Michelin Tires Helps Yellowstone National Park Go Green

OldFaithfulCTourists visiting Yellowstone National Park’s famous geyser, “Old Faithful,” will even use tires once they get out of their cars for a closer look. Old Faithful, you see, now boasts a porous, clean, flexible walkway made almost entirely of recycled Michelin tires. The “paved” surface, known as Flexi-Pave and manufactured by the company K.B. Industries (KBI), is kinder to the environment than asphalt because the permeable composite material allows for better erosion control and preservation of the natural patterns of groundwater flow. In addition, the walkway surface is highly durable and tolerant of extreme hot or cold weather, and does not leach any oil into the surrounding environment.

“The material used to create KBI’s Flexi-Pave is completely benign and therefore can be used safely with the delicate aquifers here in Yellowstone,” said Kevin Bragnall, CEO and founder of KBI, in a statement. The Old Faithful Walkway Project covers 6,400 square feet and includes 900 Michelin tires. “The path allows 3,000 gallons of groundwater to pass per square foot. It also is designed to diffuse the water’s force, helping prevent erosion,” Bagnall noted.

“The Old Faithful Walkway Project is a great example of what a difference a company devoted to sustainability can make in the world’s first national park,” said Karen Bates Kress, president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, in a statement. “We are fortunate to have a corporate partner as farsighted, public-spirited and generous as Michelin,” she added. Underscoring how important this project was to the 126-year-old tire company, Michelin flew in a team of employees from across the country to help complete the construction of the walkway. The 10 volunteers were winners of a company-wide contest to participate in the project.

Michelin is a major corporate sponsor of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, with a goal of helping the park curb operating expenses and reduce the consumption of raw materials. To ensure this, Michelin regularly donates and helps maintain thousands of tires for Yellowstone National Park’s more than 800 vehicles, including patrol cars, garbage trucks, snow plows and load-hauling tractor trailers. The tires feature the latest in green tire technology to help save fuel and reduce emissions.

“Helping build and provide material for this new pathway is very much in line with Michelin’s goal of working with the Yellowstone Park Foundation,” said Leesa Owens, director of community relations for Michelin, in a statement.

To find out more about Michelin tires, visit www.michelin.com.

IT Companies Create New Revenue Streams

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – In today’s economy, businesses are seeking new streams of revenue. For example, businesses that sell phone systems and computer equipment typically rely on new sales to generate revenue. But when potential clients cut costs, they’re less likely to purchase new equipment and systems with the same frequency. As a result, many are looking for steadier streams of revenue to tide them over between sales.
Luckily, some businesses are finding ways to create new streams of revenue for their clients. On Call Telecom (www.oncalltelecom.com), a company that holds partnerships with telecom companies such as Paetec and Qwest, helps create telecom solutions for businesses.
If a business sells phone systems and computer equipment, On Call Telecom can work with them, allowing them to offer telecom, voice and data plans, including services such as local, long distance, Internet access, voice, data, private lines, conferencing, Ethernet, and video services.
Because the payments go directly to the service providers, the providers pay a steady stream of monthly revenue to On Call Telecom and their hardware service partners.
“Creating solutions that enable companies that sell phone and computer hardware to offer voice and data solutions allows businesses to develop new streams of revenue, something that can help businesses survive today’s tough economy,” says John Finguerra, President of On Call Telecom.
“Those receiving monthly commissions for voice and data services don’t need to rely on hardware as their only source of revenue.”
Partnering with a service such as On Call Telecom also assists sales. The company provides an audit, which evaluates where businesses could cut their phone and Internet costs. After the audit, it may be easier to convince a business to make changes using their savings to upgrade their current phone and computer systems.
For more information, visit www.oncalltelecom.com.

Protect Your Car From Harsh Weather

(NewsUSA) – October is Fall Car Care Month—a perfect time to start thinking about protecting your vehicle from the harsh weather and conditions ahead.

Using a car cover can protect your car’s finish from destructive elements like moisture, which can seep into tiny cracks and dings and work against your paint from the inside out. The process of corrosion begins any time your car is subjected to very moist conditions. Eventually, moisture can separate the paint from the metal and cause the metal to oxidize. Come winter, salt from road maintenance crews will accelerate corrosion by slowing down drying times and causing a chemical reaction with the metal body of your car.

If you live where there’s a lot of snow, you know what a hassle it is to clear away frost, ice and snow from your car before driving away. Using a car cover when your vehicle is parked outside lets you avoid that time-consuming de-icing routine—not to mention the danger of driving with a frost-covered windshield.

If you regularly park under trees, a car cover can protect your vehicle from debris like falling leaves, acorns and pinecones—all of which can cause tiny chips in the paint, allowing moisture to creep in and do its dirty work. And don’t forget about tree sap. Those little droplets can produce permanent color changes and can etch paint. Pine sap is particularly dangerous, as it contains turpentine.

The best car cover for harsh fall and winter conditions is one that provides superior moisture protection without sacrificing the breathability your car needs underneath. Look for a multi-layer fabric cover that has a middle layer of microporous film, which will stop water, yet allow trapped condensation to evaporate.

The best news about car covers? Today’s covers can be custom-fit to follow the exact contours of a vehicle—even those with modifications or aftermarket accessories. Custom-fit covers are more tailored and don’t move around as much in the wind. Plus, they’re more affordable than you may think and are easier to install than ever.

Get a Better Grip About Driving on Wet Roads

GetAGripYour eyes can thank the abundant rainfall for all of the lush greenery popping up everywhere this season. And as your personal experience has probably taught you, the wetter roads also make driving potentially hazardous.

Russell Shepherd, a mechanical engineer for Michelin North America and self-proclaimed “tire nerd,” had earned his informal title with his 15 years of driving in almost every type of weather conceivable. His most concerning? Driving in the rain.

“Most people don’t realize how much wet roads affect their driving,” says Shepherd. “When roads become wet, it takes longer to stop and more time to react, making it more important than normal to pay attention to your car and other drivers.”

For the average driver, Shepherd suggests getting to the bottom of things first—starting with the tires. Here are some tips to help:

•    Check the tires regularly for tread wear and pressure. Different seasons and temperatures will affect tires, so it’s a good idea to check both.

•    Slow down. Traction is negatively affected as soon as it starts raining, so taking your time is paramount. It only takes a small amount of water to mix with oil and dust to create slick roads.

•    Pick the right tire. A tire with a grip designed to handle wet roads, such as the new Michelin Premier A/S tire, can be the difference between arriving safely at your destination or getting in an accident. This tire has a unique rubber compound engineered to maximize traction, and two sets of grooves to help wick water away from the tires to maintain traction. The second set of grooves is hidden when the tire is new, but emerges as the tire wears. This distinctive design feature maintains the tire’s ability to funnel water away, even when worn, which prolongs the life of the tire and raises driver safety.

•    Know your car. Take time to learn how your car responds on wet roads. If the steering seems looser, if you’re sliding when you brake, or if the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is kicking in, your tires could be losing their grip. In this case, slow down and get your tires checked as soon as possible.

For more information about wet-weather driving and choosing the right tire for you and your car, visit www.michelineman.com.

For Residential Solar, Homeowners Seek American-Made

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – With residential solar systems gaining popularity in the U.S., a growing number of consumers are choosing American-made solar panels for their homes. According to a national solar survey conducted in 2011, 82 percent of those polled support American solar manufacturing.
“We’ve all heard about the importance of manufacturing to the American economy,” said Robert Fortunato, whose California home hosts 26 solar panels made by SolarWorld in Hillsboro, Ore. “We selected our U.S.-made solar system for its quality, reliability and financial return, and because we think it’s important to support the companies and workers who are building tomorrow’s energy sources in America today.”
Solar installers and electricians offer a range of domestic products. “We only install American-made solar panels,” said Nancy Milford, president of SunLit Solar, a family-owned solar installation company in Medina, Ohio. “For our family and for our customers, it’s important to support the U.S. economy by selling and installing products that employ as many Americans as possible.”
According to industry experts, here are the top reasons that homeowners select solar panels from American manufacturers.
Quality and reliability. A residential solar system is effectively a power plant installed on a home rooftop, and it’s designed to last at least 25 years. Consumers trust American solar-panel manufacturers to stand behind their product guarantees because these companies rank high in quality, responsiveness to warranty claims, accessibility for customer service and compliance with safety requirements.
Sustainability. Sustainably-minded Americans see little logic in buying a solar system that was made in Asia and shipped via a diesel-burning cargo ship halfway around the world. Instead, green buyers select domestic solar panels, produced according to stringent environmental, labor and quality standards, to reduce the environmental impact.
Energy independence. For the U.S., solar power represents an important tool for achieving energy independence. Just as people believe the nation should not rely on the Middle East for imported oil, many also understand that America should not depend on foreign technology or manufacturing.
American job creation. The U.S. solar manufacturing industry employs thousands of Americans across the country. Study after study shows that technology and manufacturing jobs, with comparatively high wages and benefits, are the types of jobs that the U.S. should aspire to create and maintain. To learn more about American-made panels, visit www.solarworld.com/MadeinUSA.

Advice for Parents of Teen Drivers: How to Have the Car Talk

(NewsUSA) – Giving a 16-year-old their first set of car keys can feel like one or both of you just went skydiving without a parachute. As a parent, you’re relinquishing a certain amount of control when your child climbs behind the wheel. And that can be terrifying.

Car accidents are the number-one cause of death among teens in the U.S., so when it comes to driving, the majority of parental fears are warranted. It’s also important to remember to communicate the seriousness of the sudden responsibility. The experts at Trico Products are committed to making teen driving safer and encouraging parents to have a sit-down discussion with their children before they start driving.

To help make that conversation a little easier to navigate, TRICO has provided a road map of important points:

•    Seatbelt – Teenagers are more likely to shuffle through their iPod in search of a suitable playlist before they think about putting on their seatbelt. Be clear that fastening your seatbelt should be the very first thing you do before keys are even in the ignition.

•    Texting – There are enough distractions outside of the vehicle, so explain the importance of paying strict attention to the road at all times. Cell phones, music and passengers can be huge distractions, especially texting on your cell. Every second a teen takes their eyes of the road could be an opportunity for a terrible accident.

•    Drinking and driving – Make it known that no one under the age of 21 should be drinking. But teens will be teens, so emphasize the necessity of always having a designated driver. Make sure they understand it’s never too late to call for a ride home.

•    Defensive driving – New drivers should be hyper-sensitive to all surroundings, since they’re still developing basic skills and habits. Teach teenagers to watch out for other drivers and be aware of their reactions to avoid collisions.

•    Penalties – Discuss the fines associated with tickets, share a personal experience you had getting a ticket and sitting in traffic court. Let them know they will be responsible for any monetary repercussions or other consequences.

•    Roadside emergencies and maintenance – Go over what to do and whom to call in an emergency. Do they have roadside assistance and insurance information readily available? Make sure they know not to lose that information—it’s best to always keep it in the car. Introduce them to basic car maintenance, too, by taking them along for regular oil changes, tire rotations and inspections. That way, they can start scheduling their own appointments when necessary.

Engage in this conversation often to drive these points home and help teens make good decisions. Visit tricoproducts.com for additional help on driver safety and regular car maintenance.