Sunday, November 25, 2007

Real Men Are Green

There was a farm on the outskirts of Madison that grew the best heirloom tomatoes. The air was fresh and the soil was dark! Like much of the midwest, the farmland here is about as good as it gets! The tomatoes were the most delicious I ever remember having.
Since then the farm has closed, gave out to constant pressure of developers, and in it's place is a stand of cookie cutter houses. One house was just like the next, people storing their silverware in the same drawers and keeping their glasses in the same cupboard... they shopped at Walmart and at Target. They wear cashmere sweaters and drove SUVs and pick up trucks which they never needed and have the paper delivered every day which they never read.
Madison is a city in sprawl. The farmland that was lost will never be recovered. The endothermic processes of the farm have given way to the exothermic processes of overheated homes powered by electricity generated through coal fired power plants.
As mammals, we are endotherms... in every equation our output releases heat energy. The effects of our seemingly important investments and conquests reveal the simple inequity that the heat balance is scewed. We must produce an equilibrium to maintain the environment, but we make things brown... not green.
Recently, we've found ways to minimize these effects.
Electric cars are muscle cars in respect to pick up. The torque produced by an electric car is better most cases than it's gas counterparts because the motor doesn't have to rev up.
Unfortunately, there are very few pure electric and no viable hydrogen cars on the market. So my attention has turned to hybrids (hopefully that will be outdated in a decade).
At home my house is cooler (~65 degrees) until I need it to be warm. I keep the room temp lower than room temp to save on heat and it's even lower when we're all off at work. I insulate windows, close doors, shut vents and work the blinds.
On the road, the Prius is the best Hybrid on the market.

There are some really cool pure electric cars coming onto the market in the next year. Right now one of the coolest is the Tesla Roadster. If you drive less than 200 miles a day and have a garage with an outlet, then this might be the right car for you.

Unfortunately, because it's a prototype, the cost is a barrier for entry into the market... ~ $100,000.
At the office, the City of Chicago is offering $5000 grants for creating Green rooftops. They are more than aesthetically pleasing, they are effective insulators, and lower cooling costs in the summer substantially.
The city has stepped up to the plate by insulating their city hall:

This is something really cool you can talk to your boss about. If you need roofing to be done, increase the property value, get tax relief, and do it on budget:
This is how they operate:

At the music venue:
I chose a Green ticketing solution.
Every ticket purchased helps to plant trees.
My ticketing system is dedicated to plating one tree planted per ticket sold in advance.
We provide carbon-offset education at events.

And I am actively involved in supporting and promoting the Green Apple Music Festival: