<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Green News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/green http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usTue, 24 May 2016 03:00:52 -0700Tue, 24 May 2016 03:00:52 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Airport Launches Eco-Friendly Travel Program]]> Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:05:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lindbergh-Field-1008_2.jpg

The San Diego International Airport (SAN) has launched a program designed to encourage sustainable jet-setting and offset the carbon footprint created by air travel.

The San Diego Airport Authority announced a pilot program Thursday dubbed “The Good Traveler,” which enables travelers to offset the environmental impact of their journey in an easy way – and for only a buck.

Here’s how it works: for $1, travelers can buy a Good Traveler tag or sticker that can be placed on a bag, laptop or phone case. Airport officials say 100 percent of proceeds will benefit three environmentally-friendly projects: the restoration of a California forest, a wind farm project in Idaho and a water restoration project in the Colorado Delta.

Airport officials say each $1 purchase of the Good Traveler tag will offset the equivalent of the carbon footprint created by 500 miles of air travel or 200 miles of driving.

Additional “carbon offsets” and merchandise can be purchased through this program, with proceeds going toward conservation efforts that help counteract the effect of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Good Traveler tag is available for purchase at certain concessions at SAN, including Ryan Bros. Coffee.

According to the Airport Authority, the pilot program at SAN will run through the end of this year. At that point, the airport hopes to expand the program to other airports and cities.

The airport is also running an art competition now through Oct. 14 to find a new design for a Good Traveler T-shirt that will later be sold.

The Good Traveler program was first developed in February 2014 after SAN became the first U.S. airport to sign the Climate Declaration addressing climate change. After that, SAN conducted a review of how to provide passengers with an option to offset the environmental impact of their travel, and this program was born.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Balboa Park's 2015 EarthFair]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:54:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Balboa-Park-Generic-Getty.jpg

The 25th annual EarthFair is coming to Balboa Park this Sunday, celebrating a sustainable lifestyle and what it means to go green on Earth Day.

From 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., attendees can expect a wide range of activities promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle. The event is free and open to the public.

There are new exhibits this year, including the ecoATM electronics exchange booth where visitors can trade their old cell phones and MP3 players in exchange for cash. That booth will set up shop in the Pan American Plaza.

Attendees can also get a taste of flavorful eco-friendly food with a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options available in the Food Pavilion during the fair.

Guests can also see La Mesa native and retired NBA basketball star, Bill Walton, who will be the Grand Marshal Earth Day Parade, which starts at 10:30am. There will be an opportunity to meet Walton at the NRG Energy booth in the Pan American Plaza at the end of the parade until noon.

EarthFair didn’t forget about the kids.

There will be a children’s activity area and four entertainment stages, including a “Magic Stage” featuring an interactive “Water Education Show.”

Kids can also learn how to make paper and make gift cards from recycled material.

More than 400 volunteers and 300 vendors are coming together to make the EarthFair happen this year with the grand green goal of educating the public about sustaining the planet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[California Now Home to More Than 100K Electric Cars]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 06:29:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/car+charger.jpg

California has more than 100,000 electric and "plug-in hybrid cars" on the road, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The California Air Resources Board said the milestone reflects the fact that electric cars are no longer "just a boutique item."

The state has 40 percent of the country's electric vehicle sales, which began in earnest in 2010.

About 31,000 electric cars -- 15,251 "pure electric" vehicles, and another 16,239 "plug-in hybrids" -- were purchased through the first eight months of the year, the newspaper reported.

That's about 2.5 percent of all car sales statewide.

Still, that's an increase of 100 percent from 2012 to 2014.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[SD Entrepreneurs Make Green with Green Products]]> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 03:56:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/earthfair+tess+valencia.jpg

Thousands of people packed Balboa Park Sunday for EarthFair 2014. According to organizers, the event is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world, drawing an average of 60,000 people.

Hundreds of them were exhibitors, including El Cajon resident Tess Valencia. She turns Caprisun packets into purses, wallets and even backpacks.

“I made one little party bag for my daughter's birthday, and a friend came over and saw them and said, ‘God, that's so nice!' [Now] my bags are all over the world. They’re in Chicago, in Europe,” Valencia said.

A few stalls over was yet another green creation. Young entrepreneur Leslie Uke from Poway says her runny nose inspired the HankyBook. She says she was tired of throwing away so much tissue paper and dealing with the apparent stigma surrounding handkerchiefs.

“Everyone just looked at me like I was gross, and I was like, this is really useful actually. It's not unsanitary, but they had that perspective,” Uke said.

Uke sold her first HankyBook at EarthFair four years ago.

“We're in more than 40 stores right now, mostly in Canada. Whole Foods is definitely my like high in the sky destination, and we're working with their North Atlantic region to get into their stores,” Uke said.

EarthFair organizers say exhibitors like Uke and Valencia are the heart of the event. For a full list of exhibitors, click here.

<![CDATA[Alpine Hosts Recycling and Community Cleanup Event]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:54:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/82274596.jpg

In honor of Earth Day, Alpine is hosting a community cleanup and recycling day on Saturday, right in the heart of town.

The “I Love a Clean Alpine” celebration runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include volunteers cleaning up along Alpine Boulevard. Participants are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. at The Triangle at 2157 Alpine Blvd. Vests, trash bags and safety demos will be provided before the cleanup begins.

Over at the Albertsons parking lot at 2955 Alpine Blvd., the green-friendly action will continue with a free recycling event.

There, Alpine residents can safely get rid of their electronics, small appliances and tires from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be a free document shredding service offered from 9 a.m. to noon.

The environmental event is presented by the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce. This year’s sponsors include Recycle San Diego, the County of San Diego, Albertsons, Goodwill Industries, San Diego Gas & Electric, Cintas Document Management and Iberdrola Renewables.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning Historic Photos of Air Pollution ]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 09:36:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/air-pollution-AP7004221649_7.jpg Click to see some fascinating images of air pollution throughout the US from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[1to1 Movement Raises Awareness on Sustainability]]> Sat, 25 Jan 2014 13:58:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/7ASSTUDIO125_1200x675_126575171720.jpg NBC 7's weekend morning anchors Megan Tevrizian and Greg Bledsoe speak to Amanda Tatum, of the 1-To-1 Movement, an organization working to raise awareness on sustainability. Tatum is joined by Patrick Henry High School students Marcy Rico and Paula Ledgerwood to talk about their efforts. To learn more, visit the 1-To-1 Movement website for more information]]> <![CDATA[Opponents Slam Proposed Plastic Bag Ban]]> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 18:01:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bag-Ban-Opposition-1218.jpg

Opponents of a proposed plastic bag ban gathered Wednesday to call on the San Diego City Council to abandon the plan to remove plastic bags from local stores.

Community leaders, including Mark Arabo, president of the Neighborhood Market Association, held a press conference in front of Rainbow Market on Federal Boulevard in which they called the proposed ban a “tax scam” that will negatively impact working-class San Diegans.

“This is a terrible plan. It’s terrible because the solution is worse than the so-called problem,” said Arabo. “It’s a classic case of politicians attempting to do something for the environment, in part to appease some environmental groups, without seeing the bigger picture.”

The proposed ban would remove plastic bags from stores while imposing a paper bag tax on customers. Shoppers would be charged 10 cents for each paper bag they might need at a store.

“This ban will have reaching ramifications. It’ll cost taxpayers – mothers, fathers and brothers – more money when they go shopping for groceries,” said Arabo.

Though the ban is designed to reduce waste and help the environment, Arabo argued that plastic bags only make up one-third of one percent of the waste stream.

On the other end of the plastic bag ban debate, Sherri Lightner, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem, District 1, supports the proposed ban.

According to Lightner, the ordinance would help reduce the approximately 123,000 tons of plastic bags that Californians throw out each year. She said that according to a report by the City’s Environmental Services Department, 500 million single-use plastic bags are distributed annually in San Diego, but only 3 percent of those bags are recycled while the rest end up as trash polluting local neighborhoods.

Lightner said the bag ban would save the city $160,000 per year in landfill costs and would prevent plastic bags from winding up in the ocean, streets, parks and storm drains.

But, again, not everyone agrees with the plan.

George D. McKinney, founding pastor of the St. Stephen’s Ministries, stood alongside Arabo Wednesday and also argued against it, saying the paper bag tax that comes with the ban is unfair to local, working-class residents.

“In essence, it’s a tax – a multi-million-dollar tax a year – on San Diegans,” said McKinney. “And with the cost of living on the rise, I can tell you the last thing we need today from government is something that will make life even more difficult for people, especially working families.”

The plastic bag ban proposal was passed by the City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee back in October. The ban is currently under economic review.

It could be up to one year before the proposal is back in the hands of the San Diego City Council for a final decision.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Poinsettias: How to Keep, Pronounce]]> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 10:24:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/poinsettia-generic-leaves-s.jpg

When you say poinsettia, you say San Diego.

For decades, the Ecke Family has produced most of the world’s supply of the festive plant from their ranch based in Carlsbad.

“It even started with Kate Sessions. She grew poinsettias on the hills in Mission Hills,” said horticulturist Lucy Warren with Friends of Balboa Park. “The ships would come in the hills and
they would see this beautiful bank of red on the hills.”

Sessions is known as the Mother of Balboa Park and her love for poinsettias can be seen this season in the Botanical Gardens.

San Diegans can see some of the new varieties of poinsettias at the 27th Annual Poinsettia Display. Holiday Special, Pink Poinsettia, County Quilt and Tapestry poinsettia plants are available for viewing now through New Year’s Day.

For those people who bought or received poinsettias as a gift this holiday, there is a way to keep the plant long after the holiday.

To keep the plant blooming, it’s important that you take the pot out of any foil lining in may have arrived in. Water the plant and let the water drain completely before putting it back in the foil. Keeping the plant from sitting in standing water will avoid the roots rotting.

Warren said if you want to keep the poinsettia blooming year to year, you’ll need to put the plant in complete darkness for at least 12 hours a day around October 1 to help stimulate the bloom in time for Christmas next year. You can use a room or a box to accomplish this.

As for how to pronounce the plant's name, Warren squashes any argument by saying emphatically "poin SET ee uh"

<![CDATA[No Plastic Water Bottles at Encinitas Events?]]> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:55:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/bottled+water5.jpg

City leaders in Encinitas will debate whether to stop distributing single-use, plastic water bottles at city-sponsored events.

The City Council will consider a proposed change in policy that would apply only to city-sponsored meetings.

This would not be a general citywide ban on plastic bottles.

It would also only apply to events at places where drinking water is available at public water fountains or other sources.





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<![CDATA[Greenpeace "Rainbow Warrior" Docks in San Francisco]]> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 21:34:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/11-11-2013-rainbow-warrior-greenpeace.jpg

The green team has arrived in port.

Environmental activists' ship has arrived in San Francisco, with the docking of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

What critics lovingly call the "hippie ship" will be docked at Pier 15 along the city's Embarcadero waterfront until Nov. 19, according to the newspaper.

This Rainbow Warrior is the third vessel to bear the name -- the first was sunk by the French military in 1985 -- and literally sails the seven seas: 90 percent of the power it uses to "block... oil tankers" and perform other feats comes from the wind, the newspaper reported.

Right now, however, the most important battle is not for green, but for black-and-white, as in prison uniforms: the crew of the Rainbow Warrior's sister ship, the Arctic Sunrise, faces 15 years in jail in Russia for piracy. They await trial in Murmansk.

While in Northern California, Greenpeace members will pay a visit to a Stockton plant where palm oil is processed for distribution.

Photo Credit: Phil Walter/Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Balboa Park Goes Green(er)]]> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 17:33:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BalboaParkBeauty.jpg

On Wednesday, officials announced plans to make Balboa Park more sustainable.

Officials say they want to make the park’s historic buildings more energy efficient. They are seeking "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” or LEED, certifications.

Three buildings are already LEED certified: The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Natural History Museum and the WorldBeat Cultural Center. Officials plan to add seven more buildings to that list by 2015, bringing the total to 10.

Multiple organizations are part of the project, including the city, the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, the San Diego Green Building Council and San Diego Gas and Electric. Representatives from each were on hand for Wednesday’s announcement.

“The reality is projects like the ones we’re talking about today is really the legacy,” Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said. “People in 2115 are going to be grateful to us for what we have done.”

Besides sustainability, officials say seeking LEED certifications is also about saving money. So far, the program has saved Balboa Park $1 million in annual energy costs, according to Gloria’s office.

<![CDATA[New Rules for Cashing in Recyclables]]> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 16:18:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/recycling-generic-11014.jpg

For those San Diegans who collect cans and bottles in order to turn them in for recycling fees, there is a change in the works.

There are some new rules that could change the way people recycle.

Not all containers are the same when it comes to aluminum, plastic and glass and there's a new law that makes that very clear.

Some come with deposits ranging anywhere from 5 to 10 cents for the California Redemption Value or CRV.

The state of California will not allow the non-CRV containers to go with the CRV items.

“So you have to bring 100-percent CRV containers that are not broken and also properly labeled,” said San Diego Recycling Manager Ken Prue.

Shoppers pay a deposit or CRV at the cash register when we buy certain items. But not all glass, aluminum and plastic come with a deposit and shouldn't pay back a refund.

That could mean more work for some people who have to separate their items but it means the state won't have to pay money for things that never had a deposit in the first place.

There could be some collectors that do take CRV and non-CRV, say from a bar or something, that they may be discouraged,” said Prue. “But honestly, I think for the most part, for the average resident, I don’t think they’ll see a difference at all.”

Wine bottles are probably the most common item that’s not CRV in glass.

For those who use curbside recycling, the new rules don’t change anything, Prue said.

Residents don't currently get money back from the items put out in the blue bins at the curb.

Prue said only about 23 percent of San Diego homes and small businesses are good about recycling.

<![CDATA[iPad, Foot Massager Collected During Coastal Cleanup Day]]> Sat, 21 Sep 2013 17:01:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDBayBird2.jpg

Thousands of volunteers gathered Saturday across different sites in San Diego for a massive annual outdoor cleanup event.

With trash bags in hand, approximately 7,500 volunteers simultaneously picked up litter at 102 designated cleanup sites across the county from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. as part of the 29th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day hosted by the “I Love a Clean San Diego” organization.

Organizers said the environmental event, aimed at battling coastal and inland pollution in San Diego, was expected to yield about 150,000 pounds of trash.

Over the course of the day, volunteers collected more than 75 tons of trash and recycling from coastal, inland and urban sites throughout the county -- from Bonsall and City Heights to Coronado and Mission Bay.

Organizers say some of the more unusual items removed during the cleanup event included an electric foot massager, a working iPad and iPod and a puppy.

One of the cleanup sites was a Gompers Park on Hilltop Drive. There, volunteers were joined by several San Diego leaders including Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox and Councilmember Myrtle Cole.

Meanwhile, San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts joined volunteers at the San Dieguito Lagoon cleanup site, while Councilmember Lorie Zapf met volunteers at Mission Bay.

Councilmember Scott Sherman hosted the cleanup site at Fashion Valley and Councilmember Marti Emerald toured all sites within the City Heights area.

This year, organizers say volunteers cleaned more sites than ever -- 102, to be exact.

Coastal Cleanup Day is part of a statewide cleanup event across California that includes more than 60,000 volunteers from nearly every county in the state.

To learn more about Coastal Cleanup Day, click here. For details about I Love a Clean San Diego, visit this website.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Lawmakers, Environmentalists Demand Plastic Bag Ban]]> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:10:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Plastic-Bag-Ban.jpg

A group of San Diego environmental advocates met at SeaWorld today to discuss a ban on single-use plastic bags.

The group of conservationists and business leaders said that there are multiple hazards by using plastic bags, and stressed the damage to wildlife can sometimes be deadly.

California lawmakers and local environmentalists want San Diego County to prohibit the typical plastic bags often used at grocery stores.

Currently Solana Beach is the only city in San Diego that has eliminated plastic bag use.

Representatives of local conservation groups said they are meeting with members of San Diego City Council to come up with a county-wide ban, but the discussions are still in the early stages.

“We know that plastic bags are one of the worst and most common forms of plastic pollution and one of the easiest to live without,” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “And that’s why over 80 California communities have already banned the use of single-use plastic bags… this is a policy that works very well.”

Proponents of the ban say it could be too expensive for businesses to make the switch, and that reusable bags can sometimes contain germs.

A Southern California plastic bag manufacturer told NBC 7 that they are working to make plastic bags more environmentally friendly.

<![CDATA[Solar Advocates Attack Proposed Energy Bill]]> Wed, 28 Aug 2013 16:18:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San+Diego-20130828-00023.jpg

Solar advocates protested an assembly bill on Wednesday that could leave solar panel owners without a lower energy bill.

Assembly Bill 327 would authorize the California Public Utilities Commission to change the existing rate structure, that solar energy customers believe would increase their rate.

Protesters said they want the bill amended so it doesn't impact solar panel investments.

Sempra Energy said they need to revisit their rates because right now many of their large consumers are paying a bulk of the energy bill. Now the company is proposing to rewrite energy conservation measures implemented more than a decade ago.

In 2001, a bill was passed to protect California ratepayers from price fluctuations which capped rates for some consumers (including low income).

Because of this, the energy company said it has seen that their large energy consumers are paying more. They think it’s only fair to change their rate system--making more fixed charges.

Solar power advocates said the energy company has not been clear about what the new set of rates will be, but said it will put an end to net metering. This gives solar power owners full credit for the energy they produce with their panels and then put back into the energy grid.

The group against the bill says it won't make sense for solar panel owners anymore because they will be getting much less from their investment.

“These new rules change it so you don't get full retail credit. You might get some smaller version of what you would have otherwise got. That's problematic because people have put up thousands of dollars expecting a certain rate of return,” said Daniel Sullivan, president of Sullivan Solar Power.

The bill will have to be voted on by Friday in order to go to the California Senate floor.

Photo Credit: Elena Gomez]]>
<![CDATA[Are 'Green' Products Better?]]> Fri, 09 Aug 2013 20:49:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/4PFPKGGREENMARKETING0809_722x406_41472579735.jpg Walk into your neighborhood grocery or department store and you'll find many more green products than ever before. But choosing items that are better for the environment can come at a cost. NBC 7's Consumer Bob looks at how the green movement could impact you.]]> <![CDATA[Green Car Wash Sanitizes Without Soap]]> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:37:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/128401773.jpg A car wash in Arizona installed a water filtration tank allowing high levels of oxygen to sanitize the water they use to clean customers' cars — all without soap. An environmental engineer at Arizona State University is skeptical about the car wash's filtration system.]]> <![CDATA[Planned Lawsuit Claims PG&E Power Plant Threatens Butterflies]]> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 09:05:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/0725-butterfly.jpg

The staff at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is preparing for butterfly season, but the butterfly that makes its home here is on the brink of extinction.

The Lange Metalmark Butterfly has gone from a peak of 2,300 in 1999 to just 86 butterflies last year.

The reason? Wildlife experts say too much nitrogen in the ground that kills the butterfly's host plant.

Conservationists say the source of the nitrogen is PG&E's nearby power plant. They've informed the Environmental Protection Agency they plan to sue it for allowing the plant to operate.

PG&E says the power plant is one of their cleanest burning plants, and they say they're doing their part to protect the butterflies.

Jodi Hernandez provides more details on the planned lawsuit in her video report above.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Energy for Sale: Is It Worth It?]]> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:58:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000003170932_722x406_37270083593.jpg Door-to-door salesmen, telephone calls and direct mail, all trying to sell you electricity or natural gas. The pitches promise to save you money. They are called alternative energy suppliers. There have been more than 1,000 consumer complaints about them to Maryland and D.C. authorities so far this year, and we've been receiving emails asking whether these companies are real and are the deals worth it. CLICK HERE for a list of legitimate suppliers.]]> <![CDATA[Locals Tour ‘Cool’ Green Home]]> Sun, 30 Jun 2013 15:32:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/greenhomescrippsranch.jpg

Proud homeowner Tony Beecher welcomed dozens of people to his energy-efficient home in Scripps Ranch on Saturday morning.

The open house was sponsored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), an independent, nonprofit organization that accelerates the adoption of clean and efficient energy solutions via consumer education, market facilitation and policy innovation.

Beecher recently went “green” and decided to upgrade his home. He had air-sealing done in all of the walls and ceilings, and insulation work in the roof.

The home improvements were installed through the statewide in Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade initiative.

Beecher said one of his favorite perks is the installation of his new remote control high-efficiency pool equipment.

Although Beecher said he paid around $37,000 for all the energy-efficient upgrades in his house, he recommends people just “do the math” to figure out how much money they can save by going green.

“There are lots of rebates you can get back. I think we got $1,500 for the Chevy Volt. On the solar power we got a federal rebate of $11,000 in federal tax credits, which was really awesome,” he recalled.

He also mentioned his electricity bill has gone down significantly since he made the change.

“Before I was running $230 to $250 a month, and now I’m running $5 a month after putting the solar in,” he explained.

He said he has only turned on the air conditioner once since going green a year ago.

“With the solar I can use the air conditioning whenever I want because it does not cost me anything. I'm currently producing more electricity than I'm using," he explained.

“Now the house is sitting at a constant temperature. It doesn’t raise or lower like it did before. Our house just stays the same because it’s all sealed up,” said Beecher.

Beecher confirmed the upgrades will pay for themselves in about seven years.

On Saturday, visitors at the open house not only got the chance to meet with Beecher, they were also able to talk to people from the CCSE about energy efficiency and the advantages of making home energy improvements.

The CCSE Program Assistant, Michael Arvizu, said there’s a lot more to keeping a home cool than an air conditioning system.

“A lot of people are thinking that the air conditioner is running. It’s really air sealing and insulation that is the foundation of this program,” Arvizu explained.

Arvizu also talked to visitors about the cost of “going green.”

“I can say that our average project cost for an energy upgrade in California is between $9,000 and $12,000, with a $2,500 to $3,000 rebate,” he said.

For more details about green home upgrades, visit this website.

Photo Credit: Nbc 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Botanic Garden Bids Farewell to Iconic Bamboo]]> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 13:43:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GiantBamboo_0626.jpg

The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas will say goodbye to an old foliaged friend Friday that has literally grown up at the garden over the past three decades.

According to representatives at the Botanic Garden, their prized giant timber bamboo – also known as the Dendrocalamus giganteus -- will be removed from the garden due to its poor health.

The giant timber bamboo – which, at more than 70-feet-tall with canes or culms up to eight-inches in diameter, lives up to its name – has seriously declined in health over the last few years.

It has started to seed, signaling the end of its natural life.

The bamboo came to the garden from the Taiwan Forestry Research Department via the American Bamboo Society in 1981. It grew up over the decades and, at one point, was the largest of its kind in the United States.

The specimen has been in good company over its lifetime at the San Diego Botanic Garden. The facility boasts the largest collection of bamboos in any U.S. botanic garden, with more than 100 species and varieties.

A crane is set to remove the giant timber bamboo from the Botanical Garden on Friday during a special farewell ceremony.

Photo Credit: Angela Venuti/San Diego Botanic Garden]]>
<![CDATA[1,000 Kids Form Beach Art ]]> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 14:14:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Beach-Cleanup-0606_5.jpg

A thousand elementary school students and volunteers gathered in Mission Bay, Thursday, for the 20th Annual Kids’ Ocean Day.

The 4-hour event organized by “I Love A Clean San Diego,” began at 8 a.m. with assemblies held by the organization in local schools to teach students about the importance of the ocean and how their actions affect it.

Hundreds of students, were taken to Crown Point Shores in Mission Bay Park where they helped clean the beaches of San Diego, picking up debris and trash to prevent it from harming local wildlife.

Among the schools that participated in the event were Nye Elementary, Foster Elementary, Balboa Elementary, Pacific Beach Elementary, Wegeforth Elementary, Porter Elementary, and Hickman Elementary.

Just after 11 a.m., a thousand kids and volunteers sat down in the sand for 30 minutes to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime living art formation depicting a child listening to a seashell. They want to send a message of sustainability to the community to "Listen" to the environment.

Organizers began setting up at 5 a.m. They said it took more than 5 hours to draw out the image in the sand, and another 30 minutes to get the kids into the image.

The aerial art is part of the Kids’ Ocean Day celebration. It’s done in a handful of coastal cities in California.

This year’s image was designed by "I Love A Clean San Diego" Environmental Educator, Monica Rosquillas.

"I Love A Clean San Diego" has been coordinating Kids Ocean Day, including the aerial art, for 20 years.

Learn more about local cleanups scheduled this weekend here and more about Kids' Ocean Day through the organization's website.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego ]]>
<![CDATA[James Cameron Receives Science Award]]> Fri, 31 May 2013 17:25:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/James-Cameron%5B2%5D.jpg

Filmmaker James Cameron came to San Diego to receive a prestigious award from the science community on Friday.

Cameron, 58, is this year’s recipient of the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for his record-setting dive of 6.8 miles below the ocean surface in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. He performed the dive in a one-man submarine and is the first solo diver to go submerge that depth.

The deep-sea equipment used in the dive has since been donated to Scripps, which collaborated with Cameron for the project.

The prize, which includes a bronze medal and $25,000, honors the memory of national science leader William A. Nierenberg, who served as director of Scripps for more than 20 years.

Cameron is donating the prize money to Scripps to kick-start operations of a new laboratory.

Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Local Company Developing Algae-Based Biofuel]]> Mon, 20 May 2013 07:28:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/240*120/975algae010109-full.jpg

La Jolla-based Synthetic Genomics Inc. has entered a new research agreement with ExxonMobil Corp., using genomics to develop strains of algae that can be used for biofuel.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The companies have partnered since 2009, researching ways to develop algae-based biofuels. The new agreement will focus on developing algae that reproduces quickly and can withstand living in challenging environments, ultimately leading to greater production of fuels, the companies said.

Synthetic Genomics said it continues to invest in large-scale cultivation facilities which will help the company longer term in the scale-up and commercialization of improved algal strains for food, chemicals and fuel.

The company has two facilities — a smaller scale research greenhouse and laboratory near the Synthetic Genomics campus in La Jolla, and a larger-scale development and commercial production facility in Imperial Valley. 

The Business Journal is the premier business publication in San Diego. Every day online and each Monday in print, the Business Journal reports on how local business operate and why businesses leaders make the decisions they do. Every story is a dose of insight into how to run a better, more efficient, more profitable business.

Photo Credit: Voiceofsandiego.org/Sam Hodgson]]>
<![CDATA[State-of-the-Art Green Workplace Provides Lunch, Games and Slides]]> Wed, 01 May 2013 12:13:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Slide_aweber.jpg AWeber Communications headquarters in Chalfont, Bucks County, Pa. isn't your average workplace as it features video games, a pool table and even slides. NBC10's Jesse Gary reports ahead of the ribbon cutting.
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Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Junkyard Trash Turns to Art]]> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:42:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/ben+in+trash.JPG With his castoff treasures rattling in the cart, Ben Cowden wheeled back toward his art studio in San Francisco's Recology Recycling Plant to continue work. Joe Rosato Jr. reports on a man who turns others trash into treasure. Read the full story here.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Cemetery for Green-Friendly Burials]]> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 08:17:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/meadow.jpg A cemetery in Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, has become environmentally friendly for burials.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Baxter Brewing Company Goes Green]]> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:49:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/baxter-brewing.jpg Luke Livingston, president and founder of Baxter Brewing Company, talks about ways in which he is expanding his business sustainably, with the help of John Rooks, president of The SOAP Group.]]> <![CDATA[Sea Lions Dying at Unusual Rate: NOAA]]> Sat, 06 Apr 2013 08:56:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sicksealion.jpg

There have been seven times the number of sea lions that have beached themselves in San Diego County compared to the same time period last year.

There have been significant increases throughout beaches from Santa Barbara County to San Diego, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries. They said 214 sea lions from beached themselves in San Diego County from Jan. 1 – March 31 this year.  Over the same time period last year, there were 32 of the mammals found on San Diego’s shoreline. 

The greatest increase is in Los Angeles County, where the number went from 36 last year, to an astounding 395 beaches sea lions so far this year.

There has been a been 1,100 beached sea lions in the five coastal counties stretching from Santa Barbara to San Diego, according to Sarah Wilkin, NOAA Fisheries Southwest Regional Stranding Coordinator. There has been an additional 83 sea lions in the rest of the state. They are predominately pups, according to Wilkin.

So the big question is, “Why?” It’s a question that still has not been answered. But because of the high number of beached sea lions, NOAA has been granted an official declaration of what’s called an Unusual Mortality Event (UME). The status allows for the establishment of a panel of experts to convene to look for answers and will also provide for extra funding.

Right now, the leading hypothesis the panel of experts is looking at focuses on a lack of food source. Most of the seal pups have shown signs of starvation and dehydration. Other potential causes that will be studied will include possible infectious diseases, or pollutants in the ocean.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, Wilkin said there has been a shortage of food sources such as sardines and anchovies. She also said pups are being affected in greater numbers than adults because they are limited in how far they can travel and are unfamiliar with the environment.

Wilkin also says many rescue centers are at capacity (though SeaWorld San Diego says it is still accepting sea lions) and many of the sick sea lions are being kept on the beach for observation.

Sick sea lions rest at San Pedro marine mammal facility.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Eugene Garcia]]>