Search Results for Tag: sustainable
Does Going Green Pay Off?
We wanted to share an interesting article we found on the Wall Street Journal today about the costs of going green. Across Europe, towns and cities are investing in sustainable architecture – buildings that run on clean energy, like solar or wind power.
The article says even though we might assume eco-friendly buildings will save on energy bills and increase property values, that hasn’t actually been proven yet. The costs of constructing green buildings is in itself quite expensive, and it’s too soon to back up the claim that the investment pays off in the end.
So is Europe moving too fast with its boom in green construction? Or will lower utility bills and higher property value will make up for the costs quickly? Let us know what you think…
DateJuly 20, 2011
The Best in Sustainable Innovation
We told you about the EU Sustainable Energy Week that took place April 11th-15th and all the events that took place, right? Well, one of the last events of the week was the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards presentation. The prizes honor the best of the best in sustainable energy innovation in Europe. This year, 6 different projects were tapped as the top in their field.
The "Solar Decathlon Europe" from Madrid's Autonomous University won the award for best communication. It pits universities from around the world against each other as they compete to build the best and most innovative energy self-sufficient houses. "The Strawberry Tree" from Serbia won the award for the best consuming project. It involves a public solar-powered cell phone charging station in central Belgrade that also raises awareness about environmental issues and educates people about renewable energy sources.
One of the most active projects to be honored was the "Cycling City Councillors" (or Stadtradeln) from right here in Germany! This project, which won the traveling award, is as easy as it sounds: it focuses on promoting an easy, reliable and eco-friendly mode of transportation–the bicycle. Local leaders team up with citizens to go car-free and emissions-free, and it's been a huge success so far.
You can read about the rest of the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards here. Which one do you like the best? Or do you know of a cool, award-worthy project that wasn't honored?
DateApril 18, 2011
EU Sustainable Week
Monday marked the start of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2011. The week-long initiative began back in 2005 as a way to raise awareness about the importance of renewable energy in Europe and address issues in the industry. There are hundreds of events that will take place between April 11th and April 15th across Europe–and more than 30,000 people in 43 countries will take part.
The European Commission is behind the event, and it showed support for alternative energy with a new plan for deploying smart grids and meters. The concept behind the plan is a meter system called "Smart Grid Communication" that could save consumers up to 10% on their energy bills.
The official EU website for the Sustainable Energy Week has an interactive map where you can check out what's going on in your country and when. But if you live in an area where there are no activities planned, you can organize your own Energy Day! There are even special flyers available on the website!
DateApril 11, 2011
New York is known for a lot of things: its towering high rises, insane traffic and, if you're talking about the environment, air pollution. It's not exactly known for being sustainable–but that might be changing. Los Angeles designer Neil Denari has designed a new highrise for Manhattan's Chelsea district that will be both energy-efficient and sustainable!
The building, called HL23, would take up less surface space on the ground than the dimensions of its floors–and it will be 14 stories high. The builders are looking to get a seal of approval from LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is the internationally-recognized green building certification system.
The space inside will include green features like eco-friendly heating systems, an electric elevator without machine rooms (which consume a lot of energy), and recycled paints. The building has already won awards, and it's expected to be unveiled on June 1st–we'll be watching!
DateMarch 25, 2011
2011 – International Year of Forests
The promotion of 2011 as a special year will show people's actions to sustainably manage the world’s forests, the UN says. It is also meant to raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests. As we have seen in some of our GLOBAL IDEAS reports this year, forests do have a key role in global sustainable development. According to the World Bank, more than 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that every year 130,000 km2 of the world's forests are lost due to deforestation. Have a look at their channel, here's a glimpse:
DateMarch 18, 2011