Quick Tips to Improve Your Car’s Gas Mileage While Reducing Harmful Emissions

Driving can be a stress reliever for some, but can also be the cause of stress for others. Since transportation accounts for over 70% of oil use in the United States, why not attempt to reduce everyone’s stress level ­­­– including the environment’s.

Here are a few tips to improve your gas mileage and reduce harmful emissions:

  1. Avoid idling. Allow up to 30 seconds in the winter to warm up the engine. Anything over that wastes fuel and increases emissions. Cars warm up simply by driving them.
  2. Avoid aggressive driving. Don’t speed! Accelerate at a normal pace and don’t brake hard on purpose.
  3. Avoid keeping heavy items in your car. The more weight in the car, the more gas needed to power the car to move.
  4. Place items inside the car. Drag can be created by placing items on the roof rack, which can increase fuel economy.
  5. Combine errands. Driving back and forth several times per week utilizes much more gas than making one long trip.
  6. Look into carpooling or public transportation. Not using your car is a no brainer for saving on gas.

Your car will thank you, your wallet will thank you, the environment will thank you, and your neighbor might even thank you. Now, go enjoy the ride!


Source: Energy.gov

Green Technology – 3 Advancements That Could Change Everything

The internet took the world by storm and scientists are predicting the same fate for green technology. People are becoming more educated on the effects their actions have on our planet and are looking for ways to protect it. Reducing carbon emissions and wastes are at the top of the list and the following three innovations are sure to be game changers.

  1. Green Concrete. Traditional concrete is made of carbon-emitting limestone, whereas green concrete is made of non-carbonate magnesium oxides. It absorbs the carbon dioxide and as a bonus, it’s recyclable.
  2. Bamboo Laptops. Electronics contribute quite a bit of toxic waste to the planet in the form of e-waste. Bamboo laptops can be the solution to slowing this pile up. Made of biodegradable bamboo, which is also the fastest growing plant in the world, these laptops certainly don’t lack in performance either.
  3. Underwater Kites. Just as its title implies, underwater kites are literally kites affixed to the ocean floor that can generate tidal energy from turbines attached to them. They harness the power of the tides underwater.

We’re on the verge of a green phenomenon. Hold on to your seats, it’s going to be a whirlwind of innovations.

Source: Greener Ideal

Liberty Power’s CEO Named “Businessman of the Year” by U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – October 4, 2013 – Liberty Power, the nation’s largest independent retail electric supplier, today announced co-founder and CEO, David Hernandez, received the 2013 Businessman of the Year Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). Hernandez accepted his award during the closing gala at the 34th Annual USHCC National Convention which took place September 15 – 17 in Chicago, Illinois.

“I’m honored to accept this award; it’s a validation of all the tremendous work we do at Liberty Power,” said David Hernandez, CEO and co-founder. “The USHCC is a first class organization; we look forward to continuing to support their mission of promoting the success of Hispanic businesses nationwide.”
The USHCC Businessman of the Year Award is presented annually to the Hispanic businessperson who has achieved excellence in the business world and exhibited exceptional leadership. The national award winners are among a list of exemplary applicants from across the country and chosen by an independent panel of judges from the public and private sector.

Mr. Hernandez co-founded Liberty Power in 2001 and has guided the company on a consistent path of growth and advancement. The company is currently the largest Hispanic-owned energy company in the country, operating in more than 50 utility service territories. Last year, Liberty Power had annual revenues exceeding $710M.
During his acceptance speech, Mr. Hernandez highlighted a commitment made by Liberty Power to the USHCC Foundation in 2012 about supporting the education of America’s youth. In 2013, the first-ever Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship Program was created and three college students were awarded a total of $20,000 to help in their pursuit of a career in energy and the environment.

“I recognize now, more than ever, the future of this great country is rooted in the capabilities and success of our children,” said Mr. Hernandez. “Liberty Power and the USHCC recognize that education is a fundamental tool for this success. Together, we established the Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship Program as our contribution to paying it forward to the next generation. We hope this chain of giving back lives on and benefits many.”

This is not the first time Mr. Hernandez has been recognized in the business sector. He also received the Hispanic Business Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2005 as well as the USHCC Businessman of the Year Award for the southeast region of the U.S. in 2006. Mr. Hernandez was also an Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist for the state of Florida in 2010 and 2013.
About Liberty Power
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Liberty Power is the largest independent retail electric supplier in the United States based on 2013 KEMA rankings of electric retailers. The company is also the first certified, minority-owned supplier with a national footprint, and the largest Hispanic-owned energy company in the United States according to Hispanic Business. Liberty Power provides large and small businesses, government agencies and residential customers with low-cost electricity and exceptional customer service.
For more information on Liberty Power, please visit www.libertypowercorp.com

Liberty Power is a registered trademark of Liberty Power Corp. LLC, whose subsidiaries are certified and licensed to provide retail electric service by the PUC / PSC of CA, CT, DC, DE, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TX and VA.

About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of over 3.1 million Hispanic owned businesses across the United States that contribute in excess of $468 billion to the American economy each year. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the United States and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit www.ushcc.com.

Energy-Efficient Smart Glass in the Works to Replace Curtains

For the typical daydreamer, being able to peer through the window is a must! However, due to climate conditions, there may be window treatments that prevent these dreamers from doing what they do best. Curtains, blinds, shutters, they’re all impediments.

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California and the Autonomous University of Barcelona could soon change this. They’ve created a “Smart Glass” that doesn’t need curtains to keep heat inside during those cold winter months and doesn’t need blinds to keep the heat out during those steamy summer months. Talk about energy efficiency.

Normal glass windows are made of silicone dioxide mixed with sodium oxide, magnesia, lime, and alumina. This smart glass is made of niobate, which is a compound fusing indium and oxygen, mixed with nanometer sized crystals of indium tin oxide. That’s the same stuff used in touch screens to register finger contact.

Once complete, the glass can change from opaque to transparent and be adjusted for different wavelengths of light. Think of the energy savings! Better yet, think of all the money you’ll save on window treatments! Smart glass keeps the heat in or out depending on need, which also translates into energy efficiency savings! Although it’s still being tested and improved upon, this smart glass definitely has a ‘bright’ future ahead.



Source: MNN

Green Workouts: Wear Green, Be Green

So you made a New Year’s resolution back in January, but it’s now September… have you fulfilled it? Chances are, probably not. If it had anything to do with working out or going green, though, read on to find out how you can kill two birds with one stone:

  1. Try to exercise outside as much as possible. You’ll get a much better workout by utilizing more muscles than when at the gym, but you’ll also be saving energy at the same time.
  2. If you belong to a gym or health club, encourage more green tactics. Recycling bins, eco-friendly upgrades, lessening the towel usage; the options are endless.
  3. If you have gym buddies, car pool to the gym. You’ll get to pump each other up before and after, all while saving the environment from more vehicle pollution.
  4. Purchase workout gear made of eco-friendly products, such as organic cotton or bamboo threads. You can even go as far as using second hand work bikes and weights.
  5. Avoid buying one time use plastic water bottles. Eco-friendly reusable water bottles can be found in almost any convenience store along with water filters.
  6. Be creative when it comes to working out. Yard work just might be the trick to help you burn off some calories.
  7. Have a battery or generator? Hook it up to a stationary bike and pedal away. You’ll be able to recharge these items in no time, all while working your muscles.
  8. When your shoes give out, recycle them! Look for local facilities that will accept them and turn them into basketballs, tennis courts, etc.

Don’t let another year go by plagued by a failed resolution. Kick your energy levels into high gear and start working out the green way!

Winners of the Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship Program Announced

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – September 19, 2013 – Liberty Power, the nation’s largest independent retail electric supplier, is proud to announce the winners of its inaugural Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship program. The scholarship – a result of a collaborative effort between Liberty Power and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation – awarded three college students a total of $20,000 at the USHCC National Convention which took place September 15 – 17 in Chicago, Illinois.

“Liberty Power’s devotion to our nation’s foremost duty – preparing our youth for the challenges and opportunities of the future – is commendable, and we are honored to partner with them in this endeavor,” said Marc Rodriguez, USHCC Chairman of the Board.

The Bright Horizons Scholarship was geared towards eligible college students pursuing an education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with an interest in pursuing a career in energy or the environment. A selection committee comprised of business leaders and policymakers within the energy industry selected one grand prize winner to receive a $10,000 scholarship and two runners-up to each receive a $5,000 scholarship. The three winners were honored by David Hernandez, co-founder and CEO of Liberty Power, and the USHCC during the annual convention’s closing gala on September 17.

“I was very impressed with our first-ever group of Bright Horizons Scholarship winners; it has been a privilege spending time with them. It is very rewarding to know Liberty Power is helping them prepare for their future,” said Mr. Hernandez. “We are delighted to partner with the USHCC Foundation as we continue to support bright young minds pursue their educational goals.”

The $10,000 scholarship was awarded to Tatiana Narvaez, who is earning her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Rice University.


“I am honored to be a recipient of Liberty Power’s Bright Horizons Scholarship mostly because I can be a role model to other Hispanic women pursuing careers in engineering,” said Ms. Narvaez. “This award not only gives me a sense of accomplishment for all my hard work but it also helps me continue my goal in providing the future’s energy as well as protecting the environment, and for that I am thankful,” she added.

The two $5,000 scholarships were awarded to Jonathan Taylor Fairey, an undergraduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology majoring in industrial and systems engineering, and Lawrence Valverde, who is earning his doctorate degree in materials science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“I felt both very honored and thrilled when I found out that I was awarded this scholarship. I’ve always been intrigued by energy and how it is generated and transmitted and how it affects the environment,” said Mr. Fairey. “With the support of this scholarship, I look forward to continuing my education and pursuing a career in energy.”

“Receiving the Bright Horizons Scholarship carries great meaning for me. As a young Hispanic pursuing graduate study in a STEM field, I hope to inspire and provide confidence to my younger peers to pursue careers in STEM as well,” said Mr. Valverde.


About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate $465 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.ushcc.com.

About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The USHCC Foundation is committed to giving Hispanic entrepreneurs life-long learning by developing and implementing initiatives and educational campaigns to awaken and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The Foundation leverages corporate and public support to ensure that existing and aspiring Latino entrepreneurs gain access and achieve success in the world of business. Please visit www.ushccfoundation.org for more information on the USHCC Foundation.

INSIDE ENERGY Brings You Global Innovation in Action

Designed by global energy company Shell, INSIDE ENERGY is a one-stop app for anyone interested in the latest news on energy and innovation from around the world.

The app is organized into six categories:
Latest Stories features breaking energy innovation news
Smarter Mobility includes stories on innovation in all forms of transportation
Innovative Thinking is all about new ideas in action
Meeting Demand explores solutions to meet the growing global demand for energy
Energy Efficiency includes updates on efforts to reduce waste at every step, from the generating station to the end-user
People and Planet focuses on advanced technologies that will help create energy in the cleanest way possible

Because Shell is a truly global company, they are able to bring together innovation updates from around the globe. This is a great app for high-school age students who want to learn more about the growing field of energy innovation or anyone who wants to know more about global ideas in action.

View the demo at http://www.shell.com/global/future-energy/inside-energy.html.

To download the free app, visit the iTunes store and search for “Inside Energy.”

Calling all dessert lovers! Flan recipe

Calling all dessert lovers! A great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month is with some delicious flan. Below is the recipe to this sweet custard treat!


1 cup white sugar
(14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes. Let cool completely.
  5. To serve, carefully invert on serving plate with edges when completely cool.



Bacteria Holds the Key to Developing Bio-Battery in the Search for Alternative Forms of Energy

E. coli: Five letters that can repulse even the strongest of stomachs. Though the masses believe this to be the universal food poisoning bacteria, fields such as biotechnology and microbiology both utilize the model organism’s ease of manipulation. In one recent development, ten students from Bielefeld University in Germany have found a way to engineer E. coli to convert glucose into energy by way of a bio-battery.

Obviously, there’s a serious need to find alternative sources of energy as our natural resources are slowly depleting. In Germany, this has become especially true as nuclear energy is being phased out and conservation of fossil fuels has taken precedence. Since batteries tend to create high levels of environmental pollution even though they are household items and not large scale producers, the Bielefeld students figured they would start small, yet big.

Their invention works much the same way that a normal battery would, the main difference being in the microbial fuel cell. In the microbial fuel cell, there are two units, the anode and cathode, separated by a semi-permeable membrane. The bacteria will be located in the anode breaking down glucose in a metabolic process that produces electrons which travel to the cathode. That is how the electricity is produced.

Because of the simplicity of their design, these batteries can be very useful in underdeveloped countries where there’s a shortage of electrical energy. Plus, these bio-batteries are not dependent on the weather as solar and wind are. They work day and night, through sun, storm, or snow. The greatest advantage would probably be the fact that bacteria are inexhaustible. Once fed substrates, these microorganisms multiply quickly. There’s no telling how widespread this invention can go.

The team is planning on entering their invention into the international Genetically Engineered Machine competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology later this year. Not only will they be competing against 210 of their peers, but they will have to present the bio-battery to the public and find sponsors to fund their costs. The first round of competition will take place in Europe in October.

While the team prepares for their debut, spectators look on in awe as such young individuals formulate a concoction that may change the world!

Source:Science Daily

Smog-reducing Streets

By using specially treated pavement on city streets, scientists in the Netherlands have discovered they can cut air pollution and smog nearly in half. By installing concrete paving composed of titanium dioxide (called photocatalytic pavement) on a block in the city of Hengelo, Netherlands the researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology were able to remove pollutants from the air and reduce them to be less harmful.


Their study researched reductions in nitrogen oxides (NOx) – which are gases produced by cars and power plants that contribute to smog. The scientists found the treated street reduced Nox components by 45% under ideal weather conditions (high radiation and low relative humidity).


The use of photocatalytic surfaces has been considered for several years; however, David Brown, Chief Executive of Institution of Chemical Engineers, said in a press release, “this latest research shows the potential of chemically engineered surfaces to further improve our quality of life, especially in major urban areas where traffic emissions are high.”


Source: mnn


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