Daily Green Wrap-up 15.November, 2012

In striving for a more sustainable world, not only should we be trying to recycle everything we can, but we should also attempt to reuse items, either for their original function, or as a component to repurposing. Being able to fix things so that they work again, or so that they work better than before, is a valuable skill in our transitional culture, and thanks to a unique product, fixing the world just got a lot easier.
  • (Ally)GreenJoyment: The man in my life LOVES to prolong the life of his possessions. Last summer he reinforced his beloved flip-flops with super-glue and I’m pretty sure that his old Ford Ranger was, at one point, largely held together with zip-ties. I can only imagine what he’ll do when he gets his hands on Sugru!
In an effort to enhance American security and address climate change, the U.S. military is diminishing its footprint. The military is producing cleaner power, reducing energy consumption, managing water and minimizing waste. Their efforts encompass vast numbers of vehicles, ships, planes, buildings, lands, and other facilities.
Yesterday I test drove several next generation General Motors (GM) automobiles, including the Chevrolet Spark EV. Targeted to arrive in selected California dealerships during summer 2013, the compact yet powerful Spark will surprise drivers who are skeptical of electric vehicles (EVs) with its performance due to what GM described as a revolutionary motor and drive unit.
Google has made many investments in clean energy over the past few years (lots of wind and solar), and it’s not done yet. The Mountain View behemoth keeps writing checks, and the latest one is for 75 million dollars for an undisclosed stake in a 50-megawatt wind farm in Rippey, about an hour’s drive from Des Moines.
Before Hurricane Sandy, building giant sea walls to protect NYC from storm surges may have sounded extreme, but now respected urban planners are considering it as a viable solution. The New York Observer recently spoke to Vishaan Chakrabarti, the director of Columbia’s Center for Urban Real Estate and a partner at SHoP architects, who says that building-sized floodgates like the ones that guard areas of Rotterdam from flooding are one answer that could save billions of dollars in damaged property.
Hybrid technology will play a large part in Honda’s future plans, and the Japanese automaker has rolled out a preview of three new hybrid systems with different goals. There’s one for small cars, one with options, and one all about performance. This is a step in the right direction.
Natural disasters like these raise questions about the reliability of the US power grid, and whether alternative energy sources like solar could make a difference. Solar power offers three reasons for optimism for greater electric reliability: The decentralized distribution of solar power, affordability, and the ability to draw on solar power even when the sun doesn’t shine and the grid is down.

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