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176: How We Live at Lone Bobcat Woods

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

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pm176_150.jpgPeek behind the scenes at Peak Moment TV’s home base. Janaia Donaldson shows guest host Ivey Cone the solar power system, woodstove for heat (and winter waffles), and super efficient refrigerator. Choosing to reduce their footprint, she and Robyn Mallgren, Peak Moment videographer, don’t feel deprived at all. Janaia discusses what led them to leave the Bay Area, what it’s like to live on 160 acres of forestland, which they’ve preserved “in perpetuity” as a wildlife sanctuary, and shows us some of the members of the natural community they live in. (www.peakmoment.tv). Listen to Audio.

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109: Powering the Rain Shadow

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

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pm109_150.jpgMost of Washington State’s San Juan Islands don’t have grid electricity. Many people have relied on generators, but these days, an increasing number are turning to solar. Renewables installer Eric Youngren discusses how net metering works to pay individual energy producers for power they put back into the grid, and other incentives for small-scale renewable “power plants”. He tells us about “run of the river” hydro, powered by diversions rather than dams in creeks. A strong advocate for conservation and efficiency, Eric says we could be running everything in the home on a fraction of the energy we now use, just with rooftop solar. [www.rainshadowsolar.com]

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107: Plug-in Hybrids Power the Grid

Monday, April 28th, 2008

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pm107_150.jpgProfessor Andy Frank, Director of the UC Davis Hybrid Vehicle Research Center has a plan to power more than just our cars. In his vision, plug-in hybrid vehicles can be used as mobile batteries, contributing solar power to the grid, and helping to “load balance” the demand. Roofs built over our parking lots contain solar panels that charge the cars’ batteries in daytime. At home, the same batteries can help power a house, or feed energy back to the grid. The result: fewer power plants. (Meet two of Professor Frank’s students in Episode 113.) [www.team-fate.net]

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104: A Green Built, Solar Powered, Biofuels Station

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

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pm104_150.jpgFrom an early start producing biodiesel from used cooking oil in his garage, Ian Hill was instrumental in creating a market for biofuels in the state of Oregon. Now Managing Partner of SeQuential Biofuels in Eugene, he has gone on to build the first retail biofuels station in the state — and it’s not an ordinary fueling station: A solar panel canopy provides 50% of the needed electricity. The convenience store is a passive solar design to help with heating and cooling, and stocks as much locally produced food as possible. Its “living roof”, of mostly native plants, helps cool the building in summer, and slow and filter stormwater runoff. This optimistic enteprenuer says he and his family have found that consuming less can bring greater happiness. [www.sqbiofuels.com]

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86: A Cutting-Edge Architect’s Eco-Friendly Home

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

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pm86_150.jpgAs an organizer in the American Institute of Architects, Chris Stafford has long promoted sustainable design. As a natural builder, he worked with straw bale and clay in Greece and Saudi Arabia. For his Port Townsend home, he considered site, size, materials and energy. The 1500 sq. ft home uses mostly non-toxic materials (and fewer of them), foam insulation, metal roofing, solar hot water for space heating, photovoltaics for electricity, and an innovative rainwater collector for landscape irrigation. [www.building-green.net]

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85: Energetic Students Empower Cal Poly

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

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The future’s environmental leaders are here now! Student leader Tylor Middlestadt recounts how Empower Poly (San Luis Obispo, CA) is bringing students to the table–with staff, faculty, and local communities — to shape a greener future. Students successfully pushed for environmentally-friendly design for the nation’s largest student housing project. Inspired by the UC Go Solar campaign, students formed Renew CSU to advocate renewable energy projects on campuses statewide. [www.empowerpoly.calpoly.edu]

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57: Conserve First! Saving Energy in the Home

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

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pm57_150.jpgTodd Cory lives in a zero energy home. He started by conserving a whopping 70% of his energy use. Then he installed solar hot water and electricity connected to the grid. This renewable energy installer brims with enthusiastic ideas about having fun consuming less energy, starting with “the low hanging fruit”– what’s easy and cheapest to do.

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