April 28th, 2011 in green technology

Recycling electronics in Wisconsin takes off

Wisconsin’s new electronics recycling program has been hugely successful.

Twenty-four million pounds of electronics including TVs, computers and cell phones have been recycled since Wisconsin began its new program banning electronics from landfills or incineration.

The program created 350 collection sites supported by manufacturers. Some counties are receiving more electronics than they can handle!

It’s encouraging to see Wisconsinites supporting a program for sustainability in electronics.

Read more about the program: Number of electronics being recycled in Wisconsin skyrockets after 2010 law takes effect

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December 2nd, 2010 in Wireless Technology, green technology

A greener laptop

The average laptop lasts about two years and, according to a group of students from Stanford University and Finland’s Aalto University, takes about “45 minutes and 120 steps” to disassemble for recycling once its short life is over.

With that in mind, the seven graduate students designed the Bloom laptop which can be easily disassembled into recyclable parts in just 30 seconds. The materials such as plastic, metal and glass are easy for consumers to recycle, and the simple disassembly helps separate materials that need specialized recycling, like LCD screens and circuit boards.

Besides the simplified process of recycling, the design also makes it easier for consumers to replace parts, prolonging the life of the laptop.

The laptop was designed as part of a challenge by corporate sponsor Autodesk. Ten teams in the Stanford engineering design class were asked to create a completely recyclable consumer-electronics product.

Smart laptop manufacturers should keep an eye on designs that prolong a laptop’s life and make it easier for consumers to protect the environment.

Read more information on the Bloom laptop.

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July 13th, 2010 in Government, Wireless Technology, green technology

Government – now in handy app form!

The U.S. government recently launched 17 new mobile apps for a variety of different services and agencies, from the FBI’s Most Wanted to FEMA Mobile.  With smartphones becoming increasingly popular and more information being absorbed on the go, it’s great news that the government is working with these platforms. Here are a few of our favorites:

Alternative Fuel Locator – This app makes life a little easier for people with flex-fuel vehicles. The locator uses Google technology to find the five biodiesel, electricity, E85 (etha­nol), hydrogen, natural gas, and propane fueling sites closest to the user. Plus it’s not just for smartphones! The Alternative Fuel Locator is available for any mobile-Internet ready device.

Fuel Economy.gov – Not sure you’re ready for a flex-fuel vehicle yet? Check out the carbon footprint of your car or truck, or use it to calculate gas mileage, annual fuel costs and petroleum use. The results may just surprise you.

EPA Mobile – Another great app for the environmentally conscious. This app allows users to browse the EPA Newsroom, learn about your environment, check out the EPA’s blog Greenversations and contact the EPA.  Now the nation’s premier environmental resource is at your fingertips.

MedlinePlus Mobile – Feeling under the weather? Check out this app to browse health information, drug facts and explore other health topics. All in English or Spanish!

You can find out more about all the the new app available at USA.gov’s app page.

What are your favorites? Are there any services you think the government missed? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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July 6th, 2010 in Government, News, green technology

U.S. Invests $2 Billion in Solar Power

Green technology – good. Job creation – good. The two together – great!

In a significant step toward effectively utilizing green technologies for energy production, President Obama recently announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will invest nearly $2 billion in two solar energy companies – Abengoa Solar and Abound Solar Manufacturing.

Arizona-based Abengoa Solar will be the largest concentrating solar power in the world when it’s complete. It will produce enough energy to power nearly 70,000 homes! To put that into a green perspective – it means a reduction of 475,000 tons of CO2 annually.

On top of the environmental benefits, building these plants will mean new construction and permanent jobs for more than 5,000 Americans.

Watch the President’s full address on solar energy below:

You can also read more in this story from Mashable.

This investment is a huge leap forward for the U.S. in terms of both environment and economy and we’re happy to see this progress being made.

What are your thoughts on the projects?

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February 25th, 2010 in green technology

E-Recycling Going for the Gold

It’s been fun to watch Team U.S.A. sweep the Vancouver Olympics with 28 medals so far and 7 of them gold.  Did you know that the gold medals Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White, and Bode Miller are wearing around their necks are partially made out of recycled e-waste?  While the medals may contain just under 2% e-waste material, it’s a good step towards being more environmentally friendly.

 With people upgrading to a new computer or cell phone every few years, e-waste can add up quickly.  This waste can be quite hazardous unless recycled properly. As Konrad Osterwalder, under-secretary general of the U.N. wrote in a recent report “One person’s waste can be another’s raw material,” adding that new technologies “can transform waste into assets, creating new businesses with decent green jobs.”  Quite plainly, e-waste recycling is good for the environment and good for jobs.

So maybe you can’t skate as fast as Shani Davis, but you can still e-recycle like an Olympian. 

 Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/23/eco.ewaste.gold/

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