Comments on: Question of the Week: Which presidents do you think did the most to protect the environment, and why? The EPA Blog Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:03:35 +0000 hourly 1 By: Balmain Cafe Fri, 05 Aug 2011 09:51:13 +0000 This blog is very helpful, I learned a lot from it.

By: H. Tieben Sun, 09 Jan 2011 16:50:19 +0000 Ulysses s. Grant, because he established the Yellowstone National Park — America’s first national park and therefore an example for thousands of other national parks in the world. And Kennedy, because he initiated the Apollo program and the photo of the earth was boosted the green movement.

By: samantha Wed, 08 Apr 2009 19:28:51 +0000 Al Gore would have made an astounding president. Not only would he have put the US in a better environmental state but he would have had the sense enough to work with other countries on this global issue (unlike Bush!). THis is extremely important because the US is the biggest contributor to the C02 gass emissions and much more. Why should a country with so much power have so little an impact on correcting this problem.Gore would have done a remarkable job but hats off to Obama. Maybe he can make a change. “Yes we CAN!” Amen to dat Reverend! What!?

By: samantha Wed, 08 Apr 2009 19:23:35 +0000 you are so true and make a great point but i have on question for you are are you leonardo dicaprio??? pleazzz repley asap for personal reasons

By: Mike Gunderon Mon, 16 Mar 2009 04:01:49 +0000 Michelle and all others against President Bush:
Please take a moment to do a Google search on “Executive Order 13423″. Maybe you’ll be compelled to retract your statement, or at least modify it. Better yet, here’s the URL, hopefully this will save a microsecond of energy and your time.

There is only so much a president can do, but I would say that this executive order was a fairly big step. Now it’s up to the bureaucrats and agency heads to get on top of it.

What is truly tragic is that this order did not receive more press at the time so that it could be made known to all that it was put into action. It shouldn’t matter which president had put this into action. If this had been Obama, Clinton, Carter or Kennedy, I would applaud them with equal ferver. As would the media. But since the media was too busy pleasing the Left by bashing Bush’s war policies to note anything good that he was doing.

President Obama is certainly getting a lot of credit for putting so much stimulus money towards “green” and “alternative energy”, simply because he and the Democrats leading congress have pulled money out of the sky to throw at projects that truly make a difference. While I may not completely agree with creating more debt, I do sincerely hope that this money will make a difference and get people, companies and government to take action on environmental stewardship.

If people who are concerned about the environment, waste, water conservation and energy reduction, let’s look at one particular passion of mine which has to do with the billions, or maybe even trillions, of pounds of chemicals used to wax, strip and shine floors in hospitals, schools, government buildings, libraries, retail centers each year.

The U.S. has long been obsessed with the notion that shiny floors are “clean” floors. Even the Joint Commission that inspects healthcare facilities has a mantra that “shiny floors get higher scores.” Every healthcare facility in the country goes frantic to shine their floors when inspection time rolls around. Schools pour thousands of dollars from their budgets to finish the floors before school starts and during winter or spring breaks. The results of all this effort typically last no more than a couple of weeks or maybe a couple months at the longest. Conventional floor finishes simply do not hold up or stay looking good under even normal foot traffic. As floors are cleaned and scrubbed, the finish degrades and wears out quickly.

Think of how long your own kitchen floor stays clean and new looking between cleanings and treatments. Then take that times a really big number. That’s what public buildings realize with floors.

What most people don’t stop to realize is that you can polish anything to make it shiny, but it doesn’t mean it’s clean. A floor is only clean until the first step is taken.

The forces of gravity help to deposit dust, spills and contaminants on floors every second of every day. So along comes the friendly housekeeping staff with their bucket and mop to “clean” the floors. After soaking the mop with clean water (that is if they rinsed out the mop bucket and added new water), the first deposit on the floor makes the mop head dirty. Then that dirt is “rinsed” with the mop bucket water which now becomes dirty. Traditionally, this routine will continue throughout a building, sometimes without even changing the water. While that’s kind of nasty to even think about, it’s equally alarming to think that a person might actually dump the bucket of water every 500-1000 square feet. How’s that for water conservation?

After mopping, the friendly floor technicians come along with their buffing or burnishing machines. Not only is buffing/burnishing floors not “green” (it takes a fair amount of energy – gas or electric – to run the machines, plus the pads that are used are worn out quickly only to end up in landfills), it is also a source of poor indoor air quality and cross contamination in facilities. Buffing creates dust that instantly becomes airborne only to either settle back down on the floors and other surfaces on the way, or it is spread throughout a facility through the air handling systems, or by settling on items that move throughout the facility such as carts, furniture and equipment. All of this is done simply for the practice of rejuvinating the current finish to make it look shiny again. In some high-traffic situations this is done daily, but in most cases weekly or minimally each month.

Since conventional finishes only last a short period of time, they typically have to be stripped from the floors, or the top layers have to be aggressively scrubbed, in order for the floors to accept new multiple coats (more pounds of chemicals) of finish. Stripping floors requires many pounds of often harsh chemicals. It also requires many gallons of water and hours of energy to run the necessary equipment. In addition, because stripping floors is often very smelly and hazardous because it is extremely slippery, it is typically done at night when the building is not in use and lighting must be used to see (more additional energy consumption).

While many manufacturers have made significant efforts to make their chemical products less harmful to the environment, they still require conventional finishing methods and maintenance procedures of buffing, burnishing and stripping. They also require multiple coats (many pounds of product), and in many cases are less durable (all of the harmful stuff taken out is what made it actually last longer), thus they require even more frequent maintenance.

There is now technology that is poised to significantly reduce or eliminate the need for conventional floor finishing. Ultra-durable water-based urethane from Ultra Durable Floors provides a long-lasting, sustainable finish that does not require the routine maintenance of buffing, burnishing and stripping to maintain a shiny-looking floor. One coat of coverage provides the appearance of multiple coats of conventional finish that is buffed continuously. The product contains no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and has properties that inhibit mold and bacterial growth. The average lifecycle of the product is 18-24 months. Some cases have a shorter life, but many also have a longer life, up to five years or longer. Situations vary.

This technology reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used to maintain floors by 50 percent or more in many cases. Even routine cleaning is made easier and requires less chemicals, water, energy and effort.

What typically defines “green” in the chemical business is the amount of hazardous components and VOCs. While this is certainly important, it is extremely shortsighted and the EPA and other agencies that certify products as “green” should absolutely take a look at the bigger picture.

It’s not so much about a product being “green” as what it does for being sustainable and leading to conservation and waste reduction. Check out if you’d like to learn more.

By: Lee Cressey Mon, 02 Mar 2009 01:38:16 +0000 Let us not forget that Carter was the first and only president to install solar panels on the white house. When Reagan took office, the solar panels were the first that came down.

It is imperative that environmental needs go hand in hand with economic needs. However, Marcus is right to some extent. Economic wealth does lend a person more time to think about the environmental issues in comparison to someone who has more pressing needs on their mind, such as paying rent, or putting food on the table.

That is what the environmental movement fails to address. They leave out the poor and minority communities in their attempts to change the world. There is a tendency to care more for the far off whale or manatee than there is addressing the very needs of the people suffering in the ports and poor communities in our own backyard. Too often those communities suffer the worst environmental atrocities from air quality, to contaminated soil and water.

To take it a step further – Who was most affected by the environmental neglect that led to tropical storm Katrina upgrading to a full blown hurricane when it hit the global warmed waters of the Gulf of Mexico?

Economic growth and Environmental concerns can only be a success, if we include everyone in the community, rich and poor. We can’t afford to leave anyone out.

By: holls Sat, 28 Feb 2009 15:36:37 +0000 i second that….

By: Janet Lalor Sat, 28 Feb 2009 04:38:43 +0000 Michelle,
Ask your grocer to start carrying reusable green bags. The can get their name and logo printed on the bag for permanent advertising. You can also ask them to print an incentive on their paper bags to say that they will give the customer 10cents off their bill for every paper bag a customer brings in and reuses. Getting out of the stone age has to start somewhere, let it start with you!

By: Rick Fri, 20 Feb 2009 21:27:07 +0000 I find the question a little odd in the first place. Not only does it suggest a certain partisan undertone that’s thankfully been absent from Greenversations, it also suggests a greater role for President’s in protecting and cleaning up our environment than the actually have. Most of the credit goes to individuals whether in federal and state agencies, businesses, or local citizen groups.

And unfortunately many of the comments are classic examples of people who simply repeat conventional wisdom without primary knowledge or data to back up their sweeping statements.

By: Kevin Tohill Tue, 17 Feb 2009 23:36:09 +0000 Although “I don’t know” is a great way to state your beliefs with conviction, a little research would easily thwart the partisan assumbtions bandied about here. If Carter’s “alternative energy” focus was so successful 30 years ago, where are the alternatives? Why did he allow nuclear power to be shut down completely, resulting in the largest growth of coal and diesel power plants on the planet? Additionally, many environmental scientists argue that the “cap and trade” system Clinton established is nothing more than a pay to pollute system. Even democrats now argue that it is ineffective. If you insist on calling out partisan accomplishments I have to remind you that Nixon presided over the establishment of the EPA and George H.W. Bush signed in the greatest wetlands protection initiative in our history.