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.