Archive for energy

’tis the season to be greener

The phrase “kill 2 birds with 1 stone” comes to mind– but on a blog concerned for the environment, that might not be the best choice.

 Let’s just say that you can: buy a unique Christmas gift AND do your part to “save the world.”

Check out some of this season’s more greener items, and see if you can’t spread some holiday cheer!

Kill a Watt

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We buy appliances everyday and have no idea how much electricity it is actually costing us. That new gift may look cool, but how much energy is it sucking away? And what is it doing to your electricity bill? The Kill a Watt allows you to plug it in to an electric wall outlet, and then plug your appliance into that. The Kill a Watt then tells you exactly how much energy you’re using. If you leave it on, it will count killowatt-hours. I wonder what’s worse: the new HD TV, or your constantly running fridge. ($24.99)

Solio Hybrid 1000

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About the size of a remote control, the Solio Hybrid 1000 allows you to charge a normal cell phone with 10-12 hours of direct sunlight. It’s perfect for a hiker or outdoorsman also, who just may never be near electricity! If you have no sun available, the Solio also charges via a computer’s USB port. ($79.95)

 Hydrocar

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You never know when the kids want to go “green.” Ths Hydrocar is a toy car that contains a fuel cell and runs on hydrogen gas. The fuel cell splits water into hydrogen and oxygen with direct sunlight. If your kid is a future-engineer: the car requries set-up for a fully functioning automobile! ($85)

ZipCar Gift Certificate

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Last post, I discussed the ZipCar program. Don’t forget to buy your friend, especially those in college, a ZipCar membership or gift certificate. The ZipCar allows those living in urband areas to “rent” a car by the hour, starting at $5/hour, for quick errands and trips. For the extra environmentally friendly, many of these cars are hybrids. It’s a great alternative if a bike can’t do the trick.

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The ZipCar

  Below, I report on the newest car rental company that attempts to deal with urban living and the impact of automobiles. 

 For more information, you can log-on to www.zipcar.com

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For Earth’s sake, don’t divorice!

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 Around the world, divorce rates have been increasing. Now, one expert proclaims divorcing is not being resourceful! 

According to Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University, Americans spend an extra $3.6 billion annually on water as a result of extra households created when people divorce.

“A married household actually uses resources more efficeintly than a divoriced household.”

Need examples? A household uses the same amount of heat or AC no matter if there are 2 or 4 people living in it. One person or several people will use just one refigerator. And two people in two seperate houses will cause 2 dishwashers to run. Two people share the same stove, watch the same TV, listen to the same radio and use the same lights.

The impact is big.

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In 2005, there were 16.5 million divorced people who headed their own household. This means $6.9 billion in extra utility costs annually, in addition to the extra $3.6 billion for water.

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Liu also studied other countries. By looking at 11 of them, which included Brazil, Greece, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico and South Africa, he determined married couples could have saved energy. In fact,  he determined there could have been a million fewer housholds using water and energy in the 11 countries.

All the research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Michigan Agricultural Experiement Station.

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The Lightbulb.

Before the invention of the light bulb, people used candles, lanterns and the sun to complete their everyday tasks.However, in the 1800s scientists were hard at work, attempting to be the first to invent a way to have electricity in the home. Eventually, science stumbled upon the incandescent bulb– the same type of bulb we use today.

Now there’s a NEW bulb in town, and it’s called the Compact Flourescent Light (CFL).

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Priced at less than $3 a pop, the CFL is [excuse the pun] lighting the way to a greener future. Designed like a swirly-cone ice cream, the CFL saves energy, saves money and could on a large-scale help save the environment. CFLs emit the same amount of light as regular incandescents, but uses 75% to 80% less electricity when compared. In fact, if one of every 110 million American households used just one CFL instead of an ordinary 60-watt incandescent bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. That’s equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the road! (source).

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 In a world where global warming threatens to “interrupt” and “inconvenience” people’s lives– exchanging one lightbulb is as simple as, yes, screwing in a lightbulb. WalMart wants to sell its 100 million regular costumers just one lightbulb– that’s enough to make a difference.

It’s a simple solution to a complicated problem.

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Global warming: who’s laughing?

Who’s laughing? Well apparently a lot of people.

Not many things, serious or not, get past Leno, Letterman and others. Global warming seems to be no exception to this rule. The fact that global warming is being joked about should be a compliment to activists like Al Gore who try to bring the climate crisis to the national spotlight. Nobody jokes about things that aren’t mainstream, and with global warming being poked-fun-at just about everywhere, it shows just how well-publicized the climate crisis is.

On the other hand, there are a lot more jokes than activism going on. Joking doesn’t help conserve energy, or bring about political reform. To some people, it makes a complete mockery of a serious issue. Jokes alone, aren’t the solution.

TAKE A LOOK, AND LET ME KNOW WHAT DO YOU THINK…  funny OR not?

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“Here’s good news: George W. Bush says that he is committed to fighting global warming. Yeah, well, he nipped that in the bud, didn’t he? … President Bush says he’s really going to buckle down now and fight global warming. As a matter of fact, he announced today he’s sending 20,000 troops to the sun”

–David Letterman

“President Bush told reporters he won’t see Al Gore’s documentary about the threat of global warming. He will not see it. On the other hand, Dick Cheney said he’s seen the global warming film five times, and it still cracks him up.”

–Conan O’Brien

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“According to a survey in this week’s Time magazine, 85% of Americans think global warming is happening. The other 15% work for the White House.”

                     –Jay Leno

 

Leave a comment, let me know: joking about global warming, FUNNY or NOT?

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‘Poo and pee is our bread and butter’

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“Poo and pee is our bread and butter,” that’s what one zoo official is saying about his Dallas Zoo’s new energy plan.

The Dallas Zoo will soon be electrically powered by animal droppings, cardboard and tree limbs, with the additional help of a biogas generator. Although the project could cost up to $1 million dollars, the project is expected to pay for itself within 10 years.

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A zoo spokesperson says that the Dallas Zoo sees themselves not only as a fun place for families, but as a conservation organization.

Is anyone else afraid of what might happen if biogas generators start using, well, our droppings?

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