More on your ‘cookprint’.

These healthy eco-friendly kitchen gadgets and appliances will save energy.

By Ronnie Citron-Fink
Rhinebeck, NY, USA | Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:30 AM ET

©iStockphoto.com/Thinkstock

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Eco-Friendly Kitchens | Energy Efficiency | Green Appliances | Green Home | Green Your Electricity | Home Energy Use

Would you like to cut your electric bill every month? If you’re like me, you have drawers and kitchen cabinets full of gadgets and small appliances. In an effort to pare down and conserve energy, resources and cash, which of these energy sucking kitchen wonders should you ditch (donate away) and which should stay?

WATCH VIDEO: Emeril’s Vermont Adventures

First, let’s consider at the materials and resources that use energy to prepare a meal. While the term “cookprint” is often used to remind us to eat more plant-based, locally grown and sustainable food, it also represents which appliances and gadgets to cook with. Consumer Reports chose “cookprint” as a top buzzword to describe the energy needed to prepare the food we eat.

“That energy use encompasses the appliances and techniques used to prepare and store food, though the management of leftovers and food waste also factors in–you lower your cookprint by composting rather than tossing scraps into the trash.”

Ditch These Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets

1. Coffee Grinder
OK, it’s early in the morning and it’s awfully easy to plug in the coffee grinder to pulverize fresh beans. Just think how much faster you’ll wake up if you have to do it yourself. Bodum makes preparing and drinking coffee a stylish experience. Check out their hand-crank coffee-grinding beauty.

2. Can Opener
Jaymi has written about electric can openers before and she makes the important point that, “Electric can openers are handy but they don’t save time or effort when compared to a quality manual can opener.” Classic swing-away can openers get the job done.

3. Electric Knife
My mom’s generation swears that the electric knife must come out when the Thanksgiving turkey is ready to curve. But really, why use an electric one when a nice sharp knife can do the same job? Try a hand-held knife sharpener and a good knife.

4. Juicer
Are you surprised to find an electric juicer on the list? This is an easy switch that won’t screw up your healthy juice regimen. Hand-held juicers require a little muscle, but they produce big energy savings. Here are some hand-held juicers to choose from.

5. Electric Mixer and Stick Blender
An electric stick immersion blender has a single mixer attachment, so to make something like whipping cream, a hand-held mixer is your best bet. The old fashioned, quiet hand mixer works like a dream. Often you can find these in antique stores with wooden handles.

Keep These Appliances and Gadgets in Your Kitchen

1. Rice Cookers
Although rice cookers use electricity, they are an eco-friendly alternative to firing up your stove to make rice. Finding a rice cooker with a stainless steel–not “non-stick”–insert is the healthiest choice, because most “non-stick” pots are made with Teflon or aluminum. Teflon contains PBDE, a prevalent contaminant known to cause to the human body and the environment. Here are a bunch of rice cookers with stainless steel inserts.

2. Countertop Grills
These grills are inexpensive and an energy-saving solution to turning on a stove when you want to just make, say, a grilled cheese sandwich. Be aware that George Foreman and similar grills can be coated with Teflon. What’s an eco-cook to do? Get a stainless steel countertop grill.

3. Waffle Irons
The same advice applies for waffle irons as grill pans, especially if you eat waffles often. We have an old, old cast iron waffle iron that makes the best waffles. If you can’t score one of those, I would suggest finding a secondhand waffle iron with cast iron inserts.

4. Hand-Crank Blender
Again, the older “historical technology,” does a fine job. TreeHugger posted on a hand crank travel mixer, and here are some other crank blenders.

5. Mortar and Pestle
A mortar and pestle can be a manual food processor. It’s been used for centuries to make everything from ground spices to mayonnaise. The mortar and pestle’s best feature: It will never require replacement parts.
Are you seeing a trend here? The oldies-but-goodies are making a strong comeback. And making these small changes can significantly lower your cookprint.

More on your ‘cookprint’.

These healthy eco-friendly kitchen gadgets and appliances will save energy.

by John Laumer, Philadelphia on 01.21.10

big suv photo
Big ol’ Chevy Tahoe. Image credit:AutoWeek.

The Star-Telegram is reporting that “The health effects of air pollution are a major topic in Texas because the state is one of the most polluted in the country. A recent survey by Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth found that 1 in 4 children in North Texas has asthma, which can be both caused and aggravated by air pollution.” This in the context of a recent study which documented Texas kids are “more likely to miss school when certain types of air pollution increase.”

There’s no one source to point the finger of blame at. It’s about a predilection for big smoggy vehicles, refinery and petrochemical emissions, coal-burning power plants, ships and barges, and so on. The point is….

Environmental quality impacts school performance (my inference based on the correlation reported). I’m betting it’s not just in Texas that this potential correlation could be found.

Clearly, many US elected officials do not yet ‘connect the environmental dots’ linking air quality to quality of life and to learning, nor are some powerful corporate constituents wanting them to. For a clear demonstration of the latter effect, look no further than Alaskan Senator Murkowski , who is sponsoring an amendment that prevents USEPA from regulating greenhouse gases. To see who’s got the most horses in that rodeo read Senator Who Hopes to Block EPA from Regulating Greenhouse Gas Pollution is Top Fundraiser from Utility Companies

Who needs that permafrost anyhow?

Failing to have much trust in the sciences and still stuck on libertarian romanticism, it takes exploding underpants to get attention to the business of ‘dot connecting.’ How long before a Texas congress-critter tacks an amendment onto a Federal budget bill, preventing EPA from regulating smog causing emissions? Not long is my guess.

Who needs that book learnin’ anyhow?

Three more dots.

  • I wonder how many corporations pay big-time health care benefits for employee family asthma treatments while giving money to lobbyists who want to slow down air quality regulation enforcement?
  • China bears some of the responsibility for Texas AQ degradation.
  • As reported in an AFP release on Yahoo News.

Pollution from Asia is boosting levels of ozone in the skies above the western United States, a trend that could hamper US efforts to meet tougher smog standards,…The findings are important, as previous research suggests pollution at the altitude monitored in the study can descend and mix with surface air.If so, a long-standing question may be answered. There has been a rise in ozone levels in parts of the rural western United States, but there is little road traffic or industry in these regions to explain the increase.

The paper says the phenomenon could have repercussions for efforts in the United States to roll back its smog problem with tougher car-exhaust measures and other initiatives.

    Are you still with me on this?

  • Taking a leadership role in climate action enables the USA to add more pressure on China to clean up the emissions of both greenhouse cases and the associated smog causing emissions that float over rural Texas.

Mike’s adjacent post on the Chinese smog effect on Western USA is worth a look:

That’s all the dots I have for now.

More posts about Texas air quality.
Texas Coal Fired Utility Building ‘Alamo of Coal’
Texas PTA Partners With Government for Cleaner School Buses
Texas Board of Ed Neuters Science Textbooks’ Global Warming

Date: 28-Oct-09
Country: US
Author: Steve Holland

Obama Announces $3.4 Billion In Grants For Smart Grid Photo: Jim Young
President Obama takes a tour of DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Florida, October 27, 2009.

Photo: Jim Young

ARCADIA, Florida – President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced $3.4 billion in grants to help build a “smart” electric grid meant to trim utility bills, reduce blackouts and carry power generated by solar and wind energy.

It was the largest award made in a single day from the $787 billion stimulus package approved by Congress. The White House said the award will create tens of thousands of jobs while upgrading the U.S. electric grid.

Republicans have heavily criticized the stimulus as wasteful spending that has done little to reduce America’s 9.8 percent jobless rate.

The grants, which range from $400,000 to $200 million, will go to 100 companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners in 49 states — every state except Alaska.

Obama made the announcement after taking a tour of an array of 90,000 solar panels that line a grassy plain of cow pastures deep in the muggy heart of Florida, apparently more panels than there are people in Arcadia.

Obama, doffing his suit coat against the heat and humidity, told a crowd the program was an important investment in the types of clean energy he would like to foster in the United States to wean the country off carbon fuels.

He said the grants would go to private companies, utilities and cities and were aimed at creating a “smarter, stronger and more secure electric grid.”

“At this moment, there’s something big happening in America when it comes to creating a clean energy economy,” Obama said.

Carol Browner, Obama’s top adviser on climate change and energy issues, told reporters that the current grid system was outdated and dilapidated.

“Not only do we need to make the current system bigger and add more watts, but we need to make it function better,” she said.

“MORE THAN A FACE-LIFT”

The grants will not be used to build new power lines, but improve the capabilities of the electrical system. “I would say it’s more than a face-lift,” Browner said.

The money will pay for about 18 million smart meters that will help consumers manage energy use in their homes, 700 automated substations to make it faster for utilities to restore power knocked out by storms and 200,000 smart transformers that allow power companies to replace units before they fail, thus avoiding outages.

The winning companies have secured an additional $4.7 billion in private money to match their government grants, creating $8.1 billion in total investment in the smart grid.

One of the winning companies is Constellation Energy’s Baltimore Gas and Electric Co, which will receive $200 million in grants to add to $250 million in private funds to deploy a smart meter network for all of its 1.1 million residential customers.

Constellation Energy chairman Mayo Shattuck said the new technology would put the country on the brink of the “greatest transformations of the electric grid ever.”

“This technology allows consumers to have the opportunity to reduce their bills and it allows utilities to increase their efficiency,” Shattuck said.

The White House will act fast to get the money into the economy, with the funds expected to be in the accounts of the winning companies within 60 days. The projects themselves will last 12 to 36 months.

BGE customers can use the meters to view their electricity use in real-time, allowing them to run appliances when there is less demand on the grid and power prices are cheaper.

Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas and Electric Co subsidiary will get $28.1 million on top of the $32 million it plans to spend to connect 1.4 million smart meters.

(Editing by David Storey)


Repower America

Dear Reader,

Some of the most effective measures for Repowering America in the economic recovery package are coming under attack. And when the Senate votes as early as later today, we know one of your senators — among just a handful — will cast a crucial vote.

Will you take a minute and call your senator now? There is no time to waste.

Senator Martinez’s Miami office phone: (305) 444-8332

Leave a message and let your senator know: “As a constituent, I urge you to champion clean energy and green jobs in the economic recovery bill.”

Then, let us know you called here: www.RepowerAmerica.org/reportsenatecall

Investments in clean energy are some of the most effective ones our country can be making now. But there have been surprising attacks in the national news.

One senator questioned a measure in the stimulus that upgrades federal government buildings, even though these upgrades will reduce the energy bill of the biggest energy consumer in the nation (a bill taxpayers pick up).

A different senator recently argued that the recovery should invest more in dirty fossil fuels like oil and gas — even though investments in renewable energy projects create three to five times as many jobs as ones in fossil fuels.

These attacks are picking up. As a Florida resident, you — more than We Campaign members in most other states — have the ability to defend the measures that will help keep Repower America in the recovery.

Take a moment, and make a call today.

Thanks,

Cathy Zoi
CEO
RepowerAmerica.org

P.S. Please forward this message to everyone you know who shares your concern for getting our country back on track.