Los Angeles schools seek savings with green upgrades

Article: Los Angeles schools seek savings with green upgrades

State-level budget crunches are taking their toll on local school systems, with many resorting to layoffs and service cutbacks to stretch funds. The Los Angeles Unified School District is no different: a quick scan of their news releases shows the board approving layoffs, and the district’s superintendent proposing a shorter school year and even taking furlough days.

LAUSD is also considering some more unusual, and more sustainable, approaches to making ends meet: cutting energy and water use through the implementation of green building and transportation.

Green tech finds (3/4/10)

Article: Green tech finds (3/4/10)

Robots, biogas, and a green 7-11… it’s green tech finds time! Solar power from pea plants: Many researchers are looking to the plant world for inspiration for harvesting solar energy more efficiently. Prof. Nathan Nelson of Tel Aviv University is looking at pea plants as a potential source of nano materials that could “…form the…

PlanetSolar Unveils World's Largest Solar Boat

Article: PlanetSolar Unveils World's Largest Solar Boat

The world’s largest solar boat, PlanetSolar, was unveiled at the HDW Shipyard in Kiel on Thursday. The multi-hull vessel, powered solely by an array of photovoltaic solar panels, was constructed by the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel.

Green tech finds (2/18/10)

Article: Green tech finds (2/18/10)

Wave power, robots, and solar roads… it’s time for this week’s green tech finds. Use your iPhone to argue climate science: Gotten into yet another argument with your conservative brother-in-law about the facts surrounding climate change, and need support fast? There’s an app for that… (via The Guardian) Wave power coming to the Pacific Northwest:…

Green tech finds (2/11/10)

Article: Green tech finds (2/11/10)

New skins for old buildings, hybrid race cars, and solar chargers that work inside… your green tech finds for the week.

  • Reskinning old buildings: New green buildings are great, but what about older, existing structures? Australia-based Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) has conceived of a building “skin” that “which could create a microclimate, cooling the building inside,” and could contain all sorts of sustainable goodies like solar panels and rainwater collection systems. (via Fast Company)

  • Poop to carbon capture: West Virginia chicked farmer Josh Frye is trying to do his part to curb climate change — and make a little extra money — by turning chicken manure into biochar.

Green tech finds (2/4/10)

Article: Green tech finds (2/4/10)

Hummer horse carts, cheap(er) wind power, and make-you-own toilet paper machines… this week’s green tech finds.

  • Sony adds to its green cred: The VAIO W Series laptop and Aspen phone both feature power saving and recycled materials. (via

  • Trash to energy in Milwaukee: Developer Alliance Federated Energy announced Project Apollo, a trash-to-syngas project planned for the city’s North Side.

Green tech finds (1/29/10)

Article: Green tech finds (1/29/10)

A bit of a weird, carnivorous motif running through this week’s green tech finds… check out the fly-eating clock, and nuclear wasted-eating material modeled on Venus fly traps…

How green is the iPad? Apple has the spotlight this week with the launch of its new tablet computer. MNN and The Daily Green take a look at its green features.
The Fly-Catching Clock: If common items like clocks and coffee tables could also catch pest (from flies to mice), and digest them into biofuel, would you find that revolutionary… or gross? British designers Jimmy Loizeau and James Auger created some designs along these lines to get people thinking about “using living things as fuel.”

Green tech finds (1/21/10)

Article: Green tech finds (1/21/10)

Glitter-sized solar panels, green electronics, and cow fat… your green tech finds.

Lubing your engine with cow fat: Green Earth Technologies’ G-OIL, a “bio-oil” created from cow fat, has been named the official motor oil of green racing series American Le Mans.
Design your own electric vehicle: Trexa has created a concept platform for electric vehicles, which could allow specialty vehicle developers to create cars much like tech developers create iPhone apps (via Auto Blog Green)

Golden State Warriors practice facility goes solar

Article: Golden State Warriors practice facility goes solar

From players’ salaries (and egos) to stadiums and arenas, pretty much everything about professional sports is big… including the carbon footprint. You likely only need to take a look at huge, climate-controlled facilities with acres and acres of parking to figure that even single events are responsible for massive greenhouse gas emissions. Genuine reductions in that footprints will likely require major shifts in how fans experience the play of their favorite teams… for now, though, a number of pro franchises are doing what they can with LEED building standards, renewable energy installations, and fan education.

The Golden State Warriors basketball team will join that group tomorrow with the unveiling of a 9,641 sq. ft., 143.5kW solar installation on its practice facility in downtown Oakland.

Green tech finds (1/07/10)

Article: Green tech finds (1/07/10)

Will 2010 be a good year for green tech? Looks like it from the first finds of the new year…

Green tech at CES: It’s that time of year again… the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show opened today in Vegas, and CNET is keeping on top of green tech on display.
The sun doesn’t shine all the time: That’s one of the criticisms of solar power… but start-up Sun Catalytix thinks it might have a solution to storing energy produced when the sun is shining: mimic photosynthesis.

Michigan solar power farm not your typical father-son project…

Article: Michigan solar power farm not your typical father-son project…

Solar power in Michigan? Really?

While it’s probably not the last state you’d associate with solar power (that’s Alaska), Michigan likely appears far down on your list of places ideal for a large-scale solar power installation. Attorney Sam Fields, his son Connor, and two other partners hope to prove you wrong with their 700-panel array in Galesburg.

Green tech finds (12/31/09)

Article: Green tech finds (12/31/09)

Your last green tech finds of ’09… enjoy!

The obligatory New Year prediction: 2010 will be a banner year for clean technology, according to investment bank Jeffries, and Greentech Media. Places to watch include Finland and South Korea.
Tetris meets SimCity meets urban planning: That’s the basic idea between new strategy game City Rain (and that’s a screenshot above). (via sustainablog)

Green tech finds (12/24/09)

Article: Green tech finds (12/24/09)

Because green technology never takes a holiday… here are this week’s finds. Salting away solar power: Nevada Power has announced a 25-year deal to buy solar power from the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, which will be “the nation’s first commercial solar power plant using salt storage to distribute energy after the sun sets…” Satellites…

Blogging for Solar Schools: fundraising via the blogosphere

Article: Blogging for Solar Schools: fundraising via the blogosphere

Solar systems at elementary and secondary schools create opportunities for reduced energy bills and student education… but they’re also expensive. Even when a school system recognizes the long-term potential for savings, the money just may not be there for the up-front investment.

The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and are trying out an innovative method of raising for school solar systems: get bloggers involved.

Suntrica's solar charger: not just cool and wearable

Article: Suntrica's solar charger: not just cool and wearable

If you follow green gadgets at all, you may have already heard of Finland-based Suntrica’s solar-powered charger for personal electronics. Numerous blogs wrote about the company and its products last May after the company won second place in the CTIA’s E-Tech Awards’ “Green – Consumer Hardware” category, and nearly all framed Suntrica’s solar chargers as cool, cutting-edge, green consumer technology.
After listening to a presentation today from company VP of Sales Kenneth J. Jönsson as part of the Finnfacts cleantech blogger tour, I realized the company was meeting one of its marketing goals — receiving recognition from consumers with green values. That’s great… and I’ll definitely enjoy using the charger Suntrica gave to me. But I was even more intrigued by some of the other markets for which the company wanted to create value.

Green tech finds (12/4/09)

Article: Green tech finds (12/4/09)

Something a little different this time around: I’ve been in Helsinki, Finland this week checking out cleantech developments with a group of other bloggers ( and many thanks to FinnFacts for bringing us here!). While I’ve been a little slow to get posting on the stories I’ve heard (stay tuned here and at sustainablog for those posts), several of my colleagues fought off the jet lag well enough to get started. A few posts from Finland:

Karl Burkart at MNN and Ian Thomson at provide a bit of background on the Finnish cleantech sector.
Jen Boynton at Triple Pundit gives us five fast facts about Finland, and offers some advice to Metso Corporation about sustainability and biomass as a fuel source.
Hendrick Morkel at Arctic Start Up takes a look at Eniram’s efforts to cut shipping fuel use and emissions.

Green tech finds (11/27/09)

Article: Green tech finds (11/27/09)

Thankful for green technology? So are we… here are this week’s finds.

Student film documents Haitian sustainability projects

Article: Student film documents Haitian sustainability projects

Hope can be a precious commodity in developing countries like Haiti. With 80% of the population living below the poverty level, residents will likely welcome any economic opportunity, regardless of social or environmental consequences. The documentary film BLOOMING HOPE: HARVESTING SMILES IN PORT-DE-PAIX documents efforts by a few Haitian citizens, community leaders, and aid workers to build financially, socially and environmentally sustainable business models in one of the country’s poorest region.

Solar boat racing provides hands-on learning for students

Article: Solar boat racing provides hands-on learning for students

When you were a high school student, how did you prefer to learn your science: formulas on the board and text books, or hands-on experiments involving building things (or maybe even blowing things up, or dropping items from high distances)? Yeah, I thought so… Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District has provided a hands-on opportunity for kids throughout the area to learn about engineering principles, solar power and electrical systems, and even water pollution and other broad environmental issues through its annual Solar Cup boat races.

Green tech finds (11/5/09)

Article: Green tech finds (11/5/09)

Bricks, robot fish, and eco-warriors… this week’s green tech finds!

Find a green business… and a coupon: GenGreen Digital Media has just added a new feature to its Find Green iPhone app: coupons. Find a business that has what you want (and shares your values), and save some money in the process.
Online carbon reduction for builders: the Rocky Mountain Institute has just released Green Footstep, an online tool that allows builders to assess (and reduce) that carbon emissions of building and retrofitting projects.

100% green electricity potential exists in thirty US states

Article: 100% green electricity potential exists in thirty US states

Arizona has massive solar power resources. Texas, Kansas, and South Dakota together could power the whole country with wind. And the Rocky Mountain region holds vast potential for geothermal power generation. Traditional thinking in renewable energy development holds that we should tap these resources, and then move the power generated around via a next-generation national electric grid.

A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance challenges this conventional wisdom, though, and makes the rather startling claim that 30 of the 50 US states could meet their own electricity demand entirely from in-state sources; seven more could generate 75% of their electricity needs this way. Thus, major (and expensive) improvements to the national grid may not be the most efficient use of resources.

Green tech finds (10/22/09)

Article: Green tech finds (10/22/09)

From a green ride to a clean (hand-cranked) shave, it’s all here: this week’s green tech finds.

Solar that doesn’t stand out: Or, not as much, anyway… Iowa’s Powerfilm has developed “thin, flexible solar sheets that can be integrated with architectural building materials.” (via Springwise)
Eco wifi: Australia’s D-Link has announced its Green EthernetTM technology which “automatically detects link status and network cable length, then adjusts power accordingly.” It’s also allows a user to schedule wireless up time (like thermostats).

Green tech finds (9/17/09)

Article: Green tech finds (9/17/09)

Things that go “zoom”… plus online tomato swapping, bike power harnessing, and another good reason to upgrade to Snow Leopard. Green tech finds galore…

Online vegetable trading: Got more tomatoes from your garden then you could possibly eat? Really want some homegrown watermelon? Veggie Trader is a new site that allow you to “…trade, buy or sell local homegrown produce.” (via Planet Green)
EVs hit prime time: Prime time television, that is: Jay Leno plans to host a “Green Car Challenge” regularly on his new show that will feature “…celebrities who will take turns trying to best one another’s track times in a specially prepared Ford Focus-based battery car.” (via

5 houses of worship using solar energy

Article: 5 houses of worship using solar energy

Turns out that Madison, Wisconsin’s Benedictine sisters aren’t the only ones greening their house of worship: churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples around the US are implementing a range of green building and energy saving features. In most cases, they’re driven by religious imperatives; cost-savings likely play a role, too. The federal government’s even trying to encourage this behavior: Environmental Leader noted today that congregation buildings are now eligible for ENERGY STAR status.

Solar power is one of the first things most of us consider when trying to cut our energy costs and lighten our carbon footprints. Religious congregations are no different… here are a handful that have added solar features to their houses of worship.

The First Presbyterian Church of Washingtonville, NY, has been heating the building with DIY solar systems for over 30 years!
Bridgeview, Illinois’ Mosque Foundation added solar water heating in 2008, making it the first mosque in the US to adopt solar technology.

Green tech finds (8/13/09)

Article: Green tech finds (8/13/09)

Can the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid really deliver 230 mpg? Can you power your DVD player with your exercise bike? Answers to these questions and more in this week’s green tech finds…

  • Powering up with your bicycle: Exercise bikes aren’t just good for keeping fit; many people are figuring out innovative ways to harness that power and create electricity.

  • A showcase green home in Silicon Valley: Eco-entrepreneur Marc Porat has turned his 1936 English Tudor Revival home into a carbon-neutral showcase of green tech.