BayCycle: Bike by Land or Sea

Want to bike to school, but there’s a river in the way? Fear not: meet BayCycle. This bike features a raft, which means you can pedal by from land to water and back.

Learn more about BayCycle here.  Would you paddle/pedal on one of these bad boys? Let us know in a comment below!

 

Lower bills and lower CO2 levels- Who doesn’t want those two things?

Hey everyone,

Since it’s finally getting colder, like myself, I’m sure that you all are probably trying to keep warm. Heating your whole house is expensive, so wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to keep warm and keep your bills more reasonable? Energy conscious engineers in Madrid may be able to help you out!

Many people have been using solar panels to heat the water in their bathroom for several years now, but the engineers at the Madrid University Carlos III and Politécnica say that they can also be used to heat in the winter and cool in the summer large inhabited spaces. They’ve incorporated solar panels into a gas-based system within a larger absorption machine. This would reduce both energy expenditure and CO2 emissions!

The gas engine within this system generates electricity and can in use the residual heat that is produced in the conversion process during winter months. Then, in summer when we are sweltering, the residual heat powers an absorption machine which cools the water to provide air conditioning.

Pedro A. Rodriguez, the primary author of the study, explained that although it is only compulsory for establishments in order to meet the demand for hot water, a very limited number of them escape this by not having either showers or kitchens. In order to make establishments utilize this new energy system, the energy needs of buildings, one must consider the temporal trends in a specific area.

Although at the moment only businesses, train stations such as the Atocha Station in Madrid, and shopping malls have been utilizing this new green technology, maybe someday soon we all will have the ability to use solar panels to reduce both our energy bills and our carbon footprint!

Source: http://www.uc3m.es/portal/page/portal/actualidad_cientifica/noticias/solar_panels

 

OnAir says: How can you stay green as it gets colder? Let us know your ideas in a comment below!

Powershift2013

Powershift is an event where people from all over the WORLD with like minds come together to learn, hear stories, go to different workshops on the aspects of the environmental issues you want to solve and learn how to “SHIFT THE POWER” to a green economy, and climate justice in your community

This year I was able to attend w/ a free scholarship thanks to Alliance of Climate Education (ACE), and it changed my life. There was so many inspiring keynote speakers and even just individuals my age that told their story in a rap,poem, essay, dance, are, literally anything.

I learned that kids my age CAN make a difference in the world, and you can save the world while having fun!! I came back to Georgia not wanting to go back of course and with more knowledge and wanting to get out to my community and demand environmental justice! Cant wait to attend again in 2015 as a college student!!!

Eating like you mean it

We all know eating organic and local is the way to go when buying food because, as a teacher once told me, “every time you buy something, you’re voting for the kind of world you want to live in,” and making those decisions is choosing healthier plants, animals, workers, bodies, and planet. But do you know how you can supercede that decision to make even better eating and lifestyle choices? Stay tuned to find out.

Organic farming is designed to reduce pollution and conserve water without releasing harmful pesticides that harm health and wildlife. When buying organic, you also avoid the risks associated with pesticides, herbicides, additives, preservatives that come with conventional agriculture. By becoming an informed and aware consumer, you support practices that ensure your health and that of the world you live in. Here are some examples of how to start:

  • Look for the USDA Organic label on a product. It means that at least 95% of the food’s ingredients were organically produced or that the product was “made with organic ingredients,” which means the product contains at least 70 % organic ingredients.
  • Avoid the Dirty Dozen–and check out the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” cheat sheet of fruits and vegetables to determine which produce items have the highest and lowest pesticide amount.
  • Buy local and get better food while also ensuring that the money you spend brings twice as much economic wealth to your community. Moreover, purchasing locally and organically raised meats and produce reduces oil consumption significantly as the food industry consumes nearly a fifth of all the petroleum used in the United States.
  • Find out about and combat factory farming. An animal raised on a farm has its weight increased through a daily ration of antibiotics. Such unsustainable and unethical methods are only about maximizing profit and deeply neglect the condition or cost of the food produced.
  • Try meatless Mondays. Think about how far the food on your plate has come and if you’re a major carnivore, take a day or more break off meat a week. The production of meat, especially beef, uses humongous amounts of water and energy.

Your food will surely taste better when you know it’s been treated well and you feel like you’re making a statement of health and care just by eating it.

Sources:
http://www.organic-center.org/
http://www.jamieoliver.com/foundation/
http://sustainableagriculture.net/

The home of a hipster Hobbit.

I love Lord of the Rings. I love everything about it. From the books, to the actual movies, to the characterization, to the whole story…it’s just amazing.

So what would the modern version of Bilbo Baggins’ house look like? Maybe something like this:

©grist.org

This home in Romania is created to be extremely eco-friendly, not to mention equipped with natural ventilation, thermal energy storage in the floors, LED lighting, rainwater storage, and cellulose insulation.

And if you’ve ever seen the Lord of the Rings movies, you’ll see that the structure of this home looks incredibly Hobbit-esque. With the dome structure and the greenery surrounding it, this would definitely be Bilbo-approved.

The Hobbits would be so proud.

Would you live in a home like this? What have you implemented into your household that is green? Would you move to Romania for this? Let us know in a comment below.

Source: http://grist.org/list/if-bilbo-baggins-built-a-zero-energy-hobbit-home-this-is-what-it-would-look-like/

Go Green–and Go Outside

Summer vacation is ALMOST HERE! Time to run around, roll in the sand at the beach, eat loads of ice cream, go to the park, and picnics…we love picnics.

Or you could be the one barricaded at home with the air-conditioner on, playing video games. And not showing off your tan because you don’t have one.

Air-conditioner = waste of energy. Especially if you can be outside and actually enjoying your summer vacation. So don’t stay cooped up this summer–go green by going out! Here are some suggestions:

  1. Have a picnic. All you need is a cooler (replaces the fridge), sunlight (replaces the light in your kitchen) and sandwiches (replaces the oven/stove). You’re set.
  2. Go tanning at the beach. Why do you need to go to a energy-hogging tanning salon if you can just step outside and get a bronze-y glow? What’s that? You don’t have a beach near you? Just step outside; an hour or two in the sun will get you all the glow you need. But make sure to wear sunscreen with a decent SPF–that’s no joke.
  3. Play sports. You know, instead of going to the gym or working out at home. First off, it’s beautiful outside, so why wouldn’t you want to? Second, being in a gym or at home wastes electricity because of the lights and the equipment. Third, for goodness’ sake, you’re outside. And you’re getting tan. And you’re playing volleyball with your friends. Just go.
  4. Start a garden. This is the perfect weather to do so, and plants help out the environment and produce clean oxygen. And you’ll be outside getting tan. (How many times have I mentioned this now?)

 

Got any more eco-friendly suggestions for summer? Let us know in a comment below.

Photo credit: National Geographic

8 Greenest Vacation Spots

Summer vacation is right around the corner! Some of you may be working, doing volunteer work (like cleaning up the city or at a recycling facility, right?), or maybe even being a bum at home. But if you are amongst the lucky individuals that get to go on vacation, then congratulations, we all envy you right now.

Jk, but seriously, that’s fantastic! However, unless you haven’t figured it out yet, planning where to go is a huge deal as well. And considering that you are a reader of OnAir, we assume that you’re trying your best to be green.

So why not aim for places that are easy on the environment? Here are 8 vacation spots that are run on renewable energy, and I gotta tell ya, they do look nice.

Eden Lodge, Madagascar –

This resort promises to plant a tree for every person that stays there, and is powered 100% by solar panels!

© Eden Lodge

 

Majahuitas Resort, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – This resort is powered on solar energy, and doesn’t have air conditioning or television in the rooms to really get people in touch with nature.

© Majahuitas Resort, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

Paraguay – Because of the amount of dams in the country, they are able to produce hydroelectricity. Not to mention, Paraguay is a hot spot for nature lovers!

©kevin.j/Flickr

 

Berkshire East Ski Resort – The resort is powered by electricity produced from a wind turbine! How cool is that?

©Berkshire East

 

Blue Lagoon Resort and Spa, Iceland –  This resort uses  geothermal power from boiling saltwater underground.

©Robert Rozbora/Shutterstock

 

Matava eco-resort, Fiji – This resort is known to be powered with solar energy. Plus, they have grass rooftops. Now that’s green.

©Matava

 

Hidden Valley Cabins, Queensland, Australia – This is Australia’s first solar-powered resort, and it has lots of opportunities for exploring!

©Hidden Valley Cabins

 

Vail, Colorado – This city, which is home to several ski resorts, runs a carbon neutral operation where they buy wind credits to offset the energy they use.

©snowbuzz/Flickr

 

Do any of these places appeal to you? Would you want to go there one day? Have we given you bucket list prospects? Let us know in a comment below!

Source: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/stories/8-vacation-spots-powered-by-renewable-energy

Chastain Park

You may have recently visited a park or two, but I know from personal experience that when I choose a smaller park, I often have to pick between two good things.

For example, I may have to choose between location and atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, parks are still my favorite places, but sometimes the compromise of a “perfect park” seems just out of reach.

Chastain Park is the epitome of this “perfect compromise.” Nestled in a quiet neighborhood, you can easily avoid having to be around busy exhaust ridden streets, but it is also walking distance from cool restaurants and places to hang out; restaurants like Fellini’s Pizzeria. (Which is pretty good, and also inexpensive, I must say).

Chastain is also huge! The sheer number of amenities that are available to members and non-members alike is insane. You can go for a swim, play tennis walk on the trails or, if you are willing to shell out a couple extra bucks, you can take horse-riding lessons!

Another thing I love about Chastain is the space it covers. The park is incredibly spacious. You will never feel crowded on a field at Chastain, unless it is the green of Chastain’s popular amphitheater.

If you want to listen to live music but can’t afford a ticket, Chastain Park is even listening distance from the amphitheater! So you can grab a picnic blanket and enjoy. You can even bring some friends and have your own sort of mini concert party.

It does not matter what you are looking for, if it involves parks you can find it at Chastain. The park is so big that you can go for a peaceful walk at one end, and listen to a rock show in another part. It is ideal for running swimming and tennis. It is truly the best of both worlds.

OnAir says: What are your favorite green spaces in your community? Leave us a comment about your favorite parks and what you like to do there.

Photo credit: PATH Foundation

The best bike in the world.

©grist.org

Would you be more inclined to not travel by car if you had a bike like this? Yes, it’s a pretty fantastic looking bike. But maybe you’re still not convinced.

So what if we told you that it’s  actually a super bike? Like, incredible. Able to perform more incredible feats than any car—all  without leaving a carbon footprint. :

  1. Charges your phone
  2.  Is a wireless hot spot
  3.  Has its own generator,  powered by the wheels turning
  4.  Levitates to avoid bumps
  5.  Doesn’t exist yet

…wait, what? Oh right, this isn’t real…yet.  But imagine a world where this bike is the norm.  Your phone would never be dead. You’d never be out of service range. You’d float over those rough road patches.  And you’d be helping the environment the whole time.

I want this.

Know of any other industrial designers that are coming out with eco-friendly inventions? Let us know in a comment below!

Source: http://grist.org/list/this-is-a-pretty-neat-bike-that-charges-phones-and-hovers-but-still-doesnt-exist/

Stay green (and calm) for finals

Finals.  Perhaps the most dreaded word in the history of forever for anyone enrolled in school or a university. They’re stressful, annoying, and unreasonably difficult. Plus, this is usually what happens on exams:

© prawfsblawg.blogs.com

Yeah. Story of my life.

However, when you’re taking a break, did you know that there are more eco-friendly ways of being stress-free? Here are some tips!

  1. Instead of going out for a drive…ride your bike or go for a run. This may be something that many of you do anyway, but if you’re trying to go somewhere to get some stress relief or to find another place to study (like a coffee shop) find another form of transportation that will give you some fresh air and sunshine. Plus, you’ll get a tan. That’s always nice.
  2. Instead of snacking on junk…eat fresh, organic produce. Not only does this give you good energy, but you are also helping local farms and promoting the idea of not putting harsh chemicals into our farmlands. Sure, this might be a one-time thing…but we hope it becomes into a habit!
  3. Instead of cramming all night…divide up studying for a longer period of time. Not only will you be able to retain the information longer, you also won’t be wasting electricity by keeping your desk lamp on over your work like it’s being interrogated. Plus, more sleep. We all like more sleep.
  4. Instead of printing all your notes…keep a digital copy! This saves a lot of paper. Plus, you will look super cool studying at the park with your Kindle, TOMs, and aviators.

 

Got any more tips? Let us know in a comment below!