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April 28, 2011

Macy's to Offer EV Charging Stations in California

Macy's logo
Macy's is partnering with ECOtality to pilot self serve EV (electric vehicle) charging stations. " ... two electric vehicle charging stations this fall outside each of six Macy's stores in ... San Diego ..."

" ... will install ECOtality’s Blink Electric Vehicle (EV) Level 2 Commercial Pedestal Charging stations ..."

metropolitan area (locations are being identified). ..."

 ECOtality logo


Via:  Macy's  LINK and ECOtality  LINK

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Green-ness of UK Energy Grid - Live Stats

ecotricity logoEcotricity is a green UK energy supplier. 

They have been bundling wind turbines and selling the electricity produced since 1996.  They are also educating and raising peoples awareness of the impact they can have on the environment by choosing a lower carbon generating supplier.

Changing electric suppliers " ... takes about five minutes but it's the biggest single step you can take to reduce your emissions and protect the environment."

Click HERE to see the current stats on the UK electric grid ... power generated by (in order) fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewable energy sources as well as the Grams of Co2 / KWh.

On 4/28/2011 (Thu 28/04/11 @ 12:05 BST) the stats were:

Fossil:          72.4 %
Nuclear:       22.9 %
Renewable:    4.7 %

CO2 / KWh:   415 g CO2 / KWh

How other UK Energy Companies Compare LINK


Via: ecotricity LINK

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April 26, 2011

TD Bank's Green Energy Powered Call Center

TD Bank logo

TD Bank recently opened a call center in Auburn, Maine that is 100% powered by green energy sources.  The center is designed for US LEED Gold certification. 

Among the green design elements / features are " ... plumbing fixtures that use 33 percent less water, drought tolerant plants ... a recycling system that will collect paper, glass, metal, plastic, cardboard, fluorescent lamps and batteries."

For more on the green features check out the link at the bottom of this post.

TD has also committed to going carbon neutral and is one of the largest US Banks to commit to being carbon neutral.


Via:  Environmental Leader  LINK

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April 25, 2011

Valvoline NextGen Oil - Recycled Motor Oil

Why recycle used motor oil?   Two reasons are to reduce dependence on imported oil and to protect the environment  Improperly disposed motor oil can cause significant damage to the environment – especially to water supplies … “ … just one gallon of used oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of water ….”

“ … motor oil doesn't really wear out … it's the additives that wear out …”

Check out this video to see the engine oil life cycle and what happens to oil as it is reprocessed “from oil pan to oil can”.





Via:  Valvoline  LINK

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April 24, 2011

Solar Powers Philadelphia Pollution Control Plant

Dynamic Solar installs 250kW solar system for the Philadelphia Water Department at its local pollution control facility.  …Philadelphia waste water treatment plant goes with solar power

…   “Dynamic Solar teamed with CETCO Contracting Services and Nucero Electric to design, engineer and install the 250kW ground mounted system.

The array is located at the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant and is expected to generate approximately 330,000 kilowatt hours of solar electricity per year.”   …

Via Dynamic Solar: Philadelphia's Largest Solar System.

Philadelphia wastewater treatment (Link).

Philly solar power system installed at wastewater treatment facility

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San Francisco Airport (SFO) Water Hydration Stations


SFO offers travels free water refills as a way to help reduce the use of single use plastic water bottles and the associated waste / carbon footprint.

...  innovative water bottle refill stations provide access to San Francisco's free high-quality, great tasting tap water. ... some of the purest, safest and best tasting water in the world."


The Hydration Stations are located throughout the SFO airport.




Via:  SFO  LINK and  San Francisco Public Utilities Commission LINK

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April 22, 2011

Earth Day Green College Exemplar: Colorado State


Colorado State is recognized for its green performance by Princeton Review.  The university has implemented:

  • 5.3-megawatt solar plant
  • commercial-sized composting project on the Foothills Campus
  • biomass boiler that burns wood chips claimed from forest fire or beetle kill mitigation
  • gray-water testing in residence halls
  • cumulative recycling rate of more than 52 percent of the total waste generated on campus
  • two million seedlings annually to reduce carbon monoxide emissions
  • education in sustainability in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability
  • six LEED Gold buildings and five others pending certification

…   “the university has six LEED Gold buildings and five others pending certification. Princeton Review also mentioned Colorado State’s participation in the Talloires Declaration in 2001, the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2008 and the ongoing Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System or STARS, which is a self-reporting program created by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.”   …

Via Colorado State University: Green College.

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April 20, 2011

San Francisco Airport (SFO) has USA's First LEED Terminal

SFO logoSan Francisco's new Terminal 2 was retrofitted to be green by design.  It is the first Airport Terminal in the US to achieve GOLD LEED. 

Among the green features in the design were waste reduction (achieved by reusing or recycling all construction waste), reduced water use (achieved by a closed loop reclaimed water system for the toilets and urinals that is treated on site) and Greenhouse Gas - GHG - reductions (achieved by eliminating the need for airplane auxiliary power units by providing preconditioned air and power at the gate).SFO T2

In addition ..." ...food vendors will be required to use biodegradable tableware and source separate all food service wastes for direct transport to off-Airport composting facilities ... "



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April 19, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22nd 2011) at Starbucks

Starbucks is celebrating EARTH DAY by giving a free cup of coffee if you skip the paper cup .... either bring in your own refillable cup or ask for your coffee in a "for-here" cup.  Either way it is free.  Last year Starbucks had 1.2 million participants !  Starbucks mug

" ... on Earth Day ... inviting everyone to bring in a reusable mug or tumbler and get a free brewed coffee or tea ... hot or iced ... at participating stores in the United States and Canada."

"... We recognize the impact one can make through careful, conscious choices ..."

If you do not have a reusable mug and want to buy one you can get one for 20 % off and then get 10 cents off each time you use it at Starbucks.

Here is your chance to make a positive impact on the environment on Earth Day and every day !


Via:  Starbucks  LINK


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Cool roof saves energy for existing buildings

DOE calculator supports estimation of savings from cool roof installation on buildings.

Cool Roof Calculator.

Dow Chemical, Oak Ridge National Lab, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab plan to collaborate on the improvement of retaining solar reflectance as the coating weathers, using new and accelerated testing protocols.  …

…   “Cool roof coatings are a cost-effective and relatively non-intrusive means of improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings, which offer over 20 billion square feet of commercial roofing space subject to retrofit in the U.S. today. Cool roof coating is applied

DOE estimates that replacing or resurfacing conventional roofing materials with these improved reflective elastomeric roof coatings (ERCs) can reduce a commercial building’s annual air conditioning energy use by up to 25% – an improvement from up to 15% savings of existing ERCs – and decrease annual CO2 emission by 5 metric tons for every 10,000 square feet of commercial roof area.

These ERCs also potentially offer a one-time offset of 150 metric tons of CO2 per 10,000 square feet of cool roof via global cooling (negative radiative forcing).  Energy savings are highly variable based on levels of installed insulation, climate, and other related factors. DOE has a calculator to help building owners determine the potential savings of their buildings …”   …

Via Dow Chemical Press Release: Next Gen Cool Roofs.

Cool Roofs and Thermal Insulation: Energy Savings and Peak Demand Reduction (PDF).

Fact Sheet: Cool Roofs Will Revolutionize the Building Industry: Adoption of infrared-reflective paints is one of the major advances in roofing in our century (PDF).

Energy Savings for Stucco Walls Coated with Cool Colors (PDF).

Saving Energy by Cleaning Reflective Thermoplastic Low-Slope Roofs (PDF).

Reasons to consider elastomeric coatings (Link).

Cool roofs consist of materials that very effectively reflect the sun’s energy from the roof surface (Link).

Philadelphia residents compete in a cool roof contest for the coolest block (Link).

Philadelphia Cool Roofs

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April 18, 2011

Delaware solar installation supports education and sustainable footprint

U of D invests in reducing its carbon footprint and advancing sustainability performanceUniversity of Delaware Green Building through conservation, recycling, and renewable energy.  The efforts are aligned with education objectives, as well.  …

…   “Thin film solar panels on the clerestory roof in the east wing are an educational addition that demonstrates the future of photovoltaics to students.”   …

Via University of Delaware: Green Construction Activities.

Delaware’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory.

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April 17, 2011

University of Delaware climate change dialogue

fosters understanding of global warming, its causes, and potential solutions.  Rajendra K.drpachauri Pachauri sees a portfolio approach to deployment of green technology that will stabilize greenhouse gas accumulation.  The technologies are either currently available or likely to be commercialized in the near term.  …

…   “However, when we include inputs related to increases in the concentrations of greenhouse gases, what we get is almost a perfect fit between model predictions and actual observations.”   …

Via University of Delaware: Climate Discussion.

Dr Rajendra K Pachauri bio.

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April 14, 2011

University of Michigan Quantum Solar Car ready to compete

Michigan’s solar car, the Quantum, is entering its test phase in preparation for theMichigan Solar Car eighteen hundred mile World Solar Challenge, which will take place in the Australian outback in October, 2011. 

The University of Michigan team are champions of the North American Solar Challenge.  The 2011 design has been developed using modeling software to simulate competition conditions.  …

…   “Quantum is a cutting edge electric vehicle with an aerodynamic and light carbon fiber body, a high-performance battery and energy-efficient regenerative braking.”   …

Via University of Michigan: 2011 Quantum Solar Car.

The Michigan Solar Car Team.

Technology behind the success of the solarcar.

World Solar Challenge.

North American Solar Challenge.

The University of Michigan Solar Car Team wins the American Solar Challenge for a third consecutive North American title, by completing the race by more than two hours ahead of its nearest competitor.

Troy Halm, University of Michigan mechanical engineering student, discusses his experiences with the Quantum solar car team.

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April 12, 2011

American University's New School of International Service expected to be LEED Gold

American University School of International Service

American University new School of International Service is expected to receive LEED-GOLD certification.

The building is designed by architect Willam McConough, ... "renown for sustainable design and his "cradle-to cradle" philosophy for recycling and reusing building materials...." .

Some of the many green and environmentally friendly features include: a 33 KW solar energy system, rainwater collection (60,000 gallons) for flushing toilets, LED lighting in the car park, rain gardens, and much more.

Read more by follwing the link below.


 Via:  American University  LINK

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April 11, 2011

Google in Bechtel out as Brightsource solar project investor

Brightsource’s concentrated solar project gets financial boost from Google and theBrightsource Energy solar technology Department of Energy.  The company has a number of solar projects underway in California.  Brightsource technology consists of dual-mirror heliostats that follow the sun to increase energy production.  …

…   “Google stepped in as a new equity investor in the project, agreeing to provide $ 168 million.

And the project's construction contractor, Bechtel Corp., which was the first to commit equity in 2009, decided in the end to drop out as an equity investor.”   …

Via Nasdaq: Brightsource Project.

Brightsource CSP projects.

The three-plant Ivanpah Solar Complex will generate approximately 392 gross megawatts of electricity using the company's innovative, proprietary concentrating solar power CSP technology.

DOE Loan Guarantee for Brightsource in California.

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Gas prices make biofuels more competitive

and we need to make sure that the production of renewable fuels is efficient.  Codexis focuses on biofuel production through the commercialization of an effective catalyst.  …

…   “Codexis produces biocatalysts, which create ethanol faster and cleaner than traditional methods.”   …

Via Money Show: Rising Gas Prices.

Codexis Biocatalysis.

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Energy efficiency education options

Graduate and undergraduate education in energy efficiency is offered at the University of California, Davis with a focus on fundamentals, economics, and innovation.  …

Via UC, Davis: Energy Efficiency.

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April 07, 2011

M.E. Heuck Co. (cookware) Achieves CarbonNeutral® Certification

Heuck logo

Cooks can now buy carbon neutral cookware from M.E. Heuck. 

M.E. Heuck partnered with FirstCarbon Solutions to get a CarbonNeutral® Certification for its ZEROCA line of cookware.  The certification comes from The CarbonNeutral Company.

" ... independent assessment of the CO2 emissions produced from manufacturing and distribution followed by an offset-inclusive carbon management program. ... every metric ton of CO2 that ZEROCA producFirst Carbon Solutions logoes is matched by an equivalent, guaranteed CO2 reduction through a carbon offset project."

M.E. Heuck is the first cookware to achieve CarbonNeutral® Certification.


For more information about FirstCarbon Solutions LINK

For more information about CarbonNeutral Company LINK


Via:  FirstCarbon Solutions LINK

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Facebook open sources green data center details

Facebook hones its craft at the Prineville, Oregon datacenter, where it drives downFacebook Open Compute Project energy consumption and increases efficiency.  The company has chosen to provide its engineering details as open source to collaborate with industry advancing the performance of green datacenters.  …

…   “We decided to honor our hacker roots and challenge convention by custom designing and building our software, servers and data centers from the ground up. 

The result is a data center full of vanity free servers which is 38% more efficient and 24% less expensive to build and run than other state-of-the-art data centers.”   …

Via Facebook: Energy Efficient Data Centers.

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April 06, 2011

Sunshot Solar Photovoltaic Projects Target Manufacturing Processes


The US Department of Energy is enabling the development of advanced solar photovoltaic manufacturing processes through its SunShot Initiative. 

The agency has selected its initial portfolio of projects for up to $112.5 million of investment over five years. 

The program will create a collaborative network of universities, public labs, and photovoltaic manufacturers focused on commercializing new processes. 

The initial project portfolio:

  • Bay Area PV Consortium (BAPVC)
  • SVTC will create a contract PV Manufacturing Development Facility
  • U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC)

…   “The Department's SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships will help the solar power industry overcome technical barriers and reduce costs for PV installations, help the U.S. regain the lead in the global market for solar technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.

By engaging multiple companies across the PV supply chain, the SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships program intends to have broad impact on the U.S. solar industry.

Selected projects will create organizations designed to bring PV companies together in a coordinated environment to address common technology needs. 

The facilities established through these projects will provide services, tools, and facilities to PV companies and suppliers to assist them in developing and demonstrating new technologies and in making the transition to commercial production.”   …

Via Department of Energy: Solar Manufacturing Partnerships.

Photovoltaic cost curve

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Vestas V164-7.0 MW turbine launched (it's huge)

Vestas turbine

Vestas announced their V164-7.0 - the rotor has a diameter of 164 meters and the turbine produces 7 MW of power.  This huge turbine is " ... specifically designed for the roughest North Sea conditions ..." 

" ... designed ... to provide the highest energy capture and the highest reliability in this rough and challenging environment."

Veatas has an installed base of 580 offshore turbines - equal to 43 % of all offshore turbines worldwide.


For a perspective on this huge turbine check out this video …


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April 04, 2011

Education on Geothermal Energy

is available this summer at the University of Nevada, Reno, which is a consortium of the top geothermal schools from around the country whose visiting professors andNevada geo-thermal energy experts will teach about heating and cooling from geo-thermal wells.  …

…   “National Geothermal Academy, an eight-week geothermal energy education program, at the University’s Redfield campus to begin in June of this year.”   …

Via University of Nevada: Geothermal energy academy planned.

Nevada has significant untapped geothermal resources (PDF).

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Arkansas monitors freshwater quality impacts from pollution

Arkansas will study the effects of pollutants on its freshwater resources under a grant from the National Eco-Region Monitoring Program.  …Arkansas water monitoring program

…   “EPA awarded $343,200 to Arkansas to participate in a National Ecoregion Monitoring Program, a Wetlands Survey Project and develop a software program to interface the data.”   …

Via US Environmental Protection Agency: Arkansas Grant.

Elements of a State Water Monitoring and Assessment Program For Wetlands (PDF)

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April 03, 2011

Storage key to solar photovoltaic power success

Storing and concentrating the power generated from solar panels so that it can be used throughout the day is key to driving utilization of this form of renewable energy.  StoragePumped hydro storage technologies range from batteries to pumped hydro.  The pumped hydro storage technique stores energy in the form of water, which has been pumped from a lower elevation to a higher elevation reservoir.  Then, when demand increases, the stored water is released to power turbines.  …

…   “But add storage to allow a utility to deliver in the evening the solar power that was generated during the morning and afternoon, and — through the magic of storage — the figure zooms dramatically.”   …

Via Wired: Renewable Energy.

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Save Some Green - Green Things Store in Philadelphia, Pa

Save Some Green Store in Philadelphia, Pa

Check out the  Save Some Green at 2005 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pa.v

"ALL of our products are better for the environment ... Recycled, Recyclable, Biodegradable, Compostable, ... Sustainable, ... Less-wasteful, Local – or a combination."

The store fixtures are reused or made from bamboo or recycled cardboard. 

" .... carry products which are reasonably priced ... "

They offer to recycle materials such as # 3 - # 7 plastics and even take food for composting !

Check out their website to learn more about what they do and what they offer LINK


Don't live in Philadelphia - see their Amazon store !

Via:  Save Some Green LINK

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Passive Home by Solar Knights Construction

Solar Knight logo

Passive homes are designed to be so energy efficient that they do not need to have normal heating and cooling systems !  There is an air exchange system that brings in fresh air but keeps the heat in the houses.  This efficiency is achieved without compromising the comfort or looks.

" ....  refers to a ... ultra-low energy construction standard developed over the past twenty years by the PassivHaus Institut in Germany. ..."

See video below for more about a home that Solar Knights upgraded to become a Passive Home.



Via: Solar Knights Construction  LINK  

        and Smart Planet LINK

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April 01, 2011

University of Vermont - Green Coach Research Program

University of Vermont logoThe other day while walking in the city I noticed an interesting large green sticker on a intercity bus.  It was from the Green Coach Initiative and promoted the bus line's "support being and acting green."

What a great way to raise Green Awareness !

The University of Vermont with the American Bus Association and the United Motorcoach Association launched the Green Coach Certification Research initiative.  Companies that meet the standards are able to "Wear" the appropriate certification; such as the "Green Coach Energy Reduction CERTIFIED" label below.Green Coach certified energy reduction logo

There are a variety of stickers such as " meeting or exceeding ... 148 passenger miles per gallon ... and ... Offsetting carbon emissions by 80 through an endorsed carbon-trading organization".


Is your bus Green Coach Certified ?


 Via:  University of Vermont  LINK

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