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Jul 27
2012

The Green Moving Debate: Whether To Drive or Ship Your Car

Posted by 0 in Green TransportationEnvironmentEfficiencyconservation

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It's time to move. Plans are in place to have a moving company pack, load and deliver all of your belongings to their destination. You've held a garage sale and pared down your belongings. You've purchased moving boxes. That leaves one item left to consider: do you look at auto transport companies to move your car, or do you drive it yourself? If you're concerned about green living, you'll want to take environmental impact of the move into account, as well as cost and convenience. 

Here are a few other issues you should consider before driving or sending your ride to your new home:

Going "Green" On the Road

How far would you go to be green? The answer might depend on how many miles it is to your destination. Environmentally conscious auto transport companies are difficult to find, as there are few options for trucks that can carry autos. Their goal is to move cars, and eco-friendly transport may not be a feasible business consideration yet.

How Green Can You Be?

If you have a hybrid vehicle, you're already on the road to being green. Hybrid and electric cars are the first step in the reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels. Your hybrid has two engines: one that uses electricity for energy and the other which burns gas. If you choose to drive your hybrid cross-country, consider how often the gas engine will kick in en route to your final moving destination.

Most hybrids work on a principle called "regenerative braking," which converts the energy of the car slowing down into electrical energy that charges the batteries. Thus, a cross-country trip in a hybrid car (where you are at freeway speed and rarely braking) could result in the gasoline engine running nearly as much as that of an all-gas car. Until more efficient and affordable all-electrical vehicles and conversion kits are readily available, or we make the move to green mass transit systems, this is something that eco-friendly car owners have to deal with.

The Cost of Being Green

The fuel efficiency of a hybrid is highly variable. In some cases, non-hybrid counterparts can get better mileage per gallon, depending on the type of driving you do. Hybrids use the braking energy of the car to charge the batteries, so frequent starts and stops and city driving will keep batteries charged. The gas engine is often shutoff while the vehicle is at a full stop. Because of this, most hybrids experience better fuel mileage in the city than on the highway, where the gas engine is running continuously.

Hybrids still have many of the same maintenance costs as a gasoline vehicle. Tires and fluids need to be checked and changed as needed. Other systems and components, such as the radio and air conditioning, are subject to breakdown and repair.

The major difference in hybrid and non-hybrid parts is the battery. Auto analysts don't know how long hybrid car batteries will last, since we are just beginning to push their limits. The current battery technology in a hybrid car makes them expensive to replace. However, manufacturers warranty their batteries for several years (up to 10) and generally over 100,000 miles.

The Eco-Conscious Answer

With this information, do you drive your hybrid or have it moved by one of your local auto transport services? The answer is still not obvious.

As a conscientious consumer, driving a hybrid can reduce your negative impact on the environment. But a long-distance drive to a new home or business, even in a hybrid car, may not be the most environmentally-friendly choice. Using a transport company often means a large diesel engine will be in use; however, they are more likely to cross a large area quickly, without stops. You can also look for a transport service that is environmentally conscious and offers alternative solutions. Ultimately, the choice will depend on how you weigh the time, monetary, and environmental costs of your relocation.

 

Mar 30
2012

UK Supplies 1440 Million Liters of Biofuel in 2011 - INFOGRAPHIC

Posted by 0 in Green TransportationconservationCarbon

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Biofuel usage in the UK

Infographic provided by Staveley Head

 

Mar 19
2012

State of the Smart Grid - Podcast

Posted by 0 in Green ITGreen BuildingEnvironmentEnergy EfficiencyEfficiencyconservationClean Energy

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A long overdue, but informative look at how the smart grid is evolving and the challenges the industry faces as it works to get to scale.  Listen as Drew Johnston, Smart Grid Development and Deployment Consultant at Landis+Gyr, explains the current state of the marketplace, challenges utilities face in modifying their business models to help minimize customer's use of energy and how pilot projects throughout the country are showing great promise.
Feb 13
2012

Black and White and Green All Over

Posted by 0 in Untagged 

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I recently had the opportunity to work with Dell to give away one of their new 'Green' printers to Green Collar's social media following. It was a great experience and a lot of fun, especially considering this was no simple inkjet home printer, but instead an enterprise-level, four-color, network laser printer meant to be a workhorse for small and medium sized businesses.

This was evidenced by the fact that the Dell 5130cdn Color Laser printer arrived on a palette! I had to grab one of my most fit colleagues to help me carry it to its central location...it is a beast! Setting it up, however, was a snap. The four cylindrical, CYMK toner cartridges clicked easily into place and with parallel, ethernet, USB and wireless networking options, connecting it to the network was simple. The drivers installed smoothly, although there was some confusion as after installation the printer appeared in the print menu of users as two printers: First as a 5130cdn PS (post-script language) and also as a 5130cdn PCL6 (HP print language). We’ve found the PS to be less quirky and more stable, so that has become the standard. So you’re probably thinking, “this sounds just like any other laser printer....so what makes it green?” Good questions. This is what we’ve found.

Crazy Fast Warmups

If you’ve ever had to wait for a laser printer to warm up, or even worse, a color laser printer, you know that it can be painful. Warm up times of several minutes are not uncommon while the machine hammers away working to get the cold toner ready to go. This printer generally takes about 8 or 9 seconds from the arrival of the job in the queue to the printing of the first page. That is fast. This rapid warmup time apparently has something to do with the type of toner they use (EA eco-toner), which also allows the printer to go quiet (power down completely) much more quickly than laser printers we have been used to in the past, which once warmed up would want to stay that way for hours and hours. This one usually shuts down in about 10 minutes and is completely silent until called upon again.

Crazy Fast Printing


The other thing that is impressive about the printer and that helps on the energy efficiency front, is how quickly it prints. Dell claims the printer: delivers letter-sized pages at a speed of up to 47 ppm (pages per minute) in both mono and color. (Actual print speeds will vary with use.) If you have a 10 page print job, it starts printing in about 8 seconds and is done entirely in about 20...heading back to sleep soon thereafter. And these capabilities add up. As Dell states on their site: Energy Star 1.1 qualified, the Dell 5130cdn Color Printer reduces power consumption up to 31% compared to the previous-generation Dell 5110cn with the new EA-Eco Toners.


Duplex Printing Lowers Paper Consumption


Lowering energy-burn is important, but the thing we probably like most about the printer is the ability to make duplex (or two-sided printing) the default for all users. As a company, we try not to print very often, but this makes us feel a lot better when we do. This capability slows down the print job to a mere 37 pages per minute (still very fast), but dramatically cuts down on the amount of paper used. It is not a clear 50% reduction because it doesn’t make sense to use this capability in every instance (printing a PowerPoint for example), but by having duplex as the default, users have to make the choice to switch to single sided printing instead of vice versa.


We’re Not the Only Ones Who Like It


The winner of our giveaway is totally loving the printer as well.  en-Gauge, Inc . is very cool business making electronic monitoring solutions for life safety products like fire extinguishers and medical oxygen. They are a leading player in the “Internet of Things” revolution (smart devices connecting via the Internet) and they have been very impressed by the printer as well...especially the speed of printing and the ability to make duplex printing the default.


Stay tuned, as we’re working to arrange an upcoming podcast with some experts at Dell to discuss how they are working with businesses to make the entire print process inside companies as sustainable as possible.  NOTE:  Dell provided Green Collar with the printer free of charge for our participation in the social media giveaway.

May 23
2011

What the Frack Is Going On?

Posted by 0 in water qualityEnvironmentCarbon

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If you're like me, you've been watching the Natural Gas Fracking situation unfold like a slow motion train wreck, devastating large parts of the country. The concept is that the gas companies buy drilling rights on people's property (which is very attractive for the landowner's because they get some good coin!), then the gas companies pump massive amounts of water and chemicals way underground to crack (or fracture - hence frack) the earth in order to release natural gas deposits.

The problem is that this is poisoning the ground water in many communities to such an extent that residents can often light their tap water on fire (no joke!). Imagine the carcinogens and poisons that people are ingesting even if the water never gets to the flammable stage. I thought you would enjoy this video explaining how fracking works and why it is so dangerous to our society. Good music, good beat, informative....what's not to like? Help spread this one around! - -

May 19
2011

Moving Beyond the Automobile - Meet the Superbus

Posted by 0 in R&DGreen Transportationgreen innovationEfficiency

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Very cool new high speed electric "bus" from Holland.  I'd like to see more about how to get in and out of it, but I would like to take a ride on one of these at 150 mph!

 

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