Venture Capital Firms Investing In Green Startups

Most people think of smartphone apps and software companies when they hear the terms "venture capital" (VC) and "startups," but in the past several years there has been a significant increase in the number of investments that VC firms have been making in green business. The reason is fairly simple: eco-friendly companies are attracting more customers, which means there's significant potential for profit by gaining equity in such firms. 

A recent piece in the Washington Post highlights New Atlantic Ventures, a VC company that has put millions of dollars into green startups with inventive new ideas for bringing environmentally friendly products to customers. The article examines their involvement with Bambeco, a furniture manufacturer that uses sustainable materials for their pieces.

Thanasis Delistathis, co-founder of New Atlantic, tells the Post that he invested in Bambeco because their management team had previous experience in e-commerce, and because personal experience told him that there was significant demand for green consumer products. He shared an experience in which a friend who was shopping for outdoor furniture wouldn't even consider items that weren't made using environmentally responsible processes and components.

VC investment in green businesses is certainly a positive development for consumer goods, as these companies are typically more tolerant of risk and taking chances on new ideas. Particularly in this age of tight credit markets, it is harder for entrepreneurs to take out loans to start their own businesses, and companies like Bambeco required extensive capital in order to get off the ground.

For more news and information about green businesses and environmentally friendly careers, keep visiting LifeIsGreen.com.

Green Car Care Tips

We often write about the newest electric vehicles and hybrid cars that are revolutionizing the automobile industry, and how these products make going green easier and more fun. But for many, due to financial situations, investing in a new car – especially one that could cost upwards of $40,000 – simply isn't an option.

But for readers who still want to be environmentally conscious, the good news is that there are vehicle maintenance habits and practices that are both greener than conventional methods, and will also save you money in the long run:

  • Don't change the oil every 3,000 miles. Lots of mechanics will tell you that your car needs to come in for an oil change and lube every 3,000 miles, but the fact is that this is antiquated advice. According to AutoMedia.com, most owners can get away with every 5,000 miles, and if they use synthetic oils, every 7,000 miles. This will ensure that you're using less oil, and will save you money on maintenance costs.
  • Keep tires properly inflated. If you've ever ridden a bike with a flat tire, you know how much more work it takes to pedal forward. It's no different with cars: If your tires are under-inflated, you'll see a decrease in gas mileage.
  • Regularly replace air filters. When your car isn't getting enough air, the engine will create a "rich mixture", meaning more gasoline will go into the cylinders, thereby increasing the amount of carbon dioxide coming out of the exhaust pipe.

Make sure to keep checking back with LifeIsGreen.com for more information on green living practices.

World Wildlife Fund Report Finds Earth’s Energy Needs Could Be Met By Solar Power

A new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the global nonprofit advocacy organization, has made a significant proposal: run the entire planet’s infrastructure on solar energy.

According to the study, which was formally published as part of the World Future Energy Summit held last week in Abu Dhabi, the economic roadblocks that would complicate such a plan are insignificant compared to the obvious payoffs. Only a fraction of 1 percent of the Earth’s surface would need to be installed with photovolatic (PV) solar panels to generate 100 percent of the forecasted demand for electricity by the year 2050.

The WWF report was conducted thanks to the combined efforts of a number of green-focused groups, including panel manufacturer First Solar and youth advocacy association Fresh Generation. The collaboration focused on developing economies as a good place to start the initiative, and envisioned large-scale solar projects popping up in Indonesia, Southeast Asia and Africa. 

Speaking about the project, WWF officials lauded the publication as a big step forward toward a worldwide comprehensive effort to replace climate-threatening fossil fuel plants with eco-friendly solar arrays. 

“As climate change increasingly threatens people and the natural world, it is more important than ever to work for the rapid and wide-scale adoption of well sited, responsibly operated renewable energy power facilities. Environmental protection and renewable energy can and are developing in parallel,” Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative, said in a press release.

With the U.S. government doubling down on its efforts to support the domestic solar power industry and weekly announcements of new facilities, it’s quite possible that the next decades could see a big influx of renewable energy in American communities. Stay with the LifeIsGreen.com blog for more updates about these and other important developments.