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jcrinkley

5 Easy Ways You Can Make Your Home Greener in One Weekend

If you’ve searched for and found this blog, there is a good chance that you are interested in making your residence more sustainable as soon as possible.  Here are 5 simple and relatively cheap ways that you can reduce energy waste and increase efficiency in your home right now. 1. Replace the weather stripping around all exterior doors. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home can account for 44% of your utility costs.  You can easily reduce the amount of work your…

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5 years ago
John Biggs

MIT Builds A Bracelet That Controls The Office Thermostat

The WristQue may look like one of those cloth bracelets worn by old soul Sophomores who spent a semester in Prague and came back with dredlocks and an absinthe fetish, but it’s not. It’s actually a personal climate control system. Let me explain. The bracelet identifies you to the building and allows it to follow you from room to room. Is the meeting room too cold? Press a button and it starts to warm up. It will also prepare rooms for your arrival, reading your patterns of movement over time. If it sounds…

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5 years ago
Bryan Walsh

Political Pollution: How Bad Air is Slowly Changing China

China confirmed this week that the number of its citizens living in cities has surpassed the rural population for the first time in its history. That massive urbanization — 690.79 million people are now city-dwellers according to the National Bureau of Statistics — has brought huge benefits, chief among them lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. But it has also led to serious problems, perhaps none more so than the increasingly foul air in these heaving metropolises that are growing bigger,…

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5 years ago
Serkan Toto

Japan’s Cloud-Based, Smartphone-Compatible LED Lighting

First, Japan got the world’s first connected home garden device, and now it’s time for Nippon to get the world’s first cloud-based LED lighting system. Developed by Tokyo-based lighting tech startup Net LED Technology Corp., the so-called NetLED system will go on sale in Japan on February 20 (here‘s the company’s English website). The 40W lights, which have a 40,000-hour lifespan, come with built-in Wi-Fi: users can control each tube over the web after installing the NetLed app on a smartphone, tablet, or…

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5 years ago
Conscious Canary

Simple Sustainability

I just read a great story about how two recent grads from Berkeley (Nikhil Arora and Alex Velez) came up with a brilliant plan for reusing old coffee grounds. The idea sprouted when a professor mentioned that gourmet mushrooms can be grown in coffee grounds. They took the idea to heart, and started experimenting growing the mushrooms in plastic buckets in their dorm room. Eventually some mushrooms sprouted, and they decided to take them to a local restaurant to ask the chef if they tasted any good. They…

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5 years ago
Bryan Walsh

LEED From Behind: Why We Should Focus on Greening Existing Buildings

In an era of LEED-certified construction and growing concern for sustainability, it comes as a surprise that constructing new, energy-efficient buildings can be less eco-friendly than renovating old ones. A study by the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation shows building reuse almost always has fewer environmental impacts than new construction—which means we’d be smart to spend at least as much time renovating existing buildings as we do lionizing fancy new green…

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5 years ago
Katie Fehrenbacher

The Green Button project launches to unleash energy data

The potential of open access to energy data has drawn U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra to the West Coast. On Wednesday morning Chopra and half a dozen utilities plan to announce the official launch of the Green Button initiative at an event in Santa Clara, Calif., which will enable utility customers to easily download their energy consumption data with one click in an easy-to-read format on utilities’ and third parties’ websites. California utilities PG&E and San Diego Gas & Electric will…

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5 years ago
asladirt

Who Protects Your Historic Landscape?

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) is looking for nominations for its ongoing Landslide program, an annual list of “threatened and at-risk landscapes.” This year, Landslide’s theme will focus on the “visionary patrons and/or organizations and the sites they helped create,” with the goal of honoring their accomplishments yet also inspiring new philanthropists to take action. Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF Founder and President, said:Â ”In 2012 we spotlight patrons and the places they helped create because…

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5 years ago
Bryan Walsh

Pipeline Politics: Keystone Is Dead (For Now). What Happens Next?

Chalk a win up for the environmentalists. On Wednesday, the White House announced that it was rejecting—on the recommendation of the State Department—the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought 700,000 barrels a day of oil sands crude from western Canada into the U.S. In many ways the announcement—forced by Congressional legislation passed late last year that required an expedited decision on the pipeline—reinforces a move made by Obama in November to essentially kick the final…

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5 years ago
Bryan Walsh

State of the Union: From Climate to Clean Energy to…Fracking?

Well, he mentioned the ‘c’ word this year. Last year President Obama raised more than a few eyebrows when he failed to talk about climate change during his State of the Union—something even his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, no friend of the environment, usually managed to work in. But last night Obama did cite climate change, albeit in a rather roundabout way, criticizing Congress for being too deeply divided to pass comprehensive climate legislation—or for that matter, the clean energy…

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5 years ago