Keeping Cool…and Green

Air conditioning accounts for 14 percent of America’s home electricity use, and most of that electricity comes from coal. So when the weather warms up we should do everything we can to conserve energy as we keep cool. That means treating our air conditioners the same way we treat other energy-demanding appliances: by using them wisely and keeping them running efficiently. Here are some tips to help:

 

 

Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner 

If you’re buying a new air conditioner, choose one for maximum energy efficiency. New air conditioners come labeled with an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), a standard that lets you calculate how much electricity the air conditioner will consume. The higher the EER, the less it will cost you to operate the appliance to achieve the same level of cooling. 

New Technology Update!   A team of engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a potentially revolutionary new air conditioning system. Unlike standard air conditioners, which compress a circulating liquid refrigerant such as Freon, this new system draws warm air through a cooling unit that contains a water-absorbing dessicants compound that cools the air by evaporation. The payoff? It uses up to 90 percent less energy! As of Fall 2010, the new AC technology still had a ways to go before it’s available to consumers, but it could be just two to three years before these new coolers become commercially available.

Avoid overcooling.
Don’t use or buy more cooling equipment capacity than you actually need. If you decide on central air conditioning, select the most energy-efficient unit that will cool the size space you have. Bigger is not better. A larger unit than you need will cost more to run and may not remove enough humidity from the air, the feature that some consumers like most about air conditioners.

Keep your cooling system well tuned.
Have it professionally maintained, and ask how the energy efficiency of the system may be increased.

Install a whole-house ventilating fan.
This can be put in your attic or in an upstairs window to cool the house, even if you have central air conditioning. According to Consumer Reports, a big fan working under the right conditions can cool and ventilate an entire house for about the energy cost of running an air conditioner in one room.

Set your thermostat as high as possible.
78 degrees F. is often recommended as a reasonably comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature.

◘ Source: http://www.earthshare.org

Green Ideas Worth Stealing

France après demain

France’s politicians should pirate more. Artists, architects and engineers are seasoned copycats, spinning one another’s creative straw into frontier-challenging gold, so why is it that world leaders spend more time gazing at their nations’ navels than at their neighbours’ clever innovations? I don’t mean to congratulate the current crop of presidential candidates for their game of taking buzzwords out of each other’s mouths as bandwagons whiz by (made in France much?) – I mean that those who aspire to lead countries, territories, cities and neighbourhoods should make it their business to study and copy the work of their cleverest counterparts. The candidates’ limp green proposals suggest a lack of intellectual stimulation. I offer them this inspiration board of environmental ideas.

Underground Parks


Paris is famous for its underground labyrinths. From the old sewer system (les égouts) to the catacombs, we know that there is no shortage…

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Street Lamp and Fitness Equipment Blend Into Smart Lighting Concept

CITYLIGHT is a hybrid urban illumination system driven by two distinct sources: human-power and electricity. The lamp uses energy saving LED as light source to replace traditional bulbs. Located in public areas, the lamps are connected to outdoor fitness facilities which carry and transfer human power generated to the light system. The interactive linear lighting pattern in the central of the pole indicates if the LED lamp is being charged by human-power and presents current battery status, which encourages people to participate the green exercise.

A monitor located on the pole displays the calories burned and the duration of lighting contributed by individual’s exercise. This concept could save a significant amount of public energy spending with utilizing human kinetic energy. In addition, by motivating and emphasizing a healthier life style for individuals, CITYLIGHT also enhances community’s awareness of green energy.

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