Friday, October 23, 2009
Greener Future: Dell Goes Green
Dell, the popular computer maker which is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, is finding news of how to go green. Dell's headquarters now has a shaded solar parking structure called the Solar Grove. Envision Solar built the green contraption, and it has a capacity of 130 kilowatts. To give you an idea of just how green 130 kilowatts is, the Solar Grove should help avoid about 145,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The clean electricity is definitely a great benefit of going green, but that is not in the green how to list the Solar Grove; there's also some energy savings that come from the shade produced by the "solar trees" since cooler cars don't need as much A/C.
The power produced by the solar panels will help power Dell's building and two charging stations for plug-in vehicles:
"The Solar Trees®, located in the Dell employee parking lot, will simultaneously shade 50 parking spaces and generate clean electricity directly from the sun. In an example of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, the solar arrays also incorporate two Envision Solar CleanCharge™ solar charging stations utilizing Coulomb ChargPoint™ for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)."
Greener Future loves the fact that more companies are on a mission to figure out how to go green. Dell is a big player, and we know that this Solar Grove will continue a streak of companies continuing to be greener.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Greener Future: Solar Powered House
Greener Future presents another nice and eco-friendly solar home was designed for Solar Decathlon 2009. This time around, it is a well-designed solar home from team Germany. Currently placed at third, team Germany’s solar home has four simple modules making the house easy to construct. This stylish and energy saving home comes with a multi-use room located at the first floor and a loft that can be found upstairs. The house comes with a 40 rooftop solar panels, 250 thin-film CIGS panels on the exterior, and an 11.1kW solar photovoltaic system that produces 200% of the home’s energy need. With the outer look and the green feature of the house, many will definitely love to own one.
Greener FutureSource: iGreenSpot
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Greener Future: How to turn your old bike wheel into a clock
If you think that your old aluminum bike wheels have no use at all and planed to discard it, then you must think a million times first before sending it to your local landfills. A clock master from Charlottesville will turn your old bike wheel into a trendy and useful clock. One of his great work is the recycled bike wheel clock. An old aluminum bike wheel is directly mounted into the wall. The hub with a hollow wall anchor makes the clock looks like hanging on the wall. The maker of this clock is proud to say that the clock movement is a high torque German quartz movement. With a measurement of 22 ¾ inches in diameter, the clock runs on a single AA battery.
Article Source: iGreenSpot
Monday, October 12, 2009
Greener Future: Self Powered Fitness Equipment
I am an absolute fitness freak, and being an environmentalist, I stick to lifting weights, running outside, and riding a bike in the nice California weather. But, I do understand that not everything has the pleasure of living in sunny southern California, so I like to keep my eye out for green eco friendly fitness equipment to hit the market.
In today’s busy world, it seems like no one has the time to go to the gym or for walks? So a perfect alternative to burn those extra calories and keep you in shape are treadmills and elliptical machines. The Precor EFX 546 exercise machine will help you stay healthy, while enjoying the comforts of your own cozy house. The Precor EFX 546 Elliptical is a high-end elliptical machine for those who want to work out in an eco-friendly manner.
The Precor EFX 546 Elliptical is self-powered. Whatever energy is produced while exercising on this machine is stored in an internal battery, which further powers the motor and electronic display. The Precor elliptical trainer is ideal for those fitness freaks who would like to do their bit for the environment.
It seems as though companies that build this equipment are starting to realize they need to trend towards being green, how to do it really is not all that difficult as you can see. Currently, there is not much fitness equipment out there that is green, how to make it affordable has also been somewhat of an issue.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Greener Future: Solar Powered Phone
As part of Siemens’s aim to produce an eco-friendly cordless telephone designs, designers from Formwelt Studio has created the Gigaset Eco Visions, Leaf, and Solar designs that are made of recyclable raw materials, like the eco –plastic and liquid wood. These phones are using solar energy as their source of power. The Leaf model has a unique green design reminiscent to a leaf during spring. On the other hand, the Solar model uses all-over solar cells to sustain its energy supply. These models from Siemens really will answer our current issue with global warming and all the stuff.
I absolutely love the idea of charging a phone via solar power, and hope that the concept becomes more regularly used over time.
Article Source: igreenspot.com
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Greener Future: Replace all roads with solar panels
There is approximately more than 5.7 million miles of paved highway in the United States and in a bid to find new sustainable ways of producing renewable energy, one small Idaho company believes they've found the solution: solar roadways.
According to their website, www.solarroadways.com, the idea revolves around "a series of structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon. The idea is to replace all current petroleum-based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road PanelsTM that collect and store solar energy to be used by our homes and businesses. This renewable energy replaces the need for the current fossil fuels used for the generation of electricity. This, in turn, cuts greenhouse gases literally in half."
In America, the idea has received a lot of media attention after The Department of Transport awarded the company $100,000 to construct a prototype 12' by 12' panel.
The panels, as expected, are infinitely more complex than a few layers of tarmac and asphalt. According to AutoBlogGreen, the panels consist of three layers; the base contains power and data lines and is overlaid by the electronics strata that contains solar cells, LEDs and super-capacitors which would produce and store electricity.
The LEDs, meanwhile, would "paint" the surface with light and hold the microprocessors and communications device that would make highways "intelligent", flashing messages such as 'Slow' and 'Traffic Delays' to warn drivers. The top layer is made of glass that should supply the same traction as asphalt, and is strong enough to handle whatever traffic can dish out whilst protecting the electronic goodies below.
It can also sense animals on the roadway, heat themselves when they are covered in snow and ice AND act as a power source for electric cars, which would be able to be plugged into the road at points along its length.
Scott Brusaw, the man behind Solar Roadways, believes if every street, driveway and parking lot was replaced with his invention, it would supply three times as much electricity as was used in the US in 2003. Not just that, but the project to cover America with 12′x12′ solar panels would create "2.5 million jobs in assembly alone," taking the country out of its employment lull, making Solar Roadways into the largest employer in the country and America's economic saviour and making Brusaw one of the richest men in the world!
So why hasn't the President ordered every man, woman and child to get a pick axe and begin stripping the asphalt off the highways to get this carbon-cutting, energy-producing, super-highway underway?
Well, firstly, solar panels are notoriously fragile. Can they really take 40-ton vehicles going 80 miles an hour over them day and night for decades? Also, what happens at night? Will they store enough energy to power themselves during the winter months?
Oh, and then there's the price tag - US $35 trillion. Yes, TRILLION. With a 'T'. Each panel is 'currently' predicted to cost around $7,000. Obama's current health-care reform is only meant to cost a measly $1 trillion.
So there we go, it's a fantastic idea and one that could change America's energy and transport infrastructure for ever, but currently it's a pipe dream. An ambitious and undeniably genius pipe dream.
Article was sourced from: americainfra.com
Friday, October 9, 2009
Greener Future: We are terribly unprepared for peak oil
The latest study on peak oil by the UK Energy Research Centre brings up a good point on why the exact timing of peak oil -- whether it's already happened or won't until 2030 -- doesn't matter all that much. In either case, or any point in between, there really isn't enough time for governments to develop strategies to entirely avoid serious economic impact:
The report adds that delaying the peak beyond 2030 requires "optimistic assumptions about the size of recoverable resources," not to mention slow rates of demand growth. Furthermore, there is "significant risk of a peak before 2020."
New Discoveries Delay Peak by 'Matter of Days'
As we're depleting today's oil fields faster than previously thought, and essential need another Saudi Arabia's worth of oil to keep pace with declines, new discoveries, even ones billed as 'giant' such as those made by BP in the Gulf of Mexico, will only delay peak oil by a matter of days.
We Should've Been Preparing for at Least a Decade
Report author Steve Sorrell notes that the difference between the most pessimistic and optimistic scenarios -- developed after reviewing more than 500 other studies on the subject, in should be noted -- is just 15 or 20 years. Not enough time to fully replace oil with alternatives.
Backing up that assertion, Sorrell cites a 2005 DOE study which said that large scale programs of substitution and demand reduction (in the US we're just beginning the former and seem to be oblivious to the latter, I'd add...) would need to start at least 20 years prior to peak to avoid "serious shortfalls in liquid fuels."
Read the full report: The Global Oil Depletion Report
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Looks like the Chinese are staying a step ahead of the US in the green how to department. The Chinese Ministry of Railways has announced that it will buy 80 "very high speed trains" from Bombardier's Chinese joint ventre Bombardier Sifang to add to China's fast-growing network of high-speed rail. The ZEFIRO 380 trains are both very efficient (more on that below) and very fast, and should help make transportation in China greener, especially if train trips displace plane trips.
The order is for 20 eight-car trainsets and 60 sixteen-car trainsets, for a total of 1,120 cars.
The ZEFIRO 380 has a maximum operating speed of 380 kilometers per hour (236 miles per hour) and is designed for efficiency.
$300 Billion to be Invested in High-Speed Rail Through 2020
The contract is estimated at 27.4 billion Chinese Renminbis ($4 billion US, 2.7 billion euros). But this is only part of it. As Alex recently wrote, "China is investing over $300 billion in high-speed rail through 2020, in a bid to speed ahead of the rest of the world's train systems."
This announcement is just another reminder that we need a high-speed rail system in North-America. It might not make sense everywhere, but there are many major cities that could certainly benefit from modern high-speed train links.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Well it's a known fact that air pollution is an awful thing. Awful for not only your lungs, but your heart as well. But, it seems as with many things, we do not know the full extent of the effects. New Canadian studies claim that air pollution is also increasing the risk of appendicitis(inflammation of the appendix) in adults, and even short-term exposure to air pollution could have an effect. It also seems that asthmatics(those with asthma), children and older folks are particularly at risk.
So far "the dominant theory of the cause of appendicitis has been obstruction of the appendix opening, but this theory does not explain the trends of appendicitis in developed and developing countries. Appendicitis cases increased dramatically in industrialized countries in the 19th and early 20th centuries, then decreased in the middle and late 20th century, coinciding with legislation to improve air quality. The incidence of appendicitis has been growing in developing countries as they become more industrialized."
They then used government data on air pollution to figure out the level of exposure to various pollutants of the people with appendicitis. "They found correlations between high levels of ozone and nitrogen dioxide and the incidence of appendicitis between age groups and genders." More men than women were found to have the condition, possibly because more men work outside, giving them a higher exposure to air pollution on "bad air quality" days.
So now that these studies have surfaced, researchers will be trying to figure out exactly how air pollution could trigger appendicitis. What is already suspected though is that the pollutants may trigger inflammatory responses, but further studies will be necessary to figure out exactly what is going on. No matter what the consensus of the studies are, it's incredible to see that each and every day we discover new things that show us what a detriment we are to the environment. Maybe now that it is starting to affect our own personal health, we will start making real changes towards going green. How to stop this stuff will be have to faced in the future.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The Nissan Leaf is one of the most talked about automotive vehicle launches in years, and the green components that are building this automobile keep getting better. Nissan just sent us the first in a series of videos meant to "tell Nissan's Zero emissions story." This one-minute spot focuses on the Leaf, Nissan's forthcoming fully-electric hatchback.
It is official that reservation for the Nissan Leaf will begin in Spring of next year. The vid mentions Nissan's 1997 lithium-ion EV, the first of its kind, and claims that since then, engineers have evolved li-ion batteries to carry "twice the power into half the size." Nissan's unique laminated li-ion batteries will soon start coming out of its Smyrna, Tennessee plant, still under construction. In the video, it was a great thing to hear that the original "100 miles of real world driving" that Nissan was originally claiming is still completely in tact. Hopefully this green electric vehicle will be a sign of things to come and we can complete change the way we consume fossil fuels.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Recycle How To:
Anyone who enjoys reading as much as I do will enjoy what Paperbackswap has to offer. A reader of mine turned me towards this company and I absolutely loved it. Paperbackswap is an awesome "recycle how to" company. Paperbackswap is a great way to share books with people all over the country! You basically become a member of Paperbackswap.com, and you can swap, trade and exchange books with other paperbackswap members for FREE. Any book you request is yours to keep, share or trade, and the best part is, Paperbackswap has no late fees, no processing charges, and no hidden charges. Every time you mail a book to another member, you can request one for yourself.
Here is how Paperbackswap's process works directly from their website.
* You have books in good condition that you do not want to keep.
* After you have Posted the first 10 books to your bookshelf, you get 2 "startup" credits from PBS to get you started swapping. After that, you earn credits by sending out books to others. Only the first account for a household receives startup credits.
* You may order any available book for 1 credit each (paperback/hardcover). audio books cost 2 credits each.
* If you want a book that is not currently available, you can place it on your Wish List and we will notify you by email when it is available for you to order. You can even have it sent to you automatically when it becomes available, with no email necessary.
* When a book is requested from you, we notify you by email, provide the address for you to send it out, and even provide a wrapper!
* wrap and mail your book.
* When the requestor receives it, you earn 1 credit (2 if it is an audio book). Yes, you pay the postage to send out your books, but when you request a book, the sender ships it to you free of charge!
* The books you receive from PBS are yours. We hope that you will repost them to share with other members when you have read them, but you can certainly keep them, or give them away. Similarly, the books you send out to others belong to their new owners.
I love reading and love the green twist on something I already love to do. For more information on Paperbackswap, visit them online at Paperbackswap.com .
Sunday, October 4, 2009
A 48 year old man, no money, living in a cave for 9 years; most people, including myself, would think this is the life description of someone who is crazy. But, contrary to what his lifestyle may lead you to believe, Daniel Suelo is not crazy, he just doesn't like money.
Daniel Suelo gave up consumer culture altogether, and for the last 9 years, he's survived by living in a cave in Utah, and dumpster diving, foraging, fishing, and occasionally hunting for food. He spends his time in the great outdoors--and in the public library, where he blogs about it all. Daniel Suelo must have the lowest carbon footprint of any blogger in the United States. And he's never taken food stamps or any other type of government assistance.
According to MatadorChange, he was working in South America when he was first moved to consider a money-free, zero impact lifestyle:
While in Ecuador on a Peace Corps mission, he witnessed a rural community acquire increased monetary wealth through farming and shift their traditional lifestyle towards a diet of unhealthy, processed food and a newfound addiction to television ... He made the conscious decision to return home, quit his job, and carve out a life without money.Suelo himself writes "I've been living without a cent to my name since the autumn of 2000 (with a month's exception during my first year)" on the front page of the website he runs from the public library.
Although many of us would not dare to dive into such a "moneyless" lifestyle, it does really make us think a long hard minute about all the stuff we heedlessly buy.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
E-waste or electronic waste, has become more than a problem, it is more like an epidemic at this point. With technology moving so fast, our recycling efforts can barely keep up. People are more concerned with what new television set they should purchase, not a recycle how to on old tv's. There are new E-waste companies stepping in every day with more convenient methods of disposal, but none to this point have been better than 4th Bin e-waste disposal.
So maybe some of you are wondering what exactly e-waste is, and how e-waste is bad for our environment. Great question!
Electronic waste (or e-waste) is electronic equipment that is obsolete, or no longer working and includes:
- Televisions and monitors
- Printers, scanners, and fax machines
- Stereo equipment
- VCRs, DVD players
- Video cameras
- Cell / wireless phones
- Fax and copy machines
- Video game consoles
Why is e-waste bad for the environment?
- Electronic equipment contains hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and brominated flame retardants.
- Glass monitors and television screens contain about 4 lbs. of lead!
- Circuit boards contain heavy metals that leach out into the environment and affect our public health and natural resources, but when recycled, can help manufacture new electronics.
- 50 million computers and monitors and 130 million cell phones are thrown away each year in the United States. That’s a lot of equipment!
Here is the 4th Bin summary on e-waste disposal from 4thbin.org.
The 4th bin is intended to stand in the common recycling area for apartment and office buildings. The facility manager regularly moves the recycling containers to the curbside and just does the same with the 4th bin when it is full. A transmitter and a sensor in the 4th bin alerts the recycling company when it is moved from the original spot. So the recycling company can customize the pickup routes and work more efficiently.
The whole ECYCLE-system consists of the 4th bin for recyclable electronics and a vehicle for manual collection of reusable electronics.
The expandable 4th bin:
- Takes up only the space that is necessary for it’s content.
- The low starting mode and gradually increasing height of the bin allows a low drop for fragile electronics.
- The expansion gives visual feedback to the facility manager.
- A maximum size bin means it needs to be emptied.
- The RFID locking system ensures that only residents with a valid RFID tag can open the bin.
- A designated person has a special access tag that also unlocks the wheels.
- The main material is Biopregs®, an environmentally friendly biocomposite that can be folded to create the two main parts of the bin.
- Electronics requires gentle emptying in the pickup-vehicle. This is solved with a reusable bag which is lifted out of the bin with a crane and placed carefully in a pallet container on the vehicle.
- The bag is made of a heavy duty fabric with a chemical proof coating.
Green How T0- For more information on 4th Bin please visit 4thbin.org
Friday, October 2, 2009
It looks like toilet paper may start becoming a thing of the past. With everyone jumping on board the green movement, realizing we only have one planet, people are finding just about every way they can to lessen their impact on the environment. One thought that comes to mind for most people is our use of paper, especially that of toilet paper, and it looks like the creator of the Blue Bidet was sharing the same thoughts.
People find the idea of going without toilet paper a bit shocking, but lots of people around the world do it, and technological advances like the Blue Bidet make it easier than ever. It is cleaner, healthier and saves a lot of water. The Blue Bidet is a bidet add on, not a complete toilet. Which not only makes it practical to install, but also makes the Blue Bidet very cost effective as well. The Blue Bidet was displayed at a local Home Show in Toronto recently with the asking price at about $69. Not too bad if you ask me. The Blue Bidet can be installed in under half an hour. They make a cold water model that just uses the line that supplies the toilet, and a version that uses hot and cold water but needs a more elaborate installation.
The Blue Bidet does not claim to completely eliminate the use of toilet paper altogether, but they do claim to cut its use by 75%, and to use the remainder to dry yourself off. These are some interesting statistics none the less considering in one single day Americans use 34,000,000 rolls of toilet paper. Those 34 million rolls equate to 221,000 trees, 255,000,000 gallons of water, 88,000,000 lbs of green house gas, and 161,000,000 KWH of electricity. These numbers are absolutely staggering, and to top it off, this is all in just one day in America only! So, if the Blue Bidet can really reduce our dependency on toilet paper near the amount it claims, it would do wonders for our economy. I think I may be purchasing a Blue Bidet here in the near future, so I will let you know what I think of it.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Nature Found the Cure :
For the next issue of popular magazine Newsweek, they have decided to do something completely new to the entire industry of media organization; they are assigning a green ranking to the 500 biggest public companies in America. Hewlett Packard was named the greenest company of 2009.
Hewlett Packard has definitely become a household name over the past decade or so. Hewlett Packard is a technology company that operates in more than 170 countries around the world. Most people know the name HP (Hewlett Packard) for their home pc's and notebooks. This is the first time a magazine has ever done any type of green rating project. The rating results were on several things including the company's environmental footprint as well as on its policies. Hewlett Packard shined in every arena.
So here is the list of the 10 greenest companies:
Johnson & Johnson
State Street Corporation
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Applied Materials, Inc.
Of course we have already discussed Hewlett Packard leading the way, but several of these companies have made their mark when it comes to recycling and waste reduction. Starbucks started its own recycling program this past month which I discussed a few days ago. Last year, Nike introduced it Trash Talk Shoe Line made with recycled waste from factory floors. The company also offers a recycling program for old sneakers. Dell partnered with Goodwill to collect and recycle electronics nationwide, and has also kept close tabs on the use of mercury in its newer models.
Newsweek has dedicated 12 entire pages of their magazine to the results of this case study. The report contains interviews with CEOs and corporate sustainability officers. If you head over to Newsweek's website, you can also search companies by industry and size to compare green ratings.
You can view Hewlett Packard as well as the complete list of the 500 Greenest companies in America here.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It looks like nature may have found the cure to cancer. Brazilian researchers were studying the Amblyomma cajennense tick and discovered an interesting protein in its spit. After some testing with this protein on rats with tumors, the results were becoming more conclusive that tick saliva may hold the key to cure cancers of the skin, liver and pancreas.
According to AFP, the Factor X active protein in the tick spit "shares some characteristics with a common anti-coagulant called TFPI (Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor), specifically a Kunitz-type inhibitor which also has been shown to interfere with cell growth." Essentially a cancer is a group of cells that are growing out of control, so obviously controlling the growth is extremley important. So the protein was tested on cultures of cancerous cells and "exceeded all expectations." The most interesting thing of the case study, was that it was able to target the cells with cancer, and did not kill normal cells.
The next step was testing on rats:
"If I treat every day for 14 days an animal's tumor, a small tumor, this tumor doesn't develop -- it even regresses. The tumor mass shrinks. If I treat for 42 days, you totally eliminate the tumor," the scientist said.
Obviously, the results of this case are in phase 1, there are always speed bumps, both minor and major that prevent something like this from becoming an extraordinary break through. And, if the time does come that this is turned into the cure for cancer, it took many years before it is in the form of a medicine, and a drug is made available to those with with cancer.
But, it is extremley evident to anyone who really does some research on this that these test results are extremely promising. And, it also goes to show you the extent of nautre's powers, and what we could be missing out on if we continue to destroy it.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
CFL's are probably one of, if not the easiest way you can save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. Your walking through the garage in the dark, the light bulb burns out, you go to the local store and you buy a CFL to replace it. CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Light bulb, they get as cheap is $2 now a days, they have been proven to last 7 times longer than regular bulbs, and they use LESS energy, which in turn SAVES you MORE money on your electric bill!
Oh, but we ALL know that! Than why are less people purchasing these CFL bulbs? I hardly ever feel so opionated over something but this one is just such a simple act to change; and to save not only energy, but for most people more importantly, save money. CFL sales are plummeting around the U.S., in certain states they are down as much as 50%. It is very puzzling to me, when I think about it, this is all no brainer information. The 2 main things I personally can come up with are that CFL bulbs warrant a slightly higher price tag, which you will save on in the long run on your electric bill, and the fact that people are extremely resistant to change. The second reason simply put, the mass market is unfamiliar with the product and its pros and cons, which can also put the companies to blame slightly because of the lack of marketing.
Green Inc. Reports :
"national sales of the bulbs have declined 25 percent from their peak in 2007, with sales in some regions such as Vermont and parts of Massachusetts declining 35 to 50 percent. Further, he noted, shipments of C.F.L.s ... down 49 percent in 2009 over 2007 levels."
These CFL makers, despite a decades long marketing push, are now worrying that without incentive programs of some sort, they could possibly lose even the small market share they've managed to get a hold of.
Okay so here is what boggles my mind, I completely understand not everyone wants to particpate in the green movement, that goes right along with people's reluctancy to change, but I know that the vast majority of people, if not EVERYOE, wants to save money. In the midst of recession, sales of these CFL bulbs are diving, just at a time when you would think MOST people would be doing anything and everything they could to save themselves some money. It's really unfortunate because it seems over time with everything we have just really abused the thought of instant gratification, other than purchasing something, rather investing into something that will save us money over the long run.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Statistics show that people don't wear 25% of their old clothing in their closets. This past week, an eco-friendly company was launched to help people rid themselves of this problem. thredUP is a service that allows you to exchange the old clothing that you were bored of, or don't wear for whatever reason, for new ones. In a nutshell, it is a fairly basic concept, out with the old you, in with the new you! You can swap everything from video games to text books on the internet, why not old clothing?
The company has a very basic 3 step process, to recycle your old clothing.
- Tell thredUP exactly what you like. They shop other people's closets to find you hidden gems in your size that they think you'll love.
- Let thredUP know the great items you're no longer wearing. They will find thredUP members who are interested in items like these.
- thredUp manages the peer-to-peer exchange. You send and receive items using their pre-paid envelopes – no trips to the Post Office, ever!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Green How To:
I guess they figured if the "cash for clunkers" helped consumers drive more fuel efficient vehicles, maybe it could put new energy efficient appliances into consumers households. So if you are sick of staring at that old energy wasting appliance, or maybe you were considering remodeling to a greener kitchen, now may be the perfect time to upgrade to a new energy efficient appliance. There will be a program starting this fall that will offer consumers cash to help buy new, Energy Star certified, home appliances.
The federal government has set aside about $300 million, part of the economic stimulus plan, for the program. Unlike the “cash for clunkers” program though, you do not need to trade in your old clunker appliance. These rebate checks issued can be used to cover everything from refrigerators and dishwashers to furnaces and air conditioners. The Department of Energy hopes to encourage conservation by getting people to replace old, wasteful appliances, with new, more efficient Energy Star certified machines. Surely, the appliance industry which has been hit hard by the recent recession, is hoping these energy efficient appliance rebates will give them a boost in sales.
Household refrigerators consume more energy than anything except heating and hot water. So if you are looking to save energy, the refrigerator would be #1 in my book, and Energy Star is no joke. An Energy Star refrigerator requires half as much energy as a 10 year old unit, that's enough energy to light an average household for over 3 months and save 300 pounds of pollution. As you can see, there is a significant difference in upgrading to an energy efficient appliance.
Consumers should check with their state's energy department for details on when the appliance rebates will be available. Links to information about stimulus projects by state can be found on the Energy Department's Recovery Act website.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Well, it looks likes Starbucks is finally jumping on board as well with their latest announcement. It seems that each and every year, there are approximately three million coffee cups going straight to the landfill. We are talking 654,000 tons heading straight to the landfill. That is a lot of waste! Seeing that Starbucks sells nearly 4 million cups of coffee a day in the US alone, it would be a safe bet to say that a good portion of these cups could be coming from Starbuck's customers. Not to say Starbucks is doing anything wrong, hats off to them, they are perhaps the most popular coffee place in the world.
Starbucks announced that would be starting its very own recycling program. Starbucks has teamed up with Green Global USA's Coalition for Resource Recovery, to start this new project into seven Starbucks locations in Manhattan with hopes to expand the progam. The basic goal here is going to be collecting these coffee cups which will then be combined with old corrugated cardboard meant for recycling. Corrugated cardboard can be recycled because it is not covered with wax or chemicals and once recycled, it is used in shipping boxes, and well...cardboard boxes!
By November, Starbucks will re-evaluate this project for its results and effect.
Friday, September 25, 2009
In my journey to find everything and everyone doing good for the environment, I find really cool things everyday. Some I bookmark and come back to later, and some I just have to share immediately. Well this is one of those stories I came across that I could not contain myself, I thought, if only people knew they could turn all of their old electronic gadgets into cash!
A company called Gazelle does just that. This company is spectacular. Not only are they green for the environment, they are green for your wallet, which is always a plus! So here is how it works.
1. You login to Gazelle's website and answer a few questions about the device then Gazelle will automatically determine how much it will pay you based on the quick questions you asked! (BTW there is never a charge, so even if you have just a piece of junk electronic device, Gazelle will recycle it for FREE!)
2. The company pays for shipping and will send customers a box for most orders.
3.One of Gazelle's 75 employees hand-inspects each device to insure the customer rating is accurate, and erases any user files -- from documents to photos to MP3s.
4. If the item is deemed to be in good enough condition to resell to secondary retailers, wholesalers or refurbishers, the owner gets a check. If not, Gazelle recycles it at no cost to the owner.
It's that simple! Gazelle takes 15+ categories: cell phones, laptops, cameras, & more with customers netting an average of $100 per device. That's right, the customer, YOU, sending them the old gadgets, gets paid! The company promises one thing to each customer which I thought was extremely valuable to know.
Gazelle promises that no item will ever up in a landfill.
To learn more about Gazelle and their recycle how to program, visit there website HERE
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Rozul and Kaput-D are two blood-thinning poisons that are being used to exterminate the prairie dogs. The poisons cause the little dogs to slowly bleed to death, thus weakening them and making it easier for other animals to catch them and eat them. Enter the domino effect, these drugs can stay in the dogs bodies and even their dead carcasses for weeks, which you guessed it, causes anything that comes along to eat them also receive this "gift" of the EPA's. The animals coming along to eat these dogs include several endangered species; bald eagles, ferruginous hawks, American badgers, swift foxes, and black footed ferrets.
All this noise definitely caught the attention of a lot of unhappy people to say the least. Defenders of Wildlife and Audubon of Kansas have filed a lawsuit with the EPA to get them to stop using these blood-thinning pesticides on prairie dogs. Also in the mix, The Fish and Wildlife Service, who have repeatedly requested that there be some agreement with the EPA on how to better regulate the use of these poisons. Of course as with all these heart breaking stories, nothing has been done to date.
One or both of these chemicals are allowed to be used in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Green How To:
I am so glad people are starting to address the issue of diapers. It is unfortunate because we need diapers but they are extremely detrimental to our environment. 80% of diapers used in the nation are done with disposables which comes to nearly 18 billion per year. These 18 billion diapers add up to 82,000 tons of plastic a year and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp -- 250,000 trees. After a few hours of active service these materials are trucked away, primarily to landfills, where they sit, neatly wrapped for hundreds of years. Well one company says they have the solution to this problem.
G diapers is a flushable, plastic free diaper. You have a few different options of disposal with these diapers.
1. Flush- You can flush, compost the wet ones. Everything that goes into making their flushable diapers gets reabsorbed by the planet in a neutral or beneficial way.
2. Compost- They say your garden soil will love you for sharing the contents of your eco-friendly G Diaper, breaking down in 50-150 days. BUT...please keep in mind, you can only compost the wet ones, not the ones containing the #2 ingredient.
3. Trash Em- You can toss these in the trash because the diaper refills are plastic-free, they will break down unlike disposables, which are made of plastic. They do ask that you attempt to flush the #2 ingredients though!
Visit gDiaper for more info.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Finally! They are here, the results for the recent Cash For Clunkers program. These have been highly anticipated for me!
As most of you know, a program called CARS(Car Allowance Rebate System) or more commonly referred to "Cash For Clunkers" was put into action a few months back. The program offered an incentive for customers to trade in their old gas hogging vehicle(Clunker) for a newer, more fuel efficient vehicle. There may have been a bit of an underlying reason to give the auto manufacturers a very needed slight boost, but that's okay! Anyway, the program was considered a huge success, at least in the short term, and the official numbers of what vehicles were sold just recently came in. Drum roll please......
1. Toyota Corolla 29,488
2. Honda Civic 28,456
3. Toyota Camry 27,137
4. Ford Focus 22,388
5. Ford Escape 21,894
6. Honda CR-V 20,106
7. Hyundai Elantra 19,797
8. Chevrolet Silverado 16,330
9. Nissan Versa 16,300
10. Ford F150 16,263
11. Honda Accord 15,922
12. Nissan Altima 15,426
13. Toyota RAV4 15,255
14. Toyota Prius 15,013
15. Ford Fusion 13,415
16. Chevrolet Cobalt 13,335
17. Honda Fit 12,361
18. Nissan Sentra 12,158
19. Chevrolet Aveo 11,557
20. Toyota Tacoma 10,692
Source: Department of Transportation, CARS.gov
The numbers speak for themselves, and as you can see, Toyota cleaned house at the very top, and Honda was not too far behind. Ford did surprisingly well themselves with 3 of the top 10 selling vehicles as well.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Looks like people are FINALLY starting to get it. Even schools are jumping on board, which is a great thing! It's nice to see people are also saving money while going solar!
The picture is from a school in Brockton, MA, that is an area that has really been focusing on transforming the school district into a earth friendly carbon fighting machine. More schools are going green this year as educators adopt earth-friendly projects and try to pinch pennies while saving the planet. Brockton, Bridgewater-Raynham, Carver, Rockland and Southeastern Voc-Tech are among the local school districts in the Massachusetts area finding ways to make green changes and raise student awareness of environmental issues. Even some of the local colleges in the Massachusetts are going green too! At Massasoit Community College in Brockton, a new fall course on designing solar electricity arrays filled up quickly, a college official said.
“One of the nice things is that you can go green and save money at the same time,” said Rockland school Superintendent John Retchless, whose district has benefited from grant money for schools that make environmentally sound changes.
Sometimes the small, simple changes are the most important. Last year in one reported instance, teachers were told to shut off the lights each time they left the room, turn off computers at night and use natural light whenever possible. The effort saved that areas schools 15 percent on its energy bills. Proving once again, it pays to go green!
Green How To:
All I can say is WOW! That is one beautiful phone. And it's not just good looking either, it serves a purpose. Introducing the eco-friendly Samsung Reclaim M560. It has recently been launched in America and is set to launch in Canada. Samsung has teamed up with Bell mobility to build this awesome phone, and it being presented by Bell as being “eco-friendly without sacrificing technology”.
This "Earth Green" phone is designed with environmentally-responsible components, a bio-plastic casing and fully recyclable packaging. It also comes with an Energy Star-approved charger. Samsung Reclaim cellphone is free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), phthalates, and almost free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs): three materials commonly targeted electronic guidelines on green. The outer carton and the phone in the drawer box are made from 70 percent recycled material. The images and text on the box and warranty information of the phone are printed with inks based on soybean.
And all of this is available for under 50 bucks from Sprint. Technology never seizes to amaze me. I absolutely love green innovation.
View Samsung Reclaim at Sprint's Website Here
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Green How To:
In my quest to help educate not only others, but myself in recycle how to and eco-friendly practices, I continue to come across some of the best tools available.
The internet seems to literally have infinite information on pretty much any given topic. Recently I came across a website that is still very small, but hopefully with some support from the general public and green community can grow because the mission is great!
The site is called Go Green Tube! Very similar to Google's YouTube but only hosts videos that involve some type of green activity or education as well as recycle how to information. Their mission: "We're here to create a green focused hub of such activity, educating the world on how to live a greener, healthier, fun life, in a way that's lighter on the planet."
Click here to visit Go Green Tube
Green How To:
This company is an absolutely incredible "recycle how to" website. They have definitely grown significantly in the past few years, but after suggesting that my girlfriend use them, and she replied with "Who?", I decided that I would love to present them.
Welcome Terracycle, a company with a hope is to eliminate the idea of waste by finding innovative, unique uses for materials others deem garbage. So here is the just of what these guys do. You send them old trash, things like cookie wrappers, drink pouches, chip bags, etc. after you have already eaten the goods. THEY PAY YOU for sending them your trash. Once they receive your trash they recycle in the most incredible ways. They will actually assemble handbags, backpacks, cleaning products, etc. out of the trash you send them. After they transform your old waste, they resell the novelties in stores such as Target, Wal Mart, etc.
These guys really have set a new standard for recycling and defined what being green truly is all about. I love what they do and what they stand for.
Visit their website for more info:
Recycle How To: Terracycle.net
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Recycle How To: California has 35 million television sets — one for nearly every man, woman and child. Television use here in California accounts for nearly 10 percent of our electric bills. Alarmed that state energy consumption would spike as consumers switch from the old cathode-ray-tube sets to the new, energy-gobbling flat screen liquid-crystal display (LCD) or plasma televisions, the state's regulatory mavens have formally proposed regulations that would force the industry to make more energy-efficient models
California would be the first in the nation to start these tv efficiency policies, and it would go into effect in January 2011. It would require televisions sold in California to use 50% less energy by January 2013. Strict-target limits on greenhouse gas emissions for 2020 are propelling policymakers to cut consumption of energy and increase renewable generation.
Nissan is joining the "green party" with other auto manufacturers as it sets to release the Nissan Leaf. This will be Nissan's first attempt at an electric car which seems to be the way a lot of the auto manufacturers are going.
Designed as a four-to-five seat, front-drive C-segment hatchback, Nissan says the Leaf is not just for use as a specialty urban runabout, but rather, it was designed as an everyday vehicle – a "real car".
The company is now saying that its new electric car, the Leaf, will get an astonishing 367 miles per gallon... even though it's a 100 percent electric , and runs on absolutely no fuel. Eclipsing the new Chevy Volt, another electric vehicle, which is claiming 230 miles to the gallon, Nissan is set to launch this vehicle in 2011. A well equipped C-class vehilce runs in the $28,000 to $35,000 range, without the $7500 tax credit the car will be expected to enjoy. If they are factoring that in, consider $35,500 to $42,500.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Recycle How To: "Laguna Beach city council voted unanimously yesterday to move ahead with its process to ban plastic bags. The council will hear an ordinance to ban plastic bags as soon as an environmental review is completed."
Committee summary of proposed ordinance:
Prohibit the distribution of single-use, plastic carryout bags from all retail establishments, except as used for take-out food to be eaten off the premises.
Prohibit the distribution of single-use, plastic carryout bags from city facilities, concessions and events.
Establish progressive enforcement procedures:
1. First violation, written warning;
2. Second violation, $100 administrative citation;
3. Third violation, $200 administrative citation;
4. Ongoing violations, $550 each.
Provide hardship exceptions.
Require that grocery stores and pharmacies provide customers with only reusable or paper bags, which would have to be 100% recycled material with a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content.
Require that grocery stores and pharmacies providing paper carryout bags must charge a “green fee” and indicate on the transaction receipt the number of paper bags provided and the amount of green fee charged to the customer.
Hello my name is Ian.
Green How To: I work for a company called Green Junk Machine. We are an eco-friendly junk removal service focused on giving back to the community.
Working with this company the past year has opened my mind up so much to the green movement and I want to do everything I can to help contribute.
So I decided to start this blog. I will update this blog on a regular basis with tips, information, recycle how to, local recycling centers, etc. Anything that will help for a greener tomorrow. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! I absolutely love to hear feedback so feel free anytime to leave comments. If you have any of your own recycle how to information, I would love to read it!