First Driverless Car Hits the Road

27 08 2013


Green Printer Online Dispatch

While vehicles with hybrid or fully electric engines are nothing new, one Asian nation now holds an interesting new auto-related title: The first to have a completely driverless vehicle hit the road.

The shuttle carts passengers between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and JTC Corporation’s (JTC) CleanTech Park in Singapore. And on top of not needing anyone behind the wheel, the vehicle is also entirely electric and doesn’t burn an ounce of fuel on its two-kilometre trek between the two institutions.

The shuttle, named NAVIA, was borne from a partnership between NTU, JTC and Induct Technologies, and will be tested by the university’s Energy Research Institute. The institute will optimize the vehicle over the next two years, work out any potential bugs the shuttle might have with navigating through traffic and will be implemented as an entirely autonomous mode of transportation. The presence of the shuttle on Singapore’s streets could be the harbinger of many more green-energy, driverless vehicles to come.

 



10 Canadian Companies Make List of Most Sustainable in World

16 08 2013

Green Printer Online Dispatch

Canadian companies are often known for their efforts to be “green.” And 10 Canuck companies have been recognized for taking the concept of corporate social responsibility seriously.

Media and research company Corporate Knights compiles an annual list of the Global 100 companies that are the most sustainable in the world. And 10 of those just happen to be Canadian. And that’s something to both celebrate and a new standard to hold other companies to.

And surprisingly, many of the Canadian firms are mining corporation or major power players in industry. The top Canadian company to make the list at No. 21 was B.C.-based miner Teck Resources. Next up was Barrick Gold Corp. at No. 40, and Canadian National Railway at No. 57.

The report bases the rankings on a variety of statistics, including “green” factors such as energy and water consumption, and equality issues including the relative number of women on their board and CEO compensation.

 

 

 

 



German Village Takes Title of World’s Greenest

13 08 2013

A Green Printer Online Dispatch

While the fair Canadian city of Vancouver has the noble goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020, there’s a small town in Germany that may have already earned that title.

The university town of Freiberg I’m Breisgau, nestled in southwest Germany’s Black Forest, is considered by many to be the “greenest” or most sustainable city in the world currently. According to a report from The Vancouver Sun, the town’s reliance on numerous solar panels for energy in both commercial and residential buildings plays a major role in the title.

It also helps that many of Freiberg’s approximately 230,000 residents either use public transit via the tram, bicycles or their own two legs to get them wherever they need to go.

Additionally, the city has several energy sustainable neighbourhoods, including one that is hailed as being the only one in the world that creates more energy than it consumes, which it then feeds back into the city’s power grid (for a tidy profit, of course).

Perhaps Canadian towns and companies could learn a thing or two from the way residents and workers in Freiberg tackle sustainability together.

 



Want to see a Supernova?

8 09 2011

 

Image via The Huffington Post

For those of you who love star-gazing, this piece of news will provide some excitement!

From The Huffington Post‘s Green section:

Last month, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California discovered what they think could be the youngest — and closest — supernova in decades, leading UC Berkeley’s Joshua Bloom to call it “the supernova of a generation.”

The supernova, which is essentially an exploding star, has been named PTF 11kly. And even though it exploded in the Big Dipper, 21 million light-years away in the Pinwheel Galaxy, you might just get to see it over the next few weeks.

The Huffington Post spoke to Peter Nugent, a senior scientist at the Berkeley Lab who was the first to discover the supernova, who gave us some tips about how best to view the supernova.

, The Huffington Post

If you’re interested in catching this before its gone, head over to the original article for some great tips on the best equipment, times, and location to view PTF 11kly!

Do you frequently take a look up into the night sky? What are some of your favorite constellations?



Fair Promotes Green Living for Everyone

21 08 2011

We love hearing about local communities finding interesting and fun ways to get people excited about green living. What better way to accomplish this task than with a “green” country fair?

A community in London has done just that:

An event to promote practical, cost-effective ideas for green living will be run in a south-east London park next month.

Brockwell Park in Herne Hill will be home to the Urban Green Fair for a fifth year on Sunday, September 4.

The free event will offer more than 40 speakers, films, poets, workshops, children’s activities, food stalls and BMX races.

Organisers plan to use only solar and wind energy to power the day, which will give it one of the lowest carbon footprints of any festival in the country.

The event is being run by the Urban Green Fair Community Interest Company (CIC) which is dedicated to positive change on global and local levels.

Fair director Shane Collins said: “As well as being a fun day out, whatever your age, the Urban Green Fair is a chance to learn about the changes coming to our society and how best to navigate them together.

He said the fair aimed to educate the public on green initiatives and to stimulate support through shared knowledge.

The Press Association

What kinds of environmentally-friendly events does your community hold? Have you ever been to a green fair? If you’re active in your hometown, think about suggesting an event like this for your annual country fair or Earth Day celebrations. While it obviously makes for an educational event, it also promotes the idea that a green lifestyle is fun!



An Exciting New Discovery for Solar Energy

18 08 2011

Image via NASA

Great strides for solar energy have been made in recent months, and it is exciting to follow the story as it develops. Each discovery is another step towards making greener living simpler and more affordable.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have made a scientific discovery that  is intriguing all on its own but it is the breakthrough’s potential applications in solar power generation that have them excited. According to Stephen Rand, a professor at the university and author of the paper that discusses his team’s discovery in the “Journal of Applied Physics”, the researchers found a way to make an “optical battery” which harnesses the magnetic attributes in light that, until now, scientists didn’t think amounted to much of anything.

The report explains that  light has both electric and magnetic components but, until now, scientists believed the magnetic field effects were weak enough that they could be ignored. Rand and his fellow researchers, however,  found that at the right intensity, when light is traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than thought possible. Under these circumstances, says Rand, the magnetic fields become similar in strength to a strong electric effect.

William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics, says that what makes this possible is “a previously undetected brand of “optical rectification.”  In traditional optical rectification, light’s electric field causes positive and negative charges to be pulled apart in a material. That sets up voltage, similar to battery. Before, this effect had only been observed in crystalline materials that possessed a certain symmetry. This process works with materials such as glass, but presently requires light that surpasses the sun’s natural intensity Fisher indicated they were working on finding materials that would at lower light intensity.

The research team believes that this discovery could lead to a solar cell that requires no semi-conductor. Since semi-conductors constitute a bulk of a solar cell’s processing, eliminating it represents an opportunity for a considerable reduction in costs. Fisher notes that a solar cell using this new energy harvesting technique would only require lenses to focus the light and fiber to carry it. “Glass works for both,” said Fisher,  ”it’s already made in bulk, and it doesn’t require as much processing. Transparent ceramics might be even better.”

Caleb Denison, Earth Techling

Fantastic findings!

At Green Printer, we strive to keep up with all of the latest news in environmental preservation and technology. Is there a recent study or article about green living that grabbed your attention? Are you working in your local community to create environmental change? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! You might even find yourself or your findings featured in our weekly blog posts!



Green News: Can Organic Farming Reduce Antibiotic Resistance?

13 08 2011

Those of us who ascribe to a green lifestyle already know that this choice is in the interest of a wide variety of concerns, not strictly environmental ones. Living green also has a huge impact on our health. It is vitally important to pay attention to these matters, as so often the general public isn’t informed of developments surrounding their own health.

A recent study has shown that purchasing organic meats and other products can decrease the risk of resistance to antibiotics. From The Examiner:

Organic poultry farms that don’t use antibiotics have significantly lower levels of drug-resistant bacteria that can potentially spread to humans. That’s according to a new study which is the first to demonstrate lower levels of drug-resistant bacteria on newly organic farms. The research adds to the growing concern among health experts about germs becoming resistant to many commonly used antibiotics.

More than 100,000 people die every year from bacterial infections, 70 percent of which are resistant to antibiotics. The Food and Drug Administration estimates farmers use 29 million pounds of antibiotics every year on food producing animals, that’s 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics can reach humans through food and the environment, like water contaminated with runoff.

The new study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, measured the impact of removing antibiotics from poultry farms by looking at 10 conventional and 10 newly organic large-scale poultry houses. They tested for the presence of enterococci bacteria in poultry litter, feed and water and tested its resistance to 17 common antimicrobials. Researchers say 67 percent of the bacteria recovered at conventional farms were resistant to erythromycin, a commonly used drug used to treat infections in humans. That compares to just 18 percent from the organic farms.

How important is it to you to be a green grocery shopper? If you aren’t already choosing organic products, what is the reason? Do you have any ideas for readers who may struggle to find organic products in their locals stores?


Green Homes Catching On!

10 08 2011

No place is more indicative of our priorities than the home we live in. For those of us for whom green living is a major issue, having a home that supports that choice is very important. It looks like the environmental push is spreading, as a new study has shown that green homes in Portland, OR have been far outselling non-green homes in the same area:

For the fourth straight year in a row, green certified homes have outperformed non-certified homes in the Portland metro region, according to a study by the Earth Advantage Institute.

The annual study found that existing homes with a sustainable certification sold for 30 percent more than homes without one, according to sales data provided by the Portland Regional Multiple Listing Service. This finding is based on the sales of existing homes between May 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011 in Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia, and Washington Counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington.

The study also examined how newly constructed homes built to sustainable certifications performed, and found that they sold for 8 percent more than new non-certified homes in the same six-county area.

– Matt Smith, Environmental News Network

Is your own home green or are you considering moving to a home with more environmentally-friendly qualities? Even if moving or doing major reconstruction isn’t an option for you at this time, you can always make small changes to your lifestyle to assist the environment!  

Have you made changes to your home in the interest of green living? We’d love to hear about it in the comments! Share your tips & tricks!



The Potential for ‘Zero Emissions’

5 08 2011

One of the latest pieces of environmental technology news to hit the press is the creation of solar powered vehicle chargers. This new development takes the concept of “zero emissions” a step beyond hybrid cars, it actually allows the entire vehicle to be run off of solar energy. This is a major stride forward in creating transportation that is 100% environmentally friendly, as well as making travel without the reliance on gas a reality.

“Zero emissions” is a tricky phrase. Electric vehicles produce zero emissions at the tailpipe, but more often than not there are emissions at the power plant. The only way to have a truly zero-emissions EV is to get your power from a renewable source like the sun.

SolarCity is making it a whole lot easier to do that. The California company has started offering solar EV chargers to customers in 11 states and Washington, D.C., allowing people to drive their cars purely on sunshine.

“It allows for the carbon-free lifestyle. You can go EV and PV and drive on sunshine power,” Ben Tarbell, vp of products, told us. “There are a lot of environmental and economic benefits for our customers.”

The company, fresh off a $280 million investment from Google, makes it easy for people to embrace solar power by leasing them complete photovoltaic packages. It’s been dabbling in solar chargers for awhile, and it installed solar EV charging stations along highway 101 between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2009.

But the arrival of the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, not to mention the plethora of EVs and plug-in hybrids automakers promise to deliver by 2015, makes it time to go all-in, Tarbell said.

– Alexander George, Environmental News Network



Let’s Get Digital: From YouTube Ads to Mighty Pixel Productions

16 06 2009

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

Think back to the ads you actually remember. The infamous Mac versus PC ones. The award-winning Mr. W ad with a touching twist. More than likely, the videos were made by former professionals in the film industry. Not convinced?

Just check out the list of credits behind the two to three minute YouTube teasers on GreenWorldAds. Many hail from a history of doing independent film work or music videos. Read the rest of this entry »