A Thousand Ugly Thermostats

November 7, 2011

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When the first generation of green building products were introduced, developers thought that business owners would rip out outmoded thermostats and meters and replace them with the new ones that not only saved energy but allowed users to see everything from the time that they turned on the lights to the weather.  It turned out […]

Posted in: Energy, Green Building

Five Intriguing Agriculture Startups

November 1, 2011

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At the recent Slow Money event, one of the highlights was listening to pitches from 30 ag entrepreneurs on everything from greenhouses to rice varietals.  Here are some examples: 1. StockBox Grocers StockBox places miniature grocery stores – refitted shipping containers – in food deserts, areas where full grocery stores are unavailable.  Each container is […]

Posted in: Agriculture

Visiting a Non Profit Organic Farm

October 25, 2011

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One of the few joys of traveling is stumbling upon unexpected places along the way.  Taking a detour on a soggy day in Wales, I followed signs for Amelia Trust Farm, an organic produce and sheep farm about 9 miles from the capital city of Cardiff.  As in many developed countries, farming has become a […]

Posted in: Agriculture

A Startup Changing Cambodia’s Farming Landscape

October 24, 2011

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A little over a year ago, I met two French economics graduates who had a cool idea, a ton of energy and plane tickets.  Traveling after graduation, they had fallen in love with Cambodia and decided that they wanted to transform the lives of the subsistence farmers that comprise more than half of the country’s […]

Posted in: Agriculture

Can Hackathons Save Small Farmers?

October 23, 2011

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At the prompting of my social media guru buddy Rita Best of Hummingbird Studios, I spent last Sunday seeing the results of a 24 hour hackathon – a mammoth FatBurger and Red Bull fueled coding session whose goal was to create web, Tropo and SmartPhone apps – in, of all places, Reno.  Being a small […]

Posted in: Agriculture

Are agriculture stocks a good proxy for farm income?

September 5, 2011

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Farm in Africa

One of the reasons that real assets get short shrift in pension portfolios is that they’re not the easiest of assets to evaluate.  If you want a proxy for healthcare cost growth, there are an abundance of publicly listed drug manufacturers and service providers who specialize in it, and you can always supplement these with […]

Posted in: Agriculture

What Happens to Formerly Hip Cleantech Cos?

August 31, 2011

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Copyright Real Assets Junkie

At a time when we’re seeing a shakeout in the first wave of solar companies, it seemed appropriate to take a look at what happens to the formerly-hip in renewable energy.  Which sectors are no longer feeling the love? Each year, the Cleantech Group, an independent research company, conducts a survey to elect a Cleantech […]

Posted in: Energy, Green Building, Water