Archive for the ‘Green Products’ Category

City Offers Limited-Time Incentives to Go 100% LED!

It’s about to get a whole lot easier to upgrade your lights and save money and energy! The City’s Cambridge Energy Alliance is partnering with Eversource to launch the “100% LED Cambridge” campaign, which offers limited-time specials on LED light bulbs for Cambridge residents. The campaign encourages residents to upgrade 100% of their home lighting to LEDs, which use six times less energy than older bulbs.

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From now until November 26th, residents can go to https://www.techniart.us/Cambridge/ to get special pricing that is available to Cambridge residents only. Customers can also get discounted shipping while supplies last. Not sure what bulb to get? See our guide at CambridgeMA.gov/LED

 

 

The 100% LED campaign is one of the city’s initiatives to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a nationwide competition among

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Money Saving Light Bulbs

During the summer of 2014 several high school students interned at the Cambridge Energy Alliance helping with canvassing and outreach across Cambridge. The interns also wrote a few blogs on topics they were interested in related to energy efficiency and solar power. The following is one of their blogs.  

 

Today, unfortunately, money is on the minds of many people. This blog offers a simple and straightforward strategy to save money, and energy, by using different types of light bulbs. Currently in the US most people use incandescent light bulbs in their households. However, slowly the tide has turned to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) bulbs, which offer greater service and economic satisfaction. But what is it that makes these light bulbs so different? Of course they all have differences in their structure, … [view entry]

First-Ever Energy Star Label for Clothes Dryers Now Available

The EPA has announced a brand new energy efficiency certification for clothes dryers under the Energy Star label. As known energy hogs, the potential savings are big: if all residential clothes dryers sold in the U.S. meet these new requirements, the utility cost savings will grow to more than $1.5 billion each year and more than 22 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented.

Over 80% of U.S. homes have a clothes dryer, which on average account for approximately six percent of residential electricity consumption. In order to reduce dryers’ energy use by over 20% of the minimum 2015 standards, Energy Star dryers will incorporate technologies such as:

  • Auto termination sensors
  • Heat pumps to recapture lost hot air
  • Performance data and alerts
  • Smart grid readiness

Explains U.S. EPA … [view entry]

Fostering Sustainable Behavior

Tara Holmes

This past Friday, I attended a workshop lead by Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr entitled “An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing: Fostering Sustainable Behavior.”  As someone who’s personally very intrigued by the oftentimes overlooked (and dare I say critical) link between our everyday psychology and environmental sustainability, I was eager to attend. What I learned was both enlightening and somewhat anticipated.

In brief, humans, at least the populations Dr. McKenzie-Mohr has studied, tend to default to the easiest common denominator of behavior when it comes to environmentalism.  Of course, this isn’t to say there aren’t outlier personalities who go above and beyond the “green” call, but overall, unless regulated to do so, or cajoled by neighbors or friends, most people will resort to the path of least resistance. Knowing this … [view entry]

Green Jobs get the Green Light

Operating a hand drill at North American Aviation, Inc., [a] woman is working in the control surface department assembling a section of the leading edge for the horizontal stabilizer of a plane, Inglewood, Calif. (LOC) by The Library of Congress

Green jobs, no longer just an environmental buzz phrase, represent a critical component to the progressive growth of the US economy. On February 23rd, the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the availability of $40 million in green jobs development grants.  The funds are authorized for the Green Jobs Innovation Fund (GJIF) and are meant to encourage the growth of the green economic sector, which includes everything from renewable energy technology and implementation, to policy and programmatic work.  The announced grant will also support individual training and development within the green jobs sector to ensure interested candidates receive the proper credentials to be competitive within the green economy.… [view entry]

Dreaming of a Green Christmas Tree?

MCCALL HOMEMAKING COVER, XMAS TREE by George Eastman House

Debating on whether or not to get a real or fake Christmas tree this year?  Well, if you haven’t already, then think twice: a recent article by the New York Times reported that unless you keep your fake tree for 20 years or more, it’s more environmentally conscientious to purchase a real tree. It sounds counterintuitive – aren’t Christmas tree farms agriculturally damaging and don’t we need more trees intact to act as carbon sinks? Turns out, it might not be that clear cut.

Using calculations that included greenhouse gas emissions, use of resources and human health impacts, a Montreal-based environmental consulting firm found that the annual carbon emissions associated with using a real tree every year were one-third of those created by an artificial tree over a standard six-year lifespan. Additionally, … [view entry]

Obama pushes new tax credits for Green Companies

Speaking at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, President Obama issued new proposals for issuing tax credits to renewable energy companies as a means of stimulating job creation. The President urged increasing the current funds already approved by the Congress totaling some 2.3 billion dollars. The problem is, there aren’t enough tax credits  to go around,” Obama told the crowd at the university.  “When we announced the program last year, it was such a success that we received 500 applications requesting over $8 billion in tax credits. But we only had $2.3 billion to invest. In other words, we had almost four times as many worthy requests as we had tax credits.”

President Obama’s trip to promote alternative fuels was also part of a larger effort to help push Senate … [view entry]

Increasing Solar Efficiency (and why its important)

Natural Palette by Argonne National Laboratory If there’s one clear cut hope for the future of energy, its that a completely clean and renewable source of energy, like the sun, could one day come to completely replace our current addiction to fossil fuels. Solar energy, if applied properly could provide the Earth with years of nearly endless power with virtually no environmental drawbacks. However, there are some major hurdles to clear before this dream of a sustainable future through solar energy could become a reality. Currently, the biggest drawback to solar panels is the low efficiency of these devices, even under constant sunlight. Most photovoltaics today only run at a top efficiency of 20%, making them mere complements to other energy sources, rather than complete replacements.

Despite these setbacks, new research from across the world has recently made … [view entry]

Eco-pimp my dirty job

Enjoy a lazy Sunday! by ucumari Although it’d be easy to dismiss “The Lazy Environmentalist” as a simple product placement vehicle for Brita filters and GE CFLs, it can be an entertaining and informative show1. In this Sundance Channel series media personality Josh Dorfman tries to convince small business owners and hobbyists from all walks of life to adopt alternative products and techniques. If you don’t subscribe to this premium channel, recent episodes are also available via Comcast On Demand and clips of episodes can be viewed on the series website. Check it out next time you feel the need to become one with the couch, but there’s nothing good on.

Also for your enjoyment, a 45 minute discussion by Josh to Google employees about his approach to environmentalism:

1. The enlightenment [view entry]

LEDs for a smarter street lighting

The light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are becoming more and more common in traffic lights and are moving into streetlights.

LEDs produce three or four times more light per watt of electricity than standard incandescent lamps do, and they are more than 4 times as efficient as Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs, typically lasting  up to 50,000 hours.

The Dialight Corporation, of Farmingdale, N.J., a subsidiary of a British company,  has about one-third of the United States market for LED traffic signals, and is now looking forwards on another target: street lamps. Edinburgh and Pittsburgh are already trying this new lightning system. Even if LED street lamps doesn’t produce much more light per watt than a conventional lamp, it’s strength is to shine in only one direction whereas other lamps shine in all … [view entry]