Google signs a 20-year contract to buy wind power

I know that in the past few years, Google has received a lot of grief for seemingly acting contrary to their “Don’t Be Evil” motto, but you have to give credit to them when they do something that is genuinely positive, even altruistic.

Take for example, their goal to become carbon neutral and the ensuing action of agreeing to purchase power from a wind farm for the next 20 years. Of course, what this means is that this NextEra wind farm (in Ohio) will be reasonably funded for the next 20 years.  If for no other reason, here’s hoping that Google is a going entity for the next 2 decades.

How to get a new iPhone 4G for ‘free’

Recycle!The latest iPhone 4G is about to be launched any day (remember the brouhaha about the missing prototype?) and we’ll bet you’ll be slobbering over that one too. 😉 Sooo… how can you (potentially) get your mitts on that one. For free? Or with a nice discount?

Pretty simple actually – Recycle your old one for dollars. So you won’t get the new iPhone for free if it’s the $200 model, but if you get about $100 for your old model, then that’s not a discount to sniff at.

Some of the recycling sites that will pay you big bucks for your old iPhone (and lots of other electronics too) include BuyMyTronics, MyBoneYard and Gazelle.

GE announces new LED light bulbs that last 17 years

GE is continuing to push the technological envelope of light bulbs, announcing their next line of LED bulbs which have an even better eco-footprint than CFLs.

The GE Energy Smart LED bulb is a 40-watt (40w) replacement that will consumer 9 watts, produce just as much light as a 40W incandescent and last 17 years @ 4 hours per day (about 25 times as long).

The GE Energy Smart LEDs don’t contain any mercury and are cooler to the touch than either CFLs or incandescent bulbs.

These should be available in early 2011.

Full press release.

The Green Microgym’s members powers its lights, reduces its CO2 footprint

the green microgymIf you live in Portland, OR, and want to improve your carbon footprint while getting/staying in shape, then take a look at The Green Microgym. In a nutshell, Green Microgym (TGM) offers an environmentally-conscious gym experience.

The actual neat details include the fact that the exercise machines are hooked up to the building’s energy grid, and your workouts actually help to power the lights and other electricity needs. TGM estimates that their carbon footprint is less than half if they were run as a regular gym.

Another nice benefit is that for every hour you workout, you get a $1 credit towards their store. Workout for 10 hours and you get a 50% off coupon at a local adidas store.

They’re franchising, so you can grab your own TGM for your town.

BuyMyTronics.com pays you for your old Electronics

It’s always great to see more companies involved in recycling. In the past, we’ve featured electronics recycling sites like YouRenew, MyBoneYard and Gazelle (and even Costco/Gazelle) that pay you to take your old cell phones, computers, MP3 players, etc. off of your hands.

buymytronics.com logo

We’re pleased to tell you about another such site: BuyMyTronics.com (think of it as ‘buy-my-tronics’ or ‘buy-my-electronics’). BuyMyTronics.com touts their free shipping, will take electronics in any condition (excellent!), and get this: their facilities are 100% wind-powered.

How much you get for your electronics depends in large part on how much damage a gadget has. BuyMyTronics.com currently takes iPods, cell phones, game consoles, desktop computers, PDAs, eBook readers and more.

Dell’s ‘Solar’ Parking Lot recharges plug-in cars

dell's solar parking lotDell is one company that is at least trying to tackle the climate problem in whatever capacity they can. For example, here’s what I feel is a great idea: solar cell-lined shaded parking structures.

These ‘trees’ not only shade cars from the sun, but also collect and can power electrical outlets in the column, so you can plug in your electric car during the day.

Built by Envision Solar, hopefully we’ll see many more of these in company parking lots across the world.

via TreeHugger

MIT Team Develops Temperature-Dependent Color Changing Roof Tiles

As you know, we love featuring ‘green’ and/or environmentally related advances in technology, and here’s another. This time, a team in the Department of Materials Science at MIT have devised a roof tile that changes its surface reflectivity depending on the temperature.

In a nutshell, at low temps, it absorbs as much sunshine and heat as it can, while at high temps, it is more reflective. Fantastic. Nicknamed the Thermeleon, these roof tiles could save 20% on cooling costs.


Pansonic Shows Off Its “Eco Ideas” House

We may not have reached a real substantive climate agreement in Copenhagen this past week, but thankfully this is not stopping companies around the world from making steps towards improving our dire environmental state. Take Panasonic for example, which is testing out ideas for an eco-friendly house that may actually produce more energy than it uses. Now that would be novel!

Aptly dubbed the Eco Ideas House, it includes things like vacuum insulation, LED lighting, hydrogen fuel cells, and of course, smart monitoring & control systems [pictured]. The folks at DVICE took a tour and wrote about it.

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