light bulbs saving big
Here’s a bright idea: Try using compact fluorescent light bulbs,
or CFLs, as they can save the average person almost $100 a year if
used in place of standard incandescent light bulbs. Although CFLs
are more expensive initially—costing almost three times as
much as incandescent bulbs—the fact that they use less energy
to provide the same amount of light saves in the long run.
Additionally, CFLs last much longer than their counterparts: more
than 10,000 hours rather than the 1,000 provided by incandescents.
Given that regular bulbs use .06 kilowatts an hour, while compact
fluorescent bulbs use .015 kilowatts an hour, there is a tremendous
savings in energy and greenhouse gas emissions when considering the
fact that the average home has light bulbs burning for roughly 60
hours a day when individual bulbs' use is added together. With the
national cost of energy averaging eight cents per kWh, the savings
total 22 cents a day. Multiplied by 30 days, that is $7.50 a month.
For a full year, the savings comes to at least $90.
wind farm opens in China
A $300 million wind farm in China was officially opened recently
by Environment Minister Ian Campbell, and is entirely funded under the Kyoto
Protocol. The project is a joint venture between the Australian-based renewable
energy company Roaring 40s and the China-based Datang Jilin Power Generation
Company. Since Australia is not a Kyoto signatory, the project requires
Datang Jilin to have a 51 percent stake in the project and the Australian
company to have no more than a 49 percent stake.
Australian opposition environment spokesman Anthony Albanese is
not too happy about the project. “This week we’re seeing our
current environment minister (Ian Campbell) exposed as a fraud and a fool,” Albanese
The Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol allows industrialized
countries to invest in emissions-reducing projects in developing countries
as an alternative to more costly emission reductions in their own countries.
growing with demand
The U.S. market for biodiesel experienced tremendous growth in 2005,
about 50 percent over 2004. In the first half of 2006, the demand for biodiesel
was so high that even the 50 existing biodiesel plants couldn’t keep
up with the demand. To meet the growing need, more than 55 new plants are
under construction and are anticipated to start production of the eco-friendly
fuel between late 2006 through 2008.
Biodiesel fuels could significantly decrease the levels of unburned hydrocarbons,
carbon monoxide and small particulate matter in the atmosphere. Other advantages
that come from using biodiesel fuel are better performance, high fuel lubricity
and high oxygen level, including an increased cetane rating. The lubricating
properties have proved to increase the life and cleanliness of the diesel engines.
Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly, renewable fuel made from new and used
vegetable oils and animal fats. Although it possesses more advantages over petroleum-based
fuels like tax reductions for producers and consumers, biodiesel has long been
limited to a niche market only. The primary reason for this is its higher price.
in the hot seat
Scientific studies reveal that different-colored shingles absorb
and reflect varying amounts of heat. White shingles will conduct less and
reflect more heat, whereas black shingles will contain and absorb the most
heat. This is a fact on which 90 percent of American homeowners are failing
Roof heat transfer is the process of transferring the almost 200-degree
roof temperatures into a home’s attic. As a result, attics can reach
temperatures more than 140 degrees. This heat creates moisture that falls
to the attic floor and onto the insulation. This moisture causes insulation
to become less effective, and the heat then sinks into the home.
British bank offering
green savings account
A new savings account designed to give you the chance to do your
bit for the environment has been launched by Triodos Bank, one of the United
Kingdom’s leading ethical banks. The Triodos Renewal Energy Bond is
a two-year bond paying 4.5 percent that offers an opportunity to help combat
global climate change. Investors can invest funds from £2,500 up to
a maximum of a £10,000, to help support sustainable renewable energy
According to Rachel Thrussell, head of savings at Moneyfacts.co.uk, “The
new Triodos Bank account adopts a rather innovative approach to help a much-needed
cause. Rather than paying a set donation, this account promises to use the
funds to support sustainable renewable energy projects.”
Currently, there are more than 100 affinity savings accounts available
in the UK, offering support to a favorite soccer team or charity.