Episode 318: Urban Jungle

Original Airdate: 
Monday, April 23, 2012 - Sunday, April 29, 2012
Next Airdate: 
Monday, August 13, 2012 - Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eco Company addresses environmental challenges of the Urban Jungle. Did you know that buildings account for 50% of the country’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions? We wanted to find out what eco-conscientious trends are leading the building design and construction industry. So we headed out to the new Brower Center in Berkley, CA, named after pioneering environmentalist and former Executive Director of the Sierra Club David Brower. Adam got the tour inside and out and learned that this new structure is setting the standard for green building in every detail…even down to the hand dryers in the bathrooms!

Solar power has become an acceptable and widely used form of alternative, renewable energy around the world. We have all seen traditional solar panels on homes and businesses. But you have never seen anything like this! Eco Company found a start-up company that is making solar balloons! Yeah balloons. They look like 8 foot party balloons. But these have solar concentrators that harness the power of the sun. Brendan got the assignment to go check them out.

Then Eco company visits the Joint Bio Energy Institute...a place where high tech scientists are working to change the future of fuel. They're working to unlock nature's secrets to create plant based biofuels to replace fossil fuels. Jordan got a lesson in photo synthesis and sugar polymers as she got the explanation of the process.

Finally, Brendan visits a Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory where they are researching the efficiency of cooking stoves...those using wood and coal...and utilized by over 3 billion people world-wide to prepare 3 meals a day. It will give you a great appreciation of why this is so important.