Cutting Energy Costs, Clean Energy Jobs and Mushroom Packaging – 04.10.2011
Thalia Assuras:You can feel the air escaping from a drafty house, but can you see the money flying out, too?
Joan Glickman:These people want to know what they can do, not only to save energy, but obviously, that translates into the bottom line saving money on our utility bills.
Thalia Assuras:So is what you’re doing to cut down on your energy cost really working? There’s a new way to find out.
Plus, a new way to reduce household energy use by up to 90%. That’s right, 90%. Goodbye Styrofoam, make room for the mushroom. A new generation of packing material using less energy to make and kinder to the environment.
Josh Zepps:You can actually see the husks that I was just holding in my hand, but are still in there. This is only after one week.
Thalia Assuras:The magic of the mushroom.
And President Obama entered office promising millions of clean energy jobs. What will it take to make the promise a reality and when? We’ll mix it up with former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich. This is energyNOW.
Hello, I’m Thalia Assuras. Welcome to energyNOW, a weekly look at America’s energy challenges and what we’re doing about them. Your home, it’s probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make and energy bills will make up a large portion of your cost. In fact, Americans spend about $250 billion a year on residential energy and that’s why efficiency upgrades can be appealing. Keep cool, stay warm, but pay less, supposedly.
Well, you can now determine if your improvements are actually working. Through a federal pilot program that calculates your Energy Score. energyNOW’s Lee Patrick Sullivan found out how to turn that score into a savings bonanza in this energyNOW Spotlight.
Lewis Steva:Our electric bill is quite low.
Lee Sullivan:That is great.
Charlottesville, Virginia homeowners Debby and Lewis Steva are waiting on the results of their Home Energy Score.
Laura Fiori:Let’s go check the attic.
Lee Sullivan:Inspector Laura Fiori shows us how it’s done.
Laura Fiori:They have blown fiberglass insulation, it’s about six inches.
Male:Now as far as insulation goes, does it look like it has enough?
Laura Fiori:Well, this was the amount that was required by code when the house was built, but the department of energy currently recommends a lot more.
Lee Sullivan:The Steva’s are taking advantage of a Department of Energy Program that rates the energy efficiency of a home. Think of it as a miles per gallon sticker for your house. Getting the score can enable homeowners to take advantage of up to $25,000.00 in power saving loans.
When people talk about reducing their energy use, they always point to cars, but it’s homes and buildings that are -- were the biggest savings can happen, correct?
Joan Glickman:That’s right. I mean cars are very important and that’s where our dependence on oil comes from, but homes are incredibly important on making our energy system reliable and cost-effective.
Lee Sullivan:The Energy Home Score takes into account several factors from the type of shingle and color of paint on the outside, to the size of the windows, the amount of insulation and type of light bulbs on the inside.
That right there, well, that’s a blower. It seals off the front door, blows air out so inspectors can check for drafts inside the home.
Now, most people think the best way to make your house more energy efficient is to get new windows, but that’s not the case. Well, come inside and I’ll show you.
According to the experts, properly sealed ductwork is your best bang for the buck. And luckily, it’s also one of the cheapest fixes, unlike pricey double paned windows.
Laura Fiori:Windows typically make up only 10% to 15% of the wall area of a house, so they can only have so much impact.
Lee Sullivan:But how does the DOE know that sealed ductwork is more efficient than new windows? How do they know any of these fixes will work? To find answers, I went to Knoxville, Tennessee where there’s a subdivision populated with Robohomes, houses that come to life eating everything in their path.
Well, they’re not really robots, but there are robotics inside. Knoxville’s local utility, the Tennessee Valley Authority purchased three homes in this subdivision. They collaborated with the Electric Power Research Institute in Oak Ridge National Lab to study energy use.
House number one was left just as the builder finished it. House number two was outfitted with off the shelf energy saving products, the type of the things that you can pick up at your local home improvement store.
Matt Wakefield:This is the third home, the near zero-energy home.
Lee Sullivan:The folks at TVA went wild with this one. It has top of the line solar panels, solar water heaters, an outdoor weather station, so the home can predict when to heat and cool itself, also, a one of a kind heating and cooling system.
Talk about real life experience. This isn’t a laboratory, this is a house or is it both?
Dave Dinse:Actually, it’s a good description. It’s both. It’s a real house and it’s also a laboratory environment.
Lee Sullivan:Now, this is the cool part. To mimic a normal living environment, in all three homes, the ovens turn on and off during normal eating times. A robotic arm opens and closes the refrigerator. Robots also control the shower and the washer and driers. Now, this might look like a trashcan to the untrained eye, well, mostly, because it is, but it’s also a device that mimics the heat and humidity of a human body. Dave Dinse runs the project.
Dave Dinse:We have a little electric heater that’s plugged in right there and that comes on to simulate the use of your TV, your desktop boxes, PCs. We have one upstairs and one downstairs.
Lee Sullivan:And those create a lot of heat?
Dave Dinse:Yeah, and they’re using energy and that’s -- I mean if you have any device plugged in that’s using electricity, it’s going to put heat up.
Lee Sullivan:The Robohomes have just finished year one of a three-year experiment and what have been the results? House number one had a monthly energy use of $157.00. House number two used $114.00 of energy each month, and the Mack daddy house number three, it consumed just $37.00 a month in energy.
Back in Charlottesville, the results are in on the Home Energy Score.
You poked and prodded, and looked and inspected, drum roll please, what’s the score?
Laura Fiori:The score for this house is a five.
Lee Sullivan:A five out of what?
Laura Fiori:Out of ten, five out of ten.
Lee Sullivan:Fiori says that’s about a C+, ouch!
All right, do you want to get 10 out of 10 or are you going to try to get seven, eight?
Debby Steva:I guess --
Lewis Steva:I think seven or eight is what I would shoot for.
Lee Sullivan:The biggest energy sucker in the house, if energy sucker can be said on television was the ductwork.
Lewis Steva:That’s interesting.
Lee Sullivan:Did you guys think that that would be the place where you’d save the most energy, just making sure the ductwork is sealed up?
Debby Steva:It didn’t really think about that.
Lewis Steva:I figured it was the windows.
Lee Sullivan:That smart woman from the DOE told me that.
Lee Sullivan:So it must be the truth.
Lewis Steva:It’s got to be the truth.
Lee Sullivan:If the Steva’s invest about $30.00 to properly seal their ductwork, experts say they could save $400.00 a year on their heating and cooling bills.
In Charlottesville, Virginia, Lee Patrick Sullivan, energyNOW.
Thalia Assuras:As we mentioned, the program is in the pilot stage only available in 11 states. It rolls out to the entire country in November, but you can find out more about the program and how to get an energy audit by logging on to our website energynow.com.
Now, can you seal your house so tightly and insulate so well that you make the furnace and air-conditioning obsolete? Throw in energy efficient devices and a home’s energy use can be slashed by a whapping 90%. Welcome to the passive house, accepted in parts of Europe and starting to catch on here. And get this, the folks behind passive home building say it only cost about 8% to 10% more to build one. We toured the first passive house near Washington, D.C. So join us on the tour in this week’s energyNOW Hot Zone.
David Peabody:Well, the passive house, the whole program is based on making super energy efficient houses affordably.
Brendan O’Neill:A year ago, my father and I went out to Illinois to actually look at one of the first passive houses ever built and it was roughly 20 degrees outside. We went inside this house and we’re amazed that how comfortable it was even next to the windows. So we found a piece of property here in Bethesda, Maryland and joint ventured with David Peabody to build the first passive house in this area.
David Peabody:So the approach is to take -- is to reduce your energy demand to the point where you don’t need expensive equipment to heat and cool it. In all passive houses, that demand is for heating and cooling is reduced to about 10% of the standard code built house. You don’t really need a furnace.
One of the goals in this house was to make sure that we did it with off the shelf materials.
Brendan O’Neill:The products and the techniques that we’ve used here are done in building all over the place, but it’s kind of how we’ve put it together, how it’s been designed and the care of taping and sealing all of the joints and making sure there’s no leaks, the types of windows that we’ve used.
The windows on the other side of the house has actually allows sunlight in, the ones on the Westside reduce the amount of sunlight coming in.
David Peabody:The thing that’s most unique about what we’ve done here is that it is -- that we could do it, that an architect with basically nine days of training and a builder -- and a good builder who had never done it before could put this house together.
It’s going to become mainstream. I don’t think it’s going to be something French, which most people think of it as now.
Thalia Assuras:There are only a dozen passive homes in the U.S., but more than 20,000 worldwide.
Coming up, packaging you could eat, almost.
A recipe for replacing Styrofoam with a magic ingredient, mushrooms, using a lot less energy to make, but first, all the talk of clean energy jobs driving the economy. When are we actually going to see those jobs? We’ll hear from former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich.
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Thalia Assuras:Can the U.S. lead the global clean energy economy? President Obama says we can with good old American ingenuity. On Wednesday, the president returned to the Gamesa, a company that makes wind turbines outside Philadelphia. He visited as a candidate in 2008 and having declared his 2012 reelection bid earlier in the week, now he’s a candidate again.
Barrack Obama:When it comes to high-end, high-skilled jobs, those are the kind of manufacturing jobs we have to go after, and that’s where research, innovation is so important. That’s where on something like clean energy, making sure that there’s a market for that clean energy is so important. That’s what’s going to produce manufacturing jobs.
Thalia Assuras:But where are these jobs? Who’s hiring the workers? And haven’t we heard this before? After all, the president was talking about creating millions of clean energy jobs before he was even elected president. Joining us now for this week’s mix from Berkley, California, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, she’s now a Senior Advisor with Policy Research Group Pew Charitable Trusts and she’s about to embark on a clean energy tour across America.
And in the studio, former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, now a Senior Counsel to international law firm King & Spalding and thanks to both of you for joining us. I’m going to start with Governor Granholm.
So, where are those jobs? Didn’t we hear this before when the president was first running for office?
Jennifer Granholm:Well, I can say in Michigan, we’ve seen a lot of them as a result of the investments that came out of the Recovery Act. In fact, Michigan was able to attract because of policy about 40 -- in just in about two years, maybe a year and a half, 47 companies came to Michigan and they’re slated to create 89,000 jobs. These are clean energy jobs. For example, the electrification of the vehicle, the battery, those people who make the battery are now working inside of Michigan. Just that sector alone is supposed to create 63,000 jobs from 17 battery companies.
So we are seeing in Michigan the effects of the commitment of the United States to that kind of clean energy policy, but we need it to be broader.
Thalia Assuras:Sir, do you agree that we need it to be broader, I mean --
Bob Ehrlich:We don’t disagree.
Thalia Assuras:You don’t disagree?
Bob Ehrlich:In fact, I think the question was, “Have you heard this before?” You’ve heard it with republican and democratic presidents, so it didn’t start with this president. The governor and I agree. Everybody agrees on both sides of the aisle. Are green energy jobs good? Yes. Do they take investment? Yes.
But the bottom line is, at a rhetorical level, it’s very easy to make those statements. Getting from here to there, how do you do it? How do you do it most efficiently and when does the market catch up obviously because American companies, international companies, everybody wants to make a buck.
Thalia Assuras:So what do we do now Governor Granholm? Go ahead.
Jennifer Granholm:Well, the United States used to hold the number one position in private sector clean energy investments. However, Germany and China have leapt over us. Why? Because they have adopted national policy, which makes the commitment to a market.
So those businesses are deciding to locate there instead of the United States because they’re assured of a market. They can go there, they can use the -- they can sell there and they can export to us. We need to do the same thing.
Thalia Assuras:Is that why you said to a reporter that you have been to China recently and what you heard in China set your hair on fire, is that what you mean? What did you mean?
Jennifer Granholm:I meant that there’s clearly there a commitment to creating energy jobs and they have put that commitment into practice. So they have made an environment there that businesses are choosing to locate and it’s not just about wages by the way. They’re choosing to locate in China and in Germany, which obviously has the same wage structure as us because they have made a commitment to clean energy. They’re saying that in our nation, we’re going to commit to purchasing a certain amount of energy from renewable sources and that creates a market for those businesses there.
Thalia Assuras:Is that what’s going to happen here, Governor Ehrlich?
Jennifer Granholm:That’s got to happen here.
Thalia Assuras:Is that what will set your hair on fire, tax incentives and those kinds of things?
Bob Ehrlich:Of course, there’s two ways to do it and the traditional -- we’re not breaking new ground here, there are traditional ways. One is private sector obviously, and when the private sector sees a buck can be made as the governor was talking about, boom, they’ll go.
Thalia Assuras:But she’s also saying they invest in renewable energy -- right.
Bob Ehrlich:And the public sector, invest obviously means taxpayer dollars into certain basic research and basic science.
Thalia Assuras:Republicans aren’t going to do that though. They’re already saying, Paul Ryan of the House Budget Chairman is saying, “Okay, a billion dollars a year maybe.” President Obama says $8 billion a year maybe.
Bob Ehrlich:Well, we’ll see, but this gets into another show.
Jennifer Granholm:What I can say. There is enormous by part as a support for our National Energy Policy. Seventy-five percent of republicans believe that we should have a national policy that commits us to getting a certain percentage of our energy from renewable sources and that encourages energy efficiency, 75% of republicans.
Bob Ehrlich:I think that’s great.
Jennifer Granholm:I’m not talking about a carbon tax. I’m not talking about carbon trade, just the commitment.
Jennifer Granholm:Just the commitment to energy by Clean Energy Standard.
Thalia Assuras:Governor Ehrlich, how can that happen?
Bob Ehrlich:And you’re right, you’re right and again, at a rhetorical level, everybody supports it, there are green jobs, they are good stuff, what you’re doing is terrific. I think everybody supports right around the country and doing what you’re doing, which I think is a fantastic thing for a governor to do.
But again, this is where the rubber meets the road, how many billions of dollars are you talking about given the trillions of dollars in debt and deficits and all that.
Jennifer Granholm:All I’m talking about right now is a Clean Energy Standard.
Bob Ehrlich:Where should it go Governor Ehrlich, where should it go?
Jennifer Granholm:Clean Energy Standard, right? That doesn’t cost you any money at all and everybody agrees it should happen. That should be number one.
Bob Ehrlich:As I said, there are issues that we can all agree, but then, what is going to be the number in this coming budget. That’s where the rubber meets the road and obviously, that’s for the both sides have to sit down.
Thalia Assuras:But how do we get there?
Bob Ehrlich:How do you get there and how many dollars you spend, and then (00:19:10) budget.
Thalia Assuras:Again, how do you get there and that’s -- well, what would the republicans do for example. What will they do?
Bob Ehrlich:Well, we’re talking about trillions of dollars obviously. So one billion and eight billion is going to be one of the easier decisions they have to make.
Thalia Assuras:Governor Granholm?
Jennifer Granholm:Let me just say just to close this out because I know you’ve got to go. But the bottom line is, the budget is in trouble because we’re not creating jobs, other countries are creating jobs because they’ve got a commitment to this sector. This is the biggest market around. If we miss this boat, everyday these businesses are making decisions and they’re locating somewhere else, this could create millions of jobs in America, which of course could help the budget. The bottom line is we have to send a signal to the market. If we don’t send that signal, the market is going to go elsewhere where the signal has been sent by other (00:19:50).
Bob Ehrlich:It has to be a function of Sound Science, not just government throwing money because it sounds good or it looks real good in a political campaign. I’m not saying that’s happening --
Thalia Assuras:You’re saying the science isn’t there?
Bob Ehrlich:I’ve seen it before. I’ve been in congress, seen that, done that. So it has to be a function of really good science where of course, which will lead to solid job creation.
Thalia Assuras:Well, I have to thank both of you. Well, I think we’re going to have to have both of you join us once again or maybe the two of you can go on a tour together. I’m not (00:20:15) sure. That will be great.
Bob Ehrlich:That will be fun.
Jennifer Granholm:I invite you. Come with me. That’s great.
Bob Ehrlich:Good to see you governor.
Thalia Assuras:Governor Ehrlich, thank you very much.
Jennifer Granholm:All right. Good to see you.
Thalia Assuras:Governor Granholm thanks so much to you as well.
Jennifer Granholm:You bet.
Thalia Assuras:So what do you think about green jobs? Well, let us know in our online poll. Go to our website, energynow.com. Here’s the question, can green jobs power our economy? Way in and become part of the energy conversation at energynow.com.
Coming up next, a mushrooming enterprise.
Sam Harrington:So all those little fibers are reaching out towards the husks because they see it as food and at the same time, they’re bonding in altogether in this network of fibers.
Thalia Assura:Feeding on organic material, the marvelous mushroom helping to create a new kind of Styrofoam.
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Thalia Assuras:When you get a new high-tech gadget, maybe a new TV or a computer, how much thought do you give to what it arrives in? Probably none. Well, one U.S. company is picking up the slack for all of us. Ecovative Designs has developed a new natural way to protect your booty by turning to mother nature. energyNOW’s Josh Zepps explains in this energyNEXT.
Josh Zepps:Mushrooms! I love them, stuffed mushrooms, sautéed mushrooms, baked mushrooms, mushroom pot pie, mushroom soup, mushroom stew, mushroom Styrofoam packing material. I don’t really understand that last one, which is why I’m here in Green Island, New York to find out.
At first glance, you could be in a restaurant kitchen, storage containers full of rice and grains, cereal by the mounds. But, if you look a little closer, that pile of succulent cereals starts to look more like honeybunches of buckwheat hulls and cotton gin trash. If this is a kitchen, I’m eating in tonight.
Luckily, it’s not, it’s a lab. And what you see here ends up here. Nope! This is not a delicious rice crispy treat, it’s the next generation of packaging, lightweight, sturdy and you don’t even manufacture it, you grow it. It’s called “EcoCradle” developed by Ecovative Designs as a green energy efficient alternative to Styrofoam. But the way the two materials are created and the way they are destroyed could not be more different.
That white stuff there is mushroom roots or mycelium. Those natural, sprawling, sticky, veiny threads of fungus.
Eben Bayer:I used to see this mycelium in the woods growing up as a kid and thought it was a cool glue. We essentially use mycelium as a glue on our process to bind particles together just like you’d use a plastic as a resin to hold foams together.
Josh Zepps:That’s Eben Bayer who invented the mushroom packaging and founded the company with his college buddy, Gavin McIntyre.
And so, what do you got against Styrofoam?
Eben Bayer:Well, there’s a couple of big issues with expanded polystyrene in a Styrofoam. The first being the energy content in this material. It’s made from a precious resource fossil fuels.
Josh Zepps:Styrofoam is a brand name for expanded polystyrene and Eben says that making an EcoCradle takes just one-tenth the energy of making the same amount of Styrofoam.
Eben Bayer:The other big problem with this material is its got all this energy it, but it doesn’t breakdown at all in the natural environment.
Josh Zepps:Think about it, the moment the Styrofoam has ripped off your son’s new Xbox or your uncle’s new wall mountable singing bass, it goes straight to the trash to clog up a landfill, hardly any recycling programs will take it.
But EcoCradle disintegrates harmlessly. To understand how and why, I’ve got to see it being made with Ecovative Environmental Director and Design Engineer Sam Harrington.
Sam Harrington:This is the raw material for EcoCradle. So this is cotton gin by-products. This has all the burrs and the sticks and twigs, everything except for the fiber that makes your shirt.
This bin agitates it and sucks it up into our production system, and from there, it’s pasteurized that kills any molds, spores, or bacteria, or bugs that might come out the farm.
Josh Zepps:Right. So there could be bugs and dangerous spores in this that I’m holding here.
Sam Harrington:Yeah. Who knows what comes off the farms.
Josh Zepps:Sure, it’s dirty. But that’s kind of part of the beauty. This process can use all kinds of agricultural wastes depending on what’s native to the region. One place might use sawdust, another rice husks.
Keeping the energy output to a minimum is the goal, so Ecovative make sure they get the waste material from local farms. And unlike fossil fuels, this garbage will always be cheap. Peak oil perhaps, but you don’t hear about peak seed husk.
Sam Harrington:This is EcoCradle after it’s grown for about a week. So we take that plant matter that we showed you before and add mycelium.
Josh Zepps:Yeah, you can even actually see the husks that I was just holding in my hand that are still in there. This is only after one week.
Sam Harrington:Yup. So all those little fibers are reaching out towards the husks because they see it as food and at the same time they’re bonding in altogether in this network of fibers.
Josh Zepps:This is where the fungus performs its magic. It’s a process that takes place everyday, everywhere from the rainforest floor to that old Chinese takeout in the back of my fridge. Mycologist Sue Van Hook takes me into the woods to explain it.
Sue Van Hook:So the fungi are this entire kingdom of organisms that are underneath our feet. The fungi are debris chasers. They are nature’s recyclers. If we didn’t have the fungi, this woods would be up to the sky and leaves, and twigs and carcasses.
Josh Zepps:So that job of a fungi in the woods to be the demolisher of debris, is that essentially what you’re trying to harness at Ecovative?
Sue Van Hook:It’s exactly what we’re doing. When we go out to the woods, we find a mushroom or a fruiting body and take a little piece of tissue.
Josh Zepps:That little bit of tissue is taken to a lab where technicians clone it repeatedly. It’s an impressive example of sustainable production. There’s no strain on the fungi and Ecovative has an endless supply of an already renewable resource. A few cells from this tiny little specimen are all that’s needed to make thousands of EcoCradle parts.
Male:Can you see all the little microscopic fibers?
Josh Zepps:Yeah. Like little hairs, it’s the little fibers.
On a microscopic level, it’s a busy scene. The interconnecting branches of mycelia are so numerous and so haphazardly sprawling, they could have been designed by the Los Angeles Department of Freeways.
Looks like mold to me.
Male:Yup. It is.
Josh Zepps:Eventually, the block of mycelium is baked in a low temperature to dry it out, locking its shape and kill the shroom. This is the most energy intensive part of the process, but it’s still a whole lot better than Styrofoam’s superheated steam.
As I guess, this is the final products, right?
Josh Zepps:And I know you guys are working on applications to do with home insulation. You can definitely see that here.
Sam Harrington:Right. It’s great insulation and it’s fireproof.
Josh Zepps:It’s fireproof.
Josh Zepps:Can you prove that?
Sam Harrington:I sure can.
Josh Zepps:You might think something made entirely of organic material would burn like -- well, like organic material. But no, although please, don’t try this at home. I’m a professional reporter. So I may not know what I’m doing but I’m insured.
And now, regular Styrofoam.
Ditching artificial packaging for all natural packaging could reduce our fossil fuel consumption, our trash, energy costs and carbon emissions. Ecovative has big plans.
Eben Bayer:This technology is in its infancy, so it sort of like where plastics was in the ’50s. We expect to continue to extend the technology, eventually even making things like thin films like a cellophane.
Josh Zepps:If these guys have their way in the future, all packaging will be energy efficient, biodegradable and edible.
Though it could probably use a little salt. In Green Island, New York, Josh Zepps, energyNOW.
Thalia Assuras:One new place you may see Ecovative packing materials is if you buy a Dell computer. Look for the mushrooms when Dell starts pilot shipment soon for its PowerEdge R710 server. Dell wants to cut 20 million pounds of current packaging material by 2012 by using Earth-friendly material instead.
Ecovative is also teaming up with Ford to develop a biodegradable mushroom foam for bumper, side doors and dashboards.
And that’s it for this week’s energyNOW. If you have comments or any questions for upcoming guest, let us know. Upload your video questions or remarks to our YouTube channel, energyNOW News. Please give us your name and where you’re from, and keep those remarks short if you will, less than 30 seconds. You can also friend us on Facebook, join our discussion pages or follow us on Twitter. Search energyNOW news on all those sites. I’m Thalia Assuras. See you next week.
CUTTING ENERGY COSTS: Experts say our own homes could be the country's biggest source of energy savings. Correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan looks at how one couple is looking at new ways to save on their home energy consumption and costs, and how researchers are working to help all homes become more energy efficient.
HOT ZONE: THE PASSIVE HOUSE: Some home scan be designed to save energy. This one, in the Washington, DC, suburbs is so well sealed and insulated that is requires no expensive heating or cooling equipment. It uses building techniques to keep the air inside comfortable year round. The energy costs are reduced by 90 percent by using triple glazed windows and rigid foam insulation, and making sure there are no leaks in window seams. The windows are also designed to mak maximum use of sunlight and shade for heating and cooling.
THE MIX: ENERGY JOBS: Anchor Thalia Assuras sits down for a debate on the future of green jobs with former Govs. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) and Bob Ehrlich (R-MD). Granholm was an outspoken advocate for Michigan’s green economy while governor, and recently joined the Pew Charitable Trusts as an advisor on clean energy policy. Ehrlich served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee while a member of Congress, and kept unemployment in Maryland .5% or more below the national average while in office.
PACKAGING: A MUSHROOMING BUSINESS: Americans take plastic packaging material in everyday products for granted – but a burgeoning company based in central New York state doesn't. Correspondent Josh Zepps looks at how Ecovative Design is looking to replace materials made from polystyrene and other synthetics with environmentally friendly packaging made from mushrooms and agricultural byproducts.
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