The PSEG GreenFest had many different booths from alternative energy production to a Sham Wow demonstration. It was encouraging to see so many companies participating and equally important that there was such a great turnout for the event. The momentum for Green initiatives continues to grow which is good for our planet and our wallets. Next year’s PSEG Green Fest should be even bigger and better. Anyone in the New York Metro area should definitely make plans to attend. We’ll let you know as soon as we have a date.
Another celebrity that we spoke to was Bill Nye the Science Guy. Mr. Nye, who currently hosts Stuff Happens on Planet Green, is the person to speak to when it comes to Green Technology and Infrastructure. I asked Mr. Nye about how he viewed the Energy Policy in the United States and he stated that the Energy Policy is further along than it ever has been. According to him, it would help if Americans embraced more fuel efficient cars and encouraged more funding for public transportation systems. Mr. Nye believes that it may take at least a couple of presidential terms before policy changes become reality. He further commented that America “spends more energy on transportation than on manufacturing”.
I asked Mr. Nye whether he believed it would be beneficial for automobile and trucking manufacturers to adopt diesel electric hybrid systems rather than gasoline electric hybrid systems. He was very adamant about not legislating change. He believes the most efficient and cost effective method should be what is adopted. Legislation should be applied to higher fuel mileage standards rather than regulating what fuel a hybrid should use.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the United States has five times the energy we need for wind power. Mr. Nye points out that if we were able to adopt wind power and a smart grid, all electric ground transportation would win because the electric production is clean, and the capacity is available. Of course the infrastructure to support this is needed before large scale adoption can take place.
I asked Mr. Nye. “what are some easy things anyone can do to make their homes a little “greener?” He offered the following advice:
Better insulation and weatherization is vital. According to him “Lessen your thermal leaks from out of the house in winter and into the house in summer.” As this may not be as eye catching or cool sounding as solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal, it can be done on a budget and lead to immediate savings in utility bills, not to mention saving energy thus “Greening” your home. Since replacing all the windows in an average home can be quite costly, Mr. Nye’s suggestion is a phased in approach. Replacing windows in need of replacing one at a time can yield results instead of waiting to do all of them at once.
Mr. Nye also discussed solar panels as a good way to produce power in homes. The technology is always improving for solar and the prices continue to come down. In fact the costs now are comparable to the price of the family car. Once the solar panels are added homeowners can then get a rebate from the utility company. Mr. Nye suggested that homeowners use a loan to purchase solar panels and then use the rebates, tax credits, and money saved from reduced electric bills to pay the monthly loan payment.
When it comes time to sell, any energy saving modifications will add value to the home and will attract buyers looking for home with supplemental power options.
Mr. Nye pointed out that we also have climate change to address and according to him this is one his reasons for “fighting the good fight.” He believes that society needs to do a lot more than just focusing on Green Tips. Society needs to embrace and support large scale Green projects to address what we are facing. We need to build wind turbines, install a “smart” electric grid, and eliminate CRT’s , just to name a few.
I cannot thank Mr. Nye enough for being so gracious and for discussing his views with me. Please make sure to catch Bill Nye the Science Guy on Stuff Happens on the Discovery Channel. He will also be hosting a new show called Solving for X which can be viewed on Disneyeducation.com . Please be sure to check it out.