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Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Show: May 11th

Renewable Now has its world premier on May 11th.  Our first show profiles Julian Dash and EDC's ability to help finance renewable energy projects (we first talk about RI's program, then look at state's in New England and around the country).

The show will be on the new, expanded, global Arpin Broadcast Network...ABN 2.  It will stream live, then be available on demand, and will be shown in many other places as we grow and add affiliates...including ABN affiliates already in place overseas.  We expect a min of 1000 viewers per day.

Depending on the success of the show, which right now is scheduled for new shows twice a month, we may start broadcasting new shows weekly.  We believe these 8 initial shows, already produced, will launch us very quickly into a very big, hungry worldwide audience.

Our the guests, the experts, are fantastic, knowledgeable, enlightening, helping educate and inspire consumers and businesses to invest heavily in green.  One day you will meet them all at a global town meeting which we will broadcast live.

For the next 10 days, we will promote our first show.   Today we are adding a Facebook and Twitter page.  We'd like to hear from you.  Welcome to Renewable Now.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mass Counties' air quality getting poor grades again

A not very promising story from a MA paper yesterday:
Counties' air quality getting poor grades again
BOSTON - The grades are in for air quality in Bristol and Norfolk counties, and neither are bringing home a good report card this year, although Bristol County is making progress.

The American Lung Association released its annual air quality report - "State of the Air 2011" - at a Statehouse news conference Wednesday.

Bristol County received a grade of "D" in the ozone category, up from an "F" in 2010. Norfolk County's grade remained an "F" for the second year in a row.

But then, no Massachusetts county received better than a "D" for ozone, and most were graded "F."

Letter grades were based on the average number of days counties had unhealthy or hazardous air quality from April through September. According to the report, Bristol and Norfolk counties recorded a total of 29 high ozone days from 2007 to 2009. Speakers on Wednesday, however, said Bristol County stood out as a good example of how Massachusetts is reducing particulate matter with its 'A' grade in the 24-hour particle pollution category. Bristol had no high particle pollution days from 2007 to 2009.


You might want to check the annual report from the American Lung Association on air quality in your area.

From the business side, poor air quality means we need to spend a lot more money cleaning it up and, in the meantime, our health care system will be burdened with related diseases and sicknesses, keeping people out of work and out of production.  A poor environment is financial quick sand.  We need to get better.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Map shows size of forrests in US

This from Eco Geek yesterday:  This new map shows "the height, coverage and carbon storage levels of forests in the U.S."   Here's the link:  http://www.ecogeek.org/component/content/article/3490.

Here's some text:  "A new map created by the Woods Hole Research Center shows the height, coverage and carbon storage levels of forests in the U.S.  The map was put together by using NASA satellite images from 2000-2001 as well as ground-level surveys by the USGS and USDA Forest Service.
The dataset for the map includes the forest measurements amount of carbon stored in vegetation as of 2000.  The scientists involved in the project will use the map as a baseline to monitor changes in forest cover and the carbon cycle.  This will allow them to make predictions about climate change and wildfire risks, help species conservation and even regulate the timber industry.
This is the first map to provide canopy height and carbon storage information at this level of detail.  You can check out the full high-resolution map and dataset here."

Notice NASA technology back at work inventing new, commercial uses of their innovations.  From the business side of green perspective, notice this imaging will allow us to reduce the risk of wildfires, elements of conservation and regulation, meaning re vegetation, too, of the timber industry.  All of which should increase the profitability of forests as one of our great natural resources.

Nice job, NASA and Woods Hole Research Center.  We will invite you on as a future guests of Renewable Now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finding Talent for Today’s Green Jobs

Good article today about the green economy opening doors for job seekers.  Here's the link:

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/04/27/finding-talent-for-todays-green-jobs/

Here's some of the story: 
Given companies’ continued interest in implementing sustainable practices, the opportunities for “green” jobs are greater than ever before. And though some may think these jobs require a new skillset, at their core they appeal to those with excellent math and science skills, specifically engineers. To be clear, environmental engineers certainly have specialized training, but many of today’s “green” positions are really just retooling of traditional engineering jobs, whether it’s an electrical engineer redesigning a smart grid or a mechanical engineer working on fuel-cell technology.
Some of the more popular “green” jobs today are:

If you get a chance, read the rest.  Some very nice jobs listed.  Also, if you are looking for a job or hiring on the green side, feel free to drop us a note and we will publish the information.

Good luck.  Let's keep this side of the economy growing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Samsung solar-powered, transparent TV

Here's the link for this story:   http://www.ecogeek.org/efficiency/3456.

The body of the story is:  At the CeBIT electronics show in Germany, Samsung unveiled their latest television prototype and it's the coolest one yet.  The 46-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution LCD TV is fully solar-powered and transparent!

The prototype was designed to use only a tiny amount of energy and it gets all it needs from solar panels running off ambient light in the room -- no need for back-up power sources.  The screen is also transparent, so while you're seeing images on the screen, you're also seeing whatever is behind it.  This means that it could be used in storefronts, as digital window blinds or even in car windshields.

In addtion to your favorite TV shows, it can also project photos or any other data and features ten-finger touchscreen technology


Take a look.  This TV looks amazing.  I can't wait to see it.

What would be the projected savings in energy used, and money saved, if the world switched to solar-powered TVs?  It is amazing what is possible.

Monday, April 25, 2011

First guest blogger: Mark Learn

I had this sent to me this morning from a follower and, now, first guest blogger, Mark Learn:


Peter,
 
I did looked at your blog and I am impressed. I would be happy to contribute to it in whatever way you would find helpful.
 
I came across this attached article regarding EESTOR today. It relays some comments from Bill Joy who is a partner in Kleiner Perkins. He was speaking
at MIT last week and provided some excellent background on EESTOR.
 
 
This is a link to a site that provides great information on new technology and developments that are beneficial to the environment. You may be aware of it already:
 
 
Regards,
Mark
 
Mark, thank you and welcome to Renewable Now.
 
Read this articles...they are great, and add ecogeek.org to your list of sites and links. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Weekend Edition

Happy Easter, everyone.

If you live in our close to RI, you probably heard about the R.I Supreme Court allowing Toray Plastics and Polytop Corp to appeal the Deepwater Wind approval to build a off-shore wind farm in the State.

When Renewable Now, our show, looks at the "business side of green", which we do each episode, the calculations get pretty complex and complicated.  Certainly, this case is a good example.

How do these two, unrelated companies get standing in this case?  In essence, the Court found that because they are heavy users of electricity, and the contract between Deepwater and National Grid is expensive, at least in terms of the per-kw-rate agreed to, the companies are entitled to legal standing and can contest the contract.

Interestingly, Toray (I don't know much about Polytop) is well respected, domestically and internationally, for their environmental management.  In fact, we are reaching out to the president of Toray in hopes of having him on a future show. Is it a paradox that a company who has invested heavily in waste reduction and renewable energy might stand in the way of a major, clean wind farm?  Should the State's financial evaluation of the project extend to the increased costs, in this case, of alternative energy?

Clearly, the court answered yes to the second question.  We'll see how the case turns out.  When it is decided, we'll invite members of the PUC, companies, including Deepwater and National Grid, to offer their comments and opinions.

In the meantime, as we argue the economics, there is, sadly, a delay to getting this project built. Maybe, in retrospect, it will end up a good thing if we get the pricing right, and don't burden the few remaining manufactures we have left in the state.

Feel free to comment if you know anything about the companies involved, the case or anything you can add to the pending project.  Also, for those outside the state and country, please share your feedback on wind farms that have been built and operated in your area.

And, thanks to Alex Rello who commented on my blog about the SEED awards.  She was very positive about their growing influence with small and emerging companies.  Please take another look at that blog and her comments.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day, 2011

Enjoy our 42nd Earth Day.  For coffee lovers, it will be a good day:

Celebrate Earth Day with free coffee

Coffee is the drink du jour as we salute the planet this year. Here are other freebies in honor of the annual green event.

By Karen Datko on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 6:25 PM
Friday (April 22) is the 42st annual Earth Day, so let's drink to that -- with free coffee at Starbucks or Caribou (or both) in a reusable cup.
Free coffee is one of several free things you can get as we collectively pay homage to our planet and rededicate ourselves to protecting her health. Remember that not all stores participate in national deals, so you might want to call ahead first.

Here are details:

Bring a reusable tumbler or mug to Starbucks and get a free hot or iced brewed coffee or tea. Those without a mug can get a 20% discount on a Starbucks model. "What if you can't bring in a mug and don't want to buy a new one? That's okay too," Starbucks said on its website. "Just request your coffee or tea in one of our 'for-here' cups and we'll pick up the tab." 

Starbucks also shared this eco fact:
Although reusable serveware and tumbler use still only accounts for a small percentage of total beverages served, those of you who did bring in reusable mugs still made a significant impact. In 2010, people brought their own tumblers into our stores more than 32 million times, keeping nearly 1.45 million pounds of paper out of landfills.
That's a promising start. Another reason to bring your own mug: You get a 10-cent discount on Starbucks drinks any day of the week.
Arpin offers great organic coffee mugs. Sign up to follow Renewable Now and we'll send you one.

If everyday you are not using a reusable mug, then you are contributing mightily to our waste.  It is past time to change.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Staples Helps Microsoft Go 100% Recycled

Great article today on Staples moving Microsoft into 100% recycled paper.  Here it is:

"Microsoft is switching to 100 percent post-consumer recycled printing paper at its headquarters and other offices, the company has announced.
Washington-based Grays Harbor Paper will begin supplying Microsoft with the paper at all its Puget Sound facilities, including its Redmond, Wash., headquarters, beginning this Friday. The initiative will expand to all of Microsoft’s U.S. operations over about three months.
The 100 percent recycled paper will replace Microsoft’s current printing stock, made with 30 percent recycled materials. Office supply provider Staples Advantage will fulfil the orders, starting with about 1,340 cartons a month for the Puget Sound facilities, expanding by approximately 426 cartons per month when all of Microsoft’s U.S. operations are included.
The IT giant expects the switch to save about 2,500 million BTUs of energy a year, the equivalent of 750 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and to preserve about 8,000 trees annually. Grays Harbor also expects that it will reduce solid waste by eight garbage truck-loads, and wastewater by the equivalent of five Olympic-sized swimming pools."

This is a fantastic development.  Up till now, most companies, including ours, have been limited to 30% recycled paper because of the breakdown of the paper, in certain applications, beyond 30% recycled content.  We will move quickly to see if we can switch as well (coincidentally, we use Staples on a national level as well).

I will report back on if we can switch and how well the fully recycled paper performs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SEED Winners

If you have any doubt about the growing domain of going green and the global green economy, read this article by clicking on this link:  http://www.ttkn.com/science-environment/seed-initiative-celebrates-entrepreneurs-accelerating-transition-to-a-green-economy-10404.html.

Have you heard of SEED or their awards program?  I had not, but I am very impressed by the awards they just handed out in South Africa.  Arpin would love to be so honored on a global scale.

Here's an excerpt from the article: 

"The Symposium focused on policies needed to accelerate the transition to a Green Economy and on the environmental and social contribution of community-level entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The SEED Awards recognize inspiring social and environmental entrepreneurs whose businesses can help meet sustainable development challenges, boost local economies and alleviate poverty. By helping entrepreneurs to scale-up their activities, SEED aims to refocus policies towards promoting Green Economic initiatives such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, water and waste management, eco-friendly tourism and green construction and transport"

Bottom line:  The green economy is an engine of growth.  It is a part of the world's future commerce.  We embrace this new economy and are realizing gains in revenues and profits as a result.  Are you?

Our next 8 shows on Renewable Now will highlight companies and organizations finanical success on similar investments in green energy, technology and commerce.  Watch to get inspired.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Environment Council of RI announces remarkable conservation projects, 2010

As I reported last month, Arpin Group was lucky enough to win, as part of the Chafee environmental awards, one of the leadership honors designations.  We are honored.  Here's the annoucement from the Environmental Council of RI: 

Kids First: “Rhode Island Farm Produce to School Lunch Program”, Pawtucket

The “RI Farm Produce to School Lunch Program” began in 1999 with the goal of improving children’s nutrition and wellness and providing Rhode Island Farmers with a steady income
 
Realizing that strong local support was essential to obtaining the school districts approval to serve local produce, Kids First developed a successful and innovative program to educate virtually everyone in the chain of approval by creating teams of food professionals: nutritionists, dietitians, chefs, food service experts, to provide “on site” education to all those involved in integrating locally grown products into school lunch programs. Farm visits have been an important part of the educational experience. Thousands of students and school community members participated in the Kids First initial educational programs.

Training was followed by introduction of produce into schools. In addition to classroom presentations, guest chefs provided demonstrations of tasty recipes followed by sampling to student in cafeterias. Occasionally PTA groups are invited to attend. Sampling is very popular and helps establish almost immediate approval of previous unknown vegetables.

Today all 36 Rhode Island school districts are involved in the program. During 2010 more than 200,000 pounds of locally grown foods were served in RI School.

The program is a win – win for farmers and students. Schools: students can include fresh fruit or vegetables daily. Farmers: schools have become an important and reliable market for 26 farmers. Community awareness of the importance of fresh produce has been raised and children are requesting more local produce in family meals. Increasing demand for local produce insures predictable farm revenue and sustainable farming practices thus preserving farmland.


Recipients: Sen. John Chafee Conservation Leadership Honors (3)

The Arpin Group, West Warwick
Recharging station for electric powered vehicles.
Arpin Group is a locally owned moving company with national and international moving and storage operations.
Environmental protection and sustainability are important to Arpin and consistent with its operations, its goals and values. In its search for new technology to reduce emissions and cut costs, Arpin became intrigued by the concept of vehicles powered by electricity rather than gasoline. The Arpin Renewable Energy division is exploring methods of reducing carbon footprint and energy consumption and is now interested in the possibility of incorporating electric cars and trucks into their moving and storage business.

Not an organization to wait for something to happen, Arpin was the first RI firm to accept the National “Project Get Ready Challenge” a program to prepare RI for the introduction and expansion of electric powered vehicles. Arpin purchased a state of the arts electric charging station capable of charging both 110volt and 240 volt power systems. They installed it in the conveniently located Cardi Furniture parking lot close to I-95. The recharging station is open to the public 24 hours/day.

Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association: Charlestown. Richmond
Dam Removal, Lower Shannock Falls
The first dam removal on the Pawcatuck River. The removal will allow passage for migratory herring species; a significant benefit to commercial fishermen and sea food lovers. In the planning phase many additional benefits were developed. The dam locale was the site a fierce fight between the Narragansetts and the Pequots. Tribe representatives were consulted. Their interest in preserving the site will be acted upon. With the new free flow of the river, improved water quality is reviving interest in recreational fishing; improved launching sites draws paddlers. The revitalization of Historic Shamrock Village is notable while the town of Richmond is also developing a public park and river access on the site of a former textile mill associated with the dam.

Shalom Housing, Warwick
Green Retrofit Program
This 1980’s building has 101 apartments that house seniors and the disabled. It was recently totally upgraded to
meet all current standards for efficient energy and water use. Energy Star appliances were installed and the boiler was replaced. The renovation was completed with the installation of a 37 meter wind turbine capable providing power for all of the numerous common areas. It will offset 92,802 pounds of CO2, 279 pounds of nitrous oxide, and 742 pounds of sulfur dioxide.

The Sen. John Chafee Community Conservation Leadership recognitions will b conducted at the the Providence Marriott, Thursday May 12, 5:30 Reception, Dinner 6:30. For tickets contact ECRI. 401 621 8048

Our congratulations to all winners.  We are in great company.  Please attend, if you can.  We would love to see you there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Part 2: Investments in LEED's buildings

Yesterday we talked about major corporate investments in green, with an emphasis on the renewable side.  Here's some new projects on the building side:

1.  Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Owens Corning’s global headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, have achieved Gold certification under LEED for existing buildings (LEED-EB). The building, designed by Cesar Pelli and built in 1996, won silver under LEED-EB in 2007.
The company manufactures insulation, roofing and other building materials, much of it energy efficient.

2. The Kent Denver School, a prep school for grades 6-12 in Englewood, Colo., has achieved what it says is the first LEED Platinum free-standing dining facility in the world. The majority of the facility’s waste is fully composted or recycled, and the dining hall uses about half the energy and water of a typical building, according to food service company Sodexo, which worked on the project with Kent Denver.
The hall will also serve up fruits from the school’s 100-tree orchard, vegetables from its outdoor garden and herbs from its living herb wall.

3. Iowa-based Frontier Natural Products Co-op has won LEED Silver status for a 7,200 square foot renovation at its manufacturing facility. The renovation included a re-finished concrete floor, energy-efficient envelope lighting and more efficient heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC), consisting of water-source heat pumps and commercial roof-top units.
The company said the measures will conserve more than 77,000 kWh compared to a similar, conventional building.
Flush and flow fixtures in restrooms achieve 35 percent water efficiency compared to conventional fixtures, Frontier said. Bio-swales, detention basins and an on-site wetland will capture and filter more than 90 percent of the site’s average annual rainfall.

4. Finally, Bayer is aiming for Gold-level LEED for commercial interiors (LEED-CI) certification for a $17 million renovation project (pictured) at its U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh. The planned improvements focus on two buildings that house 825 of the 1,500 employees at Bayer’s suburban Robinson Township campus.
The buildings will feature open-area work spaces using Bayer MaterialScience’s Makrolon MAK clearn polycarbonate, which allows natural light to filter throughout the workplace. LED fixture lenses and architectural panels will also use polycarbonate, which Bayer invented.

Great projects.  Congratulations to all.  Arpin is anxious to move up on the leader board with you as we remodel our headquarters and install our solar array.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend Update

Here's some some recent corporate investments, with and without government grants, subsidies, that we will start to watch as to their level of production and return on investment:

1. Ikea has started operating a 290 kW solar energy system at its Burbank, Calif., store. The 35,000 square foot array has about 1,260 panels and is expected to produce 421,300 kWh of electricity a year. That should help IKEA reduce carbon dioxide by at least 334 tons – equaling the emissions of 58 cars a year.


2.  Google will invest $168 million in equity in the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (pictured), a gargantuan 370 MW project being planned for southeast California. Developer BrightSource Energy said it has also finalized $1.6 billion in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the project, which is due online in 2013.


3.  Another massive solar plant, the 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch, has just received a $1.187 billion conditional loan guarantee commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy. The plant in San Luis Obispo County is expected to power about 100,000 homes and will be one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in the world when complete.

SunPower Corporation is leading the development, and NRG Energy will assume ownership after completion, which is due in 2013.
4.  Oceanic Time Warner Cable has completed an 856 kW solar canopy system at its Mililani Tech Park facility in Hawaii, in a partnership with Chevron Energy Solutions and Tioga Energy. Tioga will own and operate the installation under a 20-year power purchase agreement, and will sell the electricity back to Oceanic Time Warner at rates below those of the local utility.
Four more tomorrow.  Please send us information on your business or home investment in renewable energy.   At Arpin, we will have our 230,000 kw solar system up on our warehouse and pumping out clean energy by this summer.




Friday, April 15, 2011

Al Dahlberg, Project Get Ready

As a follow up to yesterday's blog, I wanted to post two more items from Al's email update:  1. Planet Forward PBS Special:
For those who missed last week's Planet Forward PBS Special, Project Get Ready RI was featured as one of seven Energy Innovation finalists.
For the clip, go to: http://planetforward.org/productions/al-dahlberg/


2. Sierra Club Electric Vehicles Campaign:
The Sierra Club has launched a new national Electric Vehicles campaign at www.sierraclub.org/ev working to promote EVs as an important way to reduce emissions and our dependence on oil.  Sierra Club is asking businesses, public interest groups, and municipalities throughout the country to sign the attached petition as a way to demonstrate to policymakers, the media, and the general public that there is broad support for EVs and the local, state, and federal plans and programs needed to make them a success. It's not meant to advocate for any specific policy or bill, but rather to demonstrate widespread support for the issue.  The deadline for signing is April 29.   If interested, review the attached petition and contactgina.coplon-newfield@sierraclub.org.

I have the petition and will send it to you if you'd like to read it and sign it.  Please comment on the blog or send us an email.

Also, here is some Earth Day stuff going on, much of which you can benefit from financially by participating:


Earth day promotions are flooding our inbox. Here are some that caught our attention.
  • Electronics manufacturer LG is backing the “Great American Cleanup”. Last year the country recycled 7.2 million pounds of consumer electronics during the campaign, LG is hoping to top that figure this year.
  • Healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente and charity thrift store chain Goodwill Southern California will be collecting electronic waste at Kaiser locations from Bakersfield, Calif., to San Diego, Calif.
  • Electronics retailer Radioshack is offering customers the chance to win an eco-friendly car. Customers will be entered into the draw for an electric Nissan LEAF when they trade in and recycle used electronic devices at the store in return for money off a new product.
  • Beginning mid-April, cosmetics company Avon will sell the fundraising aluminum “Hello Green Tomorrow” water bottle. Avon will contribute all proceeds from the sale of the bottle to The Nature Conservancy for continuing efforts in the Atlantic Rainforest in South America and to World Wildlife Fund for their reforestation projects in Indonesia.
  • And Office Depot will be accepting used writing equipment for vouchers off new merchandise. The used pencils, pens and markers will be sent to TerraCycle which will turn them into new office supplies.
At Arpin, we have run many e-waste events,  all of which has generated profits and kept electronics out of the landfill.  Let us know if you need more information on what qualifies as e-waste.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Project Get Ready

Hot off the press from Al at RI Project Get Ready: 
Dear Project Get Ready RI Supporters:

Event Tomorrow:
New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable
Date: Tomorrow, April 15 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Topic: Smart Power and the Future of Electric Utilities, Transforming the Electric Grid with Storage and Electric Vehicles
Location: 155 Seaport Boulevard, 13th Floor, Boston, MA 02210

For more information and an agenda:  http://www.raabassociates.org/main/roundtable.asp?sel=106
Keynote speaker is Dr. Peter Fox-Penner, author of a new and provocative book "Smart Power: Climate Change, the Smart Grid and the Future of Electric Utilities
The panel also features two of the nation's top experts in electric vehicle policy and implementation: Ron Minsk of The Electrification Coalition and Watson Collins of Northeast Utilities


Sounds like a great event.  We can't wait to release our show with Al as our guest.  Stay tuned.

Companies getting green...for employees and customers.

Nice article by Ajilon Professionals with advice for companies putting in green initiatives, and the importance of engaging employees and customers into their environmental efforts.  The article makes the point, and I will carry segments of it today and tomorrow, that  "Indeed, going green is not an option anymore. It is a business imperative."   Do you agree with this statement?  Will you take your company green?  If not, why not?

Here's some of their suggestions; I will have the others tomorrow: 

"Work electronically first and foremost.
Make use of e-mail instead of regular mail, electronic records instead of expansive retention boxes and web-based manuals in place of cumbersome printed handbooks. These are all great ways to enhance efficiency, reduce the amount of paper, ink and toner your company uses, and decrease the amount you spend on supplies.

Allow employees to work remotely.
When schedules allow, consider letting your employees work from home. This will help cut down on carbon emissions from your commuting workforce and, with more lights and computers turned off, will lessen energy consumption in your office. Plus, studies have shown that working remotely can improve employee morale and productivity, which can translate into better results for your bottom line.

Organize a green committee.
Bring coworkers together as a group to provide creative ideas on how your organization can establish or enhance its environmentally friendly practices. Passionate employees have a lot to offer and can help bring concepts into practice. This is also a great way to promote camaraderie and teamwork in the office.

Ask employees to pitch in.
Encourage employees to bring ceramic coffee mugs to work rather than purchasing foam or paper cups. Set up recycling bins next to trash cans. Place carpool sign-up sheets in the break room. Empowering your employees is a great way to inspire them to make a difference."

Arpin Renewable Energy Company has fantastic organic, green mugs.  Contact me and I will be happy to send you one and offer them for sale to your employees at cost.  Let's at least get them to stop buying cups each morning for their coffee.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

White Paper on reducing emissons

This came from Environmental Leader today: 

"The EPA GHG Reporting rule requires collection and reporting of GHG data beginning January 1, 2010 for industries or facilities that emit over 25,000 metric tons of CO2e, with the first reports due by September 30, 2011 . Additional industries are required to collect and report on GHG emissions in 2011.
A closer look at the rule’s reporting requirements signals a shift in EPA’s approach to compliance, indicating that auditable and verifiable GHG data tracking and management has become a necessity at most reporting entities.
Download our newest white paper to learn more about this departure from previous EPA policy and what it means for businesses to successfully meet the EPA reporting and verification requirements going forward. Read more about:
  • How EPA is holding corporations accountable for the GHG emissions they produce
  • Why it is no longer enough to estimate and report environmental emissions data
  • How the EPA is requiring verification of reported GHG emissions values
Don’t miss out on this informational White Paper about recent changes announced by the EPA! Download new white paper now!
Please pass this email to others who may be interested."

At Arpin, we are an EPA partner (Smartway) in significantly reducing our CO2e.  We have been for three years.  At the same time, we are investing in renewable energy at our remodeled global headquarters with the goal of getting completely off the grid and the coal, natural gas that powers our electricity.  We relish the chance to work with EPA on being held fully, completely accountable for our emissions, and mandated to verify our efforts to reduce or eliminate our CO2e.

On one of our first shows, you will hear Wendy Lucht talk about Clean Cities and their partnership with EPA in prmoting alternative fuels, and driving down the CO2e gettting spewed into our air.

I hope you find this article, and EPA's recent changes, interesting and heartening.  Let's all get accountable for clean air.

As requested, I have passed on the report.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PBN March 14-20

Providence Business News had a good article in this issue about RI Dept of Health awarding grants to three communities looking to encourage and support local residence on heathy eating and exercise.  Part of the grant is to promote local growing, buying and eating of healthy food.

The plan includes funding for more local markets, and residents ability to even walk, in densely populated areas, to those markets.  Arpin Broadcast Network is housed at Hope Villiage where they do bustling crowds on weekends at a Farmer's Market.  However, most people drive to the site, not walk.

On a future show, we are talking to experts who will help carry out the plan to produce and make readily available local, healthy food.  We welcome those experts to share information with our readers through this blog.

Also, we'd love to have guests bloggers post on the Renewable Now blog as well.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sustainable 2 Green

This is a very nice blog on same blogging platform (Blogger.com). 

Nice article today on dwindling supplies of fossil fuel, and what it will take to avoid running out completely within a few decades.  Here's the link:  http://www.sustain2green.com/2011/04/fossil-fuel-subsidies-and-its.html.

Also, here's the first paragraph from the story:  "Current trends of energy usage are clearly unsustainable and we are staring at the possiblity of running out of fuels in 5-6 decades from now!! Without decisive action, increased fossil fuel demand will heighten concerns over the security of supplies and energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will all but double by 2050. We can and must change our current path, but this will take an energy revolution – and government policies can and must provide the necessary sparks. One important factor that contributes generously to this phenomena is fossil fuel susbsidy."

I am asking them to follow my blog as well, perhaps link some followers, and also be available as a guest on the show.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Al Dahlberg/Project Get Ready

A quick congratulations to Al for getting nominated, as reported today in the Projo, for a very nice environmental award.  I will report more on it tomorrow.

Al is a guest on one of our upcoming episodes of Renewable Now, talking about RI's efforts to get ready for EV's.  Al is a great guy who helped Arpin a lot in installing the first recharge station in RI; which we did last year at Cardi's in W.Warwick (though, the Projo has a hard time reporting on that event).  Al is one of the most knowledgeable people we have in this state on the subject, and you will learn a lot when you watch the show.

Al also works at Brown University were, I have no doubt, he is pushing the school to install auto recharging units.

Congratulations, Al.  We are pushing for you. Good luck.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Coke and other news items

Nice annoucement from Coke this week on their display racks.  Here's a part of the story that ran:  "Cola is rolling out 100 percent recyclable display racks for its drinks, in what it calls an industry first.
The “Give it Back racks”, freestanding units made of corrugated cardboard, are designed for use in grocery and convenience stores.
Coca-Cola says the racks are a first step toward a comprehensive, closed-loop retail equipment program, in which the company will recover displays and reuse or recycle them. The corrugate displays will later be joined by a rack made entirely of recycled PET plastic."

Also, good and bad news on the update on wind power production in the US in 2010:  "Wind power provided 26 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. last year, down from 39 percent in 2009, according to figures out today.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report for 2010 shows that the country’s cumulative installed wind capacity grew by 15 percent last year, with the addition of 5,116 MW. The U.S. now has 40,181 MW of wind, which is enough to supply electricity to over 10 million homes.

But after several years of keeping pace with natural gas as joint top sources for new electric capacity (see chart), in 2010 wind fell behind. Compared to wind’s 26 percent for 2010, natural gas installed nearly 40 percent of the year’s new electric generating capacity.  AWEA blames the drop on what it called unstable and short-term policies for wind development"

From a financial perspective, what are the "unstable policies for wind development"?  My guess is that it relates to the fluctuations in state and federal grants, tax credits, etc, that make or break the viability of these projects.  The renewable industry is still very dependent on credits and grants to bring a project in with a reasonable ROI.  Obama's call to reduce oil imports by one-third will require continued government support if we will see renewables grow at a reasonable, sustainable level over the next few years.

Chevy Volt

Good news in the USA Today on Thursday:  They reported that the early users of the new Chevy Volt, an electric vehicle with a small engine back up, is averaging, for its owners, 1000 miles between refills of gas.  That is a combination of those drivers using the batteries and gas-powered back up engine, when necessary, to achieve that level of mpg's.

How is impressive is that?  Obviously, it would not take long for Volt owners to get an ROI on their investment above the costs of an average car (the Volt lists for about $41,000 but gets a $7500 rebate from the Feds, and other rebates from selected states, the highest credits, I believe, in CA).  How sweet it is for those owners to drive by gas stations, not needing fuel, as the price creeps (some weeks, hurdles) towards $4 a gallon (more in certain locations)?

On an upcoming episode of Renewable Now, we are profiling the Volt and other electric/hybrids.  As most of you know, these vehicles are just starting to appear on dealer lots, and should all be fully available, country-wide, by next year.

Write in if you drive a Volt or other electric. We want to hear from you.  Also, we invite dealers to tell us more about these amazing cars.

Also, Arpin is starting to test drive electric trucks and hybrid trucks.  We will talk more about those soon as well.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

From Project Get Ready

More good news to share today.  This from Al Dahlberg, Project Get Ready

Planet Forward PBS Special
This nationally broadcast special hosted by Frank Sesno includes a short segment on Project Get Ready Rhode Island, among other innovative ideas to address the energy and carbon reduction challenges our nation faces.  Our segment was filmed here in Rhode Island at the Northeast Auto Show in Providence at our one year anniversary.  It airs in RI on Sunday, April 10 at 10:00 pm on WSBE TV.  For those out of state, check local listings: http://ow.ly/4tO2F or watch online at Planet Forward starting Friday.  www.planetforward.org  It is a content rich and user friendly website that showcases through video and user feedback a wide array of the latest technological and innovative ideas in the energy/environmental arena.


Legislation:
Senator Josh Miller of Cranston has introduced two bills on EVs in the RI General Assembly.  S 578 would create tax incentives for the installation of alternative fuel facilities and S 590 would exempt qualified electric plug-in vehicles from excise taxes.  Both are assigned to Senate Finance and neither is scheduled for a hearing at this time.  You can view the bills online by typing in the bill numbers in the "bills" field at the following web address:  http://dirac.rilin.state.ri.us/BillStatus/WebClass1.ASP?WCI=Index&WCE=callBillStatus&WCU&

EVSE Installations:
With the ground thawed out, it is time to begin charging station installations.  We currently have 15 commitments and more that I am not at liberty to disclose.  I will send information on vendors and electricians next week, along with the date of our next meeting.

What a great follow up to our Chaffee award, recognizing, in part, our installation of the auto recharging facility.  Al now confirms that they have 15 commitments to new charging sites, and more not yet public.  Nice work, Project Get Ready.  We're proud to be a member, and proud to have Al as a guest on one of our first shows.  Which, everyone will soon see.

2011 Chafee Conservation Leadership Award

With pride, we announce that Arpin Group has won a 2011 Chafee Conservation Leadership Award, in part because of our installation of an auto recharging unit at Cardi's in W. Warwick.

The Chaffee awards are prestigious and highly respected.  It is a great honor.  It will motivate us to continue our investment of time and money in environmental improvements for our company and industry.

Thank you to the members and judges of the organization running the awards program.  We've been in business for 111 years, and this is one of our greatest achievements and honors.  We will not stop here.  With the help of  our show, Renewable Now, we will educate, encourage and cajole an even larger audience, including customers, agents and employees, to find the business side of green.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yesterday's post and RISD partnership

A reader rightfully pointed out that on yesterday's blog, I failed to note the "business side of green" point (that is the slogan of the show, of course):  That being, the new equipment, run on alternative energy, as noted by Jay, allows users to reduce their power consumption and save money.  That is, in fact, the point I should have made...that is the ROI on saving emissions and money.  Thanks.  Good to have readers and friends.

Great article in the Environmental Leader I picked up on a Google alert.  Here's the link:  http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/04/05/boosting-rhode-island%E2%80%99s-economy-through-green-initiatives/.

More importantly, here's the first paragraph: 
"One of the states hit hardest by the recent recession, Rhode Island is officially out of recession and on the road to recovery. Nevertheless, double-digit unemployment persists. In fact, as of February 2011, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate was 11.2%, compared with Massachusetts’ rate of 8.2% for the same period. Rhode Island is expected to continue to struggle as it recovers given that the state has a dearth of growth technology-related industries and is dependent on the slow-growth sectors of manufacturing and construction. Nevertheless, collaborative efforts between public and private partners are set to help in turning things around in the Ocean State."

The article goes on to describe RISD's partnership with "Rhode Island Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE)" and their "Call for Proposals, seeking potential partners, early-stage businesses and/or product designers working in the area of sustainable development or the green economy".

The article identifies new companies/projects supported by RI-CIE, including office space in Providence constructed from recycled shipping containers, and residential housing built from the same containers.  Both use at least 25% less energy than conventional space.  Both fully reuse existing material, giving those containers a new, cradle-grave life.

Here's a perfect example of the business side of green:  New technology, new companies supported by investors who are growing new industries in a city (Providence) and state (RI) decimated by the recession and the migration of companies to cheaper places...or a migration into bankruptcy.

We will make sure a future Renewable Now show includes guest from both RISD and RICIE to discuss their more recent projects and update our viewers on their progress in growing these companies and the related new jobs.

Of course, this is one city, one state, one partnership.  There's more of this going on around us and around the world.  We will find similar stories in those cities, states and countries and bring them to you. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Article from Jay at Gym Source

I love to workout.  I do so pretty much everyday.  I took an old porch, a few years ago, and built it out into a great home gym.

One of the places I bought equipment, and liked a lot, was Gym Source.  I dealt with Jay, who gave me lots of good advice.  He is a reader to this blog, and sent me a good article on the exercise equipment industry trying to make changes to be less of a drain on our resources.  Here it is: " It’s hard to imagine a fitness facility without electricity powering its equipment especially in the case of cardio vascular equipment. Electricity is usually a must but with the progressive changes to our interest as a nation to “GO Green” like our own bodies when we work out many machines are running on their own electric power today. Popular machines like the “Arc Trainer” by Cybex international (featured on the new season of “The Biggest Loser”) uses Eddy Current brake technology to power its 400lb capacity machine. Many other manufacturers like Cybex have taken recumbent, upright bikes and ellipticals and used the same type of technology to reduce the amount of electricity we’re using in our homes and health clubs.


     One of the oldest companies in the fitness industry Woodway has designed something that takes this energy saving concept even further by building the “Curve” self powered treadmill. These changes are causing us to reconsider these options and for good reason.

With these manufactures using science and technology to come up with these types of options for us to consider it becomes interesting to see what the future holds but more importantly what our GREEN future "

Jay, I think a lot of people who care about preserving the environment also care about preserving their bodies.  If we can get in shape and keep the earth in shape at the same time, I think you will have a lot of happy customers buying a lot of good products.

Keep sending us material.  If readers and viewers requested it, we will do a show on the topic.

Thanks, Jay.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Green Living Guy

Found a great article through a Google Alert:  an interview by the Green Living Guy with the founder of the Green Business Bureau.  Here's the link:  http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.greenlivingguy.com/&ct=ga&cad=CAcQAhgAIAIoBzAAOABAoNXi7ARIAVAAWABiAmVu&cd=qK8xsTAkwlk&usg=AFQjCNGA1wPjjl6QtC67BwLsIzo1Aq9BDA

This gets to our focus on the business side of green.  For a company, what are the financial benefits of being listed with both organizations and linked on both sites?  I know we, Arpin, will investigate both right away. What can you learn from them, what information do they share with their members...can they help build a brand, sales, PR?  Can they save us money?

As a consumer, should we do business with their members and why?  Can they reshape our spending habits into a more positive use of our money and brand loyalty?

Until I found this interview, I had not heard of either one, but I'm glad now to have found both.  I will try to get them both on future shows.  I will certainly try to get them to link to this blog and our show.

I will let you know when we've made contact and have them scheduled.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Earth Day

The local paper today suggested some Earth Day sites for volunteers.  On our community page at Arpin and Renewable Now, we'd like to promote all Earth Day Celebrations that are recommended to us, particularly if the suggestions include some personal stories from past years.

We will also run ads on our sites and shows promoting Earth Day events.

Please send us anything you have.  Let's hope for nice weather, too.

Also, got introduced this weekend to Alex and Ani, makers of very cool, very positive jewelery.  I think they'd be a good profile company for a future show, particularly if their process of making, shipping, selling and recycling is very green.  Does anyone know their company and product?  Comments?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekend Edition

Heard this weekend from one of our early readers.  Beth lives in RI and is an attorney.  Here's what she wrote:  "I'm very passionate about sustainable living, especially when it comes to supporting local farmers and businesses.  I follow Slow Food USA (and a sort of local counterpart, Farm Fresh RI) which essentially promote good, clean and fair food.  I also have an extreme interest in making people more aware of how and what they eat and of the growing problem with genetically modified products.  I've always eaten local or organic but the documentary Food, Inc. really changed my life!!  Have you seen it? It seems like we're on the same page!"

Beth got me thinking about an aspect of green I had not done much thinking about:  Supporting local producers of  "good, clean and fair food".  So, my job this weekend is to do some research on Slow Food USA and Farm Fresh RI.  I've asked Beth if she'd help put a show together profiling both organizations, while "making people aware of how and what they eat and of the growing problem with genetically modified products".  Sounds like a great show.

In the meantime I would love to hear from anyone connected with either group, and from anyone with knowledge on the subject.  I'd also like suggestions for guests and experts.

This is exactly how our show will  grow:  from real people with passion and insight into some aspect of finding the cleaner, more natural, more organic side of life. I'm not an expert on any of the subject matter.  That is why I am the host asking questions.  However, like Beth, I have a passion for making people aware of  simple alternatives in life, and I want to help them live healthier lives.

Thanks, Beth.  Felt good to get the first letter, and suggestions, into Renewable Now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Treehugger.com

Treehugger.com is a good site for updated news.  Here's a headline and first paragraph from a story today:

The Volvo Snowbombing Challenge: Drive from the UK to Austria on One Tank of Petrol. Can We Do It?

by Leonora Oppenheim, London, UK on 04. 1.
"At TreeHugger we totally dig examples of real world low carbon living solutions. While visiting the One Tonne Life project in Stockholm earlier this year, we saw how brands like Volvo, Siemens + Vattenfall are collaborating to create the right conditions for a family to radically reduce their carbon footprint. A few months later and Volvo are at it again with the Snowbombing Volvo Road Trip. This rallytastic fun is designed to encourage people from all over Europe to drive to their ski holiday rather than fly and we're excited because TreeHugger are going along for the ride..."

Is it possible, do you think, for a car to drive from UK to Austria on one tank of petro?  Seems impossible, and seemed absolutely impossible years ago.  However, the newest industrial revolution, the road away from burning huge quantities of fossil fuel, is revving up and burning cleanly around us.  Such feats are fast becoming possible.

At Arpin, we are experimenting (inventing) with solar technology on trucks, using bio-fuels in those same trucks, and testing additives to increase mileage and reduce emissions.  We also have a hybrid corporate vehicle, and are looking at converting it to a plug in.  We are also looking at buying an all electric (EV) next year.

One of our first shows on Renewable Now focuses on the economics of EV's and your coming choices of cars.  The math is not easy to calculate. There is an investment in both car and infrastructure for charging it.  However, the options, for all of us, to drive further on less fuel are expanding rapidly.  At Arpin, everyday we are reducing our fuel use, including that needed for idling.  So, we are saving money, cleaning the air and garnering positive PR.  The ROI can be very high on changing your car or fleet if you make the right investments and use the right technology.

There is fraud out there, people and company's peddling ineffective products.  We need to share as much information as possible, publish our success stories, so the press, Internet and word-of-mouth is positive on using alternative energy and products.

We welcome viewers (to the show) and readers to send us your comments and suggestions.