TAG: Energy

Teaching Kids About Energy

Tio Ghost Light

Energy conservation is a growing subject, and one that kids should be aware of. The younger children learn these habits, the longer they will practice them over their lifetime. We now know enough about the effects of energy consumption and over-consumption that we should be teaching today’s youngsters about the importance of saving energy. Tim Holley has designed a light switch to do just that. He calls it “Tio,” and it’s a ghost-shaped light switch that gives kids a visual reminder of how much energy they’ve used by leaving lights on. Tio starts out a green and smiling ghost. If… read more

Climate Change On The Agenda

Climate Change on the Agenda

President Barack Obama was named as TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2012 recently, and was interviewed by the publication on a variety of issues as part of its article on the person of the year. In the interview, the president said the economy, immigration, climate change and energy would be at the top of his agenda for his second term. Now, being on the agenda and moving toward progressive policies are two different things, but it can be assumed the president will feel more comfortable aggressively pursuing progressive ideology. However, the economy and immigration will likely be the… read more

Reusing Glass Containers

Recycling glass

Glass is a substance that does not break down. Reports state that it takes at least 1 million years for it to begin to decompose, while others say it is closer to an undetermined number. Most glass is 100% recyclable, and recycling companies will usually accept different colors of glasses. What cannot be turned into new glass products can be often be repurposed into other functional materials. Also, the amount of energy that is spared from recycling only one glass bottle could run a computer for around 30 minutes (Earth911). With pre-packaging all around, we may forget that we can… read more

Making Buildings Greener

Making a building greener

We’ve heard it time and time again in the news – “LEED is fine, but these touted green buildings use more energy than other buildings”. Or “LEED is great, but the buildings use more energy than predicted!”  Hold on – let’s take a look. First, many LEED buildings do use more energy than other buildings.  What is being compared? A science lab from 1940 will have entirely different usage parameters for energy, even if upgraded, than a science lab from 2012. A classroom of today employs better lighting and more controls and hopefully includes exceptional insulation and integration of daylight, but… read more

Irresponsibility Punished

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal fine in U.S. history—$4.5 billion—to resolve all criminal charges arising from the fatal oil rig explosion and subsequent catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said that it had agreed to pay $4 billion to the U.S. government over five years, and $525 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the next three years. However, the settlement does not resolve all of the claims against BP for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the company could face billions in restoration costs to the waters, coastline, and… read more

Acoustic Energy

Acoustic energy waves

While some of us get irritated by the noise, Jeong Ho You finds an innovation from it. Jeong Ho You, a mechanical engineer at the Southern Methodist University, says “Acoustic energy is everywhere”. With tiny resonating chambers, he wants to trap some of acoustic energy and convert it to low-amperage currents which can power small electronic devices. Similar to Ho You, Mark Sheplak, a research fellow at the University of Florida has worked with acoustic energy. In fact he has built an acoustic energy harvester for a NASA jet engine research project. He says “A lot of people wrote it off because there… read more

Brewing Energy Crisis

Fossil fuel depletion

There used to be a time when a home was considered luxurious when it was loaded with all the automated gadgets, was draped by the plush synthetics, and was lit well with mood sensor lighting. Well, times have not changed much. Even today, these are considered as the essence of a modern home. But what has changed with time is the need to reduce our dependence on artificial power and materials and rather to stick more and more with what nature is offering us freely. In the modern era, energy and power are our main drivers. They are synonymously used… read more

The Future Of Coal

Future Of Coal

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal demand is growing everywhere but the United States. Coal demand in the United States grew 4.3% (304 million tons (mt)), compared to Chinese demand growth of 233 mt. The amount is misleading though, because despite the demand growth, it is less than the growth in previous years. Unfortunately, from an environmental advocacy perspective, the decrease in coal usage is a result of the increase of shale gas production and usage, specifically in the United States. Additionally, a decrease in domestic usage of coal will have negative impacts on employment in the coal… read more

Solar Job Census

Solar Energy

On November 14th, 2012, The Solar Foundation released its third annual National Solar Jobs Census report. This found that the U.S. solar industry currently employs 119,016 Americans. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar workers and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past 12 months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the overall economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent during the same period, signifying that 1 in 230 jobs created nationally over the last year were created in the solar industry. The report, produced by The Solar Foundation and in partnership with BW Research and Cornell University, was released… read more

Easy Ways to Conserve

Conserving energy in daily life

Being energy conservative doesn’t have to be hard. The following are a few simple and practical ways to save throughout the week. Did you know that many email accounts can be accessed even when not online?  You can set yours up to allow message checking without the internet. To see if your email can work while your connection isn’t, open your account and then click on the “Settings” tab. Look for an “Offline” selection. Click on this and follow prompts to begin an install to add a work offline option. This feature is best on your own personal computer and… read more