New hopes for getting the lead out of solar
May 5, 2014 10:16 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Solar energy is arguably our most viable low cost energy source. It is forever sustainable and easily captured and converted. But now the technology may have taken yet another leap forward. To date the foundational technology behind photovoltaics was a structure called perovskite, which has been made with lead. Using tin instead of lead perovskite as the harvester of light, a team of Northwestern University researchers has created a new solar cell with "good efficiency". This good efficiency solar cell is low-cost, environmentally friendly and can be easily made using "bench" chemistry -- no fancy equipment or hazardous materials.
Thoughtfully green Mother's Day gifts for your mother and Mother Nature
May 1, 2014 03:11 PM - Editor, ENN
No one is more special that your own mother - especially on Mother's Day. Celebrate your own mother and "Mother Nature" with one of these five great green gift ideas. These options offer a sustainable alternative to the chemical-laden flowers and mass-produced chocolates that dominate the market on Mother's Day. 1. Buy eco-friendly flowers- Although they are a beautiful part of nature, flowers aren't always eco-friendly. Most flowers are grown with a slew of chemicals and pesticides. They also typically come from warmer climates, such as South America, and have to make a long temperature-controlled journey before they reach your door. Opt for a greener option instead. There are several companies that sell eco-friendly flowers that are organically and locally grown. You could also purchase a potted plant from your local nursery. Not only are potted plants greener, they typically last a lot longer than a fresh-cut bouquet.
Oil underpinnings in Virunga National Park
May 1, 2014 11:06 AM - Editor, ENN
Virunga National Park, classified as a World Heritage site sits amongst the Rwenzori Mountains on the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It spectacular features include its most well known residents, hippos and mountain gorillas. It is believed to have more biological diversity than any other protected area in Africa, no doubt in large part due to its mountain forests, wetlands, savanna grassland, volcanoes and lakes.
The EPA is enhancing sustainability: one Great Lake at a time
April 29, 2014 10:58 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Two Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants were awarded on Friday totaling $1 million earmarked towards Chicago green infrastructure projects. The projects will improve water quality in Lake Michigan. The infrastructure projects will prevent stormwater from carrying contamination into Lake Michigan.
Unleashing the inner green consumer
April 24, 2014 11:08 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
Academics have uncovered a key influence in the consumer's decision to go green, whether it's recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products. Research from Concordia University's John Molson School of business, proves that even just asking ourselves, or predicting, whether we will engage in sustainable shopping behavior can increase the likelihood of following through — especially when there's an audience.
The Evolution of Earth Day
April 22, 2014 10:29 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Each year April 22nd, marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the environmental movement in 1970. Not only did this movement help pass landmark legislation like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act but it has also engaged more than 1 billion people who now participate in Earth Day activities each year.
That sinking feeling on the Mississippi Delta
April 21, 2014 09:49 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Every engineering control has its drawbacks. As communities upstream of the Mississippi Delta continue to emplace dams and other flood control measures to prevent community flooding, less sediment is pulled from the lands upstream. Flood control measures have eliminated about half of the annual supply of marshland sediment to the Mississippi Delta. The existing soils continue to compact and sink without sediment replenishment. But researchers have found that the river’s supply of sand, the key ingredient used by engineers for rebuilding, will remain constant for many centuries.
Bacardi Makes Energy Efficiency Upgrades to Its Rum Facility in Puerto Rico
April 21, 2014 08:20 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit
Bacardi Ltd. is a world famous maker of rum, but the company is becoming known for something else: its sustainability measures. After highlighting significant reductions in water and energy use in its 2013 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, Bacardi recently announced new energy efficiency measures. These measures include installing solar skylights, which increase natural light, and ceiling insulation, which helps control temperatures in the company’s warehouses where rum sits inside white oak barrels to process. The company is located in Puerto Rico, a "small Caribbean island with limited resources," as Julio Torruella, project director for Bacardi in Puerto Rico, said in a statement.
The Atlantic Cup looks to raise awareness on Rhode Island’s increasingly polluted shorelines
April 18, 2014 11:32 AM - Guest Contributor, Jeff Pomeroy
The 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, now entering its fourth year as the United States premiere class 40 yacht race, continues to lead the way in clean sailing and increasing ecologically awareness in the sailing community. In 2012, the Atlantic Cup became the first carbon-neutral sailing race in the country by offsetting an estimated 23,030 pounds (10.45 metric tons) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Last year, in partnership with 11th Hour Racing and Green Mountain Energy Company, the Atlantic Cup was chosen as the first event to meet all the requirements to earn Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta Platinum Level Status. The Atlantic Cup will once again maintain its commitment to being the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the U.S. by using biodiesel hydro generators, solar panels and fuel cells to limit the use of fuel during competition, recycling waste, and becoming a plastic water bottle free event.
IPCC concludes: Renewable energy shift is a must
April 15, 2014 10:34 AM - ENN Editor
Conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's are simple: rapid shifts to renewable energy are needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The IPCC's report was produced by 1250 international experts and approved by each major government in the world. The report documented increases in human-caused greenhouse gases, the source of those gases, and their climatic effect. The most significant conclusions resulting from IPPC report are: - Current efforts to reduce greenhouse gases are not enough. - Energy supply is not the only thing driving emission increases. - Big changes will be needed to avoid disaster scenarios.