Come Meet the "Not the Hippies" Team at Alt Car Expo!

Greetings to all 6 of our loyal readers.

We'd like to point out a noteworthy event most worthy of your attendance happening in Santa Monica, Calif., this Friday and Saturday Sept. 26 and 27.

The Alt Car Expo, an annual event where patchouli-biodiesel types can mix it up with the scientists and businessmen who are, much to their delight and quite beyond their comprehension, spearheading advances allowing them to live their "free" lifestyle all the more cheaply.

There, you will be able to obtain information on how you can reduce your carbon footprint, save money and make your chosen mode of transportation go just that much faster, all in a few simple steps.

And, you can see cool little machines like these!

If you think you might be attending, drop us a comment! We would love to see you, and we will buy you some kombucha that was cultured in Willie Nelson's tour bus... or something like that.


The Fallacy of Renewable Energy Credits

We’d all like to get “off the grid,” but most businesses and residents in the San Fernando Valley are married to the DWP for our electrical power, and many of us don’t have the financial resources to invest in our own personal solar generating systems.

Have no fear, renewable energy credits are here!

With this scheme, one first determines, through the use of a simple computer program, your “carbon footprint” or how much pollution you are spewing into the atmosphere. Based on the calculations, you can then purchase “renewable energy credits” from a broker like Manhattan Beach-based 3 Phases Renewables to become “carbon neutral.”

In effect, RECs, also known as "green tags" or "renewable energy certificates," subsidize renewable energy producers.

One REC represents one megawatt hour of emissions-free electricity (the average person in the US each year consumes more than 12 megawatt hours of electricity). Though the purchaser of the credit doesn't actually use the electricity themselves, the clean power is fed into the electric utility grid somewhere in the world where it is used by others. It’s a way of compensating for the environmental impacts of consuming un-green electricity.

But while this may have an effect on the environment somewhere, it doesn’t have the same local effect as when you and I cut back on our personal energy expenditures, be it electricity or gas.

Thinking globally is nice, but acting locally is the only way to make a real difference for your friends, family and neighbors.

~Linda Coburn

Glendale Eco-Community Garden

The City of Glendale, Calif., in collaboration with the Coalition for a Green Glendale, is seeking volunteers to participate in a new Eco-Community Garden that will spring to life in early 2009.

This will be the first project in a City initiative aimed at revitalizing vacant parcels of land and turning them into green space for the community.

It is hoped that a neglected, vacant lot on the 800 block of Monterey Road, near the entrance of the 134 freeway, will be transformed into a vibrant community garden, where city residents may grow vegetables and flowers.

Contact Coalition for a Green Glendale co-founder Alek Bartrosouf at (818) 359-0108. The website should have information available about the project soon.

More information on Community Gardens.

EPA Orders SFV Companies to Pay Up or Clean Up

From the San Fernando Valley Business Journal website Sept. 22, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered several San Fernando Valley businesses to either pay $500,000 or find another way to keep chromium-contaminated groundwater out of the local water table.

The press release identifies four companies and three trusts subject to the order: Los Angeles By-Products Company; Pick Your Part Auto Wrecking; Waste Management; and Hawker Pacific Aerospace; the Wagner Living Trust, the Basinger B Trust and the Basinger C Trust.

A $1.3 million voluntary settlement was reached by the EPA earlier in the year with Honeywell International, Lockheed Martin, Calmat and California Car Hikers. The companies that are now being ordered to pay opted out of that settlement agreement.

The EPA is using the settlement funds to construct and improve the wellhead treatment system for the North Hollywood region of the Superfund site.

Solar Powered Cinema

The Fairfax 5 Theaters in Fairfax, Calif., is now partially powered by solar energy with the completion on Sept. 9 of a 27-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system.

The historic theater, built in 1952, is owned by Cinema West. Dave Corkill, founder of the company, recently turned the Fairfax 5 into Marin County's first all-digital projection theater and believes it is the first multiplex cinema in the U.S. to go solar.

Over the 30-year life of the SPG Solar PV system, it is expected that in addition to more than $627,000 in energy cost savings, it will also offset more than 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

The system has 42 solar modules on the building's roof. Nearly half of the system's cost was recouped through the use of a State rebate and a federal tax credit.