Archive for December, 2007

Wave Energy

Wind and solar and wave, oh my! What will they come up with next?
Wave energy (aka hydrokinetic energy) was even predicted in 1908 to be the energy source of the future. Wave energy, however, has not been fully studied; the large, delicate, expensive buoys concern fishers who don’t want to run into them, and nobody knows what the environmental effects will be… least of all Sonoma County residents responding to this November agenda item.

Hydrokinetic energy works by bouncing magnets in the rise and fall of ocean waves. If I had stayed in science classes I might be able to explain this more clearly and correctly. Apparently, 0.2% of the energy wasted in waves could power the entire world if harvested.

In related news, Google announced its intent to invest “hundreds of millions” of dollars in renewable energy to spark an energy revolution. And the ED’s name is Larry Brilliant. Nice.


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UN Climate Conference, Bali

The UN finished up a climate conference in Bali (Dec. 3-14), Our friends Tim Anderson and Paul Kelley went to present the Sonoma County Water Agency’s plan to depend on renewable energy only.

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42 Ways to Trim Your Holiday Wasteline

From Use Less Stuff comes 42 Ways to Trim Your Holiday Wasteline. While some border on impolite (turning down the heat before guests arrive to feast instead on their body heat?), some suggestions make sense – don’t throw away leftovers, compost your tree, etc. Since Americans trash 25% more stuff from Thanksgiving to New Years, take a look at how you can throw away less.

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Canadian-run EcoSherpa was launched in July 2006.
“The way we see it,” say the EcoSherpas, “green alternatives need to be readily available, easy to implement & understand, and they need to be effective!”

Amen, eh?

In gossip, does anybody think maybe Garden Girl and Compost Guy should date?

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Green Business

The Green Business Program, which certifies businesses based on water, energy, waste and pollution prevention work above compliance, actually began in Sonoma County. W00t!

It was a Haz Mat program run by a firefighter to reward regulated businesses such as printers, auto shops, and wineries for not dumping their crap in the rivers (more complex, but that’s how I like to think of it). Since beginning in 1996, more than 1,000 businesses have been certified green in the Bay Area. It was expanded and taken up by Associated Bay Area Governments (aptly acronymed “ABAG”), and now all nine Bay Area counties have Green Business programs (Solano and Sonoma are again in pilot phase):

Conta Costa
San Francisco
San Mateo
Santa Clara

Monterey, Santa Barbara County, San Diego, Hawaii (and one through the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce), Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Michigan, Oregon, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont, King County, WA, the City of Sacramento, the City of Kirkland, WA, the City of Boulder, CO, the City of Orlando, and even Cocoa Beach, Fla. have also sprouted their own programs… soon to be joined by programs in exciting locales such as LA or New York, I hope!

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