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America Recycles Day

The national recycling rate has increased every year for the past 30 years.
The current recycling rate is 34.5%.
For America Recycles Day 2015, I pledge to:

Learn. I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community.

Act. Reduce my personal waste by recycling. Within the next month, I will recycle more.

Share. In the next month, I will encourage one family member or one friend to take the pledge.

Post. Take and post a photo of you recycling and enter the #Iwillrecycle sweepstakes.

Versión en Español


Celebrating Earth Day with the SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has taken a dual approach to sustainability this Earth Day. The SBA is leading by example by reducing the environmental impact of our own operations while continuing to offer resources to small businesses who are interested in “going green.”  Link

Green Electronics news release

Future Tense – a partnership of New America, Arizona State University, and Slate – has announced the launch of Green Electronics: A U.S.-China Maker Challenge, an unprecedented online DIY competition focused on preventing the creation of electronic waste. The competition, a collaboration between Future Tense, China’s Tsinghua University, and other partners, invites U.S. and Chinese makers to find creative ways to turn yesterday’s cellphone battery into tomorrow’s treasure.  “This is a great opportunity for the United States and China to work toward common goals,” said Emily Parker, senior fellow and digital diplomacy advisor at New America, who helped spearhead this project. “Both the U.S. and China want to encourage the innovation happening at the DIY or maker level, and both countries face the challenge of reducing e-waste.”  Electronic products tend to become unusable after just a few years, and items such as computers, DVD players, and cell phones frequently wind up in landfills. Some of the most creative solutions to this problem may come from U.S. and Chinese makers, many of whom already incorporate old electronic components into their DIY creations. Green Electronics will give makers an opportunity to showcase their creations online.  Participants will be invited to upcycle or hack an electronic product to create a new electronic product; repair an electronic product; create a sustainable electronic product; or create artwork from used electronic products. They will show their inventions on, where submissions will be accepted from April 7 – May 31, 2014. Following a round of public voting, a panel of judges will choose the best selections from each country. Winners will receive prizes as well as the opportunity to showcase their creations on Slate.  Judges include Chris Anderson, former Wired editor; Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab; Mitzi Montoya, Vice President and University Dean of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Arizona State University; and Sun Hong Bin, Dean of Educational Affairs at Tsinghua University. Partners include Instructables, TechShop,, XinCheJian, Autodesk, and Inventables.  For more information, visit us online or plan to attend a Green Electronics open house at a TechShop near you – dates/times/locations are listed online

Duke Energy & Google: a powerful team

Duke Energy recently filed an application to launch a new renewable energy program in North Carolina. If approved, the program will enable select large customers to secure up to 100 percent of new electricity needs from renewable energy sources. The application was up for discussion Dec. 16 at a standing meeting of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. No ruling was issued during the meeting, but the Commission is likely either to rule in the coming days or establish a comment period to allow interested parties more time to review the proposal and offer comments to the Commission.

The application was foreshadowed in April, when Duke and Google, a key customer seeking expanded renewable energy options in North Carolina, announced Duke’s commitment to develop the program. In the seven months since the initial announcement, Duke worked to develop a program that responds to an increasingly prevalent trend: influential customers stepping forward to urge utilities to expand clean energy programs.

Data centers represent one of the fastest-growing sectors of electricity consumption, and leaders in this space, such as GoogleApple and Facebook, have taken bold steps to match their energy-hungry operations with renewable energy sources. Last month, for example, Facebook announced it would pair a new Iowa data center with a now-under-construction 138-MW wind farm. In most cases (like the Facebook Iowa example), the solution has been a single renewable energy project or portfolio of projects, sized to match the electricity needs of a particular data center or other large customer, and negotiated directly with the utility serving the data center.  Rest of GreenBiz article

Carolina Green Fair

The Carolina Green Fair is bringing their four year old event to Columbia on October 22nd at Finlay Park.  The South Carolina Green Fair is supported by a committee of passionate individuals, who believe that by educating both consumers and businesses through the Green Fair Events it is possible to make South Carolina an even finer place to live! Their purpose is to create excitement and enthusiasm for green products, services and technologies that are available to the residents of South Carolina using an environmentally responsible forum of education and entertainment.  More at CarolinaGreenFair

Fostering green innovation

Presently sitting in a very interesting session on the above topic at OECD Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy.  More on this later.


Steampunk describes a world of airships plying the aether and mechanical computing based on Babbage’s Difference Engine. Artists show great imagination in describing a world where coal is still king, streets are gas lit, and rock oil has not yet been rebranded as petroleum.

They play with the ideas of lock-in and path dependence, a situation where a technology that may be inferior to alternatives still dominates because switching would create too many problems, or be too expensive, or where an early decision limits the options available later, even if the original conditions are no longer relevant.

A new study from the OECD Fostering Innovation for Green Growth looks at these issues too, but with more of a policy focus than say Steamboy or FreakAngels. It may be hard to see what government bureaucracies with their rules and procedures could do to promote innovation other than shut up and leave the innovators to get on with it. In fact, they can do quite a lot. History has plenty of examples of inventions and other innovations that came about thanks to public money.   Rest

SEI’s New Aluminum-Celmet

June 24, 2011 – Celmet is a porous metal made from nickel or nickel chrome alloy. The porous metal manufacturing process comprises electro conductive coating to plastic foam, followed by nickel plating and plastic foam removal by heat treatment.

Celmet’s features include high porosity (up to 98%), considerably higher than other porous metals, such as nonwoven metal fabric and foam metal; it also features a three-dimensional mesh-like structure that forms interconnected, open and spherical pores. Moreover, it is easy to process the porous metal into various shapes by cutting and stamping.

These features lead to favorable filling, retaining and current-collecting performance, when used with an active material. As such, Celmet has recently been adopted as a positive electrode current collector in hybrid vehicle nickel-hydrogen batteries.  Rest