A better way to insulate

(Midwest Energy News, September 13, 2011)—Contractors Tadd Johnson and Adam Hegland had just finished building a four-unit townhome in Red Wing and were eagerly awaiting the results of a blower door test.

“We did all the work ourselves and thought we would just perform through the charts,” says Johnson.

Instead, disappointment. The results were fine, but not off the charts like they had hoped. They asked the technician what they did wrong, and he explained they could only achieve so much with conventional building materials.

That day four years ago set off Johnson and Hegland’s search for a better building product, which they believe they’ve found in their EnergyMax insulation panels.

Their invention won the cleantech and renewable energy category last week in the Minnesota Cup competition, an annual entrepreneurship contest. Continue reading “A better way to insulate”

Closing the Loop on Electronic Waste

Make no mistake: Best Buy likes to see customers lining up for that next new, must-have gadget. The consumer electronics retailer is in the business of helping people upgrade their technology, whether it’s a mobile phone or a big-screen television.

For every new product, though, there’s often an old one made obsolete: last year’s iPhone, or a clunky analog TV set, or that computer your media collection outgrew. All of this stuff eventually starts to pile up in closets, landfills or incinerators.

It’s an environmental hazard, and it’s a customer hassle. That’s why Best Buy is seeking to help close the loop on the millions of pounds of electronic waste its stores and customers generate each year.

Best Buy has rapidly become a national leader in e-waste recycling since launching an in-store drop-off program in February 2009. Customers at its U.S. stores can bring in just about any old electronics, regardless of where or when they were purchased, and Best Buy will make sure they get recycled responsibly. Last year, the company collected more than 75 million pounds of unwanted electronics. (Continue reading…)

Closing the Loop on Electronic Waste