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Posts from the ‘Getting Around Green’ Category

Heading to Cali on Alaska Airlines

Today we are traveling from Seattle to San Francisco on my favorite airline, Alaska Airlines.  We love that this eco-friendly carrier was the first to launch a biofuel-powered commercial flight in the United States.  Not only that, Alaska Air has partnered in a program called, “Greener Skies over Seattle”  to further reduce aircraft greenhouse gas emissions and noise in the Puget Sound area.  By using their Required Navigation Performance (RNP) system the pilots can fly directly to their destinations using less fuel.  This advanced system also enable them a shorter, continuous descent to land instead of the traditional stair-step landing paths.  Alaska’s fleet of planes and crew are the only ones in the industry to be fully equipped with this amazing guidance technology.  All of this has created a 26% reduction in carbon emissions over the past 6 years and making them #1 in fuel efficiency among the 10 largest domestic carriers in fuel efficiency for domestic and international travel.   No pun intended, but we know you have a choice in airlines, so choose the very green and efficient Alaska Airlines.

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Brown Bear Car Wash ~ Washington

In preparation for our trip down south to Portland, we ran Robi through a tunnel wash at Brown Bear.  This environmentally friendly company uses green products to wash your vehicle clean and captures the water that comes from its bath.  Instead of dumping that dirty water full of oil and contaminates back into the Puget Sound they separate and treat water.  Clean water gets reused on the next filthy car, cycled through, and then repeated.  

Washing your car at home usually involves wasting water, time, and harmful detergents reaching streams and water supplies, among a handful of other harmful possibilities.  If you didn’t know already,  Brown Bear Car Wash is the best way to wash green and cruise clean in the Pacific Northwest.

Living Future Conference 2012 ~ Portland, OR

I am so exciting to be driving down to Portland for another important conference on sustainability.  Not only is this sold-out event dedicated to, Women Reshaping the World, but it is being held in such a vibrant city that embraces a green lifestyle.   The conference is being hosted by the International Living Future Institute allowing  for brilliant minds in the green building movement that are creating and seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues to come together.  This incredible forum for learning and networking formats will  provide visionary design methods, innovative technical information, and the motivation needed to achieve meaningful progress toward living aware.

Many of you may remember that we went down last autumn for the amazing EcoDistrict Summit which is one of the world’s premier annual conference dedicated to urban sustainability.  During that awesome event we were not only able to listen to inspiring speakers like Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, but we were also able to network with city officials, designers, innovators and an array of other like-minded people who are pushing boundaries for greener cities. In turn all of those amazing individuals and no doubt, the attendees of the Living Future Conference, are creating a greener way of life for  communities spread around the world and link us together. 

During our last visit we stayed at The Nines Hotel, a lovely and luxurious LEED Silver Certified property in the heart of Portland.  We dined at their amazing organic/local/sustainable restaurants Departure and Urban Farmer, as well some others around town like Pok Pok and Bamboo Sushi which are some of my favorite restaurants to-date.  On this trip we are resting at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, just a block or so from, The Nines.  While the property is not LEED Certified, its service is spectacular and it offers a plethora of luxurious green amenities.  For shopping, the Pearl district was full of amazing boutiques like Woonwinkel that we will be sure to stop in on during this trip, as well as search out new shops on the scene. 

Stay tuned, we will have a lot more coming on the Living Future Conference and being green throughout Portland.

The First Negative Carbon Automobile

SAIC’s Yez concept car is the first vehicle, concept or otherwise, that’s ever been created to have a negative carbon footprint.  Yes you heard that correctly, it removes more pollution than it creates.

ECOtality Charging Stations

A change is in the air up here.  Electrical vehicle charging stations are going in everywhere.  I think the stars are aligning so I can buy my Tesla S and road trip it around the country.

The EV Project came to fruition in late 2009 when ECOtality was awarded a cost-reimbursement grant of $99.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake the largest deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) and installation of charging-infrastructures ever.

ECOtality’s Blink chargers use advance software to communicate with power companies, meter power, operate efficiently, and save the end-user on each charge. Benefits of the unique Blink design include connector holster and intuitive docking connectors, and color touch screens. The residential and commercial chargers are linked to the Blink Network via the Internet, which allows you access an array of advanced options such as remotely through your smart phone device.

State governments are lining the highways here on the west coast with the industrial charging stations that will quickly “fill” your batteries in 30 minutes in a project called the West Coast Green Highway.  This is solid proof that you can feel comfortable going out to buy your own plug-in Robot.

Robi, My Prius

Robi or Robot, is my 2011 silver Toyota Prius that I absolutely adore. I’ve had and driven an array of cars over my years and this car is by far my favorite ever. I fill up Robi on average once a month for about $36, which is a great savings in comparison to other vehicles on the road. My Prius has the screen display to assist with navigating, audio choices, and backing up. On top of all of these fabulous features it rides smoothly, is spacious, and a dream on road trips. If you’re in the market, I highly recommend any of Robot’s relatives.

Tesla Motors – Model S

I am convinced that the ‘S’ in the Tesla Model-S must stand for something like sexy, superior, smokin’, spectacular, or even better, sustainable.  I recently sat in this car in the Bellevue showroom and let me tell you it is even more beautiful in person.  The interior is futuristic and the body is unbelievably beautiful.  The list of specs for this car is lengthy and the energy efficiency is better than any other brand of electric car on the road.  The Tesla S can go up to 300 miles before it needs a charge.  I want this car.  If I can’t have it then I want someone I know to own 1 or 12 of them so I can ride in it all of the time.

Public Bikes

I love these sleek Euro Style bikes by Public, especially in orange.  The M8 (pictured) is designed for easy shifting which is perfect for the hills in Seattle.  What a chic way to get around town.

Alaska Airlines Biofuel Program

As I write this post I’m enjoying a flight on Alaska Airlines and its gotten even better after reading the CEO’s entry article on biofuels in their onboard magazine. Alaska Airlines did a test of a 20% biofuel mix on 75 flights mostly between Seattle and D.C. to raise awareness about biofuels. I think this was a good first step in pushing innovation for us to be less reliant on foreign oil. I only say “good” because I personally wish the industry was further along. Nevertheless, this small change for a month equated to taking 26 cars off the road for a year. If all Alaska Air’s flights did this annually it would be the equivalent of 26,000 cars off the road or powering 28,000 homes. The article doesn’t leave out the hurdles that the air industry will have to overcome, but I’m proud to be sitting in a seat and spending my money with a company that is pushing for a better future.

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