The Bardessono Inn: 93% Of Construction Waste Reused

In Napa Valley, the newly opened Bardessono Inn and Spa is perhaps the greenest luxury hotel in the country. There are several innovative features that make Bardessono a model for green builders. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that 93 percent of the Bardessono’s construction waste was recycled — an unusally high amount. Materials like wood, steel and paper which …

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Efficient: HP Reduces Laptop Packaging By 97%

Recently, HP announced that its DV6929 laptop will be packaged in messenger bags made with 100% recycled materials. This will reduce the amount of packaging by 97% — almost all the Styrofoam and cardboard conventionally for packaging will be eliminated.

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Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii

Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any …

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Korean Village Runs On 100% Solar Power

The Korean village Donggwang gets 100% of its power from the sun. The village is located on the semi-tropical island of Jeju-do. Near the village, Halla Mountain, a volcano and the tallest mountain in South Korea, rises from the island’s center amidst a patchwork of small farms. The village’s forty houses and the school all have large solar panels covering …

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Wind Turbines On Galapagos Islands Reduce Diesel By 50%

Three huge wind turbines have been installed on the Galapagos Islands. They will generate a total of 2.4 megawatts for the 30,000 residents of the Galapagos archipelago’s five inhabited islands. The system will meet 60 to 80 percent of electrical demand during the windy months of October, November and December. The turbines will halve the island’s diesel fuel imports, and …

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New World Record Set For Solar Efficiency: 31.25%

On a perfect New Mexico winter day — with the sky almost 10 percent brighter than usual — Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate. The old 1984 record of 29.4 percent was toppled Jan. 31 on SES’s “Serial #3” solar dish Stirling …

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The “Energy Plus” Building Produces All Its Own Power

The “Energy Plus” office building, to be located outside of Paris, is designed to produce all its own energy for heating, lighting and air conditioning. This zero-energy building, according to the designers, will be the greenest office building ever created. It will accomplish this by having more solar panels on its roof than any other building – producing enough energy …

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45% Renewable Energy For Germany By 2030

Germany plans to boost the percentage of electricity generated by renewable resources to 45 percent by 2030 in a bid to curb global warming, environment minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday. Gabriel told reporters that a progress report on a renewable energy law passed in 2000 showed that the country had already surpassed the quota of 12.5 percent set for 2010. …

360 Vodka: Green Bottling

A new eco-friendly vodka has been launched by McCormick Distillery. The bottle is 80 percent recycled glass with a unique closure that looks a little like the Grolsch beer bottle. It seems like the vodka is not organic, which is disappointing (we sent a email to the company to confirm this. In the meantime you can see our organic vodka …

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Blueberries Used To Capture Solar Power

We just reported on the breakthrough in solar dyes in New Zealand. Now, researchers in Italy have discovered that blueberries have natural pigments that absorb sunlight extremely well. Apparently, dark-colored berries outperform most other plant species when it comes to spectral absorption of sunlight. The blueberry pigment, called, anthocyanine, can be used to make dye-sensitized solar cells, which require no …

New Biofuel Cells: Electricity From Hydrogen and Thin Air

Science Daily reports that British scientists have developed a “biofuel cell” that generates electricity from air spike with small amounts of hydrogen. These cells are an inexpensive, renewable alternative to “fuel cells” that have been closely associated with the “hydrogen economy”. At a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, Fraser Armstrong, described how his research group at Oxford University …

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Zero-Energy House: It Uses Solar Power and Hydrogen

The New York Times just published a report on home that uses a unique system to generate hydrogen using solar power. The system was built by Mike Strizki, the 50-year-old director of Advanced Solar Products, a solar installation company, designed a backyard power plant that provides all the house’s energy, using a combination of solar panels and solar-generated hydrogen. Here’s …

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Renewable, Modular Carpet Tiles: FLOR

“Interface FLOR” carpet tiles are made from renewable materials that can recycled easily. They are also built to be modular: if an accident happens, you can clean them in the sink put them back on the floor. They are held down by “low tack” adhesive dots. You can also create new designs by rearranging the tiles.