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Monday, May 31, 2010

Microsoft Hohm - Energy Tips and Ideas

Microsoft Hohm is a free software application that lets you improve the energy efficiency of your home. You can add details about your specific home and see recommendations for improvements ... as well as how you compare to other homes in your area or across the country.

" ... check your energy consumption and compare it to others around the nation. ... [above] ... heat map of the United States and the average Hohm Score per state."

Check out the BLOG  for useful tips. 

Via: Microsoft Hohm LINK

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It is Memorial Day - the start of summer and BBQs .... you can GREEN Up your Memorial Day with these green tips.
The choices you make can lead to a GREENER result and little or no impact on the FUN and ENJOYMENT.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

While driving through Chester County, Pa to pick my son up from a camping trip I saw an Amerigreen gas station and thought I should check it out ... in addition to gas they sell diesel, propane and heating oil.  In addition to biodiesel and bio heating oil they have  E85.

"E85 Ethanol (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) is a clean fuel with superior performance characteristics. It burns cleaner than gasoline, is renewable, and environmentally safer."

 "... we became one of the first oil companies in the United States to provide our customers with 100% North American made fuel--drilled, refined, and sold exclusively in North America. ..."

"In addition ... every gallon of our heating oil contains 5% soy oil, a renewable American farm product. ..."
" ... your heating oil and propane purchases will benefit the American economy, American jobs, ... we urge other energy companies to do the same. Because, ... it's simply the right thing to do...."

Via:  Amerigreen  LINK

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Philadelphia Pa. Wins 3rd Annual Sustainable Community Award for a Large Community

Mayor Michael Nutter has been promoting Philadelphia's green activities and now the city is being recognized by others as well.

" ... Mayor Michael A. Nutter. ... encouraged by the momentum behind our sustainability efforts, ... look forward to aggressively continuing our work to promote market transformation in energy efficiency retrofitting and growing the green economy.”

"... training our workforce to install solar panels and cool roofs, and we’re putting Philadelphians to work weatherizing homes and installing green stormwater management infrastructure."

Via: City of Philadelphia  LINK

Friday, May 21, 2010

Phila Pa Green Business Program

 Real Estate developers are seeing the value in being able to offer sustainable green buildings.

"Aegis Property Group ... integrating energy and environmental leadership principals and practices into its development management services capabilities. ...Corporate commitment to LEED program. ...an active leadership role ... in the Green Building Council ... continuing education in green principles and LEED ... Advocacy of green principles ... as appropriate in our client’s projects."

"Sustainable design, construction and operation ... is no longer a luxury - it is an absolute necessity."

Via:  AEGIS Property Group  LINK

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Springside School Encourages Waste Reduction

Springside School's colors are blue and gold.  They are making blue + gold into GREEN.  A good life lesson in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Waste Free Wednesday Lunch Initiative


" ... The Sustainability Committee has decided to step up Springside's efforts to reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills. Students are encouraged every day, but especially on Wednesdays, to compost, recycle, and eat as much of what they brought/bought to create as little waste as possible. In time, this will become something that naturally occurs every day!"

Via: Springside School LINK

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Springside School: Largest Solar Installation in Philadelphia

Springside School - Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia has the largest solar installation in the city of Philadelphia. You can see the solar progress with the monitoring station ... the system has the capacity of 92.4 kW DC.

As of May 15th, 2010 the system has generated 21,201 kWH - equivalent to powering 2 homes for a year. See the current operation / historical data at LINK.

Via: Springside School LINK

Monday, May 17, 2010

Delaware Solid Waste Authority Landfill Phyto-Cap

"The Delaware Solid Waste Authority ... is near completion of an environmentally green project of constructing a landfill phyto-cap (vegetative covering) over a landfill for the purpose of treating leachate generated by rainwater and decomposition of materials at the Solid Waste Management Center in Sandtown, Del."

" ... generates an average of 8,000 gallons of leachate each day. ... natural cap, technically known as a “phyto cap” was the answer utilizing an environmentally friendly leachate treatment system that avoids having to transport and store the waste."
" ... The phyto cap is 25-acres in size and consists of man-made wetlands and over 10,000 planted trees that play a crucial role in the water recycling process. ..."

Via: Water Efficiency LINK

Sunday, May 16, 2010

White Roofs Help Keep Philadelphia Cool and Green

Philadelphia is out to become America's greenest city.  RetroFIT PHILLY is part of the plan to lead the nation's cities in "greenness".

" ... RetroFIT PHILLY "Coolest Block" contest ... with product and technology contributions from The Dow Chemical Company ... invites row home owners to enter to win energy-saving cool roof, air sealing and insulation upgrades for their entire block."

"... Greenworks Philadelphia  goal is to retrofit 15 percent of the city's row home roofs, and the 'Coolest Block' contest is jumpstarting this effort," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter...."

" ... White cool roofs, ... bounce off solar energy to prevent it from being absorbed into the roof and house in the summer. ... they reduce the amount of energy needed to cool the living space and bring the cost of cooling a home down by as much as 20 percent."

" ... cool roofs are a proven way to combat urban heat island effect. The roof's exterior is 50 – 80 degrees cooler on hot summer days, helping to lower high temperatures and improve air quality. ..."

Via: The Dow Chemical Company  LINK

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On-Line Shopping May be a Greener Experience

For those looking to be green and keep their carbon footprint as small as possible ... the question of what kind of shopping is "greener" - Local or On-Line?

"Shopping online reduces environmental impact with 35 percent less energy consumption."

" ... a study by Carnegie Mellon's Green Design Institute ... looked ... at Buy.com's e-commerce model, ... found ... online ... "reduces environmental impact with 35 percent less energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions than ... the traditional retail shopping model.""

"... this isn't going to work for every online retailer, or compare to every brick-and-morter store in your area, but still, these results are surprising." " ... approximately 65 percent of total emissions generated by the traditional retail model stemmed from customer transport to and from retail stores."

Via: SustaineLane LINK

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ecotech Institute offers a "green education" ... the first of its kind in the U.S.  Ecotech is based in Aurora Colorado.

Ecotech Institute -- the first and only college entirely focused on preparing graduates for careers in the "rapidly growing fields of renewable energy, sustainable design, and energy efficiency -- with practical, hands-on training designed to meet the demands of employers in the green economy."

" ... the college for renewable energy and sustainable design, prepares students for environment careers with practical, hands-on training. ... Instructors typically work in the energy management and green design fields. "

" ... nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ... a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the United States Department of Eduction."

Via: Ecotech Institute  LINK

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lenovo boasts 'greenest' laptops on the market

Lenovo's L412 and 512 are " ... are being touted as highly durable and as being the “greenest on the market.”"

" ... Labeled with an Energy Star 5.0 rating, ... notebooks are 40% more energy-efficient than previous ThinkPads. Several parts of the machines ... made from post consumer content, including old IT equipment and office water jugs that make up the LCD cover, palm rests and top/bottom case. ... laptops are shipped in almost 100% recycled packaging."

Via:  ZDNet.com  LINK

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ready to drink once used water?  Folks in Cloudcroft, NM do - every day !

Cloudcroft NM runs 100% on recycled water.  From soup to nuts - washing to drinking ... toilet to tap !

" ... a town of ... 800 ... used to ... truck in upwards of 20,000 gallons of fresh water every day. ... got $600,000 from the state to put toward a $2 million water re-use system."

" ...“zero discharge” system is very unusual ... people tend get about phobic about the idea of drinking water that has been used for some other purpose ... sort of system you might find on a submarine ... everything is ... closed-loop. ..."

" ... ITT technologies ... include the Sanitaire membrane bioreactor, the WET reverse osmosis system, and the PCI ultrafiltration system.

Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK

Friday, May 7, 2010

Organic Roof Top Gardens in Brooklyn NY

Rooftop Farms Brooklyn may not be the first place you thing of when ROOFTOP gardens come to mind ... BUT Roof Top Farms grows pumpkins, peas and other produce - organically.

" ...The garden, 15 m above the Greenpoint sidewalk, is like a peaceful oasis in an otherwise throbbing industrial district. ..."

" ... Rooftop Farms project started in 2008 ... About 90 tonnes of specially mixed soil from Philadelphia was spread on the roof in March 2009 ... The garden users receive organic waste for their patches from the restaurants who by some of the vegetables, enabling them to avoid the use of artificial fertilisers."

Other benefits include controlling water runoff and less water treatment needed as well as possible reduced heating / cooling loads on the buildings.

Via: Sustainable Cities  LINK

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sweden's SymbioCity - Green City Concept

"At the Nordic Green conference in Menlo Park, Calif., Olov Hemstrom of the Swedish Trade Council discusses the history of Sweden's drive to go green. ... concept called SymbioCity, where various city functions from waste-water management to landscape and urban planning are all interconnected into one integrated system. Hemstrom is hopeful the practices tested in Sweden over the past 30 years can be applied to cities within the U.S."

Via: Smart Planet LINK

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Floating Solar System @ Far Niente Winery

Check out this float-o-voltaic system at Far Niente Winery in Oakville, California.  Since land is so expensive / valuable they using an irrigation pond to "host" their solar system. 

Via: Far Niente Winery  LINK

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How To Recycle Just About Anything !

Every reader of this blog knows the importance of recycling and "how to do it".  Most recycle paper, glass bottles, "tin" cans and #1 / #2 plastics.

Near my home is a recycling center that takes just about EVERYTHING.  They take plastics labeled #1 - #6 as well as glass bottle caps, clean aluminum, #2, #4, #5 bottle caps, 6- pack rings, straws, credit / debit / gift cards (to be recycled) and scrap fabric.  This great places is called Recycling Services, Inc. in Pottstown, Pa.

What if you are not near Pottstown, Pa? 

" ... Nearly everything can be recycled, though it may take a little research on your part to find out how. ... First, you need to know what your town will recycle. ... For anything you'd like to recycle but won't be picked up by your town, ... A site like the National Recycling Coalition can help you locate an organization that will accept your recyclables. ..."

Via: Life123 LINK

Monday, May 3, 2010

Green Graduation Gowns

recyclable graduation gowns
In a recent daily email from my college - Lafayette College, Easton, PA - there was a link about green graduation gowns.

Seems more colleges and universities are going green and using gowns made from recycled materials ... typically plastic bottles.

" ... University of Texas students ... saving 23 water bottles from landfills just by donning their cap and gown."

"GreenWeaver graduation regalia are being introduced to graduates at several universities nationwide this year as part of the growing movement to make graduation ceremonies more eco-friendly."

" ... Michigan State University is printing diplomas and graduation programs on recycled paper in addition to using recycled caps and gowns. Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas will be using artificial flowers to decorate the stage ... Lafayette College ... is offering biodegradable robes that will easily degrade after one wear."

Via: ABC News LINK

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Idling buses  and trucks waste lots of fuel and add to pollution.  Can technology provide a solution ?
You bet !

" ... The Provider, a school bus operator in Brentwood, N.H., ... first embraced wireless navigation technology from Navman Wireless ... thinking that it could helps with better tracking the mileage and hours related to individual busing contracts."

" ... realized that excessive idling ... could be addressed and controlled with the technology. ... When an alert is triggered, dispatchers call the driver in question ... because idling wastes fuel. ..."

" ... Navman Wireless, says his company ... tracking 110,000 vehicles. ... Navman Wireless estimates that it saves about 552 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions across the fleet it manages. Most of those savings are calculated based on reduced fuel consumption."

Via: SmartPlanet LINK