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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

By Bruce Lieberman

Anyone who's taken a road trip knows how intensely the sun can beat down on the roadway. Could all those rays be converted to solar power?

Scott and Julie Brusaw said yes. This husband and wife team are the founders of Idaho-based company Solar Roadways. They created a system of solar panels coated with bulletproof glass that can replace pavement. It's not an unprecedented idea: both the Netherlands and France are researching solar roadways. But they have not yet been tried in the U.S.

The Brusaws just installed their first pilot project in Sandpoint, Idaho. And they are working with the Missouri Department of Transportation on a project at a rest stop on Route 66.

Brusaw: "We're hoping to be mass-manufacturing toward the end of next year and I expect to see them on residential roads probably in two to three years."

Solar Roadways

Skeptics worry about the durability of the panels and also the expense of producing and maintaining them.

But the Brusaws said the roads will pay for themselves over time by generating clean energy that can be delivered and sold to consumers.

Roads hold tremendous potential as sources of clean power. For example, the Brusaws said if every road in the U.S. was made of solar panels, we could produce three times more energy than we use as a country.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Yale Climate Connections.

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Looking for ways to cut down on single-use plastic while grocery shopping? You may already have eco-friendly shopping bags, but bringing your own reusable produce bags is another easy swap.

According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).

The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.

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