All Articles Tagged "green"
We work hard to create healthy, comfortable, stylish homes for ourselves and our families. But for many people, the cost of utilities and other modern luxuries — not to mention the environments within and around our homes — could be contributing negatively to the environment and many wallets.
Keeping with the purpose of Earth Day (which is just five days away), here are a few factors in your home or around your neighborhood that might be costing you your health and your money.
Is Solange’s outfit making you green with envy or what!? Let’s decide.
Stepping out for Milan’s Fashion Week, Solange arrived at a party for Dolce & Gabbana this weekend looking very bright and colorful while turning heads in her green getup. Solo rocked this see-through green dress that hugged her figure nicely, and also showed off her undergarments without looking tacky. The dress reached down past her knees and she paired it with strappy black and white heels. Her undergarments included a black, lace, strapped corset top and some fun comfortable briefs (I’m just assuming…), and her jewelry was kept to a minimum with some flashy rings. Her makeup was fresh with a red lip and her hair was big, with what I’m assuming is a wig, but a fab wig nonetheless.
From the moment I saw this look I was in love with it (not the shoes so much though), so this is a steal for me! You rarely get to see a see-through green dress or skirt like this, and as it’s my favorite color, it’s a must-have for me. I probably would have gone with some more dramatic heels, maybe even some pumps, but everything else works for me. Solange is really feeling her new model status and stepping into it nicely. She’s a style winner, and this look is just an example of why. BOW!
What do you think of Solange’s look?
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About This Episode
Robin Wilson is making waves in the eco-friendly design industry as a designer and healthy space interior consultant. Originally from Texas, Wilson launched her design firm in 2000 after transitioning from corporate America. With projects such as the Harlem office of President Clinton and the White House Fellows office, Wilson’s firm focuses on consultation with developers, showhouses, healthcare facilities, residential and office spaces.
Wilson is the author of a book, Kennedy Green House (Greenleaf, 2010) which has a foreword written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. She also serves as the ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America where she helps increase awareness of indoor air quality as they pertain to issues involving asthma.
Find out why She’s The Boss.
Want More She’s The Boss? Check out these other episodes:
Dr. Wangari Maathai was an activist from the African nation of Kenya who used her political power, education and fierce fighting spirit to preserve the purity of her native environment, while implementing sustainable measures in a way that uplifted women. For these grand achievements, Maathai was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2004, becoming the first African woman to win this prize in a moment of pride that inspired the entire continent. She succumbed to cancer late Sunday, leaving as her legacy the reminder that impoverished people and environmental vulnerability are inextricably linked in Africa, and that both needy entities are worth fighting for. Her life is a testimony to the fact that rapid growth in developing countries does not require the destruction of its lands through the rapacious stripping of resources fueled by greed.
Maathai’s work demonstrated that preserving the environment and developing depressed areas economically can and should go hand in hand for the overall betterment of society. And she was not afraid to get tear gassed or beaten by police while demonstrating to preserve the rights of citizens and the sustainability of their lands. She waged her many political battles through the influential organization she founded, The Greenbelt Movement.
Dr. Maathai started The Greenbelt Movement in 1977 to promote her ideals and in the process her organization facilitated the planting of 45 million trees in her native Kenya. Although much of her work focused on her homeland, Maathai’s ideas have spread internationally, leading to the launch of similar programs across the African continent.
Through attaining her PhD — a first for a woman from east and central Africa — Dr. Maathai gained access to European spheres of influence, which enabled her to join powerful organizations like The United Nations Environmental Program. These ties gave her the prestige to promote her Greenbelt Movement, which “went pan-African in 1986, with successful offshoots in at least six African countries,” according to AllAfrica.com.
The importance of The Greenbelt Movement is twofold, because rapid deforestation due to overdevelopment was not only leading to permanent desertification in Kenya; it was also deepening the cycle of poverty caused by the poor degrading the lands by mistreatment in order to survive — while simultaneous diminishing this fragile source of livelihood. Maathai’s Greenbelt Movement both preserved the land from erosion, and gave people jobs planting trees (particularly women) that helped them lead better lives. The New York Times has more on this gentle revolutionary, who it deems an “environmentalist, feminist, politician, anti-corruption campaigner, human rights advocate, [and] protester”:
By Charlotte Young
If President Obama were a gambling man, he’d roll his dice and bet that green technologies would be the solution to job creation in the future.
According to NPR, Obama is headed to North Carolina this Monday to discuss the latest in guiding government investment towards new energy technologies, which range from wind and solar technology to biofuels and advanced batteries.
Arun Majumdar, the director of Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, already knows that some of these plans are not only risky, but they will fail.
“We don’t know which ones are going to win down the line, which ones are going to actually make it in the market and produce hundreds of thousands of jobs and really change the world,” he told NPR.
It’s a risk the government is more than willing to take. The Obama administration has given Majumadar’s organization $500 million. Clean energy projects have received almost $95 billion.
While some, such as Ian Sheherdson of High Frequency Economics, lack confidence in the government’s plan, economist Robert Pollin thinks there’s a good chance the government’s gamble could work. He calculates that clean energy is a new industry that will need a lot of manpower and which will “get 17 jobs more or less per $1 million of expenditure.”
The biggest payoff, economist Matt Rogers believes, will occur overtime. Once the government gets these jobs started with green technologies, the markets “will take care of the rest.”
by Anton Polouektov
With peak oil occupying the minds of energy experts and the Gulf oil spill acting as a painful reminder of the dangers posed to the environment by our unquenchable thirst for fossil fuels, a rejuvenated interest in alternative energy is sweeping the nation. Electric and hybrid vehicles are currently the most viable alternative to gas-powered engines, and Lithium-Ion batteries are the most viable means of powering them.
Lithium, the lightweight silver-white alkali metal that stores energy in lithium-ion batteries, has been attracting growing attention from automotive and energy companies over the past several years and the mineral’s meteoric rise to global prominence is seemingly set to continue unabated as a new generation of electric cars begins rolling off the assembly line.
“We believe that the use of electricity as the energy source of choice for vehicles will become dominant over the next 20 to 30 years,” said Dr. Jon Hykawy, who specializes in lithium and alternative energy industries at Byron Capital Markets. “The rationale is simple; GM noted that it takes 25 kWh of electrical energy to move their Volt 100 miles down the highway, while a conventional four cylinder gasoline-powered car might consume 75 kWh of equivalent energy from gasoline to do the same thing. Electrical vehicles are more efficient than internal combustion-based vehicles, and with increasing energy costs, we need to do more with less.”
Dr. Elton Cairns, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley, echoes the call for increased efficiency.“Oil will be used for the foreseeable future as a major source of energy, but we need to rely also on other sources such as wind and solar energy. We can help the energy situation greatly by using it more efficiently in our vehicles and our buildings.”
Electric cars’ efficiency could help wean the American economy from its dependence on foreign oil. “We could certainly see a meaningful fraction of the traffic within urban cores draw its energy from batteries,” maintains Dr. Hykawy. “That would do a great deal to improve the strength of the US dollar, increase US energy security, stimulate the US economy and increase the quality of life in cities by both cleaning the air and reducing noise levels. By relying on batteries for transport instead of oil, the US can curtail its current $300 billion annual habit for foreign oil.”
An additional benefit of using electric and hybrid vehicles could be their lessened environmental impact – while it is true that lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifespan, experts generally agree that proper recycling techniques can help minimize their pollution footprint, resulting in a more environmentally-friendly transportation network and increased efficiency of resource allocation. “Lithium is not consumed, it simply carries the energy between the anode and cathode in a lithium-ion battery,” says lithium energy expert R. Keith Evans. “There is a strong possibility that much of the lithium will be recycled after the battery reaches the end of its first life, thus reducing the demand for virgin lithium.”
“I expect that most lithium batteries will be recycled at minimal environmental impact,” said Dr. Cairns. “There isn’t a technology out there that has no ecological footprint, no matter what anyone wishes to say.” Dr. Hykway agrees that lithium products will have a very minimal affect on waste. “Lithium production impacts the ecology on remote and fragile dry salt lakes in South America. The batteries may have to be recycled, although my belief is that batteries with only half their storage capacity may find a use in the home, storing cheap electricity purchased at night and allow the energy to be used during expensive peak periods, saving the owner money and balancing load for the local utility. Lithium battery disposal may be the least of our worries.”
(VOANews.com) – The United States is taking another step forward in the development of a clean, renewable, and abundant energy resource – wind power. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on April 28 approval of the one billion dollar Cape Wind renewable energy project in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts, on the outer U.S. continental shelf. Speaking at Massachusetts’s historic State House in Boston, Secretary Salazar noted, “With this decision we are beginning a new direction in our Nation’s energy future, ushering in America’s first offshore wind energy facility and opening a new chapter in the history of this region.”
By H. Fields Grenee
For several years now we’ve been hearing the term “green technology” volleyed about. As preached from the political pulpit, “green” means new jobs, improved health, cost savings and a clean environment. Eager to harness these benefits, leaders in government, the private sector and countless everyday citizens, have made the decision to go green.
In February 2009, Congress took one of its most strident steps toward a sustainable future by passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It allocated $90 billion for investments in clean energy technologies and job training.
According to The Climate Gap, a 2009 study conducted by the University of California, communities of color have a lot to gain from such investments. A holistic embrace of green living by these groups, disproportionally affected by climate change, is perceived as the best way to end the cycle of poverty.
If this is so, what steps should communities of color, historically left out of the decision making process, take to be included in and benefit from the green technology revolution? For many advocates the approach must include education and livable wage job training, organizing and building sustainable community-based movements and lobbying and securing funding for reinvestment in urban areas.
The Washington Park Consortium (WPC), a Chicago-based community action group interested in urban quality-of-life issues, is one of the lead minority organizations working to craft useful solutions. Brandon Johnson, WPC’s CEO, thinks that the jobs needed to build the infrastructure of the green technology revolution, hold significant promise for the African-American community. He sees it as the greatest opportunity in nearly 40 to 50 years for blacks to sculpt their future and define the role they will play in it.
Johnson’s belief stems from the idea that shared stewardship of the land will affect the choices community members make. This is why urban gardening and reinvestment in urban initiatives is vital.
“Many African-Americans are now being forced off of the welfare roles, which bred dependency,” he said. “Going green, as they may call it, is therefore not necessarily a lifestyle choice, but rather survival. Communities of color must adapt and reorganize our ways of living, while better using and sustaining what we already have.”
WPC strives for this by organizing and educating local stakeholders in topics like money management, funding for green spaces, and urban gardening. “Some African-Americans in green like to say it’s not new choices but reconnecting with old ways [like community farming and buying locally]”, Johnson noted. “Urban areas have a higher concentration of vacant lots than suburbia, yet the vast majority of funding for green rehabbing projects and gardening initiatives don’t come to our communities and we are suffering because of it.”
From a health standpoint, many communities of color, based on national statistics, are situated in areas designated as food deserts. These are areas having little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet, yet are often saturated with fast food restaurants and convenience stores.
“It’s hard to stop and think where your food is coming from and if it was grown responsibly, when you are living paycheck to paycheck,” Johnson said.
Trying to increase those paychecks is the business of Green For All (GFA). “As a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, Green For All is focused on advocating for and creating green-collar jobs that move low-income workers into higher-paid and higher-skilled occupations,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, GFA’s CEO.
“When I say green-collar jobs, I mean well-paid, career track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality,” she said. “If a job improves the environment but doesn’t provide a family-supporting wage or opportunities for advancement along a career track of increasing skills and wages, it is not a green-collar job.”
(San Diego Union Tribune) — Just as the United States came together to put a man on the moon in the 1960s, it can fight its dependence on foreign energy, prevent global warming and put people back to work now, an environmental activist with roots in the civil rights movement told a San Diego audience Friday. For Jerome Ringo, who went from working on an offshore oil rig in Louisiana to becoming the first African-American to head the National Wildlife Federation, it’s not a choice between the environment and jobs.
(Entrepreneur) Billions of dollars are pouring into clean-tech companies–with little results. Is this an intelligent investment or the beginning of another bubble?