This Week in Review

"Frankenstorm" Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to affect people all the way from Cape Cod to Florida. What climate change?
Happy Friday! In this week's sustainability and green initiatives round-up, we've got good news and bad news news.

Bad news first.

This year's presidential debates.
Our leaders have let us down by not so much as acknowledging climate change in any of this year's presidential or vice presidential debates (primaries not withstanding)—the first complete omission of the topic since 1984. From the Huffington Post:
Nearly 25 years after NASA scientist James Hansen famously told Congress that the science behind the greenhouse effect was clear—and after similarly long-lived efforts to raise awareness of global warming and to force the topic into the national dialog -- the meaning behind Monday's milestone is likely to be hotly debated. To some, it is a sign that climate change has become a niche issue -- and is now being treated like any other special interest. To others, the candidates are merely playing the political odds in an election in which Americans are highly focused on jobs and other more immediate concerns.
Want to learn more about the candidates' environmental policies? Click here for Obama, or here for Romney.

Thankfully, other people are taking their own initiatives to reduce their carbon footprints.

Out in Oakland, Calif., Kijani Grows is a farming technology organization using aquaponics to improve lives in urban and rural communities by utilizing traditional concepts, local materials, and modern technologies to providing delicious, healthy produce grown aquaponically underneath a maze of overpasses and highways.


And over at Kean University in Union and Hillside, N.J., the school's composting operation processed its 100th ton of material. Less than a year ago, Kean University made a significant commitment to New Jersey’s environment: Moving forward, the university would gather food scraps from its cafeteria facilities and reuse the material through composting rather than simply add to the institution’s solid waste footprint. The 100th ton of material means the school has diverted some 200,000 pounds of food scraps away from the region’s landfills and incinerators. Instead, the waste material has been processed in the composter and has been used in a variety of landscaping applications throughout the campus. Some material has been used to enrich the soil of the University’s new farm on its Liberty Hall Campus – fresh vegetables from that site supply the school’s cafeteria and a new restaurant, Ursino, on the campus grounds.



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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.