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Creative Financing and School Adds Solar

Creative Financing and School Adds Solar

High School Produces Solar Electricity and Saves $25,000 Annually

by Jon Kennedy

School districts across the country are saving money and energy by installing large solar arrays on their rooftops. What is normally considered to be an expensive undertaking is now possible by a growing number of financing options in the world of solar electricity.

Our schools are a significant source of energy consumption. The air conditioning and heating in these large buildings often run continuously, which translates into large electricity bills and fossil fuel use.

The perceived cost of switching from traditional sources of electricity to renewable ones is often considered to be too high to justify. In our educatio…

Read more: Creative Financing and School Adds Solar

Suburban Design cuts Crime 90%, Energy 70%, and Water 33%

Suburban Design cuts Crime 90%, Energy 70%, and Water 33%

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

The Village Homes community began development in 1975 and is located on 70 acres near downtown Davis, California. It consists of 225 homes, 20 apartment units, a Community Center with several businesses and an inn. Residents share 23 acres of parks, common areas, orchards, vineyards, and greenbelts. This design saved $800 per household in upfront costs

Commonly owned land comprises 40% of the total acreage. Members of the community have access to two large parks, extensive walking and bicycle paths, vineyards, several orchards and two large common gardening areas.

The principal designer of Village Homes is Michael Corbett. He and his wife, Judy, conceived…

Read more: Suburban Design cuts Crime 90%, Energy 70%, and Water 33%

Happiness and Emotional Health Designed into City Planning

Happiness and Emotional Health Designed into City Planning

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

It’s no accident that San Luis Obispo is the happiest city in the United States.  San Luis Obispo has a population of 44,000 people, and, according to a 2008 Gallup-Healthway Poll, ranked number 1 in the U.S. in overall emotional health. 

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 Dan Buettner is author of Thrive, a book that details his investigation into why some cities can boast a higher rate of emotional health than others.  Dan traveled to the places where the population ranks at the top of reported happiness.  Answers to questions about where these places are and what makes them different are discussed in his book.

San Luis Obispo shares…

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Public and Workplace Smoking Bans Lower Heart Attacks 36%

Public and Workplace Smoking Bans Lower Heart Attacks 36%

By Rhiannon Bowman

Smoking creates more than 400,000 premature deaths in the United States annually. When lost productivity and healthcare costs are combined, the total impact to the U. S. economy is $167 billion per year.[i] Until recently, a good bit of that smoking occurred at work, and in public places. Recently, a movement to ban workplace smoking and smoking in bars, restaurants, airports, and similar public places has arisen with great results.

So far, 39 states have banned smoking to some degree. [ii] (Michigan's smoking ban will go into effect in March 2010 [iii] and Wisconsin's ban will go into effect in June 2010.[iv]) These bans have been enacted at the municip…

Read more: Public and Workplace Smoking Bans Lower Heart Attacks 36%

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