Our Planet; 2012 Reply

Source:NASA/NOAA

5 Interesting Quick Reads, Hope You Enjoy

Green Button Initiative

Mobile phones become smart phones. Are smart homes on the horizon? The White House recently announced its Green Button Initiative, a collaborative approach to heighten awareness and reduce the nation’s energy consumption. The green button program is built on the premises of data collection, analysis, and sharing. Private-sector companies are expected to lead the way in this unique challenge.

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/a-phone-app-for-trning-down-the-thermostat/

Ecolabeling

Ecolabeling may have found a new home in the urban environment mapping. Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science created a new interactive map allowing New York residents to compare estimated energy consumption rates by neighborhood.  The map even highlights estimates for specific building consumption rates.  On the whole, the research could help residents increase energy efficiencies and plan for new sustainable solutions in the future (Navarro).

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/is-your-building-gobbling-energy/

The Blue Marble

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released captivating new images of the small “Blue Marble”.  Through these images we see earth’s limits emerge and our environment exposed. As humans we are bound by environmental constraints, but environmental science is helping lead the way understand the Earth as a whole.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/fresh-closeups-of-this-blue-marble/

Six Feet Under

New York University is headed six feet under. Well, not actually but the campus heating and cooling system is set to buried six feet under the campus to harness the transferring energy of the surrounding environment. A new geo-thermal pump, which dumps heat or gathers it, depending on the season, is seven times more efficient then their current system.  Although the system has 40 year payback period, it will eliminate almost all of the universities 3 million dollar annual fuel costs (Wald).

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/finding-energy-advantages-six-feet-under/

Goats & Fire Prevention???

Fire prevention has never been so easy in San Francisco. Mr. Gavrich, who has a master’s degree from Harvard in environmental management, has devised a unique and sustainable solution to fire prevention; harnessing the power of goat’s appetites. Roughly 60 goats have been helping San Francisco residents take an alternative approach to toxic herbicides, as they clear brush from the outlying hillsides near Pier 96 (Rafkin).

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/us/city-grazing.html