Page 6 - North American Clean Energy March/April 2020 Issue
P. 6

       editor's note
news bites
  I suffered a minor panic attack on my way into Whole Foods. I figured I’d try to save gas by adding an unplanned stop to my drive, when I realized that I had no shopping bags with me. If you live anywhere outside of California, you might understand how I was feeling. As if choosing groceries wasn’t stressful enough, I had to suffer the humiliation of admitting to the cashier (and everyone in line behind me) that I had forgotten to do my part to save the planet. After much clucking and eye rolling, they stared disapprovingly as I walked out with a new paper bag (full of locally sourced produce, of course).
Clean goes green
Imagine a perforated towel so absorbent and durable that each sheet can be hand-rinsed up to 100 times. Or a roll of aroma-free 2-ply bath tissues that are
at once irresistibly soft and surprisingly strong. Or perhaps a collection of sponges, brushes, and floor wipes that clean well and last long. And then imagine making all of these products with rayon from bamboo which helps preserve the environment and cut down on waste. Bamboo, part of the grass family with some species growing 3 feet in one day, is easily renewable and matures in only three years; takes up less land space and requires less water than trees; grows without the need for pesticides; reduces soil erosion and greenhouse gases; and captures more CO2 from the atmosphere than trees or cotton. NatureZway provides a line of eco-friendly cleaning products made of bamboo (not a variety pandas eat) and other renewable materials that were created specifically to combine all-natural quality and affordable pricing.
NatureZway ///
Classic is now electric
Zero Labs Automotive, a new automotive design, technology, and engineering firm introduced their first production vehicle, an electric classic Ford Bronco and a new category of electric vehicles. The Zero Labs Ford Bronco vehicles are handcrafted with newly designed aerospace grade carbon fiber construction, handmade walnut or bamboo, all digital, and more than 1000 newly designed parts. To retain the off-road appeal of the collectible 4x4, the Zero Labs Ford Bronco features Atlas 2 (2-speed) transfer case, Currie front and rear differentials, and adjustable FOX coil over suspension complete with Brembo 6 piston caliper brakes.
Electric performance includes digital Telematics, custom all-digital gauge, VCU and CAN Network, 70kWh battery, 190-mile range, Level 2 charging,
and 360HP permanent magnet AC motor. While the carefully honored classic design was designed to last well into the future, the company expects the power performance technology to regularly improve which is why they have designed them to be upgradable, giving owners peace of mind about the future of their vehicles. This is a classic vehicle so there are no giant edge to edge screens to distract the driver from a simple driving experience. The digital gauge cluster was faithfully recreated from the original design,
and all vehicle diagnostics and controls are behind
a hidden screen or viewable from the users mobile phone. To focus on their commitment to quality, only 150 of these first edition premium electric vehicles are available for reservation.
Zero Labs Automotive
   Personally, I’m a big fan of plastic bags: they prevent leaky meat from draining onto the car seat; they keep wet bathing suits from soaking through luggage; and they save me from cleaning up my kids’ spewed vomit after bumpy road trips. Yet, browsing the cramped aisles of the local Whole Foods store – in the newly “woke” town of Montclair, New Jersey – my media-induced paranoia made me feel like there was a giant red sign over my head flashing, “Plastic lover!”
I try. I really do. I rescue every recyclable food container from my trash can. I even pick up plastic bags blowing across the sidewalk as I walk by. Then I see pictures of Rio’s waterways clogged with garbage, or turtles deformed by a prison of plastic six-pack rings, and I wonder, “What’s the point?”
Suppose you choose to donate, oh, I don’t know, let’s say $10 billion towards fighting climate change. Good for you. However, while you may have the best intentions, do you know exactly where all that money is going? I’d like to suggest an alternate route for those funds – where those dollars can further empower individuals already making concrete and measurable progress in an effort to reverse our ill effects on Mother Earth.
Ever heard the name Fionn Ferreira? He’s an Irish kid who figured out how to remove microplastics from water.1 This is huge, because for every dead sea creature that washes up with a belly full of our plastic waste,
it’s a good bet there are several more we never see that suffer a similarly useless death.2 Plastic itself is not the enemy. Plastic bottles full of water save countless lives after natural disasters, and I seriously doubt you’d be happy using a second-hand breathing tube from a coronavirus carrier. We should be able to avail ourselves of one of the greatest inventions of all time without having to worry about dire consequences.
Oregon State University researcher Kyriakus Stylianou and his doctoral student Arurraj Chidambaram found an effective method for capturing carbon emissions from smokestacks.3 This is a step in the right direction in implementing the widespread use of getting energy from our trash. Although greenlit by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978, debate continues over the relative value and loosely-labeled “renewable” practice of burning garbage for fuel (including complaints of job loss and competition with recycling endeavors, as well as polluting the air of nearby communities4). Effectively scrubbing harmful particles from the air will get us that much closer to realizing the net-zero dream.
1 -wins-2019-google-science-fair-for-removing- microplastics-from- water/#607c57d1373f
Several years ago, a young Floridian named Chris Gove combined his taste for craft beer with his love of the ocean. Rather than make use of the ubiquitous plastic six- pack rings, which take hundreds of years to decompose, he worked with a start-up to create compostable rings. Made from organic byproducts of beer production, these “rings” dissolve within days and, should they find their way into our seas, pose little risk to wildlife.5
If none of these projects bait your
hook, check out this issue to learn how our industry is shouldering the burden of recycling and reuse, and what’s involved in embracing more of a “pack it in, pack it out” mentality when it comes to this earth.
Let’s take advantage of the next generation by tapping their enormous intellectual capital and imagination. I’m not advocating for another angry young adult to hijack the international press demanding change - we already know we need to up our game. I agree with Naomi Seibt that we should not “look down
on our achievements with guilt, shame, disgust,” but choose instead to support those individuals who are hustling to find actionable solutions today.
“Sometimes we have to go deep inside ourselves to solve our problems.”
– Patrick Star
4 renewable-energy/
5 community
       How will you make a positive impact on the environment?
Constellation and the PGA of America encouraged golf fans to make sustainable choices in their day-to-day lives at the 2019 PGA Championship. The “Driving Sustainability” fan experience
at the PGA Championship had spectators drop golf tees in bins labeled with simple ways to conserve energy and improve the environment, symbolizing their pledge toward a sustainable future. Ryder Cup Captain and longtime Constellation brand ambassador Jim Furyk made the ceremonial “first” pledge at the kick-off event. For every pledge, Constellation donated $10 (up to $50,000) to Solar One Green Design Labs, a local nonprofit organization providing urban sustainability and environmental education programming in New York City schools. Solar One is pleased to report that the full $50,000 donation has been received. Constellation also minimized the carbon footprint of the PGA Championship by matching the electricity used during the tournament with Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) representing energy generated from clean, renewable resources.
Constellation /// Solar One ///

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