Will California have another year of record-setting wildfires?

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Can the state’s new measures—from clearing brush to installing solar microgrids—be enough to mitigate the damaging effects of continuing drought? In the tiny California town of Briceburg, at the edge of Yosemite National Park, workers are installing a new solar microgrid from a startup called BoxPower. The local utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, used to send power to the community through long distribution lines that traveled through remote areas—the same type of equipment that sparked disastrous wildfires such as the one that swept through the town of Paradise in 2018 , killing at least 86 people. With the new grid, which generates power for the community locally, that dangerous long-distance infrastructure no longer needs to exist. Read Full Story

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Mapping Local Essentials: Being the Business that Grows, Sells, or Markets the Beans

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Kenneth Leung , Michael Coghlan “Dried beans saw a more than 230% increase in demand and rice sales spiked by 166% in that same time.” - ABC How should a business operate now? Where is there work to be done? Economists are making stark predictions about the future of small businesses in the US, but at the same time, I live in a town without a courier service established enough to meet the mushrooming demand for home delivery. Frankly, it’s devastating reading headlines forecasting the permanent closure of 7.5 million American SMBs , but while absorbing these, I also spent six weeks shaking the Internet for bathroom tissue before locating some 1,400 miles away. Point being: Where there’s need, fulfilment can be a public good, and where there’s upheaval, any possibility is worth considering. Necessities are emerging in bold relief on the map of each …

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2019 was the second largest year ever for corporate solar investments

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While big names such as Facebook and Walmart are putting massive amounts of money into solar, two-thirds of all of 2019’s newly installed solar capacity came from companies that are not in the Fortune 500. Throughout 2019, tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, retailers such as Walmart and Target, and other corporations from real estate companies to banks installed a combined 1,283 megawatts of new commercial solar capacity in the United States—enough to power more than 243,000 homes. Read Full Story

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How Tommy Hilfiger is working toward a more sustainable and inclusive fashion industry

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From a massive solar roof to new equity programs to washing denim with lasers instead of water. On the roof of Tommy Hilfiger’s European distribution center—located in the Dutch town of Venlo—are 48,000 solar panels, just one of the latest steps the fashion brand has taken to be more sustainable. CEO Martijn Hagman announced the completion of the solar panel roof at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on Tuesday, saying the company believes it’s “one of the most powerful solar roofs in the world at this moment.” Read Full Story

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Operating During COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

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Posted by MiriamEllis Local businesses know better than any other model what it means to fully participate in community life. You are the good neighbors who are there to serve, inspire, and sustain the people and traditions that make your town a unique and enjoyable place to call home. As we explore this topic of what local businesses can do during the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to honor all that you have always done to take care of your community as a local business owner or marketer. Thank you. In this article, you will find local SEO tips that could make a difference for your business in the coming weeks, innovative resources for support, advice from my own tight-knit community of some of the world’s best local SEOs, and some serious thinking about building a better local future. Adhere to all regulations First and foremost, start each day with a …

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Could electric cars be the solution that saves California’s power grid?

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California is doubling down on EVs. Critics say more plug-in cars will strain the power grid. Here’s why they’re wrong. Climate change ramped up its attacks on California this year, serving up massive wildfires and blistering heat waves , which led to widespread power outages . To fight back, Governor Gavin Newsom took aim at heat-trapping carbon pollution from cars. In September, he signed an order to phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars in California by 2035. Read Full Story

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This game-changing solar company recycles old panels into new ones

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The first wave of solar panels is reaching the end of their useful lives. Now they can become new solar panels instead of trash. The global surge in solar power is helping quickly lower the cost of solar panels and shrink energy’s carbon footprint, with around 70,000 solar panels being installed every hour by 2018, and an estimated 1.47 million solar panels in place by that year in the U.S. alone. But it also means that we’ll face an enormous pile of e-waste when those panels eventually wear out. Read Full Story

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How Your Local Business Can Be a Helper

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Posted by MiriamEllis “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” — Fred Rogers This quote is one I find myself turning to frequently these days as a local SEO. It calls to mind my irreplaceable neighborhood grocer. On my last essential run to their store, they not only shared a stashed 4-pack of bath tissue with me, but also stocked their market with local distillery-produced hand sanitizer which I was warned will reek of bourbon, but will get the job done. When times are hard, finding helpers comes as such …

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Supporting Small Business Saturday with 2020-Conscious Marketing

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Elvert Barnes “Conscious spending with the community can contribute to neighborhood sustainability.” — Christine Araquel, The Park’s Finest I encountered this quote from a restauranteur on the American Express Small Business Saturday website , and just these few words called a vivid image to my mind: local business owners and customers gazing together toward the horizon, hoping to pierce the clouds of COVID-19 and see them clearing away, revealing communities that are still standing, and still capable of sustaining our hometowns, our cities, and our dreams. 72% of consumers believe they will frequent neighboring businesses more after the crisis is over, but that will take all of us doing our part now to ensure as many SMBs are still there to greet us when better days return. In Q4 of 2019, I used my column to encourage local business owners to start having meaningful conversations …

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At this new net-zero energy McDonald’s, on-site solar provides 100% of the power

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By 2030, emissions from McDonald’s restaurants and offices will need to drop 36%, compared to 2015, to meet the company’s science-based targets. This new restaurant now open at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is one step toward that goal. At a new McDonald’s restaurant that just opened at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (with COVID-19 protection measures in place), solar panels covering the roof—and solar glass panels throughout the building—are designed to generate enough energy that the restaurant can run on 100% renewable power. Read Full Story

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After a fire, your drinking water may be contaminated even if your house was saved

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In one California community, researchers found benzene, a carcinogen, at 40 times the state’s standard for drinking water. When wildfires swept through the hills near Santa Cruz, California, in 2020, they released toxic chemicals into the water supplies of at least two communities. One sample found benzene, a carcinogen, at 40 times the state’s standard for drinking water . Read Full Story

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