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Preventing Pollution

Interview with Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, Author of AB 1998 - Ban the Bag

I have had the wonderful opportunity to connect with Assemblywoman Julia Brownley regarding the pending legislation bill that if passed, would BAN THE BAG!! This issue hits very close to home for me because UCSB friends and I have spent a lot of time and effort raising awareness of the detrimental effects single-use bags have on our local environment while also promoting reusable bags. Assemblywoman Brownley is taking initiative in addressing this issue through AB 1998. If passed, the bill will be a milestone California can be proud of in terms of environmental protection in the form of prevention instead of mitigation... This interview is a great follow-up to a recent post I made about AB 1998. (Keep your eyes open for an upcoming Company profile with ChicoBag!)... read more

Ban the Bag! California's effort to ban the use of single-use plastic bags

Over 19 billion plastic bags are used annually in California, and constitute one of the largest forms of urban litter pollution. Urban litter pollution is the primary component of marine litter, which feeds into the North Pacific Gyre - also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.... read more

About the BP Oil Spill & How to Help

Feeling a little helpless about the BP oil spill?   Me too...but there are many ways to help!

There's a lot of information, misinformation, and unanswered questions about the horrifying BP oil spill.  I've compiled a list of resources below to follow what's been going on.   ... read more

Sewage Treatment - Micromidas has Green Technology for a Messy Problem

As I noted in an earlier post, the matter of figuring out the best way to dispose of human waste has been haunting mankind since the beginnings of civilization.   Current treatment of raw sewage results in large quantities of sludge which is not good fertilizer and is laden with toxic materials. Disposing of sludge is a huge problem for waste treatment plants.   Enter Micromidas, a finalist at the Clean Tech Open.  They have an idea - and it sounds like it's loadSludgeSludgeed with win!

Why It's Keen:  

Using Microbes, they are able to convert the CO2 in the sludge into polyhydroxylalkanoate (PHA) flakes which then can be turned into bio-plastics.  Bio-plastics can be used for plastic containers and function similar to synthetic plastics.   Finally, by capturing carbon that would normally be released into the atmosphere the process should result in carbon credits, mostly likely for the municipality who runs the sewage treatment plant.  If this turns out to be true, it could be a key element in turning this technology into a reality as it will make it easier to be economically as well as environmentally justified.  

Why It's Green:  

... read more

Green test your home and save money!

How would your home or building perform on a Green test?

Buildings and homes rarely operate at peak performance. The sector of building and home efficiency audits,  a growing vocation in the San Francisco Bay Area and California, focuses on optimizing the comfort of buildings and houses occupants, money saving, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving utilization of resources. Image by Avi Decorative Painting, Inc.Image by Avi Decorative Painting, Inc.... read more

Clean Tech Open Gala Awards

I was fortunate enough to attend the CleanTech Open this week in San Francisco.   The  CleanTech Open is a business plan competition in the Green sector and they provide mentoring and  significant funding (and media and VC attention) to Green start-ups.   These were their Academy Awards at the beautiful Masonic.   I particularly enjoyed the variety, creativity and potential of the finalists  and imagine  there are many great ideas that didn't make it to the finals.  This gave me a lot to write about and even one product to lust about.  I want one of these 3 wheeled vehicles which will get 100 mpg and bends into a turn like a motorcycle (from Green Lite Motors).... read more

Green Lite Motors

Smart-Grid solutions and sustainable software

A Smart-Grid is defined as an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. It can be referred to at a city level, county, state, or national level, or even throughout a continent. The grid supports electricity generation, electric power transmission and distribution.


Other terms for Smart-Grid are smart electric grid, power grid, intelligent grid, FutureGrid, microgrid, intergrid and intragrid.Original photo from FreeFoto.comOriginal photo from FreeFoto.com


Smart grids use digital technology to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. Software is a critical component to successful Smart-Grid operations. Software standards, security and Open Source/Open Access methodologies have been gaining traction as the solution to Smart-Grid software applications: they are sustainable, cost effective and collaborative.


The Open Source initiative and Free Software methodology are two movements that focus on everyone’s right to use software.


products freely without paying the high costs required by the software companies. They also focus on the principle that the software source code must be available to everyone to modify, enhance, distribute or port to new environments.


Open Source is an architecturally driven approach that is not linked to a particular software company and can be applied at the strategic and enterprise levels as well as in tactical projects.


Using open source software enables the concept of FISDev, a Framework for Integrated Sustainable Development, which helps organizations move towards a software development approach focused on Sustainable Development.


Read more about Green software and sustainable software design.... read more

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

Green your Holidays; Green your gifts

How to reduce usage of gift wraps? How about saving trees?

Learn about biodegradable dinnerware and other green suggestions for your festive.

And, of course, best ideas for Green Gift Giving!

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 Avi Green Now!, an environmental and educational venue, presents:... read more

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