Posts Tagged ‘green’

12 things x-mas list, part 4

December 15th, 2009 No comments

This is post of unreasonable things that I know I will never get but just want to fantasize about having…

First, the Brammo Enertia Electric Motorcycle

So first things first, it’s 100% electric. All its components can be recycled, including the batteries. It has a range of about 42 miles and can reach up to 65mph. And the batteries can be charged in about 4 hours, with 2,000 recharges possible.
For more on the specifications, check the Brammo website.

An interesting point on this bike is that the production requires less than 10% of the material resources needed for an average car, and it is manufactured in the US so the transportation costs in getting it delivered are minimal.

Also, they just dropped the price from $11,995 to $7,995. And since it is 100% electric you can also qualify for a government rebate so the final cost will be $7,195.
I love it. It looks great and is perfect for my needs. Of the three items in this post, this is the most accessible.
Check out your local Best Buy to test drive one (weird, I know, but whatevs).

Via Inhabitat Green Holiday Gift Guide

Going a little deeper into fantasy land we have the BMW Vision, a diesel plug-in hybrid that gets 63 mpg.


It can go up to 31 miles on electric only, perfect for commuters, and has a total range of 431 miles on 6.6 gallons of diesel.
Unfortunately this is a concept car and only prototypes have been produced. But this is a beautiful car. I mean, it’s gorgeous, actually. I love it. And I bet it’s a dream to drive. Too bad I’ll never get to. Sigh!


And finally, the show stopper. A car so beautiful and so futuristic looking as to inspire me to think of it as a hovercraft with wheels, the e-Wolf e2 all electric car.


Inspired most notably by Lamborghini and Ferrari, this all electric sports car should be going into production in 2011. Yes, that’s right. They are actually making this one!
So, specs?
0-60mph in under 4 seconds.
Top speed of 155 mph.
Possible range of 187 miles per charge (getting very near the Tesla range of 200 miles).

Maybe someday I’ll be able to race this thing along the pyrenees mountains and pretend that I’m a Bond girl, being chased by supervillians that want to destroy the world for their own financial gains and my mission is to stop them by using super gadgets, kung fu, and killer sports cars.
Ok, probably not, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

via Boing Boing gadgets

12 things x-mas list, part 3

December 4th, 2009 No comments

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a bit of a type A personality. I like things to be organized. But sometimes I get lazy about it so whenever I find something that aids in my quest to have an organized life I get super excited.
One of the things I don’t have very organized currently is my recycling station. It currently consists of one bin and one empty plastic kitty litter box (which itself is getting recycled).
I’d much rather have this:


The Mode Premium All-in-one Home Recycling center with mechanical compactor.
I believe there is a model without the can crusher. I almost never have aluminum cans to crush so I don’t need that. But the sleek design and separate compartments for different recyclables would be a smart addition to my apartment, and would look much much better than the makeshift bins I’m currently using (and take up less space).
And I like that you can get recyclable bin liners for it as well (for an extra $6.49).
The only question is if it is really worh the $250 price tag from
It seems kinda pricey for the capacity to be honest. If it was $100 less I probably wouldn’t hesitate.

via Inhabitat Green Gift Guide

New sources of plastic

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

One of the things we (consumers) take for granted is how much plastic we use. We all know plastic is made from oil (at least I hope we all know that). So I was curious to know what people were doing to figure out what to do when there is no more oil, or at least when it’s so scarce that making plastics out of it becomes no longer an option.
In an attempt to be green I’ve been trying to eliminate a lot of plastics. I don’t buy water in plastic bottles. I got a Klean Kanteen and fill it up from a filter. I use glass jugs and a metal ice cube tray. I have reusable grocery bags and don’t put produce in plastic bags. But this all adds up to a very minimal savings in plastic use. Realistically there is no way to get away from plastic in this day and age. recently had a few pieces on new plastic technology that I hope will really take off.

First, plastic made from plant glucose. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered a way to convert glucose from plant cellulose into something called HMF (5-hydroxymethylfurfural), a basic building block for fuel and other petroleum-based chemicals. And they’ve done it in a way that doesn’t create unwanted byproducts.

Next, scientists at Genomatica Inc have developed strains of bacteria that are able to produce plastic without the use of oil or natural gas. The process uses little more than sugar and water to produce butanediol (BDO), which can be manufactured into everything from plastics and fibers to pharmaceuticals. And the best part is that they estimate that the energy-efficient process will cost less than the current hydrocarbon process within a YEAR!
plastic bacteria 1

Finally, and this is a little different than the above since the following process is about recycling plastic, not making it (but I wanted to figure out how to get all the plastic articles into one post!)… A company in DC called Environ claims it can turn plastic into an oil-like fuel for just $10/barrel and it can be blended with other components and used as either gasoline or diesel. What’s significant about this is that the company has come up with a process that results in a net GAIN of energy (82% of all material that goes in is transformed into fuel). Previous attempts at turning plastic into fuel have resulted in a net loss of energy.

Green auto trends…

September 18th, 2009 No comments

GadgetMETER is all about trends. Technological trends. Well everything right now is trending towards green. Energy, architecture, automobiles. My friends in architecture say everything is going green. There is no debate about it. The future is green.
And that is the message that the Frankfurt Auto Show is sending now too (not surprisingly the American presence at the show was minimal, sadly).
I’ll admit, I’m not super into cars. I don’t even own one (anymore). But I’m hyper-aware of the impact cars have directly and indirectly on my own life and everyone else’s life as well. So I was super excited to see such green innovation in the cars at the show.
Here are a few of my favorites:

Audi’s R8-based all-electric sports car boasts four electric motors — two on each axle — and a lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the two-seat cabin for gravity and load distribution. It has an estimated combined-cycle driving range of 154 miles (248 km).
Currently just a concept but will hopefully be one of the ones that actually gets put into production.

The VW L1 turbodiesel hybrid claims 170 mpg or a 100 km on a little more than one liter (hence the name). It reportedly has rear-view TV cameras instead of mirrors, and a small 800cc engine that gets up to 99 mph (160 km/h) and 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 14.3 seconds. It weighs only 840 lbs (380 kg) with a streamlined body that may offer the most aerodynamic and be the “most fuel-efficient automobile in the world.”
I love this one. I admit, I’m a V-dub fan.

And finally, the Roadster from Tesla. The first in production all electric sports car. I’ve fantasized about owning one of these since I heard about them a few years ago. This is the only all electric car at the show that is currently in production and it makes me break out in sweats every time I see it it’s so hot.

I’d be proud to own and drive any of these. Maybe, someday, I will.

Via Inhabitat and CNET

Flow Kitchen shoots for no waste

September 15th, 2009 No comments

Flow Kitchen1
The flow kitchen is a concept designed to be a sustainable system where drying dishes helps water plants and composting food waste helps to fertilize them. It was designed by Oregon-based Studio Gorm, which has quite a few other interesting items I recommend checking out.

Drying dishes hanging from a vertical storage rack drip onto herbs and edible plants, which are grown in carefully positioned containers below. A double-walled terracotta container acts as a refrigerator, keeping the inside cool as water evaporates through the outer wall, while food scraps are broken down by worms in a composter and the resulting fertilizer is used in the herb boxes to grow more food.

This particular design may not be suitable for most indoor home kitchens, but it’s a good start. And it’s perfect for an outdoor kitchen, much like the one at Punta Mona, a sustainable living retreat I stayed at in Costa Rica several years ago.

Not too many people have outdoor kitchens though, so I can only hope that the Flow Kitchen is used as inspiration to create similar, more practical sustainable indoor flow kitchens that could realistically be built into just about any home.
I already know someone here in Austin who is using their kitchen runoff to water their outdoor garden. All you need to do is use biodegradable soaps and pipe the water where you want it to go (i.e. to the garden), and viola, no more wasting water and you have healthy green plants.


Generate Water from Air Using Solar Energy

February 24th, 2009 1 comment
Ersa Water From Air Using Solar Energy

Ersa Water From Air Using Solar Energy

I must say this is one of the most amazing scientific break-throughs. Ersa generates water from the air using Solar Energy (30W solar module). This has so much implications especially for third world countries where clean water is hard to find.  Scale it even bigger and we may never have famine again! Ersa also generates enough power to charge your cellphone and GPS devices. How perfect is that? We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear more.

The ChumAlong Solar Panel – Follows the Sun

February 15th, 2009 No comments
Solar Chumalong Panel

Chumalong Solar Panel

The ChumAlong Solar Panel is coming at a great time. As the weather is clearing up and sun is now shining, solar energy can be put to good renewable use. The Solar ChumAlong is not just any ordinary solar panel. It has features from the most advanced (and expensive) power stations but can also be suitable for your around the house gadgets. The neat feature the Solar ChumAlong has is the ability to follow the Sun as it moves along during the day. This is a great feature since you don’t have to move it every hour or so to attract the solar energy. This is 50% more efficient than stationary solar devices.

However, this advanced feature does add to the cost. This is due to the Micro-controller Technology that is required for automated positioning by using a gear axis shaft and optical sensors.  The cost doesn’t stop there. You will also need to get extra 12vdc batteries since it doesn’t come with them at another 30 USD. On another the downside, it is a relatively weak solar panel generating 5 W only. The ChumAlong Solar Panel runs about 400 USD as a lightweight portable solar panel.

Solar ChumAlong has only one very strong feature to differentiate it from the other solar panels. Just like a sunflower, ChumAlong follows the sun as it moves along during the day. How important that is? Well, in a perfectly sunny day it can produce up to 50 percents more power than it would gather in static. Overall solar tracking system produces plus 30 percents to average figures. Making this possible made ChumAlong this expensive. Positioning requires a special Micro-controller Technology, worm gear axis shaft and optical sensors. And there we are, 400 USD for a portable solar panel. It is also easy to adjust and light to carry, but it has some drawbacks also. Solar ChumAlong is capable of producing 5 W only. And probably the worst thing is that the device doesn’t come with a battery which you will obviously need, hence add at least another 30 USD for 12vdc battery expenses.

It may still be a few more years until solar panels become more affordable for the average consumer and produce industrial strength power. However, if you have the money and REALLY love the sun and a gadget geek, this maybe for you.

Via Gadget Reviews