The ocean's powerful winds make the coast an ideal location for a wind turbine. Ironically, it's that ocean air that presents a challenge to any turbine on or near the sea. The moist, salty air combined with a turbine's metallic materials can result in corrosion, a destructive process able to bring any power-generating source to a halt.

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The University of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) have created a new avenue to connect science with resource management by launching a series of workshops where environmental academicians and regulators can share current research and discuss research needs.

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Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will be the featured speaker in the DENIN Dialogue Series at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 6, in Clayton Hall.

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The University of Delaware Sustainability Task Force is seeking two undergraduate students and two graduate students to join the task force co-chairs -- John Madsen and Kathleen Kerr -- at the ACPA Sustainability Institute in Boulder, Colo.

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Creating environmentally friendly high technology jobs for Delawareans was the focus of the "Creating the Clean Energy Economy" conference, held Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 13-14, at the University of Delaware's Clayton Hall.

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Six Steps to Green Purchasing

Step One: Green Purchasing Basics

Green Purchasing or Environmentally Preferable Purchasing is defined by U.S. Executive Order 12873 as, “products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service.”

Step Two: Prioritize your efforts

Given time, financial and other constraints not every purchase can be a “Green” purchase. Concentrate initial efforts on the most frequently purchased products and services or those with the greatest environmental impact. Frequently purchased items at the University include office supplies, such as paper, pens, computers, etc. Purchases that have the highest potential for environmental impact include food, vehicles and office equipment.

Step Three: Evaluate environmental impacts of purchases

The University of Delaware’s Green Purchasing Guidelines call for a balance between performance, price, availability, requirements of the end user and environmental considerations. Products and services can have a range of environmental impacts, and it is important to gain an understanding of how the product or service affects the environment. Does the product/service help conserve natural resources? Does the product minimize pollution through energy efficiency or waste prevention? Does the product contain minimal packaging or have high amounts of recycled content? Can the product be easily recycled and is it durable?

Step Four: Consider the life-cycle of the product

Ask the question: What are the environmental impacts of a particular product from production to disposal? This involves considering the environmental impacts during manufacturing, transportation, use and disposal of a product or service.

Step Five: Utilize outside resources to identify alternatives

The University’s Green UDMart offers an internal mechanism for individuals to identify environmentally preferable products. However, when time permits, utilize outside resources to identify environmentally preferable products that generate cost savings and which have less severe impacts on the environment. Organizations and government agencies certify and list products and services that are environmentally preferable. This can eliminate time evaluating products and services. These organizations include the Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.energystar.gov/purchasing ), GreenSeal (http://www.greenseal.org ), GreenGuard (http://www.greenguard.org ), Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, (http://www.epeat.net ) Scientific Certification Systems (http://www.scscertified.com ) and EnvironmentalChoice (http://www.environmentalchoice.com ).

Step Six: Ensure the product is practicable

By practicable, the University means that the performance of the product is satisfactory, the price is reasonable and the product is available.

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The University of Delaware has joined other colleges and universities in supporting these two sustainability initiatives:

Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future/Talloires Declaration: View a .pdf (20kb)

American University and Presidents Climate Commitment:
Visit the web site