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Conserve Energy

November 2, 2010

There are plenty of ways to conserve our day to day energy and save our earth from disastrous global warming. Here are the few tips to follow.

Whenever you save energy, you not only save money, you also reduce the demand for such fossil fuels as coal, oil, and natural gas. Less burning of fossil fuels also means lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary
contributor to global warming.

Together, we use nearly a million dollars worth of energy every minute, night and day, every day of the year. By exercising even a few of the following steps, you can cut your annual emissions by thousands of pounds and your
energy bills by a significant amount!

Home appliances

       1. Turn your refrigerator down. Refrigerators account for about 20% of Household electricity use. Make sure that its energy saver switch is turned on. Also, check the gaskets around your refrigerator/freezer doors to make
sure they are clean and sealed tightly.

       2. Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot. Switching from hot to warm for two loads per week can save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year.

       3. Make sure your dishwasher is full when you run it and use the energy saving setting, if available, to allow the dishes to air dry. You can also turn off the drying cycle manually. Not using heat in the drying cycle can save 20 percent of your dishwasher’s total electricity use.

       4. Turn down your water heater thermostat. Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 is usually fine. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 440 pounds for a gas heater.

       5. Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances. Look for the Energy Star Label – your assurance that the product saves energy and prevents pollution. Buy the product that is sized to your
typical needs – not the biggest one available. Front loading washing machines will usually cut hot water use by 60 to 70% compared to typical machines.

      Home Heating and Cooling

       6. Be careful not to overheat or overcool rooms. In the winter, set your thermostat at 68 degrees in daytime, and 55 degrees at night. In the summer, keep it at 78. Lowering your thermostat just two degrees during
winter saves 6 percent of heating-related CO2 emissions.

       7. Clean or replace air filters as recommended. Energy is lost when air conditioners and hot-air furnaces have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters. Cleaning a dirty air conditioner filter can save 5 percent of the energy used. That could save 175 pounds of CO2 per year.

       8. Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most-used lights. Although they cost more initially, they save money in the long run by using only 1/4 the energy of an ordinary incandescent bulb and lasting 8-12
times longer. They provide an equivalent amount of bright, attractive light. Only 10% of the energy consumed by a normal light bulb generates light. The rest just makes the bulb hot.

       9. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket, which costs just $10 to $20. It can save 1100 lbs. of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 220 pounds for a gas heater.

      10. Use less hot water by installing low-flow shower heads. They cost just $10 to $20 each, deliver an invigorating shower, and save 300 pounds of CO2 per year for electrically heated water, or 80 pounds for gas-heated water.

      11. Weatherize your home or apartment, using caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors and windows. Caulking costs less than $1 per window, and weather stripping is under $10 per door. These steps can save up to 1100 pounds of CO2 per year for a typical home. 

      12. Whenever possible, walk, bike, car pool, or use mass transit. Every gallon of gasoline you save avoids 22 pounds of CO2 emissions. If your car gets 25 miles per gallon, for example, and you reduce your annual driving
from 12,000 to 10,000 miles, you’ll save 1800 pounds of CO2.

      13. When you next buy a car, choose one that gets good mileage. If your new car gets 40 miles per gallon instead of 25, and you drive 10,000 miles per year, you’ll reduce your annual CO2 emissions by 3,300 pounds.

      14. Reduce the amount of waste you produce by buying minimally packaged goods, choosing reusable products over disposable ones, and recycling. For every pound of waste you eliminate or recycle, you save energy and reduce emissions of CO2 by at least 1 pound. Making products with recycled materials, instead of from scratch with raw materials, uses 30 to 55% less for paper products, 33% less for glass, and a whopping 90% less for aluminum.

      15. If your car has an air conditioner, make sure its coolant is recovered and recycled whenever you have it serviced. The CFCs from one auto air conditioner can add the equivalent of 4800 pounds of CO2 emissions per
year.

      When you plan major home improvements, consider some of these energy saving investments. They save money in the long run, and their CO2 savings can often be measured in tons per year.

      16. Insulate your walls and ceilings. This can save 20 to 30 percent of home heating bills and reduce CO2 emissions by 140 to 2100 pounds per year. If you live in a colder climate, consider superinsulating. That can save 5.5 tons of CO2 per year for gas-heated homes, 8.8 tons per year for oil heat, or 23 tons per year for electric heat.     
      17. Modernize your windows. Replacing all your ordinary windows with argon filled, double-glazed windows saves 2.4 tons of CO2 per year for homes with gas heat, 3.9 tons of oil heat, and 9.8 tons for electric heat.

      18. Plant shade trees and paint your house a light color if you live in a warm climate, or a dark color if you live in a cold climate. Reductions in energy use resulting from shade trees and appropriate painting can save up to
2.4 tons of CO2 emissions per year. (Each tree also directly absorbs about 25 pounds of CO2 from the air annually.)

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Clean Green

October 28, 2010

Green Cleaning can have a lot of interpretations, but the main goal of green cleaning is to use cleaning solutions and methods that keep our environment healthy. There are many degrees to which homes can take this goal.

Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods with environmentally-friendly ingredients and chemicals to preserve human health and environmental quality. Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of chemically-reactive and toxic cleaning products which contain various toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory and dermatological problems among other adverse effects.Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and industrial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed.

Effective natural cleaning products can be made from common household ingredients, such as:

    * Lemon juice
    * conventional and electrolyzed Water
    * Borax
    * Vinegar
    * Salt
    * Mineral oil
    * Baking soda
    * washing soda
    * vegetable based soap
    * plants with high saponin levels

TRUTH ABOUT HOUSEHOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS

By this point, everyone knows about the dangers of indoor pollution. According to the US EPA, levels from pollutants indoors can be two to more than 100 times higher than outdoors, and the number one culprit for indoor pollution are our very own cleaning products. Some of the top-selling daily products are the most dirty and toxic: Lysol Antibacterial Spray, which ads encourage parents to spray wherever children play, contains denatured ethanol (which can cause central nervous system depression) and alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, a known pesticide.

Most glass cleaners contain glycol ethers that have been shown to cause reproductive effects if exposed to high enough levels. Pledge contains silicones, butane gas, and propane. All, while good at cutting through gunk, are bonified VOCs. Most air fresheners contain formaldehyde (which is highly toxic and is a known carcinogen) and phenol (a delightful chemical that can cause cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma, and even death).

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Eco friendly Halloween

October 22, 2010

Why cant we make Halloween GREEN. Let us try to use recyclable materials and reduce the usage of fuel, by just a small walk in neighborhood areas. so we can all teach our children about the threat we are facing due to global warming.

HAPPY GREEN HALLOWEEN TO ALL

Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific eco-friendly alternatives to paper or plastic bags, or to the molded plastic jack-o-lanterns so many kids use to collect candy at Halloween.Americans use more than 380 million plastic bags and more than 10 million paper bags every year. Plastic bags end up as litter, kill thousands of marine mammals annually, and break down slowly into small particles that continue to pollute soil and water. During production, plastic bags require millions of gallons of fossil fuels that could be used for fuel and heating;

paper bag production consumes more than 14 million trees annually in the U.S.Reusable bags are not only better for the environment at Halloween, they’re also better for kids. Paper and plastic bags can tear easily, spilling Halloween treats and disappointing children. Reusable bags are much more durable.

Instead of buying a Halloween costume that you or your children will wear once and throw away, make your own costumes from old clothes and other items you already have around the house.You can also get inexpensive Halloween costume materials from thrift stores or yard sales, or your children may have fun trading Halloween costumes with their friends to get something “new” and different to wear.

By designing and making your own Halloween costumes, you and your children can masquerade as anything you can imagine. When my children were growing up, one dressed up as a garbage can one Halloween. Another dressed herself in a collection of her older sister’s clothes and put ribbons in her hair, creating a costume that happily evoked her imagination even though it was unrecognizable to anyone else.

After Halloween, you can either wash and store your homemade costumes for use in subsequent years, trade with friends, or donate the clothing from which they were made to day care centers, homeless shelters, or charitable
organizations.Another option is to avoid candy altogether and to give Halloween trick-or-treaters useful treats, such as colorful pencils, small boxes of crayons, erasers in fun shapes, or other inexpensive items you can find at
your local dime store or dollar store.

Rather than drive to other neighborhoods to take the kids trick-or-treating, stick close to home this Halloween and walk from house to house to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution.

Use dishes, cutlery, napkins and tablecloths that can be washed and reused instead of disposable plastic and paper tableware.Use recycled and recyclable materials to create your Halloween decorations.

Bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts, for example, and can be taken down, laundered, and returned to the linen closet when Halloween is over. Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store and reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays, such as Christmas and Hanukkah.

Living an eco-friendly lifestyle and reducing waste and pollution should be a daily event, not a special occasion. With a little thought, you can apply the strategies you use to have a green Halloween to the way you live every day.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle

October 15, 2010

Hybrid vehicles would be talk of the world in few days to come.Globally, people should come forward to use hybrid vehicles to reduce pollution and keep our earth alive for the generations to come.Manufacturers should come forward to reduce the hybrid vehicle cost and let common people go for it.

car plugin

A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle.The term most commonly refers to hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which combine an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors.

Two-wheeled and cycle-type vehicles

Mopeds and electric bicycles are a simple form of a hybrid, as power is delivered both via an internal combustion engine or electric motor and the rider’s muscles. Early prototypes of motorcycles in the late 1800s used the same principles.

    * In a parallel hybrid bicycle human and motor power are mechanically coupled at the pedal drive train or at the rear or the front wheel, e.g. using a hub motor, a roller pressing onto a tire, or a connection to a wheel using a transmission element. Human and motor torques are added together. Almost all manufactured models are of this type.

hybrid vehicle

    * In a series hybrid bicycle (SH) the user powers a generator using the pedals. This is converted into electricity and can be fed directly to the motor giving a chainless bicycle but also to charge a battery. The motor draws power from the battery and must be able to deliver the full mechanical torque required because none is available from the pedals.

Road Transport, Commercial Vehicles

GM has launched hybrid versions of its full-size GMC Yukon (pictured) and Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs for 2008

Early hybrid systems are being investigated for trucks and other heavy highway vehicles with some operational trucks and buses starting to come into use.The main obstacles seem to be smaller fleet sizes and the extra costs of a hybrid system are yet compensated for by fuel savings,but with the price of oil set to continue on its upward trend, the tipping point may be reached by the end of 1995.[dated info] Advances in technology and lowered battery cost and higher capacity etc. developed in the hybrid car industry are already filtering into truck use as Toyota, Ford, GM and others introduce hybrid pickups and

SUVs. Kenworth Truck Company recently introduced a hybrid-electric truck, called the Kenworth T270 Class 6 that for city usage seems to be competitive.

Plug-in hybrid electrical vehicle (PHEV)

Another subtype added to the hybrid market is the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The PHEV is usually a general fuel-electric (parallel or serial) hybrid with increased energy storage capacity (usually Li-ion batteries). It may be connected to mains electricity supply at the end of the journey to avoid charging using the on-board internal combustion engine.

hybrid vehicle1

This concept is attractive to those seeking to minimize on-road emissions by avoiding – or at least minimizing – the use of ICE during daily driving. As with pure electric vehicles, the total emissions saving, for example in CO2 terms, is dependent upon the energy source of the electricity generating company.

For some users, this type of vehicle may also be financially attractive so long as the electrical energy being used is cheaper than the petrol/diesel that they would have otherwise used. Current tax systems in many European countries use mineral oil taxation as a major income source. This is generally not the

case for electricity, which is taxed uniformly for the domestic customer, however that person uses it. Some electricity suppliers also offer price benefits for off-peak night users, which may further increase the attractiveness of the plug-in option for commuters and urban motorists.

The fuel cell hybrid is generally an electric vehicle equipped with a fuel cell. The fuel cell as well as the electric battery are both power sources,making the vehicle a hybrid. Fuel cells use hydrogen as a fuel and power the electric battery when it is depleted.

The Benefits of Hybrid Vehicles

Buying a hybrid car may give you the bragging rights of being the first person in your neighborhood to drive a hybrid vehicle. But that does not end there.

hybrid electric vehicle chart

Harnessing the hybrid technology can actually give you several benefits you cannot expect from a conventional gasoline-engine car.

1. Fuel economy. Depending on the driving condition and driver’s habits, a gasoline powered family sedan can run 15-34 miles on a gallon of fuel. Hybrid cars, on the other hand can run 40-60% longer at 20- 60 miles on a gallon of gas. This is perhaps the biggest reason why hybrid cars are so popular today.

And with the uncontrollable increase in pump prices, hybrid cars can solve at least one of the obvious problems.

2. Durability. The hybrid vehicle automatically shuts off its combustion engine when idling. Not only does it help to conserve gas, it also reduces the wear on the engine. Also, the regenerative braking system that recaptures the lost energy when braking reduces the wear on the brakes.

3. Tax credit reward. While the sticker price of one hybrid car can set you back several thousands more than its non-hybrid counterpart, you can actually enjoy a tax reward of as much as $3000 depending on what hybrid car you buy. Also, the government imposes several incentives exclusive to hybrid car owners like free parking among others.

4. Environmental impact. Hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter (diesel), and formaldehyde also known as formalin are 5 noxious gases emitted by gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect. In short, these gases are harmful to the environment. Since hybrid cars consume less fuel, they also emit less fumes.

5. Sophisticated design. If you only care about the looks of the car, then choose among one of the available hybrid cars on the market today and you’ll surely fall in love with one of them. Hybrid cars are among the best looking cars today.

6. Exclusivity. There are only a few hybrids among 200 million cars on the road today. And if you own one, then you’ll feel that you own an exotic car.While this won’t last long since many car manufacturers have announced more hybrid models in the future plus more and more hybrids are being sold everyday, it is still a good feeling that you are one of the first.

Agriculture and Climate Change

October 10, 2010

The earth’s climate has been relatively stable for thousands of years. We know intuitively that it is hot, humid, and rainy in the Amazon, and that corn grows well in the US Midwest. We know that at a particular altitude we should plant a crop during a certain week of the year because conditions for it are just right then. For most of our memory as humans, our climates have closely oscillated around predictable patterns, and this has allowed us to feed ourselves and flourish.

When a stable climate system is modified beyond its “tipping point,” it gets out of balance and loses its equilibrium. While the system searches for a new set of patterns to stabilize around, variability and uncertainly are the norm. This, in essence, is the nature of the challenge that we are now facing.

EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING ON AGRICULTURE

Agriculture is one of the most weather-dependent of all human activities. It is ironic, then, that a significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. Fossil fuel-intensive agriculture is contributing to the creation of the unpredictable weather conditions that all farmers will need to battle in the not-too-distant future.

We are already seeing some climate changes that may be indicative of what’s to come for agriculture:

    * Maple syrup production in the American northeast is suffering. The climate in which maple trees thrive is expected to move about two degrees (of latitude) north to Canada. Maple syrup production is already down by about 10% because of warmer and shorter winters.
    * The southwestern United States is already experiencing a lack of water—without water for irrigation, this area is too dry for large-scale agriculture—and serious desertification is expected to happen within the next few decades. Conditions similar to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s are expected to be the norm in the area by the 2030s.
    * All over the country, we are seeing earlier bird migrations and northward shifts in the ranges of crops and pests.
    * We’re also seeing increased peaks in spring run-off from glacier melt and snow-fed rivers.

The good news is that we can still do something about it. Supporting sustainable agriculture by buying from your local organic farms is a significant action to take. Many small farms are now developing highly productive farming systems with low environmental impact. These are the right kinds of farms for the future. We are likely to achieve better results by learning to collaborate with nature rather than using brute-force to bend it to our will, as is the norm with today’s widespread industrial agriculture practices.

The type of food we eat is as important as how farmers grow our food. Eating “lower on the food chain”—getting less of our protein from meat and more from nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, grains, and vegetables—can make a huge difference in the energy consumption associated with our personal menus.

Effect of elevated carbon dioxide on crops

Carbon dioxide is essential to plant growth. Rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere can have both positive and negative consequences.

Increased CO2 is expected to have positive physiological effects by increasing the rate of photosynthesis. Currently, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 380 parts per million. In comparison, the amount of oxygen is 210,000 ppm. This means that often plants may be starved of carbon dioxide, due to the enzyme that fixes CO2, rubisco also fixes oxygen in the process of photo respiration. The effects of an increase in carbon dioxide would be higher on C3 crops (such as wheat) than on C4 crops (such as maize), because the former is more susceptible to carbon dioxide shortage. Studies have shown that increased CO2 leads to fewer stomata developing on plants which leads to reduced water usage.Under optimum conditions of temperature and humidity, the yield increase could reach 36%, if the levels of carbon dioxide are doubled.

Further, few studies have looked at the impact of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations on whole farming systems. Most models study the relationship between CO2 and productivity in isolation from other factors associated with climate change, such as an increased frequency of extreme weather events, seasonal shifts, and so on.

Erosion and fertility

Soil erosion and climate change

The warmer atmospheric temperatures observed over the past decades are expected to lead to a more vigorous hydrological cycle, including more extreme rainfall events. Erosion and soil degradation is more likely to occur. Soil fertility would also be affected by global warming. However, because the ratio of carbon to nitrogen is a constant, a doubling of carbon is likely to imply a higher storage of nitrogen in soils as nitrates, thus providing higher fertilizing elements for plants, providing better yields. The average needs for nitrogen could decrease, and give the opportunity of changing often costly fertilization strategies.

Due to the extremes of climate that would result, the increase in precipitations would probably result in greater risks of erosion, whilst at the same time providing soil with better hydration, according to the intensity of the rain. The possible evolution of the organic matter in the soil is a highly contested issue: while the increase in the temperature would induce a greater rate in the production of minerals, lessening the soil organic matter content, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would tend to increase it.

A very important point to consider is that weeds would undergo the same acceleration of cycle as cultivated crops, and would also benefit from carbonaceous fertilization. Since most weeds are C3 plants, they are likely to compete even more than now against C4 crops such as tomatoes. However, on the other hand, some results make it possible to think that weedkillers could gain in effectiveness with the temperature increase.

Global warming would cause an increase in rainfall in some areas, which would lead to an increase of atmospheric humidity and the duration of the wet seasons. Combined with higher temperatures, these could favor the development of fungal diseases. Similarly, because of higher temperatures and humidity, there could be an increased pressure from insects and disease vectors.

Green Algae

October 3, 2010

With increasing demand for eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based transportation fuels, algae cultivation is coming to stay to produce bio-diesel. Algae will be researched and developed as a source of alternative energy. Algae can produce 30 times more oil per acre, compared to the current crops now utilized for bio-fuels production. Algae bio-fuel is eco-friendly also in the sense that it contains no sulfur. It is non-toxic and highly biodegradable.

The city of Venice has announced a plan utilize an up-and-coming biofuel source – algae. The Italian city plans to produce 50 percent of its electricity needs from an algae-based biofuel power plant, rather than fossil fuels.

Algae biofuel technology will turn what has become a nuisance into a renewable, carbon-neutral energy resource. The city will be producing electricity from two types of algae, Sargassum muticum and Undaria pinnatifida, which are brought in clinging to ships and regularly grow over the seaport. The algae will be cultivated, treated in laboratories, and turned into biofuel [see above image]. The fuel will then be used to power turbines in a new 40 MW power plant in the center of the city.

In order to make the new power plant truly carbon-neutral, CO2 produced by the process will be fed back to the algae.

One area of alternative fuels that has gained a lot of interest over the last year or two is algae biodiesel. This is probably because it will produce 10-30 times what the best oil producing crops in America will produce. Here are some of the gallon per acre figures in this chart (note that the gpa figure varies greatly depending on who you ask, where it is grown, how it is planted, the strain used, how many harvests per year, etc)….

OilCrop      Gallons of Oil per Acre

Soybeans    48

Rapeseed    127

Jatropha    435-2000

Algae        5000-15,000

As you can see, algae produces a lot more oil per acre than all the other oil crops put together.

Here are some other points to consider…

    * Algae consumes carbon dioxide, thus reducing harmful greenhouse gases. Most algae farms are being built right next to coal fired electricity plants  so they have a stea algae biodiesel supply of CO2.
    * I don’t know much about it, but those “carbon credits” are very valuable. Total estimated carbon credit trading this year is about $72 billion  dollars. And is expected to reach $32 Trillion by 2020.
    * The byproduct left over after extracting the oil can be used in cattle feed, vitamins, pigments, cosmetics, etc.
    * Algae can also be used to clean up waste water.
    * I’m sure you have all heard of the blue green algae vitamin supplements. This business sector has been cultivating algae for many years now in huge  quantities. So this technology is not exactly new.
    * From Wikipedia – “Anastasios Melis a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley discovered that if the algae culture medium is deprived       of sulfur it will switch from the production of oxygen (normal photosynthesis), to the production of hydrogen. He found that the enzyme responsible  for this reaction is hydrogenase, but that the hydrogenase lost this function in the presence of oxygen. Melis found that depleting the amount of  sulfur available to the algae interrupted its internal oxygen flow, allowing the hydrogenase an environment in which it can react, causing the algae  to produce hydrogen.”
    * If algae biodiesel farms could also produce valuable hydrogen, this sure would make the economics of the algae farms more feasible. The hydrogen  could be ualgae biodieseled to power the new fuel cell cars or cars that burn hydrogen directly in an internal combustion engine. Right now, most hydrogen is produced using expensive electrolysis.

Ethanol – As you all are painfully aware of, producing ethanol has it’s drawbacks. The price of crops has risen drastically over the past year. The ethanol people say it should not be so because the byproduct of ethanol is a high protein animal feedcake. They say no animal feed is lost in the process and the price of corn should not go up because of that. All I know is that everything is more expensive and that’s a fact. It’s probably due to the fact that more oil crops/animal feed crops are being planted than people food crops.

Oil Crops – Here too, prices are skyrocketing and pralgae biodiesel probably for the same reason… more crops are being planted for biodiesel than for human consumption. The biggest problem with oil crops is that there is only so much land out there and in today’s environment, we can not replace food crops with oil crops. That’s why I like Jatropha so much… it can be grown where food crops will not grow. The same can be said for algae biodiesel – it can be produced without using up valuable food crop land. Another problem with jatropha has been the cutting down of irreplaceable rain forests to plant jatropha. This just needs to be stopped.

Did you know you can start an algae biodiesel farm in your own back yard?

No? Then maybe you should get the new eBook “Making Algae Biodiesel at Home”. I am quite surprised at the amount of detailed algae biodiesel information in this informative eBook. Did you know?…

    * There are many different strains of algae that you can use. The book tells you all about them and even where   to buy them.
    * You can cultivate aglae in salt water and fresh water.
    * You can grow algae in cold weather and hot weather.
    * You may not even need to buy algae strains – you probably have them already in your area.
    * Algae complete an entire growing cycle every few days compared to most of a year for most crops.
    * One quad (7.5 billion gal.) of biodiesel could be produced on 500,000 acres. To produce one quad from a rapeseed crop would require 58 million acres.

Green Innovations

September 21, 2010

Here are the few green innovations by few innovators to save our earth from global warming.This kind of innovations to be highly appreciated.

Hotel offers free meal to guests who are willing to generate electricity
The Crown Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen , Denmark , is offering a free meal to any guest who is able to produce electricity for the hotel on an exercise bike attached to a generator. Guests will have to produce at least 10 watt hours of electricity – roughly 15 minutes of cycling for someone of average fitness.They will then be given meal vouchers worth $36 (26 euros).

Disco pub gets electricity produced by people dancing at specially modified dance floor
All the flashing strobes and pounding speakers at the dance club are massive consumers of electrical power. So Bar Surya, in London, re-outfitted its floor with springs that, when compressed by dancers, could produce electrical current that would be stored in batteries and used to offset some of the club’s electrical burden. The club’s owner, Andrew Charalambous, said the dance floor can now power 60 percent of the club’s energy needs.

Company creates a desktop printer that doesn’t use ink nor paper

Who says printers only use paper to print documents? It’s time for you to meet the PrePeat Printer then. Different from conventional printers, PrePeat adopts a thermal head to print on specially-made plastic sheets. These plastic sheets are not merely water-proof, but could be easily erased, just feed the sheets through the printer again, and a different temperature will erase everything or just write over it. Also claimed by the manufacturer, such one sheet could be used up to 1,000 times so that you’ll reduce your expenses on paper for sure

University constructs a green roof as a gathering place

Green design is an enormously popular trend in modern architecture, just take a look at this amazing green roof at the School of Art , Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore . This 5-story facility sweeps a wooded corner of the campus with an organic, vegetated form that blends landscape and structure, nature and high-tech and symbolizes the creativity it houses. The roofs serve as informal gathering spaces challenging linear ideas and stirring perception. The roofs create open space, insulate the building, cool the surrounding air and harvest rainwater for landscaping irrigation. Planted grasses mix with native greenery to colonize the building and bond it to the setting.

Designer creates a sink that uses wasted water to grow a plant

Made of polished stained concrete, the Zen Garden Sink has a channel that allows the water used while washing your hands to water a plant. Created by young Montreal designer Jean-Michel Gauvreau the sink comes in single or double basin model. The sink is designed in a way you won’t get your plants all soapy. There is a main drain at the bottom of the basin for soapy grime. Your little plant friend just gets whatever you choose to dole out.

Designer creates light-switch that changes colors to teach children how to save energy

Teaching the importance of energy conservation is the goal of this design from Tim Holley. He calls it Tio, and it’s a ghost-shaped light switch that gives kids a visual reminder of how much energy they’ve used by leaving lights on. Tio starts out green and smiling. If the light is left on for more than four hours, he turns yellow and looks shocked. And if you dare to leave that light on for more than eight hours, sweet little Tio turns into a raging red hulk, complete with frowny mouth and angry eyes. But he won’t just visually remind your kids about their energy habits; information from the light switch is sent to Tio’s computer program so the entire family can see how they’re doing. In a brilliant piece of visual positive reinforcement, Holley’s program lets kids grow a virtual tree which gets bigger and healthier the more energy they save.

Environmental company creates a staple-free stapler to avoid staple pollution
Staples are supposed to be so bad to the environment that a company decided to create a staple-free stapler. This product promises to make collation eco-friendly. Instead of using those thin metal planet-killers, the staple-free stapler “cuts out tiny strips of paper and uses the strips to stitch up to five pieces of paper together.” You can even order them customized with your corporate logo so you can, you know, brag about what your company is doing to stop the staple epidemic.

Designer creates an iPhone charger powered by a hand grip