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It’s the Sox, it must be news!

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A disclosure at this morning's solar energy session after I filed a previous post from there was that the Red Sox are about to start construction on a solar hot-water project.

According to Christina Halfpenny of National Grid, the team will be able to meet 37 percent of its water-heating load in a system that will take 16 years to pay for itself, after incentives.

On solar

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It's 8:35 in the morning. The first session of the second day has begun, and the fellow from SEBANE, the Solar Energy Business Association of New England, is telling the gathering crowd some not-so-interesting market and industry perspectives. I'm sure it will get better, or I will have some time to write.

To start, he asked the crowd to show hands on questions about why they are here, and a large number appeared to be homeowners (as opposed to installers) committed to, but early in the process of, installing photovoltaics and/or solar hot water systems.

I can’t go for that, no can do

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Via Green Building Elements, I got to read this post by Dr Buzz0 (not "bozo," though close) at in which he addresses the top 10 things environmentalists need to understand. In his about-the-author section, he says he's very active in the skeptic and debunking community, which gives context for his post.

The good and the ugly

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Portfolio magazine offers up a list of 11 admirably green companies, and paired it with the "Toxic 10" list of companies that should be doing better. I found I was more interested in the bad guys, which I think says less about negativity (or, I hope so) than it says about new information: Companies doing more green are often cited as such, but I don't recall having seen many most-troubling-polluter lists.

I'll just pass on the names of each. You can follow the links if you want to know more.

What’s wrong with this idea?

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An Orlando, Fla., company, Hydromatic Technologies, has been drawing blogosphere attention this week for what seems like a no-brainer, why-didn't-anyone-do-this-years-ago development for the clothes dryer, one of the home's worst energy hogs. It is so power-mad, in fact, that Energy Star doesn't list a single one.

Butz’s big impact

It was a sure bet that the headlines on Earl Butz's obit this week would focus on the racial slur that torpedoed his public life, and it was in every one I saw. But Butz, agriculture secretary under Nixon and Ford in the '70s, was perhaps one of the most influential figures in 20th century America, although not exactly in a salutary way. He blessed, and hastened, the demise of the family farm, for example, stating baldly and  unapologetically that farming was now the domain of corporations, and the family farmer would just have to get used to it.


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Whole Foods announced Tuesday that it will no longer offer plastic bags after April 22. Love That! After that date, which is Earth Day, the choice will be recycled paper bags or reusable bags, which of course will not be free. We've been trying to use only cloth and/or polymer mesh bags for several years in our house, but I have to say, we have been far from perfect.

Bottle weights

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Seth Godin is always interesting, but doesn't often tread into green-tinted areas, so this post adds even greater value to what he usually brings. He starts off wondering why a Poland Spring bottle weighs half of what a Gatorade bottle does, and winds up, via input from a friend/reader, explaining some of the factors that govern which bottle type a manufacturer uses into it while offering perspective on how packaging affects sales.

More taxes, please

Obviously, I'm not running for office, ever.

And, I assure you, I'm as money-focused as my fellow Americans. I would like to earn more, while doing less. I would like to win the lottery. Get a huge inheritance from some surprising source. Have an even nicer computer. Build a wicked cool off-the-grid-but-still-warm-and-comfortable house, with a nice view. Further hybridize our Prius to make it even more efficient. Or get one of them Teslas!

Recycling light bulbs

My good friend Margaret Ann, as bright a thinker as I've ever met, bemoaned a while back that while CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs, the bulbs that use far less energy than incandescents and last 10 years) are an advance, what do we do about all those incandescents that have been decommissioned in the process of switching over? Just throwing them in the trash seems to dull some of the planet-saving luster of switching over to CFLs.

My short answer for that is, "I still don't know." However...


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