Friday, December 26, 2008

NYTimes Reports on Snow Covered Solar

Solar power (a.k.a photovoltaics) are leading the way as the green revolution reaches full force ... put sometimes mother nature gets in the way.  Today the New York Times had an interesting article about snow covering solar panels in the northeast.  Click here to read more.

Friday, December 19, 2008

UPS Turns To Pedal Power

@NYTimes put up this link on Twitter today and its a great story.  It reminds me of our FedEx man a few years ago.  We had 2 bikes that had been sitting on our front porch for like 3 years.  They were getting rusty and we never had time to ride them.  He had mentioned them a few times in the past and one day I said "Hey would you like to have those bikes?"  He was stoked and took them home with him.  We were happy that someone would be getting use out of them.  I'm sure there are some people who won't like the sudden change to riding a bike but what a dream job for a lot of other outdoor types.  And imagine the environmental impact.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It is Cheaper to Buy Green

If you could get a Mercedes for 1.6% more than a Yugo would you do it?  What if the Mercedes got 100 mpg and the Yugo 5?  That is the difference between conventional building and building to LEED standards according to this article in

Green building is here to stay.  Now the industry must continue to move forward to raise standards earthwide.  And we in the manufacturing side must also work to be on the cutting edge of continuing to make our products as environmentally friendly and energy saving as possible.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My New Cork Pen .. Am I helping?

This weekend I received a beautiful roller ball pen that is made from real cork.  It's like the one in this photo except its cork instead of bamboo (apparently mine isn't on their site for some reason)  It is beautiful, writes awesome & they donate a percentage of the sale to save the rainforest.  Which later made me think of the irony.  Donating a percentage to replace what they cut down to make my pen?  Althought I've been told cork is an extremely renewable resource that grows quickly hopefully.....


Monday, December 8, 2008

Green Building Up 30%

As the residential construction industry plummets, the green building sector continues its strong performance.  As I posted a few weeks ago, this was evidenced by the outstanding turnout at the Greenbuild Expo.  Further backing up the trend is this new article from (thanks for the info Fred)

What does this mean for the economy?  Optimism can again show its face.  Green construction means not only more jobs staying at home in the U.S but it also leads to significant energy savings to the retailers who are on the band wagon.

Most of all it shows that people are still willing to pay top dollar up front if it will mean savings down the road.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Photovoltaic Incentives

What incentives are there for Texas homeowners outside of Austin for photovoltaic systems?  I stumbled across this website today with some information on rebates available.  Local solar installers are popping up state wide.  It never hurts to get a quote :)

Home Photovoltaic Systems
Photovoltaic systems must provide electricity for the residence, and must meet applicable fire and electrical code requirement. The tax credit is for 30 percent of the cost of the system, up to $2,000. This credit is not limited to the $500 home improvement cap.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

USGBC Texas Style

How can you stay on top of local green construction events & information?  There are many fantastic organizations out there to join.  Right here in Texas we have 3 USGBC chapters.  We are members of the Central Balcones chapter which covers a large territory from Midland & San Angelo through Central Texas.  Other chapters are in Houston & Dallas.

Why should you consider joining one of these organizations?  Besides having a lot of fun at chapter events, it gives you the chance to connect with others in the community who are passionate about energy efficient & environmentally friendly construction techniques.  Many of the members are architects & builders.  Its a great chance to network.

So pick the organization closest to you and support green construction in your city!