Posts by: erin

Driving calculator 2.0

  • April 4, 2011
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We recently added the 2011 model year cars to our carbon footprint calculator, and it now includes all-electric vehicles. As this is a first, this post is dedicated to the calculation details because they aren't as straightforward as a gasoline or diesel car. First, for comparison: a traditional car's footprint is calculated by multiplying the quantity of fuel used in… read more →

No silver bullets available here

I heard a luncheon speaker last week who channeled James Hansen as he asserted that mitigating climate change is, more than anything else, about coal. And that actions short of shutting down all the coal plants are something between a palliative and an unwarranted distraction. This line of thinking couldn't be more right and more wrong at the same time.… read more →

There will be blood

The tragic oil well blowout and subsequent ongoing spill off the Louisiana coast has me depressed and angry. But not at BP, no. And I'm not going to take up the banner to ban offshore oil and gas exploration either. I see this disaster as a natural consequence of my own behavior, and that of all my friends, neighbors and… read more →

Check your sprinklers. Please!

I walk my dogs at night, and twice this week we've discovered troubling new additions to our neighborhood landscaping. It starts when I hear an unusual sound, an undercurrent loud enough to penetrate my podcast-filled earphones. When I pause, my dogs get curious and hunt it down. It's a pleasant sound actually, a spilling, gurgling sound. Has someone installed a… read more →

TerraPass: Best of Green!

  • April 12, 2010
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I'm pleased to report that TerraPass has been named Best Carbon Offset Provider by the good folks at Treehugger. Now in its second incarnation, Treehugger's Best of Green awards honor a wide variety of people, companies, places, even endangered species. They're impressed by TerraPass' transparency, and we thank them for noticing! As I browsed the other Best-of-Green honorees, I discovered… read more →

Durable goods sadly unenduring

Although I blog semi-frequently about things I buy, mostly I work at buying as little as possible. Which is why I’m perturbed about the state of so-called durable goods around my house. Durable Goods are items which last a long time and are hence infrequently purchased. In a household, typical examples include refrigerators and furniture. Unfortunately, my durable goods seem… read more →

Green driving tips you actually use?

For the past several years, we've published lots of green driving tips. So have others, and I've read many of them. Even so, I openly confess to enthusiastic early adoption of many such tips but fairly poor long-term persistent use. Examples of my failures include slipshod attention to tire pressure, using my car as an auxiliary storage location, replacing my… read more →

Vampire staked by gadget

As recently reported, I had a rabid vampire at my house: my set-top box and DVR combination. It is designed to be “on” all the time, so it consumes as much energy when I’m not using it as when I am. This lack of a true “sleep” mode is my main beef with the combo device, so I set out… read more →

Vampires always available

I discovered a vampire at my house. Not a sexy Edward/Eric/Bill type, alas; mine was downright ugly and acted more like an Alaskan mosquito or a leech. I’m talking about an electricity vampire, a device that sucks power from the wall when it’s turned off. My big bad ugly one: the digital video recorder. The problem with smart-programmable DVRs like… read more →

Real-time energy stats. With owls.

  • October 16, 2009
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The GLRA project captures landfill methane, the fourth-largest source of US anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (see this handy EPA fact sheet; all fossil fuel combustion is lumped into one source category). The project prevents methane from escaping the landfill by sucking it into pipes and pumping it into electricity generators which destroy the methane and finally send power to the… read more →
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