Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shanghai Elementary Students Totally Grasp "Green"

I recently made a whirlwind trip to Shanghai, where I spoke at Ignite Shanghai ; attended reThink Shanghai (hosted by one of my favorite international entrepreneurs, Christine Lu ); hung out with Geeks on a Plane (see CNN international’s coverage - ;talked with one of the coolest eco-chicks ever,Leah Lamb , about sustainability in China (see the video thanks to What Gives ); saw the World Expo ; and best of all, got to spend an afternoon at YK Pao Elementary School in downtown Shanghai [See the pictures I took: ]

I spent several hours on campus talking with the principal, vice principal, numerous teachers and parent leaders. While the existing campus is a beautiful oasis of playgrounds and greenery amidst the heart of downtown Shanghai, there are plans in the works for a new campus built for optimal environmental performance. The new school will be a learning laboratory where children learn to live sustainably.
One of the things that impressed me most about the adults on campus was their firm commitment to being good role models of environmentally responsible behaviors to the kids. Environmental education isn’t just about curriculum, though they have developed some of the best I’ve seen, it’s about providing the children with examples of adults who conserve natural resources, coupled with frequent opportunities for the children to imitate what they see.

Clearly, the lessons are resonating with the children. In the videos you will see by visiting the YK Pao Student Work playlist on our YouTube Channel, note that even kids as young as first grade are able to explain water conservation and recycling principles like it’s second nature. [See the videos:]

The YK Pao school will be using the Go Green Planning Guide to further advance their goal of becoming the greenest school in China. Please join me in wishing the students, teachers, parents and administrators the best of luck on their “green” journey!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sammy's Wish for Her 14th Birthday

Sammy S. is one cool kid! Her birthday is on June 24, and instead of presents, she is asking her friends and family to donate to the Go Green Initiative via Facebook Causes. She is asking people to donate $14, or whatever you can afford, in honor of her 14th birthday. Click here to see her Cause page.

"I don't need presents...why not use my birthday to do something good for the world?" says Sammy. "I think that we all should go green at school so we can raise money, and reuse everything."

Sammy is spot on! When schools recycle, they can often sell their recyclables to a broker and raise money. Aluminum, cell phones and sometimes even paper and plastic can provide lucrative money makers for the school.

If you'd like to help Sammy get her birthday wish, click here, and thank you in advance from the Go Green Initiative!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What is Energy Storage, and Why Should I Care?

I'm so glad you asked! :)

This week's guest on Go Green Radio can answer that question for you.

According to our guest, Jason Makansi, Executive Director of the Energy Storage Council (www.energystoragecouncil.org), “The reason storage is so essential to renewables is the renewables are intermittent -- the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow, and they are often located in areas far from population centers. Because the price of wholesale electricity varies throughout the day, when electricity is sold is just as important as how much electricity is sold. But if you can store the energy generated on a sunny or windy day and then inject that energy into the grid at periods of high demand ... well, then you've got yourself a market. You've got both physical and economic control over your resource and the leverage with which to build increasing demand for your product.
So coupling bulk energy storage with renewable energy -- especially remotely located wind farms -- creates a more reliable market for the energy generated and a more attractive environment for investment. Perhaps most importantly, storage also begins to make renewably generated electricity behave, from a market and supply perspective, like electricity from baseload plants such as nuclear.
Before we expect too much from renewables and are disappointed by their failure to perform, we need to start talking about giving them the power they need to succeed. We need to be talking about storage.”
Go Green Radio airs at 9 a.m. Pacific on Friday, June 4, on www.VoiceAmerica.com. If you miss the live broadcast, you can check out the archive at: http://tinyurl.com/yzhyjdc.