Converting old gas-powered cars to run on electricity has become easy enough that Minddrive, a Kansas City non-profit, has made such conversions part of an after-school education program for inner-city teen-agers. For this year’s project, Minddrive decided to set a higher bar by challenging the students to build a car powered by tweets and Facebook posts.
On November 5th the Green buzz was thick in the air. A record number of students from around the world met with US Congress members to require a firm commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses. The days before provided training, education, job fairs and entertainment surrounding taking action on climate change.
Also speaking were the legendary Bill McKibben who started the worldwide Step it Up phenomena and continues to write books and create awareness, and also Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House. We had a great time and gained momentum to make important changes. Read more at PowerShift07.org and prepare for the next event: Powershift09.org!
“The solutions of tomorrow are not stashed behind the walls of bureaucracy or political halls. They are in the minds of engineers, designers, innovators, researches, environmentalists, and other spirited individuals.” – Stuart Barea
“This is the new politics. Personal responsibility. Not leaving it to others. I am my planet’s keeper.” – Hilary Benn, Secretary for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
There is a new program called the Green Power Partnership which rallies various organizations to purchase green power in a manner that can lessen environmental impacts related to electricity usage. Voluntary programs like this is a positive step in the direction we want the world to take for the planet’s future. Over hundreds of Partner organizations are participating in this effective procedure. Billions of kilowatt-hours of valuable green power has been purchased so far. The type of organizations involved includes numerous businesses, prestigious colleges, several Fortune 500 companies, state, local, and federal governments.
Green power is part of renewable energy. Renewable energy consists of energy sources that can replace themselves through brief periods of time without depletion. Common renewable energies are geothermal, biomass, solar, and the use of wind. It may seem like an insignificant change to utilize green power but it can make a major difference. Depending on the form of renewable energy method used the surrounding environment can be greatly impacted. An example of the power of renewable energy is hydroelectric sources which produce environmental indemnities related to eco-issues involving lakes and land usage. The EPA describes green power as generated electricity from a biogas, solar, geothermal biomass, or low-impact hydroelectric source. Utilizing green power can significantly reduce greenhouse gases. It’s much better than the conventional energy technologies we currently use. Our conventional sources such as fossil fuels in the form of gas, oil, and even uranium releases massive amounts of air pollution into the environment. The biggest source of anthropogenic CO2 emissions (human produced) is from these fossil fuels. Green power such as biomass generates biogenic CO2 emissions which are harmonized with nature’s uptake of CO2 through vegetation.
The benefits of the Green Power Partnership program are tremendous. Each participating organization makes a positive environmental impact on the world through sidestepping carbon dioxide emissions and decreasing certain types of air pollution. It can assist in maintaining furture electricity prices from rising and serve as a brand differentiator according to the EPA. Another benefit of green power is the ability to produce customer, backer, or vested interest allegiance and work force pride within the business. Building favorable publicity and enhancing your company’s public image is also another aspect of the program. The Green Power Partnership shows civic stewardship. Communities gain in the process as well. When organizations join the program it lessens the entire community’s carbon footprint. The environment is protected in that area. Local businesses, citizens, and environmental organizations engage with one another. All participants earn national recognition as an EPA GPC receiving street signs showing the community’s dedication to the environment as a GPC.
GPC’s are any city, town, or village that has a local government, businesses, and residents collectively buying green power in amounts that meet EPA’s Green Power Community requirements. The EPA requires all participating local governments to join Green Power Partner and then take control of their local green power campaign for the surrounding area. They work with the community’s utility and local businesses, individuals, and organizations to make the program a success. There is immense power in green. Programs like these make our goal of a clean planet achievable.
When – oh when – will someone stand up to these rogues and renegades who are criminally greening our world?
Most people simply ignore a sad traffic median full of weed, but not this guy: Scott took it on his own to create a “traffic median oasis” by secretly planting it. Turns out, he’s not a lone – there’s a growing league of “guerrilla gardeners” who plant without approvals …
BRIMMING with lime-hued succulents and a lush collection of agaves, one shooting spiky leaves 10 feet into the air, it’s a head-turning garden smack in the middle of Long Beach’s asphalt jungle. But the gardener who designed it doesn’t want you to know his last name, since his handiwork isn’t exactly legit. It’s on a traffic island he commandeered.
“The city wasn’t doing anything with it, and I had a bunch of extra plants,” says Scott, as we tour the garden, cars whooshing by on both sides of Loynes Drive.
Scott is a guerrilla gardener, a member of a burgeoning movement of green enthusiasts who plant without approval on land that’s not theirs. In London, Berlin, Miami, San Francisco and Southern California, these free-range tillers are sowing a new kind of flower power. In nighttime planting parties or solo “seed bombing” runs, they aim to turn neglected public space and vacant lots into floral or food outposts.
Link (Photo: Mark Boster / LA Times)