Archive for the ‘green site’ Category

Green Parent Chicago: winter activities for the kids

December 22, 2008

Not sure how to keep the little tykes busy this holiday season? Check out Green Parent Chicago’s helpful list of ideas on ways to keep the kids entertained- away from the tube. Ever think you’d go snowshoeing in the city? Well, there’s a first time for everything!

Green your Cocktail with VeeV

December 21, 2008

The I-GO member holiday party was a smashing success last week! Thank you to all who came out and rang in the start of the holiday season with us! We welcomed over 200 I-GO members into our LEED Platinum Certified building for food, raffle prizes and drinks.

VeeV was kind enough to sponsor the drinks at our holiday party and it was an exciting new liquor to try out. VeeV has created the world’s first acai (pronounced: ah-sigh-EE) berry spirit. Acai berries are grown only in Brazil and are considered to be a “superfood”- they have 57% more antioxidants than pomegranates or blueberries and 30 times more heart-healthy anthocyanins than red wine! Check out what Lenette, an I-GO member and raw foodist, had to say about the exciting new drink on her blog GO Raw: Chicago.

Have you heard of this new drink?

Will Obama help grow an electric car bumper crop in Hawaii?

December 5, 2008

Will Barack Obama’s childhood island state become the first in the nation to fully support a transition to electric vehicles? The President-Elect has made it clear he plans to make sustainability and green-collar jobs top priorities during his administration. Now, Hawaii is attempting to lead the country in adopting use of all-electric vehicles. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the greed and lack of vision we’ve been witnessing on Capitol Hill as the Big Three automakers beg for a bail-out.

This past Tuesday, Hawaii announced plans to become the first state in the U.S. to create a statewide electric recharging network for electric cars. The Hawaiian state government has joined forces with Better Place, an ambitious start-up that I posted about earlier this year, in an effort to make all-electric vehicles a reality by building car charging and battery swapping stations around the islands and purchasing renewable energy from Hawaiian Electric Co., the state’s largest utility.

They plan to have the recharging stations up and running by 2011, and to have built 50,000 to 100,000 charging spots across the state by early 2012. Shai Agassi, Better Place’s founder and CEO, claims the electric cars will cost the same as gas powered cars — at first. However, over time, electric cars will be less expensive to make because they use far less parts than cars with internal combustion engines.

In late November, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area cities also announced plans to join forces with Better Place to create an electric recharging network by 2012. However, Better Place chose Hawaii as the first statewide rollout for several reasons: the size of the state, the contained environment and consistent climate the island offers, and the abundance of renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and wave power.

Here are two short clips: one of Agassi and Hawaiian Governor Linda Lingle driving one of the Better Place electric vehicles (hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of these cars in the near future), and one of Agassi answering a reporter’s questions about Better Place’s agenda for the Bay Area.

Living it up eco-style

November 20, 2008

I just found this list of Top 10 Ecolodges and Green Hotels at the website Independent Traveler. Back In The Day, an “ecolodge” would sound like some sort of hippie hostel in a log cabin where you sing songs about how great dirt is. Not now – check out Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina:

Much of the hot water for the hotel and its restaurant is heated by 4,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof, and water-saving fixtures are used throughout the guestrooms and other facilities. Bikes are available for guests to ride on a nearby five-mile greenway.

Guestrooms may be green but they’re also luxurious, featuring 32-inch flat-panel TV’s, original artwork, complimentary Wi-Fi, large windows that allow plenty of natural light, and many other amenities.

No communing with your inner dirt diety there. Have you ever been to one of these eco-green-all-natural hotels or lodges? What was it like?

Power to the People, Right On

September 23, 2008

This past weekend I finally got around to reading an article in WIRED’s September issue that a colleague had recommended. It was weighty subject matter for a Sunday, but I’m glad I did. The piece, headlined “Driven”, outlines visionary entrepreneur Shai Agassi’s audacious agenda to put electric cars on the road. It lays out a bold, yet totally believable, plan to transform personal transportation and help achieve global energy independence in our lifetime.

Agassi, a prominent Israeli-born software programmer who switched gears a few years ago to devote his energy toward solving the transportation emissions problem, is turning complex theory into exciting and optimistic reality. Agassi’s environmental engine was sparked in 2005 at a Young Global Leaders conference in Switzerland. Just three years later, he’s already got a country, millions of venture-capital dollars, and automakers on his assembly line.

Early on, the electric car became the focal point of Agassi’s plan. While the idea of electric vehicles is far from new, “Agassi reimagined the entire automotive ecosystem by proposing a new concept he called the Electric Recharge Grid Operator,” writes reporter Daniel Roth.It was an unorthodox mashup of the automotive and mobile phone industries. Instead of gas stations on every corner, the ERGO would blanket a country with a network of ‘smart’ charge spots. Drivers could plug in anywhere, anytime, and would subscribe to a specific plan—unlimited miles, a maximum number of miles each month, or pay as you go—all for less than the equivalent cost for gas. They’d buy their car from the operator, who would offer steep discounts, perhaps even give the cars away. The profit would come from selling electricity”.

In May 2007, Agassi launched Project Better Place, the world’s first global electric-car grid operation. Since then, Agassi has been spreading his vision of Better Place on an international scale. In January 2008, Israel became the first nation in the world to declare a plan for oil independence by 2020. Partnering with Better Place and Renault-Nissan, Israel has committed to widespread deployment of an electric recharge grid to power electric vehicles by 2011. The renewable energy needed for such an operation will be supplied through Israel’s growing solar power sector.

Denmark also jumped on board, in March 2008, when DONG (Danish Oil & Natural Gas) energy company partnered with Better Place and Renault-Nissan to power electric vehicles with energy generated from wind turbines. Renault-Nissan is already developing the first line of battery-powered electric cars for Better Place.

Through Better Place, Agassi is ushering in a new chapter in sustainable, personal transportation. Better place your bets now.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology Celebrates 30 Years!

September 18, 2008

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT)—the larger non-profit org that first conceived and rolled out I-GO Car Sharing in 2002—celebrated its 30th anniversary in style last night at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. The evening featured a lineup of eco-conscious speakers, including Sadhu Johnston– Chicago’s resident green guru, as well as a festive soundtrack furnished by the post-bop Patrick Mulcahy jazz quartet and a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras marching band.

The verdant landmark venue, designed in 1908 by legendary landscape architect Jens Jensen, is celebrating its own significant birthday this year—100 years of cultivating plants, folks—so the setting couldn’t have been more apropos. Garfield was green long before green was cool.

CNT is a creative think-and-do tank that focuses on issues related to climate change, energy, natural resources, and transportation and community development. Founded in 1978, it has been a leader in promoting more livable and sustainable urban communities, both in Chicago and around the country. I-GO is proud to be affiliated with CNT, and we wish them many more decades of successful innovation.

Car Sharing Grows in Vermont

August 21, 2008

Car sharing continues to spread through the country and is about to take hold in Vermont. CarShare Vermont recently launched their new website and will begin operations this September.

Similar to I-GO Car Sharing, CarShare Vermont will be a locally-run, non-for-profit car sharing organization (CSO). They plan to launch next month with 6 Burlington pod locations (see below map).

Buying Locally Grown Food

April 24, 2008

So far all of my posts have been related to what’s going on here at I-GO. That seems to make sense, since this is the official I-GO blog. However, I know that I-GO members have at least a few other sides to their personalities and may be interested in things other than I-GO (gasp!)…

Most members also seem to be quite eco-conscious. Therefore, I thought it might be worthwhile for me to update members on new environmental trends.

I know I try to reduce my environmental impact through a combination of recycling, driving very little, buying organic and reusing, reusing, reusing! Another key way to reduce your footprint is by buying locally grown food. Only problem is- where do you go to find such food? Problem- did I say problem? Well, problem no more- introducing: LocalHarvest. LocalHarvest is America’s #1 organic and local food website. They maintain a nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets and other local food sources. Their search engine helps people find products from family farms and local sources of sustainably grown food. Click here to check out their website.

Make sure to post below and share with me your methods and tricks for reducing your environmental impact. What do you do to lessen your footprint?