Saturday, November 26, 2011

Green Research l Crops With Deeper Roots

According to a leading University of Manchester scientist, crops with deeper roots could help bring down the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

 Professor Douglas Kell
Writing in the journal "Annals of Botany", Professor Douglas Kell argues that developing crops that produce roots more deeply in the ground could harvest more carbon from the air, and make crops more drought resistant, while dramatically reducing carbon levels.

In principle, any crops could be treated in this way, giving more productive yields while also being better for the environment.
Although the amount of carbon presently sequestered in the soil in the natural environment and using existing crops and grasses has been known for some time, Professor Kell’s new analysis is the first to reveal the benefits to the environment that might come from breeding novel crops with root traits designed to enhance carbon sequestration.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Brave Ellie Challis

Little Ellie Challis who had all four limbs amputated in a life-saving operation in 2005 after contracting meningitis. Her mother is Lisa and father is Paul, Ellie also has a twin sister Sophie and siblings Tai'la, ten, and Connor, 12, they live  in Clacton, Essex.

Green Technology | New Belgium Brewing Company

Jeff and his wife, Kim Jordan is the owener of New Belgium Brewing Company at Fort Collins, Colorado. They began commercially brewing beer in their kitchen and basement in 1991. From those humble, 8 ½ barrels-a-week, basement beginnings, the pair has expanded to a new, energy-efficient facility that ships 140,000 barrels of quality beer to 11 states. But their success has not taken them off the track of their commitments. Since 1993, New Belgium has donated $1 for every barrel brewed the prior year to charities within its territories. "In 1999," says Jeff, "we had $104,000 to contribute to organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Emily Griffith Center, The Hope Center, and other non-profit organizations."

Today New Belgium Brewing has become the third-largest craft brewer in the US, today producing over 600,000 barrels of beer per year. Seeing double-digit growth in sales year on year, New Belgium beers are now available in more than 25 states, and the company has more than 360 employees.

While it’s not unusual for companies of this size to have a green agenda, New Belgium’s focus on sustainability is quite apart from the norm. As well as holding the accolade for being the first brewery to subscribe to wind energy, the company has installed a 200 kilowatt-hour (kWh) photovoltaic solar array that will replace almost 264,000kWh of coal-powered electricity each year – the largest privately owned solar panel system in the region.
And it doesn’t stop here. By processing its waste water, the company produces 14 per cent of its own electricity, a process that saved it in excess of US$60,000 last year alone. It also uses 39 hybrid vehicles in its company fleet, and has company bicycles for its staff. All this adds up to an extraordinary place to work – and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. New Belgium has received numerous awards over the years, and has been included in Wall Street Journal’s ‘Best Small Workplaces’.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Green Building l The Net-Zero Energy Bank

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, opened the first net-zero energy bank location in the United States in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The new TD Bank store is the latest accomplishment in a year-long string of achievements by the bank as it pursues its goal to be as green as its TD logo.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defines a net-zero energy building (NZEB) as a residential or commercial building that produces in a year at least as much renewable power as the total energy it uses.

According to the DOE, an NZEB has two key energy features: The building is constructed with energy-efficient technologies that significantly reduce its energy demand, and renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, supply at least as much energy as the building uses over the course of a year.
TD Bank store is required approximately 97,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year to operate, but its 400 solar panels will produce a minimum of 100,000 kWh a year on site. Only eight buildings in the nation are registered as NZEBs with the DOE, and TD Bank will be the first to register a net-zero energy commercial bank.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Green Technology | Digitizing Education in South Korea

South Korea's Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Ju-Ho Lee, said that his department was preparing a promotion strategy for "Smart Education", focusing on customised learning and teaching. By 2015, it wants to be able to deliver all its curriculum materials in a digital form through computers. The information that would once have been in paper textbooks will be delivered on screen.

The project, launched during the summer, will involve wireless networks in all schools to allow students to learn "whenever and wherever", as well as an education information system that can run in a variety of devices including PCs, laptops, tablets and internet-connected TVs.
The intended benefits include extending the choice of subjects for students in rural areas who previously have lacked specialist teachers and to make it easier for pupils to study from home.

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