Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Zealand airline flies jetliner partly run on veggie oil

A Jefliner ran on sustainable biofuel for about 2 hours. Check out the full story at

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kendall Square Holiday on Ice

Two Free Shows

Saturday, December 20th at 2:00pm & 5:00pm

Kendall Square Community Skating will kick off its public skating season with Gingerbread Men, a Carton of Milk, and Holiday Cheer when it presents the Second Annual "Kendall Square Holiday on Ice" - a spectacular, fun-filled skating show, free of charge suitable for all ages - Saturday, December 20th with performances at 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

The event produced by Frozen Frog Productions; will feature an exciting cast of professional skaters and performers Featuring skating performances by former stars of Disney on Ice and Ice Capades, and US National and International medalists. Emceed by former Ringling Brothers circus star, Chris Allison
as Bucky the Clown.

"Kendall Square Holiday on Ice" is open to the public and free of charge.
Event Schedule:
* Free Admission and Skate Rentals All-Day
* 2:00pm "Kendall Square Holiday On Ice" (1st performance)
* 3:00pm - 5:00pm Free food and beverage, in addition to Free Skating
* 5:00pm "Kendall Square Holiday On Ice" (2nd performance)
* 6:00 PM- 10:00 PM, Free Skating

Kendall Square Community Ice Rink is 8,400 square feet seasonal outdoor ice skating rink, located in the heart of Kendall Square. The facility is refrigerated, zamboni-maintained and located in a landscaped courtyard. The rink is open to the public 7 days a week December through Mid-March. For more information, including rates, directions, and hours of operation, please visit

For more information please contact John Pyne, Rink Manager at (617) 492-0941 or Kendall Square Community Skating is located at 300 Athenaeum Street, Cambridge MA 02142

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hydroponics brings farming to urban environments

Researchers-turned-growers are using hydroponics—the process of growing plants in water instead of soil—to bring farming to urban environments, including apartment buildings, rooftops, and vacant lots.

Once thought of as only a niche technology, hydroponic farming is getting a second look from researchers and public health advocates because of several factors, including the environmental cost of shipping produce from farms to cities and the risk of bacteria across extensive, insecure food chains.

Here's a story from, if you are looking for more info on hydroponics.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

President-Elect Obama calls for urgent fix to global climate change

At the Governor's Climate Change Summit in Los Angeles this week, President-Elect Obama made strong statements about the global climate changes affecting the world.

"Few challenges facing America–and the world–are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We've seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season," Obama said at the summit.

As if that statement weren't enough, Obama had some other things to say that left little doubt whether he will push environmental policy changes during his presidency. Among them:
  • "My presidency will mark a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process.
  • "Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security.”
The Daily Green has an opinion piece responding to what Obama said, if you are interested.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

United Nations reports worldwide rising carbon emissions

Worldwide carbon emissions from industrialized countries increased from 2000 to 2006, after showing a slight decline throughout the 1990s, according to a United Nations report released yesterday.

The release of the report comes two weeks before the U.N. is set to meet and discuss the issue at a major review conference. The conference is expected to work on an agreement that will serve as a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The United States signed the Kyoto Protocol but never had any plans of taking the necessary steps to ratify it, which would have made it legally binding for the country to reduce the six greenhouse gases named in the protocol.

Friday, November 14, 2008


If you were ever interested on saving the world without doing anything, then we have the program for you. GreenPrint is a revolutionary way to save money, trees, and waste. Add this program to your computer, and you will no longer print out useless pages with a URL, signature, or legal jargon. The best part is that if you have Windows 2000 or Vista you can get it free.

Just check it out here for all the details and happy printing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Less toxic antifreeze may be on the way

Performance testing of using glycerin, a byproduct of bio diesel production, as a base in antifreeze has shown that it should be reexamined as a possible less toxic base.

This Eco Geek article supports the use of glycerin in antifreeze because the current bases are much more toxic. Check it out for more info on the subject.

Monday, November 10, 2008

How will President Obama's administration impact the environment?

As this blogger points out, "The transition from a Bush Administration to a Barack Obama Administration implies enormous policy differences." That may be quite the understatement.

But what does this mean for environmental and scientific issues?

As far as the environment goes, Obama criticized the Bush administration's stance and reaction to global warming. During the campaign, the President-Elect called for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emission in the country by 2050.

In the realm of science, the Bush administration drew heavy criticism for allegedly editing federal reports about global warming. Will the Obama administration continue this practice, or will the new President receive criticism for overstating the problems surrounding this issue, as many from across the aisle believe?

One thing's for sure: It will be interesting to see how the Obama adminstration deals with environmental issues and if the new President is able to keep the promises he campaigned on.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Brown is going green

That's right: UPS has joined forces with the EPA to start "greening" its fleet of delivery trucks.

The trucks are powered by an eco-friendly hydraulic hybrid system that combines a diesel engine with a unique hydraulic propulsion system. The technology was developed in the EPA laboratory in Michigan and patented by the government agency.

Government testing has shown that the trucks use 50 percent less fuel and have much lower carbon emissions than regular delivery trucks.

While this initial order is only for seven delivery trucks, the company hopes that the EPA can work out agreements with manufacturers to mass produce the trucks, making them able to be affordably purchased in large quantities.

Click here for more information in a story on

Monday, November 3, 2008

Researchers claim to have proof that global warming is man-made

Researchers at the United Kingdom's University of East Anglia claim to have discovered conclusive proof that humans are responsible for the rising temperatures in the earth's polar regions.

As part of their study, the researchers created statistical models that suggest the warming in the polar regions is not consistent with internal climate variability or natural drivers alone.

For more on this, check out this story on

Monday, October 27, 2008

Two "other" greenhouse gases worry scientists

With almost all of the attention pertaining to greenhouse gases focused on man-made CO2, some other contributors to global warming are often forgotten.

The amount of two other gases—methane and nitrogen trifluoride, which come primarily from decaying ancient plant life and flat-panel screen technology, respectively—in the atmosphere is on the rise as well.

Of these two, methane, which makes up roughly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, is the one that concerns scientists the most. Methane is released into the air from decaying plants, coal mines, landfills, and a few other sources. At the heart of this issue is the methane (from ancient plants) trapped in the permafrost and ocean floor of the arctic regions of the earth. As these regions warm, this methane will likely be released, hastening the warming of the earth.

For more, click here for an Associated Press article on the study.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Top 5 retro fuel-efficient cars

Sticking with the theme of fuel-efficient cars, Popular Mechanics has an article on the five most fuel-efficient cars from the last 40 years. The article includes a history of the models, pictures, fuel-efficiency numbers, and other interesting information.

Also on Popular Mechanics Web site is a test drive article/video of the new electric Mini Cooper. This latest model can go about 200 miles on a fully charged battery and takes about six to eight hours to charge. More importantly, it costs a much more affordable $50,000, compared with a few years ago when an all-electric car would have run in excess of six figures.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The 10 most fuel-efficient cars for 2009 has a slide show today with details of the 10 most fuel-efficient cars and SUVs of the 2009 class. The slide show provides the cost, city/highway fuel economy, CO2 emission rate, and air pollution score of each car or SUV as well as some additional information. Click here to see it.

In related news, the 2009 Toyota Prius, which was the most fuel-efficient car on the list, may include an option for built-in solar panels, according to Toyota officials. More info and pictures of the 2009 model is here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

MBTA to expand Wi-Fi on commuter rail system

The MBTA's Board of Directors has unanimously approved a plan to expand Wi-Fi service to all lines of its commuter rail system.

The MBTA started a pilot program in January, when it equipped several coaches on the Worcester line with Wi-Fi. Because of the positive feedback from that program, the board authorized $1.39 million to install Wi-Fi equipment on 258 coaches on the various lines of the commuter rail system.

The plan calls for every trip on every line of the commute rail to have at least one Wi-Fi-ready coach. Installation of the equipment is scheduled to begin in December, with the service being installed on about 30 coaches per month until the project is completed.

After this round of Wi-Fi equipment is installed and in use, MBTA officials will evaluate whether to equip the rest of the coaches with the service.

For more information on the MBTA and its services, click here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Global warming endangers tropical plants and animals

University of Connecticut scientists conducting research in Costa Rica have come to the conclusion that global warming endangers many lowland plant and animal species in the tropics.

While many people are concerned about the effect of global warming on the polar regions, even more harm may be done to the environment around the tropical regions of the planet, the researchers said.

The researchers said that because the tropics are already so hot, many of the species there are living at the maximum temperature at which it is possible for them to survive.

For more information, check out this story on

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Save money on taxes in 2009 while going green

The Daily Green provides an interesting list of six ways to save more than $12,000 on your 2009 taxes by going green. This list includes several tax break incentives for purchasing green technology.

Click here for the article.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Aerodynamic car averages 113 miles per gallon

Two car designers in Oregon have built an aerodynamic car that averaged 113 miles per gallon on a trip from the Canada-Washington border to the Washington-Oregon border, breaking the world record for fuel efficiency in a car.

For more information on this feat, click here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Minuteman Bikeway inducted into hall of fame

Local officials and bicyclists celebrated the Minuteman Bikeway's induction into the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Rail-Trail Hall of Fame with a rolling celebration on Sunday, Oct. 7, that began with an event at the Alewife Station. After the event, a group of bicyclists rode the length of trail, with stops in Arlington, Lexington and Bedford.

The 11-mile trail, which used to be a rail line for trains, is now a path for bicyclists and walkers that runs from Cambridge to Bedford.

"We are all very excited about the award," said Joey Glushko, Arlington Department of Planning and Community Development liaison to the Arlington Bike Committee. “ [The trail] has a great atmosphere, is used by every age group, and is wonderfully accessible."

The trail is one of the most popular in New England, attracting an estimated two million visitors a year. The trail is maintained by the four communities it passes through. The trail was not only created with recreation in mind but also with the goal of reducing automobile traffic in the area as the trail serves as a convenient bicycling and walking route from the Alewife Station to other communities in the area.

The Minuteman Bikeway is the fifth of 25 trails that will be inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Since announcing in June that the Minuteman Bikeway would be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the RTC has chosen its sixth and seventh inductees, a trail in Illinois and a trail in Wisconsin. The RTC will inductee 18 more trails into the Hall of Fame between now and the end of 2011.

The path is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. year round. For more information on the Minuteman Bikeway, visit the trail's web site.

Monday, October 6, 2008

How green are you?

The Daily Green Green has a fun quiz for you to learn just how green you are (as well as how green you actually want to be). Click here to take the quiz.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Big changes can come in small packages

A study released today suggests that Americans consumers have direct or indirect control of 65 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. To name two examples: Passenger vehicles make up 17 percent of the country's emissions, and residential homes make up another 17 percent.

While we often blame large corporations for their disinterest in the global warming problem, individuals can have a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our country by doing little things. Taking transit whenever possible, finding a co-worker to carpool with, and walking or riding a bicycle on short trips are a few simple things you can do that add up. In fact, for those of you reading whose company is one of our clients, your company offers you a number of incentives and/or benefits to encourage you to do something besides drive alone to work.

As this article points out, when gas prices shot up, Americans started driving less, which had a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions. If Americans put their mind to it, then we can have a major effect on these emissions—one person or one trip at a time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

An all-electric family car?

Tesla Motors is developing plans for an affordable all-electric car that it hopes to release sometime in the coming years. Telsa is primarily known for making all-electric luxury sports cars (which are well out of the average buyer's price range), so news that it intends to begin work on a "family" vehicle that will cost between $20,000 and $30,000 is interesting.

After the technology is developed for the family cars, the company also hopes to use the technology to build minivans, coupes, and light pickup trucks to be used in commercial fleets. But, creating the affordable technology necessary to manufacture these family cars (and later the commercial fleet vehicles) won't be easy. Tesla will have to partner with other automakers as well as auto parts manufactures to get this done. Here's hoping that the companies involved have the flexibility and the desire to make it happen.

I've always enjoyed the thought of an electric car, but both the price and efficiency of current models have left a lot to be desired. As the technology advances, the efficiency does as well, making these cars more and more viable as replacements for traditional automobiles. All that's left now is an automaker coming up with the ability to mass produce and market these in a way that makes them affordable to the average buyer. I'll be cheering Tesla on with mild optimism as they work toward this.

For more information, click here for a news story from CNET on the Tesla announcement.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alternative vehicles on display in Framingham

The fourth annual AltWheels Fleet Day was held over the weekend in Framingham at Staples' world headquarters. Over 300 auto and technology makers were on-hand to pitch their alternative products to fleet managers, who were looking to make their company's transit more green (and, obviously, cost less).

As gas prices continue to hover between $3 and $4, it's no wonder that businesses are starting to pay more attention to the green movement. And more and more business are popping up with the goal of providing the goods and services necessary for these companies to get green. In fact, the 300 exhibitors at the AltWheels event was triple the number that appeared at the same event just last year.

According to this Christian Science Monitor blog, U.S. auto giants Ford and GM were at the event to talk about each company's plans in regards to sustainable energy. Ford's Director of Sustainable Business Strategies said the company is trying to create technology that is not only greener but also affordable and easy to produce in high quantities. In addition to the company's new EcoBoost engines, which claim to increase gas mileage by 20 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent, the company is working on making its vehicle's components slimmer to improve gas mileage.

Increased interest in events such as this one suggest that the green movement continues to slowly gain traction in the business world. And as more businesses realize the importance of conserving our environment (and that they can also save a lot of money by going green), interest in sustainable-energy products and practices will only increase.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Study shows worldwide CO2 emissions increased in 2007

Study results released today show that worldwide emissions of CO2, believed to be the chief man-made cause of global warming, increased by three percent from 2006 to 2007.

These numbers are called 'scary' by many experts that believed emissions would be lower in 2007 because of the slight economic downturn seen in many of the larger countries in the world. Emissions in the U.S. increased by two percent in 2007, after decreasing from 2005 to 2006.

Compounding this problem even more is the fact that the world's forest and oceans are sucking up CO2 at a lower rate this century than they did last century.

Furthermore, these numbers put the world on a possible course that is worse than the "worst-case" scenerio for global warming that Nobel Prize winning scientists projected in 2007.

Your company offers a number of programs and incentives to make it easier for you to lower your carbon footprint and keep our environment and world cleaner by doing something besides driving alone to work. What have you done lately to keep our environment safe for future generations?

Here's a complete link to the story on

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A look at the Presidential candidates stance on green issues

The Daily Green ( has an interesting analysis of the seven biggest green-related election issues, including energy costs, global warming and offshore drilling. The article includes a short background of each issue as well as the position of Republican nominee Senator John McCain and Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama.

The next President will play an important role in shaping the policies that our country takes in relation to these green issues. Do yourself a favor and check out this analysis piece at

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gas up on this

GM has given a new Fuel Cell Equinox to the head of the EPA. The car will be used in day-to-day activities around Washington, D.C. Every time it is refueled at a hydrogen station, information will be sent to GM regarding its performance. There are several government-regulated hydrogen refueling stations and one public one in the D.C. area. GM has also given 100 hydrogen-fueled cars to private and public groups (companies and organizations) to use and collect data from the cars.

For more information:

**Bloggers note: We are currently working on a video news report about hydrogen fueling cells. Check back often!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Polar bears go green!

Polar bears in the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in central Japan turned green after taking a dip in a pond. Zoo officials had recently ordered that the pond be refreshed less to conserve energy and water. Because of the hot summer, algea formed in the pond and stuck to the polar bears hollowed hairs when they took a swim. The algea does not harm the polar bears and will die off as fall approaches.

This just proves that even our animal kingdom is doing its part to go green. What have you done?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Texas Instruments makes greener chips

Texas Instruments has developed a new chip that can be used in a larger variety of products, including battery-powered cars and solar panel lighting. The new chip is so sophisticated it conserves energy usage. The example presented by is “set an air conditioner or refrigerator fan at a lower speed rather than always full blast. A variable-speed air conditioner could be 30 percent more efficient, says TI.” Chips such as this haven’t been used in the past because of their price, but TI has be able to produce them cheaper starting at $2 for bulk orders.

For the original article, visit

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sell (recycle) your old electronics

Be green and make green by selling your old electronics. will give you an estimate for your product, and once they receive it, they will clear your personal data and send you a check. The product is refurbished and sold or recycled responsibly. For more information, check out or

Friday, August 22, 2008

Don't cry for Kleenex!

I am appalled at what I just learned. Greenpeace has a huge campaign against Kleenex because they cut century-old trees to make their tissues. They kill wildlife and deforest trees, leaving only stumps behind. I think there is a definite need to bring back the hanky. They are fashionable, personalizable, and completely reusable! Please consider it, and check out the Greenpeace website at

Walk and Run holes in your shoes!

Building 19 has done it again with an amazing deal on sneakers. You can walk or run in comfort and style while saving money. Check out for a store near you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Did you know?

Thirty percent of all consumer waste is packaging material, according to the EPA. Buying things from bulk bins can greatly reduce waste and the cost of packaging the product.

Psychologists Probe What It Means to Think Green

The Daily is a source of news, tips, recipes and other information for regular people who want to go green. Check it out at

Transaction's Thoughts: We believe that everyone has a vested interest in the world. There are so many ways you can reduce and reuse everything around you. Less is more, and it will not only save you money but also save the environment.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Audio book sale!

Hello commuters with MP3 players and CD walkmans! Why not commute while listening to a great book on tape. Building 19 is having a big sale on audio book CD’s this coming week starting Sunday, Aug. 17th. I don’t know about you, but a sale always sounds good to me. Check out their website for a location near you.

Gas from Corn?

A company called Poet is working on research and development of a pilot facility that will produce 20,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol. This biofuel is made from corn cobs and the fibers from corn. They are also looking into using other plant residuals to produce cellulosic ethanol. The company is hoping by 2011 to have a large scale commercial plant open.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Consumers converting own cars to electric

Instead of waiting on long lists for electric cars, this article highlights how consumers are converting their cars and taking out their gas-run engines and installing electric motors. There is also a how-to article on how to do this.

Check out the story on:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

MBTA adds new buses to North Shore area

The MBTA has recently added new buses to the North Shore area routes serving over 12 communities. These buses provide strict regulations for emissions and are just part of a $750-million-dollar budget aimed at improving service and air quality.

For more info, check out

Decrease in road travel

A story was posted on The Boston Channel’s website today. The story highlights the decrease in miles driven by Americans since November 2007. A 4.7% decrease was seen in the month of June alone, compared with June 2007. This brings up an interesting topic: tax revenue. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters says, “We can’t afford to continue pinning our transportation network’s future to the gas tax”. In a nutshell, the less gas we purchase, the less tax revenue is received for infrastructure. We all know the condition of our roads and bridges.

Check out the article:

Sustainable Fashion

Just came across this great website Dig ‘N’ Swap ( You start an account, you upload images of clothes you don’t want, and you look for clothes you do want. Then you swap! How fun and environmentally friendly! See the website for more information.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cambridge Bike Shops

Interested in getting a new bike or a new bell for your old bike? These shops will be more than happy to help you. Biking helps burn calories and reduce emissions.

Commonwealth passes 5 new energy bills

On Aug. 2nd, 2008, Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts legislation passed five "green" bills. The passage of these initiatives puts Massachusetts at the forefront of energy and environmental policy in the United States. The measures include: The Green Communities Act, Oceans Act, Clean Energy Biofuels Act, Global Warming Solutions Act, and Green Jobs Act.

These first-in-the-nation policies mean gasoline tax exemptions for cellulosic biofuel, mandating a blended biodiesel, investments in and development of wind, wave, and tidal power generation while protecting state waters. The Global Warming Solutions Act mandates greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

For more information please check out the Boston Globe article "Green, with Envy."

For a transcript from the Energy Bill Signing or the press release, visit the Boston Government website.