Tag Archives: energy

Growing Energy: Algae Biofuel for a future climate neutral energy

Check out this crazy awesome video made by Oberlin College student Angus R. Chen. As he illustrates, there’s “algae, algae, algae everywhere!” Why not use it to grow energy?*

*Well, ok, there are a few catches. Watch the video to find out more!

From the Youtube page:

What are biofuels and where do they come from? This video presents algae biodiesel as a possible future source of renewable carbon neutral energy.

If you like, please hit the happy thumb!

Special thanks to the Oberlin College Biology Department and the Bonner Center for Service and Learning

Also thanks to some of the pioneers for this type of video format, people like Jorge Cham and Henry Reich over at MinutePhysics who do this kind of thing far better than me.

A couple of things I didn’t mention: the reason why biofuels are considered carbon neutral is because even though they release carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere when burned, they sequester it as biomass while they’re growing. So they’re not actually adding to the sum of atmospheric carbon – it all is supposed to come out close to zero.

Inciting local businesses to change: Carrot Mob at Shakespeare’s

In a boycott, everyone loses. In a Carrot Mob, everyone WINS! That’s the basic premise of today’s Carrot Mob at Shakespeare’s, part of Sustain Mizzou’s Sustainability Week.

Sustain Mizzou is challenging YOU to join the Carrot Mob campaign TODAY.

Print this flier, take it to Shake's, and 15% of their sales will go back into energy efficiency updates. Since commercial buildings use a significant amount of total U.S. energy, this is a small step toward a HUGE collective impact.

It’s a party, not a protest! On April 26th join us at the yummiest event of MU’s Sustainability Week to chow down and save the planet, all in one bite (or gulp). Here’s the deal: you buy pizza or beer, then Shakespeare’s will take 15% of the money from your purchase and re-invest it in an energy audit and energy efficiency retrofits at the store. Here’s the catch: for your money to count you’ll need a super-secret code from Sustain Mizzou. You’ll be able to find us at Earth Day, on Lowry Mall during Sustainability Week (April 23-27), on Facebook, and prancing around Columbia in carrot costumes.

Traditionally mobs have formed to protest businesses with bad practices, but this Carrotmob campaign will be the opposite of a boycott: we’ll party at Shake’s to bring more customers to a local company with good practices!

So grab some friends, track us down, and join the Carrotmob! You’ll have never felt so good about stuffing your face.

Sneak Peak: Sustainability Week

It’s been one heck of a year. How is Sustain Mizzou celebrating?

In April, we’re dedicating an entire week to topics and issues surrounding sustainability on campus and in Columbia.

The themes are Waste, Energy, Transportation, Local Food + Local Business, and No Impact

Featured events include an E-Waste Drive, Transportation Fair + Bike Decorating, a benefit concert for the Local Food Drive, Carrot Mob, a keynote presentation on Food Security + Dumpster Diving by Rachel Vaughn, and an Environmental Resource Fair.

Check out our homemade calendar of events and keep a look out for more information!

Environmental Summit this weekend!

As DNR director, Sara leads the department’s efforts to protect, preserve and enhance Missouri’s natural, cultural and energy resources. Photo from the DNR's website.

Want to see how Missouri is working to protect the environment? Come to the Missouri Votes Conservation (MVC) Environmental Summit January 28th right here at Mizzou!

Missouri Votes Conservation Education Fund is a non-partisan, common-ground organization that strives to unify the many diverse environmental and conservation interests in Missouri in order to strengthen the state’s environmental movement. Its mission is to educate voters and decision-makers about the importance of protecting the environment through sound public policy.

Join us as we discuss how to re-energize our movement and help our issues become top priorities throughout the state. Highlights include: Morning keynote address by Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Breakout sessions on key issue areas, including energy, sustainable agriculture, water quality and habitat protection, and a Special new Poster Session, providing  nonprofits with the opportunity to showcase literature and network with event attendees.

Registration costs $25 for students and $35 for others. Sign up for the conference or learn more on the MVC website [HERE].

A note on nuclear energy and safety

This is an opinion column written by a Sustain Mizzou member which became part of a discussion during our latest Environmental Reading and Media Group.  Read to the end for a list of other articles we discussed.

The recent disaster in Japan highlights the importance of building safety codes, disaster preparedness drills for areas prone to calamities, and a quick response from the authorities to prevent people from freaking out and shooting their neighbors or looting stores. On these fronts, the Japanese have handled the disaster exceptionally well. Aside from people in Tokyo hoarding essentials as soon as news of the disaster hit, everything remains mostly orderly and under control. The kind of power contained in a magnitude 9 earthquake is hard to fathom. Every additional number increases the intensity of the quake logarithmically– meaning a 2 earthquake on the Richter scale is 10 times as strong as a 1. You can do the multiplication for how strong a 9 would be.

Callaway Plant
The Callaway nuclear plant in Fulton, Missouri.

However, the media is not focusing on the important story: that of a nation hit by a one two punch of nature’s most ferocious disasters and attempting to pull through. Instead, they’d rather wave the glowing, radioactive shirt of the Fukushima nuclear power plant to show how inherently dangerous nuclear power is. Around the world, publications as diverse as Der Spiegel in Germany and the New York Times here have called into question the safety of existent nuclear power facilities. It’s almost absurd, actually, how some Germans are going bonkers over the remote possibility that a 9.0 earthquake and following tsunami might cause some of their plants to blow up. Continue reading A note on nuclear energy and safety