I also ran across a few businesses that seem to be leading their peers by making their surrounding environment a priority. We stopped in the Brooklyn Brewery for some tastings and a tour. They recently expanded their brewing operations and were operating a very impressive business in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. We tried a few different beers and even though I am turned off by odd flavors in beer I was very happy with the Pumpkin Ale. During our tasting I noticed that they advertised these cool compostable cups. This lead me to do some more research and I also found out that “the company’s brewery and headquarters in Brooklyn are 100% powered by Newwind Energy.”
Tag Archives: light bulbs
After being recruited to write a quick blog about our experiences last Friday volunteering for the Green Learning Adventure (GLA) I decided to use this opportunity to join Dan in coming up with new ways to lead a more sustainable, environmentally conscious life.
First, a little recap of the GLA. I met up with Bennet after he and Dan educated Sea World employees, we then headed out to a community recreation center that was holding a small Earth Day celebration for elementary and middle school children. There were a handful of environmental education booths for the kids to visit – each kid was required to visit every booth and learn what each had to offer. For some incentive they could enter a raffle at the end to win some cool prizes, including surf lessons. After we spoke to each and gave them a spin on Pedal Power (the human-powered energy bike that demonstrates how much electricity it takes to run lighting and other household items), we would give them a sticker moving them one step closer to the raffle. Each booth would then do the same making for a great day of education.
It was a blast showing the kids the energy differences in the older incandescent light bulbs and the newer more energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and lasts up to 10 times longer – energystar.gov). I was also amazed at some of the knowledge these children already had – some were even educating ME on what they knew about “vampire loads” and energy efficient light bulbs that their families were already using. We later learned that the community rec center runs programs about energy efficiency and renewable energy.
All in all it was a great experience and I look forward to helping the GLA in the future, it is important to educate the next generation about living sustainably.
As for our next initiative in this project we wanted to move onto a slightly different topic – horticulture. Our recent blog posts have opened us up to new energy and water saving tips and our next step will involve using good ole’ Mother Nature in order to make our everyday lives healthier and happier. We have already started a very nice backyard garden including different varieties of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, peas, strawberries, and a small citrus tree. Our two green thumbs behind the operation, Dan and Colin, have made some great strides towards harvesting farm fresh, organic produce in the backyard.
In the next few days I want to bring some greenery inside in order to freshen up the house. Using house plants as decoration will not only look nice but they will also help improve the air quality. According to Eartheasy.com NASA recently released a study that ranks the top plants for reducing indoor air pollutants. I will be sure to look at some of these for ideas on selecting plants. By doing this, we will make our rooms brighter and more inviting and make us feel more connected to nature.
Stay tuned for the results and a little bit more on connecting our built environment with the natural landscape that surrounds us.
I hope everyone had a great Earth Day. I am ready to get back in to the swing of things. I plan on giving a breakdown of whats been going on, and what the future plan is tomorrow.
On Friday, a few of us from Plug ‘N Save were able to volunteer our time with the California Center for Sustainable Energy’s Green Learning Adventure. We traveled to two locations; the first stop was at SeaWorld. My coworker Bennet had been scheduled to go, and I managed to wiggle my way in to the trip. I was able to spend some time working with employees sharing general electricity management tips.
After all the things we discussed at the event, I realized I needed to step my game up. I had talked about all the things you can do to reduce you bill, and then I thought if I did these things myself. Needless to say I had a lot of room for improvement. When I spent a minute thinking about all the things that use energy even when they are not powering something, and compared that to the things I knew I had plugged in, I saw an easy fix. After the event, I decided to walk around SeaWorld and see what it was all about. It was my first trip, so I went to see Shamu!
It was awesome. I sat in the ‘soak zone’ and, well, got soaked. I felt like a little kid, but it was awesome. During the show they really do an amazing job incorporating conservation and preservation awareness. During some points I got chills. It was inspiring, what can I say. They do what they do, and they do it well.
But back to electricity. I started getting the cords organized in my room; I consolidated the cords to two places and in power strips, one for my desk and the other at my entertainment center. This will not only save me some pennies, but it cleaned up the spaces. I wanted to do this at work too. We use a lot more electrical appliances and tools, so I wanted to see what I could get in to a power strip. I decided to start with my desk.
I got all of my computer and phone components plugged in to one power strip. Todd and I share a desk, so I got a few things of his to fit in there too, it worked out well. When i leave work, i can just reach under my desk and flip the switch.
Now, I’m going to spout off some of the general info we were discussing at the SeaWorld event.
The typical American home has about 50 appliances that consume power all day, which represents between five to eight percent of a household’s total electricity use per year. This is approximately 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (www.energy.ca.go). This lost energy represents the electricity generated in the U.S. by about 35 power plants, or 95 billion pounds of carbon dioxide released into the air.
By turning off power strips hooked up to computers, internet modems, and copiers, each household could save around $100 a year . Turning off your computer monitor during the day, even with your computer still on, can save much more energy than a screensaver and remember to unplug telephone, toothbrush, PDA, and portable tool chargers from the wall when not in use (www.energy.ca.gov).
I mentioned that there were two stops. I stayed at SeaWorld, and Bennet moved on with the Green Learning Adventure to pick up Todd. They headed inland to an event at a recreation center. I’m going to have Todd write a quick bit about what they did… because I don’t really know.
I got some ideas from a few college friends recently too, and with the graduation season coming up,we will be looking at ways to celebrate with our theme in mind.
-Dan Conroy, Colin Johnson