EPA’s WaterSense points to accomplishments
On the fifth anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program, organizers say the system has saved 125 billion gallons of water. That’s equal to three days’ flow of water over Niagara Falls.
Over the last five years, WaterSense labeled products have also helped users reduce their water and energy bills by more than $2 billion, avoid greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 1.2 million cars from the road, and save enough energy to power more than 1.5 million American homes for a year.
In 2010 alone, WaterSense pointed to annual savings of:
• Almost 80 billion gallons of water;
• 10.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity; and
• $1.3 billion in water and energy bill savings.
With the release of a shower head specification in 2010, the full suite of WaterSense-labeled bathroom products — toilet, faucet, shower head — is now complete, according to the EPA’s WaterSense Current newsletter. A household updating its bathroom with WaterSense-labeled fixtures could save enough water each year to wash six months’ worth of laundry.
NBMDA partners with Habitat for Humanity
The North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) and Habitat for Humanity have begun a formal relationship to promote Habitat’s ReStores.
Although many NBMDA members already support Habitat through local or national partnerships, NBMDA is encouraging all of its members to join the effort by donating materials and products to the Habitat ReStore in their trade area.
Habitat promotes the reuse and recycling of building materials through its efforts to build homes for low-income families.
"We are excited to work with Habitat in support of their regional ReStores," said Kevin Gammonley, NBMDA executive VP. "This is a big win for our members and for the many people and communities that Habitat supports."
Founded in 1952, NBMDA is a trade association representing wholesale distributors of specialty building products and woodworking materials. Membership segments represent distributors and manufacturers that serve the independent building material, lumber, and kitchen and bath dealers, regional and national home centers, as well as those that serve production companies involved in cabinetry, architectural woodwork, stock woodwork, store fixtures, solid surface fabricating, plastics fabricating, general and specialty woodworking industries. Distributor members operate more than 900 distribution centers throughout the United States and Canada. The association’s collective purchasing power exceeds $25 billion.
Consumer spending down in June
Consumer spending for June dropped 0.2% to $21.9 billion, the Commerce Department announced Tuesday.
The drop in consumer spending marked the first decline seen since September 2009.
Meanwhile, personal income was virtually flat, increasing 0.1% to $18.7 billion for the month, which was in line with estimates.
“Today’s personal income data show that consumers had a little more money in their pockets in June, as incomes increased and prices — particularly gas prices — dropped,” said Commerce Department chief economist Mark Doms. “With an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default in place, business and consumer confidence are more likely to strengthen, raising the outlook for greater economic growth and job creation in the third quarter.”