Today, my new partners at Dandelion, which is a geothermal startup that recently graduated X, the research and development lab at Google’s parent company, announces a partnership with Hudson Solar, the leading residential solarinstaller in the Hudson Valley and Capital Region. Yes I’m teamed up with a Google Startup ok breathe breathe!).
Plus, I know Hudson Solar. They were chosen as a leading provider of solar in the Solarize campaigns throughout most of the Hudson Valley.
Together, these companies will offer homeowners the opportunity to easily get their homes to go 100% GREEN ENERGY.
Dandelion as reported in the Poughkeepsie Journal today uses a new geothermal installation process developed at X, can convert homeowners away from oil or gas heat and offer them substantial savings.
Hudson Solar, with its on-site or community solar offerings, can then offer homeowners to lower the cost of solar power. A homeowner with geothermal, solar and energy efficiency can easily go 100 percent renewable. The Dandelion geothermal system will use solar electricity and the ground, as a source of heat and heatsink, to provide a home with heating, cooling and hot water! (BOOM!!)
Let’s put it this way, average geothermal installs cost around $40,000. Dandelion is about $20,000 and will offer financing and monthly payment plans.
Now while solar costs about the same, the finance costs will be really more affordable than the grid.
“We chose Hudson Solar as our first solar partner because the company is well known for their high-quality work and share our values and excitement about the impact that our combined product will have on combating climate change,” Dandelion CEO Kathy Hannun said. “Hudson Solar’s unique offering of both on-site and community solar systems means they can provide all of Dandelion’s customers a way to power their geothermal systems with clean electricity. ”
“Dandelion has lowered the cost of geothermal and set up financing so a homeowner switching to geothermal from oil or propane can save money from day one, just like with solar,” Hudson Solar CEO Jeff Irish said. ” … And with our community solar arrays, even people who can’t site solar on their property can go solar.”
Everyone agrees that being more eco-friendly is a great goal, but is anyone really doing anything about it? You may be put off by the thought of composting, separating recyclables into a variety of bins, or buying new appliances that are more energy-efficient. While these are all good for the environment, there are several other steps that you can take that don’t require a lot of effort or money.
Eat More Veggies, Less Meat
Along with the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, eating less meat can aid the environment. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 26 percent of the Earth’s ice-free land is used to raise livestock, while 33 percent of croplands are used to grow food for livestock. Every year, we lose more forest land needed to grow crops to feed an increasing amount of livestock. Add in the methane produced by large amounts of animals, and it’s easy to understand why meat-eaters are being encouraged to lower their intake.
Borrow, Don’t Buy
Instead of buying new, try borrowing books, music, and movies from libraries; most keep a variety of each on hand. Shop for clothes at thrift stores, which often receive unused, overstocked items in mint condition. Start a tool collective with neighbors, and you’ll all save money; instead of buying a ladder that you use twice a year, borrow it.
Learn About Appliances
We all love the convenience of appliances, and it’s unlikely anyone would go back to washing clothes by hand. Here are a few tips to make appliance use more energy efficient.
Washing machines: Use cold water whenever possible. This simple change will save you up to 90 percent on energy costs incurred by this machine.
Water heater: Set the temperature lower. Do you really need water set at 140 degrees? Drop it to 120; you won’t even notice the difference.
Dishwasher: Wash only full loads and use the timer to delay washing until after midnight; you’ll save on peak energy costs and reduce the strain on your city’s peak energy use times.
Clothes dryer: On nice days, hang your wash outside to line dry and soak up that sweet smell of fresh air; on rainy days, hang it inside.
Oven: Find ways to use your energy-hogging oven less. Use a pressure cooker, microwave or toaster oven instead.
If you do find yourself in the market for new appliances, look for Energy Star appliances that are more efficient. Keep in mind that a front-loading washing machine uses less energy than a top-loading one.
Digital technology has helped cut down on the amount of paper we use, but it has by no means conquered it. According to the EPA, making paper from recycled paper requires less energy, about 60 percent of the amount used to make paper from wood pulp. Manufacture of one ton of computer or office paper from recycled paper saves 3,000-4,000 kilowatt hours. Recycling one ton of paper also saves 15-17 mature trees. This does require a little effort to separate papers from trash, but it’s an easy step requiring only one separate bin.
There are several simple ways to save water.
Ban plastic bottles: Only 20 percent of plastic water bottles get recycled; the rest end up in the landfill. Use tap water and a reusable water bottle instead.
Showering: Use a low-flow showerhead, which uses 25-60 less water. Use a bucket to capture unused water from the showerhead and use it to water plants.
Turn the tap off: Be mindful of wasting water by leaving it running while you wash your face and brush your teeth.
Water is one of our most precious commodities. Capturing water otherwise lost through evaporation is the goal of the Cadiz Water Project in Southern California. This project aims to create a new, sustainable water source, one of several innovative worldwide conservation efforts.
Some of these tips you may have heard before, but they bear repeating, including this one that your parents tried to drum into you: Turn off lights when you leave a room. Opt for longer-lasting and energy-saving light bulbs, specifically compact fluorescent lights or CFLs. They use about one-fourth the energy of a regular bulb and last up to 10 times longer.
Another way to save is to unplug your electronics when not in use. Even if they’re not turned on and active, they are still using some energy, which can add up when you realize how many electrical products you leave plugged in around the house.
Most of these simple steps require little effort on your part; the hard part is changing your habits. Try to incorporate them one by one, so you don’t feel overwhelmed and give up. Remind yourself which habit you’re trying to learn, or break, by posting sticky-notes by the light switch, the faucet, or wherever appropriate and remove them once you’ve mastered the habit.
Over the weekend of August 9th, Elon Musk & Tesla Model S 100D tweeted about setting a world record per his tweet here: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/893920554821931008. According to Elon Musk’s tweet, a Model S/100D that was hypermiling traveled 1,083KM (673 miles) on a single charge, making it a record.
However, environmentalist Eric Lundgren actually surpassed this by traveling 748 miles (1,203KM) on a single charge on real road conditions in California (not hypermiling) in a car he built in less than 40 days for $13,800 dubbed ‘The Phoenix.’ This electric vehicle now breaks the World Record as the car with the lowest carbon footprint and farthest range at highway speeds, all while built with 90% recycled materials by weight. The purpose of ‘The Phoenix’ is to demonstrate “Hybrid Recycling,” and help show the world what is possible from electronic vehicles.
Electronic waste recycling pioneer and electric vehicle world record holder Eric Lundgrenis known for innovating and leading a national movement for individuals and businesses to utilize a process he calls Hybrid Recycling. With a client roster of Fortune 500 companies including Nintendo, Motorola, Panasonic, Dell, Best Buy and more, Eric promotes that re-use is the purest form of recycling, and to put this into action he created America’s leading hybrid recycling plant called ITAP.
Electronic Waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States, yet our country lacks a real solution to efficiently process this waste system. Most e-Waste is landfilled at a financial costs and to the detriment of the environment, and other e-Waste is exported to third-world countries where in-humane processing methods lead to wide-spread injury and death. After witnessing firsthand how are e-waste is polluting the earth in his global travels, Eric created a real solution for the e-Waste epidemic. Through efficiency and innovation, his company identifies all generic parts and components of value and preserve is discarded e-waste, rather than just destroy them. They then extract and re-integrate into new applications. Eric calls this “Hybrid Recycling,” and it decreases the demand for raw material production, conserving our natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint.
With Eric’s new world record, he has emerged as the industry leader in efficient Hybrid Recycling. This remarkable story with green technology innovations offer practical and effective solutions to minimize e-Waste through hybrid recycling. Currently, Eric Lundgren is on track to build and run the world’s first 1,000 MILE car. This future run is scheduled for next month and will be at the AutoClubSpeedway in Fontana, CA.
We do use a lot of paper but at least we seem to be moving in the right direction as regards recycling it. In the last 20 years or so, the recovery rate for paper has almost doubled. This is great to see but of course there is still room for improvement. This infographic from Colourfast takes you through the progress we are making but also offers advice on how we can further improve.
Saving paper saves more than trees with one ton of recycled paper incredibly saving 60,000 gallons of water. There are some misconceptions about what can and can’t be recycled. For example, some people believe that you need to remove staples, paper clips etc. before you recycle but remember that modern recycling procedures are generally designed to do this for you. Find out more in the infographic.
‘Solar XL’ project breaks ground along Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, highlighting clean energy solutions over the fossil fuel industry
Silver Creek, NE — On Saturday, July 29th, the “Solar XL” project placed its first solar panels along the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, on the farm of Nebraska landowners Jim and Chris Carlson near Silver Creek. The Carlsons, who rejected a $307,000 offer from the pipeline company TransCanada to build Keystone XL through their backyard, partnered with Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, CREDO, and Oil Change International to put renewable energy directly in the pipeline’s path. Solar XL underscores the need to center solutions to climate change while rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and resisting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry.
“While we are dedicated to Keep It In The Ground efforts to stop new fossil fuel development, we are also deeply committed to the Just Transition. Solar and renewable energy can provide a sustainable transition away from fossil fuels and provide job growth in areas traditionally left behind, like rural America and our Indigenous communities. By placing solar projects in the route of Keystone XL, we are demonstrating how vital it is to not just stop dangerous and unnecessary projects like KXL but to also show that there are alternatives to the fossil fuel industry that do not put communities at risk and sacrifice Indigenous Peoples and land. We are excited to be a part of this resistance that also highlights the solutions that are needed,” commented Joye Braun, organizer from the Indigenous Environmental Network.
The Solar XL project is being supported through an ongoing crowdfunding campaign launched earlier this month. The solar panels, which will be installed in at least two other locations along the pipeline route, will serve not only as a form of clean energy, but as a symbol of the urgent need for a just transition away from fossil fuels toward a 100% renewable energy economy. The panels will help power the homes of Nebraskans resisting Keystone XL, and are being installed by the family-owned rural solar business, North Star Solar Bears, run by Jim Knopik.
The Keystone XL pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil a day from Canada through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and then on to the export market. The pipeline would pass through farms, ranches, and Indigenous land, posing a threat to the Ogallala Aquifer and other water sources that would be contaminated by spills and leaks. Landowners continue to fight eminent domain for private gain knowing this would be the first time the Public Service Commission (PSC) grants those powers to a foreign corporation. Lastly, all along the route, local economies are connected to agriculture, and climate change is a serious issue. Keystone XL would significantly add to climate risks for farmers, ranchers and Tribal Nations.
The first installation took place just over a week before the Nebraska Public Service Commission holds hearings in Lincoln on whether to grant a construction permit for Keystone XL through the state. One day before the hearings on August 6th, people from around Nebraska and surrounding states will converge for a march through the streets of Lincoln urging the Commissioners to reject the permit. If permits are granted for Keystone XL construction in Nebraska, TransCanada will have to tear down homegrown clean energy in order to build, galvanizing people across the country to fight back.
Jim Carlson, Nebraska landowner who placed solar in path of Keystone XL on his family’s farm:
“I am vehemently opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline mainly because of the properties of the contents of the tar sands oil it will carry — this is not your Mother’s crude oil, it is the Devil’s, and it can kill. We must be focused on clean, renewable energy and America can get along just fine without this foul concoction they call bitumen that TransCanada wants to pipe across our precious soil and water.”
Jim Knopik, North Star Solar Bears. LLC:
“Our family-run company is based in Nebraska — and by installing solar projects, like the ones to stop the Keystone XL pipeline — my kids are able to stay on the farm. It’s time for our country to start the transition to clean energy now.”