Go to this blogger post to learn more about what PDX is doing to go green.
While comparing fuels I found an interesting comparison that I had never even considered. Is walking and bicycling truly better for the environment? Does it use less fuel? Produce fewer emissions? Of course I naturally answered yes, very quickly, but I learned I was very wrong.
I found several different websites comparing the amount of fuel used in walking, biking and driving. When walking and cycling I had not considered that the fuel used is the food that was eaten by the person traveling. Not only is this considered a fuel, but I also had to realize that, if it was meat, the animal had eaten fuel (grain and such) before the human ate the animal. There is also the processing and transportation of the animal, which uses more fuels.
“David Pimentel of Cornell University calculates that it takes nearly twice as much fossil energy to produce a typical American diet than a pure vegetarian diet.” (Michael Bluejay) Mr. Pimentel considers the typical American diet one that contains red meats and such – the average American diet. On Bicycleuniverse.info, Michel Bluejay explains that beef requires 200 times more fossil fuel to produce then veggies and grains do. This is because cattle eat 14 times more grain they produce as meat.
Chris Goodall author of ‘How to live a low-carbon life’ estimates that if a human walks 1.5 miles and replace those calories burned with 1 cups of milk the emissions are about equal to a normal car trip.
In the end meat eaters’ use about 200 more gallons of fossil fuels per year then a vegetarian does. In driving terms this equates to 14 extra miles per day.
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I read an interesting article online about the energy situation in Hawaii. I agree with the author Shermakaye Bass who says that Blue Hawaii needs to go green in order to be energy self-sustaining state.
Currently, Hawaii gets 90 percent of its energy from imported oil, while its isolation makes it vulnerable to frequent power outages. Price for electricity here is from 25 to 55 cents per kilowatt hour which is - three to five times the national average. Gas prices are the highest in the US..
On the other hand, Hawaii has some of the best wind, some of the best solar, some of the best access to the ocean to use wave power, a lot of waste-biomass, and one of the most volcanic activity to use for geo-thermal power.
All of these sources can and will be used to produce alternative energy for the island, says Kimura, solar-tech pioneer and the founder of clean-energy/eco-friendly Sopogy company. His company recently introduced a new rooftop Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) collector which are about 30 percent cheaper than traditional solar collectors.
These new solar power collectors represent one of nearly $1 billion in clean energy projects which will be implemented in Hawaii during the next two decades.
The article says that in January 2008, during her State of the State address, Gov. Linda Lingle told constituents she would make energy a priority. Within a few days after her speech, Honolulu had signed the historic Clean Energy Initiative with the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), whereby America’s 50th state would shift from a fossil-fuel driven economy to one that buzzed with power from wind, sun, water (and biofuel and geothermal tech and hydrogen fuel…) by 2030. Specifically, the plan calls for Hawaii to get 70 percent of its power from clean energy – 40 percent from actual renewable power, 30 percent from energy efficiency and consumer conservation.
To read the rest of the article you can go to this website: http://www.greenrightnow.com/kabc/2009/10/28/blue-hawaii-getting-greener-every-day/
These are all easy to do and the materials and instructions are available at most home improvement stores.
1. Wrap your water heater in an insulating cover.
2.Weather strip around your windows and doors.
3.Clean or replace the filters in your furnace or air conditioner as recommended.
4.Set your washing machine temperature to warm or cold.
5.Hang clothes to dry if weather permits.
6.Use a low flow shower head.
7.Run your dishwasher only when full-your washing machine too.
8. Use your microwave rather than the oven when possible.
9.Lower the temperature on your water heater.
10.Insulate your water pipes.
The hope is that with more consumers looking for alternative fuel the cost will become more acceptable and cost effective. There are no perfect answers but with education and hard work bio fuels can become a household word.
To read more about cost effectiveness go to this How Stuff Works article.
Energy Island gathers energy from several natural resources all at once. My favorite part of this concept is that this type of station actually releases cooler temperatures as opposed to warmer ones. This is important nowadays because of the global warming issue. Humans still need to gather energy, but the way we are doing it now is adding to the global warming problem, which doesn’t really help in the future.
There are some small environmental impacts that are being addressed right now. This island draws up water from below are uses the temperatures to convert energy. When this machine draws up water all marine life is filtered out harmlessly except for phytoplankton, which are too small to get filtered. This phytoplankton can still be used for fish farming, but what are they effects of removing all these species? This is under consideration now.
Please check out this video, which explains Energy Island as well as shows some pictures that help you to understand the workings of this project.
To view the full article, go to: http://www.kgw.com/environment/stories/kg_103109_green_energy_efficiency.270c78877.html.
Last Updated: June 27, 2008: 7:46 AM EDT
A devastated corn crop is likely to exacerbate costs at the grocer. Some people are pointing a finger at the ethanol production laws.
Living in a dairy farming community and having owned a dairy farm in the past, I pay attention to the price of milk and feed that is used to produce the milk. Although feed prices have come down somewhat in the last six months, in the year before, beginning in 2008, prices spiked like crazy and it became a hardship to purchase cattle feed.
One of the reasons for the high feed costs is that the price of corn - a staple ingredient in a variety of foods from cereals to cola and the main ingredient in animal feed -was selling above $7.50 a bushel, about 119% above the price from 2007.
In 2008, the rising price of corn fueled a movement to reduce the amount of corn ethanol that was added to American gasoline.
Ethanol's primary component is corn, so demand for the crop has soared since the ethanol standard was enacted in 2005 and increased with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The government passed the legislation in an effort to support the U.S. farm and ethanol industry, to promote cleaner-burning fuels and to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. The backfire of the legislation, was the high price of corn as it became more valuable for fuel than food. Many farmers are barely hanging on as they try to cope with the high feed costs.
To read the entire article, go to http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/27/news/economy/ethanol_food_prices/index.htm
posted by Shelley H
Learn more about it at Times Online http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4133668.ece
This interactive calendar allows users to learn about seminars or workshops that are relevant to them. Among many others listed, the calendar boasts informative lectures on the use and savings associated with solar panels, the hidden electricity costs in one’s home and how to reduce those costs.
If you’re a home-owner, or just curious about how you can save money on electricity this is a good place to start.