Posts Tagged energy

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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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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Reusable Coffee/Tea Mugs

Many of us have these personal sippers perched in the back of our cabinets.  We don’t always make the time to brew our own coffee or seep our own tea at home, which, of course, would be a great financial savior in today’s economic crisis.  Try to have a spare travel mug in your car (or bag if you are a city dweller).   So when you make that coffee shop pit stop, you can use your own mug and save the environment, too.  You’d be surprised how many coffee shops are willing to fill your travel mug; some may even give you a discount for being so eco-savvy!

Yes, your Earth Promise to always tote an extra travel mug will make a difference.  Imagine the impact it would make on the amount of trees destroyed to make these paper coffee cups. (I haven’t even touched on the amount of energy used to produce the plastic lids on these piping hot portable drinks!)

Become an Earth Promise member for an easy way to make, track and keep your promises about actions that will benefit the environment.

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

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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.

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Basic Green Bathroom Ideas

Continuing from yesterday’s list of small changes within your house that can have a big impact on our environment, we’re moving out of kitchen and into the bathroom.   These basic green bathroom ideas will save you water, energy and quite important in today’s economic climate, they will save you money.

– For a great investment, purchasing a low-flow toilet will, no doubt, pay you back over time.  However, if replacing your toilet does not fit into your budget these days, here’s another option:  To place a small plastic bottles, filled with water or stones in the toilet tanks to displace the amount of water in toilets, causing a “low-flush toilet” effect

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.  Think about all that water going down the drain as you brush!

Take shorter showers

Replace your shower head with a low-flow version.  Installing a low-flow head is the best way to conserve water. These low-flow shower heads range from $8 to $50 depending upon the features. Important to note: these low-flow varieties will lower water waste, and still offer strong shower head pressure. 

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

Use 100% recycled toilet paper

 

To get inspired with more great green changes that you can do in your home, visit, Earth Promise.

 

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Cooking Tips To Help Your Environment and Your Wallet

In his memorable inaugural address, Obama acknowledged the economic and employment crisis we are in, but also promised to “invest in our most important priorities like energy.”  President Barack Obama plans to unite these top priorities, the economy and jobs, with the change of ideals concerning our environment.

How can we as individuals help?  Over the next few days, I’ll go through each area of the house to give some easy, yet impactful changes you can make.  Not only will they lesson your carbon footprint, but save you money.  Now doesn’t that sound nice?

Here are some Earth Promises you can easily implement when you cook:

·         To keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible

·         Always cover your pots when boiling water so that it boils quicker and thus uses less energy from the stove.

·         To use my toaster instead of the oven for smaller amounts of food that needs to be heated up or cooked.

·         To keep the microwave clean in order to maximize its performance

·         To cook in bulk and store in the refrigerator or freezer to lessen the frequency of using the stove.

 

So keep in mind that going “green” is not an extravagance; it is a necessity today.  Every small change you make is impactful, economically, and for valuable for our Earth’s sustainability.

 

Check back tomorrow for more Earth Promise changes you can easily apply to your life. 

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

 

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