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Efficiency

Clean energy challenges: the power grid and renewable energy infrastructure

The electrical power grid is an interconnected network of national, state and regional infrastructure for generating, transmitting, distributing and delivering electricity from suppliers to customers.Photo from  www.bible-light.comPhoto from www.bible-light.com

In recent years, we have all become familiar with power outages, which questions the reliability of the existing electricity grid. Blackouts are experienced in different regions, affecting residents, businesses, and daily life. Due to the storm on Tuesday, October 14, 2009, with heavy winds and rain, more than 35,000 customers were without power in the Bay Area.... read more

Electric Vehicles also mean bikes and tricycles

Tricycles for adults? Electric bikes as a replacement for cars?

Two and three wheel electric powered bikes, also referred to as ebikes, motorized bicycle or light electric vehicle (LEV), have been gaining popularity. The market for ebikes is growing faster than the one for cars and trucks and it's one of the booming Green sectors.

Motorized bicycles are powered by an electric motor (in the past, some used a small internal combustion engine) and they are distinguished from electric motorcycles and scooters by being capable of being powered by pedals alone, if required.

Electric bikes and tricycles have the potential to revolutionize transportation in our neighborhoods, places of work, and ‘going’ around town. A significant percentage of car rides are for short trips to local destinations, running errands, accessing your town’s shops or business districts, getting to medical appointments, riding to work, etc., often with only one person in the car.

Touted as a substitute to automobiles, electric bikes and trikes enable us to drive a car significantly less. In some cases it may replace a car altogether.

As a transportation mode, ebikes have a direct impact on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Automobiles contribute to air, water, and noise pollution. The motored bike’s footprint is so minor when compared to that of a midsize car, which creates thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in its manufacturing process and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an additional 20 pounds per gallon is burned while driving.... read more

Emerging Green economy: building and home efficiency careers and why they matter

Almost every industry has been affected by the emerging green economy. As public awareness broadens, the sector of building and home efficiency audits grows. Certified professionals inspect homes, offices, commercial and industrial buildings, and work with the owners to optimize the economic, energy and environmental performance of their buildings.Image by Avi, Avi Decorative Painting, Inc.Image by Avi, Avi Decorative Painting, Inc.... read more

Solar events in the San Francisco Bay Area

Upcoming SOLAR events in the San Francisco Bay Area - Week of October 19 - 24, 2009

Tapping into solar energy has many benefits: reduced burning of fossil fuels, independence from foreign energy producers, a lower electricity and gas usage bill -- and helping protect the planet's climate! ... read more

Telecommuting to go Green

Telecommuting seems like a pretty sweet deal.  Working on your laptop on the couch in sweatpants with your cat keeping you company?  Not bad! The perks of telecommuting go beyond the relaxed environment and not having to brush your hair.  It can also really help the environment.

The average American spends 49 minutes a day commuting.  Unless this commuting time is spent on bike, foot, or public transportation, it can really take a toll on the environment.  (And your health!  A study in Los Angeles showed that 33% to 45% of all the pollution that commuters were exposed to in a day came from their commute.)

Not all jobs are conducive to telecommuting, but many are, and your boss might be more receptive than you think.  PlanetGreen even has tips on how to approach the subject with your boss.

To make an impact, you don't even need to work from home full-time.  ... read more

White Roof: All The Cool Roofs Are Doin' It!

Hybrid in the driveway?  Check.  Stylish green recycle logo t-shirt?  Check.  Fan of Keen for Green on Facebook?  Check.  White roof on house?  Che...  Hu?  Oh come on.  All the cool roofs are doin' it!  Dark roofing material is so 20th century.

White Roof Before and After KeenforGreen

It must have stung when your month old hybrid got trumped by your neighbor's electric, and here's your chance to get 'em back.   You could be the first kid on your block with a brand new white roof.  They say revenge is best served cold, and that's the whole idea behind cool roofs.  Okay so maybe not the revenge part, but definitely the cold part.  I know it's childish to play "out-green your neighbor," but I don't think your mother (nature) will mind.... read more

Clean Tech applications: Ride share and carpooling

Remember how hitchhiking was an accepted mode of transit in America years ago? Well, now we have ride sharing. With approximately ¾ of commuters driving alone to work in the U.S. every weekday, alternative transportation modes bring many benefits.

Photo by dreamstime.comPhoto by dreamstime.com

Ride sharing is a simple way to save money, reduce one’s carbon footprint, provide opportunities to network and expand one’s contacts, reduce driving stress, as well as pleasant. Find friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are traveling the same way you are – for school, work, events or leisure – and share a ride.

There are several variations of sharing transit: carpooling, where pool members use their own private cars. Ride-share also refers to members jointly share the costs of a rented car; or sharing a ride in a hired vehicle with a hired driver, like a shared taxi, shuttle, vanpools, etc.... read more

Do electric cars really help the environment? Are they 'green'?

Are hybrid and electric vehicles batteries a Green alternative or add hazardous chemicals to our landfills?

Visiting the West-Coast Green conference in San Francisco this past week confirmed the feel-good and coolness of electric vehicles. Photo from hybridcars.com: Photo from hybridcars.comPhoto from hybridcars.com: Photo from hybridcars.com

I would definitely be a happy camper if I win the electric bike or electric tricycle raffle!... read more

Building Energy Quotient Enters The Scene

Another metric for judging the energy efficient has been added to LEED and Energy Star, this one stemming from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. This new label will grade buildings based on a system that every school child knows and loves: the letter system. Yes, now buildings will have to go without TV if they are found to have a D- in energy efficiency.... read more

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