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April 21, 2009

Green tech ideas for Earth Day

Posted: 11:26 AM ET

Earth Day is tomorrow, and several news sites have ideas about how you can use technology to save energy and help the environment. Here's a sample:

SAVE ENERGY: CNET has a good overview of how technology can gobble up energy, and another story on power-saving green technologies to watch. When it come to computer energy savings, screen savers don't cut it, one story says:

Screen saver software does not save energy. It's much better to turn off your monitor when you take a break. CO2 Saver, a free program for Windows XP and Vista, can help you manage your PC's sleep behavior.

DIY: On the DIY (do it yourself) side of things, NPR has a first-person story about a man who made a solar backpack that charges his iPod while he walks around Manhattan.

SMART GRID: Here's a Chicago Tribune blog about GE's "plug" on Monday of Miami's new smart grid, which an exec says is the largest project of its kind. Smart grids use automated meters to save energy. The technology is a government priority in the U.S. and in Europe these days.

ONLINE NEWS: The New York Times quotes experts who say ditching newspapers for online information may be the sustainable thing to do. The paper notes that Marriott hotels no longer will leave papers on their guests' doorsteps.

FINANCIAL CRUNCH: PC World reports on a survey that says investors are turning away from green technology because of the economic recession. But some still would like to see green tech be a priority, the site says.

AT SCHOOL: If you're a student or a parent, has some ideas about greening your school. Among them: talk to administrators about switching to lower-energy LED "Exit" signs. One old-school "Exit" sign costs about $24 per year to operate, according to the EPA.

BICYCLE: Finally, it's worth noting that low-tech solutions can be green, too. The New York Times magazine recently interviewed the nation's energy secretary, Steven Chu (pictured above), who indicates he feels guilty that security officials won't let him ride his bike to work anymore. An excerpt:

Is it true you don’t drive a car?
My wife does, but I no longer own a car. Let me just say that in most of my jobs, I mostly rode my bicycle.

And now?
My security detail didn’t want me to be riding my bicycle or even taking the Metro. I have a security detail that drives me.

How do you feel about adding carbon emissions to the air?
I don’t feel good about it.

What technology helps you be green? Tell us about it in the comments. You also can share your views on local environmental issues on

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Filed under: computers • Earth Day • Energy • environment • Scientists • solar energy • technology

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CB_Brooklyn   April 21st, 2009 12:19 pm ET

The following two videos are some of the greenest ideas anybody would benefit from regarding Earth Day.

The Air Powered Car

The Water Powered Car

Why doesn't CNN report on them? For answers see here:

The 9/11 Truth Movement, Free Energy Suppression and the Global Elite’s Agenda

James in Nebraska   April 21st, 2009 5:27 pm ET

I have seen videos and read stories on the air/water powered cars. I too would like to know why they don't get more media attenion. I won't go conspiracy theory, but I am curious.

Alka Gupta   April 21st, 2009 5:50 pm ET

Other great ways to live green with electronics and technology – check out Retrevo's Green Guide at:

Diane Frigon   April 22nd, 2009 1:13 am ET

If all the fast food restaurants gave 1 penny to the environment they would look like heroes all the while helping themselves to a taxbreak. Leading the way for us all to help. Those bags are bleached, dyed, stored, designed, transported, thrown out, handled again, transported to dump, burned or buried for a litime or more. Can;t we do better?

Bob   April 22nd, 2009 11:26 am ET

There is no manmade global warming. The earth regulates itself.

Danny Portman   April 22nd, 2009 12:03 pm ET

If you want everything GREEN, look at the web site "", it's an endless source of information.

Jason   April 23rd, 2009 12:51 am ET

Screw Green, Give me the a Humvee with a tv screen in it so I can drive around and wast gas and Watch the new season od weeds on showtime.

Mike   April 23rd, 2009 3:22 am ET

We should be making more products with interchangeable parts. Think of how many ball point pens are thrown out every year. If instead there were a regulation that cartridges only could be sold, and a refund provided when old ones are returned . . . well that's just one thing. And why are there only a few states that return bottles and cans? How about a deposit fee for plastic bags, and a return fee for those? Little ideas, big savings?

Dale Bellman Sr.   April 23rd, 2009 8:18 am ET

Please help me. I am looking for some one to answer a few questions about this countries unemployment problems.

I hope you can point me in the right direction.

Thank You

Shane McGuire   April 25th, 2009 4:30 am ET

An idea for Earth Day?

How about this. Lets make is a "Green Summer".

For those of you gearing up to take your trips this summer, why not consider the following.

Instead of giving your money to the Flying Junkyards, take a trip by rail!

Huh? By Rail? Trains are dirty!

Well before you lay out that line lets make a few considerations. If your travel plans do not include a cross country jaunt from LA to New York, then why not consider Amtrak?

Amtrak needs the patronage, but more than that, for your shorter jaunts, (like LA to Seattle), why not consider the slower pace of the train. Even Oakland to Chicago, Seattle to Chicago, Miami to Boston or other such jaunts.

Airlines are required to place more fuel burning birds in the air, and trains simply add more cars to their consist. Hmm! Makes you think about our concerns for making a better environment? It should. Trains are considerably more fuel efficent that aircraft. Plus they are indeed safer.

Amtrak's safety record is second to none in the US. Most of the accidents that have had Amtrak involved, have not been the fault of the engineer or crew. It has been situations that are completely beyond their control.

In any event check them out. Travel by rail may indeed be an option for your "Green Summer".

Jeff   November 28th, 2009 7:19 am ET

Buying not more than 1 year used cars from car auctions helps the air clean.

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