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Trees Give Many Gifts

By Loretta White
April 20, 2009
File under: Climate Change, Earth Day, Natural Resources, Saving money, Waste Reduction


Causes More Rain to Fall
Rainwater is absorbed by the roots of trees and transpired by leaves so that it can cycle back for use again as rainwater. Rain waters crops and refills drinking water supplies in reservoirs.

Just to see the way things are so highly connected and interlaced with each other, lets follow the wind. The sun’s heat drives the winds, then, the winds and the sun’s heat causes water to evaporate. When this water vapor turns into rain or snow and flows downhill into rivers or streams.

Trees Improve the Soil

The roots of plants hold soil in place. Fertile soil that is needed to grow crops would otherwise be washed away in rainstorms, decreasing the amount of soil available for agriculture. Rich soil transfers nutrients to food, which contributes to human health.

Fallen leaves and branches, by decaying, replace minerals in the soil and enrich it to support later plant growth. Roots also aerate the ground by helping air get beneath the soil surface. …read more of Trees Give Many Gifts here

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Why Trees and Vegetation Are Important

By Loretta White
April 17, 2009
File under: Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Green Economy, Waste Reduction


Over the past 15 years working and communicating with people globally, I have noticed a pattern; where trees are cut down and land has been cleared, erosion and drought soon follow.

I remember talking to a woman in Kansas where the area was in the midst of another major drought. Mother Nature was not conforming to “modern farming”. When it did rain, the soil was washed away due to the lack of vegetation. My first thought was “Why did they cut all the trees down and reshape the plains?”

A simple solution is to plant some trees and other vegetation to hold the soil before it becomes barren. Encourage Mother Nature to re-boot herself.

Its not rocket science; trees are the key to maintaining life. They keep the heat island effect down, retain ground water, create oxygen, and evaporate water into the atmosphere. Most importantly, they remove tons of carbon dioxide from the air. …read more of Why Trees and Vegetation Are Important here

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Renewable Energy From Your Local Utility

By Tracy Crawford
April 13, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Electric Sources, Energy Sources, Heating Sources, Solar Energy


Apartment dwellers and other renters may wish to take advantage of such renewable energy sources as solar and wind to power their homes, but feel unable to do so since they can’t make permanent changes to their homes.

What they may not know is that many utility companies across the country allow subscribers to purchase renewable power through their existing electric service.

These programs allow household customers to purchase alternative energy for an extra fee added to their monthly utility bill. Businesses may also purchase renewable energy for an additional monthly fee.

These fees are not at all prohibitive and can be purchased in increments of 25%, 50%, or 100% of energy coming from renewable sources with fees starting as low as $3 per month.

This monthly contribution covers the added expense of harvesting renewable energy. And of course you won’t have to buy any special equipment or make any lifestyle changes by enrolling in one of these programs.

And is this extra cost tax deductible as it currently is for homeowners to solarize their homes? Sadly, no. This contribution is considered a more expensive product and service and not an actual donation.

While you won’t be able to say that your home runs entirely on renewable energy, enrolling in one these programs creates demand for renewable energy and this is definitely a benefit. We’re using more renewable resources and creating more jobs in the renewable energy sector.

When you enroll in a renewable energy program, utilities use your contribution and estimate how much power is used by the community, how many of these households contribute to the renewable energy sources, and then they add more power from the wind and solar sources to the pool of electricity they use depending on how many users have contributed to the program.

If more people subscribe to the renewable energy programs, the utilities will purchase more of the power they use from renewable energy sources.

Eventually renewable energy won’t be a more expensive option. It will be cleaner and cheaper to access than it does to make and use conventional energy sources. And it will always be available for use.

So check your local energy companies for alternative energy programs and enroll in one for Earth Day!

Click here to learn more about the Cap and Trade system.

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Here Comes the Sun: Solar Panels for the Home

By Cherl Petso
April 6, 2009
File under: Solar Energy


As spring has fully sprung, we are blessed with longer days and more sun, which brings to mind an image of a house humming with the power of solar panels.

With all that sun, we’ve got to do something with it, right?  The good news is solar panels are becoming more popular and more affordable.

Solar panels, or cells, are photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity.  The photovoltaic cells are made of a semi-conductor material, such as silicon. When the sunlight strikes, the energy is partially absorbed into …read more of Here Comes the Sun: Solar Panels for the Home here

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Creating Energy on the Farm

By Tracy Crawford
April 2, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Energy Sources, Waste Reduction


The Renewable Energy Summit was held in Milwaukee the last week in March. It was nice to see a mix of people that included students, business owners, and of course, out-of-work professionals interested in network and exploring the green industry possibilities.

Everyone was interested in learning what hot renewable energy innovations and technologies are out there today.

Attendees learned that solar energy provides the latest in innovation, with wind far behind when it comes to private and residential services. It’s just too costly for an individual homeowner to have a wind turbine by their home, not to mention zoning and neighbor issues.

But here in the Midwest, people are very excited about biofuels. With large dairy farms in abundance in Wisconsin, there is a lot of research and innovation going into using cow manure to produce energy. …read more of Creating Energy on the Farm here

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