Sustainable Tourism Along Dominican Republic’s North Coast for Green Living Guy and Green Travel Girl Brands

Since Green Travel Girl website just relaunched we thought it best to set it off with a trip to the Dominican Republic. This event was fully sponsored and we thank them for it.

The North Coast region, which includes Samaná, Cabarete and Puerto Plata, is comprised of pristine beaches, lush green valleys and palm-covered mountains. The beautiful landscape provides a wide-range of sustainable attractions unique to Dominican Republic. From nature trekking to snorkeling, this was an ideal trip for travelers with a passion for exploration, adventure and supporting the local economy.

The Original Green Travel Girl got to:

Slide down waterfalls at the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua

Snorkel the coral reefs of Sosua Bay

Experience the ultimate in watersports in Cabarete, the Kite Surf Capital of the World

Learn about sustainable and aquaponic farming practices of area resorts

Participate in a surf lesson

Tour the Amber Mine

Go for a swim and hike at Blue Lagoon Cenote

Took in the sites from the Teleférico Cable Car in Puerto Plata

Not only is sustainable tourism an incredibly important component of any economy, but the United Nations has declared 2017 “The Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development,” which adds another interesting angle to share with your readers, who are so passionate about sustainability.

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES NEW CAMPAIGN TO INSTALL CHARGING STATIONS AND PROMOTE ELECTRIC VEHICLE USE ACROSS NEW YORK STATE

Supports Governor Cuomo’s Charge NY initiative; Will Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40 Percent by 2030
Largest Contributor to Greenhouse Gas Emissions is Transportation Sector; Accounts for Nearly 40 Percent of Emissions in New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new electric vehicle campaign that includes the installation of charging stations, incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles and extensive public education and outreach. The increased use of electric vehicles will help the state in achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. The campaign, which supports the Governor’s Charge NY initiative, will be overseen by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

“This multi-pronged campaign will help in this administration’s efforts to fight climate change, strengthen infrastructure to support the use of electric cars, and help reduce New York’s carbon footprint on our roadways,” Governor Cuomo said. “With these actions, we are taking another step toward a cleaner, greener and more sustainable New York for all.”

Work on the projects will start immediately and will include the installation of 450 charging stations across the state. Of these, approximately 150 will be located at workplaces throughout New York, supporting Governor Cuomo’s State of the State proposal for the construction of 500 new workplace charging stations. The units will be installed in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Utica, Albany, the Hudson Valley, Westchester County, New York City and Long Island.

“I’m pleased with the progress we’re making in the energy sector but we can’t cut greenhouse gasses and reach our emissions reduction goals without also making inroads in the transportation sector,” said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York. “State-wide campaigns to promote the use of electric vehicles will go far to help New York reach its emissions reductions goals and combat climate change.”

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said , “This comprehensive campaign will help New York meet Governor Cuomo’s clean transportation goals and reduce our carbon footprint. Each project is vital to the success of New York’s nation-leading energy strategy, so we can ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for all New Yorkers.”

Additional projects in this campaign include:

· Working with New York City-area public and private employers to create an incentive program specifically for their employees to encourage them to buy electric vehicles;

· Conducting outreach to employers statewide to educate them on the benefits of providing workplace charging stations for their employees;

· Hosting public test drive and ride events;

· Providing innovative financing to make installing charging stations more economically viable for site owners;

· And developing tourism routes specifically for electric vehicle owners that will highlight charging station locations in the Mid-Hudson Valley, including in the Catskills.

In addition, Rochester will launch a pilot to become an electric vehicle model city. The goal is to demonstrate how developing an electric vehicle ecosystem can increase electric vehicle adoption and prepare a community for long-term electric vehicle growth. State, city and community leaders worked together to identify actions to support Rochester’s evolution into an electric vehicle model city, including adding electric vehicles to the city fleet, installing charging stations, creating a speaker’s bureau for community events and training for local dealerships. 
The projects will be managed by three contractors – EV Connect, Energetics and Calstart — for a total of $4.8 million. Each contractor is responsible for different elements at specific locations, though all will be installing charging stations and administering marketing and outreach programs.

This electric vehicle campaign continues Governor Cuomo’s ongoing support to grow the number of electric vehicles in New York. Last fall, he announced $3 million for rebates through the Environmental Protection Fund for municipalities to purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles, such as battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, for their fleets. 

Over the summer, Sustainable Hudson Valley kicked off its Drive Electric Hudson Valley campaign to educate consumers about electric vehicles, which was supported by NYSERDA.

The state has also revised regulations to clarify charging station ownership rules, and supported research and demonstration projects on new plug-in electric car technologies and policies. In addition, the New York Power Authority has invited municipalities to tap into a master contract that offers better pricing for the supply, installation and maintenance of charging stations. 

The Governor has also announced the availability of another $3 million to help eligible municipalities and rural electricity cooperatives purchase electric vehicles for use in their municipal use fleets.

Source: Charge NY, Reforming the Energy Vision, www.ny.gov/REV4NY, NYSERDA

New approach for matching production and consumption of renewable electricity promotes large-scale integration of solar and wind power

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is coordinating the BALANCE project, which brings together leading European research institutes in the field of electrochemical conversion. The project aims to demonstrate a technology that enables flexible storage of large amount of renewable power. Such technologies are needed for the further integration of additional wind and solar power. The European Commission funds the project by 2.5 million euros.
As the investment costs of solar and wind installation are decreasing, the most significant obstacle for further integration of renewable electricity is the imbalance between their weather-dependant production and the general power consumption. It is this issue that the BALANCE project partners aim to solve by further developing an electrochemical conversion technology called ReSOC (Reversible Solid Oxide Cell).

A ReSOC device uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas by a high temperature electrolysis process, which is significantly more efficient than other electrolyser technologies today. What makes ReSOC particularly interesting, however, is the fact that the exactly same device can also be operated “in reverse” to produce power from the very same hydrogen gas it produced. Using the same device for converting power to a storable gas and for converting this gas back to power again enables very flexible usage of the device, thus increasing its operating hours as well as reducing it capital costs.  

Already today, the electricity market is being challenged when flooded by green electricity on a windy or sunny day. This causes the electricity prices to plunge or even go negative in some European countries. Because electricity cannot be stored as such and our current capacity to store it with hydropower or batteries is limited, the production of windmills and solar panels must at times be curtailed to avoid power grid failure. This issue will become more and more important as the production capacity of renewable electricity is growing rapidly.

With a flexible energy conversion technology, such as a ReSOC, it is possible to balance the power market. At peak production hours, power is converted into a chemical, which can be stored for later use or used as industrial feedstock. Similarly, during peak consumption hours or on a calm, cloudy day, the stored chemical is converted back to electricity at the same site. Therefore, a ReSOC unit supports the integration of wind and solar power with the current power system by providing a compact, affordable and flexible technology for the conversion and storage of renewable power.

The three-year project began in December 2016 and will receive EUR 2.5 million in EU Horizon 2020 funding (grant agreement 731224). It includes several leading European research institutes and universities in the field of electrochemical conversion, including VTT (FI), DTU (DK), CEA (FR), ENEA (IT), University of Birmingham (UK), TU Delft (NL), EPFL (CH) and IEn (PL).

Figure: Schematics of the ReSOC concept. It is the missing link between the power grid and the fuel or the chemical feedstock for the industry.
Figure: Schematics of the ReSOC concept. It is the missing link between the power grid and the fuel or the chemical feedstock for the industry.

Source: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, www.vtt.fi, Press release 6 March, 2017

Useful Infographic – Energy Efficient and Sustainable Buildings

Research shows that to keep up with the increase in demand on the planet’s resources, we need to be building more energy efficient and sustainable buildings now.

Some countries have already begun and in this infographic we can see some inspiring and innovative buildings that are paving the way for a sustainable future.

Energy Effective and Sustainable Buildings by Cast Iron Radiators 4u
Energy Effective and Sustainable Buildings by Cast Iron Radiators 4u.

36 amazing facts about polar bears

Did you know that polar bears are actually black? Or that they can eat 100 pounds of blubber in just one sitting? Not just stars in Coca Cola commercials, polar bears are fascinating creatures; it’s no wonder they’re known as the ‘Lord of the Arctic’ in some parts of the world.

These 1500 pound beasts have the thickest fur of all bear species, which explains why they look so warm and comfortable despite living in some of the world’s coldest climes. They also have a thick layer of blubber to insulate them and will actually dig snow shelter holes when the cold gets too much even for them.

Churchill is one of the rare places where we can observe polar bears in the wild. On Hudson Bay, polar bears explore the ice packs that form over the water hunting for seals to eat.

This infographic celebrates some of the wildest facts about polar bears. Check out some of the weird and wonderful details that make these creatures so unique. Maybe it will inspire you to add a little more grrr to your brrr!

insane-facts-about-polar-bears.png
insane-facts-about-polar-bears.png