Toshiba Ends Incandescent Bulb Manufacturing

After 120 years of manufacturing incandescent light bulbs, Toshiba announced last week its planned to switch solely to CFLs and LED light bulbs.

via CNET:

The Japanese electronics manufacturer said the phaseout is part of a strategy to ultimately concentrate on LED (light-emitting diode) lighting products, though it will continue to produce certain specialty incandescent bulbs.

Incandescent lighting has been dwindling in use over the last five years in large part to citizen and government phase-out campaigns that include laws for an eventual ban on the sale of the electricity-guzzling light source. Many countries have already passed laws with deadlines looming.

Australia was the first country to ban the sale of incandescent lightbulbs, which took effect in 2010. In December 2007, the U.S. passed a law phasing out the sale of the 100-watt incandescent bulb beginning in 2012 with a ban to take effect by 2014, as well as several regulations regarding bulb efficiency rates.

Many companies have responded to the changes by reducing production in favor of new lighting technology like LEDs and CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs). Even newer technologies like electron stimulated luminescence (ESL) lights and incandescent bulbs with ultra-fast short-pulse lasers are also on the horizon.

“Toshiba estimates that switching 60 percent of the world’s incandescent lights with LED lights would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 125.5 million tons in 2025, compared to 2000,” the company said in a statement.

It marks the end of a technology era. Since 1890, Toshiba–that is the company that eventually became part of Toshiba–has been manufacturing incandescent lighting.

Hakunetsu-sha & Company was Japan’s first electric incandescent lighting factory and produced its first bulbs in 1890 at a rate of 10 bulbs per day. The company was renamed the Tokyo Electric Company in 1899, and in 1939 merged with Shibaura Engineering Works to become what is today known as Toshiba.

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Pixels Versus Paper

An old friend back at the Forest Society brought an interesting subject to my attention last week…he asked if I’d seen any research lately on which is greener – eBooks or printed books…or as he called it the carbon footprints of paper versus pixels. The majority of the info that he’d found actually came from the paper industry…so as you can imagine of course they claim their research shows that paper has a smaller carbon footprint than pixels—this prompted me to go online and do a little digging just to see what those whom are interested in the subject have to say.

In literature put out by International Paper titled Are Pixles Greener than Paper? they state Electric Data Centers (EDC) that power internet servers use 1.5% (enough to power 5.72 million homes) of the total energy purchased in the United States while the pulp and paper industry uses .7% (enough to power 2.76 million homes). They also say that the paper and pulp industry is one of the largest consumers of low-carbon and renewable energy with sixty percent of their energy coming from carbon-neutral sources, while the electronics industry purchases more than ninety percent of its energy off the grid and from fossil fueled sources. The consumption rate of data centers doubled in the U.S. from 2000 to 2006 and it is estimated that it will double again by 2011.

I took this report with a grain of salt since it was published by an international paper manufacturer, but they do bring up some good points when it comes to statistics on paper recycling versus electronics recycling…how many of you have wrapped something naughty up and stuck it in the trash because it’s just easier than taking said item to your local transfer station or waiting for the hazardous waste recycling days that seem to only come around once a year and of course the weekend that you are out of town—D’oh!

We all know paper is biodegradable, recyclable and reusable…but did you know that an estimated sixty percent of paper is recycled while only eighteen percent of electronics are e-cycled…with 1.84 million tons of electronic wast shipped to landfills in 2006 alone…I didn’t…YIKES!

On the other hand, according to Kris Kiler, the Founder and President of TypeLabs another way of looking at things from an eBook versus paper point of view is that 37 million pieces of paper thrown away each year do not get recycled, many retailers will even rip the cover off paperbacks to obtain credit for not selling the book—the rest goes in the garbage. There is also the gasoline used to get to the bookstore, for each gallon of fuel we use, we create 22 pounds of greenhouse gases and that doesn’t include modes of transportation that get the printed book to the retail outlet…

eBooks do need energy in order for you to read them, and yes there is an environmental impact of creating the device, driving to the store to pick it up—but you can use it over and over…the reuse of the device will most likely consume minimal energy when compared to the production and purchase of the paper book—and if you are able to purchase green energy from your local utility, you aren’t using an extreme amount of fossil fueled power to begin with. Those that are lucky enough to live within walking distance of the library (like me) have a lesser impact by borrowing books—but I’m sure my fellow bookworms like myself also own plenty of traditional dead tree books. The concept of Eco-Libraries is neat, but I’m not sure if I would really be jazzed about living in a world without the smell of old books…

So which do you prefer…pixels or paper…??

Posted by Amanda| follow me on Twitter

RI Green Home Showcase Opens for Public Tours

The Green Life Smart Life home will be open to the public on December 12 to educate local homeowners on how attainable modern green living can be.

Narragansett, RI –– December 4, 2009 –– Green Life Smart Life (GLSL) is excited to announce the official launch of their sustainable local home showcase, created to educate Rhode Islanders on how to create a smart, eco-friendly, modern dwelling. Located on the beautiful  in Narragansett, the project features a smart meter with home energy management and monitoring, geothermal HVAC system, lighting control, connected entertainment, and other smart home innovations. GLSL will open its doors to the public on December 12, 2009 from 10 am to 5 pm to announce its LEED-H rating and present all of the eco-friendly products and technologies used in the project.

 “Homeowners want to make socially responsible buying decisions when it comes to building or remodeling their house, but there are so many resources and so much misinformation,” homeowner Kimberly Lancaster Hageman said. “This is a real home for a real family. It shows how fun and easy it is to make smart decisions and operate a home efficiently without sacrificing comfort, convenience, or original style. Our goal is to show other families how you can make your home high-tech, high-design, and high-efficiency all while being environmentally conscious.”

Additionally, in keeping with the holiday spirit, Green Life Smart Life requests that each entrant to the home bring one canned good (or a $3 donation) to be donated to the Johnnycake Center in Peacedale, Rhode Island. The home is located off of Rte 1A in Anawan Cliffs at 1 South Cliff Drive, Narragansett, RI.  For questions or directions, please email ashley@castercomm.com.

For more information, please visit www.greenlifesmartlife.com. To learn more about our sponsors visit www.greenlifesmartlife.com/sponsors.

With wind energy projects stalled, MA Governor proposes landmark bill

With more than a third of the major wind-energy projects in Massachusetts stalled by lawsuits or permit appeals, the Patrick administration has proposed a landmark bill that would streamline the state’s appeals process and make it possible to win approval of such projects much more quickly. Massachusetts now generates less than 1 percent of the nation’s wind energy, about 9 megawatts, enough to power only about 2,700 homes.

Without a change in the permitting process, administration officials say, the state will not meet Governor Deval Patrick’s goal of producing 2,000 megawatts of wind power, enough for 800,000 homes, by 2020. “For us to see progress, there needs to be a lot more certainty in the permitting process,’’ said Ian Bowles, secretary of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “That’s what we’ve heard clearly from the wind industry in order for them to do other significant wind projects in the state.’’

Continue reading the article by David Abel  at The Boston Globe

KDL | follow me on Twitter : newscaster

 

Is a space heater worth it?

The purchase of my new home has made me very aware to the financial burden of everything from a large appliance to buying unnecessary decorations for my house.  I have made it a point to go green on almost every purchase I have made, from my fridge to my swirly energy efficient light bulbs.  Going from a 700 square foot apartment to a 2,000 square foot house has almost doubled my use of oil to heat my home.  The early cold chill that has interrupted Rhode Islanders cozy fall, has made most of us breakdown and turn on the heat.  I myself swore I would not do it till the first of November if even necessary.  I like so many broke down and was amazed at the amount of oil used to heat my new home.

It was upsetting and silly for me to be heating my entire house when I was just utilizing one room at a time.  This is when the thought of a space heater came into play.  After much research on energy efficient space heaters and the right size for my particular room I found what I think is the right fit for me.  It is very important to do this seemingly tedious research on the right space heater for your home.   http://buyenergyefficient.org/ is a helpful website and they have done a lot of  the research for you, it even allows you to purchase the proper space heater for your particular needs on their website.

Many people worry about the safety of a space heater but today’s models of space heaters are designed to turn off if they fall or begin to overheat.  Many like mine also come with a timer which allows me to have it shut off an hour after I go to bed when I am using it in my bedroom just to get the chill out.  Using one requires responsibility to shut it off before you leave the room for a long period of time or have an animal or small child that may bump into it.  If used correctly they can be a great way to lower heating costs.  Your electricity bill will be higher but nothing like the expense it takes to use oil.  Natural gas is on average usually cheaper than electricity, so depending on the size of your room or amount of rooms needed to heat, space heaters may not be the best financially savvy way for people with natural gas to heat their home.

Some other ideas to cut costs in your home would be to unplug all unused appliances such as your toaster, coffeepot, cell phone chargers ect.  Also lowering your thermostat by even 1-5 degree  can lower your heating bill significantly.  In our present economy some of us need to take every possible move to lower bills and this may be a great way to start.

Posted by: Kate

GE, Whirlpool, Others Launch Smart Green Grid Initiative

 

 

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and a number of other companies announced the creation of a new collaborative effort aimed at demonstrating the role of smart grid technologies and practices in the achievement of climate change goals.

Called the Smart Green Grid Initiative (SGGI), the effort will include educational events at the upcoming climate change meetings in Copenhagen. SGGI has been approved by the United Nations to be an official smart grid delegation to the Copenhagen meetings. SGGI will also be sponsoring educational events in the U.S. in the weeks preceding the meetings in Copenhagen.

Supporters of the Smart Green Grid Initiative include National Grid (NYSE: NGG), Southern Company (NYSE: SO), AEP (NYSE: AEP), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), LG Electronics (LGERF.PK),Landis + Gyr, Echelon (Nasdaq: ELON), Tendril, Ice Energy, Enspiria, eMeter and Itron (Nasdaq: ITRI).

“We need to help the world understand the real potential for Smart Grid technologies to help slow climate change,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president of GE Energy’s Transmission and Distribution business. “Smart Grid solutions are often viewed primarily for their efficiency and cost savings, but every kilowatt saved is also a carbon savings. Add the potential carbon benefits we get through easier integration of more renewable energy, like wind and solar, and the Smart Grid can have a major effect on the carbon impact of our energy infrastructure.”

For example, with a key component of climate change policies being increased use of renewable energy, SGGI said it will try to help parties understand and manage its variable and intermittent nature. It will try to demonstrate that demand response and energy storage solutions can dynamically complement renewable resources–and avoid the building of new fossil-fuel power plants to fill the availability gaps and peak needs.

“Another important area is energy efficiency,” said Dan Delurey, Chairman of the Smart Green Grid Initiative. “Today, it is important to view energy efficiency in a more holistic and dynamic way than in the past. New technologies and applications mean that energy efficiency can mean more than just replacing one device with a newer, more efficient one. It can include providing new information to the consumer that they have simply never had before. Research has shown that electricity customers with energy usage information become more energy efficient overall–by upwards of 15%. The Smart Grid may help make energy efficiency sustainable and institutionalized in business and society.”

The Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition and the Demand Response Coordinating Committee, the leading groups in the U.S. focused on promoting the development of the Smart Grid and smart grid practices like Demand Response, also will be supporting SGGI.

Website: www.smartgreengrid.org

KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster

 

Selecting the best appliances for energy and water savings

Our appliances were delivered and as much care went into their selection as every other product in our Narragansett LEED house. In addition to considerations for style and performance, all of our appliances (with the exception of our stove because stoves are not rated) are top performing ENERGY STAR appliances.

As available appliances for the project will bear the ENERGY STAR label and assist us in maintaining the highest level of energy efficiency throughout the home. Additionally, the new Whirlpool Duet washer, which uses 74 percent less water and 80 percent less energy than traditional top load washers manufactured before 2004 and you can watch how it works in this video, will aid the project in its LEED-H for Gold certification quest by providing a point in the Innovation & Design category. And yes, we did pick the cranberry.

Our selections include:

Whirlpool Brand Resource Saver Dishwasher – Features the eco-friendly Resource Saver wash system and CEE Tier II recognition from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency ratings. We chose to have the custom cabinet panel installed to match.

Whirlpool Brand Duet Dryer–Uses up to 40% less energy with Eco Normal cycle when paired with a Duet washer.  A more precise set of heat and moisture detection sensors allows clothes to dry more efficiently. The Quick Refresh steam cycle tumbles 2 to 5 items, helping break down odors and relax wrinkles. Combined with the Duet washer, it is the brands most efficient laundry pair to date, providing $837 in energy and water savings over the first five years of use. Though dryer’s do not yet earn ENERGY STAR ratings, this dryer is top energy saver and when managed on the Control4 appliance module will only be allowed to run during non peak pricing hours to manage our cost per kwh budget.

KitchenAid Architect Series II Double Drawer Dishwasher – This ENERGY STAR dishwasher is able to wash 2 different loads independently or simultaneously and features 5 cycles for flexible washing options. We installed it right across from our kitchen wine bar which will be great when entertaining and keeping the glasses plentiful.

KitchenAid Architect Series II Refrigerator – The 48” main refrigerator provides the elegant aesthetics and functionality that my gourmet cook’s kitchen deserves.  This ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator will be monitored on the Control4 appliance module for real time monitoring of energy consumption and load shedding from 1 – 4 AM daily for a projected annual energy savings of 12 percent of running costs. A second ENERGY STAR labeled Whirlpool French Door refrigerator, located in the home’s pantry, will also be monitored on the Control4 system.

As I watch our appliances get installed and I think about the months of planning and meetings we had, the product reviews I read, the color swatches I compared and the immense time I spent designing the kitchen and laundry room, I cannot tell you how muchI look froward to doing a load of wash adn running the dishwasher. Seriously.

posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter : newscaster