Steel Recycling Rates at All-Time High

December 17, 2012 by  
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In 2011, more than 85 million tons of steel was recycled, an increase of nearly 10 million net tons from the previous year.

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Steel Recycling Rates at All-Time High

Irene’s Aftermath: Vermont Flooding Worst Since 1927 – Eight States Receive Hundred-Year Rains

August 30, 2011 by  
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By now you’ve no doubt seen photos or video of the devastating flooding in Vermont; here’s some more of the stats defining the devastation there: Weather Underground reports that Otter Creek in Rutland, Vermont crested at 17.21′–nine feet above flood stage and nearly four feet about the previous record. Vermont received 3-7″ of rain in twelve hours. Remember, that in the narrow valleys in the mountains, that amount of rain yields much greater flooding than it does in flatter land…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Irene’s Aftermath: Vermont Flooding Worst Since 1927 – Eight States Receive Hundred-Year Rains

New Fuel Economy Standards Announced for Cars

July 29, 2011 by  
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The White House, EPA, and NHTSA have announced new CAFE standards for cars and light trucks. CAFE is the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard which governs the efficiency of new vehicles. The new standards begin to take effect in the 2017 model year, when the fleet average should be 35.5 MPG (from the previous standard, which covers the 2012-2016 model years). The new rule extends to 2025, when average fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks is to be 54.5 miles per gallon. The new guidelines will almost double automotive fuel efficiency standards from where they were when the administration began to press for higher efficiency. “EPA currently intends to propose standards that would be projected to achieve, on an average industry fleet wide basis, 163 grams/mile of CO2 in model year 2025 (this would be equivalent, on a mpg-equivalent basis, to 54.5 mpg if all of the CO2 emissions reductions were achieved with fuel economy technology.)” Under these new guidelines, consumers should save $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and average fuel savings are expected to be worth $8,000 pre vehicle by 2025. Furthermore, emissions should be cut by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program, which is “more than the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States last year.” image: U.S. National Archives

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New Fuel Economy Standards Announced for Cars

Sony Cuts Emissions by 31% Since 2000

July 27, 2011 by  
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Sony made the announcement today that it has reduced its global CO2 emissions by 31 percent since 2000.  The company also achieved a 54 percent reduction in waste generation and a 41 percent reduction in water use, both of which far exceeded its goals. The company improved the efficiency of its offices and manufacturing sites and upped the efficiency of many of its products too. Its Bravia LCD TV now requires 30 percent less power than it did in 2008 and its Blu-ray disc recorder models require 50 percent less power. The waste reduction was mainly achieved through an increase in recycling practices.  The one target that Sony failed to meet was for volatile organic compound emissions — it was shy by 5 percent. These improvements were all made under the tech giant’s Green Management 2010 plan.  Now going forward, Sony has a more ambitious plan.  The company announced its Road to Zero plan last year that includes a pledge to be zero carbon by 2050.  The next phase in the plan sees the company making the following reductions by 2015 compared to 2008 levels. a 30 percent reduction in annual energy consumption a 10 percent reduction in product mass a 16 percent reduction in packaging waste a 14 percent reduction in transport CO2 emissions Let’s hope Sony can exceed these targets as well. via Treehugger

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Sony Cuts Emissions by 31% Since 2000

Energy Density Improvements in Lightweight Lithium-Air Batteries

July 27, 2011 by  
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MIT scientists have made new discoveries that could significantly increase the energy density of batteries several times beyond the current level of lithium-ion batteries. The advances are in lithium-air storage, which uses a porous carbon electrode in place of a heavy solid electrode in the battery. Oxygen from the air reacts with the lithium metal in the battery to store and discharge energy. The very open structure makes it possible to obtain such high levels of performance. One of the biggest issues in battery development is the weight of the batteries. Whether for portable electronic devices or for hybrid and electric vehicles, the weight of the batteries is a factor that must be considered. Replacing the solid electrode with the lightweight carbon matrix has led to some of the highest levels of energy stored per pound of battery. New methods of producing the carbon matrix for the battery creates a “carpet-like” material that is more than 90 percent open, which makes for a very lightweight battery. “These carpet-like arrays provide a highly conductive, low-density scaffold for energy storage,” according to one of the researchers. As an additional benefit, the researchers have found that the very open and regular nature of the battery allows scrutiny of its internal workings with a scanning electron microscope. Not only does this allow more research on the particulars of this battery, but it may also help with general research and understanding of why batteries have limited numbers of charge-discharge cycles before they cease being useful. via: MIT press release

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Energy Density Improvements in Lightweight Lithium-Air Batteries

UNSW’s Sunswift IVy sets Guinness World Record for the fastest solar-powered vehicle

January 10, 2011 by  
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission electric car powered exclusively by silicon solar cells.

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UNSW’s Sunswift IVy sets Guinness World Record for the fastest solar-powered vehicle

Commuting by Car is Losing Favor in New York State

December 28, 2010 by  
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Image: Streetsblog, CC. Data: U.S

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Commuting by Car is Losing Favor in New York State

Rebut a Climate Change Denier With These Simple Responses

December 28, 2010 by  
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photo: Matt Brown / Creative Commons You can never have too many tip of the tongue answers when common questions about climate change come up, whether from outright climate deniers or from people who aren’t up on the science and have genuine questions about common climate skeptic claims. NRDC recently released a FAQ on this, and now

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Rebut a Climate Change Denier With These Simple Responses

Hardcore Composting, Organic Growing and Sharing at Esalan Gardens (Video)

December 28, 2010 by  
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Image credit: Benjamin Fahrer From a sneak peak at industrial-scale composting to my musings on composting as animal husbandry , I have been known to get more than a little excited about both the theory and practice of recycling our organic waste. But the video below from Esalan Gardens, featuring footage of diggers turning huge piles of steaming compost really go…

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Hardcore Composting, Organic Growing and Sharing at Esalan Gardens (Video)

What if Solar Got the Same Subsidies as Coal?

October 21, 2010 by  
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This infograph below was created by our previous parent company, One Block Off the Grid (1BOG) , a couple weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, I think it is definitely worth a look.

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What if Solar Got the Same Subsidies as Coal?

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