Posts Tagged energy saving

Earth Promise Announces “21 in 21” Interview Series in Honor of Earth Day

As a lead up to Earth Day on April 22nd, Earth Promise will post an interview each day between April 1st and April 21st giving different perspectives about the environment from influential people in the green community.  The subjects in the “21 in 21” interview series will give their opinions and thoughts on various topics from how each person greens their lives, the impact they are making in their fields, recommendations for what we can do for the environment, thoughts on President Obama’s plans, and numerous other environmental topics.  The interviews will appear each day in the blog section of the site at http://www.earthpromise.com/blog.

These 21 interviewees come from various areas of interest including the world of politics, radio, business, entertainment, education, travel and the web.  Some of the interviewees include Bruce Gellerman, host of “Living on Earth” on Public Radio International, Olivia Zaleski, the host and editor of CNN’s, The Business of Green, George Newall, the co-creator of Schoolhouse Rock (Schoolhouse Rock! Earth DVD comes out today!), Robert Stone, director of Earth Days set to be released on April 22, 2009, and Alexandra Cousteau, Social Environmental Advocate and granddaughter of Jacque Cousteau.

The following is a tentative schedule for the interviews that are set from April 1st to April 21st.   Come back often to check out what each has to say.

Wednesday, April 1st – Bruce Gellerman, host of “Living on Earth” on Public Radio International

Thursday, April 2nd – Raquel Fagan, Executive Editor for Earth911.com

Friday, April 3rd – Nathan Winters, Founder of Follow Nathan Foundation who will bike across America to raise awareness for land and nature conservation

Saturday, April 4th – Tim Leffel, Travel Writer

Sunday, April 5th – Matthys Levy, founding Principal of Weidlinger Associates, Consulting Engineers and author of Why the Wind Blows, a History of Weather and Global Warming

Monday, April 6th – Traver Gruen-Kennedy, Chairman at Alliance for Sustainable Air Transportation

Tuesday, April 7th – Nora Duncan, Policy and Legislative Affairs Liaison for Governor Jodi Rell (CT)

Wednesday, April 8th – Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green USA

Thursday, April 9th – Leslie Drogin, Government Affairs Analyst at K&L Gates and  former Senior Advisor for Policy and Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy

Friday, April 10th – Stefani Newman, Founder of Teensygreen.com

Saturday, April 11th – Adam Berg, Founder and CEO of Earth Promise

Sunday, April 12th – Eric Mangol, CEO of Figment Media LLC

Monday, April 13th – Howard Waldman, Green Dean at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Tuesday, April 14th – Olivia Zaleski, Host and Editor of CNN’s, The Business of Green

Wednesday, April 15th – George Newall, Co-Creator of Schoolhouse Rock!

Thursday, April 16th – Robert Stone, Director of Earth Days (set for release on April 22, 2009)

Friday, April 17th – TBA

Saturday, April 18th – TBA

Sunday, April 19th – TBA

Monday, April 20th – Alexandra Cousteau, Social Environmental Advocate and Granddaughter of Jacque Cousteau

Tuesday, April 21st – TBA

Each interview will first appear in the blog area and then will remain on it’s own Earth Promise page afterwards to facilitate easy access for new and return visitors.  

Get inspired by these interviews to make Earth Promises, or changes, in your lifestyles to help the environment.  No matter how small the change, it makes a difference.  View a categorized list of promise you can make on the site for ideas and inspiration.

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SCHOOLHOUSE ROCKs The Earth

“Now if we only had a superhero who could stand here and turn the generator real fast, then we wouldn’t need to burn so much fuel to make…electricity.” (Electricity, Electricity— SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK!)

 

OK, this may not be the most memorable of the SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! tunes, but it was no doubt, catchy and forward thinking.  Just like Dr. Seuss with The Lorax (published in 1971), the creators of SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! along with our beloved, Theodore Geisel, initiated eco-topics years ago.  It has not been until recently that the general public is taking notice. The music, lyrics and animation for this ultra-cool and timeless Saturday morning educational series, will always be remembered.   The creators cleverly instruct grammar, history, math, politics, and science in a magnetic way almost every 40 year-old American can recall. 

Just as they did with verbs, electricity and the solar system, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! has taken it upon themselves to approach the eco-friendly trend.  Indeed, perfect timing on the creators’ parts: wedged between Earth Hour and Earth Day, the original architects (Bob Dorough, music and lyrics and  Phil Kimmelman, animation) will reveal their talents once again on March 31with the release of SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! EARTH . Thirteen songs will be used as a learning tool for old and new fans.   Some of the characters we grew up with (Interplant Janet and Mr. Morton) will make cameo appearances. Trash Can Band, Little Things We Do, Savin’ Water and The Rainforest are just some of the amusing, green topics that will infiltrate our minds.  SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! EARTH will no doubt be a huge success as it is modern and in touch with the eco-generational change.

Get a sampling of some of the video shorts here Afterwards, have your kids join you to make some inspiring Earth Promises.

Friends at The Daily Kool  really talk up the Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition).  They, like me, are of the age that absorbed Conjunction Junction, Three is a Magic Number, and Interjections!   I secretly had a three-ringed notebook in my room where I’d quickly write all what my 5 year old brain could retain.  My Saturday morning comrades at The Daily Kool enthusiastically watch it with their children (as do I).  They recommend the Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition) not only because it is their “official birthday present for all of (their) children’s friends,” but because they, too believe ROCK! is a breath of fresh air compared to what our children are exposed to today.  So be sure to visit The Daily Kool to reminisce and be on the lookout March 31st for SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK EARTH!

 

 

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Water Rationing Is Not Just For Californians

California’s third year of drought is cause for alarm.  Reservoirs are low even though there have been large amounts of snow from storms lately.

NPR’s, Morning Edition  announced, ”California has declared a statewide water emergency in the face of a punishing three-year drought. It could result in some drastic conservation measures and water rationing over the coming months, stretching from California’s farm belt to major coastal cities like Los Angeles.”

Also the Sacramento Bee  has an eye-opening article how the lack of water is causing a detrimental trickle effect; the “thirsty farms”, the dwindling number of fish in the estuary, and lack of jobs is real and frightening.  The amount of produce the country relies on California for is staggering.  Some farmers will buy water on the open market to keep orchards alive”  Purchase water?  Is this what our over-indulgent country has deteriorated to?  This is an enormous wake-up call for our country to take action now.

Make promises to help our precious Earth.  Here are a few of the countless suggestions from Earth Promise that everyone can do that will make a big difference: 

·         To take shorter showers.  Every two minutes you cut down on your shower can conserve more than 10 gallons of water.  This will not only save you time, but money on your water bill.

·         To run only full loads in the dishwasher. By running the dishwasher when it is not full, you will do so more often, thus using more electricity.

·         To not pre-rinse dishes if possible before putting them in the dishwasher.  If you do need to give them a rinse, don’t allow the water to run. 

·         To turn off the tap while brushing my teeth.

·         To flush one less time per day (obviously picking the right time not to).  By doing this, you can save up to 5 gallons per day.

·         To plug the drain in the tub before turning on the water instead of waiting for it to get warm.

·         To use drip irrigation or soaker hoses in my garden and/or flower bed instead of regular sprinklers which will use less water.

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Environmental Kid-sites Worthy of a Bookmark

If you are looking for ways to help your children grasp and empathize with the environmental issues of today, there are a variety of websites available.  Below are some of my personal favorites that are worthy of bookmarking: 

 

·          Ollies World Offers cool games, screensavers and recycling information. The 3 big R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle, has an additional “R”—rethink. Ollie asks kids to rethink their actions in the areas of waste, water, energy, air and biodiversity.

 

·         Seussville.com For those toddlers who are already techno-savvy, this site is perfect.  With Dr. Seuss’s whimsical environmental story, The Lorax, kids can try to plant trees.

 

 

·          Recycle zone is a spin-off from Waste Watch . This educational British site is all about the eco-mantra:  reduce, reuse, and recycle.  It’s filled with games (rubbish challenge) and practical activities (make your own paper) that kids can take part in as well as a large section for educators and how they can implement recycling ideas into their school.

 

·         The Greens tag line says it all: “a site for kids about looking after the planet.” This (literally) green family has a funky eco-flair to their Earth friendly lifestyle.  Written from the point of view of a myriad of characters, this upbeat  site offers eco-desktop wallpaper to download;  green tips; a blog and a section of (mini) episodes on various eco-topics such as, Smelly Episode, Conserve Episode, and 7 Big Ideas Episode.

 

 

·          National Geographic Kids  is synonymous with good educational information.  This site has lots to offer the curious eco-kid.  National Geographic presents video clips, games, stories and current events.  With its renowned photography, this site captures the essence of our beautiful Earth in the hopes that our children will only want to preserve it.

 

·         Free Rice is the sister site of Poverty.com. Free Rice’s goal is twofold: Provide education to everyone for free and to help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.  By choosing your vocabulary level, you can test your lexis ability by answering as many questions as you’d like.  For every correct question, 10 grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations World Food Program.  You can watch your wooden bowl fill as you answer accurately. It’s incredibly easy to get hooked onto this site!

 

 

Of course, have your children go to Earth Promise to help you make lifelong green changes.

 

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Look Towards the Sun

Solar energy is hot—literally. Today, increasingly more people are becoming fascinated by the savings renewable energy can offer.  And savings is a hopeful word in today’s economic turmoil.  So, what is solar energy exactly? Wikipedia  puts it simply, “Solar Energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.” Thanks to President Obama, that small fraction is slowing growing.

Governor Charlie Crist was present yesterday to unveil the installation of Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) first large-scale solar roof. This will harvest Florida’s sunlight abundance into useful energy. The initial up-front investment was indeed costly, but the monetary benefits combined with the decrease in the usage of our natural resources is immeasurable. There is little or no maintenance with solar panels. “More than 230 solar panels were installed on the roof, producing energy that will help reduce the building’s current demand and prevent greenhouse gas emissions.” To read more about this energy saving investment, visit, The Business Journal

So what kinds of energy conservation and efficiency can you do now on a smaller scale for your home? Here are some suggestions:

 Those interested in purchasing and installing large-scale solar panels or other sun-plugged products, here are some useful sites:

SolarHome.org  offers “great deals on everything from panels and batteries to chargers and lights – all powered by the energy of the sun.”

RealGoods.com not only educates on the benefits of installing solar products, but offers an array of merchandise.

Solar energy may be one of the most important sources of energy we have.  Make a promise to utilize our ever-present renewable resource.

Join Earth Promise to make, and keep track of your personal promises.

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Energy Audits For Your Home

With unemployment at a very high level, people are scrambling to save money in any way they can.  One change you can make it to get an energy audit — an assessment of your home’s energy consumption and identifying problem areas to help make your home more energy efficient.  You can perform the audit yourself or have a professional service do the job.  Either way, this detailed examination will save you an abundance of money over time.

To do the energy audit yourself, a comprehensive checklist will, no doubt, save you money.  Some of the items on the checklist should include:

·         Air Leaks (electrical outlets, switch plates, mail slots, window frames, weather strips around doors, fire-place dampers)

·         Insulation (Heat and air conditioning loss through ceilings and walls)

·         Make sure your air conditioning and heating units are kept in tip top shape.  Having an annual tune-up service will allow the units to work more efficiently and thus save you bundles

·         Be sure to change your incandescent bulbs to the  Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)

For a detailed checklist, visit, http://www.mcgill.ca/files/mse/Guidelines_on_Energy_Audit_Simplified_Version.pdf or http://www.nicor.com/en_us/commercial/planning_needs/build_strategy/energy_audit.htm

For a more thorough energy audit, have a professional service come into your home.  Unlike the do-it-yourself audit, the professional service will use special equipment to get a more inclusive result of your home’s energy efficiency—or lack thereof.  Energy Audit Directory  is an easy to use site.  Contacting your local utility company is another good bet; they may even offer a discount or do the service for free.

By making an Earth Promise to change a handful of things in your home, you are committing to making your home more energy efficient.  Here are some first steps you can make:

To keep the fireplace damper closed unless I am making a fire. An open damper can let an average of 8% of heat in your home escape.  The summer months, cool air escapes as well causing your electric bill to rise.

To wrap the water heater in an insulation blanket to store heat. This can save a whopping 25% on your electric bill.

To replace regular windows with double-paned windows. This keeps more heat inside your home, thus saving you money.

To plant trees around my home to create shade.  Once the trees are large enough, it will reduce the need for air-conditioning.

 

Become an Earth Promise member and track the energy auditing changes you can make.

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Green and Easy Ways to Cut Your Electricity Bill

With President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan  moving to the Senate, Obama pledges to jump-start the economy. “This is not just a short-term program to boost employment,” he said. “It’s one that will invest in our most important priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century.”  Some (and not even close to all) of the country’s serious challenges include updating our electric grid and weatherizing over 2 million homes.  Thankfully, this will not only provide much needed employment, but will steer Americans’ progressive green agenda.  So what kind of energy saving promises can we as individuals make? 

Here are some great investments in energy savings you can do at home:

 

·         To wrap the water heater in an insulation blanket to store heat.  Why make this earth promise? This can save about 25% of the energy in your home. 

·         To installer dimmer switches on lights in areas of the house where they would be useful.

·         To adjust the thermostat when away from the home travelling .  Installing a programmable thermostat can pay for itself in just one season!

·         To put door sweeps on all doors to prevent heat or air conditioning to escape

It is important to note that maintaining your heating and air conditioning systems with a $50-$100 annual tune-up will help keep it operating efficiently and reduce your costs up to 5%.

Be sure to visit, Earth Promise, for more energy saving tips.

If you want to receive Earth Promise blogs by email, click here

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