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.

Iowa PIRG Education Fund 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

News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement: Safe Sleep Act passes House, awaits vote in Senate

In an effort to protect infants from unsafe consumer products, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Virtual wallets, real complaints

A report examining complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on digital payment apps, since the CFPB began collecting them in this category three years ago. The key takeaway: Consumers don’t realize these online transfer payments are instantaneous and treated like cash, so when fraud strikes, you’re likely to be left without recourse.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG | Solid Waste

Statement: Target’s new plastic packaging goal is a step in the right direction

The Fortune 50 retailer Target announced a new goal Tuesday to reduce its use of virgin plastic 20 percent by 2025 across its own brand frequency products. It is part of a new sustainability strategy called Target Forward and covers such key categories as household cleaning, personal care and beauty.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Financial Reform

New report: the hidden costs of peer-to-peer payment apps

Consumer complaints about peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Square have surged during the pandemic year. In April, there were 970 digital wallet complaints — almost double the previous monthly high from July 2020. PIRG Education Fund analyzed this growing problem for a new analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Consumer Complaint Database.

> Keep Reading
Report | Iowa PIRG Education Fund

Blocking Rooftop Solar

Solar power is helping move the United States toward a future of 100% renewable energy, while reducing global warming pollution, cleaning up the air in our communities, and empowering homeowners and business owners to generate their own electricity.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement: Safe Sleep Act passes House, awaits vote in Senate

In an effort to protect infants from unsafe consumer products, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG | Solid Waste

Statement: Target’s new plastic packaging goal is a step in the right direction

The Fortune 50 retailer Target announced a new goal Tuesday to reduce its use of virgin plastic 20 percent by 2025 across its own brand frequency products. It is part of a new sustainability strategy called Target Forward and covers such key categories as household cleaning, personal care and beauty.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Financial Reform

New report: the hidden costs of peer-to-peer payment apps

Consumer complaints about peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Square have surged during the pandemic year. In April, there were 970 digital wallet complaints — almost double the previous monthly high from July 2020. PIRG Education Fund analyzed this growing problem for a new analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Consumer Complaint Database.

> Keep Reading
News Release | PIRG Education Fund

New report unveils utilities’ playbook to stall rooftop solar

Special interest groups across the country are working to stall the growth of rooftop solar, according to a new report released Thursday by PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research & Policy Center.

> Keep Reading
News Release | US PIRG | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Statement: Beech-Nut to stop selling some rice cereal over arsenic concerns

Beech-Nut will stop selling all single grain rice cereal after Alaska state officials discovered high arsenic levels during routing sampling, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement released Tuesday.

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Pages

Result | Tax

Closing Contractor Loopholes

Iowa PIRG, in federation with state PIRGs across the country, backed a new law to close that loophole and another law requiring contractors to pay back taxes before being awarded new contracts

> Keep Reading
Result | Democracy

Promoting Young Voter Participation

Two million more 18-24 year olds voted in 2008 than in the presidential election in 2004.

> Keep Reading

Confronting Data Dealers on Identity Theft

In the wake of failures in data security on the part of data dealers and credit card companies, Iowa PIRG crafted model legislation that has been enacted in 40 states. We also helped pass a law that provides one free credit report each year.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Virtual wallets, real complaints

A report examining complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on digital payment apps, since the CFPB began collecting them in this category three years ago. The key takeaway: Consumers don’t realize these online transfer payments are instantaneous and treated like cash, so when fraud strikes, you’re likely to be left without recourse.

> Keep Reading
Report | Iowa PIRG Education Fund

Blocking Rooftop Solar

Solar power is helping move the United States toward a future of 100% renewable energy, while reducing global warming pollution, cleaning up the air in our communities, and empowering homeowners and business owners to generate their own electricity.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research and Policy Center

A Perfect Storm

Today, one in five Americans lives within just three miles of a Superfund toxic waste site. Contaminants of concern at these sites include arsenic, lead, mercury, benzene, dioxin, and other hazardous chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer, reproductive problems, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. Cleanup can take a decade or more, and decreased funding over the last 20 years has led to slower cleanups.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Looking Inward

We surveyed nearly 1,000 personal care products from 26 popular cosmetics companies and scored them on ingredient safety and disclosure. The major takeaway: most companies need to do a lot more to inform their customers about what ingredients are in their products.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Getting off the Hook of a Predatory Tow

U.S. PIRG Education Fund identified 14 common-sense towing protections that should be available to consumers in every state, and researched which states offer those safeguards. These protections range from who is responsible for damages caused by careless towing to whether you are guaranteed the option to pay by credit card.

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Blog Post

Man lost $124,000 in Amazon scam. Here are 10 ways to keep it from happening to you | Teresa Murray

In light of some of these newer cons, here is actionable information to help you avoid the aggravation, time and financial losses that come with sophisticated scams.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Here's how to report price gouging on gasoline or anything else | Teresa Murray

While businesses are permitted to charge higher prices in response to market forces, they aren’t allowed in states with price gouging laws to increase prices excessively to take advantage of a emergency such as the pipeline shutdown, a hurricane or the pandemic. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

You’re not crazy: your appliances were built to fail you | Anne Marie Green

Why appliances aren’t built to last, and how the E.U. is changing that. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips

7 types of ingredients to avoid in your personal care routineDanielle MelgarGina Werdel

A scorecard released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that many popular cosmetic brands score poorly on ingredient safety and disclosure. While companies and governments need to take action to protect consumers, in the meantime, you can take steps to keep your personal care routine safe.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Solid Waste

How e-waste is creating a growing environmental and health crisis across the worldAnne Marie GreenHaley Clinton

We need policies like Right to Repair to address the dangerous flood of electronics waste

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | US PIRG

In an effort to protect infants from unsafe consumer products, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

A report examining complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on digital payment apps, since the CFPB began collecting them in this category three years ago. The key takeaway: Consumers don’t realize these online transfer payments are instantaneous and treated like cash, so when fraud strikes, you’re likely to be left without recourse.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Consumer complaints about peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Square have surged during the pandemic year. In April, there were 970 digital wallet complaints — almost double the previous monthly high from July 2020. PIRG Education Fund analyzed this growing problem for a new analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Consumer Complaint Database.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

The Fortune 50 retailer Target announced a new goal Tuesday to reduce its use of virgin plastic 20 percent by 2025 across its own brand frequency products. It is part of a new sustainability strategy called Target Forward and covers such key categories as household cleaning, personal care and beauty.

News Release | PIRG Education Fund

Special interest groups across the country are working to stall the growth of rooftop solar, according to a new report released Thursday by PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research & Policy Center.

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