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Don't Believe the Hype... in Lithium-Ion Batteries

In the words of that dynamic duo of Chuck D & Flava Flav, DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!  Well, that is sort of what Vinod Khosla said recently about the potential of lithium ion batteries at the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford.  And why should you listen to this Mr. Khosla, you may ask.  Well, this is the man who founded Sun Microsystems and is one of the top investors in clean technology.  For example, he currently is a major investor in both Sakti3 and Seeo, two lithium ion start ups.

Vinod Khosla Questions Lithium Ion Batteries

The problem, according to Khosla, is that lithium ion batteries are still cost restrictive.  In an interview with GoodCleanTech Khosla states, “The most important thing to remember is economic gravity — the cheapest thing ends up winning.”  The only way that lithium batteries will become cost competitive is if oil jumps to $150 a barrel.  (Which is a very real possibility once the global economy rebounds.)  ... read more

Mine Shafts Source of Geo-Thermal Energy

When I think of mining I think of this old fella I know. Comes from Pennsylvania and was a cold miners son. He tells of this cold mines where the men would work sometimes in 14 hour shifts without sunlight. A month of that, as he puts it, drove him straight into the navy. He tells that same story every time I see him.

 

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Confusion over US Cash for Clunkers Program

The United States is currently spearheading an effort to lower carbon emissions and boost the flailing auto industry with a government sponsored cash for clunkers program. The program, officially titled, Cars Allowance Rebate System, seeks to provide up to $4,500 towards a purchase of a new car if an older, less gas efficient model is taken off the street. Sounds simple, well as they say the devil is in the details.

US Cash for Clunkers Program The standards originally announced for the program have been changed. As Business Week reported, this altered whether 164 vehicles would be covered by the program. Of these 78 will no longer qualify while another 86 vehicles will. Confused? Well, don't feel alone.... read more

Case Study of the Dangers of Green Roofs

Stephen Del Percio of the Green Real Estate Journal recently wrote about some of the dangers connected with green roofs, particularly installation of uneducated project teams. In the article he cites a story by Kelly Luckett, the "Green Roof Guy" of greenroofs.com.

The story goes that a Toronto based team, in which Mr. Luckett was a part of, installed a green roof in 2008. The owner of the premises where the installation occured decided to disconnect the irrigation sytem after the intial establishment phase at the urging of another contractor. The contractor convinced the owner that the irrigation was not neccessary because of the climate of Toronto. By doing this the owner would achieve LEED certification.

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National Geographic Green Effect Contest Winners

What have nearly 2,500 people and teams been doing over the last few months?  Entering into the National Geographic sponsored Green Effect contest.  The contest is based on submissions from every day people involving an idea about some small green task that will have a possible big effect on the envrionment - a green effect.

 

National Geographic Green Effect Contest Winners

This huge amount of submissions were combed through by a five judge panel, including hollywood star Edward Norton, whom chose the ten best.  The judge panel then went through these entries and picked the four best.  Another winner was added from online voting.  Each of the winners recieved a $20,000 grant to make their dreams realities.... read more

Green Pet Tips

Welcome everyone to another trip across the blogs.  Today we are looking specifically at pets, those furry friends that we all love so much.  We may try to recycle all plastics, eat local and use a canvas bag whenever we go out, but what about our pets?  What are we doing to help make their lifestyles more sustainable and eco-friendly?  Well, today we chose articles that can help you in this evolution (or is is it devolution) into an earth friendly pet.

Green Pet Tips- The Family

How to Go Green: Pets: Planet Green is always a great source of simple greening guides. The pet guide provided is no different. Providing a list of tips, links to articles and green pet products; this pet guide is one of the best places to start the changes in a pets life.

Green Pet Tips- Fun Dog Toys

Great Green Pet: Now, let's highlight one blog that is all about pets. GreatGreenPet is a shopping blog devoted to the green, eco-friendly, pet owner. A cool source to find all those eco-friendly doggy type such as the Tux. The tux is pliable, bouncy, non-toxic, recyclable and buoyant toy including a space for doggy biscuits.

Green Pet Tips

5 Ways To Be a Green Pet Owner: Start With A Recycled Dog Or Cat: A wonderful idea for many would be pet owners. The Fun Guide is pointing out that not only materials are recycled but also our good companions. Next time you need to introduce a feline to your family maybe go to the local shelter or take a cat off someone no longer able to take care of it. Those furballs still have so much love to give.

And today, I am cheating a bit by choosing two articles from a single blog. Green Living Ideas just provided two of the most amazing tips I had to highlight both. 5 Natural Flea Treatments is first with two just brilliant ideas; washing your pet in salt water and adding brewer's yeast to your pets food. Homemade Dog Food Serves Up Natural Nourishment is wonderful article because it provides super easy, natural recipes to feed that pooch you have.

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Green Double Deckers

The United Kingdom is known for many things, but one of the most recognizable is the huge double decker buses that drive through the streets of every major metropolis.  These symbols of British mass transits are now entering the next century of green technology.  Volvo is launching a hybrid version of double deckers along the roads of London. These buses will utilize Volvo's hybrid I-Sam technology, combining diesel and electric power.  The company originally believed that the buses would save 20 to 25 percent in fuel usage, but in reality it was more than 30 percent.... read more

Great Green Articles on International Emission Standards, Wal-mart and Popular Science's Green Guide

Welcome back to another week of green news from across traditional media.  Once again, the mainstream media is reporting on a number of developing stories.  Some focus on international and national issues, while others highlight small developments in sustainability. I found all the articles interesting and highlighting worthwhile topics.  Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Wal-Mart using its clout to go green: The Boston Globe published a small editorial comment on Wal-Mart's new eco-labeling initiative and the possible ramifications. A great explanation of why many company's will change habits merely because they have to now release embarrassing information, but I find the author to be a little condescending. He writes, "Wal-Mart's total annual purchases emanate from China, where it is high time environmental standards are raised." Really? Yes, China needs to raise envrionmental standards definitely in the industrial sector, but this sentence makes it seem like it is a free for all in China with no regulation. I wonder if the author knows that China has higher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles than the US?

India unable to accept any legally binding cut in greenhouse gas emissions: The Hindu, India's National Newspaper, is reporting that India will not accept any legally binding agreement for reduction of carbon emission.  This is a huge blow for the Obama administration that sought some kind of agreement from India for reducing its carbon footprint.  Though both nations plan to work together to reduce global warming, most believe that no real action will be taken without legally binding treaties to force individuals and industries to curb their output of carbon.

popular Science Green Home GuidePopular Science helps you green your home: The Miami Herald did a quick piece on Popular Science's new online "Green Home Guide." The guide is in a magazine format and chock full of great information. Click on the title to be take directly to the guide.

"Green" radio emits from Palm Beach Gardens: South Florida now has its first all green envrionmental radio show.  The show, "Radio Green Earth," will provide a variety of interviews with policymakers, activists and entrepreneurs in the green sector.  Ed Begely,Jr. is already on the interview schedule.U.S. Green Building Council's new headquarters earns LEED Platinum:  Sometimes the government gets it right.  Building, Design and Construction reports that the U.S. Green Building Council recently announced Platinum certification of its new Washington, D.C. headquarters.  This makes the 75,000 sq. ft. building the it the first project to receive certification under the latest version of the LEED green building rating system.  Read the article to find out what makes this building so green.

Great Green Books Reviewed

Welcome everyone to another fun Friday edition of quick hits.  I try to spotlight areas of the green movement that people would find enjoyable or just simply get a kick out of.  Today I decided to focus on an activity near and dear to many of our hearts, reading.  Many of those involved in the green field are avid enthusiasts of the written word or even budding authors themselves!  So, I scoured the internet for reviews of books involving sustainability or environmentalism.  The books must be interesting and the reviews must be well written.  I think the list I put together meets both of these criteria.  Please read the reviews and possibly go out and buy some of these great books.  Enjoy your weekend and here is hoping that it is full of green reading adventures.

Great Green Books Reviewed, It's Easy Being Green

It's Easy Being Green by Crissy Trask: Shirley Siluk Gregory of Suite 101 did a review of this, "nuts and bolts," guide to green living. I read this book and agree with the reviewer that it is not only informational but inspirational. For example, Ms. Gregory points out how the book utilizes inspirational quotes and whimsical illustrations to personalize a very no-nonsense explanation of multiple aspects of a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle.

Great Green Books Reviewed, Smart Mama's Green Guide

Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Exposure by Jennifer Taggart: The Devourer of Books Blog gives a glowing review to this title based on not only its readability and solution based approach. What made this review so interesting is that originally the reviewer had to put down the book because she thought it would instill too much terror into her life. She had just gave birth and did not want to know how all these chemicals were hurting, possibly even shortening the life of, her newborn. When she did pick the book up again she found its solution based conclusions to the chapters welcoming. I also agree with how this reviewer sentiments; please give me a solution in your book and not just more things to be afraid of.

Surviving And Thriving On The Land by Rebecca Laughton: The Green Guys Global, a UK based site, gave a mixed review to this text about running a successful small-holding farm. The book follows a scholarly approach (thesis, historical background, subject by subject analysis) and aims to offer an encyclopedic approach to the subject. The author found this to be very informative but not casual reader friendly. Get the book if you are planning on starting a farm but skip it otherwise.

Great Green Books Reviewed, Bothered By My Green Conscience

Bothered By My Green Conscience by Franke James: Treehugger reviewed a wonderful book that I simply can't recommend enough. This book is a collection of five illustrated essays that Mr. James originally presented on his blog, which can be found here. A funny and honest look at one man's pursuit of a green life.

Great Green Books Reviewed, Food Matters

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman: Finally, we turn to Kings University and their review of this eco-conscious diet book. This great little read is really a two-in-one deal. The first half of the book revolves around on how Mr. Bittman changed his own personal eating habits and got healthy. This is mixed with a heavy dose of information regarding the food industry. The second half is a recipe book that puts this new lifestyle into action. A perfect food book, equal parts prose and recipes, that leaves any reader with a good aftertaste.

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Walmart Mandates Green Labels

The world's largest retailer is leading the way in helping consumers know the impacts of the products they buy.  Announced on Wednesday, Walmart is planning to mandate eco-ratings on all products sold in their stores.  These ratings, similar to those provided by the GoodGuide, will grade a product on environmental and societal factors.

Walmart Green Label

This step to create an electronic index of ratings is a bold step by the largest retailer, who is continually spearheading new green initiatives.  The guide will be created by mandating that all 100,000 of Walmart's suppliers answer fifteen questions such as, “Have you set publicly available greenhouse gas reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets?”  These answers will be entered into a matrix created by scholars and experts to produce a simple score that the consumer can read on the package.... read more

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