Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Snowflake-shaped photovoltaic cells are being developed by Sandia National Laboratories. Made from crystalline silicon, they use 100 times less material to generate the same amount of electricity as standard solar cells make with solar wafers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Erin Brockovich is Going Green!

GoingGreenTV interviews Erin Brockovich about the MillionBabyCrawl.












Friday, November 13, 2009

Save green by retrofitting green

Retrofitting existing buildings is the quickest and least expensive impact we can have on slowing climate change, according to Tom Zeller Jr. of the New York Times Green Inc. It is also a great way to save money on our energy bills. So where do we start? What can we do to make our homes more energy efficient and better for the environment and our families?

A new website, www.EnergySavvy.com, aims to help homeowners around the country who want to upgrade their homes to energy efficiency but don't know exactly where to start. EnergySavvy connects homeowners that want to make their houses more efficient to pre-screened contractors that can help them do their projects right. It also helps you find the energy rebates and tax incentives that can help you pay for these kind of projects, including low-interest loans.

In fact, if every owner-occupied single-family house in the U.S. redeemed their federal tax credit (just 1 of over 1000 programs nationwide) for home energy efficiency upgrades, it’d be $84 B in government stimulus – 30X the budget of the Cash for Clunkers program!

Now that is saving green by going green!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paper or plastic? Or not?

Paper or plastic? In 1999, 14 million trees were cut down to produce 10 billion paper bags for Americans. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil are used in the production of 1 billion plastic bags. In addition, each year, millions of tax dollars are spent disposing of a recycling plastic and paper bags. Instead, bring a stylish fun reusable bag, like the ones you can find on reusablebagsdepot.com. Better yet, some stores like Target, Whole Foods and CVS, give you discounts when you bring your own bag. If we use one reusable bag for a year, we eliminate the need for 1,000 plastic bags. As Heather would say, "Now that's good to know!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SEMA 2009

They say attendance was down, but you couldn't tell by the enthusiasm in the aisles. Engineers, shop owners, buyers and builders combed the rows of parts, girls, and cars at the 2009 SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, held November 3 - November 6. Excitement carried over to the farthest corner, upstairs in the South Hall to the "Making Green Cool Zone" where eco-innovations, green automotive technology and many of the participants from the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize were on display. The "Revolution through Competition" consists of 43 teams showcasing "design-viable, clean and super-efficient cars that people will want to buy" in hopes of winning $10 million in cash and prizes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Green Vehicle Disposal

Each year in North America, close to 12 million vehicles reach the end of their useful lives and are taken out of service. Ever wonder what happens to them after that? 75% of your old vehicle CAN be recycled and using recycled metal saves up to 74% energy and 40% water consumption. It also reduces air pollution by about 86% and water pollution by 76%.
So how do you make sure your vehicle get recycled?
There is a new company called Green Vehicle Disposal that is dedicated to finding an eco-friendly disposal solution for your vehicle. They may even pay you for it! You can make green by going green! www.greenvehicledisposal.com.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Go Green Girl!

UPDATE 11/9: CONGRATULATIONS FOR FINISHING 2ND!

UPDATE 10/25: CONGRATULATIONS TO LEILANI FOR BEING ONE OF THE TEN FINALISTS IN THE PROJECT GREEN SEARCH GREEN GIRL COMPETITION!

FINAL JUDGING TAKES PLACE IN LOS ANGELES NOVEMBER 6! GOOOOO LEILANI!


Never underestimate a vegetarian hippie chick with a racecar. Meet Leilani Munter. After earning a degree in Biology from UC San Diego, Leilani got the racing bug after doubling for Catherine Zeta Jones in a driving stunt. Capable of success behind the wheel of any type of racecar (she has raced NASCAR and Indy-type cars), Leilani uses the platform of racing to reach thousands of racefans with her environmental awareness message.

Her website, www.carbonfreegirl.com, is a story of her journey to be carbon neutral and "a diary of her lifetime project of sorting through the facts & fiction about alternative fuels, organic food, clean energy, green buildings, solar power, wind farms, composters, recycling, politics & more all while she makes a living driving a race car at 200 mph." Additionally, Leilani hopes her efforts will encourage racing sanctioning bodies to increase their environmental initiatives with expanded recycling programs and the use of alternative fuels.

Leilani is competing to be a Green Girl in the Project Green Search campaign, aimed at inspiring people to align their careers with their environmental, social and humanitarian ethics.

We at GoingGreen.com, endorse Leilani Munter to be the next Project Green Girl. Voting is only through Friday, October 16. To vote for Leilani or to pick your own favorite green girl, go to ProjectGreenSearch.com.

Photo credit: snudgebros.com and Italian Vogue.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One man pushes the carpet industry to go green

The petroleum intensive industry of carpet is going green with the leadership and ambition of Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of Interface, Inc., the world's largest manufacturing of modular carpeting. A pioneer in corporate sustainability, Anderson set an ambitious goal in 1997 of Mission Zero®, a promise to eliminate any negative impact Interface, Inc. may have "on the environment, by the year 2020, through the redesign of processes and products, the pioneering of new technologies, and efforts to reduce or eliminate waste and harmful emissions while increasing the use of renewable materials and sources of energy."

Says Anderson, “If we’re successful, we’ll spend the rest of our days harvesting yester-year’s carpets and other petrochemically derived products, and recycling them into new materials; and converting sunlight into energy; with zero scrap going to the landfill and zero emissions into the ecosystem. And we’ll be doing well … very well … by doing good. That’s the vision.”

Anderson's quest for sustainability doesn't begin and end with Interface, Inc.; he also drives a Prius and built an off-the-grid home. An author of several books, his latest, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, hit the shelves last month.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Treehugger.com's Top Ten Going Green Driving Tips


  1. Limit yourself: The song says, "I can't drive 55", but you really ought to. For every five miles per hour you drive above 55 mph, you lose 10% fuel efficiency, so keep your speed down when you can.
  2. Don't be idle: If you're stopped for more than a minute, shut off your engine. Fuel efficiency savings of up to 19% are possible by being more aware of not letting your engine idle while stopped.
  3. Get the lead out: Do you take off from stoplights like you're drag racing, then hit the brakes at the next one? Accelerating less aggressively and slowing down moderately for stops can increase your fuel efficiency by over 30%.
  4. Go steady: Many traffic lights are timed for efficient traffic flow, and by maintaining a constant speed, you'll hit more green lights in a row.
  5. Go for a cruise: Use your cruise control on the highway to maintain a steady speed and keep yourself from accelerating unnecessarily. An average fuel savings of 10% is possible by just cruising. For mountainous drives, skip the cruise control and accelerate smoothly on the hills, coasting down the other side with minimal fuel.
  6. There's an app for that: Got an iPhone? Install a fuel saving application like MyMPG that lets you know when you're wasting gas.
  7. Streamline your ride: Improving the aerodynamics of your car reduces drag and improves fuel efficiency. Got a roof rack full of gear? Leave it at home and feel the difference.
  8. Hack your fuel efficiency: Change your plugs regularly, keep your engine tuned up, and your filters clean. Empty your car of any extra items you've been hauling around for years to lighten your load.
  9. Jump in the pool: Drive alone, and you're making the gasoline industry very happy. Find a carpool for work commutes, and ask your friends and neighbors to combine errand runs with you.
  10. Gear up: Cars are more fuel efficient in a higher gear, so when you're up to speed, pick the gear with the lowest engine rpm and you'll burn the least amount of gas, while reducing the emissions from your tailpipe.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How much do carbon emissions cost?

Global investors called for strong action to control global warming at the International Investor Forum on Climate Change in New York this week. British economist Lord Nicholas Stern asserted that unmitigated climate change poses a threat to the world economy. Said Stern, "But building a low carbon economy creates opportunity for investment in new technologies that promise to transform our society in the same way as the introduction of electricity or railways did in the past."
A similar theme was echoed at the recent AlwaysOn GoingGreen West conference in San Francisco. Quantifying the cost of a carbon emission seems the most urgent and logic
al step. Once carbon emissions has a cost associated with it (as in the UK), legislature, tar
gets, incentives and goals are much more easily set. From an investor point of view, where there is cost, there is a flow of capital and opportunity.
For example, India's emissions reduction plan calls for 20 gigawatts of electricity to be derived from solar by 2020. As a result, global investors are looking at the opportunity so
lar offers.
Most importantly, by not taking action on climate change and/or investing in sustainable sources of energy, we run the risk of leaving future generations with fewer, maybe none, options for clean air, water and food.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blogging from Going Green West Conference

Cutting-edge greentech CEO's, investors and some of the biggest names in green technologies debated and presented the latest inventions and new opportunities. Highlights include:

Technology New Issue Market is recovering nicely according to David Chen, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley. Solar has better demand source - good investment pick. Biofuels and Energy Efficiency rank high as well. First CleanTech IPO since crash is A123.

Congratulations to BrightSource Energy - the Winner of Always On GoingGreen 100!

R. James Woolsey - Regarding oil - look for fuel efficiency, go electric where possible (hybrids), biomass-based liquid fuels for longer range. Can use existing infrastructure - nice start for a working coalition to move forward.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Spain is Going Green!

If nature, culture, art, tradition and great food weren't enough reasons to go to Spain, now, if you drive an electric vehicle in Spain, parking and charging is FREE. And if you are fortunate enough to live there and own an EV, you will enjoy a 75% tax reduction.
The Spanish government has earmarked $2.2 million for green transportation initiatives, including possibly converting 546 public telephones into EV charging stations. Considering most of these old booths are in located high traffic areas and situated close to the curb, the idea seems to have merit.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crazy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Guiltless Green Home Theater

If you were struggling with your green conscious over whether you should get a home theater or entertainment center, but feeling guilty about the amount of power it would consume, struggle no more! Just get the new Guiltless Green Home Theater, designed by The Home Theater Specialists of America, HTSA, an association of 61 custom home theater designers.

The Guiltless Green Home Theater is powered by four solar panels mounted on the roof that help offset the electricity needs of the theater's Sharp XV-Z15000 DLP projector, a 100-inch Stewart Filmscreen, an Integra DTR-5.9 receiver, the Sharp BD-HP50 Blu-ray player and SpeakerCraft’s AIM 8-1 in-walls, MT-1 in-wall and Bass X10 in-wall subwoofer, Lutron Grafik Eye lighting system and Salamander Designs’ Geneva Twin20 equipment cabinet and Alex theater chairs and is offered for $29,575, complete with the solar panels and installation.

According to HTSA, the solar panels will pay for themselves over four years of energy savings. After that, you’re in the black…and in the green the whole time.

In addition to the long-term savings in energy costs, solar panels can add more value to your home, and a number of rebates and tax incentives exist on a state and federal level. Through 2016, the federal government will offer a 30 percent rebate on the cost of solar panels. For more information about Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency, go to energystar.gov/taxcredits and for your individual state go to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency at dsire.com.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Things that make you go Hmmmm......

In another episode of "Things that make you go hmmmmm...," we struggle to understand the marketing angle of Atlanta Motorsports Park's green initiative. AMP is a private country club with a 2-mile road course and a $100,000 membership fee and is 'going green' with waterless urinals, tankless water heaters, reclaimed water for irrigation, oil and garbage recycling, high-efficiency HVAC, energy-efficient windows and lighting. With an honorable goal to implement the best practices in efficiency and sustainability, AMP is attempting to off-set their gas-guzzling green guilt.
Shouldn't these 'best practices' be standard? And is being responsible most of the time mean it is OK to be a little irresponsible some of the time, like with limited fossil fuel resources?
Driving, racing and appreciating cars are not going to go away, even as fossil-fuel burning vehicles shift to more sustainably-powered vehicles. The more we think green and implement green practices, the better.
But if you are AMP, why the need to tell people how you going green? As Margaret Thatcher put it, "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saving green going green with fuel max tires

Helen and John Taylor broke their own "48 Contiguous U.S. States Fuel Economy Guinness World Record" with an average of 67.9 miles per gallon! Key to the Taylor's success is both their choice of automobile – a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, the 2009 Green Car of the Year – and their specially-designed Goodyear Fuel Max tires. The Taylors suggest that the tires were one of the main ingredients that allowed them to better their previous record of 58 mpg.

The husband and wife's previous record of just over 58 mpg was also recorded in the same 2009 Jetta; the only difference being the Fuel Max tires. Both attempts took three weeks and more than 9,000 miles following a counter-clockwise route that included scheduled stops in Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Illinois, Louisiana and West Virginia. Some of the fuel-maximizing tactics the Taylors employed on the road included actions such as avoiding idling and higher speeds, minimizing vehicle drag and performing regular vehicle maintenance.

Said Helen Taylor, "We hope our record-breaking journey helps educate the driving public that decisions, such as choosing the right tires, using the right fuel and adopting fuel-saving driving techniques, can help anyone save money and fuel, and reduce carbon emissions."

The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tire features a proprietary fuel-saving tread compound that helps reduce energy loss as the tire rolls, so less gas is required to keep the tire rolling. The 4 percent improvement in highway fuel economy delivered by the new Fuel Max tires means, in essence, drivers can save 2,600 miles worth of gas over the life of a set of 4 tires.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bucket trucks go green!

A plug-in hybrid Ford F-550 boom/bucket truck is being used by Southern California Edison electric company as part of a test to see if the technology can be applied to large commercial applications. The plug-in delivers approximately 70% more fuel economy (and emissions reductions) and uses the electrical system to power the auxiliary systems, such as the boom, when the truck is stopped at work sites, instead of leaving the engine running.
The Eaton Corporation is spearheading this program and also offers assistance to diesel truck fleet owners who want to purchase a hybrid apply for the 25% grant offered under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
$45.5 million in grant funds were recently approved to produce 378 additional trucks in the largest commercial plug-in hybrid deal struck to date.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blogging from the National Clean Energy Summit

Al Gore is very passionate about America getting off our foreign oil dependency. He claims it is a national security measure. Some of the speakers at the National Clean Energy Summit being held right now at UNLV in Las Vegas have pointed out that 4.5 million of the 12 million barrels of oil that we use come from "unfriendlies." Participant T. Boone Pickens pointed out that America uses 25% of the world's supply of oil, although we make up only 4% of the population. If we continue status quo, there will be "trouble in paradise." Our current energy sources, method of transmittal and how we use it cannot continue. T. Boone suggests updating the grid to take advantage of wind, which is currently available; electric for light duty transportation and natural gas for all new Class A vehicles (and natural gas for backup when the wind isn't blowing or the sun shining).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Green Your Body and Drive it Green!

The G3reen Outlet in the Arts Factory will feature ways to green your body, inside and out, with eco-friendly lotions, makeup and natural oils as well as organic cooking oils, spreads and food ideas on August 7, 2009, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., during First Friday, Las Vegas Arts District’s monthly arts, entertainment, and social block party held downtown.
A chance to win a copy of Robyn O'Brien's The Unhealthy Truth will be available and all antics will be broadcast LIVE here on goinggreen.com. If you cannot be with us in person, you can sign up on your left to win a copy of the book.
In addition, a five-passenger zero-emission electric van from rEVolution Vehicles will be on display to showcase greener transportation options available now and what to expect in the future. The G3reen Outlet in the Arts Factory, located at 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 100, connects people, planet and products through interactive displays, internet TV, business to business networking and creative workshops.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fortune 500 companies go green!

Several Fortune 500 companies, such as Coca-Cola, Staples and Frito-Lay, are going green with zero-emission all-electric delivery trucks. The new Smith Newton electric delivery trucks are powered by lithium-ion batteries and they also convert the kinetic energy produced during braking into electric power.

With a top speed of 50 miles per hour and a range of over 100 miles, it is perfect for around-town deliveries, and makes a significant impact in smog reduction. Electric vehicles in general have lower operational and maintenance costs, better for the environment and reduce our dependency on foreign oil and fossil fuels.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things that make you go Hmmmm......

We spent many summer nights in tents growing up. Camping was the ultimate adventure...picking the perfect campground, the perfect campsite, and then the perfect spot for the tent. We were taming the Wild, Wild West! With no TV, no radio and no clocks, bedtime was shortly after dark and wakeup time was shortly after sunrise. Other than the initial situating once you've turned in for the night, a flashlight was needed only for the trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night, (or to shine on the source of those mysterious night noises to scare it away!). But in case YOU want to hang out in the tent after the sun has gone down, Eureka has designed a tent with solar panels that illuminate without the need for batteries.
Super-durable, lightweight and flexible solar panels charge by day, then hang inside the tent for night-time illumination.
Should you need night-time illumination.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Go Green for lunch and save green!

Home-made lunches are healthier, taste better and save us money. One brown-bagger estimates that he saves $3,000 a year compared to his co-workers, assuming they spend $10-$15 on lunch.  $3,000! Wow!  To make brown-bagging even better, the people at The Daily Green are giving six lucky people a New Wave Enviro reusable healthy lunch kit!  This super green kit includes a bamboo lunch bag, a stainless steel food container and a stainless steel bottle, a total value of $48.47.  Register to win here.

If you must have it now and can't wait to win, get it directly from New Wave Enviro!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Eco Drinking

Did you know that 14 billion cups of coffee are served in Styrofoam or paper cups per year? The disposal of these cups is a detriment to the planet. Even paper cups may seem biodegradable, but the conventional coating on hot cups prevents them from even being compostable. Instead use a reusable water bottle, like the stainless steel one offered by Runka.com, or an ecomug, lead-free and imprinted using toxic free inks in America.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

If you have to go, go green!

Alternative Transportation is featured at the Green Outlet in the Arts Factory during First Friday in downtown Las Vegas, this July 3rd! 
Come check out RTC's "Grease Bus" that runs on used vegetable oil! The Green Outlet will feature Alternative Transportation this First Friday, with new permanent bicycle racks at the Arts Factory, a SMART car display, and other alternative forms of transportation, such as electric cars, RTC's Ride Share program, even electric Karts from Pole Position indoor kart facility. In addition, there will be eco-friendly products and LIVE streaming on the internet, right here at GoingGreen.com.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Semi-permanent floating homes may be the future in Coastal areas.

The Netherlands, which for years has fought the encroaching ocean, is now considering how to embrace the waters in future city design, Reuters reports.

A number of prototypes for floating cities are being considered. Indeed, the Netherlands may well become a laboratory for such thinking.

A goal is to be able to remove or relocate a building without harming the surrounding environment; the ultimate in sustainability.

Watch Reuters video here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cool Recycled Plastic Chair!

Check out this great looking lawn chair made from recycled plastic!
Made of post-consumer HDPE (high-density polyethylene), the Cabrio lounge chair by Loll is highly durable and waterproof and diverts about 320 milk containers from ending up in the landfill.
Loll Designs believes green products should be superior to those that are not green and the company is dedicated to "creating long lasting products that are made from recycled materials using sustainable business practices not only for our business to grow, but more importantly, for the planet to keep growing too."
To order or see other designs, go to lolldesigns.com.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Women Make the Energy Decisions

While Congress is contemplating a new energy policy, American women are paying the electric bills at home and making the critical decisions on energy use in their homes and businesses, according to the national Women’s Survey on Energy & the Environment, the first in-depth women’s survey on attitudes and awareness about energy.
In addition:
-- Women want clean energy
-- Women need more information on electricity and clean energy
-- Air pollution’s effect on family health is a major concern
-- Women business owners lead the way
More survey results here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Solarmonkey Sale!

Great Father's Day gift!
Powertraveller's portable solar mobile device charger is on sale until June 24th.  Capable of charging and working with both sunlight and incandescent lighting, the solarmonkey is two folding solar panels that attach to most cell phones.
Only $55 until Monday at Green Home environmental store.

Going Green TV

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Things that make you go Hmmmm......

A UK retailer installed moving metal plates in their parking lot that generates energy when cars drive over them, which is then converted to electricity to run their cash registers.
This is a part of their sustainability effort which includes collecting rainwater to flu
sh toilets, solar thermal for hot water and sending food waste to a biomass plant instead of the landfill.
The idea is novel, but I question the benefit of the amount of
 resources needed to install and maintain this power-generating parking lot versus the amount of resources an electric company uses to produce the same 30 kWh per hour.
Hmmmm......

Friday, June 12, 2009

Electric Jet Car - I want one

The 500th electric Tesla Roadster was recently delivered and a 60-mile road rally with about 30 Roadsters in California commemorated the event, the largest gathering of Tesla Roadsters on public streets.

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla is the only production automaker selling highway-capable EVs in the United States or Europe. The Roadster beats nearly every other car in acceleration yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius. It costs roughly $4 to refuel and can be completely recharged in as little as 3.5 hours.

"People who buy Roadsters are getting a superlative sports car that drives more like a performance jet than a car – and they are supporting a new American automaker committed to building well designed, high performance vehicles with a level of efficiency far greater than any other automaker in the world," said Jeremy Snyder, Tesla's General Manager for the South Western Territory.

The 500th Roadster went to Martin Tuchman, former chairman and CEO of Interpool, and chairman of The Tuchman Foundation and a board member of The Parkinson's Alliance and Parkinson's Disease Foundation of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Tuchman said he plans to charge his Roadster partly with solar energy thanks to photovoltaic panels he helped install throughout his hometown of Kingston, NJ.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Search for Air France 447 Hindered by Garbage

Earlier in the week, rescue workers reported that they had found debris--two buoys and a cargo pallet--that had come from the downed Air France Flight 447 plane, but it turned out to just be floating garbage. Officials have had to turn to costly submarines to aid in locating signs of the plane amid the floating piles of waste.

Ocean-bound refuse tends to congregate in gyres. There are about five major “trash islands” in the world. Air France Flight 447 did not even go down in one of these major gyres; It fell into an area of minor trash congestion. The major gyres are mind-boggling and are 90% plastic waste. One of them, between North America and Asia, is twice the size of Texas.

It has a devastating impact on ocean life. Notably, sea turtles mistake the plastic bags for jellyfish and try to eat them. Birds also attempt to eat the floating chunklets of plastic
. The floating-garbage problem doesn't stop at marine life. The plastic acts as a sponge for harmful chemicals. The chemicals work their way through the food chain and end up in our food.

This art piece was inspired to bring awareness to the debris gyres in our ocean. The Environmental Cleanup Coalition is focused on removing this debris accumulation from the ocean. www.gyrecleanup.org.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hilarious!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The "call letters" for going green is RRR - reduce, reuse, recycle.  An extreme example of reuse is the Cosmic Muffin, once a Howard Hughes TWA-owned Boeing 307 Stratoliner.  Destined for the scrap heap, the 307 was rescued in 1969 and converted into a "sleek and uniquely sensational motor yacht."
Yes, a boat.  Planeboats.com



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Home Depot Shareholders Want Green

Home Depot shareholders are asking Home Depot to assess its companywide energy use in its buildings, transportation, and supply chain; set energy use reduction targets; and report findings and progress to shareholders.

“Throughout the country—and the world—there is growing recognition of the need to use energy more efficiently. . . It’s time for Home Depot to step up to the plate,” said Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier.

Corporate energy use and carbon footprint tracking is becoming increasingly important as the cost savings of going green are being recognized worldwide.

In a similar vein, earlier this month the stockholders of Chevron demanded that the company begin tracking its carbon footprint. 

Although carbon footprint tracking seems a daunting task for companies with several locations and divisions, a company called Clear Standards offers software that eases the pain.  The industry leading software also has modeling capabilities so you can "test" different energy-efficient solutions to find the most cost-effective ones before investing in any major changes.  Most importantly, it can also project how much green you will save by going green!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Arizona - The Solar Capital of the World?

Las Vegas is the Entertainment Capital of the World and sadly, Nevada is one of the foreclosure capitals of the world.  While Nevadans party their pain away, Arizona is looking on the bright side and becoming the solar capital of the world.

The sunny deserts of the Southwest United States is one of the ideal planetary locations for solar.  In fact, with the amount of sun and the available land, it could produce enough electricity to meet the electrical needs of the entire US!  Photovoltaics, or PVs, are 85 times as as efficient as growing corn for ethanol; on a 300 ft x 300 ft (1 hectare) plot of land, enough ethanol can be produced to drive a car 30,000 miles per year vs 2,500,000 miles by covering the same land with photo cells. Which is good news for the Southwest, where soil temperatures are often way above proper corn germination temps of 60 degrees!

A fact not lost on Arizona Public Service, they have announced another large solar plant - a 290 million watt concentrating solar plant, among the largest in the world, to be built in the Harquahala Valley, 75 miles west of Phoenix.  This is in addition to a 280-megawatt concentrating solar power plant to be built 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona.  Together the two plants will supply electricity to 143,000 consumers.

Not stopping there, Arizona Public Service, APS, offered Flagstaff customers the opportunity to help APS build an interconnected solar power plant – one rooftop at a time. For this program, APS will own and receive energy from solar panels installed on about 300 customer rooftops. Participating customers will not have any up-front costs or other requirements and they will receive a low 20-year fixed community power rate for the solar portion of their electricity bill.

APS staffers also celebrated with visitors as the Grand Canyon's Visitor Center went solar with 84 solar panels on the center's roof and on adjacent ground-mounted platforms. The 18 kilowatts of energy generated by the panels provide enough power to offset 30 percent of the center's electricity use. APS said that the Grand Canyon is important to their efforts "because of the opportunity that exists to educate more than 4.5 million Canyon visitors each year about renewable energy."

Maybe someday Nevadans will get over their hangovers and see the light.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Plastiki, the bottled water boat!

Adventure Ecology founder David De Rothschild and his team plan to sail the Plastiki, a boat built entirely of plastic bottles and recycled waste products, from San Francisco to Sydney, Austraiia in August 2009 to raise awareness about the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating landfill twice the size of Texas located between California and Hawaii, and the growing masses of plastic accumulating in our oceans. 

Building boats out of all that waste plastic isn't the solution, but de Rothschild is attempting to spark conversations about rethinking waste. De Rothschild explained that we consume 200 billion liters of bottled water per year, and only one in five bottles is actually recycled. He aims to showcase a solution, and encourage people to rethink waste as a resource.

“This is the hundredth year of plastic,” de Rothschild pointed out.  “Plastic is an amazing material and it is still misunderstood. I’m trying to get people to think about plastic as part of the solution.” 

When finished, the Plastiki will be made of 12,500 2-liter plastic bottles collected by Waste Management, will weigh 9 tons, and will have a crew of six. The Plastiki will have a composting toilet, onboard renewable energy and a garden.  When the voyage is done, the team plans to upcycle the boat.   

In parallel with the sailing of Plastiki, de Rothschild has launched a Smart Art Trash into Treasure competition (www.smartartcompetition.com) to inspire innovative solutions to waste. What’s your idea?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dell takes responsible E-waste steps

Dell, throught their senior manager of environmental sustainability, Mark Newton, announced: "If it's not working, Dell considers it to be electronic waste, and they will not export it to a developing country. Period." This comes in response to the growing awareness that some companies are shipping their electronic waste to developing nations who dismantle the e-waste in polluting and unhealthy ways to salvage potentially valuable minerals and materials.

In the 1990's, Europe, Japan and some US states set up e-waste 'recycling' systems. But many countries did not have the capacity to deal with the sheer quantity of e-waste they generated or with its hazardous nature. Therefore, they began exporting the problem to developing countries where laws to protect workers and the environment are inadequate or not enforced. It is also cheaper to 'recycle' waste in developing countries; the cost of glass-to-glass recycling of computer monitors in the US is ten times more than in China.

If you are concerned about where your e-waste goes, you can look up proper disposal sites near you at Earth911.com.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Going Green Guide for Artists

The Green Guide for Artists by Karen Michel is an inspiring book that makes innovative recommendations for greener artwork and a greener studio.  The book includes tips on safe and green practices for the workspace, recipes for DIY art supplies such as ones for mixing your own nontoxic paints and adhesive, and using recycled materials. The book also contains a resource guide for ecofriendly materials and supplies, including websites and forum links.

The author herself is a mixed media artist who lives in New York, where she runs a 10-year old nonprofit art center for kids, the Creative Art Space for Kids Foundation, with her artist husband Carlo Thertus.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Portable Eco-Friendly Wine Packaging

The Three Thieves, a brand of California wine, unveiled the Bandit - wine in environmentally-friendly Tetra Pak containers. 

"No bottle, no opener, 96% wine, 4% packaging; and less energy use," says Three Thief developer Charles Bieler. "It’s packaging for every occasion, and for a green planet."

The packaging is made of Tetra Prisma™, which is comprised of 70% paper, a renewable resource, thus reducing the packaging waste associated with bottled wine by 90%. It is more efficient and lightweight to transport than bottles, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and saving fuel. In fact, it would take 26 trucks filled with empty wine bottles to equal just 1 truck filled with empty Tetra Pak cartons.

The Bandit comes in four wine selections — Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Grigio.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day gifts fit for Mother Earth

Mother's Day is Sunday. If you are looking for the perfect gift that even Mother Earth will appreciate, check out Funky Recycling's jewelry, buttons and magnets made from aluminum cans.
 
Chocolate and flowers are always a winner. 
If you are sending flowers, find flowers grown using sustainable practices at Organic Bouquet.

Some of the best organic and vegan chocolate is found from Sweet Earth or give Mom a subscription to a chocolate-of-the-month club that donates a portion of their
profits to protecting endangered species from ChocolateBar.com.

Help mom relax with all-natural and organic body oil and massager from our friends at Good Clean Love.
Whatever you do for your mother this Sunday, remember Mother Earth!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GoingGreenTV goes live!

Yes, we will be streaming to you LIVE from the Arts Factory in downtown Las Vegas during the First Friday event this Friday, May 1, from 6pm-10pm.

Tune in as we ask people how they are going green!