The Green Wrap-up 5.March, 2013

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daichi in Japan was a very bad thing any way you look at it, but researchers are trying to make some good come out of it. As we wrote about last year, Pacific bluefin tunas carrying radioactive isotopes identified as coming from Fukushima were caught on the U.S West coast. That in itself was a surprise to scientists, but since then they’ve kept track and learned some very useful things about the Pacific tuna’s migratory habits.
Hugh Lyman, an 83-year-old retiree from Enumclaw, Washington, won The Desktop Factory Competition with his design for a low-cost, open-source machine capable of turning resin pellets into inexpensive filament for 3D printing.
Following in the footsteps of other cities around the world, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a plan to make the city coal-free by 2025. Los Angeles relies on two aging out-of-state coal plants for about 40 percent of its energy needs right now — a position that is unsustainable both in terms of financial cost and cost to the environment. But if the past is any indication, getting there isn’t going to be easy.
And the world’s largest petroleum producer and net exporter in 2012 is … drum roll, please … Saudi Arabia. OK, so we already knew that. The country has reigned over the oil-producing world for some time. Still, there’s some interesting data to found in this latest update released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Walmart and SunEdison have completed new solar power installations at three Walmart stores in Kahului, Kailua-Kona and Kapolei, doubling the retailer’s number of stores in Hawaii powered by solar energy.
Ah, the common lemon. So juicy and delicious when squeezed to make lemonade but did you know that the lemon had tons of uses around the house?
  • GreenJoyment(Ally): I instantly thought, “household cleaner” when I read this heading, and that one was in there, but there are definitely some surprising uses for lemon on this list. “Emergency deodorant” was one of my favorites.
German automakers are caught in a quandary – how can they pay more for a clean energy surcharge tax when automotive sales are down. The problem stems from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s move to take the country further away from nuclear and toward using more renewables to power the electricity grid.
Audi has been quite vocal about what it considers the benefits of the natural gas-burning A3 Sportback G-Tron and, more importantly, the company’s synthetic methane (E-Gas) fuel project. On the one hand, it’s a very cool idea to take CO2 that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere and turn it into both hydrogen and synthetic natural gas. On the other, the G-Tron simply uses another internal combustion engine doing what ICEs do best: burn fuel.

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