American’s are known for their massive consumption. However, each state also produces are certain amount of energy. Some of this energy is renewable, but most of it isnt’.
Ambit Energy, a leading resource for information, news and tips on energy has created an excellent info graphic depicting some startling statistics for America’s energy consumption.
For example, did you know that only 30% of consumed energy in America actually comes from a renewable resource? The other 70% comes from non-renewable sources like coal, and natural gas.
These are all important things to consider when American’s consider their future and their future generations.
Take a look below!Read More
Going green is not only good for the environment it’s also an easy way that businesses can save money. In a time when businesses are looking to save money before outsourcing, laying off employees or cutting back on marketing dollars there are simple ways they can save money by going green.
Reduce Utility Bill
Powering down computers, shutting off lights, using power strips and using energy efficient florescent light bulbs are all easy ways to save money. Fluorescent light bulbs can last more than 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and save you up to 75% in energy savings. Power strips are a good device that you can plug all of your appliances in and turn all of them off together. If a company wants to take powering down computers into their own hands, there is software like the Dell KACE service desk management system that allows a user to shut off all computers that aren’t in use from a centralized location. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated unused PCs that go into hibernation mode save $25-75 per computer annually. For a business with 200 employees, that would save the company up to $15,000 a year.
Buy Greener Products
Buy green office products like remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, recycled paper and recycled office products (pens, scissors, paper clips, paper towels, etc.). Many of these products are cheaper and are cost- efficient in the long run. For example, buying a remanufactured ink and toner cartridges results in lower waste and chemicals but also reduces the amount of energy you use. Of course remember to recycle all material when possible to maximize your eco- friendly ways.
There are many places that will happily accept your office’s old electronics. Replacing old computers, power cords and miscellaneous electronics will allow you to update your office to newer energy efficient electronics. Companies can also receive a tax deduction for their donations. Some of the best places to donate computers, laptops and electronics include:
- World Computer Exchange – Non- profit that provides schools, libraries, community centers in developing countries with used computers and technology.
- National Cristina Foundation – Non- profit that provides computers to those with disabilities or economic disadvantages.
- Computer Recycling Center- Non- profit that places computers in the public charity and community programs
Instead of printing tons of paper and stuffing it into filing cabinets, storing information digitally is a better option. Cloud storage like drop box, SkyDove, iCloud, FilesAnywhere etc. allow you to share and store folders with co- workers. Portable storage devices, internal and external hard drives and online storage are all eco- friendly ways to save and store important documents.
Cut out the Commute
By cutting employees commute to work completely employers can significantly cut down all of the costs that go operating an office. An employee’s daily commute can be very expensive. You’ll not only save money on internet services, phone lines, electricity and office space, you can receive a significant tax cut. The Georgia House Bill 194 gives credits to companies that allow their employees to telecommute. The bill gives employers a one- time tax credit of $20,000 for the assessment of a telecommute program, in addition to a $1,200 credit per employee that participates in the program. For more information, companies should contact tax professionals about the bill and how they can qualify.
There are many tools that can help companies let their employees work remotely. For example, the Dell KACE software deployment application allows an IT manager to send out patches, configuration settings and software updates without needing computers to be in a centralized location. This application would be good for companies who provide work computers to their employees and need their computers to have all the newest updates in order to work efficiently.
Allowing employees to work remotely might not be feasible for every employee at every company. However, giving employees flexible schedules by allowing them to choose to work from home a few days a month can make a significant difference.
Going green will help your company reduce their carbon imprint on the world, save space for waste disposal, benefit the economy and reduce pollution. The money that your company will save is side note in the bigger picture.Read More
For those of us that are consious of the environement, there are often situations that we are aware of the environment when others may not be. Building or re-modelling your house can be one of those times. But without some knowledge about various materials, it can be difficult to make good decisions. If you are building and want to know what materials you should use, we’ve got some information for you. If you’re considering “green housing” there are definitely some materials that are better than others , so here are some tips and information to helping you put together a list of great materials to use.
Mudbrick is clay earth mixed with water and possibly straw, then sun dried in molds. This is an old building method but also uses very little energy to make it one of the most environmentally friendly materials but still provides a durable material. It is also simple to make but takes a lot of manpower to actually get the bricks made and it is not a very good quality insulator.
Using plants and earth on the roof of your house can help provide better insulation and also provides more plant life which are both more environmentally friendly. You can also use that space for your garden which would double up the benefits.
Because of the strength and durability, steel is a good choice for environmentally friendly buildings. It does take quite a bit of energy to produce, but the material will last a long time and can be re-used if the building is taken down.
Rammed Earth or Pise is sand, gravel, clay, and silt that is poured between two panels and compressed. It is typically made with local materials (sometimes straight off the construction site) making it a very eco-friendly material. However, it is quite labor intensive and doesn’t provide very good insulation, although if the walls are thick it can absorb heat during the day and release it during the cooler night which can help keep heating bills lower. Selecting the correct soil can also make it difficult since not all dirt is equal.
Once the house is built, there are still products and materials to use inside. Using CFL bulbs will save up to 75% more energy than regular bulbs and will save you money in the process.
Bamboo is the fastest growing material on the planet–some types can grown up to four feet in a single day. It can be used for many different products making it a great option across the board and it is completely degradable. Strand bamboo flooring is very durable and high quality and can look great in your home. However, it does require a considerable amount of energy to process it into the type of material you would use in your house.
Paint that contains VOC (volatile organic compounds) is harmful for the environment and also for the health of the people in the house. Using paint without these compounds will help your house stay environmentally friendly.
There are many things that you can do to help conserve energy and make your house more environmentally friendly. If you can pay attention to these tips and others, you can help protect the environment. The more people that can implement these simple tips, the better off we’ll all be.Read More
Here’s an interesting trend that we’ll want to keep our eyes on, courtesy of the US Department of Energy.
Wave power devices extract energy directly from surface waves or from pressure fluctuations below the surface. Renewable energy analysts believe there is enough energy in the ocean waves to provide up to 2 terawatts of electricity. (A terawatt is equal to a trillion watts.)
Wave power can’t be harnessed everywhere. Wave-power rich areas of the world include the western coasts of Scotland, northern Canada, southern Africa, Australia, and the northeastern and northwestern coasts of the United States. In the Pacific Northwest alone, it’s feasible that wave energy could produce 40–70 kilowatts (kW) per meter (3.3 feet) of western coastline. The West Coast of the United States is more than a 1,000 miles long.
Wave energy can be converted into electricity through both offshore and onshore systems.
Offshore systems are situated in deep water, typically of more than 40 meters (131 feet). Sophisticated mechanisms—like the Salter Duck—use the bobbing motion of the waves to power a pump that creates electricity. Other offshore devices use hoses connected to floats that ride the waves. The rise and fall of the float stretches and relaxes the hose, which pressurizes the water, which, in turn, rotates a turbine.
Specially built seagoing vessels can also capture the energy of offshore waves. These floating platforms create electricity by funneling waves through internal turbines and then back into the sea.
Built along shorelines, onshore wave power systems extract the energy in breaking waves. Onshore system technologies include the following:
Oscillating water column
The oscillating water column consists of a partially submerged concrete or steel structure that has an opening to the sea below the waterline. It encloses a column of air above a column of water. As waves enter the air column, they cause the water column to rise and fall. This alternately compresses and depressurizes the air column. As the wave retreats, the air is drawn back through the turbine as a result of the reduced air pressure on the ocean side of the turbine.
The tapchan, or tapered channel system, consists of a tapered channel, which feeds into a reservoir constructed on cliffs above sea level. The narrowing of the channel causes the waves to increase in height as they move toward the cliff face. The waves spill over the walls of the channel into the reservoir and the stored water is then fed through a turbine.
The pendulor wave-power device consists of a rectangular box, which is open to the sea at one end. A flap is hinged over the opening and the action of the waves causes the flap to swing back and forth. The motion powers a hydraulic pump and a generator.
Environmental and Economic Challenges
In general, careful site selection is the key to keeping the environmental impacts of wave power systems to a minimum. Wave energy system planners can choose sites that preserve scenic shorefronts. They also can avoid areas where wave energy systems can significantly alter flow patterns of sediment on the ocean floor.
Economically, wave power systems have a hard time competing with traditional power sources. However, the costs to produce wave energy are coming down. Some European experts predict that wave power devices will find lucrative niche markets. Once built, they have low operation and maintenance costs because the fuel they use—seawater—is free.Read More
Here is one tip that can help you conserve materials that you may only use once a year but could be saved and reused all throughout the year.
It is a tradition during Halloweens that kids get to dress up for a trick or treat. Some kids wear scary costumes and others dress up as their favorite cartoon character. Time-honored traditions like these are great, but being able to use a costume during the rest of the year is a good thing and a money saver for any parent. Some consider keeping the Halloween costumes inside their closets after the event while some find ways of using it for the rest of the year.
Kids want to play with their Halloween costumes anytime – they don’t have a problem wearing their Halloween-inspired costumes even just to scare their friends for a brief moment. Others play just for fun with their favorite cartoon costumes. Most girls want to play the role of a princess in a tea party or to portray the Little Red Riding Hood with her grandma and the big bad wolf. Boys want to become a villain or superhero character from a cartoon show. Notably, most boys enjoy wearing a Superman’s cape for fun and, to show that they are strong and powerful.
For princess costumes, kids love to wear it again during their own birthdays, another friend’s party, or even during non-Halloween costume events. Apart from being a princess, girls love to dress up as a ballerina or a cheerleader. And these kids get to reuse their ballerina costumes during their ballet recitals. Smart parents know that if costumes are not Halloween specific, kids get to wear them all year round.
Girls also love to be fairies and get to reuse their wing costumes after the holidays during a children’s play.Kids costumes for Halloween like hats, masks, capes, scary wings are even used in theatre plays. Even puppets are used in hosting a fun puppet show.
Besides wearing a costume in a Halloween party, other kids love to just plainly wear their costumes during a walk in a park. They love to show their costumes off to other kids especially if the character is the most popular during that time.
Other kids reuse their big plastic orange pumpkins into art buckets for holding brushes, markers, glue sticks, pencils, and other art materials. Some children have wild imaginations and get creative with their Halloween costumes. They pretend to be a costumed pirate and use these orange pumpkin buckets as a holder of treasure maps.
They may likewise reuse parts of their costumes for other events. They match a hat with another skirt to come up with a great outfit for a party. Other kids hand down their costumes to their siblings. If they are really playful and creative, they wear different parts of their brother’s Halloween costumes and can wear it fashionably.
Time flies. The wait won’t be long and children will need another Halloween costume, hopefully better than what they had last year. Instead of buying new ones, encourage your kids to get creative and exercise their minds. There are wide possibilities like trading their costumes with their friends or mixing and matching old costumes to create a new ensemble. But of course, the simplest thing to do is to sell their Halloween costumes and buy a new one.Read More
By Madeline Moss, Guest Blogger
Spokeswoman for Global Green Energy Corporation
Like Germany, Western Washington is cloudy a good portion of the year, yet we can learn from its example. More than 55 percent of the world’s photovoltaic power is generated in Germany.
About 3 percent of Germany’s electricity comes from the sun, but the German government wants solar and other renewable energy sources to generate at least 27 percent of German energy needs by 2020, according to the Reuters’ article “Cloudy Germany Unlikely Hotspot for Solar Power.”
Western Washington receives more hours of sunlight a day than Germany, and thus could be producing much more of its electricity needs from solar.
Gray skies don’t mean that solar won’t work. On the contrary, a cloudy day provides sufficient diffuse light for a solar panel to produce electricity. Even with long cold winters, you can generate your own power.
Aside from not charging sales tax on electricity-generating equipment, Washington state and the federal government also have other financial incentives to encourage sustainable energy. Now is the time to take advantage of the incentives, before the sun sets on these great opportunities. For more information on solar incentives, go to www.dsireusa.org/.
You can get started with a single-panel solar photovoltaic system and grow the system in the years to come as your budget allows. With one panel, you will begin to see a reduction in your monthly energy bills.Read More