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.