eLearning | specialize in your preferred energy related sector

eLearning | specialize in your preferred energy related sector.

We respectfully invite Veterans, Active Military and / or their Families (as young as 8 years of age) to benefit from FREE Energy Industry related eCourses.

Honoring our Veterans and creating their accountability / oversight / support of our Home School Program.
REGISTER NOW, classes begin November, 2012


Major progress in removing toxic chemicals from consumer products

Great news heard this morning on CBS.

Noting that Johnson & Johnson recognizes the toxic chemicals in their products and have stated they will remove them from all their products by 2015.

So relieved to see they have admitted it and will have toxic chemicals removed from Baby products by 2013 and the rest of their products by 2015.

We have tolerated (most likely without full knowledge or disclosure) these chemicals because of synthetics having a lower price tag.

In order for us to use non-toxic shampoo, soap, moisturizers etc, we have to up the ante and pay more for safety.

What is right with this picture?  What is wrong with this picture.

We call ourselves ‘mitigatetoxins’ on Twitter for a reason.

Joy to J&J now hoping the rest of the industry follows suit.

Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Flowchart diagram

Image via Wikipedia

Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Posted by Jeff Hajek, May 15, 2011

Quite often, whether on the shop floor or in the office, a process grinds to a halt when frontline employees have to go seek manager approval for something. Whether it is for spending that exceeds a prescribed threshold, when two employees want to swap work stations to stay fresh, or to sign off on a repaired product after a defect is corrected, if a manager is not immediately available, work flow is disrupted.

In some cases, the manager even intentionally develops a batch process to avoid interruptions. Perhaps she reviews all new spending requests on Thursday morning. Great if you come up with an idea on Wednesday afternoon, but not so good if you have your flash of brilliance at the start of the shift on Friday.

So, to combat the review processes in your company, I recommend you look at every manager approval your organization requires. The goal is to determine the underlying reason that the check is in place. Then, see if any of the assumptions that drive the review process are valid, or if they are obstacles that can be removed.

Why go through this drill? For two main reasons. The first, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, is that approval processes disrupt flow. They also add copious amounts of waste. The manager is interrupted and has to figure out what is going on, which takes their time. And, of course, there is also the time the employee spends explaining what is happening, or gathering and documenting information. Plus, and perhaps most problematic, when a file is sitting in a stack waiting to be looked at, a customer is frequently not being served.

The second, and far more important reason, though, is that approvals send the wrong message to employees. If you want a continuous improvement culture with an empowered workforce making decisions that strengthen the company, leaders have to actually give authority to their teams. Requiring sign-offs, especially for minor things, doesn’t scream empowerment.

Some common reasons approval processes exist include:

  • Lack of a Process: Some managers use ‘gut feel’ decision making. For example, when deciding whether to let someone have a day off of work, a manager probably considers several factors, but likely doesn’t use the same criteria each and every time. By defining a process, a team could easily develop its own vacation process and manage it themselves.
  • Lack of Training: When a process is in place, but is not known by teams, it is the same as having no process. Teach teams how to think the same way that a manager does, and they will get the same results.
  • Access to Information: Managers generally have access to more information than employees do. A prime example is the budget. An employee making a decision about a purchase may not know where the team is in terms of expenses. Give your teams more information, and they will make better decisions. When they are thinking in terms of actual dollars, they will also be more likely to weigh the costs and benefits of the decision, and will even filter out some of their requests on their own.
  • Risk: Asking someone to take risks requires that they get more substantial rewards. Many people will feel uncomfortable making decisions ‘above their pay grade’. Managers should keep the riskier decisions to themselves, but in truth, most frontline employees don’t want to take on deciding whether to roll out a new product or where to build a factory. They would, however, love to be able to decide to purchase a new computer monitor to replace one with a bad flicker. And they don’t want to have to jump through a bunch of hoops.
  • General Convention (AKA “We’ve always done it that way”): History is tough to overcome. If the best answer you can find about why a manager makes a decision is that the manager before made that decision, it is time to work on eliminating that approval process.
  • Psychological Factors: Some managers like having power. They like having control. They like feeling important. There’s probably even a psychological term that describes how people lacking control in one area of their lives grasp onto it in another area to compensate. This situation is particularly hard to deal with because reason and logic often don’t play a major role. If you suspect this is the case, an anonymous request to a more senior leader for a specific process improvement project, or a conversation with a trusted mentor or HR rep can help get this barrier removed.
  • Fear: When a manager has been bitten by a problem in the past, he is less likely to give up control in the future. Look at the reasons for past issues, and consider the root causes that led to the failure. You’ll find that most of those reasons could have been prevented by clearly defining a policy or process, and by making sure employees knew, understood, and followed it.
  • A Mandate: Often, a manager must approve something because of a mandate. Perhaps a director in the finance department saw an increase in overnight shipment charges, and got a policy implemented that requires all ‘red’ shipments to be signed off on by a manager. Mandates like this, though, are seldom passed after a visit to gemba, the specific place where the actual work is being done. Many mandates are established in a conference room. Try this: Mandate that all mandates be physically signed off on the shop floor after speaking to a frontline employee, and more than a few probably would end up in the trashcan.
  • Lack of Trust: While it is seldom explicitly stated, a common driver for approvals is that many managers simply do not trust their employees to make good decisions. Trust, though, is often just the surface reason. It often is related to another item from this list. Solve that underlying issue, and the trust problems tend to dissipate. Keep in mind, though, that trust issues are amplified when there is an adversarial relationship between managers and their teams.
  • Crime: This is the elephant in the room. Some leaders think that employees will steal if not monitored. The question, though, is whether employees act unscrupulously at a higher rate than managers. I’ve never seen any data that shows that ethical behavior is correlated to rank. In fact, if I were to gamble, I would bet that more total dollars in losses are related to criminal activity that comes from white collar crimes at higher levels than from ethical lapses originating on the shop floor. Regardless, in cases where there may be a temptation, consider using peer review to have teams police themselves.
  • Legal and Regulatory Requirements: Sorry. Not much to be done here. Just make sure that a qualified expert has reviewed the legal statutes and regulations, and that there is, in fact, a requirement for manager approval. Sometimes, misinterpretation creates more work.

So, again, I recommend that you take a look at each and every approval process, and determine what would need to happen to remove that need for authorization. If you want a truly empowered workforce, they have to have the authority to make decisions on their own.

Now, I am certainly not saying to just eliminate all approvals tomorrow, but I do firmly believe that it will be good for your company in the long run to improve your processes so approvals by managers become unnecessary. Just get it into your mindset that approvals are a warning sign of poor processes.

My challenge to you, before you leave this webpage, is to commit in your mind to one approval process that you will start working to eliminate. I’d love to hear the process that you are going to work to resolve. Let me know what it is at Info@Velaction.com.

This article originally appeared on Jeff’s Gotta Go Lean blog.

EERE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy « eeS GROUP

EERE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy « eeS GROUP.

Illinois is 8th in United States for Green Buildings

Illinois is 8th in United States for Green Buildings.

Energy Quote

Energy Quote.

Explore this link to see how your business or residence can significantly reduce energy expense by reducing demand on the electric utility company.


energy efficiency | conservation | alternatives

ANALYSIS to see the ‘to the penny’ results over the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years.

pounds of paper delivered to your door, what for

Either I should start using my yellow pages, or I should opt out 🙂

Opt Out of Yellow Pages, White Pages & Phone Books Delivery, National Yellow Pages Opt Out Site


Want to stop delivery of Yellow Pages, White Pages, Phone Books? Opt out of Yellow Pages with us and stop the delivery of printed directories you don’t want to receive.

David Lynch


Students Create Dirt Cheap Solar Solution for Disinfecting Water : TreeHugger

Students Create Dirt Cheap Solar Solution for Disinfecting Water : TreeHugger.

We can breathe a little easier this holiday season.


Truck Pollution

We can breathe a little easier this holiday season.

12 Environmental Facts to remember when voting

Please vote for the environment and urge your friends to do the same.Forward these 12 Environmental Facts to 5 friends.

Dear CSea,

Next Tuesday, a schoolteacher from Connecticut, an organic farmer from California, and a biologist from Colorado will cast their ballots with at least one thing in common – they will have read this email and they will be even more determined to vote to protect our planet.

At my polling station in Arlington, VA, I will add my voice to theirs and cast my ballot for the environment.

And I will forward this email to my friends and family to urge them to vote at least in part on how our candidates will treat our natural world.

Will you join us?

Please pledge to vote for the environment this Tuesday, November 2nd.

12 Environmental Facts to Keep in Mind on Election Day

389 – The concentration in parts per million of carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas, in the earth’s atmosphere today.

38 – Percent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration since the industrial revolution.

18 – Number of countries that have set all-time heat records so far in 2010.

82 – Percent decline in U.S. corn, cotton, and soybean production possible under current warming scenarios.

1 – Rank of 2010 so far as the hottest year on record (tied with 1998).

16 – Estimated number of Exxon Valdez-sized spills it would take to equal the amount of oil spilled into the Gulf after the BP Blowout.

4,342 – Total number of oiled birds collected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Gulf Coast region.

$68.5 million – Amount spent by Big Oil and its special interests allies this year on TV ads designed to elect pro-polluter candidates.

$514 million – Amount spent on lobbying and advertising by big polluters to stop the Senate from passing global warming legislation.

23,000 – Number of Americans whose lives will be saved in 2010 alone because of the Clean Air Act, according to EPA estimates.

232 – Number of toxic chemicals found in the umbilical cord of tested newborn babies in the U.S.

1 – The number of votes it takes to decide a close election.

Please remember to vote on November 2, and please – vote your planet!Sincerely,
Sam Parry
Director, Online Membership and Activism


Vote for the environment.
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Those invisible EMFs more visible more proof

Many of us have heard about the most recent Solar Flairs and all I have read is great indication the electromagnetic field of the earth 8interacting with these flairs will display spectacular light shows.

A friend in Key Largo told me yesterday they are able to see the borealis down there; so you don’t have to live in Alaska to benefit.  Check it out with your local meteorologist.

It is reported these Solar Flairs will not hurt humans; we in the EMF world will watch and learn.

Google Solar Flairs for the most recent updates and if you are in a good viewing area; step outside this evening and begin believing in EMF and understanding the whole story.

TD4 will become Colin nonthreatening

As of today August 2, 2010 projections (which will likely change) appear relatively non-threatening to the southeastern US seaboard and Gulf oil spill.  The Northeast Coast and the Islands need to keep vigilance.

Regardless of projections everyone on the eastern seaboard should already be ‘prepared‘.  We have posted “preparedness and recovery” guides previously.  If you need a reminder, request in Comments.

photo credit Stormpulse

Volusia / Flagler County Florida EcoNet Event

Herb and Butterfly Festival

Wondering how to best use that mulch you have been composting?  Learn from the experts.

Very exciting Eco Event through “The EcoNet”, see details below and links to additional information … CSea

Florida EcoNet

Unify & support efforts creating a progressive & sustainable environment for all

Florida EcoNet (The EcoNet)

Florida EcoNet (The EcoNet) has invited you to the event ‘Full Moon Butterfly & Herb Festival’ on Florida EcoNet!

Check out “Full Moon Butterfly & Herb Festival” on Florida EcoNet

Florida EcoNet (The EcoNet)

Time: June 19, 2010 from 10am to 2pm
Location: Full Moon Natives Nursery
Organized By: Full Moon Natives

Event Description:
Saturday, June 19
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Schedule of Events

10:00 – 10:45 Learn How to Make Your Own Herb Infused Vinegars by Linda Johnson
BYOB and you can create your own custom blend, please select a clear, narrow neck bottle with a cork.

11:00 – 11:45 Butterfly Gardening w/Native Plants and Herbs by Kevin Bagwell

12:00 – 12:45 Herb Culinary Lesson by Barbara Kieran
Chef Barbara will be preparing an Herb Encrusted Turkey Breast, Basil Pesto, Savory Bread Dip and Rosemary Lemon Punch – which you get to sample!

1:00 – 1:45 Growing Herbs in Containers, Gardens & Landscapes by Kevin Bagwell

ongoing Planting a Dish Garden by Carla McDougal
Demonstrations throughout the morning in the nursery. Bring your own pot, purchase your herbs and we will help you plant your dish garden.

Let a butterfly land on your cheek….FREE Butterfly Face Painting by Cat

Spend the morning with Full Moon Natives, bring your camera – the wood ducks, butterflies, egret or woodpeckers may be out. We’ll have sitting areas so you can enjoy the serenity of nature or test your skills with a game of croquet or holey board.

Seminars are free to the public – reservations are requested so we have handouts available for all participants. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided.

Call 386.212.9923 or email your reservation to vette@fullmoonnatives.com

See more details and RSVP on Florida EcoNet:


About Florida EcoNet

We are currently serving the Volusia & Flagler counties. Our first pilot project is turning Downtown Daytona Beach into a green district.

45 members
20 photos
32 Events

To control which emails you receive on Florida EcoNet, click here

Which is Worse? Washing Laundry or Spraying Corexit 9500 Dispersant on Oil Spills?

The Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, worsening by day and months more of massive spill, forces us to get a perspective on the toxins we have intentionally plagued our lives and waterways with.

There are non-toxic / non-caustic natural alternatives that work better than “standard store brands” and cost less.  Being eco.wise does not have to cost more. In fact, it is the most effective way for us to mitigate global chronic toxicity… CSea

By: Christine Lepisto Berlin

Image: Flickr, Deepwater Horizon Response

A lot of the questions surrounding the response to the gulf oil spill address the chemicals being sprayed onto the gulf and pumped out underwater to disperse the spilled oil. These dispersants are intended to break the oil up into smaller bits, which can sink into the water and get eaten up by microbes there. Along with questions about whether “out of sight, out of mind” is really better, there are serious concerns raised about depositing huge quantities of dispersant chemicals into the natural environment. So we got to wondering: how bad is this dispersant? And how does it compare to the chemicals we use every day in our laundry detergents, cosmetics, and other common products?

According to Nalco’s Material Safety Data Sheet for COREXIT® EC9500A, the Corexit 9500 A dispersant which is being sprayed by the millions of liters from Hercules Transport planes flying over the Deepwater Horizon spill consists of 10 – 30 % light, hydrotreated petroleum distillates; 10 – 30% of a trade secret organic sulfonic acid salt; and 1 – 5% of propylene glycol.

The underwater dispersant, COREXIT® EC9527A, contains 30 – 60% 2-Butoxyethanol instead of the petroleum distillates, along with the same two ingredients found in the Corexit 9500 A.

The full formulation, without any secrets held back, has been disclosed to government authorities, who are overseeing the use of dispersants in the spill response. But what do we know about the chemicals which are disclosed publicly?

Light, Hydrotreated Petroleum Distillates
Sounds a little crazy: spraying petroleum on leaking petroleum — that should help? But in fact, light, hydrotreated petroleum distillates is quite different from “petroleum.” The chemical category represents a “success” in taking by-products from other production processes and turning them into product…waste minimization in other words. This chemical is named by the process that creates it, rather than a chemical name, because it is a complex and variable mixture of hydrocarbons created by specific types of processes.

Tracking the volumes produced is tricky, because this stream is reported as part of the “fuel oils category,” which has 1.6 billion kg per year in the USA alone. The light, hydrotreated petroleum distillates are part of the “other” category, which consists mainly of four types of streams and constitutes 9% of the fuel oil category products. So call it 25% of “other” and you come up with 400 thousand tons of light, hydrotreated petroleum distillates per year in the US. Industrial uses include fuels and solvents. Typical household uses include air fresheners, lubricants and car care products.

The OECD is still in the information gathering and data review stage of assessing these chemicals under the high production volume (HPV) chemicals program. But results published by various regulatory authorities show that this ingredient can be harmful in the aquatic environment (harmful is officially defined as causing effects at a level that is below “toxic”). It does not biodegrade readily, but it does not bioaccumulate readily either.

2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) is used mainly in paints and surface coatings (predominantly water based decorative and industrial products), followed by cleaning products (especially degreasing or multi-purpose products) and inks, and as a solvent in hair dyes. The 2-BE in these products is basically all relased to the environment, by evaporation in the case of surface coatings and to wastewater streams in most other cases. The OECD estimates that 200,000 to 500,000 tons of 2-BE is produced annually.

The chemical does not bioaccumulate and biodegrades rapidly in sewage treatment plants, and therefore can be commonly found in cleaners advertised as “green”. However, there is documented occurrences of groundwater contamination ocurring when 2-BE is disposed of in landfills, where it cannot biodegrade as effectively.

It causes reversible irritation to eyes and respiratory tract upon exposure. 2-BE is not considered toxic, but it is ranked officially as “harmful” by European Union authorities. 2-BE can be absorbed through the skin. It is a member of a chemical family known as “glycol ethers,” and some of the fears about 2-BE may arise because its smaller siblings 2-methoxyethanol and 2-ethoxyethanol have been shown to cause testicular degeneration. Substantial testing of 2-BE has not shown such effects; in fact, it shows effects on fertility and reproductive toxicity only when exposure levels are so high that other toxic effects are triggered. With sufficient studies completed that the OECD closed demands for additional testing, there is no evidence supporting carcinogenic nor mutagenic effects.

The first critical effect of 2-BE is haematotoxicity, the destruction of red blood cells. Humans are less susceptible to this effect than other species (for example rats are ten times more sensitive than humans). Because 2-BE is quickly eliminated (half-life in blood of 40 – 80 minutes, and half-life until excretion in urine of 3 – 6 hours), there is a low risk of enough of the chemical building up to reach haematotoxic levels.

Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is used mainly in resins (26%) and antifreeze or de-icing fluids (22%), but the US EPA estimates that 18% of the PG used in the US goes into food, drug, and cosmetic uses. Other uses include liquid detergents (11%), pet food (3%), and tobacco (5%). Production in the US and Europe alone exceeds 920,000 tons.

Propylene glycol is so non-toxic that you could eat at least 2 to 13 grams per kg of body weight per day with no observable effects. (Author’s note: a reader has asked us to point out that Ethylene Glycol is also often used in antifreeze products. Ethylene Glycol is poisonous, possibly deadly.)

Organic Sulfonic Acid Salt
The real problem with knowing how hazardous Corexit products might be lies in the confidentiality protection granted to the manufacturers of chemical products. The main active ingredient of the Corexit is given only by its generic chemical name.

Sulfonic acid salts are widely used by the detergents industry. Alkylbenzene sulfonic acids are the most common members of this chemical family, beloved for their low cost, detergent performance, and biodegradability. Here we are talking about truly huge quantities of chemicals produced, used and disposed of annually. For example, over 1 million tons of linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acids (LAS) are produced annually. 78 – 97% of that goes straight into the environment via the wash cycle.

These chemicals are regarded as being of low concern, because they biodegrade very rapidly, especially in wastewater treatment plants. This facade of eco-friendliness masks a more significant issue: many organic sulfonic acid salts are fairly toxic to the aquatic environment, and can be especially disturbing to cell membranes of single-cell and other simple creatures. A 2005 study of dispersant use (German, pdf) for promoting biodegradation in marine oil spills found that the toxic effects of the dispersants may deter the very organisms that are trying to eat up all that nasty spilled oil.

So How Does the Oil Spill Compare?
The fact is that we are running a huge ecological experiment in the Gulf. But the amount of chemicals going into the environment, even from the direct application of chemicals to combat the oil, is dwarfed by the amount of chemicals used by consumers and industry every day. As the questions first arose about the ecological safety of the dispersants BP is using, reports indicated that over 2.2 million liters of the sprayed dispersant and over 300 thousand liters of the underwater dispersant had been released. Even assuming the sulfonic acid salts in these dispersants, probably the ingredients of most concern, are present at the higher end of the range Nalco discloses, one could project that a couple thousand tons of active chemical will be used by the end of this operation.

Compare that to the millions of tons of these chemicals that go into our wastestreams every year from the normal everyday products we use. Even if you assume, optimistically, that 100% of this chemical waste goes to waste treatment at 99.9% efficiency, our ordinary use of these chemicals rivals the BP oil spill treatment every year. Is it time to take the anger at the oil spill and turn it into energy for change? It is not only accidents we need to prevent…

SOURCE: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/corexit-hazards-versus-washing-laundry.php?campaign=daily_nl

worsening by day and months more of massive spill forces us to get a perspective on the toxins we have intentionally plagued our lives and waterways with.  There are non-toxic / non-caustic natural alternatives that work better than “standard store brands” and cost less.  Being eco.wise does not have to cost more.  In fact, it is the most effective way for us to mitigate global chronic toxicity… CSea

More on Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe

The world may be on the brink of biological disaster after news that a third of US bee colonies did not survive the winter

Alison Benjamin on the prospect of a bee-less world
In pictures: Why the decline in bees matters

Photograph: David Silverman/Getty Images

Honey bees are vital insect pollinators, responsible for the healthy development of many of the world’s major food crops.

Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter…


Related Articles from http://EMFJournal.com search “bee”

Alison Benjamin

The Observer, Sunday 2 May 2010

Article history

Green Life

Green Life giving us eco assistance

SOURCE:  http://agreenliving.net/

Connecting with People Who Want to Car Pool

Posted: 02 May 2010 07:43 PM PDT

Buying and driving a car have long been considered “rights of passage” in American society.  Who doesn’t know a kid who received a new car as a graduation present from high school? Driving a car also represents the ultimate freedom.  All you need to do is get in that car and go for a drive and […] Related posts:

  1. Car Pooling
  2. Take the Bus or Train – It Does Make a Difference
  3. What Green Vehicle Does America Want?
Pet Population Control

Posted: 02 May 2010 06:44 PM PDT

Pets are important to people, there’s no denying it.  Studies have shown that, on average, people with pets live longer, and are happier, than those people who don’t have pets.  It can be in part that pets, in particular dogs, simply provide unconditional love to their owners.  It can also be that pets, whether the […] Related posts:

  1. 5 Tips to Take Care of Pets and Environment
  2. Chemicals and Their Effects on Our Pets
  3. Seafood and the Environment
Watering Your Garden

Posted: 02 May 2010 06:32 PM PDT

It’s time to introduce technology to your gardening and lawn care tasks. Water Crystals One way to cut down on the amount of watering you’ll need to do for your plants is by using Water Crystals.  These are super absorbent polymers in the form of white granules…also called hydro gels, polymer crystals, or water gels. These water gels […] Related posts:

  1. Recycling Water In Your Garden
  2. Water Crystals – Save Water in your Garden
  3. Embrace New Gardening Tips with the Changing Climate
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