Archive for November, 2007

Green Grinch


The following is from the New York Times:

“The holidays have always been an emotionally combustible time for families, bringing together a sometimes volatile mix of siblings, crotchety grandparents and ill-behaved children. But in recent years, a new figure has joined the celebration, to complicate the proceedings even further: the green evangelist of the family — the impassioned activist bent on eradicating the wasteful materialism of the holidays. Otherwise known, at least to skeptical traditionalists, as the new Grinch.”

“This Grinch, however, is not out to spoil Christmas, but merely to use it as a platform to advocate ecological responsibility. Perhaps emboldened by the ‘Live Earth’ benefit concerts and Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize, this is the family member who is the first to point out, over the bountiful Christmas dinner, that the 2.6 billion holiday cards sold each year in the United States could fill a landfill the size of a football field 10 stories high, or that those conventional lights on the Christmas tree contribute up to nine times as much greenhouse-gas emissions as the leaner-burning L.E.D. models; or that some Christmas-tree growers use as many as 40 different pesticides, as well as chemical colorants, on their crops.”

So during this holiday spend time with your friends and family, spread the word about sustainability, and be a Grinch.

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From User to Generator

Now that Google is on board with renewable energy technologies, be on the look for mainstream solar, wind, water, and geothermal technologies. If Wal-Mart follows suit, watch out!

Ideally, every home in the world would generate all of the energy it needed for daily activities.

Google Likes Renewable Energy

Recently Google announced RE less than C — an initiative to make renewable energy less expensive than coal. The initiative will focus on solar thermal power, wind power, geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies. There initial target is to make 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity at or below the cost of coal-generated electricity.

Google is planning to issue grants around $10 million each for research and design dealing with renewable technologies. Overall, the company expects to spend hundreds of millions on investments.

Google has already identified some target investments: eSolar (solar thermal power) and Makani Power Inc (high-altitude wind).

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This map was put together by Sightline.org, and it shows how the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions compare to other countries in the world. For example, Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions are equivalent to that of the entireCzech Republic.

The United States has roughly 290 million people, and the other 50 countries shown on the map have about 1.5 billion people.

Plastic Bag Ban

San Francisco has banned large grocery stores from offering their customers plastic bags. The ordinance will go into affect December 1st, but it will not prevent small retail businesses and grocery stores from offering plastic bags.

Large grocery stores will be allowed to use plastic bags that are compostable or paper bags that are made of recycled paper. The compostable bags must be clearly labeled and be disposed of in the city’s green waste bins — not the regular garbage. The city hopes that this ordinance will encourage the use of reusable canvas bags.

City officials estimated that more than 180 million plastic bags are handed out in the city each year, and a majority of them end up on city streets, clog storm drains, harm wildlife, and jam machines used in recycling.

Your Life is 52% Green

Your life is pretty green – and you know a lot about how to live an eco friendly life. So congratulate yourself for being good to the earth. And maybe think about implementing some of the ideas from this quiz!

Blog Readability Score

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According to the “Blog Readability Test,” I’m Spatial’s reading level rates “genius.”

Greenwashing

Greenwashing – When manufacturers, advertisement agencies, and other marketers falsely claim that a product is green and environmentally friendly.

To learn more about greenwashing go to www.ecologo.org.

Most Dangerous US Cities

The Most Dangerous US Cities were ranked based on crime statistics from the FBI:
1. Detroit, Michigan
2. St. Louis, Missouri
3. Flint, Michigan
4. Oakland, California
5. Camden, New Jersey
6. Birmingham, Alabama
7. North Charleston, South Carolina
8. Memphis, Tennessee
9. Richmond, California
10. Cleveland, Ohio

Football Championship Subdivision

The field of 16 has been announced for the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (D1-AA), and the James Madison Dukes will travel to North Carolina in the first round to take on the mighty giant killers Appalachian State. Once again, JMU will have to make a championship run on the road. Hopefully last year’s heart breaking lost against Youngstown State will motivate the team to win one for the gipper.

Go Dukes!