clear the air


How Australian’s can get practical advice to reduce their energy usage

Sydney-based Todae offers businesses practical advice for cutting down energy and water usage and reducing their environmental impact.

For $A 399, a Todae consultant will come to an office or store and check everything from recycling to heating and cooling systems. The business is then provided with a detailed report that explains how to cut costs and go green. Todae’s service is geared to small to medium businesses looking to save money, be less harmful to the environment and create a “strong environmental brand ethos” amongst customers and staff.

It’s an excellent concept, and Marquette Turner believes many consumers would also be interested in environmental assessments. Plenty of people would like to diminish their negative impact on the earth, but aren’t sure exactly what to do about it. Or are too lazy or busy or both 😉 Having an environmental expert come to the door and give a home a full check-up would definitely help. Besides compiling a checklist of very specific issues to improve, ‘home greeners’ could of course offer to implement the necessary changes, too. So, set it up, brand it well (how about eco badges for homes?), and start knocking on doors. Before you know it, you’ll be running your own franchise.

P.S. Todae also sells a wide variety of eco products for homes and businesses, both through their website and from a recently opened shop in Sydney’s Glebe district.

Website: www.todae.com.au

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Let your feet glow

The SolarBrick from Hotbeam is a self-contained solar powered light designed for traffic and decorative uses. This device is waterproof, easy to install and can be driven over by vehicles. The SolarBrick is available in 6 bright colours. It comes in 2 standard sizes, 200x200x60mm and 200x100x60mm.

Rechargeable batteries currently used in conventional solar devices need battery replacement every 2-3 years at best. They also have a narrow working temperature range. The SolarBrick uses a ultracapacitor called the EnergyCache to store its charge. The EnergyCache enables the SolarBrick to be used in any environment without maintenance for more than 10 years and has a wide operating temperature range of -40°~75°C.

During the day, solar energy is converted to electricity through the solar cells and stored in the ultracapacitor. At night, the inviting soft glow from the light emitting diode (LED) is automatically turned on. Full charge takes 1 hour under direct sunlight and 6-8 hours under shade. The light stays “on” for more than 12 hours from a fully charged ultracapacitor.

APPLICATIONS

Public Space: Walkways, driveways, pool-side, decks, landscaping, lawns
Commercial: Plazas, shopping malls, showrooms, shop windows
Traffic: Roadsides, airports, pedestrian crossings, sidewalks, median strips
Architectural: Building entrances, corporate signage

The SolarBrick can also be installed vertically on the sides of buildings or structures.

FEATURES:

  • Stays illuminated for more than 12 hours
  • Quick recharge. 1 hour charge under sunlight, 6-8 hours under cloud or rain
  • No maintenance. No expensive wiring labour required
  • Lasts more than 10 years
  • Automatic on/off at ambient illuminance levels of 150~300 LuxHot
  • Available in 6 attractive colours: amber, blue, green, orange, red and white
  • Super-strong polycarbonate housing with high compressive strength
  • Tolerates environmental extremes. Works in temperature range of -40° to 75°C
  • Waterproof, UV protected and scratch resistant
  • Non-contaminating materials

Find out more from www.hotbeam.com



Paint Power
March 23, 2008, 9:24 am
Filed under: Eco-Friendly Tips, Global

Researchers at Swansea University are developing a new, eco-friendly technology that could generate as much electricity as 50 wind farms.

Dr Dave Worsley, a Reader in the Materials Research Centre at the University’s School of Engineering, is investigating ways of painting solar cells onto the flexible steel surfaces commonly used for cladding buildings.

“We have been collaborating with the steel industry for decades,” explains Dr Worsely, “but have tended to focus our attention on improving the long-term durability and corrosion-resistance of the steel. We haven’t really paid much attention to how we can make the outside of the steel capable of doing something other than looking good.

“One of our Engineering Doctorate students was researching how sunlight interacts with paint and degrades it, which led to us developing a new photovoltaic method of capturing solar energy.”

Unlike conventional solar cells, the materials being developed at Swansea are more efficient at capturing low light radiation, meaning that they are better suited to the British climate.

A research grant from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Welsh Energy Research Centre (WERC) enabled Dr Worsley to work with leading metals group Corus to investigate the feasibility of developing an efficient solar cell system that can be applied to steel building products.

The success of the study led to the award of a three-year project worth over £1.5 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Swansea University is now leading a partnership with Bangor University, University of Bath, and the Imperial College London to develop commercially viable photovoltaic materials for use within the steel industry.

Paint is applied to steel when it is passed through rollers during the manufacturing process, and it is hoped that the same approach can be used to build up layers of the solar cell system. The researchers’ aim is to produce cells that can be painted onto a flexible steel surface at a rate of 30-40m2 a minute.

Dr Worsley believes that the potential for the product is immense.

“Corus Colours produces around 100 million square metres of steel building cladding a year. If this was treated with the photovoltaic material, and assuming a conservative 5% energy conversion rate, then we could be looking at generating 4,500 gigawatts of electricity through the solar cells annually. That’s the equivalent output of roughly 50 wind farms,” he says.

Dr Worsley will be working closely with Corus to research practical, cost-efficient methods of mounting the system on steel structures, with a view to the eventual commercialisation of the product.

“This project is a superb example of the value of collaboration between universities and industry, and it is definitely important for Wales. We have a genuine opportunity to ensure that Wales remains at the forefront of this technology worldwide, driving the industry and revolutionising our capacity to generate electricity.

“I think it shows great vision from the Welsh Assembly Government that they funded the initial feasibility study. Even if we are only mildly successful with this project, there is no doubt that we will be creating an exciting hi-tech steel product that will preserve the long term future of the Welsh steel industry.”

For more information visit the School of Engineering at Swansea University.



Facebook’s (Lil) Green Patch

By planting fruit with your friends you can help us all make the world a greener place! As well, we’ll shortly be launching some fun gaming features to constantly keep you entertained while doing good!

Our sponsors contribute money to save the Rainforests as you use this application. After expenses we will donate revenue to funding a portfolio of reforestation projects. Thanks for joining us in this mission! We hope you have fun!

The most recent donation was made March 1, 2008 to the Adopt An Acre program of the Nature Conservancy.

The (Lil) Green Patch community, working together, was able to save 8,368,026 Sqft of Rainforest so far! We are very excited about our progress and are confident we can make an even larger impact in the future!

To learn more about this program, please visiting HERE



Earth Hour Launched
earth-hour.jpgBusiness leaders have gathered in Sydney to support Earth Hour 2008 and its global launch.Earth Hour involves people and businesses turning off lights and appliances for an hour to send a message about curbing destructive carbon emissions.

NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, speaking at the launch accused critics of the event of pedalling ‘utter rubbish’.

‘The critics and sceptics need to get on board,’ he said. ‘It’s utter rubbish to say that symbolism can’t lead to change. Yes it’s about symbolism, but it’s a very powerful one – it’s about saving the planet.’

Mr Iemma announced that all government departments would take part in Earth Hour at 8pm on March 29th, and said he had allocated $100,000 from the state’s Climate Change Fund to support the program.

In 2007, 2.2 million Sydneysiders switched off their lights for an hour, a sight which was broadcast across the world.

In 2008, 24 major capital cities will take part, along with hundreds of other smaller cities.

WWF Australia, which is organising Earth Hour says 75 per cent of the top 100 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, all of the state’s major property companies, 70 per cent of the state’s one, two and three hat restaurants, the top five banks, 85 per cent of the state’s main hotels and the 50 largest local councils in NSW will also take part.

Simon Turner



Travel With Your Own Green Personal Assistant

Travelling for business and want to be environmentally responsible? Take along your very own Green PA to help take care of the logistics of eco travel.

Rearden Commerce, creator of the first on-demand personal assistant and the first on-demand platform for services, unveiled the new green-focused Rearden Personal Assistant to provide business travelers and organizations a first-of-its kind Total Green Travel Experience when booking travel and related services.

Its new eco-friendly features and functionality includes an intelligent Carbon Calculator, hybrid car services, and Web and audio conferencing.

“The Rearden Personal Assistant has always saved people time and their companies, money. Now, it’s doing its part to save the environment by minimizing the impact of business travel,” said Patrick Grady, Founder and CEO, Rearden Commerce. “’Visual guilt’ has already proven transformative in helping users make financially responsible decisions for their companies and now we have the opportunity to guide over a million business travelers toward environmentally responsible choices for their planet.”

Read more from Rearden Commerce in the US



Travel With Your Own Green Personal Assistant

Travelling for business and want to be environmentally responsible? Take along your very own Green PA to help take care of the logistics of eco travel.

Rearden Commerce, creator of the first on-demand personal assistant and the first on-demand platform for services, unveiled the new green-focused Rearden Personal Assistant to provide business travelers and organizations a first-of-its kind Total Green Travel Experience when booking travel and related services.

Marquette Turner is especially impressed with some of the features and functionalities that include an intelligent Carbon Calculator, hybrid car services, and Web and audio conferencing.

“The Rearden Personal Assistant has always saved people time and their companies, money. Now, it’s doing its part to save the environment by minimizing the impact of business travel,” said Patrick Grady, Founder and CEO, Rearden Commerce. “’Visual guilt’ has already proven transformative in helping users make financially responsible decisions for their companies and now we have the opportunity to guide over a million business travelers toward environmentally responsible choices for their planet.”

Read more from Rearden Commerce in the US