Six Good Things That Pay for Themselves

Being a little greener and a little richer is really easy with these six items that pay for themselves within a year by helping the environment.

5. Programmable Thermostat
Having a programmable thermostat is the easiest way to lower your heating and cooling costs. And having the house temperature right where you want it every hour of the day isn’t bad either. You can find programmable thermostats as cheap as $20 – at that price, it would probably pay for itself many times over in a year.

Conserving Energy Starts at Home

It goes without saying that saving energy is a good thing, and it’s something that everyone can do. It’s really easy to save energy and sometimes it’s easy to forget how easy it is, luckily the internet is filled with tips on how to save energy at home.

2. Make sure that the rooms in the house are neither too cold nor too warm.
Heating and cooling systems takes up most of the energy which is being consumed by a typical household. By making sure that each individual room in the house has just the right temperature, you will be saving a lot on CO2 emissions.
3. Make sure that the air filters are cleaned and the heaters are well-insulated.
Again, heating and cooling takes up most of the energy consumption in a typical home. When you see to it that your air filters are cleaned or replaced regularly, the energy will not be lost. Dirty air filters need to work doubly hard and take twice as much energy to work properly.
The same thing applies when you make sure that the heaters are well-insulated – it’s a good way to observe that no heat is escaping and you’re not using any more energy than you have to.

Make Your Telecommute Even Greener

Telecommuting is good for the environment because it means that people don’t have to get in a car and not move during rush hour. Granted they can take transit or bike, but some people like the “freedom” of getting into slow moving roadways. Telecommuters have it even better because they can wear slippers and pajamas all day.

Over at Web Worker Daily, they recently asked readers how to make web working more green.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but there are a few areas that seem to be obvious candidates for a web worker focus. Energy consumption is one: if we swap cars for more computers, our carbon footprint doesn’t go down as much as it might. We’ve looked at cutting down on vampire power as a way to attack this in the past. Virtual machines can also offer computer – and power – savings.

Google to Make Solar Energy Cheaper than Coal

Google logoGoogle is at it again, we’ve covered Google quite a bit, more than any other company I think. It’s just so nice to see a company with billions of dollars at their disposal directing their energy at improving the world (and yes, I know that Google is nowhere near perfect and Sun is more the environmentally friendly tech company).

This time around they are contuning their solar power drive by investing in companies that will encourage the use of renewable energy. They emphasize solar power, but they are not limiting the hundreds of millions of dollars they want to invest in solar power.

“Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades,” Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and president of products, said in a statement.

One gigawatt can power a city the size of San Francisco.

Google is seeking to capitalize on the recent excitement among Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to apply the risk taking that computer, biotech and Internet businesses are famous for to the field of alternative energy production.

Google’s latest moves come as the price of a barrel of oil nears $100 and coal, which produces 40 percent of the world’s electricity, faces regulatory and environmental pressures that could drive up prices.

SkySails Start Sailing to Save Fuel

skysailFootball field sized sails are finally hitting the waves, last year we mentioned SkySails initiative to sell their sails to large tanker fleets. December will see the first ship equipped with the extra-large sails head out on its maiden voyage.

The SkySails system consists of a towing kite with rope, a launch and recovery system and a control system for the whole operation. The control system acts like the autopitot systems on an aircraft, the company says. Autopilot software sends and receives data about the sail etc to make sure the sail is set at its optimal position.

The company also says it provides an optional weather routing system so that ships can sail into optimal wind conditions.The kites typically fly at about 1,000 feet above sea level, thereby tapping winds that can be almost 50% stronger than at the surface.

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