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In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama called for a 50 percent reduction in the amount of energy wasted by our homes and buildings over the next 20 years. He proposed providing resources for the most effective state policies to cut energy waste.

 

It may not be glamorous, but it sure came as good news to all of us at the Breathe Project, as energy efficiency is a major piece of the clean air puzzle. Consuming less energy means reduced combustion of fossil fuels, which in turn, helps to improve our air quality.

 

According to the U.S. EPA, buildings accounted for 38.9 percent of total U.S. energy consumption in 2005. Residential buildings accounted for 53.7 percent of that total, while commercial buildings accounted for the other 46.3 percent. Buildings are expected to account for 75 percent of our electricity consumption by 2025, the EPA estimates, and the average household spends at least $2,000 each year on energy bills.

 

A good number of our coalition partners are working to reduce energy consumption themselves—or helping other businesses, organizations and households become more energy efficient; it’s a win-win for air quality and their bottom line.

 

In a free workshop on February 22, Pop City Media and Direct Energy will provide ways for nonprofits to save money by reducing energy costs. Attendees will learn smart strategies to conserve energy and resources—and also be eligible to win $2,500 from Direct Energy through its Reduce Your Use For Good campaign.

 

ReEnergize Pgh—an initiative of GTECH Strategies—is creating jobs and reducing residential energy waste by organizing teams of “ambassadors” for energy efficiency in communities throughout Allegheny County.

 

Pittsburgh Green House in East Liberty holds regular workshops and sessions on residential energy and water savings and making homes healthier. This month, they will host a home water conversation workshop (saving water helps to clean our air by reducing energy consumption) and another session on how to integrate energy upgrades into the home remodeling process.

 

And Sustainable Pittsburgh will soon launch its 2013 Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge, which calls on businesses and organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania to reduce their energy and water use through a friendly competition.

 

We’d love to hear what your organization is doing to increase its energy efficiency—and improve our air quality. Send us your stories to highlight on our website and so we can share best practices with other coalition partners. We look forward to hearing about your successes!

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events
March 16, 2015
GASP holding a public meeting to discuss air quality in Lawrenceville   The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) Air Quality Program recently announced its intent to issue an operating permit for the McConway and Torley steel foundry located on 48th street in Lawrenceville. This facility is a significant local source of … Learn More
February 11, 2015
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January 14, 2015
Moving from Climate Awareness to Climate Action   First Sustainability Pioneers Bridge Party!   Wednesday January 14, 2015, 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM   PointBreezeway 7113 Reynolds St Pittsburgh, PA 15208   Join the first Sustainability Pioneers Bridge Party  – wine & cheese, networking, live music & … Learn More
January 7, 2015
Include air quality issues in the county’s strategic plan! Local air quality groups are circulating a petition urging the Allegheny County Health Department to include air quality in the strategic plan they are adopting at the Board of Health meeting on Jan. 7. Please help move this important issue … Learn More
December 13, 2014
“Particle Falls” Lighting Up the Holiday Season for a Difference The Heinz Endowments’ Breathe Project today launches artist Andrea Polli’s Particle Falls, a captivating digital-media installation that provides a real-time visualization of air quality.   At a time of year when Downtown Pittsburgh is aglow with holiday lights that raise … Learn More
October 29, 2014
Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge 2014-2015 Kicks Off The Green Workplace Challenge is back again for another year of exciting competition! If you work for a business, nonprofit, college or university, local government, or a K-12 school in southwestern Pennsylvania, sign up today to start saving money and … Learn More
October 18, 2014
2014 Pittsburgh Solar Tour   Most Pittsburgh house tours showcase beautiful interiors, tasteful design, and the glitz and glamour of bygone eras. The 2014 Pittsburgh Solar Tour is a home tour for the new Pittsburgh.   Join PennFuture to experience raw solar power, energy … Learn More
October 7, 2014
“Sustainability Pioneers” Documentary Premiere   How can Pittsburgh be a leader in building the bridge from our fossil fuel-based economy to an economy based on renewable energy and sustainable living?   Filmmaker and journalist Kirsi Jansa asks this question–arguably the most critical challenge of our … Learn More
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  • Breathe Project

    Happy Arbor Day, everyone! Thanks to groups like Tree Pittsburgh and programs like Treevitalize, it's not just the hillsides of Pittsburgh that are beautiful and green.

    For your lunchtime reading, how about this gem? Seven years ago, Treevitalize came to PGH, and 20,000 trees later, we are cleaner and greener. Here's the story of those first few #happylittletrees.

    "We have great green hillsides, but when you drive through the city streets of Pittsburgh, you don’t see green equitably distributed. There is this big disparity among neighborhoods, and, not coincidentally, it overlaps with income levels ... The reason we want to plant so many trees in the
    next five years is to bring the benefits to all our
    neighborhoods around the region."

    http://www.heinz.org/UserFiles/Library/h-F08-TakingRoot.pdf

    h Magazine - Taking Root

    www.heinz.org

    A story about Treevitalize Pittsburgh and efforts to bring trees back to urban landscapes in our city.

    Apr 24th 11:30am • No Comments

    Wow. Happy Earth Day everyone!
    Afternoon Question: What is something you do everyday toward sustainable living? Reusable coffee mug? Hybrid car? Take the bus?

    Look around. We bet you're doing a lot more than you think.
    #earthdayeveryday
    http://sustainablepittsburgh.org/iam/take-the-pledge/

    Sustainable Pittsburgh » Take the Pledge

    sustainablepittsburgh.org

    You are invited to proclaim "I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh" and make your contributions known by committing to any six (6) of the sustainability...

    Apr 22nd 2:10pm • 1 Comment

    ICYMI: A whole bunch of cool stuff going on downtown today for #earthday2015. http://www.everpowerearthdayfestival.com/

    EverPower Earth Day Market Square Pittsburgh, PA - HOME

    www.everpowerearthdayfestival.com

    A celebration of Earth Day as well as sustainability & stewardship in the Pittsburgh region, featuring green activities, free music, and more in...

    Apr 22nd 10:31am • No Comments

    Happy Earth Day!
    This year, take the @sustainablepittsburgh pledge to live a more sustainable life. It's easier than you think. #planet #earthday2015 #p4pgh
    http://ow.ly/LUTa0

    Sustainable Pittsburgh » Take the Pledge

    sustainablepittsburgh.org

    You are invited to proclaim "I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh" and make your contributions known by committing to any six (6) of the sustainability...

    Apr 22nd 8:15am • No Comments

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  • The Heinz Endowments
    Megha Satyanarayana, Communications Officer
    Phone: 412-338-2616
    Email: meghas@heinz.org
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