Being Green – Update

Hi Folks:

I usually do my ‘Being Green’ posts on Fridays, but since tomorrow I expect to be tied up with ribbon and force fed turkey or something like that, I thought I’d do it today instead.

I have a few things to share with you this week.  First some news:

Largest Solar Energy Project in New York State Approved
“Uniondale, N .Y. — Long Island Power Authority President and CEO, Kevin S. Law announced that the LIPA Board of Trustees approved power purchase agreements (PPAs) with BP Solar and enXco Development Corp. thereby creating the state’s largest source of solar power on Long Island. LIPA’s Solar Energy Project will introduce approximately 50MW of renewable energy generated on Long Island onto LIPA’s electric grid, enough to power 6,500 households and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tons per year as well as reducing other greenhouse gases…”

SMUD Gets 60 Percent Energy Savings from an Older House
“The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) hopes a new demonstration program will save owners of existing homes money and also spur a new spike in home remodels that really make a difference. The SMUD Energy Efficient Remodel Demonstration (EERD) program is a comprehensive, whole-house approach to retrofitting a home with energy-saving and energy-generating equipment and measures…” Also:

Greener Gadgets
While not directly related to ‘green building’ per se, “The Greener Gadgets Conference tackles all of the issues surrounding energy efficiency and sustainable design, from innovative advances in packaging and product manufacturing to end-of-life recycling solutions. It also highlights ways in which electronics make a major impact by utilizing renewable energy in developing nations…”

Somewhat related to the ‘Greener Gadgets’ above, EPEAT is a new certification system for electronics.  One might think of it as a ‘LEED’ rating system for computers and similar devices.  “EPEAT is a system that helps purchasers evaluate, compare and select electronic products based on their environmental attributes. The system currently covers desktop and laptop computers, thin clients, workstations and computer monitors…”

Haworth Achieves 0% Landfill Status
This is really good news: “Holland, Mich. – Haworth, Inc. announced that all U.S., Shanghai and Pune manufacturing facilities, as well as the company’s global headquarters, have achieved zero waste to landfill status. Preliminary results show that Haworth’s U.S. manufacturing facilities have gone from 4.6 million pounds of landfill waste in 2008 to zero in 2009…”


LED Traffic Lights Reduce Electricity Costs, But They Can’t Melt Snow
One of those unexpected consequences.  LED traffic lights are replacing standard traffic lights in some municipalities.  The new lights greatly reduce energy consumption, and they also produce no heat to speak of.    “But it turns out, as snowbound municipalities are just now discovering, that that excess heat was very useful for melting accumulated snow. Now that everyone’s switched over to cooler-running LEDs, snow tends to pile up and obscure the lights, leading to a situation that’s annoying at best and dangerous at worst.

For now, local governments are coping by sending crews out in snowstorms to clean the lights off with compressed air and brushes, as no one’s yet stepped forth with a design-related fix…”


Newsletters, etc. this week include:
Sustainable Facility’s Targeted e-News on Energy: Efficient Lighting
ED+C’s Targeted eNews: WaterSense

GBI Insight
newsletter from The Green Building Initiative
Jones Lang Lasalle Global Sustainability Perspective – December 2009

FP Innovations – Forintek’s ‘The Straight Woods’ newsletter includes this article:
Selling Wood Products to the Green Building Market – A Guide for Wood Product Manufacturers: Understanding Green Programs (LEED and Green Globes)

Sundance Channel Eco-mmunity Greenzine

Finally (for now), the latest edition of BC Homes Magazine showed up in my (postal) mailbox this week.  This magazine is put out by the Canadian Home Builders Association, and subscription is free.  There are some good articles in every issue.  Now I just need to find time to read it!  Maybe tonight while I’m waiting for St. Nick to show up.  We always knock back some milk and a few cookies together, talk about the logistics of landing on green roofs, the access challenges provided by direct vent fireplaces, things like that…

Well folks, it’s Christmas Eve, and my wife is waiting patiently for me to finish my typing here.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, the Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia or something uniquely your own, we offer our best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season and a 2010 with as much health, joy and prosperity as you can handle!