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Spend Wisely. Get Greened-up Now

By Loretta White ecomii.com
June 11, 2009
File under: Energy Sources, Research and Development

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It amazes me the waste that occurs and the money spent to “figure things out.”

I am happy that more people are jumping on the green bandwagon and in the beginning, I was even pleased with those who got into it for their own selfish reasons as they are still increasing sustainability and decreasing our footprint so that generations can enjoy the vast wonders and resources that the earth gives us.

Now, however, I find myself frustrated at the actual spend earmarked for “greening-up”. In Massachusetts, as in states across the US, President Obama has allocated funds to stimulate jobs, the economy and renewable energy projects and we are spending huge amounts of money on consultants to “advise” on what actions should be taken.

In new building design and retrofits of extensive projects like the Empire State Building, I see the need to have a detailed plan. …read more of Spend Wisely. Get Greened-up Now here

 
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Biodiesel Dissolves Polystyrene!

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor ecomii.com
May 28, 2009
File under: Energy Sources, Research and Development, Waste Reduction

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Polystyrene is the practically indestructible material used in packing peanuts, foam cups, egg cartons and produce trays.

Like all traditional plastics, polystyrene is made from petroleum and is a non-sustainable source of major pollution. It is ubiquitous, difficult to recycle, does not biodegrade and resists photosynthesis¹.  In a stunning development, a new study has shown that polystyrene not only dissolves in biodiesel fuel, it increases the power output in the process.

Scientists found that polystyrene packing peanuts dissolved in biodiesel can actually boost the power output of the fuel and get rid of garbage at the same time. …read more of Biodiesel Dissolves Polystyrene! here

 
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Biomass: A Renewable Resource and Green Solution

By Loretta White ecomii.com
March 23, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Carbon Emissions, Energy Sources, Green Economy, Heating Sources, Research and Development, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction

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When I think of biomass, I think of the silver DeLorean in “Back to the Future” where the professor was able to turn garbage into fuel for his time machine.

When that movie came out, the idea of using banana peels to power your engine was probably thought of as ridiculous. But today, humans can use all sorts of natural, renewable vegetation and substances.

 
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The Smart Grid Debate

By Tracy Crawford ecomii.com
March 4, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Electric Sources, Energy Sources, Research and Development, Waste Reduction

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There is a heated debate at the moment concerning the smart grid. Should there be a smart grid? Will it be effective?

And just what is a smart grid?

The smart grid will connect consumers to the power companies and give users more control over energy usage. This allows the power companies to better predict the amount of power needed by generators throughout any given day. Not only does this save in power usage, but saves the consumer, and the overall economy, lots of money.

The smart grid will also be able to distribute power from locations in other parts of the country to places with higher need. For example, folks in Madison, WI can get solar power from Las Vegas, NV.

But why the debate? …read more of The Smart Grid Debate here

 
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Getting Started

By B. Adrian White
February 2, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Energy Sources, Research and Development

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A funny thing about people is we don’t like change. And we sometimes feel guilty about not liking change. A lot of younger people say they love change. Can’t get enough of it. But try making veggie burgers instead of turkey for Christmas dinner and the kids may not love change as much as they think. Often, change means moving away from something we are good at and being good at something makes us feel comfortable.

Moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources can elicit the same feelings of moving away from something we are good at to something we might need to learn how to do. For instance, most of us know how to keep the lights on. Pay the electric bill. We aren’t born knowing how to pay bills but we learned. Putting solar panels on your roof and generating your own electricity means learning a new set of skills.

If you live in the north east it might mean figuring out how to get snow off the panels after a foot of the white stuff falls during one of our winter storms. It might mean figuring out how to put them on the roof without creating leaks. And there are other details that we know we would have to learn to run our own solar power plant. …read more of Getting Started here

 
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