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Going Green: Who’s In, Who’s Out

By Loretta White
May 18, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Climate Change, Energy Sources, Green Economy, Solar Energy


There is a huge transition to “going green” across the planet lately. Corporations looking to get on the green band wagon to; save money, get buyers loyalty, and get tax incentives have all lined up and started to do their part.

In this series I will focus on individual companies and projects that we as “green people” would like to know about and support. After all, if you had a choice between a green company and a “I don’t care about the environment” company, all else being equal, what would you pick?

I for one would rather support the company that has a “sustainability policy,” or a local small business apposed to a huge monopoly just because these are the players that cement our lives, add value to our communities and care about the consequences of their decisions and ultimately, they have to live here too! …read more of Going Green: Who’s In, Who’s Out here

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My New Smart Meter

By Ted Nelson
May 3, 2009
File under: Electric Sources, Green Economy, Waste Reduction


This week I was able to see the green revolution at work, when my electricity provider–San Diego Gas & Electric–installed a smart meter on my home (some info on their smart meter program from SDG&E).

The smart meter will be the ground soldier of the smart grid, allowing both utilities and consumers to track demand from individual homes and businesses in real time. Critics remain skeptical about the cost of installing smart meters across the US, but the benefits we are going to see will prove well worth the cost.

Eventually, my smart meter will allow me to monitor my electricity usage online, but this feature will not be available to SDG&E customers until later in the year. Until then the meter’s main benefit is that SDG&E can monitor my demand and identify problems (basically, not much).

Once I can track my usage and the current price of electricity in real time, however, the system will allow me to level off my demand–moving away from peak demand hours when prices are highest–and encourage me to reduce my overall demand. …read more of My New Smart Meter here

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Biodegradable Plastic

By Christie Nash
April 27, 2009
File under: Waste Reduction


These days it is hard to imagine life without plastic. Our food is wrapped in it, the products we buy are packaged in it, many household products are made of it. As hard as we may try, plastic is ubiquitous and hard to avoid.

Despite the fact that most plastics can be recycled these days, a 2003 study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),reported that of the 11.9 million tons of plastic packaging in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream, only 1.06 million tons (or approximately 8.9 percent) were actually recycled.

Non-recycled plastic in our landfill causes harmful consequences for our soil, air, and water. Furthermore, there is controversy about the presence of toxic chemicals in plastic and about the use of non-renewable resources to create plastic (i.e. petroleum).

As a result, new and innovative ways of creating more environmentally-friendly packaging are now emerging. This new type of plastic can be referred to as “bioplastic.” …read more of Biodegradable Plastic here

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An Earth Day Celebration

By B. Adrian White
April 21, 2009
File under: Climate Change, Earth Day, Natural Resources


It is Earth Day, 2009 folks. If my math is correct, this is the 39th year that we have been observing this day.

The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. “The Partridge Family” was asking the world if they were happy. “Jesus Christ Superstar” was trying to figure out “what’s the buzz”. “Love Story” was driving tissue sales through the roof (this is not necessarily a fact but I am thinking it must have been true). And less than one year earlier in Cleveland, Ohio the Cuyahoga River had spontaneously combusted.

Lake Erie was on the verge of being sterilized by the impossibly large amount of pollution floating in its waters. The bald eagle was on the edge of extinction, not necessarily because of excessive hunting or even habitat destruction but largely because of a pesticide, DDT. Sickness and deaths in major cities like New York and Los Angeles were linked directly to air pollution. The planet was in bad shape. So how far have we come since that first Earth Day? I found myself wanting to know if we are making a difference so I did some looking. …read more of An Earth Day Celebration here

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Eat Local and Walk/Ride for 1 day

By Eytan Krasilovsky
April 21, 2009
File under: Energy Sources, Natural Resources, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction


Prepare for Earth Day:
1.Eat local food.
2.Get your sneakers ready.
3.Pump up your bicycle tires.

Renewable energy is once again (since the 70s) part of the national energy agenda in a substantive way. There are a multitude of homeowner options from simple conservation to selling your excess renewable power back to the grid. Businesses can purchase from renewable sources, or even save money and “go green” like Google or Sierra Nevada Brewing.

While the ethanol biofuels you purchase today at the pump likely use more carbon that straight diesel or gas, and steal acres from food production …read more of Eat Local and Walk/Ride for 1 day here

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