Environment Forum

Solar-powered Jets

New York Jets players take to the field for their final regular season game at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, January 3, 2010.  REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

The New York Jets have reached for the brightest star of all – the sun.

On Tuesday, the NFL team announced completion of the largest  solar power system in the National Football League at its headquarters in Florham Park, New Jersey.

The system, made by Yingli Green Energy, is the latest in a series of attempts made by the Chinese solar company to stand out in an increasingly crowded solar space.

Earlier this year, Yingli jostled for space with some of the biggest brands in the world, including McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Budweiser and Emirates during the most anticipated sporting event of the year — the soccer World Cup.

Yingli’s system, powered by over 3000 panels, will reduce emissions by 540 metric tons each year, equal to taking over 100 cars off the road.

For a relatively unknown solar company, these moves should help build a brand name and strike a chord with consumers. And the association with such high-profile sporting events could give solar technology a boost as well.

Save money, cut CO2 and lose weight cycling to work

Peter Jebautzke cycles to workBy Peter Jebautzke

Getting caught speeding changed my life — for the better.

It inadvertently turned me into a devoted bike commuter, has saved me lots of money, aggravation — and even saved the world a little bit of carbon dioxide to boot. Since giving up the car for my daily commutes by bike to work in August, I’ve also lost about 2 kilos and now look forward to my daily 16 km journeys each way to and from the office.

Other colleagues who cycle to work had long tried to encourage me to try out commuting by bike. We’ve even got a little shower here where I work in the centre of Berlin. But it was always so much easier to jump into the car.

In April, I jumped into the car and stepped on the gas a bit too hard. I got a late-night call from the office and had to get there in a hurry. The motorway was clear so I got up to 117 kph. That was 37 kph over the 80 kph limit. The police caught me — and I lost my driver’s licence for a month.

Turf Battles and Plant Physics

Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University  and is a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. Reuters is not responsible for the content — the views are the author’s alone.

Houston Astros pitcher Mike Hampton pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at the Astrodome in Houston September 13. Hampton was contending for his 20th win of the 1999 season. BRD/JPAn interesting environmental debate is taking place with regard to the growing proliferation of synthetic turf sports fields in outdoor settings.

These fields are modern versions of the original “AstroTurf” installed inside the Houston Astrodome in the late 1960s, after it was found living turf grass would not survive there. Synthetic fields are becoming increasingly popular as outdoor recreational fields, usually replacing grass fields.