Books and Publishing, Business, Entertainment, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities, Product Launches

Black Women in STEM Pen New Children’s Science and Nature Book for HBCU Green Fund’s Publishing Arm Launch

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Fostering their continued efforts to create innovative programs to lead the charge in building a more sustainable future, the HBCU Green Fund, founded by environmental leader, Felicia Davis, has launched a self-titled publishing brand. Their first release, "MSITU: The Old-Growth Forest," is written by three women in STEM, Spelman college students and alumna, Serena Echols, Imani Blue and Nia McKenzie, and illustrated by Niara Powell. Released today, the children's science and nature book takes young readers on a magical journey into an old-growth forest where the native plant species live in perfect balance until their delicate equilibrium is disrupted by outsiders.

"We hope to ignite the imagination of young readers," said Echols, a recent Spelman College graduate. "By weaving messages about teamwork, understanding and the power of nature, we hope to teach young readers about unity, the forest, and the importance of nurturing and protecting the environment."

Illai Kenney, director of HBCU Green Fund comments, "In order to effectively address the issue of Climate Change we must take from African and Native American cultures and instill the interconnectedness of humans, nonhumans and the environment from birth. Small children that learn environmentally-friendly habits like conserving water and recycling will pass it down generations. The fate of the planet is in the hands of our youth so teaching them to care for their natural environment will result in a more sustainable world."

"MSITU is a delightful read that inspires environmental stewardship," adds Davis. "Young readers are introduced to an urban old-growth forest that they can visit to get a better understanding of nature and for memories that will last a lifetime. A special bonus is to learn about the exceptional authors and illustrator of the book."

The HBCU Green Fund publishing group aims to empower and amplify the voices of HBCU authors by providing a platform for them to contribute to the conversation on environmental issues within the HBCU community and beyond. Based in Washington, DC and Atlanta, the HBCU Green Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization working with historically Black colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad to advance sustainability and environmental justice, promote student engagement in green initiatives, and train the next generation of global green leaders.

The organization's Atlanta University Center Clean Energy Fellows Program introduces students to career opportunities in the clean energy sector and connects students with Black entrepreneurs that provide training in renewable energy technologies. Their Eco Spring Break Service-Learning trip enables HBCU students, faculty, and alumni to spend a week in an African village where they can help, and learn from, the vulnerable communities that contribute the least, but are most impacted by the effects of climate change. The West Atlanta Project, funded by a Bezos Earth Fund grant as part of the Greening American Cities Initiative, will enhance access to healthy food, outdoor activities, green transportation options, and education, with a Truly Living Well Farm serving as the project anchor.

"MSITU: The Old-Growth Forest," published in collaboration with JSJ Media, is available for on and wherever books are sold.

For more information about HBCU Green Fund books or programs visit or @hbcugreenfund on social media.


* Edrea Davis, Jazzmyne PR

818.613.9521 |

* Makeda Smith, Jazzmyne PR

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Software

Aravenda Among Select Startups Chosen for Google Accelerator Program Dedicated to Supporting Women Founders

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Aravenda, a Techstars and VIPC portfolio company, has proudly secured a spot as 1 of 11 companies in the prestigious Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders. This significant accomplishment spotlights Aravenda's leadership in propelling innovation within the market of resale software, while simultaneously establishing a benchmark for sustainable practices in the resale market.

Aravenda's Consignment Software for small to mid-sized resale businesses, coupled with its white label enterprise products allows companies, governments, universities, and non-profits to reallocate and resell unused resources, improving sustainability on a global level.

"The impact we have on reducing carbon emissions is huge," said Carolyn Thompson, Founder & CEO of Aravenda.

"Every 25,000 pounds that are recycled monthly, reduces CO2 emissions by 1 million pounds a year. Consignment stores across the globe make major impacts, but large companies and organizations who choose us to automate their internal asset reallocation programs meet carbon neutrality goals 10x faster than they ever imagined by using our product."

Randy Howard, VP of IT and Customer Success at Aravenda added, "Being a part of the Google Accelerator program will help us continue what we have started and expand our product beyond the 10 countries where we currently serve clients."

The Women Founders cohort of Google's accelerator program is a powerful initiative designed to empower and uplift women-led businesses. Annual reports indicate that less than 3% of venture capital investments are granted to women. To fill this gap, programs like Google's Startup Accelerator create a space for women founders to propel their businesses. As a participant in this esteemed cohort, Aravenda will have the unique opportunity to receive specialized mentorship from Google experts, leverage the cutting-edge capabilities of Google's cloud computing resources, access crucial technical guidance, and benefit from invaluable networking with like-minded stakeholders.

This milestone underscores Aravenda's steadfast commitment to leading innovation in resale technology and fostering sustainable asset reallocation practices.

For more information about Aravenda, please visit

To learn more about Google Startups Accelerator: Women Founder cohort follow them on social media @Googleforstarups or meet the newest class of 2023 Women Founded Companies at


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Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Government, NonProfit and Charities, Sports and Activities

California’s Sacramento River Trail and Rail Trail Inducted into Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Hall of Fame

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation's largest trails advocacy organization, today announced that California's Sacramento River Rail Trail and Sacramento River Trail will be inducted to its iconic Hall of Fame.

Nestled beneath the Cascade and Trinity mountains, the trails provide 21 miles of transportation and recreation along California's largest river. The trail pair was selected for outstanding merits, including RTC's expanded eligibility criteria this year, which prioritizes multiuse trails that deliver exceptional accessibility and user experience, and contributions to the connectivity of regional trail and active transportation systems.

"Across the country, connected trail systems are proving their significance as essential community assets-creating safe space for people to be active outside, connecting neighbors and neighborhoods, and creating more transportation and mobility options for entire regions," said Ryan Chao, president of RTC. "This year's Hall of Fame nominees were examples of exceptional trails that are fundamental to our vision of a future where trails connect everyone, everywhere. The Sacramento River Rail Trail and Trail stand out by illustrating the impact of connecting trails in ways that provide opportunities for recreation, transportation and intimate connections to the history and nature steeped in place."

Once serving as a travel and trade route for indigenous peoples, then later by a subsidiary of the Central Pacific Railroad, the Sacramento River Rail Trail and Sacramento River Trail provide opportunities for the community to be active, access the outdoors, and connect to neighborhoods and destinations in and around the City of Redding, including the Shasta Lake Recreation Area and the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. The trails also serve as a backbone for a developing regional trail system that encompasses more than 250 miles and will eventually stretch from the Shasta Dam to Redding's southern neighbor, Anderson, and beyond.

"We are excited to share with the world that the Sacramento River Rail Trail and Trail are indeed Hall of Fame worthy. We are grateful for our many partners who have collaborated on the development and expansion of the trails and our many users and support organizations who make the trails better every day. We invite you to visit and experience these world-class trails and scenic river," said Kimberly Niemer, director of community services for the City of Redding.

The trails are home to the Sundial Bridge, an awe-inspiring feature that links both sides of the Upper Sacramento River. The 700-foot-long, cable-stayed, glass and steel working sundial spanning the Sacramento River attracts an estimated 100,000 global visitors each year.

The bridge, park and Redding's vast network of trails-built in phases over the past three decades - have helped transform the region. The vast regional system of trails is a product of a partnership managed by the City of Redding, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service with the support of local groups, foundations, other agencies and community members.

"We are proud to partner with the City of Redding and other groups in managing these trails that improve the quality of life for residents of our area, while offering destination-worthy opportunities for outdoor recreation," said Jennifer Mata, manager of the BLM's Redding Field Office.

The trail pair was among three nominees voted on by the public between Jul. 31 and Aug. 7, 2023, securing nearly 48% of the vote. The Sacramento River Rail Trail and Trail duo is the 37th inductee in RTC's Hall of Fame, joining an exemplary list of trails recognized for their outstanding scenic value, use, amenities, historical significance and community benefit. More than 30,000 votes were cast in the 2023 Hall of Fame contest. The other nominees were the Hennepin Canal State Trail in Illinois and the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail network in South Carolina.

For more information about the Hall of Fame, visit

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation's largest trails organization - with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong - dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors.

Connect with RTC at and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

MEDIA CONTACT: Patricia Brooks,, 202.351.1757


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Business, Construction and Building, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Restaurant, Hotel and Hospitality, Travel and Tourism

Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort is First Hawaiian Hotel to Receive LEED v4 Gold Certification

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -- After a massive renovation of an iconic resort that prioritized resource conservation, sustainable operations, and care for local culture, Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort has received LEED Gold certification, sustainability consulting firm VCA Green announced today.

Global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW) partnered with design firm Walker Warner Architects and Architect of Record Delawie following a devastating 2011 tsunami to transform the property's 81 acres into a premier Hawaiian resort.

The renovation was completed while staying true to original features, including a 150 guest hale spread across several village-like crescents, the Shipwreck Bar, and a petroglyph field, respecting archeologically significant sites or "kapu" while embracing an environmentally friendly design.

Sustainability consulting firm VCA Green is shepherding several of the resort's amenity spaces, including the Spa, Moana (the resort's main restaurant), and Employee Village, through the LEED v4 Building Design & Construction process and has secured Gold Certification for Moana. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world that promotes healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.

"LEED continues to provide a meaningful, global framework for advancing sustainability within real estate and helped to guide our sustainability strategy throughout our innovative redevelopment project," said Alex Spilger, Head of Global ESG at Kennedy Wilson. "We are very proud to celebrate our LEED Gold accomplishment at Kona Village."

Kona Village is a water-neutral site that utilizes native plants, ponds that help the island's natural biodiversity thrive, and a reverse-osmosis non-potable water irrigation system. Solar panels and battery storage are designed to subsidize 100% of the site's energy use, while the all-LED lighting design reduces light pollution. Bike facilities and on-site amenities promote employee and guest wellness as well as reduce reliance on fossil-fuel-burning cars to move from place to place. The intense attention to each detail of the site's materials, layout, and operations awarded each section of the property full points in several LEED categories.

To commemorate Kona Village's outstanding dedication to sustainability, U.S. Green Building Council President and CEO Peter Templeton held a plaque dedication ceremony at the resort on July 25, 2023.

"Kona Village's LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership. All over the world, the hospitality industry is recognizing that green building works and enhances a company's triple bottom line-people, planet, and profit," Templeton said. "By incorporating green building practices, hotels are raising the bar for the global market, positively impacting the quality of our built space by providing everyone with access to healthy, green, and high performing buildings. Kona Village is a prime example of how the innovative work of project teams can create local solutions that contribute to making a global difference."

More information:

Robyn Vettraino
VCA Green


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Photo Caption: Developer, owner, sustainability consultant and CEO of the USGBC attended a LEED plaque ceremony to dedicate the first of three LEED certifications for Kona Village's three distinct sections. From left to right: Alex Spilger: Head of Global ESG - Kennedy Wilson; Peter Templeton: President and CEO - U.S. Green Building Council; Robyn Vettraino: Principal - Verde, A VCA Company; Sandra Estornell: Managing Director - Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort; Matt Comisar: Development Manager - Kennedy Wilson; Mike Eadie: Managing Director, U.S. Development and Construction - Kennedy Wilson; Scott Bedingfield: Project Director, Kona Village - Kennedy Wilson.

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Awards and Honors, Business, Education and Schools, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

Children’s Health Champion California Safe Schools Celebrates 25th Anniversary and Honors Earth Day Heroes

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Founded by Robina Suwol in 1998, California Safe Schools (CSS) is a children's environmental health and environmental justice non-profit. CSS achieved national and international prominence by spearheading the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Policy, and for the past 25 years been a leader in protecting children's health and the environment.

In honor of Earth Day, California Safe Schools celebrates outstanding heroes who strive daily to protect human health and our environment.

2023 Earth Day Heroes:

Patricia Hill began her career in front of the camera, then broke into production as the first female cameraperson. Her credits are innumerable: Cheers, Frasier, M*A*S*H, The Waltons, Everyone Loves Raymond and many others. Patricia has continually used her skills to help others. She documented an irrigation project by the Gambia River, was the photographer for Ted Danson's American Oceans Campaign later called Oceana, organized a delegation to document human rights violations in Central America and helped lobby in Washington. She also judged animated submissions for the Environmental Media Association.

Qihao Huang is a 12th grade student at Abraham Lincoln High School helping his community as a volunteer with Chinatown Community Equitable Development, Project Angel Food, Teens Leading Change, Chinatown Teen Council, and YUCA. Through his work, he has become aware of the challenges elderly face including language barriers.As a result, he has established his own non-profit to help low-income people as an advocate against gentrification, ensuring access to support and resources. Qihao also participates in community service events such as the Lincoln Park Clean-Up, LA Marathon, and Rose Parade.

Stephanie Lewis is a Senior Environmental Scientist at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Her main work focuses on working with California Native American Tribes to ensure that they are aware of investigative and remediation projects that are anticipated to take place on their culturally affiliated and sensitive lands. As an advocate for introducing young people to STEM, Stephanie serves on the board of the Hyde Park Organization Partnership for Empowerment, California Science Center Foundation MUSES program, which funds students to attend science classes, and is chair of the Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers scholarship committee.

Adrian Martinez

Based in Los Angeles, Adrian works on clean air, clean energy, and healthy communities issues as a deputy managing attorney for Earthjustice in its "Right to Zero" campaign. He also serves as the Chair of Earthjustice's Transportation Practice Group. Adrian currently serves on San Pedro Bay Ports Sustainable Supply Chain Advisory Committee and the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Committee. He co-teaches a class on Environmental Justice Law at the University of California Los Angeles. Adrian also volunteers on the board of several nonprofits and serves on the advisory board for the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law School.

Caroline Martinez

Caroline is a first grader who is no stranger to environmental advocacy. She has attended many hearings with her father, Adrian Martinez of Earth Justice, to advocate for electric buses in Los Angeles. She aspires to be an electric car designer.

Chief Ernie P. Teutimez-Salas, Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians/Kizh Nation

Chief Ernie P. Teutimez -Salas has proven to be the most recognized and most accurately documented, direct lineal-descendant of former native ancestors of Kizh/Gabrieleño Villages or (rancherias), the villages of Sibangna Siba, Tameobit & Atongai / Tamet, from any Gabrieleño Indians in Gabrieleño History. Chief Salas is the grandchild of Nicolas Jose who was a man of great power and had an important part in the rebellion of 1784 at Mission San Gabriel. Chief Salas has taught his Tribe to have self-respect and to keep their culture and way of living alive while being the stewards of the land in its protection and preservation for future generations.

Matthew Teutimez

Matthew Teutimez has been designated by his Tribe to possess and share Kizh-Gabrieleño ecological knowledge and traditional practices taught to him by Chief Ernie P. Teutimez-Salas and Elders of the Kizh-Gabrieleño Tribe. He serves as the Tribal Biologist and Director of Resources, specializing in ethnobotanical and cultural uses of native flora and fauna. Matthew is the founder and executive director he Laboratory for Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS), a non-profit created to integrate and apply indigenous methods and knowledge into environmental stewardship, food, medicine, and land management projects. Matthew is a member of the California Environmental Protection Agency's (CalEPA) Tribal Advisory Committee; CALEPA's Community Science Model Workgroup; the City of Los Angeles' Tree Ambassador Program; and Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment's Biodiversity Workgroup.

Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians/Kizh NationKizh (Kitc, Quiichi)

The People of the Willow and Tule Brush Houses.The Kizh name derives from the dome-style dwellings used for houses. For millennia, the Kizh have created a complex and beautiful culture, which included religion, astronomy, rich and varied cuisine, economy, and complex social structures. The Kizh developed ingenious ways to live sustainably from the gifts of the Creator on the land of the Los Angeles Basin and southern Channel Islands. The Kizh were one of two California tribes who mastered boat-building and developed a maritime culture utilizing the resources of the open ocean and coastal estuaries and bays. The lineage of the original people of the Los Angeles Basin still survives today within the Kizh Nation Tribe and its people continue to protect and preserve their cultural heritage, identity, and ancestral lands.

Robina Suwol, founder and executive director of California Safe Schools added, "In honoring these phenomenal self-less individuals, we are acknowledging their tremendous efforts that have resulted in the protection of not only current generations, but future generations to come."

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Awards and Honors, Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

Taylor Wilshire and the Wilshire Foundation again win the Global Excellence Award (GEA) for 2023

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Taylor Wilshire and the Wilshire Foundation have again won the Global Excellence Award (GEA) from the Consortium of International Social and Financial Responsibility (CISFR). This award highlights the Wilshire Foundation's outstanding success in creating sustainable solutions through partnership, innovation, and best practices in order to advance its mission of eradicating poverty by fostering development and promoting affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all.

"We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps that are urgently needed to shift the world to a sustainable and resilient path as we embark on this collective journey," Wilshire stated.

As conflicts and divisive international issues arise, the Wilshire Foundation has advanced its humanitarian efforts and funding capabilities to provide shelter and placement for refugees from wars and establish self-sustained communities in India and Africa. The foundation recognizes that international trade can be an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction while creating an important source of income for both the private and public sector in developing countries. This mission to transform poverty goes hand-in-hand with strategies to improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth-all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

"Partnerships and collaborations between nations, researchers, and industry teams have highlighted the incredible things we can do together as we promote awareness of sustainable change. The result is transforming not only human equality but also creating economic solutions that deliver new inspiration to every generation on our planet. Our dedicated teams are already bringing us closer and closer to seeing real change," Taylor said.

During a time when most companies and institutions are battling severe economic fluctuation and political crises, the Wilshire Foundation has been receiving praise and funding that will expand its sustainable, innovative, and award-winning programs and projects. Inspired by the tenets of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the foundation's cutting-edge financial structures have put it in the spotlight of companies to continue to watch.

The CISFR's Global Excellence Award will be presented to the Wilshire Foundation in New York, New York, on April 24, 2023. Members of the CISFR include the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, International Conscious Capital, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

Domaine Carneros Celebrates Sustainability for Earth Day 2023 – PowerFlex Microgrid represents Next Generation of Solar Power

NAPA, Calif. -- Earth Day 2023 brings a vibrant green to the terrain and vineyards of Domaine Carneros as the 2022-23 winter rains have provided much needed relief from the past five years of draught in California. 2023 will mark a significant advance in the winery's record of sustainability when a new solar microgrid and battery system comes online, providing the winery over 75% energy independence. Since its founding in 1987, Domaine Carneros has put sustainability initiatives at the forefront of their daily practices, consistently working to minimize their environmental impact as true stewards of the land.

The intention at Domaine Carneros is to create the best wines and most memorable sparkling wine experiences through healthy land, vines, and people. For the 36 years since its founding, Domaine Carneros has pushed the sustainability envelope to ensure that the winery lives as lightly on the land as possible while producing excellent grapes, and, of course, wine. In pursuit of the highest standards, Domaine Carneros has sought and received certifications from numerous prestigious sustainable organizations. Annual assessments and audits seek out new areas to improve upon rigorous standards of sustainability not only for the winery, but also for its place in the community and as an employer.

The winery implements the following measures towards continuous improvement:

Re-use and recycling

* Through composting, recycling, and reuse, over 90% of solid waste is diverted from landfills.

* Water used in the production process is recycled and used to irrigate the estate vineyards.

* A decade-long packaging reuse program, whereby 20-25% of cases and inserts are reused for in-house purposes.

Sustainability Practices

* Solar energy has long been a crucial aspect of Domaine Carneros' sustainability plan, having installed the largest solar collection system of any winery in the world when it was implemented in 2003. In 2023, Domaine Carneros will be among the first wineries in the Napa Valley to install a solar microgrid and battery system, which will supply 75% of the winery's power, and ultimately allow the winery to be self-sustaining during power outages.

* The winery's use of skylights, building into the earth, and employing night cooling systems to maintain cellar temperatures all contribute to energy conservation as well as robust employee involvement in daily conservation efforts.

* The winery practices Integrated Pest Management using natural controls for vineyard pests such as boxes to attract owls which feed on voles and using cover crops that attract beneficial insects to control insect pests.

* Grape pomace from harvest is used to feed local cattle in a region of California with historic ties to the dairy business.

Commitment to Employees

* The winery has strong principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and its staff is reflective of that commitment.

* The winery practices open book management, inspiring all employees to be a part of a collective success.

* The winery fosters and encourages mentorship for its staff and embraces professional development beyond the team in the form of scholarship offerings and a fellowship.

The winery has been awarded several prestigious honors from the state of California and other well-respected organizations. In April 2023, the winery received the RISE Leadership Award for outstanding waste prevention and greening of its supply chain. In 2020, the winery received the Napa Climate NOW! award for being a Climate Champion in the Business Category. The winery also received the California Green Medal Business Award in 2019 for "demonstrating smart business through efficiencies, cost savings, and innovation from implementing sustainable practices." Only four wineries are awarded the medal each year, so the honor is quite significant given the number of wineries in the state.

Domaine Carneros has been a Bay Area Green Business since 2014, Fish Friendly Farming certified since 2015, Napa Green Land & Winery since 2014 and Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing since 2015.

Looking towards the future, CEO Remi Cohen reiterated the foundations of the winery's philosophy which she is carrying forward, "Domaine Carneros has always been a leader in thoughtful winemaking and vineyard management, looking towards furthering our sustainability practices and initiatives. As we meet new climate challenges, the winery will always look to be a leader with a light footprint as well as a strong investment in the future of its team and the industry."


Founded in 1987, Domaine Carneros reflects the hallmark of its founder, Champagne Taittinger, in creating a vision of terroir-driven sparkling wine and preserving the quality tenets of the methode traditionelle of sparkling wine production. Located entirely within the Carneros AVA, between Napa and Sonoma counties, the six estate vineyards total approximately 400 acres with 150 acres planted to chardonnay, and 250 acres planted to pinot noir. The winery focuses on making ultra-premium Carneros sparkling wines largely estate grown and limited production pinot noirs.

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Business, Education and Schools, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

HBCU Green Fund Atlanta University Fellows Spend Spring Break Planting Trees in a Rural African Village to Fight Climate Change

ATLANTA, Ga. -- A group of HBCU Green Fund Fellows from Atlanta University Center recently dedicated their spring break embedded in an African village on the border of Senegal and Mauritania building a tree shelter, planting trees and digging a well in their ongoing efforts to help the vulnerable communities that are most impacted by the effects of climate change, but contribute the least. The climate advocates spent a full week without Internet, TV and phone service to help mitigate the devastating effects of global warming.

The inaugural HBCU Green Fund Eco Spring Break Service-Learning program at REDES Ecovillages connects students, faculty and alumni from Black colleges including Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse and Spelman Colleges in Atlanta, GA, with students and faculty from Cheik Ante Diop University in Dakar Senegal. With over 100 villages in Senegal and Mauritania, REDES Ecovillages helps traditional communities become ecovillages by blending deep-rooted culture with modern ecological and community-building methods. The program gives students an opportunity to help with the climate crisis, and also learn innovative solutions the Africans have implemented.

"I'm so proud of these young leaders who put down their social media to live for a week with families in a rural village where electricity, water and food were extremely limited. It was a game changer for young professionals who consider themselves to be climate justice advocates," said Felicia Davis, founder of HBCU Green Fund. "The experience provided the volunteers with a deeper understanding of climate change, food waste, plastic pollution, and the devastating impact of wasteful western habits on distant communities along with an opportunity to make a real and tangible difference."

Davis adds, "We gain as much or more than we give, it is powerful to function as a part of nature, as a steward seeking ecological restoration and balance. With a small donation the HBCU Green Fund financed construction of a shelter for tree saplings and a well that women farmers requested so they don't have to walk all the way to the river and back for water."

The Eco Spring Break Service-Learning program is one of several initiatives the HBCU Green Fund sponsors as they cultivate relationships with local communities in the U.S., Africa and throughout the African Diaspora to promote conservation, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture and development. The group currently has ongoing projects in 14 countries in Africa, including Ghana and Tanzania, two of the countries Vice President Harris recently visited and declared climate change an "existential threat to the entire planet."

"It was a life-changing experience," adds Serena Echols, an HBCU Green Fund Fellow and senior environmental science major at Spelman College. "We lived with host families sleeping on the floor just as they do. Our days consisted of working on various projects to help transform the villages of the Sahel. We also learned to milk a cow or a goat and planted more than 100 trees."

"When we returned to the U.S. and heard Vice President Harris' call to action it reinforced our commitment to fighting for climate justice and made us feel like we were playing a personal role in the mission to address the climate crisis in Africa," adds Echols.

About the HBCU Green Fund:

Based in Washington, DC and Atlanta, the HBCU Green Fund ( is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization working with historically black colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad to advance sustainability, promote student engagement in green initiatives, and train the next generation of global green leaders. The organization's Atlanta University Center Clean Energy Fellows Program introduces students to career opportunities in the clean energy sector and connects students with Black entrepreneurs that provide training in renewable energy technologies. The HBCU Green Fund partnered the Harambee House/Citizens for Environmental Justice (HH/CFEJ) to lead a delegation of 27 persons from the United States and Africa to participate in COP27 in Egypt last November and are planning to take a delegation to to COP28 in Dubai in November of this year.

Learn more:


Edrea Davis 818.613.9521



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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Funding and Investment, Government

Approximately $140 Million Available for Wildlife Habitat Projects

SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) Saturday issued its annual Call for Funding Request from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. Approximately $140 million will be available for both metro and statewide grants to aid Minnesota habitat restoration, protection and enhancement.

Requests are due to the LSOHC Friday, May 26, 2023 at 4 p.m. The funds for approved programs signed into law during the 2024 legislative session will be available Monday, July 1, 2024.

Since the Outdoor Heritage Fund's creation in 2008, $1.5 billion in on-the-ground habitat programs has been allocated by the Minnesota legislature and over 1.3 million acres of Minnesota forests, prairies and wetlands have been restored, protected and/or enhanced. The latest set of recommendations for $171 million is currently before the Minnesota legislature.

The process is competitive and open to all who wish to apply. "Each year we receive many excellent proposals containing a wide variety of projects," said Mark Johnson, LSOHC Executive Director, "but there is still great opportunity for new applicants and new ideas. If you are interested in applying, but unsure if Outdoor Heritage Funds are right for your project, call us - LSOHC staff are here to help."

Proposal requirements and terms of funding are outlined in the Call for Funding Request. To view details or learn more, visit:

For answers to specific questions, contact LSOHC Staff:

About Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council:

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is composed of eight citizens and four legislators and makes annual recommendations to the Minnesota legislature for use of the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Outdoor Heritage Fund is one of four funds established as a result of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment, passed by Minnesota voters in November of 2008. The amendment established a dedicated sales tax increase of three-eighths of 1%. One-third of the dollars raised are deposited in the Outdoor Heritage Fund and expenditures must be used to restore, protect and enhance Minnesota's wetlands, prairies, forests and habitat for fish, game and wildlife. Current LSOHC members are listed on the LSOHC website members page:

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

Innovative Process Recycles All Types of Plastic Waste Utilizing Profitable Micro-Recycling Centers

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Today, Nairobi non-profit Slums Going Green and Clean (SGGC) announced the success of its open-source Waste Free in '23 initiative utilizing profitable micro-recycling centers. In January 2023, two centers recycled five tons of mixed plastic waste with plans to increase their recycling capacity to 15 centers and 75 tons of waste per month by the end of 2023.

"To change the plastics situation in Kenya, we need an all-in approach. Solutions on the ground -- and from the ground in the informal sector need to find a place in the value chain for good, just as much as the players do. We must rethink product design to ensure recyclability, and always keep materials in the loop," says Karin Boomsma, Project Lead at the Kenya Plastics Pact (KPP).

"At the end of 2022, we recovered, recycled, and repurposed all common plastic types collected from the Nairobi River and Kibera at our first micro-recycling center," said Brian Nyabuti, founder of SGGC. "Nairobi, like the rest of the world, was recycling less than 10% of plastic waste and disposing of the rest in landfills, communities, and the environment," referring to the 2021 report from the UN Environmental Programme. "With these innovations we can turn any type of plastic, including food wrappers and packaging, into products like bins, chairs, roof panels and fence posts."

A cadre of engineers, scientists, and recyclers collaborated with the Waste Free in '23 initiative to solve trash and recycling problems in low-income communities. The team adapted common recycling equipment used at major recycling centers to create a micro-recycling center in Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi. Equipment for a micro-recycling center costs $2000 and consists of a shredder, plastic slicer, heat press, and molds that can process up to 200 kilograms of waste per day. The Kibera micro-recycling center was funded through crowdsourcing.

The center inserts soft plastics unwashed and unsorted into a heat press. In just 10 minutes, the plastic is bonded into components used to create products that are sold to the local community. The small amount of plastic that should not be heated can be shredded and added to concrete. The micro-recycling center is staffed with four workers who earn a living wage.

"We are turning trash into treasure," said Nyabuti. "We no longer have to dump,burn,or truck our plastic waste to landfills. And with the equipment designed to be low cost and to be built anywhere in the world, thousands of communities can join Kibera in becoming Waste Free in '23."


Slums Going Green and Clean (SGGC) is a non-profit based in Nairobi, Kenya. Find its open-sourced materials on micro-recycling at

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Kenyan Plastic Pact (KPP) is an ambitious, collaborative initiative that brings together stakeholders across the whole plastics value chain to transform the current linear plastics system into a circular economy for plastics.

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