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Efficient Technique: Buy It For Life

by Justin Phelps •

“Buy It For Life” means acquiring and using products that are built to last a lifetime. Amidst the thousands of disposable goods and cheaply-constructed gadgets that provide continual fuel for consumerism, there remain some products that promise enduring excellence. The movement to embrace high-quality, long-lasting goods promotes less consumption, less waste, and (often) less money spent in the long run.

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U.S. Electricity Demand to Fall 5-15% by 2020

by Justin Phelps •

Economists Doug Mitarotonda and Ahmad Faruqui of The Brattle Group recently teamed up with economists at Global Energy Partners to study and forecast American energy consumption. Their surprising conclusion is that the United States will be consuming 5-15% less electricity by 2020.

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World’s First Wave Energy Power Plant Opens In Spain

by Justin Phelps •

The small town of Mutriku in the Basque region of Spain is the first in the world to open a commercial wave power plant. The Basque government energy agency Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE) debuted its €2.3 million ($3.1 million) project in July. The project is funded by taxes. It is estimated that the wave power plant will produce …

Catalina Island: 14-Year Car Waiting List

by Justin Phelps •

Catalina Island is the only place in California where the number and size of road-going motor vehicles is regulated by law. For residents of the island who want to bring a personal car, this means signing up at the bottom of a 14-year waiting list. Tourists are not permitted to ferry a vehicle from the mainland, even for temporary use. …

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The Largest Car-Free Place In U.S.: Mackinac Island

by Justin Phelps •

Mackinac Island lies between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan within the Straights of Mackinac, a strip of water separating the peninsulas as well as connecting the Great Lakes of Huron and Michigan. This 3.8-square mile island is part of the state of Michigan and has evolved from a strategic commercial and military center into a modern resort with …

New Yorkers Asked To Suggest Bike Sharing Locations

by Justin Phelps •

new-york-biker

A 600-station bike sharing system is slated to debut during the summer of 2012 in New York City. The network of 10,000 bicycles is being set up in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and future expansion into Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx is possible. New York City Bike Share is privately sponsored and operated. The NYC Department of Transportation regulates site …

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Germany Is Now 20% Powered By Renewable Energy

by Justin Phelps •

When the largest economy in the European Union derives 20% of its energy from renewable sources, it is a milestone worthy of international attention. Germany’s renewable energy consumption jumped 2.5% within the last year, sending the total consumption of green power in that country to 20.8%. Since 2000, Germany’s use of renewable energy has increased 15 percentage points.

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Greece Plans To Construct World’s Largest Solar Farm (200 Megawatts)

by Justin Phelps •

The wave of interest in solar power across Europe has now touched Greece, and in a big way. The Mediterranean country of over ten million inhabitants plans to construct Earth’s biggest solar farm. Estimated to cost €600 million ($822 million), the project will cover 1,285 acres of depleted coal mines in the northern city of Kozani.

Go Car-Free in DC and Save More Than $10,000 A Year

by Justin Phelps •

A recently-published study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) ranks the top 20 cities where going car-free will save the most money. Number 14 on the list is Washington, DC, which has nearly 200,000 car-less households already. The APTA’s report claims that the average DC resident would save $10,282 per year in transportation-related costs by giving up his or …

Dutch Electric Bike Sales Outstripping City Bikes

by Justin Phelps •

Electric bicycle sales are on the rise worldwide, and nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the Netherlands, where revenue from e-bike sales recently surpassed revenue from city bike sales. The Netherlands was the first nation to enact an official national bicycle policy, and the country has thousands of miles of bicycle paths and lanes. Bicycle parking is plentiful …