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Category Archives:

Sustainability

Back to the Future: Hydra Light and the Long History of the Electric Battery

A colleague recently brought the Hydra Light to our attention, a personal flashlight and charging station that runs on an electrolyte battery. While this design is patent pending, the basic technology behind it is as old- or older- than the pyramids. There is evidence that electrolyte batteries were known in ancient Persia and Egypt, and possibly across the ancient world. The windowless pyramids were lit with electric lights.

But how do electrolyte batteries work?

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Do You Know About the Swedish Dishcloth?

While the sorts of environmental problems that can best be solved by “green” consumerism are admittedly small, they do add up if a lot of us do them together. One of my guiltiest pleasures is my love of paper towels. They clean up everything and you can just get rid of them- you can even compost them. But despite all the rationalizations, the numbers speak for themselves: In the US alone, we use 13 BILLION pounds of paper towels, or 45 pounds per person per year. And while I can’t find any numbers on sponges, they usually stay wet for long periods of time and can harbor all sorts of bacteria. In fact, the kitchen sponge may be the dirtiest thing in your entire house!

The Swedish Dishcloth has the amazing ability to (mostly) replace both products and change your life.

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Here Comes Solar Gets Some Love from BRIC TV

If you’ve been curious about Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program, thanks to the awesome folks at BRIC TV, you can learn all about it in this informative video. Professional futurist Garry Golden will show you his own rooftop solar array in South Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Here Comes Solar program director Noah Ginsburg explains how the program works and its goal to help solarize Brooklyn…and beyond.

Solar Power Is for Everyone

affordable-solar-new-york_iSolar One, GRID Alternatives Tri-State and Co-op Power today announced the launch of Affordable Solar New York. The nonprofit initiative will bring low-cost solar power to affordable housing providers in New York, which provide critical housing and services to low-income residents. Solar can significantly reduce energy costs for both operators and tenants, yet up-front costs, credit scores and complex financing remain significant barriers for this sector to access the technology.

Affordable Solar New York will address these barriers by providing no-cost technical assistance, reduced-cost installation and zero-down financing options to Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperatives and other affordable housing providers in New York City. Projects will include both job training and energy efficiency education opportunities for residents.

“To reach Mayor de Blasio’s landmark OneNYC vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient New York City, all New Yorkers will need the ability to tap into the cost and energy saving benefits that solar energy can provide,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “I applaud Solar One, GRID Alternatives, and Co-op Power on the launch of Affordable Solar New York, an important step toward a more inclusive energy landscape in New York City.”

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7 Items to Check for Palm Oil- and Why You Should

orangutan

Palm oil, derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree, is a product of the South Asian tropics that has become ubiquitous in the products we use everyday.

Unfortunately, the deforestation associated with palm oil production seriously endangers the survival of the world’s wild orangutan population. The Orangutan Land Trust’s scientific advisory board estimates that some 3,000 orangutans are lost each year to habitat conversion and hunting.

Palm oil hides in many products under many names, so keep reading to learn what to look out for and where when you’re out shopping for ice cream, cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products…all of which usually contain palm oil or palm oil derivatives.

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Not Your Dad’s Solar: Solar Balloons Could Produce Electricity 24 Hours A Day

solarcloudsEveryone knows that renewable energy is winning the race to produce the electricity of the future, some people still have doubts about their ability to handle all our current energy needs, particularly because of the intermittent nature of wind and sun.

Now a team of researchers at NextPV may have figured out a way to get around that little problem.

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