Archive for October 3rd, 2009

California Environment Initiatives Garner International Interest
Several dozen local officials and environmental groups from forest-rich nations (including Brazil and Mexico) gathered this week at Schwarzenegger’s Global Climate Summit, which was sponsored for the first time by the U.N. These leaders sought, in part, to determine ways to provide carbon credits to (California) companies willing to pay for industrial emissions offsets. [...]



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Your Pure Honey – Startup Uses Shares in Beehives to Protect Native Tree Populations
New Zealand-based startup Your Pure Honey is putting the connection between consumer investment and resource preservation to the test. The organization allows consumers to purchase a share (or more) of a beehive in exchange for the Manuka honey the hive produces. The exchange also helps protects Manuka forests in the region while providing [...]



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Solar Powered Toy Kit (+ Video)

Solar Powered Toy Kit (+ Video)

 

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The 6-in-1 Solar Craft Kit is an environmentally-friendly multiple toy set. With this kit, children just need to snap together the pieces to make a windmill, a boat, a plane, an airplane dock, mini-car, and even a puppy. Available here there’s also a video of someone trying it out:

This article was originally posted on the PSFK website

More cool stuff on Celsias:

The Land Owns us All (+ Video)

Children Suffering from Clean Coal Lies

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Musings of A Suburban Farmer on Harvest Day


My grape crop 10/2/09

Today I picked the grapes from my vineyard.  I got 366 usable pounds from my 25 vines even though I lost at least 100 pounds to birds that somehow penetrated my elaborate net system.  The harvest will still give me between 90 and 115 bottles of what I hope will be decent wine – at least as decent as the ‘06 I’m happily sipping right now.

I used the term “Suburban Farmer” as a shameless lure to get folks to read this blog.  To be honest, I’m not a “Farmer”  at all.   I grow grapes as a hobby, and since I am a self-employed consultant, the time I spend growing these grapes has an “opportunity cost” far greater than what the Syrah I bottle will be worth as a reduction in my substantial wine budget.  I think it is great to garden or do home wine making, and I wish even more people had the opportunity to do it.  It is good for body and soul – better than the money I could have made.  But this is still not farming.  I have too much respect for real farmers to call it that.

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English Residence Relies on Solar Power

English-residence

If you’re reading this and you live somewhere in the area of 118 Areys Lane, Orleans, Massachusetts, you should go check out a house that we previously mentioned.  You remember the Modern Lake House?  The home was designed by Zero Energy Design and built by Cape Associates.  With the red and orange exterior, it looks a touch loud, but it’s still a stunner.  What do you think?  ZED will be on site today from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday, October 3, 2009. 

Modern-lake-house

As you can tell, the newly completed home differs slightly in appearance from the early renderings.  The interior has an open living, cook, and dining space, together with a yoga and art area, three bedrooms, a shaded first floor porch area, and a second floor roof deck. 

Some of the green elements include the green roof, 2.4 kW grid-tied solar photovoltaic system, pre-plumbed solar hot water system, radiant floor heating on the first floor, heat recovery ventilator, open cell and closed cell spray foam insulation with additional rigid insulation, FSC decking, Hardiplank & cedar siding, bamboo flooring, Caezarstone quartz countertops, Watersense certified fixtures and toilets, drywells for stormwater run-off, high efficiency lighting, and low VOC paints. 

The 2,600 square-foot home is targeting LEED Gold certification and was Energy Star certified.  The English Residence scored a 39 on the HERS Index, which will give you an idea of just how efficient it is.  Seems like a beautiful home, and like the Truro Residence, which was also designed by Zero Energy Design, the English Residence is a good example of how efficient design is leading the push towards sustainability.

[+] Tour the English Residence – October 3, 2009 in Orleans, MA.

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Modern-lake-house

English-back

Photo credits: ZeroEnergyDesign.



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Urban Mobility – It’s Not Getting Better
In 2007, congestion caused urban Americans to travel 4.2 billion hours more and to purchase an extra 2.8 billion gallons of fuel for a congestion cost of $87.2 billion – an increase of more than 50% over the previous decade.
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Will Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) Conflict With Mineral & Property Rights Ownership?
CO2 pipeline network usa image
“Red lines represent existing CO2 pipeline infrastructure; the green lines represent the hypothetical pipeline scenarios…” Image credit:R. Lee Gresham, Jay Apt, M. Granger Morgan, Sean T. McCoy, from pre-publication draft paper: Implications of Compensating Property-Owners for Geologic Sequestration of CO2

Pretend it’s 2040. US citizens live in a Carbon Constrained Era, in which Federal law enables legal access by carbon injectors to geological pore space, deep under the earth – pretty much wherever they want it – and limits trespass liability fo…
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Mens Fall Fashion: Collection PAS – A Skateboarder’s Suit Style
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C PAS (left to right): Re-used military blanket blazer, organic denim jeans; Organic wool turtle neck and organic cotton jersey pants; Organic wool blazer, organic cotton oxford shirt and jersey pants. Credit C PAS

If an environmentally and style-conscious skateboarder walked the red carpet, he’d wear Collection Pierre André Senizergues (C PAS). The innovative collection is made with recycled military mosquito nets and parachutes, Salvation Army shirts, organic cotton and wo… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Mens Fall Fashion: Collection PAS – A Skateboarder’s Suit Style
C-PAS-image.jpg
C PAS (left to right): Re-used military blanket blazer, organic denim jeans; Organic wool turtle neck and organic cotton jersey pants; Organic wool blazer, organic cotton oxford shirt and jersey pants. Credit C PAS

If an environmentally and style-conscious skateboarder walked the red carpet, he’d wear Collection Pierre André Senizergues (C PAS). The innovative collection is made with recycled military mosquito nets and parachutes, Salvation Army shirts, organic cotton and wo… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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EcoATM pays you for used gadgets

EcoATM pays you for used gadgets

You know that old Motorola Razr that’s been sitting in your nightstand for the last year? If you live near Omaha, Neb., you can march up to the EcoATM at the Nebraska Furniture Mart, toss it in, and automatically get an in-store trade-up coupon or gift card.

The self-serve e-cycling station electronically inspects phones, assigns them real-time secondary market value, and provides in-store payment–if the handset still has any monetary worth. If not, consumers can choose to assign the device to the recycle bin, and then it’s on its way to getting recycled or refurbished.

EcoATM kiosk(Credit: EcoATM)

The kiosk at the Omaha store is the first such station to be installed by San Diego-based start-up EcoATM, and it’s serving as a test case in advance of a scheduled larger rollout.

The company, formerly called ReMobile, declared the Nebraska machine an immediate success when it went into operation September 21–both in the number of recycled devices collected and the trade-up purchases.

On its first day, 23 phones went into the recycle bin. In addition, “the EcoATM at NFM bought back over $100 in phones on day two, including a perfect BlackBerry Curve,” Twittered EcoATM’s Eric Rosser, who said in an interview he thinks retailers will appreciate the automation of the EcoATM and consumers will value the speed and convenience.

The company plans to install kiosks at wireless stores and big-box retailers in San Diego, Texas, Washington state, and Vermont this quarter, Rosser said, with a “massive rollout” set for the second quarter of next year. Eventually the EcoATMs should be able to recognize other gadgets, such as MP3 players, digital cameras, notebooks, printers, and storage devices.

The machines rely on a camera-based system to detect signs of wear such as cracked screens, missing keys, and scuff marks, and to determine a device’s approximate value. If it’s not worth anything, consumers could still get a free gift for their efforts–in Omaha’s case, a waterproof phone case. And in a green nod, EcoATM will plant a tree for them.

Originally posted at Crave

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Pimp My Green Ride: This Souped-Up Tesla Roadster Rocks
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Credit: Photos courtesy of Al & Ed’s Autosound

The all-electric Tesla Roadster is a green car without the dinky green look (Sorry Toyota Prius).

Some audiophiles at Al & Ed’s Autosound in West Hollywood, California, decided the Tesla needed a non-dinky radio system, too.

So they’ve have revamped the $100,000 Roadster, refurbishing the interior and installing a new sound system. … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Food to Energy Plants: A Load of Pig Swill?
food waste is converted to energy photo
Image credit: Prospect Magazine

We all know that waste food is a problem, but luckily there are plenty of solutions. Grocery stores are turning food waste into electricity, and Stockholm is even embracing garbage disposals to collect biogas. But is there a better way? Could it be that there’s a greener alternative for using up unwanted food? … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Bicycles for Humanity: Donate Bikes, Change Lives
uukumwe bike shop nkurenkuru namibia photo
The Uukumwe (“Togetherness”) Bike Shop in Nkurenkuru, Namibia. Photo via Bicycles for Humanity Colorado.

An inexpensive, environmentally friendly form of transportation anywhere, bicycles are a true lifeline in Africa, where they allow health-care workers to visit three to four times as many patients as they could on foot, help struggling entrepreneurs expand their markets and keep more of their profits, and encourage children to go to school. In fact, according to Bicycles for Humanity Colorado (B4H), Af… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Beer Wars: When Corporate Conglomerates and Microbreweries Go Head to Head
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photo: Dominion 3

We’re in a beer renaissance in this country. And, according to Anat Baron, it’s a welcomed change from the tasteless watered down beer for which we’ve come to settle. Microbrews are on the rise and more and more people are choosing to taste richness in their beer. Organic breweries are even getting a share of the marketplace. But, though your taste buds may crave an Organic Nut Brown Ale or a Dogfish Punkin’ Ale, the big guys are fighting tooth and nail to keep their share of the marketplace. In the recently released d… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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