Over the past decade, NRG Energy’s David Crane has emerged as a leading voice on the topic of climate change and curbing carbon emissions. He was one of the first power industry CEOs in the U.S. to call for mandatory climate change measures. Now, in the Mojave Desert’s Ivanpah Dry Lake, Crane is leading a project that could add a turbo-charged boost to America’s Clean Energy revolution.
Known as the Ivanpah Solar Plant, the $2.6 billion venture boasts some impressive stats, using 170,000 heliostat mirrors to generate 392 megawatts of solar-generated electricity. Offsetting millions of tons of carbon emissions, Ivanpah is the largest solar energy plant in the world, powering around 100,000 homes with emission-free electricity.
But Ivanpah is not without its fair share of controversy: Some environmentalists have protested the project as “a deadly trap for wildlife,” because the heat it generates has reportedly killed hundreds of birds. Other critics carp that “The Ivanpah Solar Plant is already irrelevant,” because it relies on thermal rather than photovoltaic solar energy.
But with huge votes of confidence from President Barack Obama, huge investments by the U.S Department of Energy and Google, and the U.S. lagging behind other countries in developing renewable energy resources, Ivanpah has received considerable ink in sustainability circles since its opening ceremony in February.
During an extensive conversation with Crane, we discussed America’s need for an increased focus on renewable energy resources, the economic and environmental impact of the Ivanpah Solar Plant, and the future balance between sustainable energy and fossil fuels.
In the opening lines of the new documentary film GMO OMG, first-time director Jeremy Seifert gets right to the heart of the controversy surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms: “Having children makes you see everything differently,” the concerned father of two says in voiceover, explaining why he felt he needed to make the film. “It bothered me that we were eating GMOs, and we didn’t know what they were.”
If you took a poll asking people whether they’d prefer to be responsible or irresponsible travelers, most would choose the former over the latter. But what does Green Travel even mean? How do you do it? Do you have to sleep in a tent and cook on a solar-powered camp stove to be considered eco-friendly?
The truth is that sustainable travel is all about making simple choices to lessen your negative impact on a given destination. Individually, each one of these choices makes only a small difference. But collectively, becoming more conscious about these little things can have a huge impact.
What we’ve assembled below are 40 Green Travel Tips that EVERY traveler can use to be more eco-friendly. Most of them are ridiculously simple, such as using a refillable water bottle, putting a Do Not Disturb sign on your hotel room door, and buying locally made products rather than imports. But if every one of our 30,000+ unique monthly visitors began incorporating these tips into their travel routine, our collective impact could be amazing!
(This article was brought to you in part by Green Insurance Company, which has been providing car, van and bike insurance for over 30 years.)
Just seven years ago, the award-winning documentary Who Killed The Electric Car? examined Big Oil’s role in quelling the energy-efficient automotive revolution. But if recent statistics are any indication, the 2014 Electric Vehicles market should be one for the record books.
Leading models such as the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, and Toyota Prius broke EV sales records in August thanks to lower lease prices and steep dealership discounts. The 11,363 Electric Vehicles sold during that month shows significant growth from the 4,175 sold during the same period in 2012.
But forecasters are predicting the EV market will grow exponentially larger in 2014, with some of the world’s biggest auto manufacturers ready and eager to enter the fray.
(The following is a guest post by Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse, a website geared towards independent travelers who like to head off the beaten path in Asia and Australia. You can connect with Kristin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you’re a blogger interested in contributing a guest post, please contact Bret Love at GreenGlobalTravel@gmail.com.)
Picture pristine blue waters, warm as can be, with visibility so perfect the reef practically glows right through in the bright sunlight.
These perfect conditions exist in diving towns all around the world, including the Similan Islands in Thailand, Sipadan in Borneo, Komodo in Indonesia, and Caye Caulker in Belize. It seems like every tourist in these dive towns is either getting some sort of certification, or is an advanced diver looking to spot something special under the waves. Maybe this will be the time they get to see a rare Hammerhead shark, a hard-to-spot Mandarinfish, or a majestic Manta Ray.