Articles Posted in the Green News category

UN headquarters cuts back on air con

August 4, 2008
Posted in Green News

UN headquarters. By Padraic Ryan Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0

Temperatures at the United Nations headquarters in New York will be raised this month, by three degrees – from 22C to 25C – as part of a plan to drastically cut air conditioning use. And air con will be switched off in the 39-storey building on weekends, reports AFP. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon thoughtfully has relaxed the dress codes so people can wear light clothing instead of suits to work. The idea is to save on energy costs and help prevent climate change. If all goes well in the warmer building, the “Cool UN” initiative could be extended for a full year, AFP reports. In winter the thermostat will be lowered. This could save the UN a million dollars and cut the building’s emissions by 2,800 tonnes, the report says.

Photograph of UN headquarters. By Padraic Ryan, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0

Via :: TerraDaily

Online energy saving resource

February 6, 2008
Posted in Green tips, Lifestyle

A useful resource for people who want to learn more about their household energy usage and how to choose the most energy efficient appliances is a British website call Sust-it. It provides consumer information on the energy efficiency of a long list of products ranging from washing machines to PCs to air-conditioners to LCD and plasma screens. It ranks products according to their energy efficiency and lists the power they use in watts and the amount of carbon dioxide produced in kg per year. The aim of the site is: “to make us all more energy efficient by providing consumer information on the most energy efficient products on the market”.

Go to Sust-it

Via:: Friends of the Earth

Time to learn what’s watts

February 3, 2008
Posted in Green tips, Lifestyle

plugs.jpgWhen Treevolution first read that Eskom and the department of minerals and energy were preparing to send “power police” into the suburbs to gather information about power wasters and to ask residents to report on people who wasted electricity, we thought it was a joke.

But IOL did indeed report that on Friday Eskom had “urged all residents to call their regional offices with information about people who ‘abuse’ electricity in their homes”. It doesn’t actually specify what would constitute power abuse, which is a bit disconcerting. Nor does it say what punishment is likely to be meted out to those caught being wasteful. But one would assume that as long as you’re not running a Laundromat from your back room, or you haven’t got spotlights lighting up every corner of your garden, you’ll be okay. Although you’d better make friends with your neighbours just to be on the safe side.

To help you avoid being snitched by the guy across the street whose yappy dog you’ve been complaining about for years, we’d like to share with you something we found in the City of Cape Town’s Smart Living Handbook on how to conduct an audit of your electrical appliances. As the handbook says: “Knowing how much energy your household uses – and what you’re using it for – will help you to prioritise which areas of energy use you could improve in your home.”
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Google harnesses the sun

January 21, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

Aerial view of the GoogleplexIt’s pretty obvious that South Africa has great solar power potential, but we’ve been slow to take up this technology. It’s interesting to see what people are doing in other parts of the world, to get an idea of what’s possible. Google, for example, is making great strides down the solar road.

At the company’s campus (called the Googleplex) in Mountain View, California, about 197,000 square feet (more than 18,000 square metres) of rooftop and carport space have been fitted with solar photovoltaic panels – about 9,000 of them in all.

Close up of roof with solar panelsThe solar installation is designed to generate 1.6MW – enough to power “about 1,000 average California homes”, Google says on its website.
That electricity offsets about 30 percent of the company’s peak electricity consumption at the Googleplex.

But that’s not all this IT powerhouse is up to. Read more

Low-power portable computing

December 16, 2007
Posted in Lifestyle

Aleutia E1

Living in Africa we have abundant sun, a power source we rarely consider when we buy yet another gadget. Now there is the Aleutia E1, an ultra low power computer setup that can be run from a roll-up solar panel or car battery and uses just 8W of power.

The Aleutia E1 is also small (3.5cm high and 11.5cm long) making it easy enough to lug along on field trip. Adding an external monitor adds about 12W to the equation, still fairly respectable. Read more

Make a change: Switch off your computer and save

May 15, 2007
Posted in Green tips, Lifestyle

Switching off your computer at the end of your working day can cut the energy it consumes by 75% thereby reducing the amount of carbon-dioxide created to generate the electricity to power it by as much as 554kg a year.

Source: ZDNet “At the Whiteboard”. See also: Tectonic