Posts Tagged ‘Eco friendly’

Top Ten Eco Cities


With Earth Day just around the corner, Redfin, a technology-powered real estate broker, today announced a ranking of the country’s top 10 cities with the greenest homes. The Redfin analysis looked at each city’s overall carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the number of homes currently for sale that have “green” features or eco-friendly ratings. Examples include solar panels, low-flow faucets, dual pane windows, ENERGY STAR® appliances, LEED certified homes, and new construction by green builders. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is the most widely used green building program worldwide.

  1. San Francisco, CA – In addition to having the lowest carbon dioxide emission rate per capita, San Francisco has a large number of homes for sale with eco-friendly features. One incentive for locals to go green may be Pacific Gas & Electric’s rebates, which offer up to $4,000 for home energy upgrades including insulation and air duct sealing.
  2. Washington D.C. – According to the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington D.C. has the most (LEED)-certified space, which likely contributes to the city’s low carbon dioxide emission rates. In addition, the district offers a number of rebates and tax credits for residential energy efficiency, which may help explain the high number of homes for sale with eco-friendly features.
  3. Sacramento, CA – Sacramento has the second-lowest carbon dioxide emissions in the country, and new developments have focused on energy-efficient homes, such as the Northwest Land Park, which will build 800 new homes that use net-zero electricity.
  4. Boston, MA Boston Mayor Thomas Menino launched an initiative to be “Green by 2015,” which includes powering homes using a combination of waste products and solar panels. The city also supports the Energy Positive “E+” Green Building Demonstration Program, which aims to bring green homes to Boston’s neighborhoods.
  5. Portland, OR – Portland General Electric offers residents the choice to pay a little more for renewable energy options, including wind-sourced power. In addition, Portland residents who want to make their home more green can attend Fix-It Fairs, which offer resources and information to help attendees reduce water and energy usage, among other green initiatives.
  6. Philadelphia, PA – Even though Philadelphia’s carbon dioxide emissions were higher than other cities, it ranked second for homes with eco-friendly features. In 2009 the city passed two laws that advance green building practices. The first requires that new city government buildings meet LEED Silver Certification, and the second requires all new construction to have “cool roofs” that meet or exceed Energy Star standards.
  7. Phoenix, AZ – As part of the “Green Phoenix” initiative, Phoenix offers a one-time grant to homeowners for making improvements that reduce energy consumption. The city has also received funding to retrofit low-income residential homes with cost effective energy saving measures. 
  8. Los Angeles, CA – Homeowners looking to reduce costs associated with air conditioning in L.A.’s warm climate can take advantage of the L.A. County’s Energy Loans Program, which offers loans of up to $50,000 dollars with financing as low as 4.99% when homeowners undertake home energy improvements. In addition, Energy Upgrade California offers rebates of up to $4,000 to homeowners who make their home more energy efficient. To see some stylish green homes on the market in L.A., check out this Redfin Collection.
  9. Seattle, WA – Seattle residents are known for being eco-conscious, as evidenced by the recent ban on plastic bags, so it’s not surprising they’d want their homes to be green too. Although the city is known for its rain, Seattle receives more sunlight than Germany, the world’s leading solar market, and Washington State offers financial incentives for those who generate their own electricity using solar electric systems.
  10. Austin, TX – Austin Energy is the nation’s top seller of renewable energy, and the company offers homeowners low-interest loans of up to $20,000 dollars for energy efficient upgrades. In addition, the company offers rebates for numerous upgrades, including extra attic insulation, high-efficiency clothes washers, rainwater collection barrels, and low-flow toilets.

“The residents of these cities are reducing their environmental footprint and saving money at the same time,” said Julie Jacobson , a LEED Green Associate certified Redfin Agent. “By making your home green, you can reduce monthly utility bills, make your home’s indoor air quality healthier, reduce your environmental footprint and even help increase the value of your home without any sacrifice in design or comfort. It is truly a win-win.”

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04 2013

Rent And Drive Electric In LA


Lex8HybRangLSNew tcm585 894924 Rent And Drive Electric In LAThe City of Angels is fast becoming the electric car capitol of America. And to showcase that fact,  MPG Rent-a-Car is committed to changing the way that customers rent cars by taking a boutique-oriented, green approach to automotive rentals. It has also made a serious commitment to environmental issues as the only fully sustainability centered rental car company in Los Angeles. The agency has therefore taken to heart the recent Best Global Green Brands rankings made available by Interbrand, the world’s largest brand consultancy. Based in the progressive, green-friendly haven of Venice, California, MPG Car Rental, an all-green car rental company, proudly offers the eco-friendly brands named in the report.

David Pearson, Global Sustainability Leader of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, discussed why  why successful businesses are being strengthened by a new focus on sustainability.  He noted that consumers are becoming increasingly passionate about eco-consumerism. MPG Car Rental is passionate as well. By filling a niche for environmentally-minded renters, the MPG team can build relationships with their coastal Los Angeles clientele, which leads to happier experiences all around. Sustainability-minded car renters are bound to be energized about having an all-green rental fleet. Innovation was also cited by Mr. Pearson. To attain a smaller ecological footprint, inventors and developers have to think of new ways of operating and manufacturing alongside the use of cleaner fuels. MPG Car Rental explores these types of vehicles by constantly updating its fleet.

The MPG fleet includes vehicles mentioned in Interbrand’s list, from Toyota (Prius, Prius Plug-In, Highlander Hybrid) and Lexus (RX, CT), to Honda (Insight), Volkswagen (Jetta), and many more. All of these brands ranked on the Best Global Green Brand list. A recently-added electric car rental, the Chevy Volt, should be making waves with green-minded renters as well.  The company will even pick you up and drop you off where you need to go after, a crucial convenience.

The Secret To Solar Power


Solar Shingles A First In San Antonio


whysolar mainstory2 Solar Shingles A First In San Antonio Today, Dow Powerhouse announced the first installation of its cutting-edge Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle roof system in San Antonio. Bobby and Sarah Ross waited over a year to be the first homeowners in Texas with a Dow Powerhouse solar roof.“This is an exciting day for us to be a part of the first Dow Powerhouse solar roof installation in Texas” In 2011, The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) installed a Dow Powerhouse system in Katy, TX as part of an employee contest before the product was made commercially available. The Ross’ family-owned business, Ross Electric Company, was chosen to connect POWERHOUSE below the rooftop. The family was able to see the installation hands-on, and decided to be one of the first in the country to install this total residential roofing solution that not only protects like a standard asphalt roof but also generates solar electricity, turning the roof into a source of value and savings.

When I saw the seamless integration of the Dow Powerhouse Solar System, I knew it was something worth waiting for,” said Ross. “I am proud to invest in my home with such an innovative and good-looking product. I expect that my POWERHOUSE™ roof will reduce my utility bills by about 40 percent and will increase my home value overall.” BELDON Roofing Company, the exclusive Dow Powerhouse Authorized Dealer in San Antonio, worked directly with the Ross family to custom design the solar roof array to align directly with the family’s budget, roof design and energy goals.“This is an exciting day for us to be a part of the first DOW POWERHOUSE™ solar roof installation in Texas,” said Brad Beldon, President and CEO of BELDON Roofing Company. “We are seeing the way San Antonians think about their roof change now that they have the option to purchase a smart roof system that goes to work for them and pays for itself.”

The Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle roofing system is offered to San Antonio homeowners as a packaged turn-key solution. It includes:A custom designed array of shingles to fit the individual homeowner’s budget, roof design and energy goals, a DC-to-AC inverter that feeds the home’s power needs or can be returned to the power grid and a monitoring system accessible from any internet connection, showing real-time energy production and generation. Made in the United States and backed by a 20 year warranty from Dow, the Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle is also certified as both a solar and roofing product. It has received seven performance and safety certifications, including the backing of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) certification and is proven to withstand rain, hail and wind uplift.

Scientists Tap Into Underwater Solar Energy

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GE Opens Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Innovation Center


20120531 053112green04 33 300x207 GE Opens Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Innovation CenterThe first-of-its-kind center reinforces GE’s commitment to the11gefleet0530 300x196 GE Opens Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Innovation Center deployment of more efficient vehicles in its fleet and in customer fleets. Showcasing the latest in a growing array of alternative fuel vehicles in electric, natural gas, propane, hydrogen and other formats, the center gives GE’s commercial customers the opportunity to learn about and test drive numerous alternative fuel cars and trucks in a single location with assistance from GE’s fleet, transportation, energy and advanced technology experts.“We believe that businesses, through their company fleets, can lead the way in putting drivers across the country and around the world into cleaner, more productive vehicles,” said Deb Frodl, chief strategy officer for GE Capital Fleet Services and global alternative fuel leader for GE. “The best way to accelerate adoption of alternative fuel cars and trucks is to experience them. Once they get behind the wheel, they can see that these vehicles are real and ready for action.”

Through our Vehicle Innovation Center, we are committed to sharing alternative fuel vehicle technologies and solutions with our customers and helping them put more of these vehicles on the road.” Located on the campus of GE’s fleet management business headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., the center features a private half-mile driving course and a vehicle center that includes alternative fuel vehicles from 20 automotive manufacturers. With 6,000 square feet of classrooms and showrooms, the center also allows visitors access to a variety of products and solutions from GE’s ecomagination portfolio, including solutions for the smart grid, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in a Box, fuel savings mobile applications, and other advanced energy and infrastructure technologies.

The center supports GE’s broader ecomagination business strategy – to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology though innovation and R&D investment. GE Capital Fleet Services will run the center in collaboration with other GE businesses and GE energy and transportation experts around the world.“The city of Eden Prairie is delighted and proud to be the home of GE’s Vehicle Innovation Center, “ said Nancy Tyra-Lukens, mayor of Eden Prairie. “This is truly a world-class facility and we are pleased to have GE working on the future of sustainable transportation right here in our own community.

Fukushima Fallout (2012)

2012 LOHAS Forum And Eco Integrity


 2012 LOHAS Forum And Eco Integrity The LOHAS Forum, the nation’s premier gathering of thought leaders, investors and industry executives focused on the $290 billion LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) market, announced today the speaker lineup and full program for this year’s LOHAS Forum 2012.  Now in its sixteenth year, the event will take place June 12 – 14 in Boulder, Colorado with interactive discussions focused on a broad portfolio of current issues including alternative energy, health and wellness, social justice, branding, green customer loyalty and effective ways to raise capital.

“The LOHAS community is looked at to pave the way for today’s consumers when it comes to the latest and greatest trends in healthy and sustainability – and it is events like the Forum that bring together the thought leaders in the space to facilitate open and creative dialogue,” said Ted Ning, director of the LOHAS Forum.  “We could not be more excited for this year’s LOHAS Forum, as we will be turning Boulder into the ultimate eco-conscious hotspot and playing host to some of the most influential thinkers in sustainability.”

Speakers at LOHAS Forum 2012 include Chip Conley with Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Toni J. Bellafiore with American Honda Motor Company, Inc., Gopi Kallayil with Google, Jodi Berg with VitaMix, Sue Harvey Brown with Patagonia Footwear, Madeleine Buckingham with Mother Jones, Mary Jo Cook with Fair Trade USA, Tom Laforge with The Coca-Cola Company, among many others. LOHAS Forum 2012 will also feature a full schedule of interactive programming where attendees will be given access to thought leaders and industry experts with deep diving workshops, networking opportunities during daily receptions, meals and exercise activities; and intimate break-out sessions each afternoon. For the first time ever, this year’s LOHAS conference will integrate all the richness the city of Boulder has to offer. Attendees will not only be treated to an inspiring and powerful event, but will also get to dive head first into the cultural roots of Boulder.

U.S. Slaps High Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels


AAA On Driving Eco Friendly EV’s And Hybrids


BMW Mission Impossible 4 Photos Review 2 300x199 AAA On Driving Eco Friendly EVs And HybridsOk if Paula Patton Co star from the most recent Mission Impossible film was wiling to take a test drive with you in BMW’s new Concept Car even more EV’s would sell. But, are you hoping to decrease your carbon footprint and live a greener life? What and how you drive is a large part of your daily carbon footprint. Electric engines, several hybrid options and even traditional internal combustion engines have become more efficient and emit fewer greenhouse gasses.  Even if you’re not in the market for a new car, AAA has tips to help you get the best efficiency and minimize greenhouse gasses no matter what you drive.   ”There has been an influx of ‘green’ technologies by automakers into the market, which is great for consumers seeking a more environmentally-conscious choice for their next vehicle purchase,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair.

2012 has been an exciting year for full-electric vehicles (EV). These vehicles do not use gasoline and rely solely on battery power. With the average cost for a kilowatt hour of electric energy at approximately 12 cents, to fully charge an EV with a 24KWh battery pack would cost around $2.88. That works out to between 3.0 cents and 4.4 cents per mile for fuel.  Making EV’s even more appealing and green; there is no need for oil changes, ignition system maintenance, fuel system service or exhaust pipe and muffler replacements.

In addition to full electric cars there is also the option of Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Compressed Natural Gas/Diesel Vehicles, and More Efficient Gasoline Vehicles. But fuel economy can be realized in plug-in hybrid powertrains. These vehicles use a rechargeable battery pack that allows the car to travel up to 35 miles before the onboard gasoline engine starts. In some cars, this engine will provide power to the drive wheels. In other models this engine powers a generator that delivers power to the motor driving the vehicle while also recharging the batteries. Unlike fully electric vehicles, a plug-in hybrid is limited only by the range of its gas tank. The Toyota Prius PHEV and 2013 Ford Fusion are great examples of plug-ins in the marketplace today.

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