Environment

Environment

solar sheep

Solar Sheep to the Rescue!

Many solar farm designers didn’t plan for the high grasses that would grow up and block precious sunlight from solar panels.  The solution? Solar sheep!  Here’s an eco-business that’s new, different, and in demand.

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Germany Plans New Parks Over Iconic Autobahn

Highways are great for getting people from one place to another quickly. But they are not so great for those who have to live near them. Almost without exception, major highways and turnpikes around the world- literally from LA to Beijing– are noisy, stinky places with high concentrations of CO2 and other toxic exhaust gasses that spew into the atmosphere from internal combustion engines … and Germany’s famous Autobahn is o exception! In Hamburg, the iconic, go-fast autobahn bisects the…

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Polish Farmers Foil Chevron’s Fracking Plans

It’s so easy to sit back in our easy chairs and bemoan the fact that we can’t do anything to alter the course of events. Or we can follow the example of a collection of concerned Polish farmers who opposed the destruction of their local environment by fracking. They blockaded a site where Chevron proposed to drill test wells for 400 days with farm tractors and organized protests. That was long enough to cause the company to abandon its plans.…

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Wind Tree Project Turns Street Art into Electric Power

A new French start-up, NewWind, is making wind power beautiful!  Their new Wind Tree offers almost a hundred mini-windmills on an apparatus designed to look like a tree. Due to the light construction of the “leaves,” the Wind Tree generates power at wind speeds as low as 4.4 miles per hour!  This translates into sustained operation times (an average of 320 days a year) that are almost double those of standard windmills that need higher wind speeds in order to…

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The Happy Planet Index

Nic Marks, the creator of the Happy Planet Index, says his HPI shows the extent to which 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy and sustainable lives for the people that live in them. The overall index scores rank countries based on their efficiency, how many long and happy lives each produces per unit of environmental output. Each of the three component measures – life expectancy, experienced well-being and ecological footprint – is given a traffic-light score — green for…

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House Fire Repairs Cut Utility Bills in Half

When an electrical fire struck their home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Keith and Jan Giezentanner never expected the repairs they made afterwards would save them $1000 a year on their heating and electric bills. But with the help of Garfield Clean Energy, they were able to learn about modern, energy efficient windows and doors and state of the art heating and cooling systems. Garfield Clean Energy even showed them how to qualify for (and get!) rebates totaling almost $1500 on the…

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Living in a Tiny House With Children – Can You Do It?

Do 2 adults and 2 children fit into a 207 square foot Tiny House? Yes, absolutely, say Kim and Ryan Kasl, a Minnesota couple who have two young children, 6-year-old Sully and 4-year-old Story. You have probably heard of the tiny house movement. Mimi Zeiger in her book Micro Green: Tiny Houses in Nature describes it this way, “In the wake of the United States’ housing crisis and the overall global recession, the single-family home—once the celebratory site of domestic accomplishment—has become not…

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Sustainable Home Made With Straw Bales

According to Click Green, hay bales can make an affordable, energy efficient and sustainable home. The bales have 75% more insulating power than a traditional stud wall filled with fiberglass insulation, and are non-combustible because they have little to no oxygen inside. To begin, frame the dwelling as you would a “conventional” tiny house‘s post and beam structure, then fill in the openings with the hay bales. They should be stacked on top of a cement footing (or foundation) in…

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