SOLAR APPLE TREES ... Taiwan-based solar panel manufacturer, Greendix, is becoming famous for its solar panel creativity. Released just this June was a solar football (soccer ball) that's actually functional. Designed to be used by the visually impaired, the ball has built in audio and motion detectors to alert players that the ball is near them. But I think they've topped it! Conceptually at least, albeit not as selfless. Greendix recently introduced the solar powered apple tree. The energy apples glow while getting charged and also change colors from green to red to show that they are “ripe” and ready to use. Users can then “pick” these apples from the tree and recharge their consumer devices instantly. It's such a unique idea! You have to check it out.
EMISSIONS DECISIONS ... The National Academies, the country’s leading scientific advisory group, has published the latest in a decades-long string of reports laying out the science behind what some believe to be an increasingly human-influenced climate. But hold the yawn! The latest report provides a unique, degree-by-degree guide to impacts on river flows, rainfall, coasts and other factors as the world's population increases. The way the information is presented in the newest guide is designed to emphasizes the importance of 21st century legislative choices regarding long-term climate stabilization, and is equally accessible to scientists, educators and policy makers, among others.
HYDROGEN SPY PLANE ... Time to geek it up! Boeing has recently unveiled a hydrogen-powered surveillance aircraft called the "Phantom Eye" that can fly at 65,000 feet and stay airborne for four days without refueling. The 150-foot wingspan plane can also carry a 450-pound payload and is eco-friendly, since its only byproduct is water. A prototype, unveiled in St. Louis, will be shipped to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California to start testing. Can't wait to see how it does... there’s got to be a movie in the works!
WIND POWER TAKEOVER
... According to ENDS Europe, a leading European environmental news and information service, wind power will be "dwarfing" other renewable energies in the next decade. This assessment was made based on data contained in the 13 national renewable energy action plans (NREAPs) released so far by EU member states. Apparently, in Europe, by 2020 wind power will outnumber all hydropower and solar facilities put together. Even more remarkable? Hydroelectric power generation in the 13 countries analyzed is currently nearly 70 percent higher than wind power. There's much more to the report, and it's really an awesome look at what's going on in the renewable sector in Europe, including graphs and charts. You can find it here
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SWEAT & EAT FOR FREE ... The Copenhagen Crowne Plaza hotel is a $156 million, 232 foot high, steel and concrete skyscraper located in Denmark’s capital that uses 90% less energy compared to mainstream designs. Green features include a solar panel exterior, a geothermal well for heating and cooling, chemical-free textiles and furniture, energy efficient faucets and light bulbs, and biodegradable toiletries, just to name a few. But even more notable is the fact that guests can pedal their hearts out on stationary bikes (with all electricity watt-hours stored in a battery to help offset the hotel’s energy consumption) and earn free ‘electricity production’ meal vouchers depending on the length of their exercise commitment. Vouchers are good for the Nordic brasserie serving only ecologically-friendly food. Come on, it's intriguing, isn't it? I wonder if I can plan a trip for the sake of research?
MEAT FREE MONDAY ... Meat Free Monday is an environmental campaign to raise awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption. There are claims that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transportation sector. Plain and simple, give up eating meat on Mondays. Seems impossible? The website has a number of recipes to help get the creative juices flowing. And if the ‘green' guilt’ doesn’t get to you, perhaps the culinary challenge will? Started by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney in 2009, yes, THAT family, MFM is a not-for-profit initiative, but asks for donations to help continued education. Options include downloading an exclusive song by Sir Paul, or ordering a newly released tank top by fashion designer Stella.
ALTERNATIVES FOR DUMMIES ... Just kidding, kind of. But don't worry, I'm talking investments, and not understanding how to work the alternative sector isn't uncommon. But now senior investment adviser for 2GreenEnergy, Bill Pail, who’s also a former staff writer for the Wall Street Journal covering the energy industry, has produced a concise alternative energy investment report, available for no cost. Coined "The Indiana Jones of Alternative Energy", Pail addresses the most relevant concepts vital to making investment decisions in this sector and is titled: 5 Rules of Effective Alternative Energy Investing. Ta-da! The alternative movement can't be all hype folks, think of your kids and grandkids, check out the report.
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