In this week's Newsletter: Google goes 100% green in '17, Solar One's new Final Friday Winter Film Series, vacant building transforms to greenhouse in DC and much more!
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Google Goes 100% Green in 2017

Did you know that Google uses the same amount of electricity every year as San Francisco, a city of more than 800,000 residents? And this week Google announced that, starting in 2017, all of its many, many server farms will be powered with 100% renewables.

Of course, as is the case with 100% Wind or Green Power packages which you can buy for your home, this doesn't mean that each and every electron consumed by Google is generated from renewable sources, since what actually flows through the wires is always the result of a mix of renewable and non-renewable fuel sources. 

But what it does mean is that Google has entered into global power purchase agreements with wind and solar farms, and has now invested in enough sources of clean electricity to cover 100% of its operations.

There's no question that the companies that are adding the most electricity consumption are the new tech giants: Google, Facebook and Amazon, with their huge server farms and processing centers. Their commitment to renewables is not only great PR for solar and wind, but these large purchase guarantees drive down the cost for everyone.

You can read more about this on the NY Times website here.

Final Fridays Film Series This Winter at Solar One

Those of you who have been following Solar One for some time may remember that we used to produce a Solar-Powered Arts Festival every summer. It was a great way to bring people to the Solar One site and become more familiar with what we do. Over the past few years, we've become so busy with our ever-expanding roster of programs that we just didn't have the capacity to keep it up.

One of the best parts of the Arts Festival was the Film Series. Environmental documentaries outdoors by the river, with fresh popped popcorn and beers, what could be better?! But it's so much work to set up a screen outside! The wind is always blowing! It gets chilly when the sun goes down!

So for 2017, we've decided to bring back the Film Series, but as a winter, indoor series for a select audience. The Solar 1 building can only hold about a dozen people, but it sure is cozy. We'll be asking for a $10 donation to cover the licenses for the films, and the popcorn supplies, and your $10 will also include one drink (beer, wine or a cocktail). Films will be screened on the last Friday of January, February and March, and if it' a success, we'll expand our offerings for next year.

So if this sounds like something you'd be interested in, there's more: We'd like your help in deciding which films to show and what time to show them. Please fill out this short (7 questions) survey, and we'll announce the winning films and screening times in the first newsletter of 2017.

Old McDonald Nadia Robinson Had an Apartment House

Growing up in downtown Manhattan, Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House was one of my favorite picture books. I lived in an apartment house...but I wanted to live on a farm too. Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald had the best of both worlds: fresh food, lots of pets and all housed in a normal city tenement.

But now Nadia Robinson, a Washington, D.C. based food activist and urban farmer, has created a real-life urban farm inside an abandoned DC building. Her organization, Locals Grow Smart, hopes their 3,000 square foot greenhouse will help eliminate food deserts in neighborhoods where fresh, reasonably priced local produce is extremely hard to get. The farm partners with local grocers to expand access and further reduce climate impact by reducing grocers’ reliance on produce transported long distances. On average, Locals yields 3,458 pounds (1,568.5 kilograms) per month, composed primarily of micro greens, edible flowers, and herbs in addition to a small scale research and development project work shopping mini vegetables and organic feed crops.

Three years ago, while a college student in Syracuse, Robinson built a small garden out of reclaimed construction materials in the basement of her apartment building. After graduating as a bioengineering and entrepreneurship major, Robinson returned to the Northeast side to transform a vacant building into the first of what she hopes will be many vertical urban farms in D.C.

You can read more on here.

Upcoming Events at Solar One

Happy Hanukkah and merry Christmas from all of us at Solar One to all of you! Have a wonderful holiday season!

Other Events

Sane Energy Volunteer Meeting
Patagonia. 72 Greene Street bet Spring & Broome, Manhattan, 6:30-9pm, free

350NYC Monthly Meeting
New York Society for Ethical Culture, Room #507 Elliott Library, 2 West 64th Street bet Central Park west & Broadway, Manhattan, 7-9pm, free

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