Food System

New Study Measures the 'Foodprint' of Food Waste

Nov 28th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

As you scrape food into the trash, do you ever stop to think about all the resources you’re throwing away along with it? The land it was grown on, the water and fertilizer that helped it grow, the energy used to harvest, store and deliver it? A new study, by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Sustainable America, considered these questions by analyzing the resource use associated with our diet, including the portion that gets wasted. Our infographic breaks down the results.
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Transportation

Clean Cars May Cost Less Than You Think

Sep 30th, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

Yes, you can afford an alt-fuel car. A new study released this week by Massachusetts Institute of Technology compares the lifecycle cost and emissions of owning 125 different vehicles on the market, and guess what? It turns out that clean cars are a great deal for both the environment and your pocketbook.
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Transportation

Report: More EVs and Cleaner Grid Can Lower Emissions Significantly by 2050

Oct 22nd, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Some studies have found that replacing gasoline vehicles with electric vehicles is like trading one dirty fossil fuel for another if the electricity is coming from a coal-fired power plant. Other studies make a good case for driving electric even in regions dominated by coal. These studies are helpful if you’re evaluating which car to buy and drive today, but what about in the future? What impact can getting more EVs on the road have as the energy grid gets cleaner? Can EVs make a significant difference in lowering total emissions?
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Eco Living

5 Climate-Friendly Actions You Can Take Today

Sep 19th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Whether it's Earth Day or not, there's no better way to support the climate change issue than by taking action in your own daily life. Here's a quick list of things you can do every day to help curb dangerous emissions that are changing our climate.
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Transportation

Obama's Plan to Curb US Oil Addiction

Jul 1st, 2013 | By Aubrey Yee

This Tuesday, President Obama unveiled a new plan aimed at curbing carbon emissions and reducing America's dependance on oil.
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Transportation

The coal industry faces steep challenges for the future

Oct 24th, 2012 | By Aubrey Yee

With its high carbon emissions and the low price of natural gas, it seems that coal-fired power is on its way to being phased out.
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Transportation

An emissions reality check...

Sep 10th, 2012 | By Aubrey Yee

Carbon dioxide emissions could fall by [150 million tons per year](http://files.technologist.geblogs.com/files/2011/05/Emissions-Graphic.jpg) if coal plants are replaced by natural-gas fired combined cycle plants. That's equal to taking some 13,000 cars off the road each year.
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Eco Living

Exercise as Energy

May 20th, 2012 | By Nicole Rogers

Imagine going to your morning spinning class, getting a great workout, and producing clean energy, all before breakfast. This isn’t some dream of the future – it’s something you could do tomorrow at certain gyms across the country.

That’s right, all of that energy you expend in your workout can be converted into usable electricity. Several companies are already making it possible. Based in Seattle, PlugOut specializes in making cardio equipment that returns electricity to the gym’s electrical system by plugging the standard three prong power cord that is included with the unit directly into a standard outlet. If the building isn’t using any electricity it will be returned to the power grid, essentially spinning the building’s meter backwards.

For gyms with fleets of cardio equipment who may not want to invest in all new equipment there are companies like ReRev that retrofit existing equipment to do the same thing. According to ReRev’s website, a typical 30-minute workout produces 50 watt hours of clean, carbon-free electricity. That’s enough electricity to power a laptop for one hour. Though that may not sound like a huge amount, think of how much cumulative power is generated by the legions of people who go to the gym on any given day.

Using PlugOut equipment, Portland’s Green Microgym is focused on maximizing energy creation. According to their website, through energy creation and saving culture, in 2010 they generated 36% of their own electricity, and saved 37,000 Kilowatt hours or 85% (compared to traditional gyms per square foot). Those 37,000 Kilowatt hours saved are equal to 74,000 pounds of carbon emissions, 81,400 miles not driven, or 15 acres of trees planted.

PlugOut equipment can be found at fitness centers nationwide, and ReRev has an impressive roster of universities, private gyms and organizations (including the US Air Force) who use their equipment. With any luck, and maybe a nudge from customers in the right direction, your local gym will recognize the potential to save energy and money. With this new technology on your side you could be on the path to becoming a lean, green, alternative energy machine.


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