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Climate Action Resources

Robert Traer, Iowa City Climate Ambassador

As a Climate Ambassador for Iowa City, I have created the following PowerPoint presentations, which highlight the City's climate action plans as well as eco-choice opportunities for residents in Iowa City. The first presentation (as a pdf) was created as the first of three presentations for St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. In a presentation at a secular venue, I would not use the first and the final slides. To see the pdfs, click and scroll up on your computer's touchpad.  R. Traer

The PDF of the PowerPoint presentation I created to show after watching the Drawdown video on Business, which is available at

Iowa City & Johnson County Links

Iowa City Climate Action

Compost pickup is available at both the Iowa City Landfill & Recycling Center ( and the East Side Recycling Center (


At East Side, however, compost is only available during spring, summer, and fall.


Large quantities (truck loads, for example) can be purchased at the Landfill at $20/ton or smaller quantities are available at East Side for 50 cents/5 gallons.


Questions? Contact Recycling Coordinator at

Johnson County Sustainability

Circular Economy

Janine Benyus, “Biomimicry’s surprising lessons from nature’s engineers” [17 min]  [4 min]


Kate Raworth, Oxford economist [15 min]   


Interface carpet - [3 min]

You hear a lot of claims about recycling these days, and it can be hard to separate fact from fiction, rumor from reality. "Recyclable" is often just a promise, unless you are talking about ReEntry®, the only 3rd party certified recycling system among North American flooring manufacturers.


In fact, over four billion pounds of carpet ends up in landfills each year in the US. While about 14% of post-consumer carpet is collected (according to CARE), less than 5% of that is recycled. But at Interface we have been actively collecting and recycling post-consumer vinyl backed carpet tiles for over 20 years, and now all of our CQuest™ backed carpet tiles and LVT on Sound Choice™ backing are 3rd party certified as recyclable by GreenCircle Certified.

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a multi-step procedure for calculating the lifetime environmental impact of a product or service. The complete process of LCA includes goal and scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation. The process is naturally iterative as the quality and completeness of information and its plausibility is constantly being tested.

LCI is the life cycle inventory, which is the data collection portion of LCA. LCI is the straight-forward accounting of everything involved in the “system” of interest. It consists of detailed tracking of all the flows in and out of the product system, including raw resources or materials, energy by type, water, and emissions to air, water and land by specific substance. This kind of analysis can be extremely complex and may involve dozens of individual unit processes in a supply chain (e.g., the extraction of raw resources, various primary and secondary production processes, transportation, etc.) as well as hundreds of tracked substances.

LCIA is life cycle impact assessment, the “what does it mean” step. In LCIA, the inventory is analyzed for environmental impact. For example, manufacturing a product may consume a known volume of natural gas (this data is part of the inventory); in the LCIA phase, the global warming impact from combustion of that fuel is calculated. There are various methods globally for categorizing and characterizing the life cycle impact of the flows to and from the environment, which can somewhat complicate the comparability of different LCA studies. Other variables in LCIA include the system boundary (how far upstream, downstream and sidestream does the analysis go), the functional unit (what is the volume/mass/purpose of the object being assessed), and specific LCIA methods such as allocation (how are impacts assigned to the product and by-products, on what basis). When comparing two LCA studies, these factors are critical to understanding if the comparison is apples-to-apples.

LCI and LCA should not be confused with life cycle costing. LCC is another life cycle approach (i.e, cradle to grave) but it looks at the direct monetary costs involved with a product or service and not environmental impact.

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) by Interface - Find online by entering wc_am-cquestgb-epd.pdf in your browser search engine

Ikea video [8:20]


An innovative way to recycle coffee cups [7:13]


Circular economy TED Talk – Gary Cooper [19 min]


What if we could harness the power and value of all that we discard? Circular economy builder Garry Cooper presents a compelling vision for transforming cities into sustainable, circular economies, citing real-world examples of how repurposing materials from buildings to office furniture can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and foster economic growth. A hopeful reminder of the profound impact individual actions can have on our shared future.

The following pdf presents the slides shared on the Sunday before Earth Day 2024 at the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Iowa City

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