Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Arts Factory in Las Vegas Goes Green for First Friday!

If you live 150 miles of Las Vegas, don't miss this First Friday! Downtown’s monthly art festival is going green January 2, 2009 with the addition of the G3reen Outlet inside of the Arts Factory on West Charleston, between Main Street and Casino Center Drive.
The G3reen Outlet is designed as an eco gallery, store and resource center focused on green living solutions. Among the displays, Pulte DelWebb Homes will feature their new community, Villa Trieste, the first LEED certified and Solar Community in Nevada. Other participating partners include Liquid Stucco, Everything Electric, and a variety of artists, designers, and green product suppliers. The event is free to attend.
See more details and RSVP on Project ecoBrand.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What do you predict for 2009?

1) In 2007 the CFL was king, and in 2008 the canvas bag was all the rage. What do you predict to be the new green trend for 2009?

2) Coal defined the 19th century, and oil the 20th. What will be the defining energy source of the 21st century?

3) Gas prices reached heights not seen in a generation in 2008, but ended up cheaper than at any time in years ... What do you expect in 2009?

4) Al Gore might have started the "new green revolution" in 2007, and 2008 was all about the little things the masses could do to help. Who will be the big green change makers in 2009?

5) Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt were the eco-celebrities everyone was talking about in 2007 and 2008. Who do you predict to be THE eco-celebrity of 2009?

6) What other green trends do you expect we’ll be buzzing about in 2009?

Respond at and see what others are predicting.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Is there such a thing as clean coal?

Look at your power bill and you can see that a signicant portion of your power is supplied from coal. And the coal industry has spent between $35 million and $45 million on advertising in 2008 - most of it on television ads aired during the 2008 campaigns - pitching "clean coal" as a new environmentally friendly fuel. Conversely, other groups have spent tens of millions of television ad dollars in a fight over carbon emissions and the existence of "clean coal."

The concept of "clean coal" is somewhat ambigious. It seems that the clean coal the industry is referring to is made from technology called carbon sequestration, which is 10-15 years from being built for American plants. "Clean coal" supporters say the fact that carbon sequestering technology is not market-ready nationally is not in dispute, and that the environmentalists have put words in their mouths. Other techniques for reducing carbon emissions include chemically washing coal or capturing and storing emissions - both of which create other environmental problems.

"The industry is stepping up to help with carbon reduction, that includes educating the public about why investing in new technologies is very important," said Joe Lucas, senior vice president for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy, a group of 48 coal companies and power plants.

But others cry foul. "The hypocrisy comes in when you look at what they're actually doing," said Dan Weiss who co-authored the study on how much the coal industry has spent advertising. Mr. Weiss estimates that for every $17 members of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy earned in profits in 2007, they spent $1 on researching carbon reduction technologies. "They spend very little in research and spend a lot of money in trying to convince people not to make them do anything."

Former Vice President Al Gore launched a counter-attack earlier this month, buying advertising disputing industry claims that "clean" coal exists. In addition, the Reality Coalition launched a second television ad Monday, featuring a parody of a coal executive smelling a lump of "clean coal," which leaves a black smudge on his nose.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A few of my favorite things...

Go green with your USB stick by using an actual stick! Made from sticks picked up in the woods and handmade into USB flash drives, OOOMS have handcrafted these in 1, 2 and 4 GB options.

How about a shoulder bag made from soda bottles?

The whole thing is almost entirely made from recycled materials, including recycled webbing, mesh and buckles.
Room for your own water bottle, optional waist belt and lots of pockets and compartments make this the perfect eco-trekker!
Available at REI and on sale right now at their online store.

$200 Million in DOE grants for biofuel

Hoping to reduce emissions and ultimately increase its energy supply security and wean the country off dependence on energy imports, the Department of Energy (DOE) will award as much as $200 million in grants to 5-12 projects over the next six years for advanced biofuel refineries. The new national renewable-fuels mandate requires US production of 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022 - 21 billion, including advanced fuels such as cellulosic ethanols, bio-butanol, and “green gasoline.” Additional government support is expected under President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for energy secretary, Steven Chu - a strong proponent of cellulosic ethanol.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"...and in the far corner..."

It's a fight! Continental Products has challenged GP Plastics and the claim that their "PolyGreen" plastic newspaper bags are "100% oxo-biodegradable," are "disposable through ordinary channels," are "environmentally-friendly" and are "completely recyclable."

Calling upon the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Businees Bureaus to referree, the NAD ruled that there was a lack of scientific evidence that the bags break down quickly or completely when thrown away in landfills or that they are compatible with typical recycling streams. NAD was also concerned that consumers are not aware of what oxo-biodegradable means, writing in an announcement that "NAD observed there was no evidence in the record that consumers understood 'oxo-biodegradable' to have different meaning, or a different impact on the environment, than products that are 'biodegradable.'"

Oxo-biodegradation is the process of a plastic breaking down when exposed to heat and oxygen, eventually leaving carbon dioxide, water and biomass when further broken down by natural microorganisms. An additive is infused in plastics to make them oxo-biodegradable, and in an interview earlier this year, GP Plastics' CFO Mike Skinner said that the bags could degrade in two or three years in landfills, depending on conditions.

Challenging the decision, GP Plastics plans to appeal. Stay tuned for Round Two!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It pays to go green! How about $1.4 million?

California's Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) awarded a company called NetApp a $1.4 million rebate from the Non-Residential New Construction Program that gives rebates to PG&E's customers who use energy-efficient building design and construction. NetApp, a storage and data management provider, received the check for the work it did when designing and building its new Sunnyvale engineering data center.
NetApp stressed power efficiency and reduced cooling needs through techniques such as environmentally friendly flywheel uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, energy-efficient transformers, outside air economizers, and a variable primary chiller plant. In addition to the rebate check, PG&E says NetApp will save more than 11,100,000 kilowatt-hours annually, which equates to a savings of more than $1,178,000 a year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Going Green in a recession

With the economic crisis, the green movement has been slowing down due to tightening cash flows. But Andrew Winston said in his Leading Green blog that “delaying action on sustainability plans may be the absolute wrong thing to do for your business. The economic recession won't stem the tide of the Green Wave." One of the main points of going green is to be more efficient and effective with resources, which can reduce costs.
Here are four of Andrew's going green strategies in an uncertain economy:
1. Cut waste - Waste reductions can free up cash while generating environmental benefits. Wal-Mart is calling on suppliers to reduce packaging by 5 percent in the next five years and estimates that this could save $3 billion in transportation costs through 2013. Wal-Mart suppliers are also expected to save $8 billion from reduced material and transportation costs. Verizon recently moved more than 3 million customers to paperless billing and saved $8 million in paper and administrative costs. It also saved another $2.7 million by moving its payroll, training, and HR systems online.
2. Invest in efficiency - The McKinsey Global Institute recently published a report that says economic uncertainty can drive more investment in energy efficiency because efficiency costs less than meeting demand through new supplies.
3. Design highly efficient products and processes - More efficient systems require less money than traditional systems, and that’s always a good thing during a financial crisis.
4. Spend time rather than money - During a downturn, companies may have more time to plan and think ideas through, as well as including participants all along the value chain. This way, companies can avoid difficulties and do-overs that cause costs to escalate.

Monday, November 24, 2008

London Releases Sustainable Development Strategy for 2012 Olympics

London 2012’s Olympic Committee is planning a wind turbine in the Olympic Park to provide renewable energy for the 2012 Games. The turbine will provide enough power for the equivalent of 1,200 homes over an average year and will remain in place to provide energy for the local community after the Games, serving as a ‘green beacon’. It will work alongside other planned renewable energy resources including solar panels and a combined cooling and heating plant.

The Olympic Committee has also published (online only – no paper) a sustainable development guide (PDF) for suppliers and licensees to follow to ensure they are environmentally sound and non-toxic, socially responsible and ethically produced with regards to animal testing and prevailing wages, as energy-efficent in the manufacturing and supply process as possible and maximizing recycled content while reducing packaging where possible.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Volkswagon wins Green Car of the Year

Volkswagen’s 2009 Jetta TDI became the first-ever clean diesel to win Green Car of the Year, besting two hybrids, a gasoline microcar, and a clean diesel sports sedan.

Selecting the 2009 Green Car of the Year® was a jury including four Green Car Journal editors, automotive icon Carroll Shelby, auto expert and ‘Tonight Show’ host Jay Leno, Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, Natural Resources Defense Council president Frances Beinecke, and Ocean Futures Society president Jean-Michel Cousteau.

With 41 mpg and greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the clean diesel Jetta TDI pulls numbers typically achieved by only the most efficient gasoline-electric hybrids. Matching this efficiency is affordability, with a $21,990 price tag.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

$75,000 Prize Offered for Carbon-Busting Innovations

Have you got a great idea to tackle climate change? Forum for the Future has just launched a global hunt for the best innovations to create a low-carbon economy with a $75,000 prize to help bring the best idea to market. In an effort to overcome the barriers that can prevent great ideas delivering their full potential (like lack of funding and visibility to potential investors), FTF has teamed up with the Financial Times and Hewlett Packard to create this Climate Change Challenge. Targeting small organizations and individuals, Forum for the Future is looking for ideas that are below the radar and can be taken to scale quickly. The ideas can be anything from technical advances in reducing emissions to social innovations helping people become more resilient to climate change. The winner will receive a $75,000 prize, sponsored by HP, to develop their idea.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is NASCAR going green?

No, but the pace car is. At the NASCAR season finale Ford 400 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway November 16, a Ford Fusion Hybrid will pace the field. The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid features the debut of Ford's next-generation hybrid system, and will be in NASCAR-inspired camouflage for the race. The car won't be officially unveiled until the Los Angeles International Auto Show November 19th.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Doug Pelmear's 100mpge Mustang!

Doug Pelmear drove his 1987 Ford Mustang to the 2008 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The 4,000 mile trip from Toledo, OH is only expected to cost Pelmear $200 in gas in a car that gets 110 miles per gallon.

Pelmear and Rocket Ventures created this vehicle to enter into the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition, with prizes of ten million dollars awarded to teams that win in production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe. The competition is designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices. Pelmear's Mustang has a HP2g™ engine that runs on E85, which is a green, alcohol-based fuel, significantly reducing green house gas emissions.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Solar may be coming your way!

Congress extended the federal tax incentives for solar energy for another eight years, hoping to stimulate growth in the industry. With the current economic crises' and Americans looking to reduce their energy bills, the increase in interest in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is expected to drop the price of the PV panels (by far the biggest expense) by 10 percent to 25 percent in the next year. In addition, companies from around the globe are testing technology that allows utility-scale solar thermal power plants to store the heat of the sun in molten salts so they can release it in a controlled manner for electricity production. United Technologies is teaming with US Renewables Group to commercialize a solar-power plant that will use this molten salt system for steam turbine power generation.
The company says plants using this method will be able to generate as much as 500 megawatts of peak power or run continuously at 50 megawatts. One megawatt is enough power to supply about 1,000 U.S. households.

Green Marketing

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spending lots of green on green ads equals more green

The Consumers, Brands and Climate Change 2008 report (PDF), confirms that those companies who invested heavily in ad campaigns about their involvement in reducing their carbon footprint, reaped financial returns. The research explores trends in consumer attitudes and buying behaviors to brands on climate change. For seven years, British Petroleum invested heavily in its “Beyond Petroleum” campaign. BP said that from 2000-2007, its brand awareness went from 4 percent to 67 percent and sales grew from $192 billion in 2004 to $266 billion by 2006.

Around 44% of people said they would definitely consider buying products or services from one retailer after reading its favorably green corporate stance. A favorable news story about that in the media pushed up the number of people who would consider buying products by 6 percentage points.

When presented with a clear choice, consumers tend to be more motivated by practical solutions that enable them to cut their individual carbon footprints (such as renewable energy, energy efficient light bulbs, “green” bank accounts, fuel efficient cars, appliances with automatic switch-off) over corporate statements and labels such as “carbon-neutral.”

Two-thirds of U.S. consumers (65 per cent) were unable to name a brand leading on the climate change issue, confirming that there is significant opportunity for brand leadership and connection with consumers on climate change. In addition, the research showed people look to mainstream brands–not niche green specialists–for climate solutions.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Contessa manufactures green cuisine

Making "green cuisine", the Contessa Manufacturing Plant in California is the world's first and largest environmentally responsible, LEED-certified frozen-food manufacturing plant.

"Until now, the USGBC has never LEED-certified a frozen-food manufacturing facility," said John Z. Blazevich, president and chief executive of Contessa. "As a leader in our industry, we didn't wait for environmental standards to be established. Instead, we collaborated with LEED and decided to raise the bar for the entire industry and to do the right thing for the long-term sustainability of our environment."

Company officials say they use advanced design and technology to reduce Contessa's environmental impact, such as a water preheating system that saves energy by redirecting the heat used in refrigeration coils to the plant's boilers. In addition, a variable frequency drive adjusts the amount of power supplied to motors at specific times or under specific conditions to minimize energy use and an innovative loading dock prevents the loss of refrigerated air, reducing temperature fluctuation and energy use.

The new $35 million plant is expected to produce up to 150 million pounds of food products per year and at the same time reduce its energy use and emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by 65 percent, according a company statement.

In addition to energy savings, Contessa is committed to 'going green' by incorporating recycling in their operations and procedures, using aquaculture and probiotics in their shrimp procurement and contributing to the awareness of turtle-safe fishing practices.

"I am thrilled to be celebrating the commitment of these companies to reducing their carbon footprints,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "They are examples that going green is not only good for the environment but also for business.

Going Green animation

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fuel efficient hot rod!

Doug Pelmear, a Toledo, Ohio-area mechanic, is driving his 80-110 miles per gallon 1987 Ford Mustang to the SEMA show in Las Vegas this year. Perfecting an engine conceived by his grandfather, Doug and his team will document fuel mileage and performance along the 4,000 mile round trip. Pelmear claims that the Mustang produces 400hp and 500lb-ft of torque and accelerates from 0-60mph in 3 seconds with a top speed of 180mph.

Afterward, the Mustang will be entered into the Automotive X-competition in 2009, a race where inventors from around the world compete for the best mileage and the most marketable technology.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


General Motors executives voted to cancel plans to develop the next generation of the full-size sport utility vehicle, essentially erecting a R.I.P. headstone on the SUV market. According to the New York Times, "...the era of the big S.U.V. was ... done in by soaring gasoline prices and consumers fleeing to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars."

Earning an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 on every SUV it sold, GM lived off and even accelerated development of trucks and SUV's to offset shrinking passenger car revenues. But this year, sales have tumbled more than 30 percent this year and have been in decline since 2004.

All of the Big Three have had to close plants and lay off thousands of workers. "In the second quarter alone, G.M. took $1.3 billion in write-offs to reflect the drop in the value of trucks and S.U.V.’s coming off lease. Overdependence on big S.U.V.’s has also hit Ford and Chrysler hard, but, as the biggest producer, G.M. had the most to lose," according to the New York Times.

"Analysts see little point now in second-guessing G.M.’s huge commitment to the S.U.V. market when gas was cheap and Americans bought the vehicles in droves. ...Yet by focusing so heavily on bigger products for so many years, G.M. put off investing in cars that consumers want now. The company is also struggling to dismantle the truck-making infrastructure it had so diligently erected."

G.M. still expects to sell some SUV's, but not nearly as many. Instead, they will make an effort to catch up in the small-car and hybrid arenas.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hotel Goes Green With 100% Wind Energy

In a Green Power Partnership with the EPA, the Legacy Hotel & Meeting Centre is proud to be powered 100% by wind energy - bringing their carbon footprint to zero for energy consumption. Hotel guests can further offset the carbon footprint of their stay supporting the hotel’s new Turn On™ program by purchasing an eco-friendly t-shirt logoed with the hotel’s campaign slogan “I Got Turned On At The Legacy!” and by signing up to have their entire room energy turned off during their absence and turned back on 30 minutes prior to their return. The hotel converted its cleaning products and detergents to organic, biodegradable solutions, and offers recycling baskets in each of its 162 guest rooms.
"We are proud of our commitment to both traditional hospitality and contemporary environmental responsibility," says Eric Siegel, ExecutiveVice President of Cohen Companies, the owner group of The Legacy Hotel & Meeting Centre. "We are introducing our 100% recycling policy and hope that our guests will join our efforts to greening their stay."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Save money with this cool new rain barrel

During these tough economic times, everyone is looking to save money. Coincidently, saving money can also be good for the environment! There are three main ways how we can live more green: reduce, re-use, and recycle. A rain barrel does all three!

A rain barrel not only conserves water and saves money, but the ones offered at are aesthetically appealing and durable.

According to a manufacturers spokesperson, Walat Yasin, "...[some] rain barrels are ugly. The concept behind this new product has been to develop a rain barrel that homeowners could proudly display, like a piece of furniture.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

California Company Installs Largest Corporate Solar Power System

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dedicated a 2 megawatt solar power system at Applied Materials’ campus in Sunnyvale, California earlier this month.

The company is touting the solar system as one of the largest corporate solar power installations in the U.S., incorporating more than 7,000 wafer-based solar panels and capable of generating approximately 2 megawatts of power annually, the equivalent of powering 1,400 homes.

The parking lot-mounted system tracks the sun to increase the efficiency of the panels while also serving as shade for several hundred employee cars, and is "a great hedge against future energy cost increases,” said Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials.

In addition, the company recently announced that it would purchase 8,220,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually from wind and solar generation sources in California.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Green Diesel?!

Peterbilt Motor Company introduced a hybrid diesel good for around-town driving.
“With higher fuel costs and growing concerns with the global carbon footprint, Peterbilt is at the forefront in the development of green technologies that help the environment by providing greater fuel savings and reducing emissions,” says Bill Jackson, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President.
By reducing overall fuel use from 30% - 60%, the new technology is the perfect way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint without significant and potentially costly new procedures. In fact, the hybrid will save money in fuel costs immediately!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Solar Halloween Lights!

Use NO electricity with these solar-powered LED lights!

The solar panel charges in the sun all day, then the lights light up automatically at dusk, and last for up to eight hours.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are long-lasting (these are 100,000-hour lights) and safe, unlike CFL's that contain toxic mercury.
Since they are also low voltage, there is no risk of electrocution, and their low temperature eliminates the risk of fire and burns, making them very child and pet-friendly!
Now that is Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SEMA's going green!

The SEMA Show is almost here! SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association and is the show is THE premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center every year, it is the pinnacle of industry leaders, innovative products and automotive engineers in one place. Last year, the SEMA Show drew over 60,000 domestic and international buyers through two million square feet of exhibits, educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, and networking opportunities.

This year there will be a "Making Green Cool Zone" featuring creativity and innovation in the development, deployment and marketing of the green vehicle technologies! Green can also be cool! To be green in SEMA's zone, the company has to be aligned with one or more of the following categories:
o High-Performance and Green Mobility
o Current Powertrain Solutions
o Future Powertrain Solutions
o Vehicle Energy Management
o Mobile Electronics for Green Mobility
o Green Wheels Tires and Suspensions
o Fast Tracking 35 MPG
o Making Green Cool
o Marketing Green Solutions

Glad to see the automotive industry going green!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Go fly a kite!

A large kite installed on a merchant ship is expected to save shipping fuel costs by up to 20% and do its part for the environment.

The kite will cost pay for itself after about three years.

Use of the computer-controlled kite to assist the ship's diesel engines is expected to save 20-30% on fuel costs (or $1600 per day) over the course of the month-long transport.

"The shipping industry emits 800 million tonnes of CO2 now and that will rise to over 1 billion tonnes in five years," says Niels Stolberg, a SkySails company rep.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Porsche and Corvette win ALMS Green Challenge

Audi might have won the overall Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) over the weekend, but a Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder won the Green Challenge’s prototype class and a Chevrolet Corvette took the Green Challenge GT category. The Porsche and Corvette each had the best scores in class for overall performance, fuel efficiency (petroleum displaced) and environmental impact (greenhouse gas emissions) in the 1,000-mile race.
The Green Challenge was created in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International, the world’s leading automotive engineering organization.
“We have begun something that will have a profound effect on the motor sports and automotive industry,” said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the ALMS. “When you get the type of support we have had from the highest levels of the EPA and DOE, you know that you are involved in something that can really make a difference. Fuel efficiency and energy independence are two of the most relevant topics we all face today and the American Le Mans Series is prepared to lead the way.”
Look for a possible electric hybrid prototype at the season finale on Oct. 18 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Green Racing?!

Oh yeahhhhh! Sign me up! The Petit Le Mans this weekend will feature a Green Challenge(TM) race within a race, with awards going to green racecars in overall performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Scott Atherton, the President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series, intends to be the Global Leader in Green Racing.

"We want to be the leading and most recognized sports and entertainment property for relevant environment concerns, ideas and practices," said Atherton.

The American Le Mans Series is the first and only race series to meet the criteria and protocols for green racing set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International. Those protocols are primarily focused on alternative fuel and the Series is the only motorsports body in the world that features multiple street-legal alternative fuel sources - clean diesel, E10 gasoline and E85 cellulosic (non-feedstock) ethanol.

E85 cellulosic ethanol is different from the E85 we buy at the pump, however. Pump E85 is a blend of grain ethanol and gasoline, whereas cellulosic ethanol is produced from biomass such as wood waste, switchgrass or citrus.

The American Le Mans Series features technical rules that not only allow new technology, but actually encourage auto manufacturers to introduce new innovations into the racing environment. I can't wait to see what else they come up with!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Avoid being greenwashed!

Spending green going green? Confused about what 'green' means? You are not alone! Polls show that confusion is one of the top reasons why shoppers don't buy more eco-friendly products. To avoid being 'greenwashed', and have developed standards to help us wade through the raw compost pile of products and find the fertile ground of green. Both websites help find and compare products that are green certified, use materials or ingredients that are ecologically responsible in nature, or recommend merchants who are who offering products that reduce our carbon footprint (like reusable bottles and low-flow fixtures).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Going Green Magazine Launches!

A new magazine called Boho hit the newsstands with its October issue, focused on green fashion and beauty. Featuring articles on home, lifestyle and strong green women, Boho aims to elevate the look of green fashion by spinning runway advice with a green spin. Gina La Morte, Boho's founder and editor in chief, wants her readers to accept that their love of clothes and passion for the environment don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Boho is published by Seed Media and uses 100% recycled paper, packaging, soy inks and an uncoated, non-glossy cover.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What is your carbon footprint?

What is your carbon footprint? Huh, you ask? What is a carbon footprint and why should I care?

  • What - Carbon footprint is a measure of the greenhouse gases we individually produce in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc.
  • Why care - Two reasons: 1) Fossil fuels are limited - they are being used faster than they are formed (formation takes millions of years!), so they are referred to as non-renewable. 2) The rate we are burning fossil fuels is twice the rate that natural processes can only absorb, resulting in a net increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming. (Why care about global warming, you ask? That's another discussion....)
So, how do you figure out what your carbon footprint is and how to reduce it? Being a database techie geek, I found three notable website calculators, ranked by my preference:
Easy to navigate. Definite cool factor.
Easy, big buttons.
Clumsy, but good tips.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Squeaky Green!

I love this company! It is called Method. Their first book is titled: Squeaky Green: The Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home. These guys have great marketing, as I see them all over the place! The Nest, HSN, SmartPlanet, and so on. I love that they take a stand - give their opinion, rather than try to please everyone. For example, they oppose animal testing...and say it.
Here a sample from an article they contributed to for The Nest magazine:
  • Today: Unplug any electronics that you're not using. Leaving them plugged in - yes, even if they are turned off - wastes lots of energy and ups your monthly bill as well.
  • This month: Buy a vacuum that sucks...dust particles, that is. It needs a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to collect and trap dust.
  • This year: If you're painting, shop around for no-VOC and low-VOC formulas. Most paints have VOC's, such as formaldehyde.

To get the book, I'd recommend going to because it comes as a set with a tote bag.

And check out their YouTube video about the book:

Hybrid-Electric Supercar

Gumpert entered a hybrid version of its supercar, the Apollo, in the Nurburgring 24-Hour race. It has a 3.3-liter V8 with around 630-HP, in addition to a 100kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Says Formula 1 champion Heinz-Harald Frentzen, "I see a chance that our sport will go back to the forefront of technical development, making cars outside of the racetrack much more energy efficient." MORE

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2 Million Jobs in 2 Years, if Congress Opts for Green Stimulus

Dollar for Dollar, Investing in Green Yields More Jobs Than Either Oil Subsidies or Tax Rebates: Report September 9, 2008 by Dan Shapley
Congress can spend less money than it did on the last economic stimulus package, create more jobs and help stave off catastrophe via climate change. That's the gist of an authoritative new report from U-Mass Amherst and the Center for American Progress.
Green Recovery outlines how to spend $100 billion over two years to create nearly 2 million new jobs. Invest the same money in the oil industry, and you get just 542,00 jobs (and a commitment to more fossil fuel pollution). Invest the same money in tax rebates and you get 1.7 million jobs (and a whole lot more consumption).

The report recommends investing in four priority infrastructure projects:

  • Retrofitting Buildings
  • Mass Transit and Freight Rail
  • Smart Grids
  • Renewable Energy
Because the jobs created by these types of investments — everything from construction and steel workers to civil engineers and chemists — would be distributed wherever there are homes, public buildings, public transportation, and wherever there is wind and sun, the program could create jobs across the entire U.S.
Enough jobs, its authors say, to drive down unemployment from the five-year high of 6.1% to 4.4%!
Read more at:

Green Cash for Going Green!

Interested in installing electricity-generating photovoltaic solar panels on your home or small business? Want to get cash back for doing so? Many state and local agencies offer funding, cash incentives and tax breaks for energy-efficiency efforts. Find out more at:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Biodiesel Mustang racecar!

An eco-hero in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, was piloted by popstar Smudo of Die Fantastischen Vier (think The Beastie Boys, only German). He took to the track in his biodiesel powered Mustang. Yes, we did say biodiesel powered Mustang. For a tree-hugger that's one mean looking car!

Weighing in at just 1,170kg its 260bhp four-cylinder biodiesel engine is enough to give a top speed of around 150mph too. Even the body work is eco friendly, being made of a pioneering bio-composite made up of natural fibres soaked in what are called 'bio-plastics' to create a strong, light and totally recyclable bodywork.

Businesses must now focus on environmental issues

Success Magazine

“From a business point of view, a focus on the environment is no longer optional. Virtually every company and every industry face environmental issues that are business imperatives.”

- Daniel C. Esty, co-author with Andrew S. Winston of Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The EDF launches consumer green website

The Environmental Defense Fund today launched to "help businesses and consumers identify and purchase carbon offsets that represent real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions."
Full story -

Friday, September 12, 2008

Leilani's race to save the planet!

Leilani Munter is an amazing woman and personal friend. Check out her Huffington Post blog at:

Wikia Green!

Wikia Green!
Wikia announced the launch of a new eco-focused wiki featuring everything in the environmental and sustainable universe. Founder Jimmy Wales believes sustainable living will soon be seen as something that is integrated into everything in mainstream society, as opposed to merely a separate category. READ MORE

Monday, September 8, 2008

Be your own power company!

Think about what it would be like to cut your electric bill by harnessing the sun or wind and selling any leftover energy back to the power company! Energy independence isn't just for nations anymore - it's for households like yours and mine! Read more at: