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The Laundry Pod: A step back in innovation or progress?

The 6.5 pound Laundry Pod washes approximately 10 garments per load, using only three gallons of water. Photo: StoreBound

I always find it interesting how ideas for new consumer products evolve and then come to market. It’s especially intriguing how technology can sometimes spark innovations that appear to be in direct response to existing technology within the same product category. This manual clothing washer, known as the Laundry Pod, is a prime example. Clearly, […]

Smart Meter Fires

Image source: Chuck Berman/Tribune / August 30, 2012

I was reading the Chicago Tribune on August 30, 2012 and came across this article about fires in the Chicago area related to smart meters that have been installed in homes by ComEd. Fires caused by smart meters are worthy of a little attention and discussion, especially since 130,000 smart meters have been installed in […]

Freon: It’s Far From Free

Air conditioner and the price of freon

So, a few weeks back, my air conditioner decided it was due for a little time off, and it failed to give me any notice. One day it was on and the next day it was just… OFF. Painfully off, as the temps were soaring and in two days time it was to hit 100 degrees here in Chicago. Nice timing, A/C!

How Your Facebook Usage Affects Our Planet

Facebook Energy Mix Infographic

Do you use facebook? Yep, I figured as much. Just thought you might like to know, that in Facebook’s eyes, you are more or less the equivalent of a latte. Or three bananas. Or a couple glasses of wine. (Preferably red. Barolo, anyone?) At least when it comes to Facebook’s carbon footprint, that is. For […]

And the Gold Medal Goes to… France?

French flag for Olympic gold

If you’ve been glued to your TV watching the London Olympics the past few weeks, then you should offer a big “Merci!” to our friends across the pond in France. (That’s “thank you,” for you monolinguals.) Without France, there wouldn’t be an Olympics this year, since London is deriving a large portion of its electricity from power plants generating electricity over in France.

India’s Power Outages: Electrical and Otherwise

Two Power Outages in India

If you’ve flipped on the radio or caught the news recently you’ve probably heard something about India’s recent woes on the power front. In a word, their electricity (or lack thereof) situation over there is dire. Apparently, they’ve suffered two widespread blackouts in as many days, and a quick fix doesn’t appear to be in the offing any time soon.

The Energy Conservation Game: What’s Your Motive?

Prize wheel for electricity

Not sure where you live, but here in Chicago you may have noticed it’s been a little hot this summer. (Um, understatement of ALL time.) To the point that I’m strongly considering investing in a few deodorant companies, because–hopefully–we’re all keeping them in business this summer.

Biking for Light… and Freedom

Brazil

Gotta hand it to those Brazilians. They’ve come up with a pretty smart idea to keep prisoners active, promote good health, AND save money on electricity.

The Electric Wilderness

Canoeing with electricity

So my husband left me home with the kids (ages 1 and 2.5) for four whole days while he went camping and canoeing with his friends. Needless to say, there is no phone charger in a canoe (at least, not yet), and he wanted to check in with me to make sure I wasn’t beating […]

Putting the “Green” in Astroturf

Sports stadium

We all know how much influence sports teams have on the American people. They don’t call some fans “rabid” for nothing. Well, it seems that the athletic industry is engaging those powers of persuasion for a worthy cause – the environment. From LEED certified stadiums, to harvesting solar energy, to water conservation and composting programs, the sports industry is taking huge steps toward creating a better planet for sports watchers and abstainers alike.