Partnerships

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Renewable Energy is Our Future

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released a report this month called, Wind Power’s Consumer Benefits. In it they report that consumers in the states that use the most wind energy are paying less for electricity than consumers in states that use less wind energy.

They report that the, “11 states that produce more than 7 percent of their electricity from wind energy have seen their electricity prices fall by 0.37 percent over the last 5 years, while all other states have seen their electricity prices increase by 7.79 percent over that time period.”

Even more notable, the Department of Energy’s Wind Technologies Market Report 2012 confirmed that the cost of wind energy had declined by 43 percent over the previous four years.

The report said that: 1) the capital cost to develop wind power declined, 2) the average cost to purchase electricity provided by wind fell 3) the productivity of wind turbines is increasing, and 4) 70% of the value of wind turbines installed in the U.S. now made in the USA”.

Read more here: http://awea.files.cms-plus.com/AWEA%20White%20Paper-Consumer%20Benefits%20final.pdf

Houseplants and a Healthier You

Cabin Fever is setting in all over the place.  Freezing cold temperatures, repeated snow, ice and rain storms have kept us inside and working at sealing up the leaks in our homes to battle the consumption of fuel and/or money that this record setting heating season has given us. What does that have to do with houseplants? Houseplants are widely accepted as adding to the décor and good feeling in a room. In the late 1980’s NASA also discovered that certain houseplants were effective at cleaning indoor air.

Modern manufacturing processes result in the presence of benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene (as well as others, but these three are the primary ones) in the air in spaces where we live and work. All three of these chemicals are carcinogenic (cancer causing). The good news is that the “NASA Nineteen” plants are effective filters and capture these contaminants. You need a lot of plants to do this; they recommend at least one per 100 square feet of space to be “cleaned”. But as Energy Shift has said many times before, moving in the right direction, over time, is better than just sitting there doing nothing. So, start with one of the nineteen next to your bed, where you breathe in and out all night long. Add others to confined spaces such as bathrooms or other locations where you spend the most time, like near the computer. 

A variety of web sites will list the nineteen for you. One that we like because it provides photos and details is http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/types-of-houseplants.html

This Story Speaks for Itself

But, we’d like to add an additional thought or two. Not only does our blissful ignorance of how damaging coal use continues to be on our health and well being, but this reveals part of the reason why power from coal is cheaper than renewable sources of power.

Duke Energy admits that this coal ash leak came from a coal ash pond at a power plant that has been closed for two years. Meaning, no steps had been taken (read money spent) to close out the pond. This left a disaster waiting to happen, and now it has.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/06/82000-tons-of-coal-sludge-spilling-for-days-into-nc-river-threatens-virginia-drinking-water/