You guys are the BEST!" Marie D’Amore—Production Supervisor, HSI
We truly enjoyed working from the Helios, the attention to detail to make it an Eco friendly asset to our industry should be commended. The quiet workspace you get when running on the solar power is delightful! Rob was pleasant to be around and always willing to help out. Thank you Rob and King Kong for bringing us the Helios!" Rochelle Savory-Assistant Production Supervisor
Thank you so much for lovely Eko lav — definitely the nicest port-a-potty I’ve ever used!" Amanda – Producer
The drivers were awesome to be with. Hard working drivers!! It really stands out when the drivers jump in to help set up base camp, and tear it down. Not to mention always having a fresh green tea for me just when I needed it every time. They really were great and I’d ask for them anytime we get vehicles from you. Thanks!" Mary Brooks – 3 Star Productions
King Kong has great motorhomes and the best drivers in the business. Working with you guys is always easy and a pleasure." Cat Burkley-Portfolio One
I wanted to give Rich another glowing report, He was AMAZING on our shoot. The most helpful driver I’ve ever had. I’ll definitely be requesting him on future shoots.
Thanks for everything guys!" Adrienne Burton – Freelance Prod Coordinator
The Helios is a great motorhome. Not only is it energy efficient but it offers a large space for production to work in. The copy machine is great because you can wirelessly print and make color copies and send faxes. The satellite phones came in handy when we realized we didn’t have any cell service on location. We received several compliments throughout the shoot day. Crew walked into the motorhome in awe of such a beautiful space." Courtney Witherspoon-Production Coordinator Three One O
King Kong… top notch service, incredible drivers, clean, well equipped vehicles, on time—every time! Thanks guys…. you ROCK!!!" Elaine Lee—Producer 5th and Sunset Los Angeles
Rusty, Bruce and the guys at King Kong were a crucial asset to my photoshoot. They took a lot of stress off of my plate and came through when I needed them, allowing me to focus 100% on the production. Without a doubt, King Kong is now my go-to for production vehicles and I do not hesitate to recommend them to my colleagues. And, not only is Rusty the best and most helpful driver I have ever had the pleasure of working with, he is also awesome with a fog machine!" Brett Spencer-Producer, Nastygal.com
You guys did a phenomenal job with the Helios. And Rob, as always, went above and beyond for us." Dan Kae—Assistant Production Supervisor
We’ve used the Helios twice now and have been quite impressed each time. It has everything production could want AND it’s earth friendly! We will use the Helios on every job in which we need a moho." Mario D’Amici—Production Coordinator, Beef Films
…the moho was super nice, everything was great! I will definitely rent it again!!" Susan Borbely – Prod Coordinator
I just wanted to send you a quick message and let you know how amazing Rich is. I have hired motos from all over and this was by far our best experience. Really nice to work with great people" Crystal Raymond- Chinese Laundry
Just wanted to say thanks for the awesome customer service. Our driver was friendly and professional. He arrived early and had everything ready to go for us. The motorhome was clean and in perfect shape. Every detail matters on a shoot to help keep everything running smoothly. We love working with King Kong!" Jamie Williams- That Girl Productions
North Six has been working with King Kong for many years now. Not only is their customer service unparalleled, but their fleet of motorhomes is always clean, reliable, and exactly what we need to support our photo productions." Kyd Kisvarday—Producer, North 6
Archive for July, 2012
Study: Green homes sell for 9% more in California
Green-certified homes sell for 9% more than regular homes in California and their premium is highest in the hottest and most eco-minded areas, says a report today.
Single-family homes with green certifications sold for an average of $34,800 more than comparable homes from 2007 to 2012 when the average California home was priced at $400,000, according to the University of California research. The premium varied significantly within the state, showing spikes in areas with the most electric vehicles.
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“We observed a phenomenon we’ve termed the ‘Prius effect’ — a positive correlation between the value of green home labels and environmental ideology, as measured by the rate of hybrid registrations,” said co-author Nils Kok, visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In these areas, he said residents may see green homes as “a point of pride or status symbol.”
The study finds the premium is also highest in the hottest places, suggesting buyers value green labels for the pragmatic reason of lower utility bills. It looked at 1.6 million home sales, including 4,300 that earned certifications from Energy Star, GreenPoint Rated or the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program.
Similarly, two smaller studies found green-certified homes sell for more than regular ones. In Seattle, they sold for 8.5% more per square foot and were on the market 22% less time from September 2007 to December 2009, according to Seattle-based GreenWorks Realty. In the Portland, Ore., metro area, they sold for 12% more from May 2008 to April 2009, reports the Portland-based non-profit Earth Advantage Institute.
Prior research co-authored by Kok found that green ratings boost the value of office buildings, too. Those with green certifications commanded rents that were at least 3% higher and sale prices that were 16% higher than non-certified office buildings, according to a January 2009 study.
|In this June 20 photo, a heavy Caterpillar earth mover buries waste at the Clinton Landfill near Clinton, Ill. According to a new report released by the group As You Sow, the U.S. lags far behind other nations in recycling packaging materials. (Seth Perlman / Associated Press / June 20, 2012)|
If you are dutifully separating your trash and filling up your blue bins every week, you are probably thinking that America can cross this whole recycling thing off its to-do list. That couldn’t be more wrong, according to a new report that says that about $11.4 billion in recyclable materials are still piling up in U.S. landfills every year.
The report’s most controversial message is contained in its title, “Unfinished Business: The Case for Extended Producer Responsibility for Post-Consumer Packaging.” Shifting more responsibility for recycling to the businesses that make the products would be the quickest way to reduce that waste, the report says.
The report was released by As You Sow in San Francisco, which describes itself as a nonprofit organization that promotes corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy. Its report found that the U.S. lags well behind world leaders in the percentage of recyclable packaging materials that are recaptured and reused.
“Denmark has an 84% packaging recycling rate, Belgium is at 78%, the Netherlands at 72%, Germany at 73%,” the report said. “The U.S. recovery rate is estimated at 48.3% for packaging and 52.7% for paper and paperboard products.”
Moreover, the report says that the nation’s recycling programs have become less efficient. “Beverage container recycling rates have dropped 20% over the last two decades,” it says. “One quarter of the U.S. population still doesn’t have access to curbside recycling. More than 40 billion aluminum cans are still dumped annually into landfills in the U.S.”
Some of the bigger implications come from the energy costs of producing new packaging products rather than recycling what has already been used. By one analysis, done by Resource Recycling magazine, the U.S. could save $12 billion a year, or 168 million barrels of oil at $75 a barrel, by capturing and using more recycled material.
“Aluminum is of special concern,” said Conrad Mackerron, senior program director for As You Sow, “given the energy intensity needed to produce aluminum and the huge 95% energy and greenhouse-gas savings from making new cans out of used ones rather than from virgin materials.”
The report adds that improving recycling rates may be beyond the resources of local government in times of widespread fiscal austerity. That’s why it says the businesses that produce the packaging have to do more.
“Over 47 countries require producers to bear some or all of the cost of end-of-life packaging management that in the U.S. has always been paid for by taxpayers,” the report said. “As You Sow believes it is time to shift financial responsibility for managing packaging to producers through effective and tested policies.”
Nevada is home to some enormous solar power facilities and is a focal point of the expansion of geothermal energy production, so it makes sense that someone would pick the state to combine the two in one beast of a clean energy production center. That someone is Enel Green Power (EGP), which in May opened the world’s first solar-geothermal hybrid energy power plant in northwestern Nevada.
EGP, a green arm of the Italian Enel Group, developed a geothermal plant at the Stillwater site in Churchill County, 60 miles east of Reno, in 2009, reports Engadget. The process drills wells into the ground to capture heat from steam and hot water rising from the Earth’s molten core, using it to drive turbines and generate electricity.
Once the 33 megawatt plant was set up, it was only natural to consider the addition of solar panels, given its location in the Nevada desert. So Enel installed 89,000 panels, adding 26 more megawatts of energy to its peak capacity.
The combination of the two power sources limits the weaknesses of each, notes Engadget. Solar power is only generated during sunny days, while geothermal energy doesn’t depend on the weather or time. It does, however, require a lot of up front investment and is a riskier proposition, so having a solar component is a way of hedging your bet.
Considering how much sense this operation makes, I’ll be surprised if Enel and its competitors don’t open more facilities like it in the near future.
Eurasia Review Geothermal Energy : A New Frontier – Analysis Eurasia Review This geothermal bank holds the potential to produce 2580 megawatts (MW) in heat-based energy, or enough to light 1.5 million homes by U.S. consumption standards. The expansion and development of geothermal energy throughout the region could not…
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This revised edition of The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses on the unique requirements of off-grid living as well as using “green” energy for homeowners who remain connected to the electrical utility. The book contains chapters on:
* Energy efficiency and economics
* Home heating and cooling and domestic water heating
* Photovoltaic, wind, and micro-hydro energy generation
* Battery selection and inverters
* Backup power, wireless communications, etc.
It includes comprehensive specifications for many of the products available in the market today. Whether you are just curious or an industry expert, this handbook will show you how to stretch your energy dollars (doing much more with less) while powering your home with renewable energy. And, unlike fossil fuels or nuclear energy, renewable energy frees you from worry about dumping today’s pollution on tomorrow’s children. Since its release in 2003, The Renewable Energy Handbook has been a top-selling technology book and is recognized as the best in its field. This edition has been fully revised for 2010 and beyond. It has been increased in size to an easy-to-read 8 x 10 inch format, and it is augmented with hundreds of illustrations, line drawings, photographs, and appendices.
Author/engineer William H. Kemp is a leading expert in renewable energy technologies. He and his wife designed and built their own off-grid home, which has all the standard middle-class creature comforts while using no fossil-fuel energy. The author showcases an assortment of homes, including his own, to demonstrate real-world application of the technologies.
Australia introduces controversial carbon tax
Australia has introduced its highly controversial carbon tax, after years of bitter political wrangling.
The law forces about 300 of the worst-polluting firms to pay a A$23 (£15; $24) levy for every tonne of greenhouse gases they produce.
The government says the tax is needed to meet climate-change obligations of Australia – the highest emitter per-head in the developed world.
But the opposition calls it a “toxic tax” that will cost jobs.
The opposition also argues that the tax will raise the cost of living, promising to repeal the legislation if it wins the next election, due in 2013.
Environmentalists have broadly backed the scheme, but there have been large public protests against it.
Australia’s mining firms, airlines, steel makers and energy firms are among those expected to be hardest hit by the the Clean Energy Act.
- 300 companies affected
- Agriculture, forestry and land are exempt
- Market-based trading scheme kicks in from 2015
- Target to cut 159m tonnes of CO2 by 2020
Domestic fuel bills are expected to rise as companies pass on the costs to consumers.
But the Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard says it is the only realistic way of meeting Australia’s climate-change obligations.
It says the that low income earners will be compensated.
“People have already seen pension increases and family payment increases and this assistance to families around the country will continue,” Ms Gillard told Australia’s ABC.
“Businesses have got themselves ready for carbon pricing. New investments are being made.”
The government also hopes that the legislation will force innovation in renewable energy supplies, and free the country from its reliance on fossil fuels.
Australia currently accounts for 1.5% of the world’s emissions, but it is the developed world’s highest emitter per head of population thanks to its relatively small population.
The leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, says the “toxic” tax is expensive and unnecessary.
He told his Liberal Party’s conference on Saturday that Australian could be “100% certain” that there would be no carbon tax if he got elected.
He added that the new tax “will raise every family’s cost of living, it will make every job less secure but it won’t help the environment”.
Australia’s initial price per tonne of carbon is much higher than other similar schemes – such as in the EU where the price is between $8.7 and $12.6 a tonne.
World’s Tallest Treehouse Built From Reclaimed Wood | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
The enormous treehouse has 10 floors averaging from 9 to 11 feet high, and although Burgess has never measured it, he estimates the treehouse to be between 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. Built entirely from wood that has been donated or salvaged from from sheds, barns and garages, the structure has taken on it’s own organic feel. Burgess, who is a landscape architect and an ordained minister, has put about $12,000 of his own money into it, spent partially on nails, of which there are approximately 258,000. Other recycled materials like license plates, furniture, roofing material, and plexiglass skylights have also helped fill out the structure.
Inside there are spiral staircases, a sanctuary, a choir loft, a basketball court, and countless rooms, walkways and balconies. For his 11th wedding anniversary, Burgess built his wife a belfry tower, or what he likes to call “the only penthouse in Cumberland County.” Inside the tower are chimes handmade from 10 oxygen acetylene bottles weighing 5,700 pounds. Outside is a garden that Burgess has designed with daffodils, irises, narcissus, gladiolas and wild daisies, which spells out J-E-S-U-S. As Burgess says, “The whole message of the thing is if you come to see the site and climb to the top, you’ll see Jesus in the garden, and the preacher didn’t have to say a word.” He’s still building, though.