Established in 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
To find out what incentives your state utilities and/or government offers businesses and individuals who use renewable power or increase their energy efficiency, click here.
The first of a two-part series, “A Greener Future”, from the LA Times, September 14, 2008:
Innovations in designing green chemicals are emerging in nearly every U.S. industry, from plastics and pesticides to toys and nail polish. Some manufacturers of cosmetics, household cleaners and other consumer products are leading the charge, while others are lagging behind.
For decades, many manufacturers used the most powerful weapons in their chemical arsenals, with scant attention to where they wound up or what they might have been doing to people or the planet.
From the Washington Post, Saturday, September 13, 2008:
As gardeners, we are at the forefront of the new Green Revolution.
Knowing this, gardeners can take steps to promote sustainability in their landscapes. It involves how you use your property — everything you own.
Thirty years ago, most home landscaping consisted of lawn, foundation plantings, a few trees, and perhaps a bed for flowers or vegetables. Plants were chosen for their color when flowering and their availability at garden centers. Maintenance included mowing, fertilizing, spraying, pruning and watering.
But we now know that native plants can endure without synthetic chemicals or fertilizer, or much watering or labor, once established. And that insects that depend on native plants are important food for birds.
For the past decade or so, Samsø [Denmark] has been the site of an unlikely social movement. When it began, in the late nineteen-nineties, the island’s forty-three hundred inhabitants had what might be described as a conventional attitude toward energy: as long as it continued to arrive, they weren’t much interested in it. Most Samsingers heated their houses with oil, which was brought in on tankers. They used electricity imported from the mainland via cable, much of which was generated by burning coal. As a result, each Samsinger put into the atmosphere, on average, nearly eleven tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Then, quite deliberately, the residents of the island set about changing this. They formed energy coöperatives and organized seminars on wind power. They removed their furnaces and replaced them with heat pumps. By 2001, fossil-fuel use on Samsø had been cut in half. By 2003, instead of importing electricity, the island was exporting it, and by 2005 it was producing from renewable sources more energy than it was using.
While the United States today gets barely 1 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, many experts are starting to think that figure could hit 20 percent.
Achieving that would require moving large amounts of power over long distances, from the windy, lightly populated plains in the middle of the country to the coasts where many people live. Builders are also contemplating immense solar-power stations in the nation’s deserts that would pose the same transmission problems.
About a new New York State campus that is using sustainable building practices. From the New York Times July 27, 2008:
“Stony Brook Southampton will certainly be among a limited number of campuses with this level of commitment to sustainability,” says Judy Walton, acting executive director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. “Sustainability is really a change in the mind-set of how we operate. It’s like seeing the world through a new lens.”
But most significant is how Southampton, a part of Stony Brook University, is writing into its courses the concept of sustainability. Students study it when they study literature, economics, architecture or statistics.
Air-quality and health officials said Tuesday that chronic air pollution presents long-term health risks for people in Fairbanks.
They also said they’re still nailing down exactly where the pollution — a mix of soot, dust and other particles — comes from.
Health specialists on the panel, which addressed the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s advisory Air Pollution Control Commission, said the pollution is linked to issues ranging from decreased lung function to heart problems.