Environmental Resources

Welcome to the Roots of Success resource site! We are so excited to provide both instructors and students with additional information related to Roots of Success modules the that will prepare you to deepen discussion in class, help you identify green jobs in your community, and show you practical ways to address local environmental problems.

These resources exist to inform and inpsire you and to support the Student Learning Outcomes for the Roots of Success curriculum, this resource set provides examples of how learned concepts are currently being applied locally, nationally and worldwide. Brush up on the facts and explore the work of dozens of organizations from non-profits to governmental agencies with an array of differing viewpoints.

Click the module icon for the sector you’d like to explore:






Natural Resources Defense Council

Inform: Building Environmental Literacy
Check out their “Secret Life” series that illustrates the full life cycle of paper, cell phones and beef.

Environmental Health Perspectives

Environmental Health News

Environmental Defense Center

National Geographic’s Green Guide

Human Footprint

United Nations: Green Economy Initiative

Smart Growth America

Scientific American: Energy and Sustainability

Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
Why is water an environmental justice issue? What can we do about it? Check out this coalition’s site to learn about the issues, explore their water databases, and get in contact with a grassroots organization in your neighborhood.

Clean Water Action
For the last 36 years this organization of over a million members has been working to empower Americans to protect our waters and insure the ecological health and safety of our communities. Explore the issues in your community, check out the media center, read publications, and even apply for a job on this interactive site.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
What is stormwater management and what are the more sustainable approaches? Learn about Low Impact Design and Best Management Practices for managing stormwater from a city working using innovative green technology.

National Geographic
“By 2050, a third of the people on Earth may lack a clean, secure source of water.” Get an in-depth understanding of this concern and state up to date with their news section. Everything you ever needed to know about freshwater can be found in these articles, video, blogs, and quizzes.

Lets’s Go Green
I want recycle my water, but how? Learn how to reuse grey water in your home.

Greywater Action
Here you can find information on how to create a more sustainable water culture. Learn about the possible uses of greywater and even enroll in their installers course.

Solutions for Sustainable Living: 25 Ways to Conserve Water in the Home.

Environmental Protection Agency
14 Best Management Practices for water conservation at home, work or school.

Calculate your possible water savings, find rebates, and learn about products that can help save water.There’s even a section with interactive information for kids.

Planet Green
Conservation statistics, tips, products, and resources for everyday life.

Water Footprint
What’s your water footprint? Find out and compare your footprint to others on an individual or national scale.

Water Education and Water Awareness Committee
Check out this kid friendly site with events, monthly topics, a resource directory, grant competitions and contests.

Use It Wisely: 100 Ways to Conserve Water

World Water Council
Is access to clean water a human right? Can the earth’s water be bought and sold? What does water have to do with environmental justice? Understand the issues and explore this site’s programs, workshops, forums, and resources on water rights and concerns.

Earth 911
“What do I do when I’m done with this?” Get the facts and locate recycling centers for anything and everything. Learn the tools for pollution prevention and how you can help protect the environment from trash.

Coalition for Resource Recovery
It’s time to change the way we think about trash. This coalition works out of New York City to eliminate the concept of waste and close the loop on materials. Learn about their programs and stay up to date with their news feature.

What is the current state of waste disposal and recycling in the United States? Find out from the U.S’s very own Environmental Protection Agency and check out their links to educational resources and career opportunities.

Environmental Management Systems Training Course
Take this animated course providing an overview of EMS and how one can help improve the environment in a variety of settings.

Waste Management World
The latest international waste industry news and analysis, including waste technology and trends, plus contributions from leading global experts on waste recycling and minimization, landfill, biowaste, waste to energy conversion, thermal treatment, transport, collection and waste policy.

Where do electronics go when we’re done with them? This informational article covers how waste is processed and exported to communities around the world.

E-waste in Pakistan
A powerful photo essay tells the story of e-waste, where it ends up and who it impacts.

Human Footprint
“The Benefit of Recycling/ Where does all the stuff go?” Read two articles examining the collective human footprint, where our waste ends up and what we can do to help lessen the load.

Discovery News
‘Biodegradable’ doesn’t always mean earth friendly, an article addressing the lack of composting facilities to process biodegradable products.

How Stuff Works
“Why is the ocean the world’s biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean?” Articles, videos, and resources including little known facts about waste.

Discovery Channel
Energy 365: ‘What’s an Ocean Garbage Patch?’ and 14 other videos about trash and recycling around the country and around the world.

Sierra Club
Learn what landfill and incineration industries are doing to receive the tax credits given to renewable energy projects and why garbage is NOT a renewable energy.

Producer Responsibility
How can we promote improvements in product design, stimulate local economies and improve environmental quality? Read about Producer Responsibility recycling approaches and campaigns.

Electronics Take Back Coalition
What’s greenwashing? What’s green design? What can we do to hold manufacturers responsible for the full life of their products? How can we promote better laws? Find answers to these questions and see how your favorite electronics score on their annual report card. Learn all the facts and stay up to date with e-waste news on this progressive coalition’s website.

California Resource Recovery Association
What is California doing to reduce waste?

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
What’s wrong with burning trash? Understand the problems associated with waste and incinerators. GAIA is an alliance working with hundreds of nonprofits and grassroots organizations all over the world to target the social, economic, and ecological injustices stemming from waste removal practices. This site covers the issues and the solutions. They’ll even tell you what you can do to help.

Zero Waste Future
What are countries around the world doing to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste? This site describes what Edinburgh and Midlothian, two cities in Scotland, are doing to bring the waste cycle full circle. Read about their mission and explore the proposed zero waste facilities to see how they will look.

Center for Neighborhood Technology
This think tank’s motto is “Sustainable Communities, Attainable Results,” and their creative Transportation and Community Development programs, projects and publications will turn you into a forward thinking expert on smart growth and sustainable urban form.

Center for Neighborhood Technology H+T Affordability Index
Isn’t it about time to take a closer look at the way we define affordable housing? This index, developed by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, provides the true cost of housing based on its location and associated transportation costs.

Transit Oriented Development Database
Here’s another valuable tool brought to you by CNT. TOD stands for “Transit Oriented Development” and the TOD Database provides economic and demographical information for every fixed guideway transit station in the United States.

Walk Score
Living in a walkable neighborhood is beneficial to your health, property value and the environment. Learn why walkability is so valuable and discover the most walkable cities in the country.

The City Fix
Sustainable Urban Mobility: Want to understand mobility issues around the world? Stay up to date with this online resource for global sustainable transportation news, blogs, and best practice solutions.

Victorian Transport Policy Institute
Check out this research organizations’ ideas, solutions, and resources for transportation planning and policy analysis.

Smart Growth Online
Want to learn more about what creates a healthy and sustainable urban environment? This site contains an array of resources, news, and events supporting the development of vibrant communities.

Smart Growth Online
Understand why smart growth is good growth and look over their ‘Smart Growth Principals.’

Congress for the New Urbanism
Freeways Without Futures: This article questions the viability of freeways in the future and proposes revitalization in the form of boulevards and other cost-saving alternatives.

Sprawl Retrofit Presentation
Understand the dangers of a sprawled growth pattern and how these misguided environments can be successfully retrofitted.

Transportation Networks
Learn how and why the kinds of transportation available in any given urban community determine its quality of life.

Streets Blog.org
This article demonstrates the importance of a national joint transportation and housing policy and laments on how long it might take for real action to take the place of all the rhetoric.

Transportation for America
Learn more about the possible benefits of aligned national, state, and local transportation policies.

U.S Energy Information Administration
Energy Use: How much energy is used for transportation? What mode of transportation uses the most energy? Learn the answers to these questions and more through statistical analysis of the U.S Department of Energy’s data sets.

Nation Energy Center for Sustainable Communities
The NECSC is “dedicated to the pursuit of research, demonstration and capacity-building initiatives that enable development professionals to build profitable and sustainable communities.” What exactly is a sustainable community? And how is it different from any other community? Understand what it means to make the shift.

Political Economy Research Institute
The Economic Benefits of Investing in Green Energy: How the Economic Stimulus Program and New Legislation Can Boost U.S. Economic Growth and Employment. Will a transition from a fuel based economy to a green economy help to stimulate growth and create more jobs? Examine this viewpoint.

Political Economy Research Institute: Clean Energy Economics
Choose from a list of articles to learn about the possible benefits of transition to a green economy and the creation of green jobs.

Alternative Energy
Here you can find up to date news and informational resources about renewable energy technologies.

U.S Energy Information Administration
Use of Energy in the US: What United States sector uses the most energy? Get the facts on energy sources and consumption.

Energy for Me
Essential Energy Education-Issues, Career and Classroom Education.

Need Project
Promote an energy conscious and educated society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs.

Air Now
What’s in the air we’re breathing? Air quality forecast and particulate pollution information.

World Coal Association
Coal Mining and the Environment: Explore a different perspective as this association defends the mining of coal and its effect on the environment.

The White House
Learn what the White House is doing for the environment. With links to department updates and blog posts you can stay up to date with the President.

U.S Green Building Council
Check out the strides made by this powerful non-profit working to promote green building.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): Learn about this esteemed certification program and how it has changes the face of green building and development in America.

Tool Base
Learn about green building by studying the technology.

Take a look at the International Conference for green building technology, practice and tools.

Green Campus Campaign
Learn how to green your school from the bottom up.

Green Building and GIS
What is GIS? How is it changing the way we build green?

U.S Energy Information Administration
Building Characteristics: Understand the amount of energy used by various types of buildings. What is the Federal government doing to cut cut down on carbon emissions from buildings.

Healthy Building Network
With more than 3 billion tons of building materials thrown away each year, it’s about time someone took a look at the environmental justice impacts of so much waste on our most disadvantaged communities. Spend some time with this socially conscious network of environmental health leaders. (and be sure to check out their thoughtful ‘Mission and Principals’ section.)

Pesticide Action Network
What is the fuss over buying ‘organic’ all about? This international advocacy, research and policy organization will explain just that, and a whole lot more. With this easy to use site you can learn a lot of hard to read information about pesticides in our bodies, our food, our water, our land and our children. Learn how to protect yourself and organize your community around safety from harmful chemicals.Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

“Where global and local meet sustainability.”
Understand how global trade agreements affect domestic farm and food policies.

Genetic Engineering Policy Alliance
Protecting farmers, families and the environment, this network of organizations advocates for precautionary principals on genetically engineered food and agriculture.

Ecological Farming Association: Check out this organizations efforts to bring together entire regions to curb the negative effects of industrial agriculture on people and communities.

Sustainable Agriculture Education
This organization develops projects for educators, public agencies, developers, planners, and community groups in effort to develop widespread urban edge agriculture that is sustainable and accessible.

People’s Grocery
Healthy Food for Everyone: Explore the work of this organization that has dedicated itself to improving the health and economy of West Oakland through the supply of fresh food, job creation and community activism.

American Dietetic Association
Food and Nutrition in Public Policy: Get an idea for the current condition of mainstream food politics in America.

Community Gardens: How To
United States Department of Agriculture Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food-“Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress” Understand food deserts, their characteristics and consequences from the perspective of the United States government.

World Health Organization
“20 Questions on Genetically Modified Foods”

Union of Concerned Scientists
How is biotechnology currently being used in agriculture? What are the impacts? Human? Environmental? What are some big picture solutions? This informative site can give you the facts and show you how to protect food from corporate interference.

Union of Concerned Scientists
Read about sustainable agriculture practices from the Union of Concerned Scientists. This site includes information on the impacts of industrial agriculture, genetic engineering and an array of ‘Big Picture Solutions,’ policy initiatives, and success stories.

Local Harvest
This useful resource helps you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainable food in your area. Just type in your zip code and you can choose from a list of restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets and farms and even see them mapped out.

“Sensational, Educational & Inspirational,” is the slogan of this WebEcoist. Check out this site’s hundreds of categories regarding “green” everything. From articles on recipes, to travel, to hybrid cafe/office spaces- you will not be unamused. 70+ Eco-friendly meals and recipes

10 Weird and Gross Ingredients in Processed Foods

Green by Coworking

Food Change
Here you can find up to date news regarding food facts, dangers, and alternatives and discover opportunities to get involved making a change. Learn about industrial farming, food security, gene modification, urban gardening, ingredients and labeling, sustainable seafood, and factory farming from this social action platform.

Moms Making our Milk Safe
Understand the increasing threat of toxic chemicals and industrial pollutants in human breast milk, and what this group of women is trying to do about it.

Worksafe: safety, health, and justice for workers
This organization works to reduce job-related hazards and empower people to create safe, healthy work environments. Explore their current campaigns and legal support services.

The Labor/Community Strategy Center
This progressive think/act tank organizes out of Los Angeles, California. The Strategy Center’s campaigns, projects, and publications address those issues affecting working class people of color in regards to the totality of urban life. From creating green jobs to getting rundown diesel buses replaced with clean fuel ones, this organization is taking grassroots activism to a whole new level in L.A County.

Center for Environmental Health
Since the US government doesn’t require companies to prove the safety of their synthetic chemicals before using them, organizations like this one have taken responsibility for stopping the inhumane use of dangerous industrial chemicals. From arsenic in play structures to lead in candy, this non-profit is working to put a stop to unsafe practices and advocate for health, safety and corporate accountability.

Smart Strategies for a Sustainable Future: Check out these 5 steps to building a more sustainable community. Explore their grants and funding for organizations and communities supporting the protection of human health and the environment.

Global Community Monitor
Explore the work of this aggressive global organization working to empower disenfranchised communities around the world with training and technical assistance for monitoring pollution and toxin levels near their homes.

This powerful organization stands up to even more powerful special interest groups on behalf of Californians. Currently, CALPIRG is advocating for budget reform, affordable higher education, safe food and consumer protection. With the help of researchers, advocates, organizers, and students from all over the state, this organization is making moves.

The Student PIRGS
“Together we can make change happen,” asserts this campus collective devoted to organizing of the nation’s college students to combat the most pressing public interest issues. By providing training and opportunity they are able to mobilize students to educate, inform, advocate and increase effective citizenship.

Green For All
This organization has successfully passed green jobs legislation around the country, and its because they have all their bases covered. Check out their tools and resources for community organizers.

“The online conference on community organizing,” has an array of resources for community organizing around various issues.



These resources support the Student Learning Outcomes for the Roots of Success for Social Entrepreneurs curriculum. Follow these links to explore a variety of organizations and resources designed to help you develop entrepreneurial ideas, launch successful green businesses or give back to the communities your organization serves.


B Corporation

Net Impact

Community Building:

Clif Bar Community Building

Numi Organic Tea Philanthropy


Dharma Merchant Services

New Profit

Richmond Worker Cooperative Revolving Loan Fund

RSF Social Finance

Skoll Foundation


The npEnterprise Forum

Social Edge

Social Enterprise Alliance

Social Venture Network


The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World

Jacqueline Novogratz

Acumen Fund founder Jacqueline Novogratz blends two narratives in this memoir about her years fighting global poverty.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

Muhammad Yunus

The founder of the Grameen Bank tells his own compelling story of bringing microlending to Bangladesh and describes dozens of ways that social businesses can alleviate poverty.

Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs

J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson and Peter Economy

A hands-on guide to social enterprise in the nonprofit sector, filled with real life examples and step-by-step directions.

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits

C.K. Prahalad

Studies how to profitably serve the world’s poorest people and help them escape from poverty. Includes a video of 12 case studies.

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas

David Bornstein

Profiles nine champions of social change who developed innovative ways to address needs they saw around them.

The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World

John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan

Successful business models for social entrepreneurship, including case studies of for-profit and nonprofit social ventures.

The Search for Social Entrepreneurship

Paul Charles Light

Research on social entrepreneurship is finally catching up to its rapidly growing potential. Author Paul Light explores this surge of interest to establish the state of knowledge on this growing phenomenon and suggest directions for future research.

Social Entrepreneurship: The Art of Mission-Based Venture Development

Peter C. Brinckerhoff

Essential steps for nonprofit business development, including case studies and sample business plans.

The Tactics of Hope: How Social Entrepreneurs are Changing Our World

Wilford Welch

First-person success stories from 30 social entrepreneurs, plus a how-to guide from the authors.

We would love to hear about your experience in the Roots of Success for Social Entrepreneurs class, its impact on your development as an entrepreneur, and your thoughts about the Roots of Success Resources website. We can be reached at info@rootsofsuccess.org or at (510) 470-0803.