This week, Pepsi revealed a new plastic bottle, made entirely out of plant-based materials.
Says the AP: "The bottle is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials. Ultimately, Pepsi plans to also use orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other leftovers from its food business."
PepsiCo is going to test the bottle next year starting with a few hundred thousand bottles to make see if they can produce the new bottles on a large scale. If they can, all PepsiCo bottles will be made from this plant-based plastic. They have said that these bottles cost as much to produce as a traditional plastic bottle.... read more
Recently I have been doing a lot of research on all stuff solar – especially solar power for homes/businesses and solar water heating. But there are lots of products out there that don't require a major purchase in order to reduce your CO2 emissions. Some of them are a bit strange, but hey, I'll take it!
1. Solar Powered Bikini – Don't you hate it when your iPod and laptop run out of power at the beach? Dilemma solved. Student Andrew Schnieder designed the solar powered bikini with 1 USB input... just avoid the water.... read more
Deciding to install PV solar panels on your home is no small decision. If you're reading this article you're probably beginning to do some research on solar for your home or business. There is a lot of information out there on the the web about solar which can be quite confusing – here are a few things to think about:
How much rooftop do you have? A standard 1 kilowatt solar panel system measures about 100 square feet. While rooftop panels can be designed big or small, it often does not make sense if you have less than 100 square feet of space. A 1 kilowatt solar panel generally produces 1,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year (take a look t your recent energy bills to see how much you usually use). Some solar installers won't install unless you have at least 400 square feet of roof space.
Which direction does sunlight hit your house? Sun from the south is best, sun from the north is worst. Sun from the west and east will do the job, just less efficiently than south.... read more
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is a type of solar thermal energy used to create electricity on a large scale. This is not the type of solar energy you see collecting through panels on your neighbor's rooftop. CSP is an important solar technology for homeowners to be aware of because it has the potential to provide significant amounts of clean, renewable energy that could be provided to you by your utility.... read more
When talking about Solar Electricity, we are usually talking about Photolvoltaic (or PV) Solar Power. Photovoltaic Solar Power is solar energy which is converted into electricity using pholtovoltaic solar cells. This is done through the use of specialized machinery.
The ability to capture Photovoltaic energy was first discovered in the mid 1800's, but it was not until 1954 that a team of researchers at Bell Labs found a way to create enough electricity for PV energy to be of any use. This was done (and still is done) through the use of silicon semiconductors. Semiconductors only conduct electricity when exposed to light or heat (as opposed to conductors, which always conduct electricity and insulators which never conduct electricity). The captured light moves along a circuit from Positive-type semiconductors to Negative-type semiconductors in order to create electric voltage.... read more
Solar energy has been used by mankind since... well, forever (ever fry an egg on the sidewalk?)! Solar energy takes advantage of the sun's rays to generate heat or electricity. It is an infinitely renewable resource and unique for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and consistent manner.
There are two types of solar energy – passive and active. Essentially this means how it converted into useful energy.... read more
"While solar energy can require a somewhat daunting upfront cost, Massachusetts homeowners are currently looking at one of the best payback periods in the country: between 5 and 7 years. After the payback year, your system becomes cash flow positive, and you can produce free, clean electricity for 20 to 30 years. Remember, there is no such return on investment when paying your utility company month-by-month for electricity," says the Sunlight Solar blog.... read more
Sunlight Solar, a solar installation company, dispels many misconceptions about solar energy in their blog. One of the most common myths about solar energy is that it doesn't work in cold weather, such as a New England winter. With much of the country bracing themselves for yet another big snowstorm, I thought I'd discuss the reality of solar energy in cold weather.
As it turns out, solar panels can be very effective in a cooler climate. In fact, solar panels can be more efficient in a cold climate than in hotter places with stronger sun, such as Arizona or California. "Solar panels actually work more efficiently in a cooler climate because heat degrades electricity," the Sunlight Solar blog says.... read more
Brooklyn's Broadway Stages now has the very first solar-powered sound stage in the WORLD! Broadway Stages, a film, music video, and television studio, has produced such hits as HBO's Flight of the Conchords, the Meryl Streep movie It's Complicated, and more. ... read more