It’s likely you’ve heard the argument that renewable energy is unreliable because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. It’s true that renewable resources are variable. We can’t make the wind blow and the sun shine 24 hours a day. That’s just nature. But, does this mean that large amounts of solar and wind can’t be incorporated into the grid?
It’s time to set the record straight.
Working at Interface, our commitment to close the loop and make our carpet out of 100% recycled materials has made us incredibly aware of the scarcity of natural resources. But there is scarcity of another precious and limited resource that the Green Apple Day of Service illustrated to us – our time. In our hurried, fast-paced, and busy lives, it takes real effort to slow down and focus on what matters.
At Interface, we often spend our days with our heads down, staring at the floor. But when we see visuals like this, big smiles appear across our faces and we know we are making a difference.
In 2014, our 3rd year of sponsoring the Green Apple Day of Service, we experienced an even greater interest from employees and customers around the world to take action and create better learning environments for students.
Interface is in a distinctive position because we are able to directly impact the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools’ mission of putting all students into a green school within a generation. Working in partnership with our customers from the interior design profession and USGBC Chapter community, we literally created better learning environments for students by removing dirty, worn carpet and replacing it with high performing, low-offgassing, nature-inspired Interface carpet tiles. Students at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City, Utah received new carpet in their multipurpose room. The principal reported, “The students have been so funny about wanting to keep it really clean and nice.”
While subjects of climate change and global warming and their causes and management may be contentious issues in the upper echelons of government and industry, taking care of the environment is something that all of us can and should do. As most companies feel the pressure from their clients to show a real concern for the environment, they also have to handle the business end of things. After all, the bottom line is what matters as far as the longevity of the business is concerned.
A car powered by wind is a new concept. The problem is that most of the actual cars look like something Don Quixote would try to slay – more of a windmill than an automobile. They are large, clunky, impractical and can only be used as a means of entertainment. Or at least that used to be the case until Tang Zhenping entered the scene. The Chinese farmer may change the way we view wind-powered cars forever. His invention, “The Blue Hornet” cost him $1,635 and 3 months to complete, but it may very well be produced faster and less expensive given the proper funding. Mr Zhenping says that he's not in it for the money, though (at least not just for the money), but that his dream is to make things better for his fellow men.
Let’s face it, many of us are energy guzzlers. And much of the time, it’s not entirely our fault.
We’d all like to use less gas and electricity, but it’s tough when our homes are designed and built for another age – when energy efficiency was less of a concern.