Tag Archives: energy

Energy Sort Game

Recently, we had to develop a game for one of our journalism classes. The game we created teaches you about how energy is currently consumed in the USA, the price of energy types and the effects of various energy sorts on the environment. The game features the likeness of Al Gore, Donald Trump and Mother Nature.

Please play our game by clicking the link below, and leave comments about what you liked or did not like about Energy Sort.

Thanks!

Energy Sort Game

NV Energy – The Rise of Electric Vehicles

Travis Johnson, P.E. from NV Energy said to remember 3 numbers:

  • 20 lbs of C02 = 1 gallon gas
  • 1 pound CO2 per kilowatt hour
  • 4 miles per kilowatt hour

What is coming in 2010/11?

  • Nissan Leaf (battery electric)
    • 100 mile
    • 90+ top speed
    • Cost: In CA, $20,280 after tax credit and rebate – $349/mo lease.  Less in NV.

“It’s like a Prius on steroids.” – Travis Johnson

  • Chevy Volt (Plug-in Hybrid)
    • 300 + miles with gas backup
    • Cost $32K in CA, $25K in NV.

Plug-in vehicles in Las Vegas are running on .70 cents/gallon.  Johnson discussed the energy grid – in NV, geothermal power is being used at night which is when the electric vehicle would be plugged in to charge.  This means a virtually zero emission vehicle.

Lake Tahoe Eco Symposium – Green Development at Homewood Resort

Vice President David Gemme welcomed everyone to the first annual Lake Tahoe Eco Symposium presented by Sierra Green Building Association (SiGBA).  He said the mission of SiGBA is to educate and promote environmental building and business practices for a sustainable lifestyle in the Sierra Nevada communities by:

  • Advocating resource efficiency in all phases of the design, construction and operation of homes and businesses
  • Providing educational resources and support in the areas of site development, energy, building materials, air, water and waste
  • Coordinating networking opportunities and community events

Gemme noted the importance of community effort, especially ski resort development in Lake Tahoe.  The first panel is led by JMA Ventures, the company that owns Alpine Meadows and Homewood Mountain Resort.  Executive Vice President David Tirman discussed the principles and blueprint of the new Homewood Resort development master plan.  The principles are to elevate environmental thresholds; become stewards of sustainable growth and enhance the resort for community development.

Infill development

  • goal to decrease overall coverage
  • redevelop areas that are already developed
  • recycle existing infrastructure (building, asphalt, concrete – SmartGrowth)

Land Restoration

  • Re-establish slope – 97% reduction in sediment
  • Restored over 240,000 sf of restored dirt roads
  • Re-introduce native vegetation
  • Increase infiltration

Renewable Energy Sources

  • Wind – micro turbines
  • Solar – sun power
  • Earth – geo thermal
  • Water – micro hydro electric

Alternative Transportation

  • Give guests options! Dial-a-Ride, water taxi, shuttles, hybrid electric fleet (like Zip Cars!), bicycle fleet (gaudy colors, so they don’t get stolen!)

Socio-Economic

  • 200 full time jobs
  • Workforce housing
  • Cultural & Community Center

Environmental Restoration

A big problem in the past was runoff from the resort across Highway 89 into Lake Tahoe.  Restorations have been made to reduce the runoff issues.  Another issue was forest fuel management, an issue surrounding the Lake.  Today, nearly 500 acres of forest have been treated which will improve the threat of wildfire in the region.

Public Outreach

JMA Ventures began the plan with public outreach.  Major concerns were:

  • providing affordable/workforce housing – JMA will provide on-site housing & child care.
  • public access – There will be open access & community center.
  • density and scale of the development – JMA has reduced the amount of land that will be developed in the master plan.

The proposed North Base area will have underground parking to improve the aesthetics of the existing landscape.  The plan pays much attention to working with all existing space, making sure areas, such as rooftops, are utilized in the development.  There is a new proposed mid-mountain lodge – 14,000 square foot footprint.

Learn more at www.skihomewood.com/masterplan.

Climate Change? A Green Economy?

In my CHS 725 Environmental Health class, we have been discussing the atmosphere and air pollution, along with quite possibly the biggest debate question of my time – does global warming exist and have humans contributed to it?  It seems the majority of people, including scientist and the media are constantly going back and forth on this question, coming up with new evidence and then countering that evidence with yet newer and more complete evidence, only to be countered again and again.  The cycle continues.  I am not a scientist or an economist, and I have in no way ever claimed to even be very good at science.  As my undergrad Public Relations class like to say, “we are not math majors.”

Yesterday, a student in my CHS 725 class presented this article by Paul Krugman from the New York Times about climate change and creating a green economy.  This is my response to his article.  I encourage you to not only read Krugman’s article, but also the comments section.  Please feel free to add your own comments to this post.

One piece of advice that I heard somewhere a few years goes something like this… we hopefully will never be in a car accident, but we have insurance on our cars.  It is not all that likely that our house will burn down, but we still buy insurance for our houses.  Doesn’t it seem like we should put insurance on our planet?

This question really goes beyond political parties.  It doesn’t matter if your Republican or Democrat, the earth is still our planet.  There is scientific evidence that we have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  To me, this seems obvious.  All the emissions from our automobiles and factories do not just disintegrate into thin air.  They rise into the atmosphere, causing smog, air pollution, ozone, nitric oxide, sulfuric oxide, particulate matter, along with CO2.

Whether or not you believe global warming is fact or fiction, whether or not your believe it is indeed caused by humans or it is just another cycle of nature, it makes sense to buy into the insurance.  The insurance can be seen in the form of jobs – installing alternative energy and promoting alternative energy equals jobs and economic boosts.  The insurance can be seen in the form of new industry that meets environmental standards or improves existing infrastructures to create less emissions.  The insurance can be seen in the form of creating sustainable agriculture through local owned and operated sustainable farms.  The insurance can be seen in the form of reducing, reusing, recycling, composting.

The what ifs can really be turned into let’s just do this, and everything is connected to the point that there would not only be a boost in the economy, but also in human health and environmental health, along with increasing the insurance policy on our planet – how can that be debated?

Hey! Who Turned Out the Lights?

Did you notice that things seemed a little dimmer than usual last night?  That is because March 27 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. marked the 4th annual Earth Hour.  About one billion people worldwide participated in the event, including entire cities such as Las Vegas and Reno where the usually brightly lit casino strips went dark.  The lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York City were also turned out for the occassion.

So what does this mean?  The event created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was created to enable individual, schools, business and government to show their support for the Earth and the future of our planet.  Although the event only last for an hour, it symbolizes the dedicated supporters of environmental awareness and conservation.  Families participated with their children by lighting up candles and turning off the TV for the hour.

The event’s website My Earth Hour comes equipped with ways you can participate via social media, an ample supply of You Tube videos and list of facts and tips about living green.

Here is an article with photos about Reno’s participation in the event.

Did you participate in Earth Hour?  What did you do?  Please tell your story and post your pictures or videos.


Video:Reinventing business the green way

RENO – If you haven’t seen this, then take a couple of minutes to watch this January 2010 newscast concerning environmental business. Or more precisely, how one man has found a niche in saving businesses money – the green way.

Entrepreneur and Small Business Expo March 12

RENO – Ready to pull the trigger on that new green business idea? Contrary to what the biz pages may indicate, tough times can be good times for starting new ventures. And one of the “must attend” events for budding business owners will take place at the Atlantis on Friday, March 12, 2010 – the Entrepreneur and Small Business Expo is free and open to the public. Dozens of vendors will be waiting for you, ready to dole out advice and optimism. Whether or not your business idea is based in environmental or green, many of the necessary hurdles will be waiting to help you climb over and get up and running. Hey, it’s free!!! For more info, go to www.ncetexpo.com or www.eweeknevada.com.