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Apr 16, 2013
How Solar-Friendly City Permitting Processes Can Work in the US
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Posted: Apr 16, 2013 1:47am
Mar 16, 2013
Another Banner Year for Solar Power: Industry Breaks Records in 2012
In 2012, the U.S. solar industry grew 76 percent over 2011, adding 3.3 GW of new solar capacity.
 
Nashua, NH -- Today the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association along with GTM Research released the results of its annual year in review, and 2012 numbers give the solar industry another reason to celebrate.
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Posted: Mar 16, 2013 12:48am
Mar 11, 2013

Solar Power Required On Every New Home — Pioneering Requirement From Lancaster, California

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615solar on every new home california

All newly-built single-family homes within Lancaster will be required to feature solar power systems starting on January 1, 2014. This is a rather stunning announcement in itself, but the fact that it comes from a Republican is even more surprising. Mayor Rex Parris is a big solar power advocate, though. You may have heard of him already, as he has previously stated his intention to make Lancaster “the solar energy capital of the world.”

The new requirements “will be written into Lancaster’s ‘Residential Zones Update’ on residential solar,” Greentech Media reports. In addition to a variety of new requirements having to do with energy efficiency and green building practices, new single family homes will have to meet minimum solar energy system requirements.

“The purpose of the solar energy system standards,” it states, “is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City.” It’s also intended “to provide standards and procedures for builders of new homes to install solar energy systems in an effort to achieve greater usage of alternative energy.”

Specifically, residential homes on lots larger than 7,000 square feet will need to possess a system of 1.0–1.5 kilowatts. And residential homes in rural areas of up to 100,000 square feet need to possess a system of at least 1.5 kilowatts.

Homebuilders have the option of forgoing these requirements if they provide proof of the purchase of solar energy credits from a solar energy development that is located within the city.

This is an interesting strategy for the mayor, potentially driving a lot of local economic growth. 2014 isn’t that far off. It will be interesting to see the reactions that other mayors and politicians have to this.



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Posted: Mar 11, 2013 12:47am
Mar 10, 2013
Dell Installs Solar Trees in HQ Parking Lot

Dell Solar TreesTwo things are certain for the future: electric cars will become more popular and solar power will continue to grow as a viable source of energy. Because of this, the world is looking to industry leaders not only in the energy business, but to other major corporations that can have a major impact on the world’s power usage.Dell has stepped up to the plate and hopefully the Dell solar trees parking lot is a sign of greater things to come. The Dell solar parking lot by Envision Solar is a very innovative way that Dell has implemented solar powered lights and it is something that is immediately making an impact. The solar trees serve not only the purpose of gathering the suns energy as a viable energy source, but even provides shade over about 50 parking spaces as well! The lot was made viewable from the highway so Dell can let everyone know that solar power is the way to go.

YouTube: Envision Solar Trees | More Videos

In addition to providing shade for 50 lucky vehicles, the dell solar trees parking lot is self powered. The electric that is generated via the sun’s rays is stored and can be used to light the parking lot as night settles in. When you think of how much energy is used on a daily basis in parking lots around the world, the money and energy that could be saved by using something similar to the Dell solar tree parking lot is staggering.

Not only can the Dell solar trees run off of its own electricity, it also has the ability to provide power to charging stations for those that are using electric cars. Now imagine the world in the very near future when electric cars are more prevalent and having the ability to charge your car every day at work for free! This is something that could be a deal breaker in the working world for those that are being wined and dined by perspective employers.

Solar energy is here to stay and the solar tree parking lot is yet another great example of how solar lighting and solar power in general is being put to better use. To think that it took this long to think of a legitimate way to for outdoor solar lighting to be put to a use that would help both the world and people in general is simply amazing. Hopefully other companies will run with the idea that Dell has started and lots similar to the parking lot will start to pop up in business lots and shopping malls across the globe.

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Posted: Mar 10, 2013 6:07pm
Mar 10, 2013

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Posted: Mar 10, 2013 7:55am
Mar 9, 2013
Holy Basil Benefits: Growing Your Own Medicine
Elizabeth Renter
by Elizabeth Renter 
March 7th, 2013 
Updated 03/07/2013 at 1:04 am

holybasil 265x165 Holy Basil Benefits: Growing Your Own MedicineAll herbs have a purpose—whether it’s culinary or medicinal—but, it’s a particularly good sign when an herb is revered as the “queen of herbs” and is held as a holy plant worthy of worship. This plant, holy basil (tulsi), not only has medicinal benefits, but is also said to have spiritual benefits. What’s more, holy basil benefits can be experienced in an exciting way, as the herb can be grown in your home or on your patio – making it a great addition to your healing herb garden.

Holy basil, or tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is a member of the mint family. It’s closely related to the sweet basil you add to Italian dishes and pesto, but the flavors are quite different. This plant is sometimes referred to as pepper basil as it’s clove-flavor is spicier than it’s sweet counterpart.

The shrub can grow to about 30 to 60 cm high, has hairy stems and green (sometimes purple-tinged) small leaves. When allowed to flower, the blossoms are violet. It’s native to Eastern tropical regions and is especially widely known in India and Hindu countries where it is revered as a holy plant.

History and Spiritual Significance

In Hinduism, holy basil is worshiped as the incarnation of Lakshimi, the wife of Vishnu and one of that religion’s most important deities. It is called “The Incomparable One” and “Mother Medicine of Nature” among other things, and can be seen growing outside of Hindu temples.

Not only found in temples, you will see tulsi being cultivated outside of most Indian homes and in courtyards. In worship, it will be placed on an altar and held in reverence during meditation and prayer.

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Posted: Mar 9, 2013 8:59am
Mar 8, 2013
Save the Tigers
Petition published by Rasta Man on Oct 22, 2000
7498 Signatures 
Target: Japanese and Chinese Governments
Region: India
Petition Background (Preamble):
Early in the 20th century there was an estimated population of 100,000 tigers spread across Asia. Now there is less than 7,000 spread out across Asia's forests.

There are already 3 out of the 8 tiger subspecies which have become extinct: the Javan, the Caspian, and the Bali tiger. The South China tiger is almost gone with an appaling population of only 30 to 40. The Siberian and the Sumatran tigers are only 500 in number and the Indo Chinese is not far behind. 

The main reasons for the tiger's demise are poaching, habitat loss and population fragmentation.

The Indian tiger is being poached at a rate of one tiger a day. They are mainly poached for body parts, which are sold on the black market for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. These body parts are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine because of old beliefs that they contain certain healing powers. These beliefs are absolutely unfounded as there is no scientific proof that there is any medicinal value in the tiger parts at all.
Petition:
We the undersigned petition the Chinese and Japanese governments to make the selling of Tiger bones, Tiger penises and other products, such as Tiger bone pills, capsules and wine illegal.

Sign the petition

Rasta Man and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition. Contact author herePetition tags: tigerssave tigersconservationbiodiversitysanctuaryun sanctions

Tell | Map | Signatures | Views | Bookmark | Banners | Link | Tip Jar | Sponsor
Click here to Like this petition or Add/View Comments
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Posted: Mar 8, 2013 7:33pm
Apr 28, 2010
Georgia utility expands commitment to solar power
More homes in Georgia will be powered by solar energy in the coming years, thanks to changes in a state utility's green energy plan.

An announcement from Georgia Power said that its plan has already been approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission, setting the stage for more residents to adopt solar energy.

The revised plan from Georgia Power now includes a premium green energy option where customers can obtain 50 percent of their power from solar sources at a cost of $5 per 100 kilowatt hour. Previously, the plan had offered a plan for people to derive 10 percent of their electricity from solar sources at a rate of $4.50 per 100 kilowatt hour block.

"With the latest changes in our Green Energy program we hope to make solar energy more attractive to our customers," said Angela Strickland, Georgia Power's director of Energy Efficiency and Conservation. "The new mechanism we've developed will ensure that we're keeping pace with customer demand for solar in a cost-effective manner."

Under the revised plan, Georgia Power will also increase the amount of solar energy it purchases from providers as participation in the Green Energy Program grows.
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Posted: Apr 28, 2010 7:25am
Jul 8, 2009

Persistent, Poisonous, Problematic: Pesticides by Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D.

Shortly after Michelle Obama planted an organic garden on the White House lawn, she received a letter from the Mid-America Crop Life Association. (1)

The letter reminded the First Lady that "crop protection technologies" (Read: pesticides) are "supported by sound scientific research and innovation," and are important in "feeding our country."

Whoa! This sounded like pesticide PR to me.  Sure enough, the Association's officers and board members include individuals from Monsanto, Bayer, Dupont and Syngenta – agro-chemical corporations who profit from pesticide sales.(2)

Cause for concern

Of course, Mrs. Obama knows better. Let's stand with her to help more parents understand the unintended consequences of pesticide use, and how these chemicals could harm our families' health.

The Pesticide Action Network of North America defines pesticides as "chemicals designed to kill plants, insects, rodents, fungi, etc." However, PANNA adds: "due to their very nature, they can be hazardous to human health and the environment. "(3)

Pesticides that destroy unwanted pests can also kill pollinators and other beneficial insects, pollute rivers and streams, and create hazardous environments for wildlife and humans.

 

Little ones: Big impact

Pregnant women, infants and children are especially vulnerable to pesticides' effects. Compared to adults, children eat more, drink more, and breathe more air in proportion to their body size. Plus, young, developing bodies are less able to break down and excrete toxins.(3-7)

Overall, human health risks associated with pesticide exposure include: asthma, autism, birth defects, cancers, diabetes, insulin resistance, mental retardation, neurological disorders, and obesity. (3-8)

Evils of Endocrine Disruption

Some pesticides mimic our natural hormones and can interfere with normal sexual development, reproduction and fertility. Exposure to these endocrine disruptors contributes to declining worldwide rates in fertility, sperm counts and male offspring. Some studies show that organic farmers and men who eat only organic food have healthier sperm and /or higher sperm counts as compared to conventional farmers who use pesticides and eat conventional diets. Endocrine disrupting pesticides have also been linked to fetal loss, birth defects, and earlier onset of puberty among girls (menarche). (8)

Even when pesticide residues are present at levels lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's stated "level of concern," endocrine disruptors pose human health risk because they are biologically active at extremely low and previously undetected levels.

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Posted: Jul 8, 2009 1:49pm
Jun 18, 2009
Feeding America - Formerly Known as America's Second Harvest - Hunger Advocate 

Dear Alice Diane,

As a concerned hunger advocate, you know that child nutrition is one of the highest priorities at Feeding America—and our advocates and food banks are gearing up for the upcoming Congressional debates surrounding the reauthorization of federal funding for child nutrition programs.  In this month’s edition of the Hunger Advocate, learn more about the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act and the critical programs it will fund.

 

Child Nutrition–A Critical Foundation
Check out this new monthly series focusing on children and hunger—through the summer and fall, you will learn more about the role good nutrition plays in the growth, development, health, and well-being of our nation’s children.  This month, find out how early childhood nutrition affects long-term educational progress and success.

 

Can You Make a Difference in the Life of a Hungry Child?
The latest Child Food Insecurity Report shows that in 26 states, one in six young children are food insecure.  In this land of plenty, that’s way too many hungry children.  Can one person make a difference? Absolutely!  Click here to find out how you can help!

Hunger Action Month— September 2009

Hunger Action Month is a nationwide effort to engage America in the fight against hunger—and it’s coming in September!  From coast to coast, communities will be holding anti-hunger events to bring us together in this important cause, with a particular focus on child hunger issues.  Read more about Hunger Action Month— and visit the Hunger Action Center to find out what’s coming up in your community!

 
  
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Posted: Jun 18, 2009 8:34am

 

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Alice C.
, 1, 2 children
Ringoes, NJ, USA
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