Tony Fadell discusses Nest

Here’s an excellent interview with Tony Fadell of Nest where he discussed the ways Nest can help consumers save energy. Even more interesting is how Nest is being paid by electric power companies to help smooth out power spikes.

Kevin Rose does an excellent job with the interview and it’s worth checking out. They discuss a wide variety of topics including outsourcing to China, Kickstarter and other challenges facing hardware startups. You can follow Fadell on Twitter here.

WEEE Recycling – What does it mean for businesses?

ID-10060928 recycling
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you know that each year, between 20 to 50 million tons of electrical waste is disposed of across the world?
The world we now live in is influenced by a digital culture whereby technology is advancing at such a rapid speed; new products and innovative upgrades are no longer an uncommon occurrence and have become part of our everyday life. All of this has made it far easier and acceptable to replace existing electronic equipment with the newest model to keep up with current trends.

E-waste is becoming one of the fastest expanding waste networks in this day and age, which is where WEEE recycling comes in.

What is WEEE recycling?

WEEE stands for Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment and it was a directive set up to deal with and reduce the amount of electrical products and equipment that end up as waste.
With only a minute percentage of this type of waste actually being recycled, the initiative looks to target businesses that manufacture, import or distribute these types of EEE products and ensure they comply with regulations.

How do I know if I am an EEE business?

If you operate within the UK and are any of the following, you will be classed as an EEE producer business and will need to comply with the scheme:

• Importer of electronic and electrical equipment
• Manufacturer of electronic and electrical equipment
• Re-brander of electronic and electrical equipment

Retailers who stock and sell electrical goods will be classed as distributors under the act and will need to follow specific guidelines.

What does it mean for my business

As a producer of electrical products, you have a responsibility to follow the regulations set out no matter the size of your organisation.
The WEEE initiative provides businesses with guidance and advice to help decipher when an electrical product is classed as waste and when it is not. This will help to encourage and change the thought process within businesses and minimise the amount of waste being thrown away.

Regulations are set up now to ensure the waste is dealt with in the correct manner and will not harm the environment, this means a change for businesses in terms of procedures, processes as well as culture. However, this legislation will ultimately help to make businesses become greener to reduce their EEE waste.

If you feel your business falls within these categories, please visit the environmental agency online for further information on this legislation.

This post has been contributed by Enviro Waste, a leading rubbish removal company who is putting the environment at the heart of its activities.

Things casinos are doing to become more environmentally friendly

Now that “green” issues have gone mainstream it is vital for any business sector that wants to stay competitive to address public concerns about their impact on the environment. The highly successful (it is worth $30 billion) casino industry is one of those which is doing so. Perhaps the single biggest move it has made towards reducing its impact on the environment is the development of online casino, like JackpotCity. Having the ability to play casino games – and run casinos – on a remote, electronic basis, leads to reductions in everything from paper waste to energy use.

However when it comes to land-based casinos, it is those in America which have proven to be market leaders. When it comes to environmental friendliness, those casinos which are members of the American Gaming Association have been particularly proactive. An example of this would be the measures taken to reduce electricity consumption through lighting. Many AGA casino are replacing the incandescent lights used on their marquees, with cold cathode ones – which has the potential to cut lighting energy consumption by a massive 75%. This is just one of the steps being taken by these casinos to improve energy efficiency.

There are also changes being made to ensure that the excess heat created by the large boilers employed in casinos does not get wasted. Some casinos are doing this by using this excess heat to provide power for generators, while others are using it to heat water required for the running of the casino. Throw in the recycling measures also being employed by AGA casinos – with some managing to recycle as much as 75% of the waste material generated in the everyday operation of the casino – and it is clear that those US casinos which operate under the umbrella of the American Gaming Association are leading the field when it comes to “green” initiatives.

Of course with the rise in online casinos such as riverbelle there has been an impact on the amount of emissions caused by vehicle travel to land based casinos.

Tom Steyer dives into Virginia governor race

Tom Steyer has been making plenty of news as a philanthropist and environmental activist, but lately the billionaire has made it clear he is going to do his best to alter the political landscape by supporting politicians that share his concerns for global warming and sustainability.

He has been very vocal against the Keystone pipeline, and now he’s getting involved in the 2013 race for governor in Virginia.

Tom Steyer, the environmentalist billionaire who has mounted a national campaign opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, has directed his political operation to spend heavily in the Virginia governor’s race in support of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, POLITICO has learned.

Steyer, a California-based financier, instructed advisers on Friday to launch television ads starting this week. The paid-media blitz from his group, NextGen Climate Action, will be the opening salvo in what’s expected to be a much larger effort aimed at mobilizing and turning out climate-oriented voters in a key off-year gubernatorial race.

The enterprise will be a test both of Steyer’s individual influence in electoral politics, and of the impact of heavily-funded advocacy politics within the Democratic Party. The bet, for Steyer, is that making climate issues a prominent part of the Virginia election will nudge the center of national politics in a greener direction, shaping the political landscape for 2014 and 2016 and giving environmental interests a stronger hand to play in Washington policy debates.

McAuliffe has a good record on environmental issues, but the real motivation has to be his GOP opponent Ken Cuccinelli, who Steyer called an “environmental nightmare.” Cuccinelli seems to have backward views on everything, as he’s even tried to support Virginia’s old laws against adultery. So it’s no surprise that he’s against any real efforts to stem global warming, and he basically engaged in a which hunt against University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann according to McAuliffe and many commentators. Let’s hope Steyer is successful here.

Rain barrels and rain gardens

If you’re looking for a way to become more green with your lifestyle, think about using rain barrels and a rain garden. Here’s an article of how they are being used in Cleveland.

Karen McKay, who lives at the end of Klusner Avenue in Parma, across the street from West Creek Reservation, recently had a rain garden and two rain barrels installed on her property.

That would be unremarkable under most circumstances. After all, lots of environment-minded gardeners are hooking up rain barrels, which are cisterns that collect and store rainwater that would otherwise run off of roofs and into storm drains and streams. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a substantial amount of the pollution in streams, rivers and lakes — including fertilizers, pesticides and yard clippings — is carried there by runoff from yards and gardens.

Rain gardens are often referred to as “a beautiful solution to pollution.” Typically filled with native plants that require less water, a rain garden is a shallow depression planted at the base of a downspout, driveway or sump pump to capture rainwater runoff and stop it from reaching the sewer system or waterways.

You can also check out the video above on how to make your own rain barrel.

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