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Featured filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Sep 30, 2014

All Hands On Deck: Minnesota Local Government Models for Expanding Fiber Internet Access

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/all-hands-on-deck-mn/

Minneapolis, MN —In 2010 the Minnesota legislature set a goal: universal access to high speed broadband throughout the state by 2015. As 2015 approaches we know that large parts of Greater Minnesota will not achieve that goal, even as technological advances make the original benchmarks increasingly obsolete. But some Minnesota communities are significantly exceeding those… Continue reading

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Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 24, 2014

REPORT: Advantage Local – Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/report-advantage-local-clean-energy-ownership-matters/

Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local! Why does ownership of renewable energy matter? Because the number of jobs and economic returns for communities are substantially higher when electricity generation from wind and sun can be captured by local hands. Read Full Advantage Local… Continue reading

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Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2014

Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/size-matters-report-shows-small-scale-community-based-composting/

ILSR’s July 2014 report, Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting, describes successful initiatives, their benefits, tips for replication, key start-up steps, and the need for private, public, and nonprofit sector support. Produced in collaboration with the Highfields Center for Composting in Hardwick, Vermont, Growing Local Fertility profiles 31 model programs in 14 states… Continue reading

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Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2014

State of Composting in the US: What, Why, Where & How

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/state-composting-us-what-why/

State of Composting in the U.S., published in July 2014, is the first comprehensive review of composting basics, national and state statistics, job generation data, model programs, and policy opportunities. The report calls for a national soils strategy and for new rules and programs to grow composting, especially at the local community level: streamlined permitting… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 14 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

Minnesota’s Value of Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/minnesotas-value-of-solar/

In March 2014, Minnesota became the first state to adopt a “value of solar” policy. It may fundamentally change the financial relationship between electric utilities and their energy-producing customers. It may also serve as a precedent for setting a transparent, market-based price for solar energy. This report explains the origins of value of solar, the… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 26, 2014

Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/energystoragethenextchargefordistributedenergy/

Update 5/2/14: titles for Fig. 2 and 3 in the report were mistakenly switched and are now corrected.   Energy storage promises to change the electricity system during the next decade, as fundamentally as distributed renewable energy has in the last decade. A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Energy Storage: The Next… Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2014

Minnesota Local Governments Advance Super Fast Internet Networks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/minnesota-local-governments-advance-super-fast-internet-networks/

As in much of rural America, communities in Greater Minnesota struggle with connectivity. Some areas have no choice at all, forced to rely on dial-up or slow DSL. Others have an incumbent cable provider. A few local community leaders in Minnesota, conscious of the need for broadband to save public dollars, encourage economic development, and… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Mar 11, 2014

It’s Not Just San Francisco Anymore! A Report on San Diego’s First Zero Waste Conference

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/its-san-francisco-anymore/

Neil Seldman summarizes presentations from the first San Diego County Zero Waste Conference that was held under the sponsorship of Zero Waste San Diego (ZWSD) and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA). Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2014

Santa Monica City Net: An Incremental Approach to Building a Fiber Optic Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/santa-monica-city-net/

Santa Monica has built a fiber network called City Net that has lowered its own costs for telecommunications, helped to retain businesses, and attracted new businesses to the community. Built incrementally without debt, it offers a roadmap any community can draw lessons from. Unlike the majority of municipal fiber networks, Santa Monica does not have… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2014

Independent Business Owners Report Growing Public Support, Call for Policies to Level the Playing Field

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/2014-survey/

A survey of 2,602 independent business owners across the U.S. has found that the Buy Local message is boosting customer traffic and improving the outlook on Main Street. But entrepreneurs also say policymakers need to do more to create a level playing field and ensure that small local businesses have an equal opportunity to compete. Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 13, 2013

New Report Reveals Walmart’s Climate Impact

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/walmart-climate/

Today, ILSR issued a report on Walmart’s rapidly expanding climate pollution and joined with leading environmental organizations in calling for change. The new report, Walmart’s Assault on the Climate: The Truth Behind One of the Biggest Climate Polluters and Slickest Greenwashers in America, finds: Nearly a decade after launching its sustainability campaign, Walmart’s greenhouse gas… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Oct 7, 2013

City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/city-power-play/

placeholderThe economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But dozens of cities are creating jobs and cleaner energy using their own power.

Download the report

Keeping Energy Dollars Local

  • Chattanooga, TN, is adding over $1 billion to its local economy in the next decade by implementing one of the most advanced smart grids and delivering the fastest internet service in the country with its municipal utility.
  • Sonoma County, CA, has created nearly 800 local jobs retrofitting over 2,000 properties for energy savings with city-based financing.
  • Babylon, NY, has re-purposed a solid waste fund to finance retrofits for 2% of the city’s homes, saving residents an average of $1,300 a year on their energy bills at minimal cost to the city.

Eight Powerful, Practical Policies

This report details eight practical energy policies cities can and have used to their economic advantage: Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 20, 2013

Expect Delays: Reviewing Ontario’s “Buy Local” Renewable Energy Program

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/expect-delays-reviewing-ontarios-buy-local-renewable-energy-program/

Launched in 2009, Ontario’s “buy local” Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program promised to deliver hundreds of megawatts of new renewable energy and create 50,000 new jobs by the end of 2012. The program has had some notable achievements, and the province has worked hard to remedy some of the remaining roadblocks to success. The bottom line… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2013

Composting Supports Jobs and Healthy Watersheds, Say New ILSR Reports

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/paydirt/

Two new reports from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Composting Makes $en$e Project document the importance of expanded composting and compost use to enhance soils, protect watersheds, reduce waste, and create green jobs and a new made-in-America industrial sector. For press release, click here. With compostable material making up almost one-half of municipal solid waste, there… Continue reading

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Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2013

Composting Makes $en$e: Jobs through Composting & Compost Use

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/composting-sense-tables/

Recycling is an economic development tool as well as an environmental tool. Reuse, recycling, and waste reduction offer direct development opportunities for communities. When collected with skill and care, and upgraded with quality in mind, discarded materials are a local resource that can contribute to local revenue, job creation, business expansion, and the local economic base. Continue reading