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7-Eleven Helps Drivers Curb Their Carbon Impact

Fortunately, companies like 7-Eleven are leading the way in offering innovative solutions aimed to help consumers mitigate the negative environmental effects of car travel, giving them a chance to make a difference.

Through a program called RENEW, 7-Eleven calculates tailpipe carbon emissions and offsets those emissions through local and global carbon reduction projects, including reforestation and tree plantings.

"As a brand 7-Eleven has committed to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal no. 7 and no. 11. These goals center around providing more sustainable energy for consumers and giving back to our local communities. That's why we introduced the 7-Eleven RENEW program and why it is so important," says Jason Murray, 7-Eleven Vice President of Operations for the Pacific Northwest. "We've made sustainability an easy option for our customers. By simply choosing to pump at a 7-Eleven RENEW location, drivers are proactively reducing their carbon impact by up to 30 percent."

RENEW launched in 2017 and recently reached a milestone of offsetting more than 150 million gallons of fuel. In terms of carbon impact, that equates to powering more than 5.2 million homes' electricity for a day.

"What 7-Eleven is doing is an example of a community-minded business trying to help solve a very difficult problem," says Sharon, a 7-Eleven customer and a teacher in Tracy, California.

Community engagement is a cornerstone of the 7-Eleven RENEW program, which supports projects in collaboration with local and national nonprofit organizations. The Plant it Forward promotion, available at 658 locations, is an example of 7-Eleven's partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. Through Plant it Forward, 7-Eleven supports tree planting and invites customers and community members to dedicate a tree to friends or family members.

"We expect to see RENEW grow significantly this year. We want to ensure customers know that when they pull into a 7-Eleven RENEW location to pump their fuel, they are doing more than just pumping fuel. They are making a difference," Murray says. "We are proud of the RENEW program and the customers who participate because we are working together to save our environment locally and globally."

For more information and to find 7-Eleven RENEW locations, visit 7-ElevenRenew.com.

 

Go Green on Your Grass With Electric Lawn Mowers

Special features of modern electric mowers include variable speeds that allow users to adjust to different conditions on the ground. That means no need for extra effort when going uphill. In addition, electric mowers can be set for slower speeds to maneuver around flower beds, trees, or lawn furniture.

Many top companies, including DR Power Equipment, Ryobi, Greenworks, and Craftsman and Kobalt, among others, offer a range of styles and models for battery-powered, self-propelled, walk-behind lawn mowers that feature the unique and efficient variable-speed electric transmission designed by General Transmissions.

"With the variable-speed, self-propelled drive system, you mow the lawn at your own pace. Change speeds whenever you want by adjusting your grip on the speed control. You don't have to stop what you're doing to change speeds," says Wouter Barendrecht, chief executive officer of General Transmissions.

"The electric drive has a motor on it that controls the self-propelled function, so you can disengage the cutting blade and still keep moving with the self-propelled feature operating," says Barendrecht.

Still not convinced? Here are the top three reasons to try a battery-operated lawn mower this year:

- Easy to use. Battery-powered lawn mowers are safe and simple to use. Speeds can be adjusted without stopping the mower, and you mow at your own pace. Many of them include mulching features, and some have batteries that can be used interchangeably with other electric equipment from the same manufacturer. Other features, such as telescoping handles, make storage a snap, especially for homeowners in townhouses or other areas with limited space.

"These mowers weigh a lot less than comparable gas-powered ones, so they're easier to maneuver and easier to store. You can even hang them by their handles on a storage hook in your garage or storage area," says Jeff Land, vice president of merchandising and engineering at DR Power Equipment.

- Economically smart. A battery-powered, self-propelled lawn mower saves money. Think of all the cash you can save on gas this season, not to mention oil and oil filters. The batteries charge on a standard household current, and most homeowners can mow an average-sized lawn (about an hour of mowing power) without the need to recharge.

- Environmentally friendly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, gas-powered lawn equipment generates 5 percent of the air pollution in the United States each year. In addition, a gas-free mower eliminates the noise pollution, gasoline smell, and potential contamination and hazards of spilled gas and oil.

For more information, visit generaltransmissions.com/en/technology/electric/ to learn more about what makes battery-powered, self-propelled lawn mowers a good choice for today's many homeowners.

 

Spending time outside this spring comes with a caveat - check for ticks

Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC by state health departments, but this number doesn't reflect all diagnosed cases of Lyme disease. Recent estimates suggest that approximately 300,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States.

New data reported by the CDC in 2018 showed that state and local health departments reported more cases of tick-borne diseases in 2017 than ever before, including Lyme disease. While the uptick in ticks remains unclear, a number of factors can affect tick populations, including temperature, rainfall, humidity, and most certainly, host populations, like deer.

Although ticks can thrive just about anywhere in suburbia, it's common that they prefer wooded areas, gardens, plantings, and tall backyard grasses. One reason ticks continue to flourish is their propensity to hang out on shrubs, trees, and in tall grass waiting for unsuspecting hosts- like your dog or deer- to wander by so they can latch on and hitch a ride to your backyard.

We know that deer have made themselves at home in suburbia and most of us have seen more than our share of deer right outside our windows. When you see deer outside, its probable ticks hitched a ride and will stay behind when the deer move on. Ticks need a host to survive and they find a prefect host when attaching to your dog, cat, or any human in close proximity.

Avoiding the outdoors during warm weather isn't an option so prevention and protection is paramount when it comes to dodging ticks and defending yourself against tick-borne illness.

It stands to reason and statistic show, deer are carrying ticks to your backyard. Your best and most logical defense is to discourage deer from roaming onto your property in the first place.

One of the most reliable and logical ways to keep ticks out of your yard is to keep the deer away.

There's a number of strategies to keep deer at bay, including physical barriers like fencing, but fencing can be unsightly and deer can jump two feet higher than allowable suburban fence height restrictions of six feet. Planting deer resistant varieties like marigolds, foxgloves boxwood and rosemary could help, but when food supply is low, deer will eat just about anything. Motion deterrents positioned near your garden can scare deer off, however, you'll have to continually reposition them since deer will become acclimated to them and won't be scared away.

Back to logic. We know deer rely heavily on their sense of taste for feeding and smell to alert them to predators. Using a scent aversion, fear-based repellent, like Bobbex Deer, is often considered the most effective, practical, and easy way to keep deer out of your yard, and turn the tide on ticks, keeping them out too. Repellents make good sense.

There's quite a few repellents to choose from but Bobbex Deer works. It's third party verified through testing by the Connecticut Department of Forestry and Horticulture. Bobbex trumped nine other repellents products, was cited number one in comparison testing, and second in effectiveness only to a fence barrier.

Bobbex Deer Repellent combines scent and taste deterrents. The all-natural repellent blends six scents, including rotten eggs, garlic, clove oil (among other things) to mimic predator scents, classifying it as an effective fear repellent. It also tastes terrible to deer, but is actually good for plants because it contains trace nutrients including nitrogen and phosphorus. The product dries clear, is harmless to humans and pets, won't burn plants and its odor, after 24 hours, is undetectable to humans, but deer are still repelled by it. Bobbex is safe for use on the most sensitive plants and can be used on shrubs, trees or as a bulb dip.

The takeaway? Ticks are on the rise and deer populations are high just about everywhere. The dual key to combat both deer in your yard and hitchhiking ticks is proactive protection, using a verified, tested, and effective repellent. Don't forget ticks can be active year-round and Bobbex Deer is designed for year-round use.

For more information about Bobbex Deer, visit www.bobbex.com.

If you're feeling stressed and anxious, research says: feed the birds

Compare that hectic routine to those memorable moments when you're able to sit quietly, let the sunshine warm your face, hear the birds, and allow nature to envelope you. While everyone longs for less stress, actually relaxing can be dauntingly stressful!

However, a new study out of the United Kingdom sheds light on one way people can de-stress: bird watching. The study finds that people who watch birds from their home have lower depression, anxiety, and stress compared to those that live in less leafy areas that have fewer birds. People "felt relaxed and connected to nature when they watched birds in their garden," researchers say. These feelings increased with the level of bird feeding in the yard, they add.

Specifically, the number of birds people might see was directly associated with better mental health. "This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being. Birds around the home and nature in general, show great promise in preventive health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.," says lead researcher Dr. Daniel Cox from the University of Exeter.

Dr. Tina Phillips, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, agrees. "Overwhelmingly, studies show that people feed birds because it makes them feel more relaxed, that it's something they're interested in and ultimately something that makes them feel good."

If you want to disconnect from the digital world and relieve some daily stress and anxiety, getting outside, bird watching could be the key to increasing your mindful, mental health. Since studies reveal the more birds you see, the less likely you are to be stressed and anxious, it's important to attract as many birds as possible.

The first step to attracting birds is to use an all-purpose tube feeder, which is the number one feeder choice, allowing birds to feed from multiple ports. Cole's Wild Bird Products, Co. offers the Terrific Tube feeder, it's made to last with state-of-the-art materials that prevent warping and discoloration and it features a "Quick Clean" removable base, so cleaning is super simple. Natural grip perch covers mimic the feel of a real branch, which encourages longer feeding times.

Once you have the right feeder, you'll need reliable seed that will bring birds to your backyard to deliver that dose of stress relief we all desire. According to Elaine Cole, President and owner of Cole's, the quality of birdseed will determine how many feathered friends will flock to your backyard.

Unlike other birdseed mixes, which typically contain cheap filler seed like milo and wheat, Cole's selects only the top 1 to 2 percent of the highest quality seeds birds like to eat. Plus, Cole's doesn't add pesticides or chemicals, preferring instead to keep the seed as close to its natural state as possible.

"If you use inferior seed, you're not going to like the results. Our seed is specifically formulated to attract the greatest number, variety, and species of birds. Birds are picky and birdseed matters. If you use cheap feed, they won't hesitate look for something else they prefer. Birds are like people, give them what they like to eat and they'll come back and bring their friends." Cole said.

Since we've learned that the more birds we attract, the more stress-free we'll be, it makes good sense to use the best bird feed you can buy. Cole's Special Feeder, attracts the greatest number of wild birds than any other mix out there. Add Cole's Blue Ribbon blend, which attracts the greatest variety of wild birds to the mix, and you've got the perfect prescription to help calm your anxiety and stress.

At the heart of it, everyone wants less stress and anxiety. Once you start watching birds in action, they'll engage your attention in a way that keeps you in the moment, a state that provides mental relief. Admiring their beauty, listening to their sweet song and enjoying their antics will calm your overactive mind and bring joy and renewal.

For more information on top quality feed and feeders, please visit: Cole's website.

 

How One Furniture Manufacturer Goes 'Beyond Sustainability'

Humanscale, a leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance ergonomic office products, demonstrates how one company's leadership can set the example.

When it comes to environmental impact, "'less bad' is not good enough," says Humanscale's founder and CEO, Bob King.

"We took a look at our manufacturing and operational activities to understand our key impacts: energy, water, emissions, resource depletion, wildlife preservation, social responsibility and healthy materials," says King.

"In each area, we consider what it would take to go beyond sustainability to making a truly positive impact on the world around us. If a company can make a positive impact in all of these ways, it will be acting like a tree," he explains.

"While trees aim to grow, they're self-sustaining and they replenish the environment. If we want to live at peace with the planet, then our factories must be like trees, our companies like a forest."

Humanscale is set to release its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report in time to coordinate with Earth Overshoot Day, the date calculated to mark when humans have depleted Earth's resources beyond its ability to regenerate these resources within a given year.

Company achievements highlighted in the report include the use of solar energy for nearly 70 percent of electricity used by the company's main manufacturing facility in 2018; reduction of normalized greenhouse gas emissions by 63 percent since 2011; and the use of rainwater for 100 percent of production water in the United States.

In addition, in the last year, nearly 500 of Humanscale's employees voluntarily completed more than 10,340 activities that involved saving energy, reducing water use, and cutting down on their emissions.

Humanscale has also made material transparency a priority. Material transparency means labeling products, such as furniture, similar to food ingredient labels that clearly state what materials a product contains. Material transparency labels, such as Declare labels and Health Product Declarations (HPDs), identify potential toxins and unhealthy materials in products so consumers can make informed decisions before choosing these products for their homes or offices.

Humanscale has taken the lead in this area. Their products contain no Red List chemicals, and as of December 2018, the company has published 60 percent of all Declare labels and 54 percent of all HPDs that exist in the entire furniture industry.

In 2018, Humanscale received a BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association) Level 3 (the highest level of that association's certification) for all its products. The BIFMA is based on analysis of product manufacture, including water and energy use, emissions, chemicals, waste, and environmental design.

For more information about Humanscale and its sustainability efforts, visit humanscale.com.

 

Offshore Wind Power Prepares to Set Sail

In fact, proposed plans calling for 20,000 to 30,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity to be operational by 2030 include projections for up to 83,000 American-based jobs, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

"Offshore wind is key to the future of clean energy development in the U.S. and will add to a thriving wind power industry that already represents the largest source of renewable energy in the country," says AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan.

"The offshore wind industry will create tens of thousands of jobs and provide billions of dollars to the economy, while delivering on its enormous untapp sed potential to power major population centers, such as up and down the East Coast."

The offshore wind industry is positioned to follow in the footsteps of the successful growth experienced by land-based wind. Currently, onshore and offshore wind support more than 500 manufacturing facilities and account for more than 120,000 jobs in the United States.

Wind technician is ranked as the second-fastest-growing job in the country, and building and maintaining offshore wind farms will require a diverse workforce, including wind technicians, electricians, welders, longshoremen, and vessel operators. Many job skills used in other fields, such as the oil and gas industry, are transferrable to working on offshore wind turbines, according to AWEA.

In addition, the economic impact of offshore wind will reach beyond the East Coast, as more facilities are needed to build supplies for the growing wind industry.

Also, the benefits of offshore wind power extend beyond job creation to improving and stabilizing utility costs for millions of Americans through an affordable, clean energy source.

Currently, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia have set targets for developing offshore wind farms as part of their clean energy commitments, according to AWEA.

State governors and other local officials recognize the potential of offshore wind, but they need to hear from the public as well, according to AWEA.

For more information about the possibilities and benefits offshore wind brings to the economy and environment, and to voice your support, visit supportoffshorewind.org.

Cooling Tower Air Purifier Curbs Airborne Bacteria

Cooling towers often use local water sources for their evaporative cooling processes that may be untreated or poorly treated, and therefore contaminated. Bacteria and other contaminants not only escape into the air, but they also reduce the efficiency of the tower. To make matters worse, companies may add chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and chlorine to the water in order to soften the minerals and kill bacteria. However, some of these chemicals, as well as the bacteria, find their way into the air.

In particular, these cooling towers can serve as superspreaders for the potentially deadly Legionella bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 84 percent of cooling towers in the United States have tested positive for Legionella bacteria, and Legionnaires' disease cases have nearly quadrupled between 2000 and 2015.

The answer to reducing this deadly disease may lie in a novel, chemical-free technology, the Plasma Disinfection System (PDS), from Reverse Ionizer, LLC, which uses high-temperature plasma streamers, ultraviolet rays, and ozone to reduce the impact of air- and water-borne bacteria and viruses that can spread in public spaces through the cooling towers.

"For decades, people have unknowingly been walking through what is called 'cooling tower drift,' which is mostly an unseen street-level cloud of chemicals, bacteria and other potentially harmful water vapor," says Reverse Ionizer CEO Patrick Hughes.

"The PDS discovery will transform how to manage and operate buildings throughout the globe by providing a continuous treatment that has never been applied to water systems and help mitigate risk of building owners," he explains. "It couldn't come at a better time, as the novel coronavirus has put a spotlight on the water and air people breathe in public spaces," he adds.

Reverse Ionizer's patented, chemical-free technology not only helps control bacteria with an environmentally-friendly PDS system, it also helps companies save money and improve air quality by improving the efficiency of cooling towers.

The Electro-Magnetic Solution uses radio frequency to constantly soften scale buildup in cooling towers, which helps companies cut costs by reducing the need for expensive chemical additives.

Visit reverseionizer.com for more information about how Reverse Ionizer's green technology is positioned to continue improving air quality, and for sales and investment opportunities.

 

How One Company Is Doing Right
For the Planet

Not that long ago, "sustainability" in the business world was defined as being able to stay afloat even in trying economic times. But these days, when Greta Thunberg may be the most famous Swede since Ingrid Bergman, it's taken on a whole different meaning - what the Harvard Business School describes as efforts to "positively impact the environment and/or society."

Of course, some businesses, like Whirlpool Corporation, have been ahead of the game, and are now setting even higher new targets to tackle climate change.

"We established our first office for sustainability over 50 years ago," said Marc Bitzer, the company's chairman and CEO.

1. Achieving Net-Zero Carbon Emissions in Plants and Operations By 2030

1. Achieving Net-Zero Carbon Emissions in Plants and Operations By 2030

That's the updated commitment to environmental sustainability that the world's leading kitchen and laundry appliance company just announced this month.

To get there, the company has been installing even more wind turbines and solar panels to help power its sites and distribution centers with renewable energy. (It's already one of the Fortune 500's largest U.S. on-site users of wind energy.)

And it's improving efficiency across more than 30 of its manufacturing sites and distribution centers around the world though retrofits.

2. Greening Homes Through VPPAs

2. Greening Homes Through VPPAs

That's Virtual Power Purchase Agreements for the uninitiated. Or in other words, agreements signed with energy companies to help fund wind and solar farms to generate renewable energy for the grid.

Whirlpool Corporation's first VPPA project broke ground in Texas in early January. It promises to be the first of many such projects helping to cleanly power not just its own sites but also local homes.

That's right, ordinary people's homes.

3.Innovative Household Products

3.Innovative Household Products

It shouldn't surprise anyone that U.S. News & World Report named four innovative Whirlpool brand products among the best refrigerators, dryers and washing machines of 2021. Yes, they look great. But they're also designed to be extremely energy and water efficient.

In fact, Whirlpool Corporation has already reduced the emissions linked to its products in use by 60 percent since 2005 and has committed to lowering them by an additional 20 percent by 2030 from a 2016 baseline.

One fun fact for you: Dishwashers save three to four times the water compared to hand washing your dishes. And, hey, they save you about 30 minutes each time too.

4.Helping Even You Reduce Waste Material

4.Helping Even You Reduce Waste Material

Not content that more than 70 percent of its manufacturing sites are already zero waste to landfill, the company aims to make that 100 percent by 2022.

Plus, to tackle other environmental challenges like plastic pollution, it's ramping up the use of recycled or reused materials in its appliances. And guess what? Those high-performance recycled plastics Whirlpool Corporation started to employ in its products means it's making use of you own waste.

Here's How One Company Is Doing Right for the Planet

Not that long ago, "sustainability" in the business world was defined as being able to stay afloat even in trying economic times. But these days, when Greta Thunberg may be the most famous Swede since Ingrid Bergman, it's taken on a whole different meaning - what the Harvard Business School describes as efforts to "positively impact the environment and/or society."

Of course, some businesses, like Whirlpool Corporation, have been ahead of the game, and are now setting even higher new targets to tackle climate change.

"We established our first office for sustainability over 50 years ago," said Marc Bitzer, the company's chairman and CEO.

1. Achieving Net-Zero Carbon Emissions in Plants and Operations By 2030

1. Achieving Net-Zero Carbon Emissions in Plants and Operations By 2030

That's the updated commitment to environmental sustainability that the world's leading kitchen and laundry appliance company just announced this month.

To get there, the company has been installing even more wind turbines and solar panels to help power its sites and distribution centers with renewable energy. (It's already one of the Fortune 500's largest U.S. on-site users of wind energy.)

And it's improving efficiency across more than 30 of its manufacturing sites and distribution centers around the world though retrofits.

2. Greening Homes Through VPPAs

2. Greening Homes Through VPPAs

That's Virtual Power Purchase Agreements for the uninitiated. Or in other words, agreements signed with energy companies to help fund wind and solar farms to generate renewable energy for the grid.

Whirlpool Corporation's first VPPA project broke ground in Texas in early January. It promises to be the first of many such projects helping to cleanly power not just its own sites but also local homes.

That's right, ordinary people's homes.

3.Innovative Household Products

3.Innovative Household Products

It shouldn't surprise anyone that U.S. News & World Report named four innovative Whirlpool brand products among the best refrigerators, dryers and washing machines of 2021. Yes, they look great. But they're also designed to be extremely energy and water efficient.

In fact, Whirlpool Corporation has already reduced the emissions linked to its products in use by 60 percent since 2005 and has committed to lowering them by an additional 20 percent by 2030 from a 2016 baseline.

One fun fact for you: Dishwashers save three to four times the water compared to hand washing your dishes. And, hey, they save you about 30 minutes each time too.

4.Helping Even You Reduce Waste Material

4.Helping Even You Reduce Waste Material

Not content that more than 70 percent of its manufacturing sites are already zero waste to landfill, the company aims to make that 100 percent by 2022.

Plus, to tackle other environmental challenges like plastic pollution, it's ramping up the use of recycled or reused materials in its appliances. And guess what? Those high-performance recycled plastics Whirlpool Corporation started to employ in its products means it's making use of you own waste.

CME Group Awards Young Ag Enthusiasts with $60K in Scholarships

(NewsUSA) - Every summer, the Illinois State Fair provides a platform for skilled young farmers to demonstrate their expertise in the agricultural industry, something that is udderly important to CME Group.     

During this year’s Governor’s Sale of Champions, CME Group presented the livestock exhibitors with one-time scholarships totaling $50,000. Each of these 10 hard-working students will receive a $5,000 scholarship, which will be used to advance their education.     

Recipients of the 2022 CME Group scholarships included: Ashtin Guyer (Crawford County, IL); Carter Hoge (McDonough County, IL); Chesney Thornton (Piatt County, IL); Cole Caldwell (Peoria County, IL); Drake Fletcher (Menard County, IL); Ella Bobell (Logan County, IL); Maddox Horner (Jasper County, IL); Nalaney Guyer (Crawford County, IL); Nolan Hoge (McDonough County, IL).     

“U.S. farmers play a critical role in the global food supply chain, which has been stressed over the last few years due to the pandemic, rising input costs, extreme weather and geopolitics,” said Tim Andriesen, Managing Director of Agricultural Products at CME Group. “By investing in these bright students, we are helping the next generation of farmers and ranchers continue their education and become successful leaders of our vital food systems.”     

CME Group also purchased the Grand Champion Barrow, which was exhibited by Fletcher, and sponsored this year’s 4-H Illinois Superior Young Livestock Producers Contest at the fair. A record 52 4-H members from across Illinois competed in this year’s skillathon contest and were tested on livestock production covering beef, swine, and sheep. The contest promotes youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the livestock industry.     

After intense competition, nine skillathon champions each received a $1,000 CME Group scholarship to continue their education.     

Recipients of the 2022 CME Group Skillathon scholarships were: Adam Stackemeyer (Altamont, IL); Amelia Miller (Gridley, IL); Chase Hummel (Cabery, IL); Ellie Drach (Pontiac, IL); Emma Pistorius (Blue Mound, IL); Hayden Brint (Good Hope, IL); Olivia Shike (Sadorus, IL); Ross Stabenow (Lena, IL); Tanner Beckmier (Atwood, IL).

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