News: Blog

Jun 2, 2014 by City of Redmond

Are you shopping for a new green car?

Two recent reports rank the best green cars.

The editorial staff at auto-world publication Kelley Blue Book has ranked the 10 Best Green Cars of 2014.  This year's number one vehicle is the BMW i3.  The i3 comes in all-electric and gasoline-assisted range-extender versions, and it features an ultra-light carbon-fiber body to help squeeze maximum range from its battery park.  The other nine vehicles, in order, on the list include:  Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius, Honda Accord Hybrid, Tesla Model 2, Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max Hybrid, Honda Civic CNG, Lexus ES 300h, and Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

The Automotive Research Center of AAA also released its newest Green Car Guide.  This year, the Tesla S P85 is atop the AAA's rankings.  According to the Center, "It rides and handles very well; it's extremely quiet and stops on a dime."  The vehicle has a driving range of about 265 miles.  AAA's Green Car Guide examines more than 80 other green vehicles - everything from clean diesels to battery-electric, hybrid-electric and fuel-efficient vehicles.  Joining Tesla among the top-scoring green vehicles are the Toyota RAV4 EV, Audi A7 TDI Quattro Tiptronic, Lexus GS 450h, and Nissan Leaf.

Happy Car Shopping!

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Apr 28, 2014 by City of Redmond

Microsoft Leads the Way on Renewable Energy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their list of top 100 U.S. organizations that are choosing to use electricity from clean, renewable sources like wind and solar power.  According to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, "By using green power, these companies and organizations are showing that business can flourish while taking meaningful steps to reduce carbon pollution."

 

Microsoft Corporation ranked number three on this list.  Other winners with a presence in Redmond, although their corporate headquarters are not located here, are Kohl's Department Stores (#2), Whole Foods Market (#4), and Staples (#7). 

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Mar 6, 2014 by City of Redmond

Kohl's Department Stores Win EPA Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Center for Corporate Climate Leadership recently announced the third annual Climate Leadership Award winners in partnership with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry (TCR).  Nineteen awards were given to 15 organizations and two individuals in the public and private sectors for their leadership in addressing climate change by reducing carbon pollution.  Kohl's Department Stores was awarded Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award) and Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate).  According to Daniel Kreeger,  ACCO's co-founder and executive director, "These award recipients are demonstrating critical devotion and leadership to managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the risk and challenges posed by climate change."

Although Kohl's does not have its corporate headquarters in Redmond, they do have a presence in our City.  Incidentally, the Kohl's store in Redmond is ENERGY STAR certified.  

Way to go, Kohl's. 

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Jan 6, 2014 by City of Redmond

Green Tips for Weathering the Winter

Although we aren't experiencing the extreme winter sub-zero temperatures as much of our nation, there are things that can be done to better prepare us for winter weather. Below are some green winter weather tips.

  • Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ash to prevent hazardous waste from chemicals.  Chemical de-icers can be hazardous to our pets, your trees and shrubs, and the environment.  Antifreeze that leaks from car engines and chemical snow melters on driveways and roads can pollute surface waters and groundwater through the soil.
  • Winterize your vehicle by checking your air filter and fluid levels, checking tire tread wear and proper inflation, and checking the condition of your windshield wipers.  Ensuring your vehicle is read for weather changes will reduce damage, which prevents waste from broken parts, and will keep you safe on the road.
  • If you  have a wood-burning fireplace, save your ashes in a tin instead of throwing them away.  Cold wood ashes can be mixed in with your compost heap to create a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to your garden.
  • Use electric snow removal products rather than gasoline-powered ones.  While electric products consume energy, they do not emit greenhouse gases.  As alternatives, use snow shovels, ice crackers, and brooms to clear snow from your sidewalk, porch, or driveway.
  • If you have a manual thermostat or no thermostat at all, one way to save energy and money this winter is to install a programmable thermostat.  When installed and used with the four pre-programmed temperature settings for weekend and weekdays, you can save about $100 each year while staying comfortable. 
  • Close the recycling loop.  Many articles of clothing, such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now made from recycled materials.  Most fleece products are made from recycled plastic soda bottles, and certain clothing and shoe manufacturers use recycled cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products.
  • Winter storms often cause power outages.  Prevent waste by keeping rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones stored throughout your house with your flashlights.  If you do use disposable batteries, prevent hazardous waste by buying batteries with low mercury content.
  • Recycle old newspapers by making rolled paper logs for your fireplace.  Roll newspaper sheets around a broomstick until your log is the desired size, then soak your log thoroughly in water.  Dry the log overnight and use like ordinary wood. 

Happy Winter!

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Dec 16, 2013 by City of Redmond

Here Are Some Final Green Holiday Tips

  • Decorate with more energy efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) strings rather than the larger, old fashioned lights.  LEDs are small light sources that are illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material.  LEDs are exceptionally energy efficient when producing individual colors, many using up to 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light.  For example, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent build could power 140 LEDs - enough to light two 24-foot strings.  And be sure to turn them on only when someone's around to appreciate them.
  • Avoid foil and plastic-embossed paper because it uses more resources in its manufacturing process.
  • When you're not enjoying a fire in your fireplace, close the flue and block the hearth to prevent heat loss.
  • Buy a living tree you can plant outside or keep as a houseplant after the holidays.
  • Buy a tree grown locally to save energy associated with transportation.
  • Buy a smaller tree.  There's less to dispose of when you take it down, and shorter growing time translates into less land required.

Happy Green Holidays to All.

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Dec 9, 2013 by City of Redmond

Here are some more tips to green your holiday scene.

Cards

  • Buy cards made from recycled paper (look for "post-consumer content") and printed in non-toxic inks.
  • Buy cards and envelopes that can be recycled in your town.  Choose cards printed on white stock without metallic or plastic coatings.
  • Buy cards wrapped in the least bulky or most recyclable packaging.
  • Consider substituting postcards for cards that require envelopes.
  • Reuse the fronts of old holiday cards as gift tags.

Food

  • Store leftovers in reusable containers
  • Buy food gifts with as little packaging and processing involved as possible.

Shopping

  • Bring your own bags on shopping trips so shops won't have to give you new ones with your purchases.  If using a plastic bag, be sure to bring it back to the store for recycling the next time you go.
  • Don't accept a new gift box with your purchase if you have a supply of old ones, or try to wrap it without a box.
  • Use your legs or mass transit when shopping or buy your gifts by phone or on the web.
  • Make a decision to go to shops in areas you can walk or bike to, rather than the ones you have to drive to.  When you need to drive, combine several errands into one trip or travel with friends.

Be sure to check back next week for more green holiday tips.

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