Business & Technology

Business & Technology

‘Solar forests’ charge your car while looking awesome

If electric cars are really going to compete with the gas-guzzling kind, we're going to need new infrastructure — mainly charging stations so people can juice up when they're on a road trip. And if you have to dot the …

Wind Power

Wind electricity to be fully competitive with natural gas by 2016

Photo: Vlasta JuricekCross-posted from Climate Progress. The best wind farms in the world are already competitive with coal, gas, and nuclear plants. But over the next five years, continued performance improvements and cost reductions will bring the average onshore wind …

Business & Technology

Spray coating makes your stuff last forever so you can buy less of it

If you watch one video today, make it this one — the shot of chocolate sauce sliding off a pristine pair of white tennis shoes looks like pure CGI. But it's real. As Tuan Nguyen explains at SmartPlanet, what you're …

Business & Technology

How your Prius is hurting the planet

Hybrid cars like the Prius emit less carbon than conventional cars. But they also depend on rare earth materials to make their engines work. And the mining of rare earth extracts a heavy toll on the environment in other ways. …

Business & Technology

Most efficient solar panel ever

Physics tells us that the most efficient solar cell should be able to convert 33.5 percent of solar energy into electricity, but to date the closest that the layabouts we call "scientists" were able to manage was 24 percent efficiency. …

Walmart's greenwash: Why the retail giant is still unsustainable

Is your stuff falling apart? Thank Walmart

Forever in blue jeans, babe? Not anymore.Photo: bburkyMy friend Tony’s closet is as good a place as any to begin an investigation of Walmart’s environmental impact. Tony has a pair of Levi’s that date back to high school more than …

Politics

Smacking down the latest Solyndra silliness

I’m really getting tired of playing this game.Photo: Thomas HawkI’m as sick of writing about Solyndra as y’all are of reading about it, but somebody’s got to write something sane about this latest chapter, and obviously the political press has …

Business & Technology

How Coke reversed a bottle ban in the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is very beautiful, except when it's covered with disposable Dasani bottles left by littering tourists, which is a major problem for the park. So the National Park Service decided to ban disposable bottles. But then a bigwig …

Renewable Energy

How electric vehicles can give a boost to local clean energy

A plug for plug-ins.This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. The Northwest could get an additional 12 percent of its electricity from local wind power if one in …