In October 2006, Google announced a commitment to solar energy production and launched the largest solar panel installation to date on a corporate campus in the United States. Google has installed over 90% of the 9,212 solar panels that comprise the 1,600 kilowatt project. Panels cover the rooftops of eight buildings and two newly constructed solar carports at the Googleplex.
This installation is projected to produce enough electricity for approximately 1,000 California homes or 30% of Google’s peak electricity demand in our solar powered buildings at our Mountain View, CA headquarters.
I just came back from the Green House at the National Building Museum and was unimpressed by how expensive the artsy recycled gear was. Harumph! Here a very nice DIY example of how you can make your own recycled plastic messenger bag courtesy of the MAKE Blog. All you need is plastic bags, iron, wax paper, sewing machine, a few straps/buckles and a little bit of patience.
Amnesty International … launched its “Eyes on Darfur” Web site, a pioneering online effort to monitor settlements of people threatened with coercive displacement and brutality. The site is a collaboration between Amnesty and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society. [Washington Post]
The site allows you to “[e]xplore the satellite evidence and detailed on-the-ground information and see with your own eyes what is happening in Darfur.”
Satellite image of Angabo, Sudan prior to attack (South Darfur)
Red and yellow dots on the after map correspond to destroyed structures and likely damaged/destroyed structures, respectively.
FYI: NYC Darfur Event
In you are going to be in the New York Area on July 9, check out “In Darfur”, a free reading at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater at 8PM. Pick up your free tix on the 9th from 1pm at the Delacorte or from 1-3 at the Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street (Just below Astor Place); 212-539-8750.
Fellow 2006 Echoing Green Fellow, Mark Hanis, will speak at a post-show discussion, along with Samantha Power and Nicholas Kristof.
Today Elena, Ana and I returned from the Communidad Nueva Alianza. We left Wednesday morning for the community, 12 miles and a speedy (yeah right) 4 hour bus ride away. We checked up on the ancient eco-hotel stove (circa 100 years old) that we remodeled with the mini-tecotour from the University of Southern California 2 weeks ago. Elena is an AIDG intern and Ana is an official friend of AIDG who has been working on other stove projects in the region and has teamed up with our organization. We met with the women’s group (Junta Directiva de Mujeres) for the second time to iron out details of an expanded stove program for the community of 40 families.
The basic plan is to bring weekend workgroups (mini-tecotours) to the community’s eco-hotel, and have them help fund and actually construct the stoves. The women seem eager to be involved, and have uncharacteristically (according a volunteer living in the community) raised numerous questions and comments regarding the project. The plan is to have the TecoTour from Weston High School (in Boston, MA region) build two stoves in the community July 17-20, with assistance from the families where the stoves are being built, and a XelaTeco stove expert.
Pictured above is Elena and Ana giving a “charla” (talk) about how the stove is to be used and maintained.
Unfortunately, ich kann nicht Deutsche verstehen, but this is still a good video of the wonderful sights to see in Guatemala.
This week the interns are busy busy, and there’s a constant hum of thinking minds and power tools buzzing in the intern house. Above is a picture that Maarten took his last day of Julio (of XelaTeco) at the Solar Hot Water installation at the Guarderia.
We’re also sad to see Maarten and Corrado going back to their respective homes in the Netherlands and Italy; 2 farewell dinners almost back-to-back. However, we’re happy to see the recently arrived Alissa and Alia.
Elena: Stove construction and training XT on stove making. Visiting Nueva Alianza Wed/Thurs regarding expanded stove project
Maarten: answering the thousands of emails we send him with all our questions on everything…
Corrado: Tuesday is his last day! Wrapping everything up with the community assessment forms (with Blaze).
Nick: competition analysis (finishing these up), community assessments with local organization ECAU, accounting for May, revisiting XT gnucash training, ownership transfer issues, newsletter for XT
Jesse: writing ‘final’ draft on UV-tube and collaboration with Contaro Azul; collaborating with Alissa regarding needs for the surveys.
Kristen: developing survey questions for wind turbine needs, developing anemometer, all things circuit, rooftop gardening, emergency preparedness, taking over the biodigester project,
Alia: Getting SolidWorks working, working on Hydro, assisting Benny with TecoTours educational materials
Blaze: finishing the roof! Getting materials for walls, managing Fiona, and Carlos and their help in volunteering. Community visits and working the the assessment; visiting statistics office, phone number list
Corrado DiDio is sadly leaving us to return to his home of Sicily, Italy. Tonight we’re cooking a big Italian feast at the intern house for his ‘despedida’ (goodbye party). He has been our primary outreach program assessor, visiting communities and making suggestions on which communities AIDG should support with outreach projects. He is a champion of having a positive attitude, and we’ll sorely miss him.
Here are my favorite environment, health, climate change, international development or country specific blog posts (and articles) for the past week in no particular order.
Average daily water use per person in Mozambique is less than the water used to flush a low-flow toilet in the U.S. (Older U.S. toilets use as much as 5.5 gallons)
The world’s water resources are becoming increasingly valuable–and strained. GOOD and the Office of CC put the mind-boggling numbers in perspective. View Drink Up transparency.
- Call 07758225698 to Hear a Glacier Melting from Treehugger
If you want to hear the sound of global warming, in the form of the largest glacier in Europe melting and eroding, call the number listed above. The artist Katie Paterson is camped out in the cold at Vatnajokull, Iceland where she has installed a waterproof microphone into an ice cap in the lagoon. It is linked to a phone on land. She got help from Virgin Mobile to do this as part of her graduating year art school project.
- Green Family Values: Eco Gifts for a Green Father’s Day Means Not Buying Anything! from Green Option Blog
According the The Green Guide, more than half of dads say they’ve never received a “good” gift, and the average cost of a Father’s Day gift is $89.00. There are plenty of green, eco gifts available to buy Dad. Instead of supporting the overconsumerism in this country spawned by holidays, how about showing Dad you love him with a truly sustainable gift. These gifts don’t require you to buy Dad anything, but to spend time with him.
- New ‘Green’ Pyre Promoted in India from SEED Magazine
The average Indian may go through an entire life without contributing a huge amount to the world’s production of greenhouse gases, but in death his carbon footprint jumps.
Alarmed by the fuel-intensive nature of the funeral rites of Hindus who practice open-air cremation using firewood, an environmental group in New Delhi is promoting a new, more eco-friendly pyre.
- A price to pay for alternative fuels from MAKE Blog
[L]ast fall the Charlotte musician and guitar instructor[, Bob Teixeira,] spent $1,200 to convert his 1981 diesel Mercedes to run on vegetable oil. He bought soybean oil in 5-gallon jugs at Costco, spending about 30 percent more than diesel would cost.
His reward, from a state that heavily promotes alternative fuels: a $1,000 fine last month for not paying motor fuel taxes.
He’s been told to expect another $1,000 fine from the federal government.
And to legally use veggie oil, state officials told him, he would have to first po
- SWIFFER SUSTAINABILITY: The swiffer designer speaks up from Inhabitat
Our story â€œGreenwash Your Floors with the Swifferâ€ launched an interesting debate on our site about greenwashing and eco design . A commenter named Kim called on us to move beyond criticism and contact the designers directlyâ€¦
so they did and an interesting conversation ensued.
- Panel Votes To Ban Bottom Trawling in Northern Bering Sea from Treehugger
- Yes Men crash oil expo, propose turning corpses into fuel from Boing Boing
Master pranksters The Yes Men crashed the Gas and Oil Exposition 2007 in Calgary this week, impersonating a rep from the National Petroleum Council at a keynote in which they proposed to convert people who died from climate change disasters into fuel.
- Guatemala Quake Causes Little Damage from CBS News
A powerful earthquake that shook Guatemala and parts of El Salvador caused widespread panic but left both countries virtually unscathed, officials said Thursday.
Also from Xeni Jardin:
I’ve spoken to a number of people on the phone since the quake hit, and it was felt in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala City, and as far north as some of the small indigenous towns in the upper part of the department of SololÃ¡.
- Bollywood in Africa — Is it getting too Western? from How the World Works
With his discussion of Bollywood in West Africa, Leonard does not mention the burgeoning film industry in Nigeria, called most innovatively, Nollywood.
Nollywood is the third larget film industry in the world, after Hollywood and Bollywood. The Nigerian film industry makes 2000 films a year, as of 2006, which means that every week, 40 to 50 films are being made on the streets of Lagos and in cities throughout West Africa. The industry has created thousands of jobsâ€¦ and itâ€™s happened against all odds in a country where it can be very difficult to live and work.
Bonus from last week:
Massacres and paramilitary land seizures behind the biofuel revolution from Guardian (UK)
Â· Colombian farmers driven out as armed groups profit
Â· Lucrative ‘green’ crop less risky to grow than coca
Hear audio from Guardian Blog
We are the cyclists.
On June 10th, the San Francisco Great Gorilla Run was held in Golden Gate Park. The 7K (4.3 miles) fun run raised over $100,000 to benefit the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas.
Yet another reason I’m California dreaming. I wish there was a cool gimmicky thing we could do, but I guess “biodigesters on parade” isn’t as catchy.