Archive for the ‘Rain Water Harvesting’ Category

Sustainable Site Development – A Watershed Approach to Green Infrastructure Presentation In Chicago May 22, 2014

New Tools for Sustainable Site Development

A Watershed Approach to Green Infrastructure

Presentation by Tom Barrett

WHEN:

Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE:

The Chicago Center for Green Technology

445 N. Sacramento Blvd
(between Chicago Ave. and Lake St.)

Chicago, Illinois

COST: FREE

AIS Continuing Eduction Units: 2

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Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!” is the opening to this dynamic presentation focusing on solutions to Chicago’s stormwater problem.

“Stormwater is the leading cause of water pollution in America,” continues Tom Barrett, the presenter and owner of Green Water Infrastructure. This presentation focuses on developing sustainable solutions to water quality issues in the Chicago area. Mr Barrett’s approach utilizes a watershed and drainage basin study to stormwater mitigation.

Developing a comprehensive stormwater plan, when correctly prioritized, combines existing grey infrastructure with new technologies developed in green infrastructure, creating cost effective solutions to our water quality issues.

After an introduction about the problems stormwater creates, attendees will be given a walking tour of the grounds of the Center for Green Technology, and shown actual functional rain gardens and other sustainable solutions specifically mentioned in the presentation. Guided by Mr. Barrett himself, attendees are encouraged to ask questions and recognize first-hand the visible results of sustainable solution planning, execution, and growth.

WHAT OTHER SAID ABOUT THIS PRESENTATION

“. . . best class at CCGT so far, rainwater data, new ideas, charts and stats, all the different ways I can use the rainwater for my home.”
” . . . great speaker, the positive outlook, no blame game, examples (drip system), knowledgeable, class got to participate.

Speaker’s Biography – Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett is an accomplished corporate growth and change agent with over thirty years of industry experience. Tom’s leadership experience, holding executive level positions, drives corporate revenue growth through change and innovation for business start-ups, corporate expansions, and divisional turnarounds.

Tom Barrett has been delivering energetic, dynamic presentations and training for over twenty years. These presentations empower people to become masters of change rather than victims of circumstance by developing tools for transformational thinking.

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“Tom’s been a leader with smart water technologies, green roofs, rainwater harvesting and other emerging technologies well before they became buzzwords at water conferences. It’s impressive to work with Tom because he knows his stuff from the ground up.”

Jeff Carowitz, Strategic Force Marketing

What is Sustainable Development? Click Here to Read More

Bridge the Gap Villages Implements the U.N. Millennium Goals with Vorovoro, Fiji

United Nations Millennium GoalsBy Tom Barrett

In the year 2000 the United Nations embarked on an aggressive project to improve the living standards for humankind. This project, The United Nations Millennium Goals, were tasked with substantially reducing and sustainably improving the human condition in the following areas:

  • Poverty
  • Hunger
  • Disease
  • Illiteracy
  • Environmental Degradation
  • Discrimination Against Women
At the Millennium Summit in 2000 The Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) were refined into eight development goals to be achieved by the year 2015:
 
  1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieving universal primary education
  3. Promoting gender equality and empowering women
  4. Reducing child mortality rates
  5. Improving maternal health
  6. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases,
  7. Ensuring environmental sustainability
  8. Developing a global partnership for development

The deadline for implementation is 2015 and the United Nations has made substantial progress in achieving many of these goals.

Bridge the Gap Villages in Vorovoro, Fiji has goals that tie in perfectly with many of the United Nations Millennium Goals. As an ecotourism and sustainable development tourist destination, not only can guests explore and relax in the natural beauty of an untouched Fijian island, they can experience Fijian culture in a way not available anywhere else on earth.
Green Globe ImageEcologically Responsibility
As a guest on Vorovoro, Fiji you will experience an island that is ecologically responsible. Rainwater harvesting is the only water source. There is zero waste stream. Compost toilets recycle all biodegradable waste. Permaculture methods are used to help feed island guests. All power on the island is renewable. All building materials are locally sourced and most are from renewable natural resources.
Supporting the Local Economy
The goal of Bridge the Gap Villages, Vorovoro, Fiji is to return over ninety percent of revenues to the local Fijian economy. Local staff is employed at a living wage. Most services are sourced from local service companies.  Most importantly Bridge the Gap Villages Vorovoro, Fiji has a goal of achieving ninety percent Fijian ownership by the local tribe, the Matingali, within ten years. Not only are the local tribes benefitting from the tourist dollars spent on the island, they are becoming business owners while learning how to start their own companies. 
Unique Business-Mentoring Program
The most unique element of the Bridge the Gap Villages Vorovoro, Fiji project is a business-mentoring program. The intention of this unique program is to find promising Fijians who are capable of running their own business. These Fijians will develop a business plan, be assigned a mentor, and be assisted closely for the first three to five years of their business start-up.
Vovoro Fiji Hut ConstructionCulturally Sensitive
Guests on Vorovoro, Fiji will be shown respect for the Fijian culture they are visiting. Fiji’s culture is a rich mixture of indigenous Fijian, Indo-Fijian, Asian and European traditions. The indigenous community culture is preserved, as island guests will live in native Fijian bures, bamboo and grass huts. The island cuisine of root crops, vegetables, fruit and fish are prepared in a traditional wood fired oven. Fiji’s modern culture is rich with formalities and intricacies that show respect for communal groups. Island visitors will have an opportunity to participate in a nightly Kava ceremony.
Experiential Richness
Island guest become a part of the daily island activities as well as the local community. Guests are invited to create activities that will educate them and subsequent visitors about the island, the environment, the community, the traditions and the culture. Everyone is asked to help enrich the community with their unique talents thus helping the community thrive long after the visitors leave.
Fitting into the United Nation’s Millennium Goals
The United Nations Millennium Goals is one of the most successful projects in the history of the United Nations. The goal of reducing poverty by half has been reached five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.  Primary school enrollment of girls equaled boys. Progress in reducing child and maternal mortality is accelerating. The target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water has been reached.
Despite these successes, there is still much to be done. The 2012 United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report states, “Inequality is detracting from these gains, and slowing advances in other key areas. In the years ahead, we have the opportunity to achieve more and to shape the agenda for our future.” A new agenda is taking shape.
Economic, Environmental and Social Development
Bridge the Gap Villages, with Vorovoro, Fiji, is a part of this agenda. Fiji has an abundance of natural resources and is one of the most developed economies in the Pacific Island region. The main sources of foreign exchange are tourism and sugar exports. Fiji is a developing nation with an exceptionally high literacy rate and education for boys and girls are at parity. However, according to the World Bank, the average Fijian lives on $12 USD per day. Fiji has a low level of employment, and is very dependent on foreign aid. Improvements are needed in child mortality and maternal health.
Vovorvoro, Fiji Hammock ViewEcotourism
Bridge the Gap Villages in Fiji will address the many of these issues in Labasa on the northern island of Vanua Levu, formerly known as Sandalwood Island. Labasa is primarily an agricultural area dependent upon sugar cane. Sugar cane farming and production has been decreasing due to the loss of overseas markets and political changes. Labasa is off the traditional tourist track but has enough local amenities to support the start-up of an ecotourism center. Tourism is becoming a major industry on Vanau Levu.
Empowering Women
Bridge the Gap Villages will be working to improve the economic stability in the region through ecotourism. Additionally, Bridge the Gap Villages will improve the economic outlook for women through the unique mentoring program. By empowering women, Bridge the Gap Villages will reduce the child mortality rate and improve maternal health. 
Creating Global Partnerships
Finally, Bridge the Gap Villages will be part of the process of creating global partnerships for economic development in other counties. Fiji is one of the United Nations Small Island Developing States. The importance of Small Island Developing States is the recognition that Fiji, along with fifty-one other small islands states, shares unique vulnerabilities in economic, environmental and social development. The lessons learned by Bridge the Gap Villages in the development of ecotourism on Vorovoro, Fiji will be applied in the development of additional ecotourism sites throughout the world.
Travelers and guests of Bridge the Gap Villages can be certain that their visit to Vorovoro, Fiji will contribute to the preservation and development of the native environment, the local people, and be a participant in one of the most exciting social movements in the world.

About the Author: Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett is an Advisory Board Member for Bridge The Gap Villages. Tom Barrett is owner of Green Water Infrastructure. He is a noted author, speaker, business coach, and entrepreneur. Over the years, Tom has served as an advisor to hundreds of small businesses. Over the last ten years, Tom has delivered numerous presentations on sustainability at the Chicago Center for Green Technology. He has over thirty years of successful industry experience and is known as an accomplished corporate growth and change agent.

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Rainwater Harvesting & Condensate Recovery Presentation at the Chicago Center for Green Technology

Rain IN the Street ImageChicago Center for Green Technology Presentation

Chicago, Illinois

March 1, 2012

Rainwater Harvesting and Condensate Recovery are two tools used in implementing sustainable water practices. Although not widely used in the United States, rainwater harvesting is used extensively in less developed parts of the world. Mistakenly, the primary benefit of rainwater harvesting is not the extensive water savings that can be achieved. The primary benefit from rainwater harvesting is to reduce the untreated sewer discharge into our local waterways that occurs with almost every rainfall.

In the presentation, Barrett will discuss how rainwater harvesting and condensate recovery not only reduces potable water usage but protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle.

Additionally, Tom will explain how rainwater harvest can help develop a natural solution for water efficiency, and relieve storm water management issues. By developing a rainwater harvesting systom or other environmentally responsible landscape solution, we can reduce the contaminants that collect in the sewer systems, and make a significant improvement for a cleaner and healthier environment.

“The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the United States’ water systems a grade of ‘D-,’ the lowest of any America infrastructure,” said Barrett. “Through increased use of rain gardens and bioswales, we can improve our water systems and create a better environment for plants, animals and people. “In his presentation, Barrett will explain just how essential some of these tools are to efficiently utilizing and managing water sources.

Here is the presentation from March 1, 2012. Below are the two movies.

Rainwater Harvesting & Condensate Recovery (Chicago 3.1.12)

View more presentations from Tom Barrett

How to Build a Rainwater Collection System from VideoJug

 

Video – A 30,000 Gallon Cistern Installation in Four Minutes

It seems everyone enjoyed the presentation and comments from the participants were great! With thirty-seven participants, it is rewarding to see interest in rainwater harvesting gaining momentum.

Here are some comments:

I really enjoyed the videos, especially making the rain barrel.

– Sheri Yarbrough

 

I get more than enough rain to water my garden and I flush my toilet. Cisterns are awesome!  Condensation should be used.

– Monica Skyora

 

Austrailia is producing some good water saving solutions. I likes the video on installing barrels; drip irrigation is 90% efficient

– Donna McGuire

I am looking forward to my next presentation at the Chicago Center for Green Technology during the summer.

Sustainable Site Development – Rain Water Harvesting Presentation In Chicago March 1, 2012

New Tools for Sustainable Site Development

Rain Water Harvesting and Condensate Recovery

Presentation by Tom Barrett

WHEN:

Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE:

The Chicago Center for Green Technology

445 N. Sacramento Blvd
(between Chicago Ave. and Lake St.)

Chicago, Illinois

COST: FREE

AIS Continuing Eduction Units: 2

“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In its Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers rated our nation’s wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water systems a “D” minus. This is the lowest grade in any infrastructure category. The most alarming conclusion is the next lowest grade is “F” – FAILURE. Over the last fifty years America has not invested in new practices and technologies which can enhance our infrastructure and our environment. Rainwater harvesting and condensate recovery are transformative approaches to sustainable site development.

“The over-borrowing, over-consuming, and under-innovation (is) now in the US. . .,” Antonio van Aqtmael said in an October 2007 issue of Newsweek. As engineering solutions to water management that protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle. Rainwater harvesting and condensate recovery incorporates both the natural environment and engineered systems to provide clean water, conserve ecosystems, and provide a wide variety of benefits for people and wildlife. Additionally, all this can be accomplished at a significantly lower cost than conventional concrete and mortar infrastructure.

Join Tom Barrett as he explains how the use of locally produced water helps develop a “natural approach” to efficient use of water and relieves stormwater management issues.

WHAT OTHER SAID ABOUT THIS PRESENTATION

“. . . best class at CCGT so far, rainwater data, new ideas, charts and stats, all the different ways I can use the rainwater for my home.”
” . . . great speaker, the positive outlook, no blame game, examples (drip system), knowledgeable, class got to participate.

Speaker’s Biography – Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett is an accomplished corporate growth and change agent with over thirty years of industry experience. Tom’s leadership experience, holding executive level positions, drives corporate revenue growth through change and innovation for business start-ups, corporate expansions, and divisional turnarounds.

Tom Barrett has been delivering energetic, dynamic presentations and training for over twenty years. These presentations empower people to become masters of change rather than victims of circumstance by developing tools for transformational thinking.

“Tom’s been a leader with smart water technologies, green roofs, rainwater harvesting and other emerging technologies well before they became buzzwords at water conferences. It’s impressive to work with Tom because he knows his stuff from the ground up.”

Jeff Carowitz, Strategic Force Marketing

 

 

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Please fill out your information below to register for this event.

State

 

Putting Green to Work by American Rivers

Economic Recovery Investments for Clean and Reliable WaterPutting Green to Work by American Rivers

As many of you who have heard me speak, you know my passion for developing sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions to our nation’s water infrastructure. Stormwater from rainfall events are the biggest source of pollution in America. The civil engineers call it non-point source pollution.

In 2006, the American Society of Civil Engineers graded our nation’s water infrastructure D-. The lowest grade of all the infrastructure categories examined. Although this grade is unacceptably low, the next  lowest grade is F – Failure. An “F” is simply unacceptable. Without access to clean, sanitary water supplies people perish. Click here to see the 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

American Rivers, funded by the Park Foundation, the Kresege Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, Keith Campbel Foundation, and the Turner Foundation, has created report which examines the efforts of nineteen states with “bright green” projects. Here are some key findings:

  • The demand for funding is far, far greater than currently provided on both the Federal and state level.
  • Future funding should be targeted to “bright green” projects. “Bright green” project types includes:
    • Bioswales
    • Green Roofs
    • Permeable Paving
    • Rain Gardens
    • Riparian Habitate Resotoration
    • Wetlands Restoration
  • States must act quickly to remove barriers, eg. statutes, regulation, and policies, that are roadblocks to integrated approaches to our communities’ implementation of infrastructure improvements.
  • An integrated approach is necessary to understand the complete benefit of green infrastructure.

For me, the most important elements are the job creation and economic output.

A $10 billion investment in water efficient projects would produce a total economic output of $25-28 billion and create 150,000 to 220,000 jobs.

For every dollar invested the return is $2.65. It doesn’t take a financial wizard to understand this concept. Investing in green infrastructure is good for the economy, the environment and the communities in which we live.

There is a tremendous opportunity to combine our existing gray infrastructure with newer green infrastructure creating sustainable communities.

Click here to download the report, “Putting Green to Work.”

 

 

 

 

Brave New World: Trends & Opportunities in the Emerging Green Environment

 

Recently, I spoke to the Independent Turf and Ornamental Distributors Association in Nashville, Tennessee

I created two presentations for this group of landscape industry professionals.

 

Brave New World: Trends & Opportunities in the Emerging Green Environment(ITODA)

 

Over the last two and half years we have experienced some of the greatest changes in the history of this country. The economy is only part of it. Every organization has the power and the talent when unleashed will create dramatic change. Here are the key points:
  • Excess Capacity: Competition is increasing and margins are shrinking
  • The Impact of Local Businesses on the Economy
  • The EPA: Friend or Foe
  • The Impact of Downsizing on Employee Engagement
  • The Dramatically Increasing Presence of Women in Work
  • Transforming Your Business by Creating Value

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.
The current state and trends of the Landscape, golf Course, and Sports Turf Industry. How we stand out, where we rank, and how we are heard. You will be challenged in this provocative and sometimes controversial presentation to do things differently.  Tom Barrett is a national speaker and author. His presentations empower people to become masters of change. Learn how to grow your business without busting the bank. Here are the key points:

  • Business is rapidly changing
  • Opportunities exist in areas unavailable five years ago
  • Customers have different needs and require a new approach
  • Companies investing in marketing are growing

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

I feel the presentations were incredibly helpful to the folks in the audience. Based on conversations I had with audience members, some of the points they found most interesting were:

  • The dramatically changing social environment, especially women in the workforce.
  • Getting sales people to make more sales calls.
  • Emerging opportunities in green infrastructure and the role landscaping will play in remediating our environment.

I truly enjoyed speaking for an energetic and enthusiastic crowd at Independent Turf and Ornamental Distributors Association. I hope I can return soon, and I look forward to my next speaking engagement on January 12, 2012 at the Green Industry Expo in Indianapolis. I will be leading a panel of experts on landscape industry trends.

Upcoming Presentation – Green Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Sites & Livable Communities

Presented by Tom Barrett 

Natural Water Cycle Image

Thursday, May 12, 2011

6 p.m. to 8 p.m

Chicago Center for Green Technology

445 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Chicago, Illinois

Green infrastructure is a transformative approach to sustainable site development utilizing rain gardens, bioswales and engineered elements to create a water management system that protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle. This integration of natural and built environments provides benefits such as cleaner water, ecosystem conservation, wildlife habitat and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, green infrastructure can be accomplished at a significantly lower cost than conventional concrete and mortar infrastructure. Join Tom Barrett as he explains how harvesting locally produced water helps develop a “natural approach” to the efficient use of water and relieves stormwater problems.

AIA/CES: 2 EU

Learning Objectives

• Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States

• Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

This program is presented free of charge as part of the Chicago Center for Green Technology’s Green Tech U program. Registration is required by calling 312-746-9642 or by emailing your requested class and contact information to greentech@cityofchicago.org with “Green Tech U” in the subject line.

About Tom Barrett:

Tom Barrett is an accomplished corporate growth and change agent with over thirty years of landscape industry experience.   Tom’s leadership experience, holding executive level positions, drives corporate revenue growth through change and innovation for business start-ups, corporate expansions, and divisional turnarounds.

Tom Barrett has been delivering energetic, dynamic presentations and training for over twenty years.  These presentations empower people to become masters of change rather than victims of circumstance by developing tools for transformational thinking.  For more information, please visit Book Tom Barrett.

About Green Water Infrastructure:

Green Water Infrastructure is a consulting company that integrates water resources for sustainable site development. Their goal is to utilize one hundred percent of the on-site water resources at a site. Green Water saves communities money by combining green infrastructure with gray infrastructure and new technology with existing technology to create sustainable growth — environmentally and socially. For more information, please visit www.thinkgwi.com.

About the Chicago Center for Green Technology

The Chicago Center for Green Technology is the first rehabilitated municipal; building in the nation to receive the leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ™ (LEED) Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. Mayor Richard M. Daley dedicated the building in 2001 and it has since become a national model for sustainable design and technology. The Center serves as the most comprehensive green design and educational resource in the Midwest.

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Tenbarge Seed & Turfgrass Supplies 2011 Education Session Presentation – Trends in Landscaping: Growing Sales in a Down Economy

March 1, 2011

Evansville, Indiana

I presented my talk, “Trends in Landscaping: Growing Sales in a Down Economy” at the 2011 Tenbarge Seed & Turfgrass Supplies Education and Trade Show.

We had a great turnout and a lot of great questions from the audience. The most enjoyable part for me was the diversity of the audience. We had seasoned stormwater professionals to homeowners.

I am look forward to my next speaking engagement at The Chicago Center for Green Technology on March 31, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. when I will speak about “Rain Gardens and Bioswales.”

Here is a copy of the presentation:

Great Presentation! I did exactly as you said, I looked for new business in places I never thought of before, it works!”

— Keith Fisher, Growing Green Lawn Care, LLC

 




“SMART” Landscape Irrigation

Orlando, Florida

Febraury 4, 2011

The water we use to irrigate our crops is vital and still we as a nation continue to practice inefficient irrigation methods. Current irrigation practices waste an exorbitant amount of money and water using our current process.

Commercial and residential outdoor water use in the United States accounts for more than seven billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation.”
—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA estimates over three and a half billion gallons of water are wasted every day with inefficient and ineffective irrigation practices.  More than fifty percent of irrigation water used in residential and commercial irrigation systems is wasted.
In this presentation delivered for the Irrigation Association’s Point of Connection: Irrigation Contractor Leadership Summit at Walt Disney World, Barrett presents the “State of the Art” in irrigation design and installation. Barrett presents a comprehensive and sometimes controversial exploration of alternate water sources as well as the EPA WaterSense Program, SMART irrigation technology and current regulatory trends in the irrigation industry.
SMART Landscape Irrigation (Orlando, February 2011)

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States.
  • Sustainability starts with the landscape. Developing a functional landscape is the most effective and efficient means of remediating the environment.
  • Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.
Relaxed style with great input!”
Kris Keckley, Rain One Irrigation
Open mined approach to “green” building and use of landscapes.”
– Judy Benson, Clearwater Products & Services
EPA WaterSense 2010 Partner of the Year
Tom, as usual you did a great presentation!”

Brent Mechan, Irrigation Association

Sustainable Landscapes Presentation from the Indiana Green Expo

Indianapolis, IndianaPlant Trees

January 18, 2011

Developing Sustainable Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

Recognizing sustainability as merely reducing energy waste, recycling, or conserving water is a common misconception. In truth, the greatest impact on the environment you can make is right in your own backyard.

The landscape industry was “green” before green became fashionable. The focus of this presentation is how the landscape transcends beauty into functionality. The landscape is one of the only site improvement that can be made that enhances and remediates our environment.

Most aspects of environmental consciousness focuses on how we minimize human impact. We save energy. We save heat. We reduce trash. We reuse. A well designed landscape will truly in improve our environment.

Trees and plants cleanse the air, sequester carbon, and can reduce a building’s heating and cooling needs by 20%. A well designed landscape makes for a healthier, happy environment.

In “Sustainable Landscapes” you will learn that by combining green technology with existing gray technology, combining new technology with old technology, we can create a healthier, more satisfying environment.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States.
  • Sustainability starts with the landscape. Developing a functional landscape is the most effective and efficient means of remediating the environment.
  • Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

The wastewater facts are eye opening. Thanks for a very informative presentation!”

—Jacob O’Neal

The speaker, Tom Barrett, is motivational and knowledgeable.”

—Kristi J. Clark Snyder

A positive message for change. THANKS!”

—Abigail Surles