Green in the News

Keep up to date with the latest in green technology, products, and policy, gathered from worldwide news sources.

President Obama Orders Preparations for Climate-Related Disasters

White House Photo

Nov. 4, 2013

President Obama has signed an Executive Order designed to prepare the nation for disasters resulting from continuing climate change.

The order calls for increasing natural infrastructure that will act to buffer cities and towns from storms and heat waves, as well as act as carbon sequestration areas.

The Order also calls for a bipartisan task force that will research ways to improve U.S. communities' resilience in the face of increasing natural disasters and climate change. The ideas coming from this task force will be implemented by a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, a large inter-agency group staffed by officials from more than 30 federal agencies.

The Obama administration estimates that natural disasters caused more than $100 billion in the U.S. in 2012 in the form of superstorms, wildfires, and severe drought.

You can read the entire Executive Order HERE.


Grocery Chain Meijer Reduces Truck Fleet Carbon Footprint by 60 Percent

Courtesy Meijer Inc.

Oct. 28, 2013

While not exactly green news about the home, we like to celebrate achievements of local businesses. Meijer, Inc. is a West Michigan-based grocery store chain; they sell items we all use in our homes, from food to clothes to hardware. Transporting those goods around the country accounts for large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions and other forms of air pollution.

Meijer has managed to reduce the carbon footprint of its 170 semi-trucks in its fleet since starting the EPA's Near Zero emissions standards in 2010.

Today, the company's fleet meets or exceeds the EPA near-zero standards, and is the first corporate fleet in the nation to do so. One remarkable statistic: It takes 47 of Meijer's new clean-diesel compliant trucks to equal the emissions of just one of its' older, high-emissions trucks.

We applaud businesses that are making environmental sustainability a priority; often, doing the right thing for the planet ends up benefiting the company's bottom line over time.

Read more about Meijer's clean truck fleet at MLive HERE.

New Energy Star Standards for Modems and Routers

Energy Star Modem

Oct. 24, 2013

Energy Star, the U.S. government's program for promoting energy efficiency in consumer products, has announced a new category: modems and routers.

These devices, used to connect to the internet, are often in use around the clock. It is estimated that modem and router usage in the U.S. accounts for $1 billion in electricity usage annually.

The new Energy Star standard requires new modems and routers to use 25% less electricity than comparable models; Energy Star certified models should be available starting in 2014.

Click HERE to read more.


United Nations: Air Pollution a Major Cause of Cancers Worldwide

Air Pollution

Oct. 21, 2013

The World Health Organization's cancer agency has officially classified air pollution as a known human carcinogen.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reports that in 2010, 223,000 deaths from lung cancer worldwide can be blamed on breathing heavily polluted air. The agency also claims that there is growing evidence that air pollution is also responsible for increased numbers of bladder cancer.

This new report reinforces the need to research and develop renewable energies, as well as increasing efforts to improve the energy-efficiency of homes, automobiles, and industry.

Read more from Reuters HERE.

Toyota to Slash Prius Plug-In Price by Up To $4,600


Oct. 18, 2013

Toyota has announced plans to reduce the cost of its top-line Prius plugin model by $4,600 in an effort to boost slagging sales.

Through September 2013, sales of the plug-in Prius have fallen short of Toyotas' sales expectations.

Cutting $4,600 off the price of the plug-in, coupled with the $2,500 Federal tax credit, drops the price of the plug-in Prius to around $32,000.

In addition to the price cut of the top of the line plug-in model, Toyota has also cut the price of the base model plugin by $2,010, bringing its price down to $27,500 with the Federal tax credit.

With increasing competition from other auto models such as the Chevy Volt and Ford C-Max hybrids, Toyota may need to do more than cut costs to their aging line of hybrids to stay on top.

Read more at GAS2.

View Wind Energy Production in Real Time


Oct. 17, 2013

UK wind turbine company Ecotricity has introduced a new website that allows anybody to see exactly how much electricity the company's wind turbines are producing, in near real-time.

Ecotricity has a unique business model that uses its' customers electricity bills to fund new green energy projects around Britain. Ecotricity currently has 55 large wind turbines operating in various locations. Their new interactive website takes data from each turbine and posts the results online, roughly every 30 seconds.

This exciting new website gives Ecotricity's customers (and anybody else) clear data on the amount of electricity generation that is possible by harnessing the energy of the wind. The site also gives a monthly energy production total, as well as the amount of CO2 saved as a result of these turbines' electricity.

As wind energy continues to develop as a viable industry, more companies should adopt this transparent approach and make their energy production information available to the general public as both a learning tool and a marketing tool to advance the technology.

To view the Ecotricity Up-to-the-Minute Wind Production site, click HERE.


U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to EPA's Power Plant Rules

Greenhouse Gas Pollution

Oct.15, 2013

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to recent rules put in place by the EPA to curb greenhouse gas pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The Obama administrations' rules would help global climate change, and would make operating older, dirty coal power plants much more expensive if not impossible.

Perhaps not surprising, the major power companies and utilities that operate these plants did not take kindly to the new regulations, and are among the groups bringing theis case to the Supreme Court.

Other parties include major oil companies, lobbying groups, and states that derive most of their power from these coal plants. Their argument is that the rule is too far-reaching and intrusive to their businesses. They claim that the Court's 2007 Massachusetts vs. EPA ruling gives the government authority to control emissions from vehicle tailpipes, and not stationary power plant emissions.

Read more from the New York Times HERE.





comments powered by Disqus