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Posts Tagged ‘Renewable Energy’

Preparing for Winter: Weatherproofing Your Windows

windows

If thinking about the cost to heat your home this winter has you knitting wool mittens and piling on another layer of blankets, you’re not alone. But did you know that a large majority of that hefty bill comes as a result of poor energy efficiency? If you have older windows it’s likely that air…

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12 Books for Essential Earth Day Reading

Earth

As we celebrate Earth Day, you might be feeling inspired to do some reading about our great planet. We complied 12 books to get you going from farmland to global warming to economics. The best way to initiate change is to learn as much about the issues as possible and start conversations about what’s going…

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Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

bootprint

The concern for Earth’s sustainability has been a topic of conversation for several years now, though it seemed like an impossibility that we would truly reach the point of collapse. The environment can only take so much gas emission, over farming, and plastic. What can you do to minimize your human footprint and take care…

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Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies,…

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Depressed about Climate Change? Here’s How to Take Action

polar bear on ice in water

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? Economist and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes…

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Citizen Powered Energy Handbook, An Excerpt

The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook; Community Solutions to a Global Crisis, by Greg Pahl. In this excerpt, the problem of fossil-fueled energy is summarized, as are many renewably-sourced solutions. Pahl makes a point of distinguishing large, corporate renewable energy installations from community-scaled, community-supported models. Even in progressive, environmentally-attuned places like Vermont, towns can find good reasons…

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Living on Earth: Bringing Money Down to Earth

On January 9, Living on Earth aired their interview with Woody Tasch, sustainable venture capitalist and author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered. The following is an excerpt of the show’s transcript: CURWOOD: As America considers ways to pick up the pieces of our smashed…

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Obama's First 100 Days: The Experts Weigh In

Recently, Yale Environment 360 asked a selection of leading green thinkers and writers for their opinions on what they would advise our incoming president to focus on during his first 100 days in office. Most agreed that his greatest concerns should be the economy, renewable energy, and the climate crisis. Respondents included Van Jones, Bill…

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LISTEN: Hervé Kempf: Ecology versus Jobs

Dana Barrett of Better World Books spoke with author Hervé Kempf (How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth) about the ecology versus economy question. Is capitalism fundamentally at odds with preserving the well-being of the Earth? HK: We live in historical times because, since the beginning of the human species, that is 1 to 2…

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Bill McKibben: Obama's Climate Challenge

Environmentalist and author Bill McKibben (Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future) wants us to take a couple of steps back, open our eyes, and look at the big picture. When Americans elected Barack Obama to be our next President, the occasion was in no small part a repudiation of the disastrous…

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In Gainesville, Solar Electric Industry Becomes Competetive

Here’s a couple of good rules of thumb if you’re considering investing in solar power: 1. Before you rush out and attach photovoltaic panels to your Southern-sloping roof, install a solar hot water heater and/or a solar air heater for your home. Converting solar energy into heat is currently the most efficient way to use…

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Another Small Step for Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has a long way to go before it can seriously be considered a steward of the environment. In the social arena, its record is spotty at best, and includes allegations of sexism, child labor abuses, anti-union activity, low wages, and predatory pricing. Respect for local land and culture? Ehh, dicey, dicey. But they’re making…

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Rebuild the Economy by Investing in Natural Capital

For years, environmentalists have been trying to appeal to our better natures—pleading to humanity to preserve the environment simply for the environment’s sake. Clearly, that approach hasn’t worked out too well. But maybe the results of an EU-commissioned cost-benefit analysis will open people’s eyes. From the BBC: The global economy is losing more money from…

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Greg Pahl: Energizing Vermont's Energy Future

This week, energy expert and author Greg Pahl (The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook) popped up on Equal Time‘s secessionist radio program Free Vermont Radio on Vermont Commons to discuss alternative energy, home heating, and generating power locally. I think we have to kind of rethink the whole current model, and I understand full well that turning…

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The Iraq War and the Wall Street Bailout vs. Renewable Energy

If we looked strictly at the financial cost of the Iraq War (estimated at $550 billion), added it to the cost of the financial bailout package that Congress just passed ($700 billion)—and then thought of the lost opportunities that money represents, we’d be forgiven for wanting to crawl back into bed and dream of those…

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The G.O.R.E. Project: Heat Your Home with Geothermal Energy

The following article has been adapted for the web from Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options by Greg Pahl. I’m going to talk about magic. It’s miraculous to create a viable and renewable home heating and cooling strategy out of thin air, water, or dirt—and that’s what geothermal systems do.This type…

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Elegant Frugality: The New Environmentalism

Efficiency, efficiency, they say… —John Cale, “Paris 1919” Amory Lovins has always been a little ahead of the curve in his views on alternative energy and efficient design—25 years ahead of the curve, more or less. He recently spoke to the Economist about his enthusiasm for “market forces” and the approximate two-decade “slow burn” of…

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Two Days and Nights in the Carbon-Free Home

The following has been excerpted from the September 2008 issue of Ode Magazine. Rebekah Hren stands over the small desk in the bedroom she and her husband Stephen share in Durham, North Carolina, and powers up their Mac mini. She clicks straight to the local television station’s weather site and opens its up-to-the-minute DUALDoppler 5000…

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Local Landfill Taps Garbage for Electricity

I can just picture it: some yokel with a shotgun chases his dinner out to the sewage treatment plant and ends up shooting up a vein of alternative energy— the next thing you know, old Jed’s a millionaire! Brown gold! Texas pee! In reality, shootin’ up a pocket of methane wouldn’t make you rich—it would…

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Ethanol: Where It Comes From and Where It's Going

With California ramping up its ethanol consumption, we thought now would be a good time to get back to the basics. What is ethanol? How is it produced? What makes it more efficient than gasoline? This article, excerpted from The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis by Greg Pahl, explains. Whether it’s…

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Green DNC Fueled by Beer

It’s been a few days since the Democratic National Convention in Denver, but we judged this story interesting enough to share with you nonetheless. The Democratic party went out of their way to make this the greenest convention in history (the 1835 convention notwithstanding). They took a number of steps toward sustainability, from creating a…

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What Is Sustainability? A Primer

Sure, we’re all trying our darndest to be “sustainable”1—but what does that mean, exactly? In this Huffington Post article, part 2 in a continuing series, Chelsea Green author Mat Stein (When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency) continues to break it down for us. From the article: Every day…

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The G.O.R.E. Project: Heat Your Home with Renewable Fuels

The following article has been adapted for the web from Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options by Greg Pahl. Shifting from our current reliance on fossil fuels to the use of renewable sources of energy is a tall order. But every little bit helps, and changing the way we heat our…

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Video: Google Backs Enhanced Geothermal Electricity

Our friends at TreeHugger recently pointed out that Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the search giant, is investing heavily in Enhanced Geothermal Electric Systems. Geothermal electricity has been around for over a hundred years. Traditionally, existing geysers over tectonic plate boundaries are tapped to power turbines that generate electricity. Consequently, the power plants are tied…

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