Sustainable Cities

It is estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world's population will be living in a city. It's time for America's largest cities to adopt a sustainable and responsible vision for the future. 

Building the Cities of Tomorrow

Imagine cities that are healthy places to live, where our resources are used responsibly, where the environment is protected, and where citizens are actively engaged in their communities.

CoPIRG Foundation is working to build these cities of tomorrow.

It's estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world’s population is estimated to be living in a city. More and more Americans are looking to cities to meet their needs in a way that’s sustainable, equitable and beneficial to the world. As more of us live and work in urban areas, we have the opportunity to make them leaders in sustainable development.

We envision cities:

  • With 21st century transportation options. For decades, cities have focused on moving cars, not people. It’s time to focus on getting people where they need to go by giving them more and better options to get around. These options include expanded public transit, better biking alternatives, walkable neighborhoods and high-performance intercity trains.
  • Powered by 100% clean and renewable energy. As the threat of climate change continues to grow, the best way to fight it is to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to 100% renewable energy. By encouraging big box stores to switch to solar power, promoting residential solar options, increasing the number of charging stations for electric vehicles, and raising energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential buildings we can easily meet this goal.
  • Where food systems are healthy, sustainable and locally-sourced. We all eat. But the choices we make with our food can help or hurt our communities and our environment. By sourcing food that is raised sustainably, responsibly and low in carbon, we can boost our local economies, move away from factory farming, and create healthier communities.
  • With clean water and responsible waste management. Communities across the country face risks from polluted water systems and waste. Aging pipes, sewage overflows and toxins that travel from roads to our water supply can harm our health and the environment. We need policymakers to make sure everyone has access to healthy water by creating strong policies to repair aging infrastructure and addressing toxins in our water supply. We can also make sure our waste is disposed of responsibly and reduce our waste whenever possible. 
  • Where citizens are involved in their government and their community. When we are active and engaged in our communities, we can push for more sustainable policies and hold elected leaders accountable. To ensure all citizens have the opportunity to participate in their community, cities should make voting as easy as possible, champion open access to government data and level the playing field for small donors.  

 

Issue updates

Blog Post | Public Health

Toxic triclosan in toothpaste? | Dev Gowda

A recent article in the LA Times revealed that a new study found that the toxic compound triclosan, which is commonly found in toothpaste as well as other consumer products such as cosmetics, children’s toys, and yoga mats, “could cause adverse effects on colonic inflammation and colon cancer.”

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

L'Oréal commits to disclose fragrance ingredients

We applaud L'Oréal, the manufacturer behind popular brands like Garnier, Maybelline, and numerous perfumes and colognes, for its commitment today to tell customers the ingredients in its product line. But L'Oréal needs to set a timeline to disclose its ingredients. Customers deserve to know what ingredients we are using, because "we’re worth it."

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

European government agencies order Claire’s to stop selling asbestos-contaminated makeup products

In the wake of a recent U.S. PIRG study showing that U.S.-based retailer Claire’s is selling makeup contaminated with asbestos, a government agency in The Netherlands confirmed the results of U.S. PIRG’s study. The Dutch Health and Safety Authority (ILT) ordered Claire’s to remove several makeup products from Dutch store shelves after the agency’s lab testing confirmed that there is asbestos in two makeup products.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air

Buses play a key role in in our nation’s transportation system, carrying millions of children daily to and from school and moving millions of Americans each day around our cities. Buses reduce the number of individual cars on our roads, make our communities more livable and sustainable, and provide transportation options for people of all ages and abilities. Yet, the majority of America’s buses remain dirty – burning fossil fuels like diesel that put the health of our children and communities at risk and contribute to global warming.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Transportation

RTD One of the Only Transit Agencies Nationally Operating Electric Buses

Denver’s transit agency, RTD, is one of the only large transit agencies in the country that has deployed electric buses in its fleet, reducing air pollution and saving money according to a new report on electric buses by CoPIRG Foundation, Environment Colorado Research and Policy Center, and Frontier Group. RTD currently has 36 electric buses. 

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

Energy Service Corps Completes First Year

Energy Service Corps’ mission is simple – help Coloradans save energy, save money and save the environment while training the next generation of civic leaders.  Our goal is to give every student, from kindergarten to college, within a 50 mile radius of our chapters, the tools and knowledge to reduce their energy use and help teach adults to do the same.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Health Care

CoPIRG Calls for Exchange Board Member to Resign

CoPIRG called for Eric Grossman to resign from the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange Board today citing comments he made that cut against the mission of the board.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Health Care

Health Care Repeal Would Have Costly Consequences for Colorado Consumers and Small Businesses

Consumers and small businesses in Colorado will face significantly higher insurance premiums and could see costly coverage denials and price discrimination if efforts to repeal the federal health care law prevail in Congress or in the courts.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

New Report Identifies Energy Policies that Save Consumers Money

Winter is almost here and that means two things: great skiing and high energy bills.  So the CoPIRG released a new report that highlights policies that state leaders can implement to reduce statewide energy consumption and keep money in Coloradans pockets.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Food

CoPIRG Launches Safe Food, Healthy Kids Campaign

CoPIRG launched a new effort today to ensure the food served in school lunches is safe. With the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) set to implement higher safety standards for the beef served through the National School Lunch Program, the group is calling on the USDA to also increase the standards for other high risk foods like poultry and fish as well as giving schools more resources to be able to avoid recalled foods.    

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation

Even though legitimate toymakers deserve kudos for making many of their products safer over the years, too often, Americans end up buying dangerous toys for children for the holidays. CoPIRG Foundation’s 36th annual Trouble in Toyland report shows that many of those toys are counterfeit or recalled products, but still make their way into consumers’ shopping carts.

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation

The holiday season often entails spending a lot of hours in the kitchen cooking. As millions of Americans prepare holiday meals to share with their families, a new guide from CoPIRG Foundation offers tips on how to minimize unhealthy air pollution from cooking with gas in your home. Without proper precautions, too much exposure to a gas stove can lead to an unnecessary and invisible health risk, since gas stoves can cause elevated levels of indoor pollution that would exceed legal limits for outdoor air. 

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

More than 125 medical professionals organized by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund sent a letter to McDonald’s Thursday urging the company to meet its 2018 commitment to reduce antibiotic use in its beef supply chain. The coalition delivered the letter at the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week to stress the urgency of taking action to stop overusing our life-saving medicines in agriculture. Otherwise, the drugs may no longer heal sick people. 

News Release

Apple reversed its longstanding policy against selling spare parts, providing repair instructions, and making repair software tools available to customers.

News Release | CoPIRG and Eco-Cycle

In their fifth annual State of Recycling & Composting in Colorado Report, Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG found Colorado’s 2020 waste diversion rate of 15.3% has failed to improve over the last few years and remains well below the national average of 32% and the over 50% rate that leading Colorado cities currently achieve. In 2020, Coloradans buried over 5.9 million tons of materials in the state’s landfills that could have been reintroduced into our economy as materials for manufacturing and as compost to rebuild our soils.

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