I recently did an interview with a local radio station. I’d been invited on to talk about Earth Month and what we can do in our homes to reduce our carbon footprint.
I offered up my usual advice — neither new nor glamorous, but nonetheless worth repeating. We must, I said, remember that the three Rs start with “reduce.” We absolutely must reduce our consumption of fossil-fuel-burning energy. And then I outlined how incredibly simple — as well as economically sound — this is. If you’re doing it right, I said, living green should, overall, save you money.
The radio interviewer interrupted. “Hasn’t Earth Day lost its appeal?” he asked. “Didn’t it used to be trendy? Don’t you worry now that no one cares?”
Sure, you’ve thought about adding solar panels to your roof as a way of reducing your home’s carbon footprint. Maybe you’ve even given wind power a gander. But what about ground source heat pumps?
There are many ways in which waging war is not a green proposition (depleted uranium casings, anyone?). But the military’s huge need for energy is making it a leader in exploring green technologies and renewable energy.
Since I’m currently living as an expatriate in Sweden, I have been watching the stimulus package action from afar — with envy! Details are now emerging on how U.S. homeowners can take advantage of tax credits for energy-efficient improvements: a 30 percent rebate, up to a max of $1,500 for most projects. (The old federal tax credit was 10 percent up to a max of $500.)
Smart grids. Everyone’s talking about them. President Obama wants to include the beginnings of a new smart grid in the economic recovery package. Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens started calling for an overhaul of the power grid last year as he touted his wind energy plan. And GE even laid down a serious chunk of change to run ads during the Super Bowl (featuring the Wizard of Oz’s hapless scarecrow) simply to convince folks a smart grid might be quite a nice thing to have — and perchance also that GE would be a dandy company to help build it. (See the ad on Earth2Tech.)
Every week we highlight the best articles, blogs, news, videos and interesting Web tidbits to help you live green, be healthy, and connect with your sense of spirituality. Read our roundup for info that just helps you live better.
Obamas Hire Green Chef
What if you could generate energy simply by walking? Or by boogie-ing on a dance floor? Or by driving your car on any old road?
That’s the premise behind piezoelectricity. Certain crystals or ceramic materials can generate an electric charge simply by having stress applied to them — the stress, for example, of a person walking on or a car driving over them.
It’s mid-December, and you’re still not sure what to get your sweetie? Try one of these green tech goodies.
Solar Gorilla, $250
Every now and then, you’ll hear about a new wave energy project, and if you’re like me, your reaction is probably, “Waves, energy, that sounds cool.” But then I wonder, if wave power is so cool, how come it’s not being implemented more widely? Maybe you’ve wondered that as well. If so, here’s your wave power cheat sheet.
The Solar Living Institute just published its amazing new class schedule. This nonprofit is doing more to promote solar energy than any other organization I know of — especially with its recent focus on green careers and green workforce development.