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Friday, July 30, 2010

Chevy Volt Pricing Released !!

Chevy Volt photo
2011 Chevy Volt !
The auto marketplace has been eagerly waiting official pricing for the Chevy Volt - an all electric auto.  All electric cars differ from gas / electric hybrids because in an all electric car the gas engine does not provide additional HP for motion.  In the all electric Volt the engine does not directly drive the wheels but recharges the battery.

Pricing is approx. $41,000 before a federal tax credit of $7,500 resulting in $33,500 to the consumer.

" ... uses gas to create its own electricity. ... run on a pure electric charge for up to 40 miles ... gas and emissions free. ... uses a range-extending gas generator that produces enough energy to power it for hundreds of miles on a single tank of gas. "

Via:  Chevrolet  LINK

Monday, July 26, 2010

Levi® Jeans - Green Care Label Instructions

Levi Strauss has taken a number of steps to make their jeans "greener" including minimizing the number of labels and the wording on the label.

This can help you - the consumer - save money and the environment by making less of an impact.
The care label suggests washing in cold water, line drying and giving to Goodwill so they can have another useful life.

" ... 58% of the energy and 45% of the water used during the lifetime of a pair of Levi’s ® jeans occurs during the consumer use phase ..."
" ... launched A Care Tag for our Planet ... care tags encourage ... “Machine wash cold; line dry when possible; donate to Goodwill.”"

Via:  Levi Strauss LINK

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Recycling Tips for Plastics

This all started when I was looking for a "green" way to dispose of an microwave ... that was broken.  My local trash hauler / recycler suggested earth911 ... so I looked there for an idea ... none was found ... BUT ... I found some neat suggestions on recycling plastics.

I am currently recycling #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 and some #7 plastics that are marked as recyclable but you never know when you might find something new.

Most communities now pick up #2 and $ 4 plastic bottles and most grocery stores take #2 and #4 plastic bags.  But what about the reset ... those #5 yogurt cups and # 6 food containers?

Check out these links from earth911 ... "Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. The American Chemistry Council is one of these partners"
PP #5
PS # 6Expanded foam # 6

#2 and #4 bags

Via:  Earth911 LINK

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Braxton's Animal Works (Devon, PA) Goes Green with LED Lighting

Braxton's in Devon, PA (western suburbs of Philadelphia) is a 3rd generation family business.  We buy a lot of our dog stuff there ... one day I noticed a sign outside touting their "green-ness" by installing LED lighting.

LSS LED bulbsBraxton's Devon, PA.Their lighting solution came from LED Saving Solutions of Devon, PA..
After installing LED lighting their electric  bill went from over $750 / month to around $100 / month.  Projected lifetime savings are over $260,000 as well as eliminating 100,00 lbs of carbon emissions.

Via: LED Saving Solutions LINK

Monday, July 19, 2010

University of New Hampshire - Energy Leadership

The University of New Hampshire ranked in the top 5 percent in a recent DOE study for energy efficiency among a group of 180 colleges and universities.   Comparing their energy expenditures to the average they save approx. $7 million per year in energy costs (and it gets cold in New Hampshire in the winter)

" ...  in 2000. In our peer group, UNH was in the top five percent for energy efficiency. ... one of the most energy efficient colleges that offers 4 year programs through post-Doctoral research."

" ... on-going energy efficiency program for the past 25 years. ... energy awareness programs to encourage energy conserving activities ..."

Via:  University of New Hampshire  LINK

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Philadelphia is becoming well known for  its green activities ... including solar powered compacting trash bins (the BIG BELLY) that can signal when they are full and need to be emptied.

They are also upgrading standard traffic signals with ones that contain LED light "bulbs".

LEDs are even more energy efficient and longer lasting than CFBs - and do not contain any mercury.

" ... funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG).  ... reducing energy use and costs, ... and furthering the City’s sustainability priorities."

"Replacing 85,000 traffic lights with new, low energy LED lights."

Via:  Phila.gov LINK

Friday, July 16, 2010

UPS ' sustainability efforts are well known; including their hybrid delivery trucks.  I have seen them on the streets of Philadelphia.
UPS is also a leader in recycling.  In addition to paper they recycle batteries and e-waste; which is fast becoming a problem due to the rapid rate of obsolescence of computers and cell phones. e-waste contains significant toxins including lead.

" ... "e-waste" ... a significant global problem. ...  UPS recycled 27,753 pounds of batteries in 2008.  This included nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium iron,  ... implemented its own e-waste recycling program ...  has recycled more than 24.5 million pounds of electronic equipment."


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Philadelphia's Bourse Building Goes Solar !

Philadelphia's Bourse building is both historic and modern ... it was Philadelphia's first exchange and now has gone Solar.

The old Bourse Building on Independence Mall East has solar panels with mountiug systems from SolarDock of Wilmington, Delaware.  These roof panels are designed to not impact the integrity of the roof of the historic building.

Solar Panels on the 
Bourse building
" ... SolarDock system for mounting the panels without any penetration of the roof surface ... "

This allows mounting in locations where there is concern about leaks in the roof or a roof warranty that does not allow for through roof mounts.

Via:  Delaware Business Blog LINK

Monday, July 12, 2010

PenPack Plastic Packaging: Recycled Materials Made with Solar Energy

I noticed the apples at my local Costco were packaged in plastic containers to keep the apples from bruising.  What really intrigued me was the information on the plastic containers.  Made by Peninsula Packaging of California ... they are:

- made from 70% recycled drink bottles
- made with 50% energy from the sun

" ... as much as 70 percent recycled ... are themselves recyclable ..."

" ... 10-acre photovoltaic "sun farm" generates 1.1 megawatts ... produces about one-percent of all of California's solar generated power."

Via:  PenPack  LINK

Sunday, July 11, 2010

IBM's Water Cooled Aquasar Technology Reduces Carbon Footprint

IBM has developed a water cooled supercomputer that uses the extracted heat to heat a building.  Normally A/C is needed to remove the excess heat to prevent damage to computer systems.

The A/C to remove heat can use almost as much or more energy than that used to power the computers ... resulting in lots of wasted energy and extra carbon footprint  What a waste !!Aquasar - Graphic from TechRepublic

" ... Aquasar, consumes up to 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine. ... carbon footprint is reduced by up to 85 percent."

" ... micro-channel liquid coolers which are attached directly to the processors, where most heat is generated. ..."


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Energy from the Seas from Pelamis Wave Power

Pelamis Wave 
Power system "...  potential to be one of the most environmentally benign forms of electricity generation ... wave energy around the British Isles ... estimated to be equivalent to three times current UK electricity demand, ..."

The oceans and the power of the waves and tides waves might be the source of your electricity someday.  Systems that can convert the constant undulation of the waves into energy can harness  what seems like an unlimited renewable energy source.

Pelamis  are minimally impactful ... their visual impact is small as they are half submerged so are not nearly as visibly on the horizon as wind turbines.  They appear to have minimal impact on marine life as well and can be removed much easier than a wind turbine.
They currently have installations undergoing tests in Portugal and Scotland. 

 Pelamis has their HQ in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Via:  Pelamis Wave Power  LINK