Archive for the ‘Solar Energy’ Category

The U.S. Navy is set to launch a force entitled “the Great Green Fleet” by 2016. This fleet will consist of ships, submarines, and planes powered by biofuels. The first group will be tested in 2012. This is part of an opted to ensure at least 40% of the Navy’s total energy consumption comes from an alternative source by 2020. This plan also calls for: cutting petroleum usage in its 50,000 commercial vehicle fleet in half by phasing in hybrid fuel and electric vehicles; producing 50% of its shore-based energy requirements from renewable sources.

Although many Americans still remain leery of global warming, the Pentagon has acknowledged global warming as a security threat. “The Department of Defense takes climate change seriously,” said Amanda Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy. The Pentagon has committed to produce 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

The U.S. military accounts for nearly 80% of the U.S. government”s energy consumption, prompting the military to consider the lifetime energy cost of its operations. The navy has a head start on the other branches of the military. Approximately 17% of its aircraft carriers and submarines are already fuelled by alternative sources. However, the navy isn’t the only branch of the military committed to going green. The army is investing in portable wind generators and working to take its huge base in Fort Irwin, California off the public electricity grid in the next decade, using a 500MW solar panel array instead.

Ever wonder how, exactly, solar energy works? Watch the video for a short but sweet explanation of how the sun’s light is transformed into electricity.

We all wonder what we can do to improve our home without damaging the environment, but sometimes it’s hard to find viable answers. So we’ve composed a list with the three best green home trends of 2010, as well as ways to make them affordable and fun!

Energy Efficiency: Not only is saving energy incredibly beneficial to Planet Earth, but also lifts a load off the wallet. One of the simplest ways to decrease our carbon footprint is by purchasing LED or CFL light bulbs. LED light bulbs are extremely efficient. Though they can be pretty expensive, LED’s last up to 10 times as long as standard light bulbs by using only 2-10 of electricity. That can be up to 1/30th of traditional fluorescents. Another option is CFL light bulbs, which are very popular right now. Although they contain mercury, they are still much more energy efficient than standard light bulbs.

Other great options may require a bit more work, but certainly retain some incredible benefits. These other options include R 38 insulation, high efficiency AC systems, passive solar orientation, solar panels, energy rated appliances, and tankless water heaters. Make sure to do your research and compare prices, and you’ll be pleased to see how much money [and energy] you’ll save in the long run.

Bamboo in the Home: There are countless benefits to using bamboo in your home. Whether used for hardwood floors or countertops, it’s easy to install and maintain. Bamboo is an incredibly durable material, so it also works well for dishware, especially if you have kids! Bamboo is also very pretty, so it looks fabulous as an indoor and outdoor plant. It can be fairly cheap to purchase, especially compared to traditional flooring and countertops. Perhaps the greatest benefit of bamboo, though, is the fact that it’s the world’s fastest growing plant. This makes it the perfect renewable source. Also because of its abundance, it’s super easy to come across a quality and inexpensive lot of bamboo. There’s no reason not to try, especially since you’ll love how the bamboo looks in any situation!

Sustainable Home Products: We’ve given you tips for more efficient energy and green building, so to complete the triangle, we now address green decorating. In the bedroom, use organic cotton bedding. Living areas can be spiced up with decorative throw pillows. You’ll love the limitless options of designs, textures, and colors! When decorating your kitchen, use products made from organic clay or recycled glass. Your kitchen will be beautiful and eco-friendly! In the bathroom, don’t forget organic towels and natural soaps to keep the place bright! Finally, when decorating the dining room, think organic table toppers and accents. No matter what part of your home you plan to decorate, there is always a sustainable product fit to make it look great!

These are only three suggestions for ways to make your home more environmentally friendly. For more ideas, make sure to check out Verde Lifestyles! And don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone when decorating and researching new green home ideas.

In an attempt to make air, land, and sea green, PlanetSolar is taking environmentally friendly travel to a whole new level. The solar-powered boat will attempt to sail around the globe and expand on energy efficiency to benefit all of civilization. Below is the inspiration and thought behind the project, as well as some details on the world’s first solar-powered boat.

PlanetSolar is a boat covered in multiple photovoltaic solar panels. It will “of impressive proportions, and yet… both silent and clean.” The size and shape are still being determined, but are based on a multitude of factors: “propulsion, solar panel design, energy storage, materials, and the external environment.” Make sure to follow this production, as it is sure to change the green world as we know it!

Click to see PlanetSolar video!