Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

In my previous article on this topic, Solar Power Northwest: Remodeling your home, I looked at the numbers behind solar power in the Northwest prompted by two articles in James Lupori’s Kenmore Undressed blog. Now we’re going to take a look at an actual home in the Brier neighborhood, via James’ latest article: Solar Energy – The Perfect Remodeling Project of the Future, Part 3.

Eric’s setup uses 18 panels that provide most of his daytime power needs. The article doesn’t mention if Eric uses Energy Star appliances, which would benefit him by letting him sell power back to the utilities reducing his total utility bill. That’s the smart way to go.

[Edit: In response to the question about how much this installation cost Eric, I don’t have hard numbers, but I estimate it was between $28,000 and $30,000.]

The next step in energy conservation would be Smart Grid aware appliances, heating systems and water heaters.

The Smart Grid, in a nutshell, turns power transmission and production from a centralized system to a distributed system that is self-aware and responds to the demands for power from homes and businesses. This is supported by Smart Grid-aware appliances and heating and cooling systems in your home. As demand spikes, your fridge goes to a longer cooling cycle to reduce it’s load on the grid, your water heater doesn’t reheat the water immediately , etcetera. Ideally, your home will be wired to manage its energy usage. Instead of a water heater, you’d have an on-demand tankless water heater so there’s no need to heat or even store 30+ gallons of water.

However, creating the Smart Grid will take time. Puget Sound Energy is looking into implementing Smart Grid Technology, but like most nascent technologies, there are multiple standards coalescing into a single one. Just another step towards our energy independence!


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So, what would happen if the City of Seattle where to tear down the Alaskan Way Viaduct and not replace it with anything?

According to most pundits: Gridlock!

But according to the Braess Paradox: Better traffic flow and less traffic.

This is the conundrum presented in the Infrastructurist post “Huh?! 4 Cases Of How Tearing Down A Highway Can Relieve Traffic Jams (And Save Your City)”, where four case studies are examined and show that removing roads can actually reduce traffic in a city.


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Bastyr University’s 11th Annual Herb & Food Fair

When: Saturday, June 6, 2009
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Bastyr University Campus Grounds
Theme: “Sustainable Nutrition and Healing”
List of Events: Download the schedule of events.
Web Site:  Herb & Food Fair

Description: Bastyr University announces its 11th annual Herb & Food Fair- “Sustainable Nutrition and Healing”, to be held on Saturday, June 6, 2009, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Growing every year, this FREE annual event has educational and fun activities for the whole family. Healthy lifestyle vendors, public talks and lectures, cooking demonstrations, guided herb garden and reflexology path walks, live music and much more are scheduled throughout the day for all to enjoy.

Keynote speakers include Richo Cech, a village herbalist, plant explorer, author and owner of Horizon Herbs, which is “sowing seeds worldwide for the benefit of people, plants and the planet.” Richo is the author of the widely acclaimed and quoted Horizon Herbs Growing Guide and Catalog, as well as Making Plant Medicine, Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs, and The Medicinal Herb Grower. Karen Jurgensen is a chef instructor at both the Seattle Culinary Academy and the Quillisascut Farm School, as well as a mercenary cook and a restaurant consultant in Seattle. She founded the Seattle chapter of Chefs Collaborative (a.k.a FORKS) and is actively involved in local food politics, the regional Food Policy Council, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Les Dames d’Escoffier and Slow Food’s RAFT project.

Getting There: A free shuttle will run every 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from the Kenmore park and ride, located at 7346 NE Bothell Way. Limited parking is available on campus for $5.

For more information: Call 425.602.3107. Bastyr’s whole foods cafeteria will be open for those who wish to purchase vegetarian treats and other food vendors will be available onsite at the fair.

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Today on KUOW, Steve Schere interviewed Bill McKibben, Jim Hanna, and Matt Cohen about the public hearing that the Environmental Protection Agency will hold tomorrow, May 21st, in Seattle on whether global warming pollution is a threat to public health and welfare. It was an interesting interview and lots of good information was discussed over the various issues we are facing here in America.

Weekday: Is Carbon Dioxide a Danger to Public Health?

Weekday High MP3

Weekday Low MP3

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On Thursday, May 21st, the EPA is holding the second of two hearings on the “Proposed endangerment and cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act”. Primarily they will be determining the following:

The Administrator signed a proposal with two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:

  • The Administrator is proposing to find that the current and projected concentrations of the mix of six key greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. This is referred to as the endangerment finding.
  • The Administrator is further proposing to find that the combined emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, and HFCs from new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of these key greenhouse gases and hence to the threat of climate change. This is referred to as the cause or contribute finding.

This proposed action, as well as any final action in the future, would not itself impose any requirements on industry or other entities. An endangerment finding under one provision of the Clean Air Act would not by itself automatically trigger regulation under the entire Act.

What does this mean in English? 

  1. Do various gases emitted by autos and industry form a threat to us and our descendants in the form of global warming and other types of harm?
  2. Do cars contribute to global warming because of their emissions?
  3. And even if they do, the EPA won’t do squat about regulating them at this time.

You can register to speak on this subject at the EPA site. You can also attend a rally being planned at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center by several groups. For those of us in the North King County area, I suggest RSVPing at Northeast Seattle Neighbors’ Sustainability Network. Or you can register at 1Sky to attend the rally.

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seattlehs2009Hello folks! This weekend is the opening shot for the Seattle Home Show. I’m going to attend this Saturday to see what sort of new green technology is available and report on it here in the Living Sustainably blog.

Hopefully I’ll find some useful green technology that we can use to reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably. Stain tuned!

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