Sungri, California based solar panel company has announced the development of a new concentrated photovoltaic panel that should revolutionize the solar energy industry. The XCPV system (Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics) is designed to provide whole electricity cost at the rate of 5 cents per kilowatt hour. The system uses a lens to focus sunlight onto the photovoltaic panel to for greater output. The panels are also designed to not depend on silicon for their construction further reducing the cost per kwh.
The company announced the development of the new panels at “The National Energy marketers Association’s 11th Annual global Energy Forum” in Washington D.C.
“Solar Power at 5 cents per kWh would be a world-changing breakthrough,” said Craig Goodman, president, National Energy Marketers Association. “It would make solar generation of electricity as affordable as generation from coal, natural gas or other non-renewable sources, without requiring a subsidy”
“In a little more than a year we were able to develop and successfully test XCPV,” said Robert S (Bob) Block, co-founder and SUNRGI principal. “We expect the SUNRGI system to become available for both on and off-grid power applications, worldwide, in twelve to fifteen months”
If you’ve been to Whole Foods lately, the you’re sure to notice a change. Whole Foods is phasing out plastic bags, and in encouraging their customers to “Bring Your Own Bag,” they are giving out reusable bags.
We’re not sure how long this promotion will last, but we’re loving it! Finally, a major grocery store that is making moves in the right direction.
If you forget to bring your own bags, don’t worry. Whole Foods will still have their 100% recycled paper bags for you to use. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be “that girl” that uses paper bags. I have a feeling that, in the future, not bringing your own bags will be like writing a check, out-dated.
There is probably plenty of time until that day, but you should start considering getting your own reusable bags to take to the grocery store or super market now.
According to Mark Buckley, the VP of Environmental Affairs at Staples, an estimated 133,000 computers are discarded every day in the U.S. That’s nearly 49 million computers a year! And that doesn’t even include cell phones and other office related electronics.Old electronic junk, or “e-waste” is increasingly becoming a larger problem in today’s electronic age, making the need for recycling more and more important. A lot of people think that paying to recycle their stuff is not worth it, and they just throw it into the garbage to get rid of it. But a few major computer companies like HP, Dell, Sony and Apple are making it easier for people to recycle their old computers when they upgrade.According to Earth 911.org’s website,
Reusing and recycling prevents electronic items from reaching landfills, creating less waste, providing usable items to organizations that need them and recapturing valuable resources.”Â
If you work for a company that seems to upgrade to new computers on a regular basis, start asking what your company is doing with those old computers. If the computers are broken beyond repair, search around for local take back programs or retailers that recycle any electronic product. Look online for the manufacturer of your old computer to see if they have a recycling or take back program. Staples, for example, will recycle electronics from any manufacturer for 10 dollars or less, nationwide. It might not be free to recycle that dusty old computer, but at least they will make sure it is recycled properly.Here at my workplace, I just upgraded to a new Apple computer. Don’t be jealous! After the purchase, Apple emailed me a Fed-Ex shipping label to print out. All I have to do is box up this old PC, stick on the shipping label and drop it off at a FedEx Kinko’s. They’ll take it back and see that it is recycled. Seems like hassle free e-cycling to me!If your computer or other electronics are still in working order, but you have newer models you are using, try selling, donating or free-cycling your electronic goods. There are lots of people who still can not afford to buy brand new computers, so selling or donating yours locally can help others in your community. Ebay and freecycle.org are two good resources for selling electronics, or giving them away.Just remember, it’s all about doing your part. Become proactive at work by asking what they are doing with old computers there. It may cost your boss a little extra to do some good, but doing good will pay off when your consumers and other companies begin to take notice.
There’s a new green lifestyle site in the house, TheDailyGreen.com, which is run by Hearst Magazines.
Look for the launch of the site on Earth Day…here’s the info from the press release:
Launching as a Beta version on April 22, The Daily Green will feature daily eco-tips; the dayâ€™s key national and international environmental news; advice on how to enjoy a more sustainable life with smart energy and product choices; delicious recipes for meals and school lunches that are more hormone- and pesticide-free, compassionately raised and â€œas local-as-availableâ€; and ideas for creating a more toxin-free home. While content will be an important element of The Daily Green, it is the community of followers of the green movement that will inform the sensibility of the site. For example, Weird Weather Watch, a user-generated photoblog of climate change snapped by backyard environmentalists and camera phone climatologists will be an important feature, as will user-submitted recipes and tips. In addition, the site will give a voice to the leaders of the countryâ€™s most important environmental organizations through blog postings and site links. It is planned that the full-scale site will go live this fall.
We’ll see what it looks like when it goes up. Hopefully it will be a decent resource with some good information and won’t put too many small blogs out of business. Just kiddin’!
I had them out in a little bowl for guests to our house and they were consumed very quickly! They make great party favors as well. We’ve got several birthday parties coming up so I’m thinking of stocking up on more. They’re also perfect for the coming Easter holiday.