by Eric Wilson on April 7th, 2010
Last month’s post about Waste Farmers mentioned that the composting company was one of three finalists for the Denver Green Business of the Year. Today 2nd Green profiles one of the other two finalists. Wild Ideas Light Company has created a line of LED lights that not only provides a range of ultra-efficient lighting options, but uses recycled materials that are also recyclable, and last 20 years.
A few months ago I met with Ian Osborn, principal engineer and inventor at Wild Ideas Light Co. Osborn mentioned that his light bulbs draw from one-third to one-tenth the energy as compared to an incandescent bulb.
by Justin Manger on April 6th, 2010
Here is a quick primer from a Slate/Washington Post article on some of the tricky questions about what can be recycled and what cannot.
First of all, it may be helpful to understand how the paper recycling process works. It goes something like this:
When bales of sorted paper arrive at a mill, they’re fed into a huge, blenderlike contraption along with water and chemicals. The resulting pulp goes through a number of purification steps. First, a long chain called a ragger is lowered into the swirling mixture; things such as twine and wire wrap around the chain and get pulled out. A metal screen at the bottom of the pulper picks out more contaminants — this should be when your plastic window fragments are removed. Next, the slurry is spun around in a cone-shaped hydrocyclone — which separates out higher-density items such stones and bits of metal (including staples) — and then it’s screened again through a finer mesh. Finally, if the pulp is being made into high-quality product such as white office paper, air bubbles and detergents are pumped in to wash away unwanted ink particles.
Now, how about some of those hard to answer questions that come up when sorting the recycling? The article provides the following answers.
by Eric Wilson on April 5th, 2010
As many of our faithful readers know, half of 2nd Green Revolution gave up their car at the end of last year. For those that having been paying close attention, they are aware that the other half has increased their family by one this year.
While the impact of Western lifestyles and consumption patters are not entirely sustainable, they do drive the economic engines of the world economy and are becoming the worldwide (not just western) way. With all of this in mind, I propose a vehicular dilemma. After 12 great years with my 1998 Honda Accord, the time has come to replace the basic sedan that has seen me through college, graduate school, more than half a dozen years of commuting to and from work, and numerous moves.
by Eric Wilson on April 4th, 2010
Here at 2nd Green Revolution, we firmly believe in the power of a clean energy economy to serve as the backbone of a healthy, sustainable economy going forward. Recent news from the Department of Energy (DOE) provides a glimmer of hope regarding this possibility. The DOE “released a new report [available as a PDF] highlighting the benefits of the Recovery Act to small businesses throughout the clean, renewable energy industry and environmental management sector. The report found that as of early March 2010, small businesses have been selected to receive nearly $5.4 billion in funding across a number of Recovery Act and related programs, including loans, loan guarantees, grants, contracts and tax incentives, in partnership with the Department of Treasury.”
As the administration touted the Department of Energy’s role in the recovery, “Secretary [Stephen] Chu Highlight[ed] Recovery Act Tax Credits for Home Energy Efficiency Improvements” during a visit to a manufacturer of energy efficient windows in Pennsylvania.
by Eric Wilson on April 3rd, 2010
Most magazines are filled with advertisements and promotional material about “green” or “eco” products; “clean tech this” or “sustainable that”. This is great to see. It’s become a part of the public consciousness and public discourse. President Obama has also been touting the second green revolution as a way to bring the country back to healthy economic growth. So how do you get a job in the new economy? Here is one job that was featured in Fortune Magazine:
Energy Efficient Engineer
by Eric Wilson on April 2nd, 2010
Earlier this week we posted a piece about the future of biofuels. From that same source comes the following facts about oil consumption. Although a bit dated, this data still maintains a certain level of relevance.
In 2003, transportation worldwide burned up
- almost 500 billion gallons of crude
- 192 billion gallons of diesel
- 307 billion gallons of gasoline
That same year, the United States used
- 176 billion gallons of petroleum, almost double that of the EU, the next highest consumer at 92 billion gallons
- China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil rounded out the top consumers of crude oil for transportation purposes.
- Eric Wilson
[Image Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]
by Eric Wilson on April 1st, 2010
On or around the first of every month, 2nd Green Revolution updates the green events calendar for the coming month. Last November we began including a post highlighting some of the intriguing events for that month. Many of the events on the calendar for April take place abroad, as has been the case over the past several months. Many of the events featured below involve college campuses, perhaps one of the main sites of the second green revolution. In addition, there are a couple of conferences of note in Canada, including one about biofuels – a hot topic on our site in the past week.
The following conferences, webinars, and symposiums caught our eye. For more, check out the green events calendar.
by Eric Wilson on March 31st, 2010
With the awarding of billions of dollars from the stimulus bill to various big high speed rail projects across the nation, several smaller studies have been conducted on the feasibility of constructing and running faster train lines. The Rocky Mountain Rail Authority – “a multi-jurisdictional government body comprised of 52 Colorado cities, towns, counties and transit authorities” – has undertaken this study.
The greater Denver metropolitan area, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs – often referred to as the front range – recently completed the 18 month study, which looked at the practicality of a rail system connecting various parts of the state. The report found that a line connecting Fort Collins on the north end to Pueblo on the south and Denver’s International airport on the east to Eagle County (home to Vail ski resort) on the west would represent the best investment for such a system.
by Justin Manger on March 30th, 2010
At the beginning of the year, any businesses selling food in the District of Columbia were required to start charging five cents for each plastic bag they gave to customers. The preliminary result of that tax on consumer’s behavior has been nothing less than astonishing. According to the Washington Post, “the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue estimated that food and grocery establishments gave out about 3 million bags in January. Before the bag tax took effect Jan. 1, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer had said that about 22.5 million bags were being issued each month in 2009.” That’s a reduction of around 85% or nearly 20 million plastic bags a month! Not only does that cut down on the oil resources needed to make so many bags but also reduces the amount of bags that could end up as trash in the rivers around D.C. The tax also raised $150,000 for the newly created Anacostia River Cleanup Fund, which will spend the money on various environmental projects.
I think it’s the sense of having to pay for something that you never had to pay for before that is the real motivation behind the reduction in plastic bag use.
by Justin Manger on March 29th, 2010
This post comes to us thanks to the beauty of the internet. Traditionally unable to listen Vermont Public Radio
(VPR) here in Washington, the internet now makes such once far-out ideas commonplace. The link above takes you to several audio clips from VPR. This link
has a story about the capital city of Montpelier using wood chips to heat and help power the State Capitol and 175 other buildings in town. The energy system will be “fueled with locally sourced renewable and sustainably harvested wood chips.” After 15 years on the drawing board, $8 million in federal stimulus money finally got the project off the ground. Guests on the program include Montpelier City Manager Bill Fraser and Executive Director of the Montpelier based Biomass Energy Resource Center
(BERC) Chris Recchia. BERC is an “independent, national nonprofit organization (with another office in Madison, Wisconsin) that assists communities, colleges and universities, state and local governments, businesses, utilities, schools, and others in making the most of their local energy resources.”
Here’s a summary of their project
as just one of the numerous creative ways communities across the U.S. are approaching the clean energy revolution.