Green Choices and Alternatives

Firms backed by Robert Downey Jr. and Bill Gates have funded an electric motor company that slashes energy consumption
TechCrunch, Jonathan Shieber
The operation of buildings is responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions worldwide. Smart building technology adds an intelligent layer to eliminate this waste and inefficiency by automatically controlling lighting, air conditioning, heating, ventilation and other essential systems and Turntide’s electric motors can add additional savings. Turntide’s basic innovation is a software-controlled motor, or switch reluctance motor, that uses precise pulses of energy instead of a constant flow of electricity. The average energy reduction in buildings has been a 64% reduction. If we can replace all the motors in buildings in the U.S. that’s the carbon equivalent of adding over 300 million tons of carbon sequestration per year.

Could We Pay Back The Earth For What It Provides? A New Report Offers A Roadmap
NPR, Eric McDaniel
The “Review on the Economics of Biodiversity”, commissioned by the British government, frames nature as a financial asset that provides humanity with food, water, shelter and “spiritual fulfillment.” It argues that nature’s contributions to global productivity should be quantified and, in essence, repaid. Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognizing that our long-term prosperity relies on re-balancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them. The gross domestic product fails to account for certain costs, including the degradation of the environment, and in ignoring those costs, the metric can obscure the risks that damage poses to future economic growth. The report calls for national and corporate accounting systems to estimate the value of “natural capital” and compensate nature for what it provides through investment in environmental stewardship.

Restoring Farmland Could Drastically Slow Extinctions, Fight Climate Change
The New York Times, Catrin Einhorn
Returning strategic parts of the world’s farmlands to nature could help mitigate both climate change and biodiversity loss, a new study found. A global road map, published Wednesday in Nature, identifies a path to soaking up almost half of the carbon dioxide that has built up since the Industrial Revolution and averting more than 70 percent of the predicted animal and plant extinctions on land. The key? Returning a strategic 30 percent of the world’s farmlands to nature. “It’s one of the most cost effective ways of combating climate change,”.

What is the Circular Economy?
The Circular Economy aims to keep products, components and materials in use for longer, and reuse them, so we get more value (usefulness, or productivity) from them.There are widespread savings from reduced material use, efficiencies in production and the supply chain. These lead to lower levels of waste, pollution and emissions.

Mini-Reactors Are Gaining Traction in the Push for Greener Grids
Bloomberg, Will Wade
As governments around the world set ambitious plans to wean themselves off fossil fuels, there’s a growing awareness closing coal or natural gas plants could lead to electricity shortfalls, as seen in California’s rolling blackouts earlier this month. Nuclear power accounts for 20% of U.S. power, a number that could grow if small nuclear sites are put in place to ease that transition.

New York Has 1,300 Reasons Not To Close Indian Point
Forbes, Robert Bryce
Since then, numerous other towns in the state have been battling the encroachment of Big Wind. The towns of Yates and Somerset, along with three upstate counties — Erie, Orleans, and Niagara – have been actively fighting a proposed 200-megawatt project called Lighthouse Wind, which aims to put dozens of 600-foot-high turbines on the shores of Lake Ontario. Solar projects are also facing opposition. Last year, the town of Cambria rejected a proposed 100-megawatt solar project that would have covered about 900 acres with solar panels. In short, the premature closure of Indian Point – and the raging land-use battles over renewable energy siting in New York – should lead environmental groups to rethink their definition of what qualifies as “green.” Just because wind and solar are renewable doesn’t mean they are green. In fact, the land-use problems with renewables show the exact opposite.”

Transparent Solar Panels turn Windows into Green Energy Collectors
The Open Mind
Researchers from Michigan State University developed completely transparent solar panels, which can have numerous applications in architecture, and other fields like mobile electronics or the automotive industry.

Local inventor’s wind turbine dubbed ‘wave of the future’
Lockport Union Sun & Journal
If Stimm’s turbine catches on as he envisions, energy-related carbon emissions will plummet — as will energy costs. “It’s going to cost less money to drive your (electric) car, less to heat your home; there will be more money available to the average family,” Stimm said. “And it’s clean energy — totally clean.” “This is the wave of the future,” he said

(2013 video applicable to the growing eagle population along the south shore of Lake Ontario)
Why the Eagles Returned
Delaware Highlands Conservancy at on Vimeo
In 1972, there was a single pair of nesting American Bald Eagles left in New York state. Today, there are hundreds in New York, Pennsylvania and surrounding states. What does the story of the American Bald Eagle’s return teach us about the impact we have on our environment, and our responsibility to conserve our shared habitat?

Natural solutions can reduce global warming
Science Daily
US forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands could absorb a fifth of greenhouse gas pollution — equivalent to emissions from all US vehicles

Natural Solutions to Climate Change
The Nature Conservacy
In response to climate change, land is key. Today, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses account for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse-gas emissions. But adopting sustainable land management strategies could provide more than one-third of the near-term emission reductions needed to keep warming well below the target—2°C above pre-industrial levels—set by the Paris climate agreement.

The Greenest Energy is the Energy You Don’t Use
SOS Reference/Resource Sheet
Easy ways to reduce consumption and save money

Carbon Reduction
Carbon Footprint Ltd. (Carbon offset company)
Tips and Advice to help you cut carbon and energy costs

Small Footprint Family
Small Footprint Family’s goal is to empower and inspire you with the tools and ideas you need to live a simpler, healthier, more sustainable life.

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