New crowdfunding platform for “green’ projects

Earthcrowdfunder logo

Most people have heard of or even participated in some sort of crowdfunding campaign. Names like Indegogo and Kickstarter seem to be the most familiar platforms for a vast array of funding opportunities.

Now there’s a new star on the horizon, one that’s geared towards green projects. Earthcrowdfunder is the first crowdfunding platform designed specifically for environmental and sustainable projects.

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Renewable energy and its real potential for this country

Solar Day - celebrate the opportunities of renewable energy

Contrary to what the conservative media continues to focus on, renewable energy is alive and well and holding strong in this country. And its potential to replace fossil fuel-based energy sources looks pretty darn good.

In July, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report examining and applying methods for estimating the current and future economic potential of domestic renewable energy. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which recently crunched the numbers, NREL’s analysis shows that renewable energy sources have the potential to supply anywhere from “35 percent to as much as 10 times the nation’s current power needs.”

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Solar panels showing to impede fire prevention

Solar panels on fire 1As useful as solar panels are in helping to save energy and helping to wean us off fossil fuels, there’s a darker side that is proving to be unexpectedly hazardous. Firefighters are having enormous difficulty fighting fires in or on buildings sporting energy-producing solar arrays.

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The NBA wears its green well

NBA Green Week logoThe NBA is greening up its practices. And it’s showing great promise.

As it tips off NBA Green Week, which runs through April 12th, it has partnered with Sprint and the Natural Resources Defense Council, pledging to offset more than 10 million pounds of CO2. NBA’s Green Week includes community environmental projects, recycling programs and energy efficiency initiatives and fan giveaways to encourage them to “go green.”

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Instant-Off – a simple way to save water

Instant-Off will eliminate dripping water and reduce your water usage

With the world’s population is increasing and indications showing a growth rate between 40 to 50 percent within the next 50 years, the demand for water won’t be able to keep up.

Concerns about food security in the face of climate change and retreating water sources has turned water into a precious commodity. Wasting water is a luxury we can’t afford.

Better water efficiency is what Instant-Off is all about.

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New efficiency Standards – good for consumers and the environment

The Dept. of Energy announced new federal energy efficiency standards for washers and dishwashers

The drive for greater energy efficiency has become part of our culture. So to is the growing awareness that water is a precious commodity we can no longer take for granted.

Manufacturers recognize that consumers are demanding better performing and less wasteful products. This resulted in 2010 in a gathering of oddfellows that under other circumstances wouldn’t have occurred.

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Solar Roadways: Unique Business Model

Scott Brusaw and the Solar Roadway, photo by Mark Dixon of YERT

The Solar Roadway project has a number of exciting and innovative features to it. Other than being able to generate enough electricity to power the nation, inventor  Scott Brusaw‘s project is designed to do the most economic and environmental good possible in several other capacities.

For more of Part 2 on Solar Roadways and their potential to alter our landscape and how we think about driving, see http://bit.ly/xJbFq0.

Could proposed new standards stop energy “vampires”?

Take a good look around any home and you’ll find them – those almost unnoticeable red, blue or yellow lights indicating that some appliance or electronic device is plugged in. That “vampire energy” drain happens even when you’re not around.

According to a 2008 study, unoccupied new homes in California used 117 watts before anyone had even moved in!

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Old Plastic Bottles Bring Light (to the darkness)

Recycled plastic water bottles are helping bring light to rural Phillapine homes

Millions of people in the Philippines live in (relative) darkness. The cost of electricity is beyond the means of many, so residents of poorer communities resort to candles or kerosene lamps, which pose serious health and fire hazards.

Using electricity 24 hours per day, something most of us take for granted, raises a household’s expenses by approximately 40 percent. In a country where the average income ranges from minimum wage to less than $1 a day, this added expense isn’t seen as crucial.

However, there’s an incredibly simple solution that’s both greener and safer – the Solar Bottle Bulb.

To learn more about this simple lighting solution that’s changing lives, see http://bit.ly/smG2wT.

The Benefits and Challenges of Smart Meters

Editor’s Note: This is the second of three stories about the Smart Grid, its components, and the issues related to its implementation.

The Smart Grid is a catch-all name for a number of technological fixes to the current electricity grid that would merge new technologies with changing energy needs and drive U.S. electricity generation, transmission, and distribution into the 21st century, according to Don Van Dollen, IntelliGrid programs manager for the Electric Power Research Institute.

A key component of the success of the Smart Grid is the SmartMeter.

For more on the issues surrounding SmartMeters, see http://bit.ly/rAzPGl.