My last post on the UN climate talks was somewhat negative (I may have even used the word "dire" twice in a few short lines). Anyone concerned with climate change will understand my intermittent despair when reading yet another headline. (And I think Carol was onto something when she sent me the article Do Environmentalists Need Shrinks? from Grist last week.) Thankfully we can always look to positive developments, and so I think a brief profile of an inspiring project is in order this week.
The Wewoka Biogas Project is a renewable energy effort that Designtex has supported this year through our partner NativeEnergy. This innovative “fenceline” project establishes a landfill gas-to-energy system in rural Oklahoma. The Commercial Brick Corporation has been producing bricks in Wewoka since 1925. Traditionally relying on expensive natural gas for fuel, owner Bob Hartsock realized that the highly potent greenhouse gas methane being released from his neighbor, the landfill next door, could be captured and used to power his kilns. Brilliant! NativeEnergy’s innovative Help BuildTM carbon offsets allowed Designtex, among other companies, to enable the construction of this community-based project, which in turn allowed Commercial Brick Corporation (the largest employer in this region) to remain in business while operating more sustainably.
The Wewoka Biogas Project will be verified to the Verified Carbon Standard to show that approximately 25,000-30,000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year will be prevented from being released to the atmosphere. When it becomes operational in 2011, the project will connect Designtex to real bricks (if not mortar) that will be used to build homes and businesses throughout the United States.