Posts filed under ‘green’

UPS Saves Money by not turning Left

Posted by Ed Maurer:

I have always tried to eliminate left-hand turns as much as possible by choosing routes strategically. Years of driving has shown me that turning right in the USA is much easier and quicker than turning left, but I never thought of the cost savings that it benefits me. Turning left takes much more fuel because you are usually waiting at the light with your vehicle running and burning gas, but turning right takes much less fuel because you generally do not need to wait as long. Time savings and being impatient has always been my motivating factor, but UPS has shown it to be quite the money saver. In fact, they saved about three million gallons of gas last year by improving their routes and reducing left hand turns. The company uses a “package flow” software application to plan routes for their 95,000 brown trucks which helps to optimize the routes to use the least amount of fuel saving time and money to deliver packages.

December 14, 2007 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Green Christmas in Rockefeller Center

Posted by Ed Maurer:

This year will be a little bit greener for the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It will be donned with LED lights instead of the traditional incandescent bulbs of the past. Switching to LED lights will reduce the energy consumption from 3,510 kilowatt hours to 1,297 kilowatt hours per day. To put that in perspective, it will save as much electricity as a single family with a 2,000 square foot home would use in a month. The green tax on LED Christmas lights is not cheap, but the power savings over the lifespan of the lights is far better for the pocket book.

LED Christmas lights for the consumer will cost about $14 for a 23ft string of 70 multi-color lights. The same strand of lights using incandescent bulbs will cost about $5. Triple the cost, but double the cost savings in electricity and a much longer life span. (source http://www.1000bulbs.com)

The tree in Rockefeller Center will contain 30,000 LED lights making it the first ever “green” Christmas tree. Green methods are being employed to generate power for the center as well with the installment of 363 General Electric solar panels on top of 45 Rockefeller Plaza. Tishman Speyer is the company that installed these panels designe by AltPower and they generate 70 kilowatts of electricity. The power generated by these panels will be used throughout the year to help reduce the electrical demand including the hot summer months.

(source: nyc.gov)

November 24, 2007 at 4:40 pm 2 comments

Kroger Reusable Bag Refund

Posted by Ed Maurer:

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by my local Kroger store. I brought in my reusable shopping bag and the cashier asked me how many bags I had. I told her one, but I thought she was going to charge me for the bag (even though I had purchased it previously.) Instead, she gave me a 5 cent credit on my bill for using a reusable shopping bag. It’s great to see that the local grocery stores are picking up on the demands of the consumers and giving something back. I know that 5 cents isn’t a lot, but at least it’s a start. Next time I go in I’ll bring 1000 reusable bags so that I can get $50 in credits.

November 19, 2007 at 6:44 pm 3 comments

Talk to your kids about being green.

Posted by: Joseph Hershey


Ed and I just finished laying down our podcast #16.

You can get it on Thanksgiving, this Thursday for people in USA, everyday for my oldest brother…yeah, cuz he’s a turkey.

Anyway, at the end of our podcasts, we always give a Green Tip, something easy and feasible you can do today.

Check out the last one here

These are usually things like, turn off the lights… don’t run the water unless you’re using it… use compact florescent lights (CFL’s).. etc.

(If you can’t find it, Green Tips are at the bottom of the show notes, at the end of the show.)

Today’s Green Tip was — talk to your kids about being green.

You know, sex, drugs, money, ethnic diversity, global economics, and being green — all taboo topics parents should be able to talk with their kids about.

If they don’t hear it from you, they’ll hear it from someone else, and it won’t be pretty or accurate.

We also injected the audio from the Ford Hybrid SUV commercial, the one with dad and daughter, dad taking daughter to the movie theater in his hybrid SUV. The gist of the commercial is the difference between the way dad and daughter seem to think about hybrids. Apparently, they haven’t talked about the car, the fact that it’s a hybrid, or even about her friends until now. At the end, the daughter asks the dad why he hasn’t ever mentioned that they had a hybrid. He says “I didn’t think I needed to talk about it.”

How sad.

Like when your son or daughter has to default on their house mortgage because of bad finance planning. Teach your kids about money. Teach them to save and invest. Teach them it’s not normal, or good to have 3 credit cards maxed out.

Nothing could mean more to your kids and your kid’s generation than how we treat ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet.

Should your kids learn how to act from people who drive 0 MPG Hummers?

Driving a HUMMER doesn’t make sense, but it’s the only message they’re going to hear if you don’t talk to them about being green, what does it mean, why would they do it, and why is it maybe not normal now, but definitely the good thing to do.

Do you talk to your kids about being green?

November 18, 2007 at 1:53 pm 1 comment

Wind power and subdivision associations

Posted by Ed Maurer:

Here’s another green tax that I think is worth the investment if you can afford it. Wind power. I’ve always been intrigued by alternate sources of power for my home such as harnessing the wind or generating hydro power from a stream. Hydro power is a bit difficult when you don’t have a stream in your back yard, so the alternative is wind power. Wind power works well when you have a lot of change in wind direction in your area, and works especially well when you live on a hill. Enough for a physics lesson, I’m here to discuss Helix Wind.

Helix Wind makes a beautiful piece of artwork that functions as a windmill. Ok, maybe it’s a windmill that looks like a piece of art. This is the first windmill that I could consider installing near my home. That is if my subdivision association would allow it. My subdivision has rules against putting trailers in your driveway, and building sheds, so I would anticipate quite a fight from them to install a windmill. The difference with the Helix windmill is that it makes virtually no noise and can be installed near ground level so your sub division association may never even know about it. If my neighbor can hide a shed from them, I could surely hide this windmill.

So what exactly is the green tax on this windmill? The 2.0kw unit would cost $8,500, and the 5.0Kw model will run you $16,500 not including installation. That’s quite a chunk of change and would require a few years to recover the cost depending on average wind speed in your area. The great thing about this particular product is that unique design allows it to work in a low wind area. So you don’t need to live in Kansas to get your money’s worth, but it may take a bit longer to recoup the cost. Oh, Bats and Birds are safe from it as well. You may start to see a trend of subdivisions altering their bylaws to exclude windmills, so take action and request the use of alternate energy in your neighborhood before it’s taken away from you. It gives a new meaning to the phrase “Fight the Power.”

November 7, 2007 at 4:00 pm 1 comment

Dimming Your CFL

Posted by Ed Maurer:

I just ruined two brand new CFL’s this week by dimming them. Why would I do that? Did I test the theory just so that I could blog about it? The mistake was unintentional I assure you. The lights worked great for a week, and I was starting to save money by using a lot less electricity. What I failed to realize was that they were connected to a dimmer switch that was reducing the voltage by just a little bit. Enough to allow the lights to shine for one week, and then they gave up and the circuitry failed. Dimmable CFL’s are becoming more and more available at retail stores. If you are about to purchase a CFL for a light tied to a dimmer switch, make sure the packaging on the CFL you purchase indicates that it’s dimmable. That way the circuitry can handle the reduced voltage applied by the dimmer switch.

November 1, 2007 at 5:32 pm Leave a comment

Green Monster is going to be even greener

Posted by Ed Maurer:

As I sit and watch the Red Sox play against the Colorado Rockies in the World Series, I learned about the green efforts employed by Fenway Park. This home of the Red Sox touts a green wall in left field that is very difficult to hit a home run over, and has rightfully been dubbed “The Green Monster.” The Red Sox are currently working with the Natural Resources Defense Council to install photo voltaic panels at the park, and the green efforts don’t stop there. At Fenway, they also are using non-toxic chemicals on the grounds, installing fluorescent lighting, and installing low-flow plumbing. It’s good to be green, even when you are a large obstacle to hit baseballs over. Read more about the Sustainable efforts of the World Series at greenbuildingsNYC.com

October 25, 2007 at 10:19 pm 1 comment

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