This year’s best and worst “Green” cities

green-cities-graphoc-2016

As consumers demand more green – in their products, building materials and in sustainability of companies they deal with, cities in the U.S. are ramping up their efforts to accommodate.

According to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of Americans support efforts to protect the environment. To honor this National Energy Awareness Month, the personal-finance website conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Greenest Cities in America. The website’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 20 key “green” indicators. These ranged from “greenhouse-gas emissions per capita” to “number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.”

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A Bright Future? Yes, With These Solar Power Technologies

Solar-panels-in-sun-with-blue-skyOver the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has grown 139,000 percent. The International Energy Agency projects that solar will be the world’s biggest single source of electricity by 2050. Solar power is currently a fraction of one percent of our total energy production.

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Dialing In Home Comfort: Which Smart Thermostat Is Right For You?

Nest thermostatAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household spends over $2,200 a year on energy bills. Nearly half that goes to heating and cooling costs. Utilizing a programmable “smart” thermostat can take a bite out of that.

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Benefit Corporations: What they can mean to your business future and your bottom line

This article originally appeared on USGreenChamber.com

Do you think business should be about more than making profit? You’re not alone. Many corporate CEO’s feel the same way.

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An exciting option became available in 2007 when the non-profit B Lab introduced the Benefit corporations business certification. B Corps were designed for for-profit entities wanting to focus on social issues and the environment along with profit. This certification was created by three young successful entrepreneurs who, says Bryan Welch, CEO of B corporation Ogden Publications, “decided to revolutionize businesses in a non-pretentious, serious way.”

B corps fit in-between the legal structure of a C corp and a 501c3, says Chaz Berman, CEO of Growers Secret, a San Francisco B corp that produces top quality organic fertilizer products. Continue reading

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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Green options for recharging your electronics

Energizer's new Recharge batteries are faster and longer lasting than other rechargeables.

Energizer’s new Recharge batteries are faster and longer lasting than other rechargeables.

As the electronics in our homes proliferate, so does the need to keep them charged. Invariably, you or others in your household need to recharge that smart phone, iPad, tablet, Xbox, mp3 or DVD player or other favorite “toy”, and there are never enough electrical outlets to go around.

Recharging leads to batteries that all too often end up in landfills and/or electricity that gets wasted when the device is fully charged but the charger stays on. There are greener ways to go.

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Give unique upcycled gifts this holiday

Hipcycle logoWith holiday-related “to do’s” dancing in our heads, the scurrying and worrying has begun. What to get for family members who are impossible to buy for? Where to find classy or unique gift for your husband, wife or that special someone?

If you want to be more green with this year’s gifts, check out Hipcycle.com, one of the leading online retailers for upcycled items.

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