Environment: USA Prepares for Earth Day on 22nd April 2011

Organisations and firms around the worlds are making last minute preparations for Earth Day on 22nd April 2011, when individuals and groups will come together to try and enact a “billion acts of green”.

Over in the USA, The Dow Chemical Company will host Bill Ginn, Chief Conservation Officer of The Nature Conservancy, at its headquarters in Midland, Michigan, for a presentation on the social and economic value of nature. The talk will take place on 20th April 2011.

Dow’s vice president of Sustainability and EH&S, Neil Hawkins said:

“Every Spring, right around Earth Day, we are reminded of the beauty of our planet. It’s a great time to think about our own personal commitments to protecting it.”

California will see AES Electronics Recycling, Inc., host a Free Electronic Recycling Event at the city of Fullerton. Part of the i Care Festival, residents will be able to take old computers and mobile phones along and keep the technology out of landfill.

The event takes place on Saturday 23rd April from 09:00 (PDT) to 13:00 (PDT) at 800 North State College Boulevard, Fullerton (Dorothy and State College Boulevard parking lot).

The Chief Executive Officer of AES Electronics Recycling, Mario Zuniga, said:

“We are excited more organizations are getting involved with Earth Week. Recycling electronics is key to keeping our ground water clean from hazardous waste like mercury.”

In Illinois, Governor Patrick Quinn has already been to see a Walgreens drugstore in Oak Park that features a geothermal energy system. The system, which went live when the store opened last October, has reduced the store’s expected energy usage by 60 percent.

The Governor proudly stated:

“Walgreens has shown that it is smart for businesses to think green. By making our businesses, homes and public buildings more sustainable, we are creating jobs, reducing energy costs and ensuring a cleaner and greener future for Illinois.”

Walgreens had help from Indie Energy to install a geothermal system which harnesses the warmth of the earth deep underground through a network of four 200m deep closed-loop boreholes, and a heat exchange system with the building, controlled by Indie Energy EnergyLoopTM technology.

A water-based heat transfer liquid exchanges heating and cooling energy with the earth, which provides a constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside the store, the geothermal heat pump and refrigeration systems pull heating energy from the fluid, or reject heat to the fluid to cool. The EnergyLoopTM system monitors and optimizes this exchange in real-time to provide the maximum energy efficiency.

Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson commented:

“This type of system makes a lot of sense here in the Midwest. The ability to heat to room-temperature from 55 degrees rather than from 10 degrees, or cool it from 98 degrees, is saving a lot of energy.”

The store also features a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station, which can add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge. Working with 350Green, Walgreens plans to install charging stations at about 30 additional Chicago-area stores.

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