March 11, 2014
March 1, 2014
February 19, 2014
The U.S. Department of the Interior recently announced an important step forward for the first offshore wind project proposed for federal waters off the West Coast. DOI's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has given the green light for Principle Power, Inc. to submit a formal plan to build a 30-megawatt pilot project in a 15 square mile lease area, using floating wind turbine technology offshore Coos Bay, Oregon.
The project is designed to generate electricity from five floating "WindFloat" units, each equipped with a 6-megawatt offshore wind turbine. The facility, sited in about 1,400 feet of water, would be the first offshore wind project proposed in federal waters off the West Coast and the first in the nation to use a floating structure to support offshore wind generation in the Outer Continental Shelf.
The West Coast holds an offshore capability of more than 800 gigawatts of wind energy potential, equivalent to more than three quarters of the nation’s entire power generation capacity. The total U.S. deepwater wind energy resource potential is estimated to be nearly 2,000 gigawatts.
February 18, 2014
February 13, 2014
|Marigot Bay in St. Lucia|
January 31, 2014
Virginia Participating Restaurants in CBF Save Oyster Shell program:
More Ways to Help
January 30, 2014
January 26, 2014
January 23, 2014
January 21, 2014
January 16, 2014
January 4, 2014
December 22, 2013
I made these gift bags from discounted Christmas theme fabric nearly 40 years ago and they are still in use by MANY family members. Kids (and husbands) like them because they make wrapping gifts simple, especially weird shaped items.
So after the holidays, pick up some vastly discounted fabric and get out your sewing machines. If you don't have one, ask someone who does to help you make some gift bags. Some crafty websites offer them for big bucks, but you can make your own quite easily.
Note that the gift tags are recycled Christmas card fronts.
December 11, 2013
Click here to find out how to recycle it in Tidewater Virginia towns.
Then think about an artificial tree.
December 10, 2013
November 17, 2013
The Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University accepts donations to its Wind for Schools program, which helps public schools across the commonwealth install wind turbines for educational purposes. A new non-profit, Three Birds Foundation, is working to put solar on public schools that serve low-income children in Virginia and elsewhere.
November 16, 2013
November 3, 2013
October 25, 2013
In their June 2012 Research on the Carbon Footprint of Spirits report, the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), the average 750-milliliter bottle of liquor produces about 6.3 pounds of CO2.
Yikes. Is that a reason to quit drinking? According to the BIER report (I love that acronym), distillation is the number one contributor to a spirit’s carbon footprint--more than a third of its emissions--because distillation. creates a lot of waste in the form of spent mash, wastewater, and liquor "goop" such as tequila’s pulp and rum’s fibrous leftovers.
But a number of distilleries are now following the lead of the beer industry and converting spent grain into livestock feed. Do you conjure up visions of happy smiling swine and swooning cows?
Wastewater can be recycled as well and grey water can return to the soil. Bacardi has used an anaerobic digester system since 1992 to turn 1.2 million gallons of still bottoms, unfermented molasses, and water into 7 million cubic meters of biogas, which is then used to distill more rum. That almost excuses them facing a 2001 EPA lawsuit when it was accused of violating the Clean Water Act with a 3,000-gallon discharge of industrial waste near the San Juan Bay in Puerto Rico. They settled in 2008 with a $550,000 fine and a $1 million land preservation donation.
Whiskey producers also find it easy to source their grain locally. Maker’s Mark claims that all its grains come from within a 30-mile radius. Most American sugarcane is grown in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Hawaii but growing sugarcane can be tough on the environment if soil erosion and water pollution are not mitigated.
On the other hand, tequila is never going to be locally sourced because international law requires that anything calling itself “tequila” be produced in certain areas of Mexico.
What about organic ingredients? Even if they can’t find certified organic ingredients, most small distillers prefer to steer clear of GMOs. So support your local small producer if possible.
Not surprisingly, 20 percent of a distillery’s carbon footprint comes from packaging. Everything from the bottles to the labels to the glue holding the two together and the boxes carrying them to the liquor store has an environmental impact. Some are turning to glass that is 25 percent lighter than average, 35 percent post-consumer waste cardboard, 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper labels, and even soy-based inks. Some are producing their own bottles instead of importing them. And SF Vodka goes the milkman route, trading empties for discounts on a bar or restaurant’s next round.
But buyer beware: If a company touts how “sustainable” or “green” its liquor is, look carefully. They may be green-washing their product.
October 23, 2013
Nike Reuse-a-Shoe takes worn out athletic shoes and grinds them down to create a new material, Nike Grind, used in high-quality sports surfaces including courts, turf fields and tracks. Since 1990, Nike has transformed 28 million pairs of shoes and 36,000 tons of scrap material into Nike Grind in more than 450,000 locations around the world—covering approximately 632,000,000 square feet. That is nearly enough to cover the entire island of Manhattan (23 square miles).
When you look at the rest of our clothing, we’re shamelessly wasteful too. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average American tosses 70 pounds of clothing per year. Of that, only 15 percent finds new life as industrial rags, insulation, carpet padding, seat stuffing, and even paper. The other 85 percent? Landfilled.
October 22, 2013
October 13, 2013
UPDATE (10-23-13): The Virginia Marine Resources Commission just voted 7-0 to NOT reopen winter dredging for crabs. Maryland has not allowed it for years. Let's give those pregnant females a fighting chance!