Green Vacation

Planning a Green Vacation

Everybody wants to do their part for the environment, but at the same time, we don’t want to stop living and doing the things we like and want to do out of fear of damaging the environment.

Travel is one particularly sensitive issue for anyone who is eco-friendly, because there are very few environmentally beneficial modes of travel available, and because, while traveling, there isn’t much we can control in the way of saving energy.

We are largely at the mercy of the options available to us, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. With a little bit of research, you can reduce the size of your travel’s carbon footprint, and feel good knowing that you are supporting the environment, even while living the dream.

Consider looking into the following things when planning your next trip:

  • Alternative modes of travel, part I: While every kind of travel is environmentally taxing, some kinds are far less damaging than others. Cars are generally better than planes, for example, and trains are even better than cars. If it is possible to take a train to your next destination, do that instead and you’ll be able to rest easier knowing you did what you could. It might take a little longer, but it will be worth it.
  • Stay at green hotels: As a rule, a hotel will never be as energy efficient as a house, simply because they are so large and have so much space to light and heat or cool, but similar to the tiers of transportation, some are better than others. There are websites that list eco-friendly lodgings, which should be a great help when trying to decide. Some of these sites are:
    • It’sAGreenWorld.com
    • Eco Green Hotel
    • Eco Hotels of the World
  • Alternative modes of travel, part II: Once you have arrived at your destination, you have the option of several different kinds of transportation. These should be more familiar to you, because they are basic city transit options: cars, buses, bicycles, walking, horse carriage, etc. I probably don’t have to say (but I will anyway) that walking, bicycling, or taking a horse ride or more eco-friendly than cars or even riding on the bus; if you can plan to take these methods of transportation while you are vacationing, instead of renting cars or taking cabs, you’ll be helping to save the environment, and saving some cash, too.
  • Sight-see green: Another big source of energy consumption on vacations is the activities you do while there (wherever “there” happens to be). Try to plan green activities, such as eco-tourism, while out, instead of high energy activities like theme parks or movie theaters.

It will take a little extra planning to get your vacation to green status, but it isn’t impossible, and every little bit helps. Just think how much good we could do if every person planned green vacations!

 

Clean water is good for your health

As you may or may not know a contributing factor to the fall of the Roman Empire was the widespread use of lead water pipes and eating utensils…

Reverse osmosis Water Filter by Blue Gold for Life

5092010

We sell a water filtration system that is amazing. It is a three stage reverse osmosis system that does a great job of taking out the poisons and minerals out of the water.  We actually tested the water against bottled water and found the filtered water to be cleaner in several cases.

This system is of great benefit particularly here in southern California because we live in a desert and have our water pumped in from far far away and it is infused with chemicals along the way to kill any serious bacteria.  The water is also very hard, causing mineral deposits to build up very quickly in water systems and also in our body’s own waste filtration systems.

Also bottled water is not a reliable or cost effective alternative.  According to the NRDC “An estimated 25% of bottled water is just tap water–sometimes further treated sometimes not”.  Plus think of the millions of tons of plastic used and discarded every year in bottling water.  We tend to also think that plastic bottles are inert and harmless when in fact water bottles release VOCs and other chemical as the soft plastic deteriorates.

How to install the system yoursel

Geothermal energy waste into lithium batteries

Most geothermal energy plants inject water deep into the ground where the earth’s heat energy turns it into steam used to generate electricity.

The wastewater from this process is full of elements that are not abundant on the surface and that includes lithium.  Without going too far into battery technology lithium batteries last four times as long as conventional ones and can deliver a lot of energy quickly.  The latter feature is extremely useful for electronics and hybrid cars.  The 150 MPG cars you hear about are made with lithium-ion batteries.

This is a great example of a change needed at the demand level.  Energizer makes them but  the cost makes them a rare purchase despite the advantages.  A synergistic relationship between battery makers and geothermal energy producers is very important. The educated consumer will buy them but needs to realize that you get what you pay for and 99 cent batteries last only hours.

General Electric doesn’t have a very high opinion of the consumer

GE,

I’m disappointed.

I work in a hardware store and we have three basic types of lightbulbs for general use,

Incandescent:  The original Thomas Edison invention, they use 3% of the electricity to produce light and the rest of the electricity produces heat.  Essentially it is a very small fire.

Compact Flourescent (the spiral bulbs) :   A smaller version of the long straight flourescent lights most frequently used in supermarkets, they use about half the electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent. Unfortunately they contain mercury and in a perfect world would be thrown out at a hazardous waste dump.

L.E.D (Light emitting Diode):  An old technology redone is our modern age, they can use 4 watts of electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent 60 watt.  They also last five times as long as anything else.  They cost way too much right now.

So to come up with an “energy efficient” bulb, GE reduced Edison’s 60 watt bulbs to 57  to respond to California’s demand that they waste less electricity.

light-bulb ge 75 watt

bravo

For Sale and Help Wanted Boston 1885

Calpine

geothermal geysers

The best  and most plentiful source of power on this planet is geological activity.  I have mentioned this belief before particularly when talking about what exactly the oil companies will do when the oil runs out.

I have recently become a resident of the State of California so instead of trying to cover national companies, I will focus on companies in the Southwest in addition to ones in New England.

This corporation has a longish history of natural gas plants in Wisconsin and the Southwest and has a truly sustainable geothermal plant in Northern California. It is estimated that the development meets 60 percent of the power demand for the coastal region between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oregon state line.[1]

The Geysers, a geothermal power field located 72 miles (116 km) north of San Francisco, California, is the largest geothermal development in the world. . The Geysers consists of 22 separate power plants that utilize steam from more than 350 producing wells. The Calpine Corporation operates and owns 19 of the 22 facilities. The other three facilities are operated by the Northern California Power Agency and the Western GeoPower Corporation.

It is currently outputting over 750 MW

And I have a great history of the company from someone who knows them well, both from a financial and personal perspective:

Calpine had a hard time of it
because of the nature of the energy business and its proximity to National
Security.  When Enron was overbought and tried to characterize loan
payments to various off-the-books entities such as Chewco and Raptor
(Raptor was also the name of a state of the art jet program at the Defense
Department) as revenue, their competitive entities, the oil companies,
banks, insurers and the U.S. Government, did it in with the Enron Task
Force (ETF is also the acronym for Electronically Traded Funds)–because,
as the saying goes–the public must diversify!).  Anyway, the spill-off
from Enron, 911 and the NYSE shut down by Grasso et al., didn’t help
Calpine to say the least.  Their funding was cut off and Buffett (yes
Warren) demanded pipeline companies carry more insurance coverage due to
the terrorist threat.   It took six years to bankrupt Calpine and in late
2007 they filed Chapter 11.  They emerged from bankruptcy with a five
billion dollar loan in 2008.  They have various properties generating
geo-thermal power and build gas-fired power plants internationally.
Calpine has several “bases” headquarter loci, among them San Jose
California and Houston Texas and have a large Canadian real estate
portfolio including natural gas related interests.

-John

calpine geothermal

The future of Exxon-Mobil

What will the giant oil companies of the world do when production declines and what will they do when the black gold runs out entirely?

If the Arctic continues it’s recessive trend, the Exxon-Mobils will have a brief stay of execution with new-found reserves in the former great white north, but then what?

They may use their drilling expertise to mine gas hydrates at the bottom of the ocean. I have mentioned that this is really a bad idea.

Exxon Mobil is the largest company in the world and something should be done with their equipment and employees, most of the companies are American owned anyway so we have a personal stake in the future of the oil companies…imagine having to bail them out!

So the solution is Geothermal.

I don’t know if I’ve commented on this before but I believe that Geothermal is the best renewable energy resource we have.

-It’s unlimited

-It’s constant

-Requires small overhead to convert heat energy to electric

—We have perfected the technology of drilling!

Ok maybe it’s not perfect but if there is any technology we have improved to the utmost, it’s oil drilling.  Bottom line; drilling a big hole is how we harness geothermal energy.

So there’s your future big oil, you make a profit no matter what the price per barrel but someday those barrels will be empty.

Geothermal_System_400

Space Based Solar Power and Microwave transmission

A company called Space Energy Inc. has plans to collect solar enery in space and beam it back down to earth via microwave radiation.  They are currently trying to secure more funding for a prototype to prove the concept works.

In theory this is something that can be done.  We know the physics of the sun’s radiation and have been able to convert and transmit the energy from the radiation for some time.  You may have seen that I am a huge proponent of Space based Solar and Orbiting Solar Arrays.

We should understand, however, that this is a very long term goal.  Space energy inc does say that this energy supply will only become cost effective as the world’s fossil fuels run out and the prices go up. As such it may be difficult to raise the appropriate amount of investment because people generally want to see a return in their lifetime.  It may be up to far thinking governments to shoulder the development costs.

The basic technology has been around since the sixties but it will take some serious commitment to make this a valuable alternative energy.

sbsp

Space Energy Inc.

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