26 Puget Sound (Washington) cities to plant cloned Coastal Redwood trees

Archangel-Ancient-Tree-Archive 1

Trees are vital to life. They provide oxygen, store huge amounts of carbon and provide critical habitat and food for wildlife. Yet the world’s forests are dying. In California alone, over 100 million of them have died due to climate change related factors, to say nothing of the scourge of clear cutting that’s decimating our forest land.

But there are rays of hope.

In Washington state, twenty-six Puget Sound cities are planting sapling clones of Coast Redwoods – among the oldest, largest, most iconic trees on earth.

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How composting can make a difference in the face of climate change

Compost, photo courtesy of Recology

Photo courtesy of Recology

The world’s soil has lost up to 80 percent of its carbon – runaway fossil fuel use, rampant deforestation and modern industrial agricultural practices that depend on widespread pesticide use are responsible for that.

That carbon, now CO2 in our atmosphere, is growing at an alarming rate. Governments are beginning to recognize that climate change due to increased greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is a reality.

To learn what Recology, a San Francisco Bay area composting facility, is doing about this and the international attention its innovative methods have attracted, click here to read the full article.

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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First section of Oregon’s West Coast Electric Highway opens

The first section of the West Coast Electric Highway is now open in southern Oregon

Back in 2008, I wrote a story about how the state of Oregon had begun installing the first solar highway in the U.S. Now, once again, Oregon is leading the way in alternative energy transportation by opening the first section of its new West Coast Electric Highway.

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A Green Military: Saving More than Energy

The Navy plans to have at least 50 percent of its total energy, both at shore and at sea, to be alternatives to fossil fuel by 2020

The armed forces are moving quickly to become more energy efficient, as they realize that saving energy will save soldiers’ lives.

The Pentagon says that it aims to “develop more energy-efficient weapons, embrace non-oil energy sources, and demand more energy-conscious behavior from the troops.”

For  more on the strategies and actions the branches of the military are involved in and the life saving potential of these steps, see http://bit.ly/uCkbtY.

Commercial recycling may become mandatory in California

Recycling bins may soon become mandatory fixtures for businesses in California

As someone who writes extensively about all forms of green, I was shocked recently to discover that here in my hometown, and the entire state of California, it isn’t mandatory for businesses or apartments to recycle – it’s an option. The fact that the recycling movement began here in sunny California back in 1973 makes it’s difficult to fathom why.

A  local city Supervisor for Recycling & Hazardous Waste told me that a majority of businesses here don’t recycle, choosing to load up their dumpsters and trash bins with all their recyclables instead. When offered recycling bins and pick-up for free, the collective thought was “no thanks.”

All that may be about to change.

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UK company promotes sustainability through "green oil"

Jatropha may be the perfect alternative renewable source of green oil

Jatropha may be the perfect alternative renewable source of green oil

As the current environmental disaster of unchecked oil spewing from a wrecked oil rig unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, the importance of non-fossil fuel is growing exponentially.

UK-based Carbon Credited Farming PLC (CCF PLC), a green energy company, has been making headway with their worldwide focus on developing “green oil” from jatropha (juh tro’ fa) plants.

“Our goal and vision is to provide alternative renewable energy sources through a sustainable commercial framework that benefits everyone – from farmers to governments to end users – and benefits our environment with conservation and sustainable practices,” said Gregg Fryett, CEO of Carbon Credited Farming PLC.

To achieve this, CCF has been operating jatropha plantations in Thailand, Cambodia and Africa. Previously viewed as a poisonous weed, this drought-resistant plant is now seen by many as the perfect biodiesel plant with seeds containing a high percentage of usable oil.

Jatropha grows well in poor or infertile soil. It’s excellent at helping prevent soil erosion, giving some environmentalists hope as to its use for preventing desertification.

Jatropha fruit

Jatropha fruit

More than this, jatropha oil can be combusted as high quality biodiesel fuel without being refined, burns with a clear smoke-free flame and has already successfully tested as fuel for simple diesel engine.

CCF recognizes that the stakes for jatropha’s success are high. But the company takes its commitment to sustainability further. 

“We educate farmers in marginal communities on sustainable farming practices that can be used on all value crops,” said Fryett, “giving them the tools to gain long-term financial independence for their communities.”

It helps farmers raise their standard of living, said CCF spokesperson Lauren Chen.

The oil from jatropha seeds makes an excellent biodiesel

The oil from jatropha seeds makes an excellent biodiesel

Jatropha has definitely gained interest among automobile-related companies as a viable fuel alternative. Companies like Daimler have cultivated it in southern India. And Toyota Tsusho Corporation, parent company of Toyota Motor Corporation, has invested in jatropha to refine it as a biofuel.

“CCF is about long-term,” says Chen.

Expect to hear more about CCF and their carbon and energy credit programs in the near future. It’s a company making a difference.