Tag Archive | "California"

California is the Biggest Emerging Green State in the US

California is the Biggest Emerging Green State in the US

This was written by Richard Orban on behalf of Freedom Solar Power.

For the third consecutive year, California has emerged to be the top clean energy state in the United States. The state dominated the 2012 State Clean Energy Index as it continues to lead the country in establishing testing grounds for all kinds of clean energy solutions. California has taken the initiative to introduce clean energy and has installed various programs, which include: solar power, hybrid and electric vehicles and wind power.

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Sun power, a solar panel maker, recently announced that it plans to build a 100 MW solar panel farm in California, which is expected to provide power to 36,000 homes once construction on it is completed by 2016. California’s state mandate has made it compulsory for its investor-owned utilities to have 33% of their electricity generated by renewable energy. This has led to California utilities to embark on more of these solar power projects to meet the standard required as per the state mandate.

The California-based clean energy deployments have attracted over $9 billion in investments in the last three years, and this is one of the main reasons California is the biggest emerging clean state in the US. The investments attracted by the various projects deployed by investor-owned utilities have increasingly provided clean energy for California residents. The success of the clean energy advances made by California has enabled the green economy to grow in the United States and has enabled the state to make great progress in providing clean tech.

California has a long history in supporting renewable energy, and in the last three years over 11% of its electricity came from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. The introduced of the Energy Commission’s Renewable Energy Program provided further incentive for the deployment of renewable energy systems and also aimed at teaching the public about the benefits of renewable energy.

The results indicated by the 2012 State Clean Energy Index clearly indicate that California is miles ahead of the rest of the states in the United States and that is largely due to its firm focus in establishing green energy deployments. California’s success in generating renewable energy to power thousands of homes provides a high level of national support for the use of clean-energy technology in the United States.

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Vegan Sunless Tanning

Vegan Sunless Tanning is Available in Los Angeles at Spray di Sole

It’s believed that Coco Chanel inspired society’s trend towards tanned skin in the 1920s. After a visit to the French Riviera where Coco Chanel spent a little too much time out in the sun, she returned to Paris with a darker skin tone. Apparently society loved the look and a new trend in darker skin tones was set.

Even today society has a preference for that sun-kissed look. However, with studies indicating too much sun can cause skin damage, such as wrinkles, or skin cancer, people are looking for ways to get that healthy glow without the consequences. This is where sunless tanners come in. Also known as spray tanning and UV-free tanning, sunless tanning gained popularity since the 1960s.

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Coco Chanel supposedly started the suntan trend in the 1920s.

Tanning helps to camouflage varicose veins, stretch marks and cellulite so it’s no wonder the tanning business is a $5 billion industry today. This is why it’s important to carefully select who you use to get that bronzed skin. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are looking for a safe and natural looking sunless tan, you are in luck. Spray di Sole is an organic spray tanning company located in Studio City, California that gives you a orange free, odor free, residue free 100% Natural tan.

Spray di Sole uses the typical dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to color the skin. This tanning agent will react with your skin’s amino acids to produce that sun-kissed tan you are looking for. Other key ingredients include organic aloe vera, organic jojoba seed oil, algae extract, vitamin E, vitamin D, and hyaluronic acid. These additional natural ingredients will help rejuvenate your skin, soothing and repairing any damage while adding moisture.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of DHA spray tanning booths. The risks of ingesting or inhaling DHA are unknown and it’s recommended that people protect their eyes and hold their breath when being sprayed for their safety.

One tanning session at the Spray di Sole studio costs $65. For more information, please visit SprayDiSole.com.

Check out these other posts from the archives:

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Mother Nature is Close to Las Vegas Strip

Mother Nature is Fascinatingly Close to the Las Vegas Strip

Rugged mountains, red rock canyons and cavernous desert valleys offer the locals of Las Vegas dramatic scenery and dozens of outdoor recreational opportunities. The typical weather temperature makes outdoor activity enormously attractive to all outdoor types all year.

Mother Nature can’t be outdone by the lights of the Las Vegas strip, so whether you’re a local Las Vegas resident or tourist trying to win big, take the time to head outside the city limits and see the amazing landscapes bursting with color.

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It’s effortless to kick back and simply enjoy Mother Nature’s beauty.

Located within 25 miles of Las Vegas:

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon (15 miles) – Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and brilliant rock formations. Each tributary canyon is distinctive, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors. The park’s wildflower displays are stunning after wet winters.

Red Rock Canyon offers a panoramic backdrop for any adventure near Las Vegas.

Even after a dry winter, the loveliness of the desert still makes this park a camper’s favorite destination. Miles of trails wander through the dramatic landscape of the park, and hiking is an intimate way to experience the desert.

One of the most popular hiking trails is into Pine Creek Canyon. This is a 2-mile round trip hike near a running creek and surrounded by large ponderosa pine. Or if you prefer to sight see in the comfort of your car, the 13-Mile Loop Drive offers sightseeing, vistas and overlooks. There are several short hikes accessible from the loop drive.

Ansel Adams Photograph of the Boulder Dam from across the Colorado River.

Ansel Adams Photograph taken 1941

Lake Mead Recreational Area

Aerial view of the Hoover Dam

Lake Mead Recreational Area (25 miles) – Lake Mead Recreational Area offers a wealth of things to do and places to go year-round. Shaped by the Hoover Dam and filled by the Colorado River, Lake Mead is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.

It caters to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen while its desert rewards hikers, wildlife photographers, and roadside sightseers. It is also home to thousands of desert plants and animals, adapted to survive in an extreme place where rain is scarce and temperatures soar.

The warm-water recreation isn’t the only thing drawing visitors every year. Adventurers can explore the rugged and isolated backcountry. And for those looking for rest and relaxation, why not rent a houseboat and cruise the waters?

Spring Mountain State Park.

Spring Mountain State Park

Spring Mountain State Park (30 miles) – Located within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, beneath the multihued cliffs of the magnificent Wilson Range. The 520 acre retreat was developed into a combination working ranch and luxurious retreat.

If the spring brings ample rainfall the landscape will explode with wildflowers. Most of the wildlife is nocturnal and will go unseen during the daylight. Typical desert animals include a variety of lizards and snakes, antelope ground squirrels, jackrabbits, cotton tails, kit fox, coyote and wild burros.

Cultural events are put on by Super Summer Theater every May through September.

Located within 50 miles of Las Vegas:

Mary Jane Falls from the trail, Kyle Canyon in southern Nevada

Image courtesy of Stan Shebs.

Kyle Canyon in the Spring Mountains

Mt. Charleston (35 miles) – An assortment of trails and mountaineering routes to numerous peaks await any adventurer at Mount Charleston. The cool mountain breezes, fresh air and all-around scenic beauty of Mount Charleston can entice any Las Vegas tourist away for the day.

Located only 35 miles from the Las Vegas strip, you’ll feel in a world where you’re the only inhabitant. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced hiker, you’ll find a hiking trail in the Mount Charleston area. Located in Kyle Canyon, the Mary Jane Falls trail is perfect for families. A seasonal waterfall and cave await the kids on this hour long 2-mile trail. And the 10-mile Bonanza Peak trail might allow you to watch the wild horses roaming.

Located within 100 miles of Las Vegas:

Valley of Fire State Park around sunset.

Image courtesy of John Fowler.

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park (55 miles) – The oldest and largest state park in Nevada, the Valley of Fire State Park is only six miles from Lake Mead. Full of red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert, when the sun hit’s the eroded sandstone the park appears to be on fire. Driving along park roads, you’re sure to see blossoming desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow in the springtime.

Sunrise at Hidden Valley campground, Joshua Tree National Park

Image courtesy of Jarek Tuszynski.

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve (60 miles) – Singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of wildflowers are all found at this 1.6 million acre park. A stopover to its canyons, mountains and mesas will reveal long-abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts.

Visitors will find the serenity and solitude a nice change of pace in comparison to the big city. Hikers can choose between two developed trails, or find an old mining road, canyon or wash. The backcountry is accessible for camping to all backpackers and hunting is permitted in designated areas.

And then there’s the 1,200 miles of road to keep any offroader busy – just make sure the vehicle is street legal before you go.

Located over 100 miles away from Las Vegas:

Death Valley, California

Image courtesy of FreeFoto.com.

Death Valley

Death Valley (135 miles) – A unbeatable desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons and 3 million acres of wilderness. Home to the Timbisha Shoshone and to plants and animals exclusive to the harshest desert.

Death Valley landscape

Located on the border between California and Nevada, Death Valley is considered by most as strictly a winter park, it is possible to visit year-round.

When visiting Death Valley, make sure to drink at least one gallon of water every day and carry plenty of extra water in your car just in case. Remember, this is one of the hottest places in the world and it’s easy to underestimate the effects heat will have on you.

Other dangers to be aware of include flash floods during rain storms and the dangerous animals that might be hiding. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, and black widow spiders are not uncommon and you don’t want to go poking into their shelters. And with more abandoned mines than any other national park, adventurers need to be careful as they are innately dangerous.

Zion National Park landscape during sunset.

Zion Canyon

Zion Canyon (158 miles) – Utah’s oldest and most visited national park, Zion Canyon attracts around 3 million visitors each year. Zion means “a place of peace and refuge” in ancient Hebrew. You’ll agree when you see the immense sandstone canyons, beautifully sculptured rock formations, soaring cliffs and breathtaking landscapes.

Zion Canyon in Utah

The cliff-and-canyon backdrop is full of unexpected beauty. Here, the Virgin River has carved a spectacular forge into the red and white sandstone. The floor of the canyon is covered with trees, grasses and the river. The canyon walls loom high above; in most places they are 2,000 to 3,000 feet high.

And don’t be surprised when you happen upon an abandoned cliff house or rock art. These are gifts left behind by the original inhabitants, the Anasazi.

Thor's Hammer at sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon (210 miles) – The unique outdoor exhibition consists of thousands of red rock spires and horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters. Wind, water and general geologic mayhem shaped the pink cliffs at Bryce Canyon. Technically it’s not really a canyon, but the eastern slope of the Paunsaguant Plateau.

Famous for its night sky, you can be introduced to the many wonders of the night through one of Bryce Canyon’s Astronomy programs. Full Moon Hikes are available, at no cost, but the hikes are limited to 30 people – so get there early, sign-up begins at 8:00 a.m.

The mixture of shadows and moonlight is said to create a “spooky” personality. It is so dark at night; you’ll be able to see 7500 stars on a moonless night! Every June you’re welcome to attend the Astronomy Festival.

Grand Canyon landscape

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon (300 miles) – One of the largest ravines in the world, it’s no surprise that the Grand Canyon is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. The Colorado River slices through the Granite Gorge and allows visitors to see some of the oldest rocks. Hikers, mule riders, or river runners see the Inner Canyon.

No matter what your interest, there are various activities available and depending on the time you plan to visit you can personalize your Grand Canyon experience. The South Rim is the most accessible part of the park and is open all year. This area will attract nearly 5 million people every year. The North Rim is less accessible, especially when the heavy snows cause the road to be closed from late October to mid May.

Conclusion: Head Out of Vegas for Nature

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada signThere are so many beautiful national parks and scenic drives just outside of Las Vegas, that any tourist is capable of finding something. Whether it’s a cavernous ravine or the colors of the desert, the next time you head to the Las Vegas strip remember the beauty surrounding you.

You might also be interested in the Seven Natural Wonders of the World to Start Your List of Places to Travel.

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Public Electric Car Charging Station Inaugurated in Woodland, California

Located at the Gateway Center in east Woodland, California is said to be the "most complete" charging station in the country, with two units that are capable of recharging electric vehicles in roughly an hour. Hopefully, the facility will set an example for future charging stations. You can find this charging station at the Gateway Center; east of Interstate-5 off County Road 102. The station contains one Tesla, two AVcons, one paddle inductive charger, and two neighborhood electric vehicle standard outlets to recharge your electric vehicle. In honor of the event, Tesla Motors brought six Tesla Roadsters to the charging station.

Source: Gas2.org

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The Chestnut House

If you drove past this house, you probably wouldn’t think it was “green” and on a budget. Would you?

That’s exactly what it is. Dan Heinfeld, of LPA Architects in Irvine, wanted to build his family house on a budget. Of course “green,” eco-friendly, and Earth friendly were all achieved because that’s what LPA Architects is all about. Now it’s certainly not in my budget, and probably not for most Americans. But this luxury home, or better known as the Chestnut House, was built with the intentions to prove that “green” doesn’t cost more. So if you are looking to build your next home, don’t think that you’ll have to spend the “green” to go green (pun intended). And please check out the full article written about this beautiful home at Inhabitat.com.

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Rutabegorz goes Green in Orange County, California.


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Local restaurant Rutabegorz in Fullerton, Tustin, and Orange, California, has started taking baby steps into doing their part to make this planet more sustainable. They've replaced their existing take-out containers with ones made from corn. Not only will these "thermoformed plastic food containers use less than 50% of fossil resources in comparison to traditional plastic, but they are biodegradable. Only 45 days until they return to nature by composting. This transparent box not only holds a healthier alternative (Rutabegorz's great food) to traditional take-out, but is healthier for out planet. Other ways they've been going Earth-friendly includes the use of recycled paper in their menus, water is served only on request, and they are looking to start using paper straws.

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A LEED Platinum Craftsman in Sacramento, California (SMUD).

When you think of LEED Platinum, do you think of ultra modern home designs? I used to before I saw the newest LEED Platinum certified home, the first for the Sacramento area – it's a Craftsman Bungalow! I'm very excited about this, not just because of the Platinum rating or the 80% savings in energy costs, but it's a beautiful Craftsman Bungalow. Growing up here in Orange County, CA I've frequently visited the historical district at the Orange Circle and these are my favorite designs of all times. I always thought I'd end up buying one of those turn of the century homes, but now I have another option. 

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At just under 2000 square feet, technology and materials are now available to anyone looking to create the home of their dreams – with an eco-friendly attitude. This specific home uses a solar energy system by BP Solar Integra, a solar PV system, and a Xantrex XW 6048 inverter. The lucky homeowners will be saving 84% on monthly electrical and gas bills.

For more information on this great project, head over to JetsonGreen.com.

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Tesla Motors’ Model S Roadster finds new home in San Jose, CA.


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San Jose, CA – Tesla announced the new construction of a $250 million facility to house production of their 100% electric Model S Roadster (shown above), a luxury sedan that will seat five. Hoping to receive LEED, U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, gold certification construction will begin in Summer of 2009. Expected to be priced around $60,000, this factory will produce at least 15,000 Model S Roadsters with the help of 1,000 workers, half of which are planned to head to Europe for sale. This is one company to watch, the momentum of their progress is simply astounding.

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