Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sustainability Efforts Earn Accolades for NREL

Credit: NREL
The hidden jewel of the Rocky Mountain front range strikes again in support of the planet! The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado has received a few national awards for their sustainability practices. They received two Environmental Sustainability (eStar) awards and one GreenGov Presidential Award for Green Innovation. Not only is NREL researching renewable fuels and energy efficiency they are actually implementing sustainable practices on the NREL campus. I think the culmination of these sustainable practices can be found in the new Research Support Facility (see photo for a view inside the facility and their excellent use of daylighting). I took a tour of this facility last year and blogged about it in a post titled, "NREL's Research Support Facility: A Lesson in Sustainability. I was floored by all of the sustainable techniques that NREL implemented into the building design. If you are an energy efficiency or sustainability geek I strongly recommend a tour of this facility.

Kudos to NREL for receiving these awards and providing a space that will inspire others to learn about sustainability.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Boyer's Coffee: Conserving Resources, Saving Money, Doing Good

Great article on how Boyer's Coffee, a Colorado company, has implemented sustainable methods into their business to save money, reduce their energy consumption, reduce waste sent to the landfill, and enhance their recycling efforts. It's stunning to me what a business can do to reduce, reuse, and recycle and oh yes, save a ton of money with sustainable business practices. Boyer's estimated the ROI on every sustainable initiative they did - whether it was recycling cardboard delivery boxes, reducing the amount of raw material types in their coffee packaging, or finding a company to take and recycle the excess packaging waste.  Sustainable behavior is not only smart for the environment and the community you live in but is smart business. Kudos to Boyer's for taking the sustainable path. Your children, the planet, and shareholders thank you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Energy Department Congratulates State for Weatherizing Thousands of Homes

I'm a little late on this article in Colorado Energy News, but it's worth sharing because it is incredible news. The Department of Energy (DOE) has helped weatherize 12,300 Colorado homes as of October 2011 with funds from the Recovery Act. These homes have added insulation, air-sealing, and efficient HVAC systems. Weatherizing a home helps reduce energy consumption and saves the homeowner money! Congrats to the DOE and to the homeowners who will have a more comfortable living space and more cash in their pocket.

City of Boulder Approves Incentive for Tendril

Tendril up in Boulder, CO is just one example of the creative companies that are proliferating on the Front Range. In addition to the venture capital money that Tendril has raised, the company has also benefited from a rebate incentive from the city of Boulder. This is all good news for a company that is creating numerous jobs and is helping the world manage their energy consumption with new technologies that help make the electricity grid "smarter". Keep up the good work Tendril!

Wishful Thinking

*Before adding PV, wind, or solar thermal to your residential or commercial structure, the first step is to analyze this structure's energy consumption through a professional energy audit. I'd like to see some public education on the importance of an energy audit for any structure. Remember Smokey the Bear's forest fire shtick drilled into our heads over the last few decades? How about something like, "Henry the House" desperately wanting to know how much energy he consumes and wastes throughout the day?

*With over 300 sunny days a year on the Front Range is it too much to ask for solar PV and thermal modules on every residential and commercial unit (after an energy audit of course)?

*How about affordable plug-in electric cars that go more than 100 miles on a charge with PV and wind powered recharging stations?

*Dreaming of companies large and small adopting business sustainability practices to maximize profits, reduce their carbon footprint, and enhance the lives of their employees and the communities that surround them.


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