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Playlist: Wendy Ring's Portfolio

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Batteries Save the Day

From Wendy Ring | Part of the Cool Solutions series | 28:00

A story of 3 towns who find that storing solar energy in giant batteries is cheaper and safer than power plants.

Sterling_s_new_battery_is_lowered_into_place_small Some towns are choosing batteries over power plants to meet their peak energy needs. From a California city fighting for clean air to New England towns seeking lower bills and energy independence, utility scale batteries are their answer.  We hear their stories, celebrate an environmental justice victory, listen to a radionovela about the inner lives of batteries, and learn how batteries can fix our ailing grid. 

A Lungful of Diesel Exhaust is No Way to Start the School Day

From Wendy Ring | Part of the Cool Solutions series | 28:00

Our aging US fleet of diesel school buses exposes kids to toxic fumes, inside and out. Twin Rivers Unified School District is one of the first in the country to replace their dirtiest buses with clean electric ones. Meet the people transforming school transportation: visionary school transportation directors, electric bus builders, clean air funders, health advocates, and parent activists. We talk about everything from what's under the hood to how states and school districts can get funds to replace their most polluting old buses.

Bluebird_bus_small Twin Rivers Unified School District is the first in the country to add electric school buses to its fleet. Now others are following in its tire tracks.   This is the story of how it happened,  starting with a school bus driver who got an idea that developed into a passion. Enter more characters:  a retired bus salesman who comes out of retirement to build a bus company,  a school transportation director willing to take a chance, government bureaucrats who love helping people, and a car company gone bad. Its an amazing story of climate action from the bottom up that will ultimately transform the largest public transit system in the US. Along the way we'll cover pretty much all you want to know about electric school buses, from how far they drive and how much they cost to how to get your hands on that funding. 

Rising Green From the Ashes

From Wendy Ring | Part of the Cool Solutions series | 28:00

Wildfire victims rebuild all solar, all electric homes with help from their community energy program. Hear one family's story, learn what makes a home zero carbon and find out why its more affordable than you think.

Lojowski_thumbnail_small A community energy agency program is helping California's 2017 wildfire victims rebuild homes that are powered completely by the sun.  The Lojowski family tells their story and why they chose to rebuild carbon zero.  We explore energy efficient applicances, rooftop solar, insulation and air sealing,  the health benefits of giving up our gas stoves, and talk with energy experts about how the advances in energy efficiency and the falling price of solar make zero carbon construction do-able and affordable in many parts of the US.  

People Over Parking Lots

From Wendy Ring | Part of the Cool Solutions series | 27:59

Fayetteville Arkansas and Buffalo NY stopped requiring off-street parking and found that walkable shopping districts boost local business. Its something any town can do.

Black_friday_parking_lot_small Fayetteville AR and Buffalo NY dropped off-street parking requirements from their zoning and gained walkable shopping districts and more affordable housing. Its an easy fix and a first step to cut carbon emissions from solo commuting. 

Matthew Petty, a city councilman in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Nadine Marrero, Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Buffalo tell how they did it. 

Norman Garrick, professor at the University of CT, gives a mini history lesson on how parking killed urban downtowns.

Kevin Meindl of the Buffalo Sewer Department talks about the problem of pavement storm runoff.

Daniel Herriges of Strong Towns explains how to bring this solution to your town.

Gene Boyd of Farmers Assisting Returning Military explains how farming a former parking lot helps soldiers re enter civilian life. 

Is Your Money Fueling Wildfires?

From Wendy Ring | Part of the Cool Solutions series | 28:00

Move your money from big Wall Street banks that finance fossil fuel to community banks with better values.


Biden's promise to end subsidies and public land leases for fossil fuel is in doubt. Activists take aim at another part of fossil fuel's lifeline- banks. Stop the Pipeline Coalition turns up the heat in the street. This is What We Did helps people move their money out of Wall Street banks. Mighty Deposits helps them find better places to put it.