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SkyRider Gives One Reason To Skype Or Web/Videoconference

September 27, 2010

Give the airlines credit: unlike the automakers for whom greenwash is the order of the day, they and in turn the environment i.e. all of us benefit when they find ways to cut energy use. The lighter the weight, the more the aircraft can carry per pound of thrust the less fuel is needed leading to lower emissions.

Let's face it: even if we developed high-speed rail networks everywhere, air travel is the only practical means to carry people and highly-valued cargo over medium to long distances and to remote locations.

Canadian Newspaper Has It Right: To Go Green Cut Down On Packaging

August 30, 2010

Canada is a big source of American packaging material, and that includes newsprint. 

So applause should be offered to a recent editorial in the Peace Arch News, a newspaper which is distributed in the Metro Vancouver communities of South Surrey and the city of White Rock, British Columbia, Canada that face the U.S. border which called for manufacturers and retailers to cut down on the waste.

Here are some excerpts from the piece: 

"The sheer amount of packaging we deal with every day is staggering. According to the U.S.-based Dogwood Alliance, 25 per cent of the 2.4 million hectares of trees cut down every year in the southeastern United States ends up wrapping and boxing consumer goods."

"The computer age, which was supposed to diminish our need for paper, has only made things worse."

"The little plastic cartridges for inkjet printers, for instance, are notoriously over-packaged, contained in complicated boxes, attached to cardboard or plastic trays, wrapped in sticky plastic and accompanied by a series of instruction pamphlets and promotional paperwork."

The problem, says the editorial "is compounded if you happened to order that inkjet cartridge from an online retailer; chances are it was shipped in a cardboard box five or six times larger than the already voluminous box encasing the little plastic cartridge, and then further protected by crumpled paper, bubblewrap or styrofoam peanuts."

 "Responsible, environmentally-conscious consumers can only do so much to keep all these boxes, containers, trays and whatnot from filling landfills."

For Metro Vancouver and environs like nearly every city is facing a waste management problem.











Power IT Down This Friday!

August 26, 2010

Friday August 27 is "Power IT Down" day. Organizers say "just by turning off your computer, monitor and printer -- and any other peripherals -- when you leave work for the day, you can help save tens of thousands of costly kilowatt hours."

(There are also the knock-on benefits of reducing dangerous emissions, slowing down climate change and minimizing havoc-causing brownouts and blackouts.)

"Think saving a few kilowatt hours won't make a big difference?" says the web site. "To demonstrate the benefits of Power IT Down Day and how energy savings can be put to good use, its sponsors will make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. Last year, we donated $45,000!"

The Wounded Warrior Project's mission is, says that site to "raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members."
 
CDW's 2009 Energy Efficient IT Report backs up the benefits of such efforts as Power IT Down day. It found that organizations working to reduce energy consumption are realizing tangible results:







A Practical Way To Use Electric Vehicles: Commute/Reverse Commute Station Cars

July 21, 2010

Electric vehicles (EV) presently and will continue to suffer one crippling flaw for most applications: the lack of range. Note the words 'most applications' for there is an imaginative and practical means of using them that is discussed later on.

A recent National Post 'Motor Mouth' article by David Booth points out that the batteries required to move EVs generate electrical energy far less efficiently than do gasoline or other fuels.  Gasoline produces about 6,000 watt-hours/pound whereas the "most optimistic numbers" he has seen for advanced lithium-ion batteries is 110 watt-hours/pound. 

"That means good old- fashioned gasoline punches 54 times harder for the same amount of weight, the fundamental reason electric cars' ranges are so pitiful compared with those fossil fuelled," writes Booth.

Simply put: there is no way you can pack that much battery power to match what gasoline, or even less efficient fuels like compressed natural gas (used in fleet vehicles, like taxis) can produce for your typical trips.

What about the vaunted greater efficiency of electric motors?

"In the electric vehicles' defence, electric motors transmit that energy more efficiently to the road," says Booth. "Some electric motors boast 90% efficiency, while internal-combustion engines can transmit as little as 15% of their energy into vehicular motivation. However, even being generous, that means EVs face a nine- times deficit versus traditional cars."

And that doesn't take into account driving on hilly terrain.











Truly Going Green in Air Travel

June 3, 2010

I used to like flying but no longer. I now loathe even the thought of getting on a plane.

A once-great experience has been turned into, well, the most appropriately named commercial aircraft is the "Airbus", which speaks volumes for it. Namely cramming as many bodies to a hairline above the pain thresholds of most humans into a huge of hunk of material and transport them via their conveyance from Point A to Point B.

Steel Rails are Green

May 6, 2010

A new report from the BlueGreen Alliance and the Economic Policy InstituteFull Speed Ahead: Creating Green Jobs Through Freight Rail Expansion, confirms what rail and many environment advocates and industry sources have been pointing out for years: rails are green and in more ways than one. So instead of ripping out railroad tracks in favor of highways: the dominant government policy for the past 90 years, governments should instead enable investing money into freight rail.

Shipping goods on trains in whole or in part of intermodal (ship/truck-rail) movements uses less energy and land, emits fewer pollutants at greater labor productivity than all-truck for medium to high volumes of freight over likewise distance: short distance heavy movements, such as aggregates are also more efficiently carried on trains. On a per-ton basis, trucking uses on average four times the energy to transport freight versus rail, says the report.

Green Campus Project

April 8, 2010


Here is something worth voting for, the Green Campus Project.  It is a candidate in Pepsi's Pepsi Refresh project where the firm is giving away $1.3 million each month to projects that gain viewers' votes.   The Green Campus Project "seeks to equip student-led electric transportation projects on two university campuses in Minnesota", explains Marty Leenhouts, Green Campus Project Administrator, with $50,000 it hopes to win from Pepsi.The goal he says is to expose some 60,000 university students to electric transportation.

Tandberg's FlyFree program

March 19, 2010

Air travel especially for business is an environment-killing, time-wasting, productivity-draining pain in the literal backside. If high costs, cramped seats, nonexistent food service that forces one to also juggle the grease-drenched so-called sustenance caked into landfill-bloating clamshell packaging, plus de facto strip searches, and weather and runway delays weren't enough then there's always labor disruptions.

And in anticipation of the latter, on British Airways (BA), Tandberg has wisely capitalized the opportunity to market its videoconferencing and telepresence solutions by offering TANDBERG FlyFree, a program that gives companies an easy and risk-free way of experiencing the power of high-definition video conferencing and telepresence.

By adopting Tandberg's technology, it says employees "can still make critical meetings, avoid unnecessary business travel and benefit from a better work-life balance by working around personal schedules. In turn, the technology can deliver serious business advantages and consistent return on investment, regardless of the BA strikes, as well as help companies make great CO2, time and cost savings."

"Businesses cannot afford to be slowed down by the impact of international travel disruption, especially at this time when continuity is so critical to success," says Simon Egan, Vice President, Western Europe & Sub-Saharan Africa, Tandberg.



To Go Green (In More Ways than One) Go Virtual...and Bus and Rail

December 31, 2009

Want more proof that going green by virtualizing offices i.e. teleworking and locating those functions that need people to interact with each other and with equipment inside energy-efficient buildings at high-transit-accessible locations is the smart way to go? Why it will save green in more ways than one.

A new report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010 covered on TMCnet  illustrates why staying or locating in traditional suburban sprawl office buildings is a bad financial idea.

Is Wind Energy Green or Greenwash?

November 2, 2009


The Friday Oct.30 edition of the Peace Arch News that is distributed in South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia in Metro Vancouver that borders on the U.S. contained a thought-provoking snippet on wind power by Dr. Roy Strang who covers the environment for the publication.

In it he writes: "Europeans are beginning to find that installing windmills to generate electricity has not led to any significant reduction in CO2 emissions--despite all the early hopes and promises. Because wind power blows only fitfully, backup conventional generators are needed, at full capital costs, for intermittent use."

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