lisa p jackson

Going Green As You’re Going Back to School

by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Summertime is coming to an end, and kids are heading back to school. And even though they’ll be spending less time outdoors, we should still be thinking about how to protect the environment and safeguard our children’s health. Fortunately, small actions can turn into big results for protecting the environment, and can even save extra money for the school year.

For example, try to cut down on waste. More than 30 percent of what we throw away comes from cardboard and plastic packaging. Look for pens, pencils, and other supplies that are packaged with recyclable materials. That goes for spiral notebooks and notebook paper, too. For every 42 notebooks made from 100 percent recycled paper, an entire tree is saved.

Buying school supplies every year can get expensive. A good way to save money is to conserve energy use around the house. Energy Star products – from lightbulbs and laptops to televisions and air conditioners – are more energy efficient, which means you’ll pay less in utility bills every month. In 2011, the use of Energy Star products helped Americans save $23 billion on their utility bills, and prevented more than 210 million metric tons of green house gas emissions.

There are also ways to make sure our schools are environmentally friendly. In addition to choosing products made from recyclable materials and using energy efficient appliances, check to make sure the products used to clean your child’s classrooms carry the “Design for the Environment” label. This label means those products are safer for students and better for the environment.

Every child deserves a clean and healthy place to learn – and all parents should be able to trust that their children’s health is not at risk when they send them off to school. The EPA is working hard to reduce health threats in the air we breathe and the water we drink, and we want to make sure schools and parents have what they need to minimize pollution in and around classrooms and give all of our kids healthy places to learn.

Last but not least, these actions help teach children the importance of a clean, healthy environment. Making “green” a part of everyday learning – both inside and outside the classroom – is an easy way to engage our kids in the efforts to safeguard the planet they will inherit, and protect their future.

<em>About the author: Lisa Jackson is the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.</em>

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Share Your Sustainability Stories for Rio+20

by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

This week I join colleagues from across the US and around the world at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. On the 20th anniversary of the 1992 UN Earth Summit that set an early course for sustainability across the globe, we are working to shape the next 20 years of sustainable development with the help of governments, businesses, students, non-profits and global citizens.

Our work will be focused on new strategies to reinvest in the health and prosperity of urban communities. Today, more people around the world live in cities than in rural areas. As that trend continues in the coming years, we will stretch the limits of our transportation systems and energy infrastructure, and be challenged to meet crucial needs like supplying food and clean water, and safely disposing of waste. We’re taking this opportunity at Rio+20 to develop strategies for both improving existing infrastructure and building new, efficient, cutting-edge systems. Innovations in water protection, waste disposal, energy production, construction and transportation present significant opportunities for new technologies, green jobs and savings for families, businesses and communities.

During my time in Rio, I plan to talk about the great work happening in communities across our nation. I will be sharing the stories of individuals and organizations that are implementing new environmental education programs and creating the green jobs of the future, and we’re preparing to unveil videos submitted through the Youth Sustainability Challenge. We want to hear from you as well. Please send us your stories of sustainability this week on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #EPArio so that we can share them with the world.

Even if you can’t be there in person, I hope you will join Rio+20 online. Go to http://conx.state.gov/event/rio20/ to see and participate in all of the events being hosted by the US government, and be a part of our efforts to build a better, more sustainable and more prosperous future.

About the author: Lisa Jackson is the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA Administrator Talks Jobs in NYC

EPA Administrator Lisa P Jackson has a candid conversation with New York City stakeholders at the green jobs roundtable held last Monday.

By Elizabeth Myer 

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson dropped by our New York City offices on Monday, where she spoke to and inspired employees and held a roundtable with local stakeholders. During her visit, the Administrator addressed many of the priorities laid out in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech last week, namely focusing on the intersection of environmental protection, public health, green jobs and a strong economy in 2012 and beyond. 

(Left) EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck answers questions alongside Administrator Jackson

At the Roundtable that followed, Lisa Jackson posed a question to NYC leaders in order solicit their thoughts on job creation through environmental protection. Specifically, the Administrator wanted to know how to amplify the success stories many small businesses have had creating green jobs in the backdrop of large industry cuts. Participants were asked to enlighten others by sharing past work which highlighted the nexus between environmental protection and a strong economy. The overall response was encouraging and inspiring. One stakeholder suggested that green jobs should be expanded to all sectors (instead of just energy) as a means to change the national narrative. Another participant emphasized the importance of professional development for individuals seeking work in the green jobs sector. Furthermore, the roundtable attendees each made suggestions for specific steps to promote job creation in the field of environmental protection. Jackson listened intently throughout the meeting and in her concluding remarks, challenged the roundtable participants to “be the legislation” that drives these issues. 

Here is my question to you, our valuable readers and environmental stakeholders: How can we broaden communication between diverse groups on the subject of green job creation?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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What I Want on Earth Day

by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

The first Earth Day came together 41 years ago because people all across America wanted clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and swim in, and clean lands to build their homes, businesses, schools and churches. The movement they started has made remarkable steps: saving lives, bringing clean, safe water to millions of Americans, and restoring some of our most blighted and polluted areas. Today’s generation of young people don’t have to face the same levels of harmful pollution and the health threats that come with them.

But our work is not done, and we have to ask ourselves “What do I want this Earth Day?”

We still face serious challenges, from climate change to restoring treasured waterbodies to ensuring that every person in every community has clean air to breathe. As you can see in our “What I Want…” Earth Day video series, Americans are still deeply concerned about their health and their environment.

To continue making progress today, we need to do the same thing our predecessors did 41 years ago: come together and work to make a difference. There are new and extraordinary ways for you to make a difference. As EPA Administrator, what I want this Earth Day is your help in this important work.

Here are some great ways to get involved.

Pick 5 for the Environment

Join thousands of people around the world in our Pick 5 program. Choose five simple steps from the lists provided on how you can contribute to environmental protection. Suggestions are listed by topics like air, land, water, energy, waste and advocacy, so it’s easy to find the activities that are best for you. While you’re there, be sure to check out the new map showing every Pick 5 commitment from around the world. Coming together to help the planet has never been more convenient.

Serve.gov Earth Day Service

If you’re looking for something more local, type in your ZIP code to find Earth Day volunteer projects in your area.

Use the US Post Office new Go Green Stamps

GoGreen stamps from USPS

Another great source of environmentally friendly ideas is the US Postal Service’s new Go Green stamps. Things as simple as fixing leaks in our homes or taking reusable bags to the grocery store can help make our air cleaner, our water healthier and our communities stronger. These stamps have ideas for us all to consider – ways for us to make an impact with small changes to our daily routines. They are a reminder of the role we can each play to make a tremendous impact in the world around us.

State of the Environment Photo Project

One of the most interesting ways to get involved in safeguarding the environment is by capturing it in a photograph. Visit our State of the Environment Photo Project Flickr page to see images and submit your favorite pictures. Help us document the progress we’ve made over the last four decades, and the areas that still need our work.

We take these steps as individuals, but the combined impact of our actions can make a world’s worth of difference. What do you want this Earth Day? And what are you going to do?

About the author: Lisa P. Jackson is Administrator of EPA.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.