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Environment and Ecology

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The government has failed to inspect thousands of oil and gas wells it considers potentially high risks for water contamination and other environmental damage, congressional investigators say.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press before its public release, highlights substantial gaps in oversight by the agency that manages oil and gas development on federal and Indian lands. read more »

Environment and Ecology

Don Taylor, right, assistant district manager for composting operations at Pierce County Recycling, Composting and Disposal, chats with operator Steve Wandke while visiting the Purdy composting facility.Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula gardeners who utilize yard debris collection services are not only keeping their yards in meticulous shape, they are also helping Kitsap gardeners. The organic waste collected from around Pierce County — everything from recycled Christmas trees to grass clippings and dead leaves — becomes organic compost that is currently sold exclusively through Vern’s Organic Topsoil in Poulsbo. read more »


Recycle Earth partners, left to right: John Sehmel, Nathan Gray, Eric Miller and David Degarimore.As the owner of a construction company, Nathan Gray saw how much waste could be diverted from the landfill — as much as 70 percent of materials could have been recycled, he said. Longtime friend David Degarimore, owner of Kitsap Sports, felt the same way, that his businesses could do a better job recycling.

The two long-time friends not only run their individual businesses (Gray’s company is called Cascade Specialties), the pair are also partners in a business read more »

Environment And Ecology

Members of the United States Geological Survey research crew pull in a seine through eelgrass. (Photo by Dave Ayers)United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists began their shoreline forage fish study in Kitsap County the weekend of June 9 with what might be a local resident’s all too common problem — boat trouble.

These scientists access beaches by boat and work along the shoreline during both day and night periods wearing visually identifiable USGS clothing, and the boat clearly marked as a USGS research vessel. read more »

Environment And Ecology

Bainbridge Bakers is one of numerous Bainbridge Island businesses that took advantage of a Puget Sound Energy program offering affordable upgrades to LED lighting.That familiar thought bubble with a light bulb in it, long used to illustrate someone having a bright idea, probably needs to be updated. To reflect current trends, the iconic incandescent bulb should be replaced with an LED bulb.

Many Bainbridge Island businesses have done just that by taking advantage of a Puget Sound Energy program, and they are reaping significant savings on their electric bills. read more »

Environment And Ecology

426 lighting fixtures replaced on Watson's manufacturing floorWatson, a Poulsbo furniture manufacturer, has completed a lighting fixture upgrade that will reduce its annual electricity usage by 49 percent and total power consumption by 11percent — enough to power 15 average homes per year.

The project to replace 426 lighting fixtures on Watson’s manufacturing floor and within its administrative offices was made possible with the help of Puget Sound Energy, Energy Conservation Services, and North Coast Electric.

Through a grant program aimed at reducing energy consumption, Puget Sound Energy contributed 50 percent of the total cost for the upgrade. read more »

Environment And Ecology

For eco-minded businesses, a recycling plan, paper waste reduction and energy savings are likely the first ideas to be implemented. They’re all things that will save money so it makes financial sense as well. In those categories, one popular move currently is to take a look at lighting fixtures — in some cases, businesses are saving 30 percent to 50 percent on their electricity bill by simply switching bulbs to fluorescent. read more »

Environment And Ecology

There is an unprecedented need for renewable energy and conservation while addressing the growing demand for businesses and jobs to support them. For decades it has been clear that the way Americans produce and consume energy is not sustainable. Our addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels puts our economy, our national security and our environment at risk.

A clean-energy champion from Washington State, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), who sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has long advocated that, “…jobs that come from the shift to clean and renewable energy are concentrated in manufacturing, construction, and skilled facilities operations. read more »

Environment And Ecology

The economy has undoubtedly impacted every aspect of American life, including the way people spend their money. The shrinking retail sales may be a tell-all about a reduction in consumerism — whether by necessity or because it’s trendy — but there’s one other number that may indicate America’s love for “stuff” is changing. For the past few years, the amount of garbage generated nationwide has been decreasing: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between 2007 and 2009 (the last year available), municipal solid waste (a.k.a. garbage) generation went from 255 million tons to 243 million. read more »

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