Green is Universal

The Joys of Carpooling

It’s that time of year again—time for kids to go back to school.  Students all around the country are packing their backpacks and emotionally preparing themselves for another year of learning avalanche of knowledge.

If you’re looking for an easy way to help the environment as your child goes back to school, consider carpooling!  If your child doesn’t take the bus every morning, make a carpool group with a few other families in your community to cut down on gas costs.  It helps keep the “green” in your wallet, and it’s also great for the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road.

 

Check out these carpooling facts from the National Resource Defense Council:

  • Carpooling saves you money: less driving means fewer fill-ups and less automobile wear-and-tear.
  • Carpooling increases productivity: less time stuck in traffic means quicker commutes and more time to get things done.
  • Carpooling saves lives: fewer cars on the road means fewer accidents and crash-related deaths and injuries.
  • On Average, a car produces 10,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and 600 lbs of carbon monoxide in one year, while consuming on average around 550 gallons of gasoline a year.
  • If every passenger car in the US carried just one additional commuter for a single day, the US could save over 30 million gallons of gasoline.

 

In case you have any lingering doubts about what carpooling can do for you or the planet, take a listen to Grimm’s Russell Hornsby and Royal Pains’ Mark Fuerstein:

 

 

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100 Years of National Parks

Happy 100th birthday to our beautiful National Parks!  As of August 25th, the National Park Service has protected and preserved beautiful spaces in this country for a full century.  But how much do you really know about our National Park System?  Check out these facts from the National Resource Defense Council:

  • President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation on August 25, 1916 to create the National Park Service to protect our natural spots and “leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations”—thanks, President Wilson!
  • There are more than 460 parks, monuments, and heritage sites included in the Park Service including Yosemite, Denali, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Florida Everglades, and California’s Redwood Forests.
  • Our National Parks stretch across more than 84 million acres and can be found in twenty-seven different states.
  • The National Parks drew more than 300 million visitors last year—including hikers, cyclists, day-trippers, families, individuals, school groups, you name it!
  • More than 20,000 staff members make the National Park Service possible—from the Park Ranger to the Park Mailman, everyone works together to make sure these parks will be with us for centuries to come.

The National Park Service is still adding land to their jurisdiction! Just days ago President Obama designated the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The National Park Service will oversee and share with the public 87,500 acres of Maine’s North Woods that encompass awe-inspiring mountains, forests, and waters of north-central Maine.

To celebrate 100 years of National Parks, the National Park Service has launched a special site called “Find Your Park” to make choosing a park and planning a trip easy and fun: http://findyourpark.com/.  Use it today to find the perfect park for you and your family.

In the meantime, if you’re not able to get to a National Park anytime soon, make sure to check out the local parks in your own neighborhood.

See how much Ron Funches and Bridgit Mendler, from NBC’s “Undateable,” love their local parks:

 

 

 

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Light Up Your Life with LEDs

Light plays a significant role in our daily lives. We read by it, work by it, and live by it.  It’s what wakes us up in the morning, and the lack of it lulls us to sleep at night.

But not all light is created equal.  You’ve probably heard about LED lights, but do you know just how much of a difference they can make to our energy consumption?

Here are some important facts about LED lights from www.energy.gov:

  • LED bulbs can be seven times more energy efficient than conventional lights.
  • Good-quality LED bulbs can last 25,000 hours or more, which is 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
  • LEDs are easy to use, compact in size, and crack-resistant.
  • LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs.
  • The inventor of the first LED light was Nick Holonyak, Jr. who worked for GE in the 1960s.
  • By 2030, it’s estimated that 75% of all light sales will be LEDs.
  • In one year alone, forty-nine million LEDs were installed in the U.S., saving about $675 million in annual energy costs.
  • Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

But you don’t have to take our word for it—check out what our good friends Sharon Epperson and Lester Holt have to say about the importance of LEDs:

 

 

 

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Team USA’s Aly Raisman on Going Green

It’s that special time again, when elite athletes from around the world converge on one city for an exciting two weeks of sports. That’s right, it’s time to gather round our screens to watch the Games of the XXXI Olympiad from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! (Can you tell we’re excited?)

On their #RoadtoRio, members of Team USA stopped by The More You Know to share their words of wisdom. Here, one of our favorite gold medal-winning gymnasts, the talented Aly Raisman, reminds us about an easy way to stay green this summer:

And watch more great tips from other incredible Olympians, like Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian (swimming); Allyson Felix, Emma Coburn and Ashton Eaton (track and field); Kerri Walsh Jennings (volleyball); Adeline Gray (wrestling); David Boudia (diving) and Maya Moore (basketball).

Over the next two weeks, you don’t have to worry about missing your favorite sport, however niche it may be—NBC has scheduled an unprecedented 6,755 hours of programming from Rio. That beats the previous record held by the 2012 London Games by over one thousand hours, and is, according to NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell, “The most comprehensive coverage of any event in sports history.” Do yourself a favor and take advantage.

Additionally, since Rio is only one hour ahead of the east coast, these will be the most live Olympics ever—so you don’t have to delay the excitement.

You can catch all the action Friday, August 5th on NBC at 7 pm, starting with what’s sure to be a truly extraordinary Opening Ceremony. Go to nbcolympics.com for full Olympics details.

USA!  USA!  USA!

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Bourne is Re-Born through Sustainable Filming Practices

Bourne is back, and he’s not pulling any punches.

Jason Bourne, the fourth movie in Universal Pictures’ blockbuster series, hits theaters today, July 29th. Matt Damon returns as the ex-CIA operative turned agency outsider who’s trying to right the wrongs of his past without destroying himself in the process. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), and Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained).

While filming, the Jason Bourne crew went above and beyond to make sure all production was sustainable. Here are just a few ways they made an impact:

  • In Last Vegas, the crew tied into the local electric grid to reduce fuel consumption for generators.
  • The lighting department used energy-saving LED lights in all hotel and airport scenes.
  • Scenes were shot in the Riviera Casino before it was torn down, preventing new material from being used to construct stunt sets.
  • In the UK, the construction department used a special CNC milling machine to provide more accurate cutting, which reduced plywood waste.
  • Background clothing was donated to The Upper Room and Traid, UK-based non-profits dedicated to alleviating poverty.
  • While filming on the Spanish island of Tenerife, food waste was composted to prevent harmful methane gas from being released into the atmosphere.

Make your weekend an action-packed one and check out Jason Bourne. To find a theater near you and purchase tickets, go here.

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New Attractions and Green Practices at Universal Orlando Resort

It’s an exciting summer at Universal Orlando Resort! The home of Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) has just opened two new, world-class attractions:

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is a fantastical quest to find the legendary beast, himself. On your ride through dark jungles, you’ll fight off jungle predators and hostile tribes.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is the newest on-site hotel. Lounge and splash about in the 16,000 square foot pool—the largest pool in the resort hotels—and sleep in one of 1,000 guest rooms, including 83 suites. Order a delicious meal at Amatista Cookhouse (try the mojo-marinated rotisserie chicken) and ride the watertaxi past great views of the waterfalls at the lagoon.

But Universal Orlando Resort isn’t just a fantastic family getaway—it’s also making huge strides to limit its carbon footprint.

Here are just a few ways it stay green:

  • All excess food is donated to the Second Harvest Foodbank.
  • 19% of the park’s total waste was diverted in 2015.
  • There are 2,500 recycling locations throughout the parks.

Check out more ways Universal is keeping it green in this handy infographic, and go here to see what other exciting events are happening at the resort:

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#TMYK: Water-Saving Tips from NBCUniversal Stars

During the summer, we tend to use a lot of water—washing cars, playing in sprinklers, hydrating the lawn. But there are still ways to conserve water, even when the mercury is high.

In these The More You Know videos, NBCUniversal stars share their favorite ways to do so.

TODAY’s Hoda Kotb recommends cutting down on our shower time by listening to music:

Sunny Side Up’s Tim Kubart reminds us to turn off the tap when we’re brushing our teeth:

In addition, here are some more easy ways to save water, via the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency and the National Resources Defense Council:

  • Bathroom: Shower instead of bathing. Showers use on average 10 to 25 gallons of water, while a full bathtub can use up to 70 gallons.
  • Kitchen: If you have the option, use your dishwasher instead of washing by hand, which could use up to 10 times more water. And only wash full loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Yard: Water your grass or garden in the morning when it’s still cool outside; at midday, more of the water will evaporate.
  • Vehicle: Get your car washed professionally as opposed to doing it yourself. This could save up to 100 gallons of water.
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On Thrills and Sustainability, Mr. Robot Delivers

Hold on tight. The second season of USA’s Mr. Robot premieres Wednesday, July 13th at 10/9c, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

A quick review: the show stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a young cyber-security engineer who’s drafted into the secret hacker collective fsociety, led by the enigmatic and mysterious Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). The second season sees the fallout from the group’s major hack of Evil Corp, the show’s behemoth multi-national company. Mr. Robot also stars Portia Doubleday (Her), Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory), Martin Wallström (Simple Simon), Grace Gummer (The Newsroom), Michael Cristofer (Ray Donovan) and Stephanie Corneliussen (Legends of Tomorrow).

But this show isn’t just racking up industry awards–it’s also picking up nods for its eco-friendly practices on-set. Mr. Robot received an EMA Green Seal for its sustainable production practices on season one. And here are some ways the crew kept things green during filming for season two:

  • Fuel: In order to cut carbon emissions, a special blend of B20 biodiesel was used for generators and trucks.
  • Electricity: The Mr. Robot lighting department used energy-efficient LED lighting, which greatly reduced energy demands.
  • Recycling/Composting: Systems for both recycling and composting were implemented throughout production; season 2 also saw a composting program that traveled to on-location filming.
  • Food: Catering worked with Rock and Wrap It Up! to donate food to members of the NYC community who are food insecure. This also reduced the amount of methane gas that was released into the atmosphere.

Read more about Mr. Robot‘s sustainable practices here, and be sure to tune in to the season two premiere on Wednesday, July 13th at 10/9c, on USA.

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Green Your July 4th Celebration

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July 4th is a time to celebrate, and NBC will be doing so in style, along with Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor, Pitbull, Sara Bareilles and many others at this year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, live at 8 pm ET. While you’re preparing for your own party or BBQ, keep these tips in mind to make your holiday a greener one:

  • Forty percent of food in the U.S. ends up in landfills. Reduce your food waste by saving and freezing leftovers instead of throwing them away.
  • If you’re grilling, consider using propane instead of charcoal to cut down on your carbon footprint.
  • Instead of paper or Styrofoam plates, dish up your meal onto reusable or biodegradable plates.
  • It may be hot, but if all your guests are outdoors, there’s no keep the air conditioner on. Make sure to turn it down or off.
  • And while you’re at it, don’t forget to shut off power strips to cut down on phantom energy.
  • If you’re tuning in to the fireworks on NBC, save energy by turning off the lights while the TV is on. (And isn’t it better to watch fireworks in the dark?)

Happy July 4th!

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“Odd Mom Out” Star Shares How to Save Some Green by Going Green

Bravo’s Odd Mom Out returns for its second season this Monday, June 20! Joanna Cassidy stars in the breakout scripted series, but did you know she’s also an environmental star? Watch her green PSA for The More You Know campaign:

“Need a few easy ways to save some cash? Adjust your thermostat a few degrees, run your appliances at off-peak hours, and turn off your computer and your light every night. Hey, change is good – the jingling kind especially.” Great ways to save money AND energy!

Check out The More You Know’s environmental playlist for more eco-friendly tips, and don’t miss the Odd Mom Out season two premiere on Monday, June 20th at 10pm ET.

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