Sustainability

Hitch Your Wagon to the Sun

Jul 11, 2016

You’ve heard about the problems Volkswagen is having after its false claims about running on cleaner energy came to light. But we have a story about something called the “Voltz-Wagon” that rolls around Floyd, Virginia. It’s traveling a different road to the clean energy future.

It’s 12 feet long and six feet wide and covered with 1500 watts worth of solar panels.  They call it the "Voltz-Wagon."

Billy Weistenfeld says, “We picked that name before the emissions stuff with Volkswagen (happened).”

Fully Sustainable Classroom Launches in Floyd County

Jun 9, 2016

A 99-year-old, 40-foot green boxcar at Apple Ridge Farm summer camp in Floyd County has been repurposed into a completely sustainable, off-the-grid classroom called EBase USA.

 

      

“What we’re seeing now is, that employers are looking for candidates that are rooted in an academic discipline, are more prepared to enter the work force, but who can also problem solve with what we call a sustainability lens.”

Angie DeSoto is director of the new Sustainability Institute at Virginia Tech.  It offers a month-long boot camp for juniors and seniors how to focus whatever job they’ll be doing at a firm through that sustainability lens.

Green Fuel Feeds Virginia's Rural Economy

Jan 13, 2016
Virginia Tech

Every year, Virginia spends a billion dollars on energy from somewhere else – fuel oil, propane or kerosene to heat homes.  Now, farmers in Virginia are growing an alternative fuel – a clean, sustainable grass that promises to keep the cash here in the Commonwealth.  Sandy Hausman has that story.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With so many cars on the road this holiday season, it’s easy to see why automobiles account for almost half of the country’s fuel consumption.  But what if cars could recover some of that energy for other uses? An engineering professor at Virginia Tech is working on a way to give cars exactly that kind of ‘energy bump.’

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lei Zuo and his team are working on a new kind of shock absorber that would not only enhance a car’s ride, but also create energy just from driving on the road.

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