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Plugged In

Plugged In

More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives

Guest Post: Tighten up your house, but not too much...

Guest Post: Tighten up your house, but not too much...

The following is a guest post written by Joshua Rhodes and Brent Stephens, PhD students at The University of Texas at Austin. As a part of their research, they work on two different aspects of buildings, with Josh focusing on energy use and efficiency and Brent focusing on indoor air quality.

August 9, 2011 — Melissa C. Lott
Energy Efficiency for Economic Strength

Energy Efficiency for Economic Strength

In the face of this summer’s debates on how to manage the nation’s current debt load – which came to a temporary cease fire on Tuesday with the passage of a bill that will raise the government’s debt ceiling – I found myself looking back at speeches made by President Obama where he emphasized how we might be able to not only stabilize, but also strengthen, the United States economy.

August 4, 2011 — Melissa C. Lott
More on food sourcing and food sustainability

More on food sourcing and food sustainability

I heard this story on NPR/PRI's The World while driving home from yoga last night. Here's the tl;dr of it: a Dutch company is perfecting ways to grow food indoors using LED lights and elaborate climate controls.

August 3, 2011 — David Wogan
Food waste in the land of `Man vs Food'

Food waste in the land of `Man vs Food'

Here is some more food for thought about the modern global food economy. A study recently published by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization found that about one-third of all food produced on the planet is wasted, to the tune of 1.3 billion tons per year.

August 2, 2011 — David Wogan
Food: Knowing Where it's Growing

Food: Knowing Where it's Growing

Just 30-miles Southwest of Atlanta's bustling gray-toned streets sits a verdant plot of land known as Serenbe. The farm is the source of my family's vegetables we pickup every Tuesday at a drop-off spot in the city.

July 29, 2011 — Robynne Boyd
The Electric Car and ... Electricity

The Electric Car and ... Electricity

I went to the public night of Plugin 2011 in Raleigh, the annual electric car extravaganza, looking for what was happening on the edge of electric car science.

July 28, 2011 — Scott Huler
Molecular-Level Energy Storage

Molecular-Level Energy Storage

When the sun dips below the horizon for the night, most solar panels become interesting roofing tiles, instead of valuable generation resources. During the day, a single cloud can quickly send residential solar power generators back to a fossil fuel-based grid for their electricity.

July 25, 2011 — Melissa C. Lott
Buildings are sexy, too

Buildings are sexy, too

In terms of basic human needs, shelter comes in right after food, air, and sleep. Over years of human development, buildings have become some of mankind’s greatest achievements.

July 23, 2011 — David Wogan
The Penalty for Early Withdrawals

The Penalty for Early Withdrawals

This summer, U.S. gas prices have settled into the $3.50 to $4.00 range and we are feeling the pinch. The average American now spends 9% of their income on gas – with Mississippians topping the scale at over 14%.

July 18, 2011 — Melissa C. Lott

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