It might be the only thing that travels through the airwaves but doesn't pollute.
The business of radio is naturally green. For example, this type of media requires significantly less paper for printing. It uses much less electrical power than a television broadcast. And the end user of radio does not consume much of anything to hear everyday programming and content. Compared to other traditional media, radio has this green thing in the bag.
Larry Bennett, corporate support for KMUW-89.1 FM, says radio is taken for granted as a part of everyday life. The station has produced arts, education, government, health, transportation and politics programming since 1949 with a broadcast audience reaching from Barton to Greenwood County and Saline County to northern Oklahoma.
The KMUW listenership is well educated and cares about being environmentally friendly. The station works diligently to serve the needs and wants of its listeners and Bennett says this group is asking for programs with a sustainable edge.
The station knows how to implement green practices. For years, KMUW has operated with laptops instead of desktop computers to save a significant amount of power. It has reduced the amount of editing and audio servers in its on-air operation studios and replaced old with new, more efficient equipment. The station also emphasizes recycling and prints double-sided whenever possible.
What many listeners don't realize is that KMUW actually maintains an innovative green building as home to its transmitters. And it's done so for the past six years.
A radio station transmitter uses a good amount of power due to the need for non-stop, around-the-clock cooling of equipment. The previous building had been used for 30 years and during the design of the new structure, KMUW looked into green materials. The cost up-front was more but Bennett says the investment payback is less than ten years.
The walls of the transmitter building are made from Agriboard, a compressed wheat straw with has a high R-rating. The modular roof is made from soil and succulent plants. KMUW's Director of Engineering Jon Cyphers says the roof reflects sunlight and keeps the building cool. This also means less air conditioning expense and electricity to power it.
The building also uses geothermal cooling the majority of the time, switching only to traditional air conditioning during extreme high heat. Geothermal cooling directs heat into the ground instead of the atmosphere and is
effective because the ground maintains a constant temperature. Cyphers says this type of cooling is nearly 30-percent more efficient than standard air conditioning.
In addition, on a cold winter day the building utilizes economizers, which open to pull in outside air and flow it into the transmitter cooling system.
In 2008 KMUW won the Wichita Clean Air award in recognition of its commitment
Volume V, Issue 6
ARKANSAS RIVER TO RECEIVE
A clean, brilliant image of the Arkansas River should come to one's mind, especially after participating in the 2016 River Roundup set for Saturday,
The annual clean-up event is part of a community effort organized by the Wichita Water Center and the city's Park and Rec department. This is the 15th year for the Roundup clean-up day. Green Biz Wichita will have a group participating in
Participants will work from 9 a.m. to noon on
o clear the river of debris and waste. Last year 700 volunteers helped with the event, each receiving a t-shirt and hamburger/hot dog lunch for their efforts. Check-in will be held at
in the lot at 151 North Waco Street, which is different than previous years. Please note the change of start location.
To help on April 23,
register at wichita.gov/parkandrec
The River Roundup is a perfect fit for Green Biz Wichita members who want to be a part of in sustainable action for the city. The event is sponsored by
Cargill will be the title sponsor for the eighth consecutive year, in a partnership that includes the City of Wichita, Wichita Ducks Unlimited and Spirit AeroSystems.
More information about Riverfest can be found at
Gardening with a Little Green on Top
Watching a garden grow may be one of the most fulfilling things about spring and summer. Not only are you growing your own food but you also give yourself naturally fresh produce that is safe from unknown products. Gardening is a lost art compared to home lawn maintenance as an estimated 40 million acres in the continental U.S. is covered in turf grass, making it the country's largest irrigated crop.
As the temperatures allow us to be outside more, here are a few tips to help make your garden as green as possible.
Utilize all-natural compost to maintain your garden instead of pesticides, weed killers and chemical fertilizers. Check out local options to find beneficial insects to place in the garden that can control harmful pests.
Make your own compost by throwing vegetable waste in a container outside, rather than placing it in a landfill. Compost is like gold to a garden as it enriches soil fertility with high-powered, plant-loving nutrients and stimulates root development, improves soil texture, aeration and water retention.
Living in the city or an apartment without a yard doesn't mean you can't enjoy a garden. Sign up for a plot at a community garden or call the parks department to see if you can help maintain flowerbeds and shrubbery. Community gardens typically have a communal composting area as well so you can take your compost materials to a shared container.
Do consider using a rain barrel as an inexpensive and effortless way to capture mineral- and chlorine-free water for yards and gardens, as well as washing cars or rinsing windows. By harnessing what's literally raining from the sky you'll enjoy lower water costs and a reduction in stormwater runoff, which in turn helps prevent erosion and flooding.
If you are using well or city water from the spicket, consider adding mulch and compost to the soil to retain water and reduce evaporation. Also, soaker hoses and drip irrigation only use 50-percent of the water compared to sprinklers. Remember to water early in the day so you can avoid evaporation and winds and drench thirsty roots to use water most efficiently.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the nature's ability to grow green things. --
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to the environment. Cyphers says the KMUW audience is inherently supportive of green products and when the goal
was set to build an environmentally-conscious building listeners quickly made the concept a reality.
"When the cost of the transmitter building project was more than we anticipated we looked to the Wichita Community Foundation for a matching grant," he says. "We planned a two-day pledge drive in February 2007, asking for listener donations that would be matched by the Community Foundation. We matched the goal in four hours, that's how much our audience resonated with the green concept and support for our programming."
The building's innovation is well-known across the radio and broadcast industry. Bennett says the station considered traditional construction but realized as a not-for-profit public radio station that saving money and being efficient were the number one goals.
"In public radio, any dollars not put into content on the air or on the website are wasted in a sense," he says. "One of the things we've done forever and one of the reasons Green Biz Wichita exists is to provide information and education. That's essentially what we do all day long. We've been providing environmental coverage for decades, not as a special show. It's incorporated into the content that we provide through our entire program schedule. It's part of who we are."
For more information, go to kmuw.org. --