It is only natural and intuitive to relate the production of the most common baverage on the planet, tea, to a free-pollution and "green" environment. This is the idea behind the ethical business principles of Traditional Medicinals(R) practice, an organic medicinal tea company with nearly 35 years of environmental stewardship.
According to co-founder Drake Sandler, the company's long term goal has been energy independence (MarketWatch). Moreover, the day-to-day operations of the Traditional Medicinals subdue to their philosophy of caring about the earth and its natural resources, allways trying to minimize the environmental impact.
In this "green" spirit, Traditional Medicinals partnered up with Akeena Solar, a top designer and installer of solar powered systems, and completed the construction of the largest solar powered tea factory world wide. The ambitious project consisted in setting up 1,450 solar panels with the capacity of generating 430,000 kilowatt hours/year of clean energy for the 70,000 square foot factory and headquarters.
Nevertheless, the company's deep respect for earth and for a clean environment doesn't limit itself only to the renewable energy. It is praiseworthy the effort put into the company's 8.5 acre of self-sustained facility with its own water source and purification system, a clever waste water disposal system and a fleet of hybrid vehicles. This is what I would call "a small green world" on earth.
Did you know?
"Tea" is the common name of the shrub Camellia sinensis, which has been cultivated from antiquity in China. The word olso refers to the leaves, leaf buds and internodes of the above-mentioned plant, widely spread in asian contries.
The four basic types of true tea are black tea, oolang tea, green tea and white tea.
San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, launched a challenge to the largest 1,500 business from the town to go on solar energy until next year and invites them to join him as members of the Mayor's Solar founders' Circle (SFC).
Those who become members will receive energy efficiency audits from the San Francisco Department of the Environment and solar assessments. Authorities from San Francisco have already launched a program of financial incentives over 10 years to ease the cost of solar energy.
Gavin Newsom has estimated that these companies would have the potential to install 170 megawatts solar energy on their roofs, 30 times more than the capacity currently installed in city and has enough to power more than 42,000 houses.
Another great American city, New York, announced in April a plan to install solar panels on the roofs of public buildings.
U.S. telecommunications company, AT & T announced that it will install a solar system of 1 megawatt at AT & T headquarters in San Ramon, California. For this initiative the company works with companies like SunPower, Pacific Gas and Electric, Morgan Stanley and CH2M HILL, informs Environmental Leader.
The new system will generate maximum power of up to 25% and 5.5% of the facility’s annual electricity consumption. The 3700 solar panels manufactured and installed by SunPower company will generate annually more than 1.6 million kilowatts per hour of electricity.
The project will be ready at the end of this year and will benefit from a reduction of 2.1 million dollars at the installation and material incentives from the company PG & E, following the entry in the California Solar Initiative.
In may, AT&T announced that it will add to it's auto fleet up to 105 vehicles powered with alternative fuels. This project will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 124 metric tons.
Mazda presented at the Paris Auto Show the Kiyora concept, which in Japanese means "clean and pure" and the vehicle's theme was water. Kiyora is a environment friendly car that uses the sun's energy and a carbon filter that can ensure a clean air that penetrate inside.
The car brings the concepts of cleanliness, health and safety. The car has the appearance of a water drops and benefits from technical innovations such as the ceiling or which is actually a transparent panel composed from photovoltaic cells that captures solar energy and distribute it for the board instruments operation.
Due to its technical elements and the vehicle's light structure, Kiyora can generate emissions up to 90 g / km, while engine efficiency is ensured by a system that stops and starts automatically the engine depending on the traffic situation in which is the car.
In June, Mazda has announced its plan of cars fuel efficiency with 30% in the next seven years.
The Italian energy company Enel SpA has opened the largest wind project in the United States. Wind farm turbines have a capacity of 250 megawatts, being the largest ever built by Enel and the largest in Kansas, company representatives announced.
Smoky Hills wind farm from the Kansas state will be operational by the end of this year. The project requires an investment of 7.4 billion euros until 2012.
The project consists of 56 Vestas turbines and 99 GE turbines, each with a height of 80 meters and a diameter of 80 meters.
The project can provide the energy needed for 85,000 housing units from the U.S. and avoid the issue in the atmosphere of 750,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, and consumption of 175,000 metric tonnes of oil. The energy generated by wind turbines will be delivered to five local power utilities.
GE Financial Services, a General Electric Co. division, is also an investor in this project.
All around the world, the number of cars has increased considerably in the past few years, which led to higher costs for fuel and augment of gas emissions. Thereby, an eco-friendly solution, that could be cheap and fuel-efficient in the same time, is needful.
The solution came from a Temple University physics professor who developed a simple electrical device which could dramatically improve fuel efficiency and lead to a revolutionary technology targeted at reducing emissions from internal combustion engines.
The idea is simple: the device consists of an electrically charged tube that can be attached to the fuel line of a car's engine near the fuel injector. The small gadget creates an electric field which makes the fuel less viscous, so that smaller droplets are injected into the engine. This means cleaner combustion than a standard fuel injector.
One of the far-reaching effects of the "little wonder" device, except improvement of fuel efficiency and fuel cost reduction, is the chance given to our "green" world by diminishing air pollution. Let's keep our finger crossed for a real success.
Besides the "traditional" solar systems, which transform solar energy into electricity, there are solar towers, constructions that besides the electricity production allow the cereals cultivation, producing food.
The operating principle of a solar tower is quite simple: to the tower bottom there is a will, which is heated directly by the sun. The heat allows the cereals growth, the hot air goes then up, in the concrete portion of the tower, which put in motion wind mills which produce electricity.
The only problem of the solar towers represents the feasibility only for very large buildings, so this type of solar system was implemented on a large scale. However, there is in plan the construction of such structures in Namibia, a country that enjoys space and over 300 sunny days per year. For beginning, the towers will have approximately 1.5 km in height and 280 meters in diameter.
Japan joins the world's new trend in solar power generation by supporting households that would buy a solar power system, with a subsidy of about 200,000 yen (a little under $2000). This plan is intended to promote "the green" power and to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, according to Nikkei bussiness daily.
One of the objectives of the subsidy payment is to stimulate the mass production of solar power systems so that to lower the costs. The price of such systems is about 2 million yen each and the subsidy represents only 10% of its value. The subsidy is more likely to be introduced as early as the current fiscal year to end March 2009.
At the present, in Japan, there is a total of 1.4 million kilowatts of electricity generated from the household solar power systems. One of the targets set by the Japanese government is to give a boost to the solar power generation by mobilizing also the forces of science and technology.
This means less negative effects on the environment and more "green" happy smiles.