." Environmental Performance Index. http://epi.yale.edu/epi (2014).

"History of Recycling." All-Recycling-Facts.comhttp://www.all-recycling-facts.com/history-of-recycling.html (accessed May 29, 2014).

"Inhabitat | Design For a Better World!." http://inhabitat.com/ (accessed May 29, 2014).

"Michael J. Valdes * Redemptive Acts of Carpentry." http://redemptiveactsofcarpentry.blogspot.com/ (accessed May 29, 2014).

"NC State Sustainability." Sustainability at NC State. http://sustainability.ncsu.edu/about/what-is-sustainability (accessed May 29, 2014).

"SojournerCyclery | hand-made wooden bicycle frames." http://sojournercyclery.com/ (accessed May 29, 2014).

"The High Line." The High Line. http://www.thehighline.org/ (accessed May 29, 2014).

"Waste and Recycling Facts." Clean Air Council. http://www.cleanair.org/Waste/wasteFacts.html (accessed May 29, 2014).

contributed by reader, Emma Harriman

Sustainable marketing is one of the hardest products to sell. Because it can't be sold. It is a belief of the individual. Belief in science and your role in the environment is a life long challendge. If you would like help communicating to those early adopters, give us a call. To learn more about the basics of content marketing, click below.

Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates

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Wright Residence Green Home Tour Feb 21

Sun, Feb 01, 2015 @ 05:21 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Cincinnati, USGBC Cincinnati, Cincinnati Advertising Agency



Wright Residence - 
Free, Green Home Tour
Feb 21
10 am till Noon

This Mt. Airy / Northside home has achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification They should save about $40,000 over the additional five year period of the tax savings, easily paying for the approximate $20,000 in better materials, systems and fees. This home is designed so the owners can age-in-place, accessibility and adaptability are planned into the project. Zero-step entry, Doors are wider, wider hallways and bathrooms.


Thanks to Owner/Architect Edward Wright of Wright Design for inviting us into his home. Attendees receive a great swag bag including info about the local U.S. Green Building Council's Green Living Member Circle, edible Ohio Valley Magazine, Park+Vine, Cincinnati Metro, Building Value and a gift basket raffle chance with items from Method Home, edible Ohio Valley Magazine Subscription, Cresbi Crate and more.

Please join us at the Wright Residence Feb 21, 2015 from 10 till Noon - There's no charge for the tour, max of 20 people, registration required, email chuck@lohre.com or call 513-260-9025 to register. Address will be provided after you register. 

Other tours for 2015: 
• Mar 21, 10 till Noon - Nutter Residence, Mt. Carmel, OH
• Apr 25, 9 till 11 am - Imago for the Earth Conscious Community, Price Hill, Cincinnati, OH
• May 16, 10 till Noon - Boulter Residence, Frank Lloyd Wright Architect, Clifton, Cin., OH
• Sep 12, 10 till Noon - Fritz Residence, Sun Sugar Farms, Verona, KY
• Oct 3, 10 till Noon - Fischer Residence, Milford, OH
• Nov 14, 10 till Noon - Brad Cooper Tiny Home, Cincinnati, OH

Sincerely, Chuck Lohre, Chair Green Living Member Circle U.S. Green Building Council Cincinnati Regional Chapter

"There's no such thing as a free lunch . . .,"Krista Atkins Nutter, Architect.

Register for the Free Wright Residence LEED Gold Green Home tour Feb 21. Be amazed, get a great swag bag and possibly win the raffle!
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Gaitan Residence Green Marketing Home Tour

Mon, Jan 05, 2015 @ 04:22 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Cincinnati, Green Home Tours


Gaitan Residence Green Home Tour Jan 17



Cincinnati Green Home Tour

Free, Green 
Home Tour
Jan 17
10 am till Noon


Gaitan Residence Green Home Tour

Brand new 3 story home includes three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, media room and two car garage. Paul's style merges 
Italianate Over-The-Rhine and contemporary.

Gaitan Residence Green Home Tour

On track for LEED Silver and saving thousands from Cincinnati's LEED tax abatement, Paul shows off the Merv 13 air filter which improves indoor air quality.

GaitanResidence Green Home Tour

Media room opens out onto a large deck, the view contains new construction and renovations all around with the new Washington Park a block away.

Gaitan Green Home Tour


Attendees receive a great swag bag including info about the local U.S. Green Building Council's Green Living Member Circle, Greener Stock, Building Value, Park+Vine, Big Ass Fans, Gilkey Windows, Cincinnati Metro, Rumpke Recycling and a gift basket raffle chance with items from Method Home, Cresbi Crate and more.

Please join us at the Paul Gaitan Residence Jan 17, 2015 from 10 till Noon - There's no charge for the tour, max of 20 people, registration required, email chuck@lohre.com or call 513-260-9025 to register. Address will be provided after you register. 

Other tours for 2015:
• Feb 21, 10 till Noon - Wright Residence, Northside, Cincinnati, OH 
• Mar 21, 10 till Noon - Nutter Residence, Mt. Carmel, OH
• Apr 25, 9 till 11 am - Imago for the Earth Conscious Community, Price Hill, Cincinnati, OH
• May 16, 10 till Noon - Boulter Residence, Frank Lloyd Wright Architect, Clifton, Cin., OH
• Sep 12, 10 till Noon - Fritz Residence, Sun Sugar Farms, Verona, KY
• Oct 3, 10 till Noon - Fischer Residence, Milford, OH
• Nov 14, 10 till Noon - Brad Cooper Tiny Home, Cincinnati, OH

Sincerely, Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C

"There's no such thing as a free lunch . . .,"Krista Atkins Nutter, Architect.


If you liked this post, you would like, "How to Create Green Marketing Communications."

Chuck Lohre, LEED AP and Documentation ConsultantFor a no obligation green building consultation for your home or office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll go over the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Reference Guide with you and offer helpful suggestions for Green Building Consultants, Architects, Interior Designers, Building Material Suppliers and Contractors. You can even borrow the Reference Guide if you like. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

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Green Marketing? Make a die casting plant Net-Zero Everything!

Sat, Nov 29, 2014 @ 03:08 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Sustainability, Sustainable Marketing, B2B Marketing


You can get side tracked by life cycle analysis (LCA) or you can just go for Net Zero Energy, Water and Waste!

Demo of the high pressure die casting process with ProCAST and QuikCAST - Courtesy of ALCAN

It might sound improbable that one of the most energy intensive industries could be net-zero energy, net-zero water and net-zero waste but it is being attempted by other heavy industries and we'll highlight their techniques in this article. Why? Because industrial leaders are using these techniques to reduce costs and educate their employees. The skills and techniques applied to achieve these goals are the most advanced economic methods. As Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Feintool Sustainable Company

One of the best examples of heavy industry with sustainable directives is the Franke Group of Switzerland. Their Feintool Division is particularly relevant as a heavy industry metalworking company. Here's what their President, Heinz Loosli, has to say about the future, "In other words, when it comes to strategic corporate investment decisions it is increasingly difficult to separate commercial and technological questions from geopolitics. Insecurity and volatile markets are the normality of the future. At Feintool our response to that is an equity ratio amounting to around 50-percent, because that gives us the capability to manage possible risks and thus to have the ability to invest even in more difficult times." From the Feintool Customer Magazine 2014

Michael Pieper, Owner and President/CEO Artemis Group (holding company of Franke Group) says on their Our Commitment page, "Ecological, economical, and social aspects shall be considered in whatever we do – from office to production floor. Sustainability means fairness towards future generations. Everything we do should be made in a way that all of us can face our children with a clear conscience."

NADCA and its member companies embrace continuous innovation and improvement, "We apply sustainability principles in the manufacturing and distribution of die castings. Many die casters have earned their ISO 14001 environmental management system certification. This achievement emphasizes current and future commitment to reducing their environmental impact, through the reduction of waste water, energy and solid waste." From NADCA Article


Increases in energy costs have prompted interest in what can be done to minimize energy usage in die casting plants. Empire Die Casting, an Ohio-based aluminum and zinc die caster, and other plants have installed advanced electric aluminum melting, distribution and holding systems that will cut the amount of energy needed to melt aluminum by 80%.

Many die casters have replaced the lighting in their facilities - benefits include lower energy use, better lighting and less heat generated by the lights. For example, on Becker Electrical Distributor's Lighting Energy Saving's page they illustrate a lighting project retrofit that pays off in only 1.28 years. Over ten years they project a savings of $198,040.

But how do you have net-zero energy? Microsoft purchases renewable energy certificates to offset its carbon. From Datacenter Dynamics, In trying to reduce the carbon footprint of its data centers and operations in general, Microsoft has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with a wind farm developer to offset carbon emissions associated with its operations, including its massive San Antonio, Texas, data center, which is plugged into the same utility grid the wind farm will be part of. Brian Janous, director of energy strategy at Microsoft, says the company will apply renewable energy credits (RECs) that come with every kWh generated to electricity consumed across all of its operations. “Microsoft will apply those REC’s toward the electricity consumed across our footprint, offsetting any emissions that resulted from carbon-based sources of electricity,” he writes in an email to DatacenterDynamics FOCUS.

From Microsoft Environment, In May 2012, Microsoft made a commitment to make our operations carbon neutral: to achieve net zero emissions for our data centers, software development labs, offices, and employee business air travel in over 100 countries around the world. To achieve this goal, we have implemented an internal carbon fee which places a price on carbon and aims to improve energy efficiency, increase our purchase of renewable energy, improve data collection and reporting, and further aligns to our ongoing goal of reducing our environmental impact. We established an internal carbon fee based on current market pricing for renewable energy and carbon offsets. Business groups are financially responsible for the cost to offset their carbon emissions. The carbon fee is part of broader company initiatives to demonstrate responsible environmental leadership. Microsoft has invested in programs that reduce environmental impact across its worldwide business operations, from facilities and supply chain to the efficiency of its software products.

From the U.S. Department of Energy - Voluntary RECs can be sourced either regionally or nationally. Most utility green pricing programs or marketers selling bundled electricity and REC products source their products from local or regional resources, with some exceptions. Buyers of nationally sourced voluntary RECs are often large corporations that have facilities in multiple locations across the country. In voluntary markets, RECs from certain regions may sell at a premium if they are competing with RECs used for RPS demand, or are coming from regions with limited renewable resources. For example, from 2007 to December of 2011, western wind RECs sold at higher prices than nationally sourced wind RECs. Nationally sourced voluntary RECs are typically derived from the most cost-effective renewable resources nationally.

REC Voluntary prices


National Voluntary REC prices, January 2008 to July 2014, Source: Marex Spectron (2014)

(In 2006) Twin City Die Castings Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Twin City Die Castings Company was awarded project No. DE-FG36-05GO15097 to perform plant wide assessments of ten (10) die casting facilities that produce zinc and magnesium alloy castings in order to determine improvements and potential cost savings in energy use. The intended benefits of the project were to improve energy use through higher operational and process efficiency for the plants assessed. An improvement in energy efficiency of 5 – 15% was targeted. From the Department of Energy

If you're not into 100% net-zero energy, Where do you start to understand what to reduce first? Here's an excerp from Stuart Lemmon of Carbon Clear who says to prepare for the worst. (say climate change impacts for example) "A good carbon strategy should begin by assessing the material risks and opportunities of climate change to the business. Establishing which parts of your business are most at risk from a changing climate will inform your carbon strategy by identifying key areas to prioritize to ensure future resilience and effective carbon reductions. Carbon Clear’s annual research into the carbon reporting performance of the FTSE 100 found that 76 of the index set carbon targets in 2014. Reviewing four years of the research results we see a correlation between companies with a robust emissions management strategy and the achievement of their reduction targets. This suggests that good strategy delivers good performance. However, the best performers are not typical of the group; in 2014 we found that while 76 companies have targets, not many of them report a clear strategic approach to target setting which may impact their ability to meet targets in the long term." Read the entire article.

But there's another way to meet aggressive sustainability goals. It's like going into orbit, for every pound, it takes 9 pounds of fuel. The less energy, material, waste you use or produce the less you have to regenerate or reuse. Rocky Mountain Institute is a leader in this field, from a recent article by IEEE THE INSTITUTE on their goals, "RMI believes that by implementing its applied research aimed at solving what it calls complex energy challenges, several exceptional goals can be met. It says that by 2050, transportation would not use any oil; renewables would meet 80 percent of electricity demand; a billion square feet of commercial space could be made more efficient; and total energy consumption, rather than growing, could be reduced by 9 percent from 2010 levels. And these targets can be accomplished with current technology and existing government policies. All it takes is to rethink a design—of just about everything. RMI calls its vision “Reinventing Fire.” Eric Wanless, manager and senior consultant with RMI, was the keynote speaker at the IEEE Conference on Technology for Sustainability, held in July in Portland, Ore., “I challenge IEEE members to think broadly about how they approach problems as they relate to transforming our energy system,” Wanless adds. “Think bigger than you typically do and challenge yourself to explore nontraditional solutions, take risks, and do things differently.”"


Rainwater harvesting along with recycling can reduce your dependance on public systems. In one corner of Princetel's newly-completed Hamilton, NJ factory, two 5,000-gallon tanks collect rainwater for the facility's toilets and garden irrigation. CEO Barry Zhang said Friday that the water conservation effort embodied the company’s mission to remain sustainable, as Princetel's factory was named the first industrial building in the state to receive a LEED Platinum rating.  “This is the kind of thing that turned this building into a passion project,” Zhang said, referencing the massive water tanks. “Financially, this will never make any sense. We’ll never make the money back. But water is too cheap in this country, and we’re wasting it too much. We get a double benefit here by saving water and feeling really good about what we’re doing.”

Bullit Center Composting Toilets

But there's one thing you might not be thinking of, human waste! Here's "The world’s only six-story composting toilet system. Human waste is transferred to composters and periodically taken offsite to be used as fertilizer. Aerobic digestion heats material to 190 degrees and converts solid waste to compost. When nature calls at the Bullitt Center, you may be surprised to see waterless toilets. Instead of the normal fish bowl, the toilets at the Bullitt center are a specially designed waterless vessel that feeds into the basement composters through nearly completely vertical pipes. Once the cargo makes it all the way down, it begins a long aerobic process of decomposition in one of ten Phoenix Composting Systems, each about the size of a Fiat 500 (84” tall x 40” wide x 61” deep). The liquid and solid matter is mixed with wood chips and fluffed regularly using tines, or comb-like structures that can be turned using a special socket wrench.

From Stephen R. Schulte, P.E., REM, Hixson Engineering's article in PRODUCT FINISHING's 2015 Directory and Technology Guide, "Recovery/Recycling Methods for Metal Finishers - Recycling Technologies - Because the vast majority of chemicals used in metal finishing processes do not become part of the part, metal finishers have a number of technologies to recover these materials. In fact, through a combination of technologies, it is possible that a facitility can accomplish a 'zero' wastewater discharge to sewer or stream and generate only a small volume of concentrated liquid and or solid waste."


The die casting industry has long been built on recycling. The metal alloys used by die casters are produced from recycled raw materials, created with far less energy than is required for virgin alloys. Over 95% of the aluminum die castings produced in North America are made of post-consumer recycled aluminum, helping to keep the aluminum content of municipal solid waste to less than 1%.

Die casters have successfully implemented a closed loop system to recycle and reuse as much material as possible within their processes. They recycle everything from office paper to hydraulic fluid to machining chips. This results in very little waste being transported to the landfill. Closed Loop Recycling has developed a process to clean oil absorbent material and to refine the used oil extracted from the materials. 

As a wrap up here are the accepted best practice organizations for first accessing your environmental footprint and then a list of accepted tools to use to reduce your impact.

Cradle-To-Cradle Raw Materials

Besides the objective of not creating waste comes the concept of Cradle-To-Cradle which considers one processes waste as another processes raw material. In that manner there is no waste stream. From, "Cradle to cradle: How Armstrong World Industries has transformed the lifecycle of the humble ceiling tile." In addition, because Armstrong pioneered ceiling recycling, the company had to be seen to be constantly evolving the programme.

And while Armstrong ceiling tiles now contain up to 82% recycled content, the challenge here was to persuade specifiers such as architects and interior designers to select Armstrong systems over competitors’ on the basis that the product was already highly recyclable and a programme was already in place to recycle them.

Armstrong identified Cradle to Cradle certification as the way forward in this respect. The Cradle to Cradle philosophy differs from other sustainable certifications in that the process begins even before a product is manufactured.

They are developed specifically for closed loop systems in which every ingredient is not only safe but beneficial, capable of either biodegrading naturally and restoring the soil, or to be fully recycled into high-quality materials for subsequent product generations, again and again.

The programme was developed to meet growing customer demand for sustainable products, with certification already becoming a requirement for building projects in America and parts of Europe. It is designed to give specifiers and clients a transparent mechanism to compare the sustainability performance of competitive products.


Carbon Disclosure Project

ISO 14000 - Environmental management

Global Reporting Initiative


U.S. Department of Energy Energy Star

U.S. Green Building Council


Forest Stewardship Council 

If you liked this post, you would like, "How to Create Green Marketing Communications."

Chuck Lohre, LEED AP and Documentation ConsultantFor a no obligation green building consultation for your home or office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll go over the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Reference Guide with you and offer helpful suggestions for Green Building Consultants, Architects, Interior Designers, Building Material Suppliers and Contractors. You can even borrow the Reference Guide if you like. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

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Cool Green Marketing Events for November 2014

Wed, Nov 05, 2014 @ 11:21 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Cincinnati, LEED, LEED Certification, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Cincinnati Advertising Agency


ReSource Shred-It Event

Nov 6

FREE ReSource Shred Event for Non-Profits
8:30 am to 4 pm

Help divert thousands of pounds of paper from local landfills by volunteering to help with ReSource Shred Event. Contact Chuck Lohre 513-260-9025 to select the morning or afternoon shift. Non-ReSource member organizations will need to present a copy of their 501(c)(3) letter of determination from the IRS in order to participate in the event. 

Kinsman Residence LEED Silver

Nov 8

Kinsman Residence Tour
10 am to Noon

Come join us to experience one of the most futuristic homes in the Tri-State. It doesn't have a boiler! Heat is supplied by solar hot water panels on the roof; along with natural venitlation it proves that you may not need the power company. Learn more about the home. Attendance is limited to 20. We'll have a great swag bag and a raffle! Register with Chuck Lohre at 513-260-9025 or chuck@lohre.com.

Wee Folk Art Corn Husk Dolls

Nov 15

Corn Husk Doll Making Class
10:30 to Noon

Class size is limited. Registration is required. Instructor: Mary Dudley, Civic Garden Center Youth Education Coordinator Fee: $5 per participant A fall classic. Enjoy some cider and stories as we make corn husk dolls and learn about holiday traditions from the past. 513-221-0981 or email for more info. Thanks to Wee Folk Art for the photo.

Wee Folk Art Corn Husk Dolls

Nov 20

ALI's Green STEM at the Summit Annual Gathering
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Features biology scholar, Dr. Hamid Eghbalnia. Dr Eghbalnia will discuss the intersection of health, the environment, and community. Enjoy a light meal, including soup, salad and delicious appetizers, music and cash bar at the Summit Restaurant. Tickets can be purchased by visiting ALI. or contact Ginny Frazier, 513-541-4607.

LEED for Homes CincinnatiThe Kinsman Residence is a LEED Certification level Silver home that's boiler free. Heating and natural cooling from passive and thermal solar sources. Tour: Sat., Nov. 8, 10 am to Noon - Free, Max of 20 people, Registration required, email chuck@lohre.com or call 513-260-9025. The home is located in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Northside. Address will be provided when you register. Home blog.

Attendees receive a great swag bag including info about Greener Stock, Building Value, AIA CRAN Awards, Whole Foods, Being Green in Cincinnati, Park+Vine, Big Ass Fans, Gilkey Windows, Cincinnati Metro, Rumke Recycling and raffle chance for items from Method Home, Patagonia Provisions, Cresbi Crate and more.


Hi friend,

We plan to continue offering sustainable home tours every month in the hope that a community of passionate individuals will come together and promote green building in the Tri-State. We'll be publishing 2015's list of tours in January, so RSVP to this month's tour and let us know if you have an idea for a tour as well. We are most interested in LEED, Permaculture, Home Gardening, Living Building Challenge, Historical Preservation, Passive House, Material Reuse and Cradle-To-Cradle projects.

Sincerely, Chuck Lohre

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it," Alejandro Agag, Formula E CEO

Sustainable Home Guide

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Cool Green Marketing Events for July 2014

Mon, Jul 07, 2014 @ 09:04 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Green Events, Cincinnati Advertising, Cincinnati PR Agencies, Cincinnati Marketing


Melink Corporation

July 10

LEED V4 The Legacy Continues

5:30 - 7:30 pm

Melink Corporation,Net Zero Headquarters, 5140 River Valley Rd, Milford, OH 45150. "Changes to LEED GA and LEED AP testing requirements and credential maintenance." Free to USGBC Cincinnati members, guests $10. Learn more.


Clifty Falls State park

July 13

Boots and Brews: Creeks and Falls

Noon to 6:30 pm

Benchmark Outfitters
Hike Clifty Falls State Park. See cool fossils, snakes and waterfalls all led by Chris Clements, Imago’s Executive Director.  Learn more.


Coveted Sustainability Art Show

July 25

"Coveted Sustainability" Art Opening

6:00 to 11:00 pm

Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy
, 126A West 14th St. Featuring Jay Kisinger's handmade walnut tandem bicycle -- 2014 North American Hand Made Bicycle Exhibition Best-Of-Show Winner.  Learn more.


Cincinnati Preservation LEED Tour

July 26


10:00 am -- Noon

1405 Elm St.
The greenest building is the one already built! Tour a green/historic renovation in progress along the streetcar route. Free to Cincinnati Preservation Association members, guests $10. Learn more.


tandem480x200This handmade 26-inch touring frame uses hollow 5–6mm thick black walnut tubes with an oil finish. Need convincing that this wooden bike is more than a gorgeous prop? The builder and his son rode it from coast to coast across the US. On display at the 'Coveted Sustainability' Art Show running from July 25 to Aug 29 at Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy and Lohre & Associates' LEED Platinum office at 126A West 14th St., 2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202, just north of Washington Park.

Hi friend,

We hope to see you at the "Coveted Sustainability' Art Show opening July 25 from 6 to 11 p.m. The whole idea came from attending a day long Mid-Century Modern seminar at the Cincinnati Art Museum. This collection demonstates that sustainability is beautiful and coveted. We've included sustainable art objects you would want to steal!

City Flea Cincinnati Washington ParkThere's more!
July 12 - "City Flea" in Washington Park 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
July 13 - "Second Sunday on Main" Noon to 5 p.m. 
July 17 - "Twilight in the Garden" at the Cincinnati Zoo 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Sincerely, Chuck Lohre

"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you," Frank Lloyd Wright.

If you liked this post, you would like, "Green Marketing the Wright Way: A LEED Platinum Home"

Chuck Lohre, LEED AP and Documentation ConsultantFor a no obligation green building consultation for your home or office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll go over the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Reference Guide with you and offer helpful suggestions for Green Building Consultants, Architects, Interior Designers, Building Material Suppliers and Contractors. You can even borrow the Reference Guide if you like. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.
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How to Market 'Sustainability'? (Green Marketing)

Sat, Mar 01, 2014 @ 11:36 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Sustainability, Green Building Consultants


Leading by example is the best way to practice sustainable and Green marketing.

Post by Nikki Birchfield Sustainability & Tourism Professional Top Contributor to LinkedIn GreenBiz.com - Sustainability Professionals group.

"It seems many people these days are jumping on the sustainability bandwagon. However, not all that are on board are necessarily truly concerned about all the aspects related to sustainability (economy, environment, & socio-cultural). It seems as if they would rather market the idea than actually fully commit. Do you think it wise to market the sustainable aspects of a business or company, despite a lack of whole-hearted commitment to sustainability? Is this yet another example of 'green-washing'? And if trying to promote and market the sustainable components of a business, what is the best way to go about doing so?"

Great topic Nikki,

Green Building Consulting Frank Lloyd WrightIn 2003, Janet and I purchased a 1956 home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It rekindled my interest in architecture. I had studied it for three years before I started working for my Father's industrial ad agency. When searching for the evolution of Mr. Wright's Organic architecture, I learned of the U.S. Green Building Council and have been a big promoter since. Link to the Boulter House site.


Green Building Consultant USGBCI served on the board of the local USGBC Chapter, was invited to teach renewable energy at Cincinnati State Technical College and along the way got my LEED AP ID+C and self Certified my office LEED Platinum. Jan. 3 the office was awarded the number one Green Building project in Cincinnati. It has been listed as one of the top ten in the world by a post on GreenBiz.com. I believe in leading by example, and it has worked for my new Green Building Consultancy and Green Marketing company, Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy. Link to the USGBC profile about our LEED Platinum office.

Green Building Consulting DirectoryGCEA's goal is to promote Green Building and provide the public the resources to achieve LEED certification. Link to our Green Building Directory. LEED might not be perfect, Cradle-to-Cradle might not be either, but if you achieve the highest levels of these certifications you will be a valuable resource for others and they will come to you for advice. Currently Janet and I are working on getting our FLW home LEED Certified. It is very hard and will take a long time but not much money. It's my goal for now along with achieving LEED Platinum Version 4 on a local Vegan Restaurant and Event Center. As a last point about marketing sustainability, one needs to know the specific audience and speak to their interests. Thanks and good luck.

If you liked this post, you would like, "How to Create Green Marketing Communications."

Chuck Lohre, LEED AP and Documentation ConsultantFor a no obligation green building consultation for your home or office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll go over the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Reference Guide with you and offer helpful suggestions for Green Building Consultants, Architects, Interior Designers, Building Material Suppliers and Contractors. You can even borrow the Reference Guide if you like. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.
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Green Globes is Great, but LEED is still in the Lead

Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 02:07 PM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Green Building Consulting, Green Marketing, Cincinnati, LEED, LEED Certification, Green Building, LEED Certification Documentation, Cincinnati Marketing


Is Green Globes on the Rise? Not in Cincinnati!Green Globes

Last week it was announced that Jerry Yudelson, a national leader in green building advocacy, is the next president of the Green Building Initiative (GBI). The Portland, Oregon based non-profit organization is best known for its Green Globes rating system, a front line competitor to the USGBC’s LEED program. (Thank you GreenTravelerGuide.com for use of this photo). 

Jerry Yudelson has spent years of his life dedicated to green building. A leading consultant, he has published 13 books on the topic and was incremental in the development of Greenbuild, the nation’s largest annual green building conference. Yudelson has also achieved the high level ranking of LEED Fellow, which is a highly coveted title in the LEED industry, adding to his long list of green building credentials. Because of his longevity and prominence with LEED, switching to Green Globes seemed to come as a shock to those in the green building industry.

We here at Lohre and Associates are most educated with LEED building initiatives and are not too familiar with Green Globes. This is primarily because of LEED’s federal standing; all federal buildings must be built to LEED Sliver requirements, although Green Globes is also now in the running for such commendation. Because LEED is a federal requirement, federal tax incentives for building to LEED standards have increased LEED’s popularity.

Money Talks, Green Builders Listen

LEEDRegardless of who is working where, money talks, and it is speaking to LEED builders. One important reason that LEED has been so popular in Cincinnati (Cincinnati is ranked 3rd in the nation for green building) is due to the city property tax abatements that are available here. Individuals building a LEED building are granted tax incentives and Green Globes cannot compete with that, at least not yet. From a marketing standpoint, the ability to save individuals and companies money, not only through energy efficiency and sustainable design, but through tax abatements provides primary real estate in green building. 

Also the City of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and Cincinnati Public Schools build all of their buildings to LEED Certification. These are also part of the reason for the expolsion of LEED projects in the region.

There have been arguments made that Green Globes green building process is cheaper than LEED, however, there has yet to be definitive information provided by either party to prove this. We know that the tax incentives here in Cincinnati only recognize the LEED building process. If a person were to use the Green Globes rating system for their green building, the state, county and sity tax abatements would not apply, therefore that person would miss out on years of tax savings. 

If you enjoyed this blog post, you will also enjoy LEED Certification Documentation for Your Home or Office.

_______________________________________________________________________________For Chuck LEEDA no obligation free consultation on how to best market your green product, green service or green office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll offer helpful marketing suggestions for understanding your buyer personas, creating content that speaks to your customers, finding the best places to advertise and managing prospect lists and email news.  Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

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Green Marketing the Wright Way: A LEED Platinum Home

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 @ 11:12 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Building Consulting, Green Marketing, LEED Platinum Certification, Green Building

1 Comment

A recent blog post in POLLUTION ENGINEERING inspired us to plot a path to LEED Platinum for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home.

LEED Platinum HomeEditor Roy Bigham's piece was about new EPA clean air standards being considered for for wood stoves. We use a sawdust pellet stove in our office to demonstrate renewable energy. The U.S. Green Building Council considers the burning of sawdust a renewable energy source because sawdust would decay anyway and release its carbon. Since the production of lumber is considered a proper use of natural resources if it is a common species, its byproduct, sawdust, satisfies the renewable energy requirement for that credit.

Our green building consulting division, Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy, is working on LEED documentation for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home. HVAC systems are particulary tough aspects in the quest for LEED Platinum certification. In this case, there is only a modest area available for solar panels, which may barely be able to power the AC system during the summer. The real problem was the boiler for the hot water heating system which is in the main floor. The solution is to use sawdust pellets for the heating system. By having the two systems, we will avoid having to install a costly ($30,000+) geothermal system which would require two separate systems, one for the hot water floor heating and one for the air conditioning system on the roof. The stove shown in the photo is in our LEED Platinum office. It's an EPA Certified sawdust pellet system that has very low emissions but still smells great. The combustion system is completely separate from the forced hot air system which heats the office.

Frank Lloyd Wright Green HomeHere's a preliminary scorecard on our path to achieve LEED Platinum. We may get four credits because we are using an existing home's shell and providing access to open space on the generous lot. It will be a sustainable site because it's entirely planted in native wildflowers and grasses which require no irrigation and doesn't use toxic pest control -- that should give us 24 credits.

A full 15 credits may be achieved by improving water efficiency with rainwater harvesting and high-efficiency toilets and faucet aerators. Low water-use clothing and dishwashers would be specified, as well.

The energy and atmosphere systems for the home built in 1956 will be hard to modify and improve. Air sealing, air-to-air heat exchangers and high-quality interior storm windows will barely bring the home up to conventional comfort levels. Using the renewable sawdust pellet stove and solar panels for electricity production will raise the credit count by 27.5.

Boulter House Tom Schiff Photograph resized 600

Indoor environmental quality will be improved by extra outdoor air ventilation, better air filters, enhanced combustion air venting and the lack of a garage -- 18 credits could be achieved. Rounding out the project will be green cleaning and green building education programs at the home. An innovation in design point will be awarded because of the passive solar orientation popular with Wright's designs. The more than 450 square feet of windows are a signature feature as well, but more than five times as much as needed for passive solar heating systems. The lack of roof overhang is mitigated by external shading in the summer. This proposal totals 112.5 credits, LEED Platinum is achieved for projects over 90. Photo by Thomas R. Schiff.

Honda Insight Top SpeedSo let's get back to Bigham. We disagree when he concludes, "These and many other changes are not driven by market pressures to improve anything. These are bureaucratic changes that the government tells us is better for us. Nobody in my circle of friends wants to be forced to spend up to $100K for their next car. My last purchase was around $18K."

U.S. citizens' tax dollars fund the EPA's work to develop air quality standards. I want to follow them for my and my neighbors' health. We paid $3500 for our EPA Certified sawdust pellet stove. You can get one like it in size at Walmart for $1500, which pollutes the atmosphere unnecessarily. We achieved LEED Platinum for $12 per square foot. We believe you can be environment-positive and economical by spending where it's needed and saving through reusing materials. My last car purchase was $7K 12-year-old Honda Insight. It gets 100 mpg once you learn how to drive efficiently. Now that's green, clean and inspiring!

If you liked this post, you may also like, "The Joys of a LEED Platinum Green Office and How You Can Achieve It."

Chuck Lohre, LEED AP and Documentation ConsultantFor a no obligation green building consultation for your home or office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll go over the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Reference Guide with you and offer helpful suggestions for Green Building Consultants, Architects, Interior Designers, Building Material Suppliers and Contractors. You can even borrow the Reference Guide if you like. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.
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