Monday, June 22, 2009

Coal Emissions MUST be Cut

Treehugger does a nice job mentioning something that felt missing in a Wall Street Journal article which cites a new study from MIT. I want to take that one step further.

It's been validated by expert after expert and study after study and now MIT's - CO2 emissions reduction for existing coal power plants...we will not get our CO2 problem under control without cutting back our coal carbon emissions.

Treehugger goes on to state, "The WSJ very much correctly nails the urgency with which this has to happen: Now, not at some point in the future." But the focus on cleaning up coal emissions as the main point led them to discuss the prudent concept of spending some of that money on renewable energy in order to stop the building of new coal power plants and ultimately phase out coal entirely.

I couldn't agree more and in light if the immediacy of the problem, I think this should all be taken into the context of differences we can make very literally, today.

We are fully behind renewable energy and also want to mention inexpensive things that can be done right now to help through reducing our consumption. Three of the big potential areas in our everyday household lives are: heating and cooling, lighting and phantom power. We'll continue to cover these topics but to keep this post brief, look at what can be done with a simple dimmer switch...

Dimming your lights by 25% saves 20% of the energy used and extends bulb life by 10 times. Automated systems can set lights to come on at any %, saving energy every time they're turned on.

According to Dr. Ian Rowbottom, it costs about $7.75 to generate one watt through solar power but a mere 35 cents to conserve one watt with a dimmer at only 15% routine dimming. It's 4 times more for coal and wind and 8 times for nuclear.

If every switch in every US home were replaced with a dimmer, the savings would be 421 billion kilowatt hours per year or the equivalent of 52 large coal-fired power plants.

It's probably more than you expected and it's nowhere near what can be accomplished when you tie a lighting, heating/cooling and overall power control system into your home security system as at a little extra cost, you can add the security system's awareness of your presence to create a truly automated energy saving system.

Friday, June 19, 2009

An Acre or Two for Dad?

Really liked this idea so I thought I'd share.

Conservation International offers a program where you can donate money to help save an acre of tropical forest for a year and it's only $15 per acre.

This is far more than one of those things that just sounds nice and green. They claim that "the burning and clearing of forests pours at least 20 percent of climate-changing greenhouse gases into our atmosphere -- more than all the world’s cars, trucks, and airplanes combined." That should get you attention.

To make it even better, they are promoting this right now as a great Father's Day gift and have specially designed ecards to announce the gift in his name.

Check it out here...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tree for an email

We launched something this past weekend at the USGBC Green Remodeling Fair that I think we'll continue where we promised to plant a tree for every new sign-up for our e-newsletter. No selling of email addresses. A hopefully educational and/or fun email about once a month. Not a huge commitment. Lots of smiles generated and lots of sign ups. Lots of trees to plant!

We also offered the choice over the purpose of the tree's life...equatorial for global warming reduction and carbon sequestration; humanitarian to help reduce hunger, thirst and malnutrition; species preservation and fire damage reforestation. It was interesting to watch everyone's reaction. Many were unable to commit as they are all good causes. For those, we divided them evenly. The rest overwhelmingly picked a humanitarian purpose followed by fire reforestation and equatorial with a small percentage toward species preservation. Not a wrong answer among them, turned into an accidental but interesting social experiment.

Thanks to all that stopped by and signed up. The trees will be planted soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

USGBC Remodel Green Fair

Security Solutions will be exhibiting at a free event this weekend and will be discussing home security and automation and their combined ability to keep energy and usage costs down through their Green Living Automated Energy Management System.

Join us and 25 more Green Building Design Exhibitors...

The Sustainable Homes Committee of the US Green Building Council is holding a vendor fair to help you remodel your home GREEN!

It's FREE!

Sunday May 31st, 2-5pm

The Camp 2937 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Earth Hour Pics - Las Vegas Strip

Check out the links below for some pictures of the Las Vegas strip from the bridge in front of Ceasar's Palace looking South... The first gives an idea and the second is a time lapse composite. Imagine the sound of cheering and car horns.

I hope everyone got the point. We didn't save the planet by turning off lights for one hour. Everyone doing a little will only achieve a little. We need a lot more of this type of awareness activity in action and people applying it to every vote, activity, action, and purchase in their lives.

Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

We encourage everyone to participate in Earth Hour, a global climate action event to raise awareness of climate change and to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. If you wish to participate, simply turn off unnecessary lights, unplug unnecessary electronics, and go on to your patio at 8:30pm on March 28th, next Saturday, to watch the lights turn off around the globe for one hour.