Green Tech Online Degrees

Is It Eco-Friendly to Go to School Online?
Green Tech Online DegreesSure, you use some energy keeping the computer on long enough to study your materials, engage in a community forum with your classmates, and email your professor your homework, but is it actually doing something positive, or minimizing harmful effects to the environment when you participate in an online program for a degree, rather than an on-campus one? Let’s think about this.
What about the text books? They require trees, processing likely with dyes or chemicals, transportation for shipping or distribution, etc. What if your online text books for something like a basic Psychology degree online were completely taken out of the equation, because you could access your text materials online? What if it were a PDF that you downloaded, or an eBook that you had to read on your Kindle or iPad? Yes, there are the associated costs with producing eBook readers, including all the same distribution costs as text books, but what if the average amount of text books associated with a standard B.A. program is something like 100? Buying one Kindle instead of 100 text books might start to make a fairly significant difference, right? Continue reading

Oregon Fuel Cell Company Signs Landmark $500m, 50 MW Deal

Fuel Cell Manufacturer ClearEdge Power Lands Deal With Güssing Renewables
ClearEdge Power Fuel CellIn a milestone event for the fuel cell industry, ClearEdge Power has landed the largest order to date for stationary fuel cells. The Hillsboro, Oregon based company will be delivering 8.5 MW of capacity by 2015 and the full 50 MW by 2020 to Austrian utility Güssing Renewable Energy.
ClearEdge Power won its big break due to the company’s scalable suite of residential fuel cell systems, which start at 5 kW and can be combined incrementally to provide up to 200 kW. This scalability proved decisive in securing the deal with Güssing, which intends to create a distributed network of fuel cells that will run on biogas extracted from local agricultural and forestry operations.
Güssing, an administrative district of about 30,000 in southeastern Austria, already achieved acclaim as the first community to generate its entire energy demand entirely from local, renewable resources. Clean energy initiatives have brought the region out of poverty by attracting businesses and innovators with low, stable energy prices–a sharp contrast to Austria’s roughly 1€/kW costs. Continue reading

New Corporate Sustainability Council of Major Companies

IBM and World Environment Center to Lead New Corporate Sustainability Council of Major Companies
From a Press Release issued January 17, 2012 at Market Watch
IBM and sustainability“ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — IBM and the World Environment Center (WEC) today announced the formation of the Innovations in Environmental Sustainability Council, comprised of leading global companies that will explore how innovation in business process and technology can enable strategic solutions to major sustainability challenges involving materials, energy, water, infrastructure and logistics.”
“Charter members of the council will include Boeing, CH2M HILL, The Coca-Cola Company, The Dow Chemical Company, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, General Motors, IBM, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, The Walt Disney Company and WEC.” Continue reading

Shop Green Toys for the Holidays

Green Toys
Looking for BPA-free and Phthalate-free toys for your toddler for the holidays? Green Toys’ products are made mostly from recycled milk containers, the rest from other recycled plastic. The milk cartons are reprocessed much cleaner plastic, so there’s no worrying when your child puts it in his or her mouth.
All toys are totally safe and made in the U.S., cutting down on the energy used in transportation. Green Toys explains, “[The toys] are produced in California, a state known for strict toy safety and environmental laws. It’s cool to buy USA, but also think about this: transportation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gasses.”
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Energy Secretary Doesn’t Apologize for Solyndra Deal

Chu Says Solyndra Was “Very Regrettable”
Washington, By Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, From 11/17/11
Solyndra headquarters
According to a recent news item on USA Today regarding the very public and very botched federal funding for Solyndra, “Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra was ‘very regrettable,’ but he declined to apologize for the Obama administration’s decision to award the now-bankrupt company a $535 million loan guarantee.”
The hearing lasted almost five hours last Thursday, and featured questions vollied at the Energy Secretary by the House’s Energy Subcommittee, specifically in charge of investigating what went wrong with Solyndra. Republicans on the subcommittee pressed Steven Chu about what went into his decision regarding the loan restructuring for the then-struggling solar panel manufacturer.
With the loan restructuring deal approved by Chu last February, “taxpayer debt was put behind $75 million in new private investment. Republicans questioned the legality of placing private investor claims ahead of those by taxpayers and asked whether he still had President Obama’s backing after the decision.”
Read more: Chu balks at apologizing for Solyndra deal
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Using Technology to Reduce Energy Costs

Green Gadgets Save the Day by Offering Energy Efficiency for the Home
Compact Fluorescent Bulb
For lovers of all things gadgetry, there’s a bit of a potential impasse when it comes to adding one more electronic device to the home or office, while still maintaining a sense of responsibility to the environment and keeping an eye on the power bills that end up in the mailbox. But never fear. The age of the green gadget is here, so collect the gadgets and learn how to save some money on your energy use while you’re at it. Not a bad proposition, then, is it?
If you keep a flash light under the kitchen sink in case of a power outage, then consider replacing the flash light or lantern one you’ve got with an eco-friendly version. Many combine renewable energy sources such as wind-up power and solar cells for recharging. Further into your emergency preparedness kit development, consider as well, radios that employ alternative energy to power them. Ever thought there’d be such a thing as a shower radio that’s powered by water pressure? Maybe not so great in terms of water saving and efficiency, but not bad for energy savings. Solar powered radios are relatively affordable and easy to find, and make a great addition to the home when you’re looking to save some extra money on the power bills. Continue reading