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mardi 22 septembre 2009

xFruits - Green Living - Building, Home, Auto & Lifestyles - 1 nouvel article

Green Living - Building, Home, Auto & Lifestyles copy

This Pipe feed is a compilation of most popular Green Living Blogs. It includes RSS feeds from such sites like Treehugger, Inhabitat, Autobloggreen, Greenbean, Dwell and many other top blogs. Topics include building green, home improvement ideas, green automobile reviews, new technology, gadgets, lifestyles, cooking, shopping and everything else that can be done to reduce our waste and at the same time improve our quality of live.

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2009-09-22 21:22


lundi 21 septembre 2009

xFruits - Green Living - Building, Home, Auto & Lifestyles - 100 nouveaux articles

Green Living - Building, Home, Auto & Lifestyles copy

This Pipe feed is a compilation of most popular Green Living Blogs. It includes RSS feeds from such sites like Treehugger, Inhabitat, Autobloggreen, Greenbean, Dwell and many other top blogs. Topics include building green, home improvement ideas, green automobile reviews, new technology, gadgets, lifestyles, cooking, shopping and everything else that can be done to reduce our waste and at the same time improve our quality of live.

Readers, Send Us Photos of All Your Electronics In a Pile - How Many?  

2009-09-22 12:05

electronic-pile.jpg We might just cry if your pile looks anything like this. Credit Gizmodo Do you still rock out to a walkman or walk down the street with a boom-box slung over your shoulder? Buy your tapes from thrift stores and electronics second-hand? Still gabbing away on a cell phone from the mid-90s? Has your computer lasted for years on end like Trevor's ten year old Powerbook? Or have you replaced/ ecycled t...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Herzog + de Meuron's Hamburg Philharmonic Breaks Ground  

2009-09-22 05:00

architecture, elbphilharmonie, design, herzog and de meuron, germany, daylighting, hamburg

Officials have recently unveiled the new design for the Elbphilharmonie, the new home for the Hamburg Philharmonic to be inaugurated in 2012. The concert hall is currently being constructed in the industrial quarter of HafenCity, an area undergoing major revitalization with the conversion of hundreds of dated warehouses. As one of the more understated German cities, Hamburg is hoping the striking design by architects Herzog + de Meuron will bring the sort of landmark cultural transformation that was seen more than a decade ago in Bilbao, Spain with the opening of Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum. But such a transformation won’t come cheap, with a price tag upwards of 323 million Euros, some are asking “Is it really worth it?”

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Post tags: Architecture, Daylighting, Design, elbphilharmonie, germany, herzog and de meuron


StreetFilms Covers PARK(ing) Day in NYC and San Francisco  

2009-09-22 00:52

Thanks to All Those Who Took Part in PARK(ing) Day 2009! If you don't know what PARK(ing) Day the videos (above and below) by our friends at StreetFilms are a good intro. It shows just how much fun the event can be, and h...Read the full story on TreeHugger

China and the U.S. Could Fix Climate -- If Leaders Let Them: Duke...  

2009-09-22 00:15

james-rogers-john-kerry-climate-week-nyc.jpgChinese and American companies are eager to find ways to cooperate and work with each others' country, provided their governments support them, Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, said at a Climate Week NY°C panel discussion on China-US energy issues today. He was sitting next to Sen. John Kerry, who is leading the push in the Senate to pass climate legislation. It will someday be "hard to tell if these companies are Chinese or American," Rogers said, referring to two China-based, US-linked renewable energy compa...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Google Maps Earth's Carbon Cycle  

2009-09-22 00:11

google earth carbon layer image Image via NASA Google Earth has a new application that shows carbon dioxide in different layers of the earth's atmosphere. Tyler Erickson, a geospatial researcher at the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor, responded to a competition call from Google asking scientists to present research results using KML, a data format used by Google Earth. This is what he came up with - an app that illustrates for us the carbon cycle, a deeper understanding of which can impact everything from mainstream understanding of carbon emissions to environmental polic...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Undisturbed, Prehistoric Sand Dune Discovered at Michigan State...  

2009-09-21 23:57

sand dunes michigan state university Photo: Courtesy MSU. The sprawling campus of Michigan State University takes in 5,200 acres. There are trees that shade the landscape and a Grand River that runs through it. Researchers have just found a 16,000- to 20,000-year-old sand dune on the campus, too, beneath a grove of pine trees....Read the full story on TreeHugger

Does Organic Also Mean Sustainable or Just Non-Toxic?  

2009-09-21 23:50

Family Farm Versus Corporate Farm Photo Family farm versus corporate farm. Image via: Chumlee10 on Did you know quite a few, if not most, of organic food companies these days are actually owned by major labels that you stopped supporting years ago? Is that really a problem, since it means that organic is available just about everywhere these days, or does it mean the movement has lost part of its soul? New article by the Rea...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Newsweek's Green Ranking: Who Topped the List?  

2009-09-21 23:33

smokestack.jpg Photo credit: Señor Codo/Flickr As a tool for quick comparison, Newsweek's Green Ranking is a commendable effort. But who is actually at the top of the list and what did they do to get there?...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Newsweek Releases a Green Ranking of America's Biggest Companies  

2009-09-21 23:12

newsweek-green-rankings.jpgA cap-and-trade bill in Congress and the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December have serious implications for the way businesses treat the environment. Already, many companies have made an effort to reduce resource consumption and green house gas emissions. In response, Newsweek has created a ranking to recognize such efforts....Read the full story on TreeHugger

"A Better World by Design" Conference: Students Rethinking our...  

2009-09-21 22:15

a-better-world-by-design-09.jpgA group of Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design students have organized the second annual "A Better World by Design" Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. It's being held between both campuses which are in close proximity to each other from Friday, October 2nd to Sunday the 4th. The conference will focus heavily on design, integrative thinking, and social and environmental change, to excite professionals and students alike on the potential of ideas and collaboration across disciplines....Read the full story on TreeHugger

Bio-Fuel Growing Eco Pods Rejuvenate Stalled Boston Project  

2009-09-21 22:00

filene development, stalled project, howeler + yoon, boston, boston globe, bio-fuel, bio-fuel producing algae, algae, eco pods, algae eco pods, prefab

Halted in November 2008, mid-construction, the Filene development in downtown Boston is currently barely even a shell of a building. The bones of the building are up, but sub street level a giant hole leaves a gouge in the city’s plan. Undaunted, Höweler + Yoon Architecture and Squared Design teamed up to design a vertical tower of prefabricated “eco pods” filled with bio-fuel producing algae for the space. The new tower would act as a center to test new algae species and different growing methods.

filene development, stalled project, howeler + yoon, boston, boston globe, bio-fuel, bio-fuel producing algae, algae, eco pods, algae eco pods, prefab filene development, stalled project, howeler + yoon, boston, boston globe, bio-fuel, bio-fuel producing algae, algae, eco pods, algae eco pods, prefab filene development, stalled project, howeler + yoon, boston, boston globe, bio-fuel, bio-fuel producing algae, algae, eco pods, algae eco pods, prefab filene development, stalled project, howeler + yoon, boston, boston globe, bio-fuel, bio-fuel producing algae, algae, eco pods, algae eco pods, prefab

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World's First Floating Wind Turbine Swtiches On  

2009-09-21 21:59

Philip Proefrock

hywindfloatingturbineThe energy company Statoil has begun operation of the first full-size Hywind floating wind turbine at a location 10 kilometers off the Norwegian coast. What is remarkable about this turbine is that is is floating in the water, rather than being rigidly attached to the ocean floor.

Everyone who has paid attention to the issues of off-shore wind turbines knows that there are advantages to having constant, unobstructed winds to drive the turbines. But shorelines are prized for more than their energy potential. The numerous delays and lawsuits that sought to stop the Cape Wind project in the US show just how contentious the issue can be. But the Hywind turbine offers a new potential for offshore wind.

For a couple of years, EcoGeek been following the development of deep-water off-shore wind turbines which can avoid the largest problems typically associated with off-shore turbines. The Norwegian utility company StatoilHydro has been at the forefront of developing this with their Hywind project.

Statoil has decades of experience with operating deep sea drilling platforms for North Sea oil production, and is using that technology to support a wind turbine in deep water.

The test Hywind turbine's location is comparable to the location of the Cape Wind offshore wind farm project on Nantucket Sound. Simulated images prepared for Cape Wind show the visual impact of 258 foot (78.6 meter) high turbines with 365 foot (111.3 meter) diameter rotors located roughly 6 miles (10 kilometers) off shore.

The difference between the two is that Cape Wind is situated in Nantucket Sound because the waters are so shallow that the turbines can be mounted to the seafloor there. The Hywind turbine, however, lies in much deeper water - able to be located in waters with a depth of 120 to 700 meters (394 to 2297 feet). The Hywind test location was kept close to shore to make the testing easier and to minimize the need for very long power cables returning to shore.

In an actual installation, Hywind turbines could be located in a large field (making up for the greater cable length with efficiencies of larger numbers of turbines) well off shore and away from scenic views as well as shipping lanes. Deepwater installations become feasible when the turbines do not need to extend all the way down to the sea floor.

Thanks, John B!

Link: Statoil Hydro


New Treatment Could Eliminate Demand for Tropical Hardwoods  

2009-09-21 21:54

Philip Proefrock

kebonyAn alternative to tropical hardwoods, which are often unsustainably harvested and increasingly endangered, comes from Kebony, a Norwegian company who have developed a process for treating woods such as pine, ash, and maple to make them suitable for exterior uses in a more sustainable manner.

The process of kebonization is similar to pressure treating wood (which is another way to make soft woods usable for exterior use). But, instead of soaking the wood in toxic chemicals like chromated copper asrsenate (CCA, which is now banned for most uses in the US and the EU) or alkaline copper quaternary compounds (ACQ, the most widely used replacement for CCA after the ban), it is instead soaked in furfuryl alcohol, a waste byproduct from sugar cane which is also sometimes used as a food additive. There are no special handling requirements or precautions needed to deal with waste from this wood, and it can be disposed of just like any other untreated wood.

During the kebonization process, the alcohol becomes a resin that reinforces the cells of the wood. The result is a wood with excellent outdoor exposure tolerance like teak or mahogany, but with a harder surface than many of the tropical woods that it replaces. The wood also naturally fades to a silvery-grey color much like those tropical woods, as well.

The wood that is used in this process can be any of a number of non-tropical species that are already being produced in more sustainable manner. (Whether FSC certified or merely conventionally farmed, the wood does not need to be harvested out of rainforests.)

Kebony wood can also be used for building siding, and it is so water and weather resistant that it has even been used for building roofs and for boat decking. The process also makes the wood less prone to swelling due to moisture. There is no necessity to paint Kebony wood, and it can withstand decades of exposure to the weather before any maintenance is necessary.

via: The Economist and Thanks, Kat


Bicycle Diaries: David Byrne Bikes the World's Cities  

2009-09-21 21:50

bicycle diaries, david byrne, public space, urban design, infrastructure, transportation, bike, art, culture

For most people, bicycles represent a means of transportation, a fun activity, or even objects of affection. For David Byrne they’re much more – they offer a unique opportunity to experience the culture, history, and vitality contained within our built environment. Due for release today, Bicycle Diaries is a freewheeling travelogue that finds Byrne pedaling through the cities of the world as he expounds upon architecture, infrastructure, and life within the world’s great cities.

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Recycled Truck Tarp Hats Used in Zombieland Movie  

2009-09-21 21:41

Woody Harrelson Wearing Real Deal Brazil Hat PhotoWant to fight zombies and look like a badass at the same time? Well, now you can with the hat worn in the Zombieland movie. It's made from repurposed materials so you can protect the planet from zombies and excess waste at the same time. ...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Bosch Hole Saws – Universal Quick Change Kits  

2009-09-21 21:39


Bosch like many other manufacturers offer Hole Saws in many sizes and varieties however Bosch offers their entire hole saw line with the Universal Quick Change System. The quick change system is a significant time saver when switch between hole saws; it only takes a few seconds to simply unlock the mandrel and replace it with a new hole saw.

Bi-Metal Hole Saws – These are you typical all purpose type hole saw, good for wood, metal and other construction materials. The Bosch Bi-Metal hole saws are available in several kits including 17, 19 & 25 piece. The kits have a high number of pieces because the quick change adaptors are separate and include 7-11 in each kit. The adaptors also work on most other brands of competitors hole saws.

Carbide Tip Hole Saws – These hole saws have serious diamond sharpened carbide teeth and are ideal for wood, laminate, cementboard, masonry, roof tiles and many other materials. Incredibly strong and long lasting the quick change adaptor is built into each bit. The Kits are available in 5 & 8 piece.

Diamond Grit Hole Saws – The newest line of hole saws for Bosch, the Diamond Grit saws are made to cut marble, granite, tile and other hard materials. These hole saws do require water to stay cool; typically provided by a spray bottle. The individual hole saws above ¾” work with Universal Quick Change System and have the adaptors build in. They use the AutoStart pin to ensure a perfectly centered hole, another unique feature for Bosch. The Mini Diamond Hole Saws (3/16”-5/8”) don’t require the Quick Change Mandrel and will work in any standard drill. The Kits are available in 7 & 11 piece.

Checkout the video below if you still have questions on the Bosch Quick Change System and if that doesn’t do the job feel free to give the pros at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424 or email      

Quick Change


U.S. Gives 2.5x More Subsidies to Fossil Fuels ($72 Billion) Than...  

2009-09-21 21:26

earth in oil fossil fuels photo"Subsidies to fossil fuels, a mature, developed industry that has enjoyed government support for many years, totaled approximately $72 billion" A new study (pdf) by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) reviewed fossil fuel and energy subsidies in the U.S. for fiscal years 2002 to 2008. It concludes, sadly but unsurprisingly, that fossil fuels are still getting a lot more help from the government than renewables despite the recent increases. But what's worse is that the majority of those subsidies and tax breaks are...Read the full story on TreeHugger

We Can't Have Just Any Deal in Copenhagen - We Need a Fair,...  

2009-09-21 21:21

kumi naidoo photo TckTckTck chair Kumi Naidoo (left) speaking in the press scrum after the Climate Week NY°C opening ceremony. Photo: Matthew McDermott. While most of the speeches at the Climate Week NY°C opening ceremony were your normal diplomatic fare -- earnest with carefully chosen words -- those of TckTckTck chairman Kumi Naidoo really stood out. Though politely agreeing with the notion expressed by Tony Blair and others that we must not make the perfect the enemy of the good in Copenhagen, he went on to l...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Climate Week NY°C Kicks Off with Crossed Arms, Wagging Fingers &...  

2009-09-21 20:45

climate week nyc opening ceremony photo photo: The Climate Group Climate Week NY°C began officially with an opening ceremony in the New York Public Library in Bryant Park. Attended by distinguished diplomats such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former UK prime minister Tony Blair, US climate negotiator Read the full story on TreeHugger

Harvard Receives More LEED Certs Than Any Other University  

2009-09-21 20:35

Olympic Swimming Pool in Beijing China Photo Harvard green buildings conserve enough water to fill five of these pools each year. Harvard just earned itself one more (green) distinction this week with its 20th LEED certification, more than any other university in the world (and more than the rest of the ivy league combined. Take that!). The Zhuang Lab was the happy recipient of green renovations and upgrades, and helps the school save a total of $680,000 in utilities annually....Read the full story on TreeHugger

Isoude: Gorgeous Green Fashion That's Built to Last (Slideshow)  

2009-09-21 20:18

green-fashion-isoude pink silk gown photo Image courtesy of Isoude A couple of years ago, I made the New Year's resolution that my new clothing purchases would be limited to green garments. With the quality and selection of green fashion that's become available recently, it's been a promise that has been increasingly easy to stick to. But although selection has increased drastically, the majority of stylish designs have centered on the downtown hipster look. That's all well and good for keeping green mainstream and hip...except for one thing: Hip trends come and go wit...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Plastic Concrete: Building Bricks Made From Landfill Waste  

2009-09-21 20:00

sustainable design, green design, recycled materials, concrete, cement, henry miller, concrete thinking for a sustainable world, building materials

Recent RPI Masters of Architecture graduate Henry Miller has devised a way to reuse waste plastic as an aggregate in cement, circumventing the energy-intensive process of plastic recycling. By grinding up landfill-bound plastic and mixing it with portland cement, Miller was able to create a material just as strong as traditional concrete made with mined aggregate. The ingenious solution netted miller first place in the “Component Category” of the second annual Concrete Thinking for a Sustainable World competition.

Plastic Concrete Plastic Concrete

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Post tags: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, building materials, concrete, Henry Miller, Plastic Aggregate Concrete, Plastic Concrete, Portland Cement Association, Recycled Concrete, Recycled Materials, RPI


Eco-Beat, 9/21  

2009-09-21 20:00

Did Gisele just become the sexiest climate crusader on the planet? Could rebel forces have defeated the Empire forces if they relied on hippie tactics? How is global warming helping the world's secret agents? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the latest green news and tips.

Gisele Bundchen, credit: Stan Honda, Getty ImagesGisele Uses Hotness to Fight Global Warming
The expectant mother (and part-time cartoon eco-superhero) became an official Goodwill Ambassador for the environment today in NYC. Gisele will be exploiting her star power to make sure the planet is safe for her and Tom Brady's super baby.

Darth Vader, credit: Phil Gilham, Getty ImagesWhat if Star Wars Was Written by Eco-Hippies?
This awesome video imagines a not-so-thrilling "Star Wars: A New Hope" in which the rebels use non-violent civil disobedience to thwart the emperor's plans to destroy planets haphazardly. Can boycotts, hunger strikes, and pie throwing vanquish Vader?

Google shirt, credit: Andrew-Hyde, FlickrAdvice on Finding Green Advice
Perhaps the greatest challenge for anyone who wants an eco-friendly lifestyle is finding reliable, accurate information on what techniques are actually worth their carbon savings. Grist's advice guru gives you some tips on mining through the green "data."

Dr. Evil, credit: Getty ImagesMelting Icecaps Expose Dr. Evil's Secret Lair
If you're the type who always looks for the silver lining, you'll be happy to know that the fictitious hideouts of fictitious evil masterminds are being exposed by melting ice sheets, according to The Onion. Even evil geniuses didn't anticipate how quickly their ice lairs would thaw.

tomato traffic light, credit: AnyaLogic, FlickrPeeing On Your Tomato Plants: Yea or Nay?
Although researchers in Finland have found that urine is an excellent fertilizer for tomato plants, (and that said tomatoes are both high in protein and fit for consumption) peeing on something you plan to eat just seems wrong ... it's like eating in the bathroom.
Green in a Flash:

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US Carbon Emissions Down 9% Over Last Two Years  

2009-09-21 19:46

us-carbon-emssions-down-2007.jpgSince 2007, emissions in the United States have dropped a startling 9%, ending an entire century of rising emissions. And while many will be quick to point to the recession and high gas prices as the main cause for the flagging emissions, other factors, like increased energy efficiency and much more power coming from renewable sources, have played a prominent role as well. ...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Dow Jones Names Nokia the World's Most Sustainable Tech Company  

2009-09-21 19:36

nokia screenshot imageNow here's something to stretch your imagination: Nokia as the world's most sustainable technology company. Maybe, maybe not - something like this is sure to entice debate. But according to Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, that's how it rolls out when looking at how over 2,500 companies in 50 countries incorporate sustainability into their practices. ...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Nissan Leaf Electric Car to Emit Sound Similar to Blade Runner's...  

2009-09-21 19:22

nissan leaf electric car photo Leaf EV Photo: Nissan Ridley Scott's "Spinners" Still Inspire After spending decades trying to make cars quieter, engineers are not faced with the opposite problem; electric cars (and hybrids when they run in electric mode) can be very quiet, leading to safety concerns (more on that below). Nissan's sound engineers are currently working on the Leaf EV, and they announced something that movie geeks are sure to appreciate......Read the full story on TreeHugger

Chrysler Replaces Dead Tree Owner Manuals with DVDs, Saves 20,000...  

2009-09-21 19:20

chrysler liberty owner manual dvd photo Photo: Chrysler Next Step: Online-Only Manuals? The owner manuals of many vehicles are 500 pages long and can weight up to 4 pounds. Chrysler has decided to save some trees (and cash) by going all digital for 2010. DVDs will be provided will all the information expected from a paper manual, but video tutorials will also be included to make things extra clear (in case the vehicle is so badly designed that you can't figure out how to do something by yourself...). Chrysler predicts that this move will save about 20,000 trees per year....Read the full story on TreeHugger

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Diverts Almost 100% Stormwater...  

2009-09-21 19:07

stormwater-runoff-into-pond.jpg Sample Stormwater Runoff into Pond. Image via: Stark Environmental Through a neat program, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is diverting 84% of their stormwater runoff and keeping it for use around campus, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. They're also getting part of it paid for through grants. Find out where and how after the jump....Read the full story on TreeHugger

Slideshow: Green Wheels of the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show  

2009-09-21 19:01

smart ev frankfurt 2009 photo
This year's Frankfurt Auto Show was an explosion of new green vehicles. With extravagant displays and more than 80 world-premiers, this year's show lived up to its reputation as the auto event to watch. It was also the year of green transportation: we venture to say that no major car show has been more jam packed with electric cars, hybrids, fuel cells, low-carbon diesels, and hybrids of every imaginable species. So take a browse through our slideshow of Frankfurt highlights and pick your favorites. Read the full story on TreeHugger

Killspencer Bags Salvaged From Battle-Tested Materials  

2009-09-21 19:01

sustainable design, green design, killspencer, recycled materials, luggage, bags, men's fashion, military truck tarps, spencer nikosey

A lot of you have asked us to cover simple, practical, sustainable pieces in addition to our couture eco-fashion coverage and we think that makes a lot of sense. But there’s no reason that utilitarian has to mean dowdy. Case in point, these slick and super durable Killspencer bags made from recycled military truck tarps and coated cotton canvas. Our very own Mike Chino brought them to our attention, and we love the fact that each bag is handmade in LA, features top-caliber hardware, and can withstand the beating that our modern lives are sure to put them through.


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HP Announces Commitment to Reduce GHGs by 40% by 2011  

2009-09-21 19:01

hp headquarters sign photo Photo via daylife Computer and electronics manufacturer HP announced today its goal to reduce its energy consumption and green house gas emissions of its products to 40% under its 2005 levels, all by 2011. As the Greenpeace tagging incident underscored, HP doesn't always stick to its target dates; however, it plans on meeting not only that goal, but also another big goal for 2013 that targets one giant C02-spewing area of its operati...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Gimme A Thermal Break: Get Rid of Radiator Fin Balconies  

2009-09-21 17:50

thermalbridge.jpg Image via archtechnik Writing this morning about Studio Gang's Aqua Building, I was reminded of my discussion with Alexander Krenczik, who is trying to introduce thermal break systems that would eliminate the heat loss through balconies. He complained that nobody was interested in North America: ...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Omega Hydroponic Garden Gets Five Times As Much Food Per Watt  

2009-09-21 17:40

omega garden hydroponic urban gardening local food photo 1We often wonder about the benefits of indoor hydroponic gardening, given that the sun is free. After all, Illegal hydroponic installations are often discovered by their abnormally high electricity use. Last month Sami introduced us to the Omega Garden system; looking at it a bit more closely I wonder, can it make high tech urban gardening economically feasible and actually more energy efficient than growing outdoors? But Vancouver based Omega Garden's Carousel system rotates the plants around the bulb. They claim that it yields three to...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Watershed: Recycled Bottle Eco Art Hits Age of Stupid Premier  

2009-09-21 17:30

sustainable design, green design, recycled materials, age of stupid, watershed, water bottles, eco-art, mslk

Only 14% of plastic water bottles are recycled, and Americans add 30 million PET water bottles to landfills every day! Design firm MSLK has made its statement about plastic bottle use with Watershed, a series of bottle-droplets hanging in rain-like strings from a massive tree. The installation will be showcased at tonight’s Age of Stupid opening and will then travel to the D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge festival, carrying with it some hefty statistics about guilt and trash-making.

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Hugh Jackman Kicks off Climate Week in NYC  

2009-09-21 17:04

Filed under: Celebrities, Activism, Climate Change

Hugh Jackman, Sexiest Man Alive. Credit: Junko Kimura for Getty Images

The UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) is less than three months away. This week in New York City, government and business leaders from around the world are gathering for meetings and events to demonstrate their support for strong action on climate change at COP15: Climate Week NY°C.

2008 Sexiest Man Alive and Global Ambassador for humanitarian organization World Vision Hugh Jackman will be in attendance to kick off Climate Week NY°C and "speak on behalf of the billion people in developing countries who will be the hardest hit by changing weather patterns, by the droughts and floods that destroy their crops and threaten their food security."

I think seeing Hugh Jackman is reason enough to show up, but for the more strictly climate-issue-minded, there will be a dizzying array of NY°C events from which to choose, including:

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PICNIC'09 in Amsterdam: Green Challenge & Cradle to Cradle Amongst...  

2009-09-21 16:44

PICNIC09 imageSeptember is PICNIC month in Amsterdam! This year's media, technology, entertainment, art and science festival seems yet a little bit greener than last year, and promises to be inspiring with Cradle to Cradle workshop labs this week....Read the full story on TreeHugger

Aqua Tower Gets Proggy from PETA for Being Bird Friendly  

2009-09-21 16:41

chicago studio gang high rise construction bird friendly exterior photo Edward Lifson PETA isn't just worried about fur; they care about birds, too, and just gave a PETA "Proggy" award to Studio Gang for the bird-friendly features on its Aqua Tower....Read the full story on TreeHugger

Is Kevin Rudd The Climate Hero We've Been Looking For?  

2009-09-21 16:36

kevin-rudd-climate-champ.jpg Photo via Flickr Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has positioned his country and himself as a honest broker in the international climate negotiations, and he is in New York this week to help get the stalled talks moving again. Australia is said to working behind-the-scenes on the legal framework for a new climate treaty and on methods to finance developing countries' efforts to adapt to climate change and the technology to develop in a low carbon way....Read the full story on TreeHugger

REMINDER: The Age of Stupid Opens Nationwide TONIGHT!!!!  

2009-09-21 16:03

We’ve been raving about British dystopian climate-change docudrama The Age of Stupid ever since we previewed the provocative film this summer, and today, we are thrilled to say that the film is OPENING IN THE U.S. TONIGHT! The film is highly entertaining, inspiring and provocative – certain to make you think, whatever your politics and your opinions on climate-change – so get yourself to a theater tonight to see the premiere! As you know, the success and box office run of any film has a lot to do with how many tickets are sold on opening night, so lets all try to help this indie film succeed! The Age of Stupid has a CRITICAL MESSAGE that we should all support, so do your part and go see the film tonight – you won’t regret it! Look for tickets in your area here >

The Inhabitat team will be attending the New York premiere tonight at Chelsea Cinema with the two lucky winners of our ticket giveaway: Be Veg Go Green and simple411. There are still tickets to the screening available, and we’d like to invite any other eco New Yorkers who want to see this film to join the Inhabitat team tonight!

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Awesome Tour of a Permaculture Allotment (Video)  

2009-09-21 15:26

mike feingold permaculture photo Image credit: EmbodyBruce From permaculture design principles, to close mimicry of natural ecosystems, Permaculture is usually taught as a fairly methodical design discipline. But I learned about it somewhat differently. I make no apologies here for my bias in writing about my friend Mike Feingold - teacher, gardener, and co-conspirator who has been introducing the world, and Bristol, England in parti...Read the full story on TreeHugger

On Climate Change 'We're Screwed'! - The Yes Men Spoof New York Post  

2009-09-21 15:21

yes men new york spoof paper imageIf you don't live in New York City or otherwise know the style of the New York Post's style of headline and coverage, you may not get how serious cool this is, but trust me it is. Activist group The Yes Men have taken the Post's no-nonsense approach and really laid out what likely to happen should the international community really get its collective act together on climate change. Basically we're screwed:...Read the full story on TreeHugger

5 Places Riding Your Bike is Banned or Illegal (You'll Be Surprised)  

2009-09-21 15:06

Underwater-Bicycle-Racing.png Photo by ascendeddaniel via flickr. Because the bike is one of the most efficient forms of transportation ever devised by man, it is sometimes hard for us hard-riding bicycle proponents to remember that not everybody loves bicycles. In fact, escalating road rage shows just how much some people can't abide bikes. What's amazing is that so many places exist in the world where it is actually illegal to ride a bike. Perhaps the funniest example is Baldwin Park, Californi...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Joules, the Tandem Bike Robot that Pedals for You (Video)  

2009-09-21 14:51

joules pedal power robot image Images via Endless Sphere If you have a tandem bike but no one to ride it with you, perhaps Joules could be your partner. The robot's creator, Carl, devised Joules after being challenged to create a tandem electric bike based on actual pedal pumping, plus try to make it effective enough to manage the steep hills in Carl's neighborhood. Turns out, Joules does all the pedaling! Check out the robot in action after the jump....Read the full story on TreeHugger

Technology on International Space Station Will Map Out Earth's...  

2009-09-21 14:25

island view from space photo Photo via Ethan Hein, CC BY 2.0 When it comes to mapping out Earth's coastlines and getting a detailed record of them globally, what better spot to set up shop than 225 miles overhead? The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) - new technology that has just reached the International Space Station - is expected to give scientists their first detailed look at the planet's coasts, helping us to monitor and measure environmental characteristics. But who will use the information is a bit of a...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Good Front Porches are Science as Well As Art  

2009-09-21 14:16

new urbanism front porch design image Steve Mouzon Front porches are wonderful inventions; they provide an intermediate buffer zone that let you actually build more closely to the street, and they help bind neighbourhoods together. They are also often hit-or-miss; sometimes they work and sometimes they just sit there empty. Steve Mouzon at The Original Green channels his inner Dr. McCoy as a qualifier (I'm an architect, Jim, not a social scientist!) but comes up with a formula for getting it right, changing what used to be an art into a bit of a scie...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Team Earth Uses Social Networking to Save Tropical Rainforests (Video)  

2009-09-21 13:51

mac and whirrled peas photo Photo via Daquella manera Social networking and social media are proving to be among our most powerful tools for mobilizing people to action. Twitter has helped groups engage followers for good causes, such as charity: water's twestival, and there are even social networks created specifically for green causes like WiserEarth and Read the full story on TreeHugger

Low-Carbon Goods And Services Revenues Top Aerospace & Defense,...  

2009-09-21 13:27

nuclear industry capacity factors image Over the past two decades, US nuclear power plants have achieved increasingly higher capacity factors with the same or greater levels of safety. Image credit:Nuclear Energy Institute HSBC Bank is reporting higher cumulative global revenues from "low-carbon" businesses than for the combined 'jets, rockets, and bombs' sector. While HSBC's inclusion of nuclear power in ...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Carbon Nanotubes Could Create Better Solar Cells  

2009-09-21 13:00

Solar carbon nanotubes, sustainable design, renewable energy, cornell university, renewable power

Creating the perfect solar cell (i.e. a cell that’s both efficient and cheaply produced) is certainly a work in progress. Researchers across the world have attempted to create cells from silicon, plastic and even human hair! Now, researchers at Cornell University came up with another concept: crafting solar cells from carbon nanotubes. Though still in the very early stages of development, if perfected, carbon nanotube-based cells could provide a more efficient method of converting light to electricity.

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Post tags: carbon nanotubes, cheap and efficient solar cells, cornell university, green design, Paul McEuen, plastic solar cells, renewable energy, sustainable design


Evolver: Spiraling Viewing Structure In the Alps  

2009-09-21 05:00

wooden structure, zermatt, switzerland, matterhorn, viewing structure, spiraling structure

Evolver is an elegantly spiraling viewing structure constructed completely from wood that is located next to a clear alpine lake near Zermatt, Switzerland. Designed and built by second year students of the ALICE studio at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, this alpine structure provide a more interactive way to take in the views of the glorious mountains – especially the Matterhorn.

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Mr. Larkin: A Gorgeous and Truly Innovative Eco-Fashion Collection  

2009-09-20 20:51

mr. larkin gorgeous ombre dress, mr. larkin, mr. larkin, eco-fashion, green fashion, sustainable style, the green shows, ecouterre, new york fashion week

We’ve known about eco-fashion line Mr. Larkin for some time, but did not expect to be as blown away by the skill, innovation and sheer beauty of Casey Larkin’s Spring 2010 collection as we were at last week’s Green Shows. With a refined color palette of dusty pinks, silvery greys and breezy whites (hand dyed from natural materials like berries, twigs and leaves!), and innovative-yet-flattering silhouettes, Mr. Larkin is so seductive and fabulous that even the most non-sustainable fashionistas will want to be his Mrs.! Check out what we loved most about Mr. Larkin and see all of our fabulous photos of the styles we predict will be next spring and summer’s most coveted garments at our new eco-fashion design website Ecouterre!


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NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: Top 5 Green Runway Shows  

2009-09-20 13:00

top 5 eco fashion shows, new york fashion week 2009, green shows, eco fashion, sustainable fashion

New York Fashion Week is finally drawing to a close, and we’re psyched to report that the presence of environmentally savvy fashion was fiercer than ever before! The launch of The GreenShows last week – an event showcasing seven different eco fashion designers under one roof is proof that eco design is finally starting to make an impact on mainstream culture. If you missed the green runway shows, don’t fret – we’ve got the scoop on all of them, and pics of our favorite eco fashion designers right after the jump.

top 5 eco fashion shows, new york fashion week 2009, green shows, eco fashion, sustainable fashion

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Post tags: Bahar Shahpar, bodkin, ecouterre, green fashion, john patrick organic, mr. larkin, new york fashion week, susan woo


PARK(ing) Day 2009 Transforms Parking Spaces Into Public Parks  

2009-09-19 18:57


Park(ing) Day! Parking space invasion day! The day to roll out some sod, fire up the barbeque, and set out in the street like it’s your front porch. If you didn’t hear about it from us, from the event site, or from last year’s awesome photos, then you must not have gotten the telegram, ’cause this is the best reason to cruise around the city on bikes since you were 10 years old.

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The Crate Man Cometh: Recycled Milk Crate Art  

2009-09-19 15:40

crateman, crate man, crate men, recycled art, upcycled milk crates, art made of milk crates, australia, art interventions, urban interventions, street art

Holy leaping legos! This cratalicious creature may, at first glance, appear to be some kind of primitive transformer, but he actually deserves a lot more respect that. For this is none other than Crate Man! As his name implies, his mysterious erectors lovingly built him and a whole clan of crate peeps out of primary-colored crates – you know, the kind used to ship milk jugs in. As large and in charge as Crate Man may seem, he’s really a bit shy so not much is know about him. Read on to see the facts that we have gathered and ogle other personified crate creations.

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Conflux Festival is this weekend!  

2009-09-19 05:00

conflux festival, new york city art technology, art festival, urban design festival, public space, site specific art, urban art, new york city artists performances, art workshops new york city

It’s remix-the-city-time: the Conflux Festival is back. This annual NYC-based festival of psychogeography promises some great urban tinkering, featuring the work of several artists we’ve featured here on Inhabitat. From Eve Mosher to Swimming Cities to Reverend Billy, the artists of Conflux use technology to explore public space in the city — re-defining the city and its proper use and maintenance.

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Post tags: art performance, art technology, art workshops, conflux festival, Eve Mosher, new york city, psychogeography, reverend billy, swimming cities, swoon, urban art


Renault Presents Four All-Electric Vehicles in Frankfurt  

2009-09-18 22:30

Megan Treacy

The Frankfurt Motor Show this year has hosted a slew of hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Renault has caused quite a bit of buzz by introducing not one, but four all-electric concept vehicles ranging from tiny to : the Twizy Z.E., Zoe Z.E., Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E.

The Twizy is actually more like half a car. The 1+1 city car is only 2.3 meters long and just over one meter wide, barely larger than a scooter. It maxes out at 47 mph with its 15kW motor.

The Zoe is a compact car with a 100-mile range and a 70kW motor. It's front and rear feature polyurethane gel bumpers. You can also personalize your own avatar to deliver driving information and it comes with mood lighting and "hydrate, detox and active scent" climate control settings - uh, cool?

The Fluence is their version of an all-electric family vehicle. It's a four-door, five-person sedan with a 100-mile range.

The Kangoo is an electric commercial fleet vehicle, also with a 70 kW motor and solar roof panels.

All four models will have three options for recharging: standard charge that takes four - eight hours at any charging spot, quick charge that takes 20 minutes at special charging points and "Quickdrop" battery exchange, all of which the company has paired up with Better Place to facilitate.

Renault expects to start releasing these vehicles in 2011.

via Autoblog Green



Under the radar: What's up with Phoenix Motorcars and bankruptcy?  

2009-09-18 21:58

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, Phoenix

Remember when Phoenix Motorcars was trying to get attention for their all-electric SUT with their friend Ed Begley, Jr.? Man that was a long time ago. We haven't heard an official statement from the company since they declared "We have not abandoned the alternative fuels transportation space" back in April. One reason for the silence: the company was in bankruptcy.

We heard through the grapevine earlier this summer that Phoenix was out of bankruptcy, but repeated calls and emails to Phoenix to confirm or deny this report have gone unanswered. Phoenix has long billed itself as "Phoenix MC, Inc., a Delaware Corporation and a California based electric vehicle company doing business as 'Phoenix Motorcars,'" but we got a tip recently that things may be different now. Anonymous sent us an email saying that "Did some research on Phoenix Motorcars. Looks like they (the assets and staff) were purchased by Al Yousuf LLC in August 2009. The new company is Phoenix Cars LLC in Delaware but still operating as Phoenix Motorcars in California. Rumor is that they are heading into stealth mode to finish their SUT and also develop a few new products." We couldn't verify this, but are kind of hoping that posting this will either prompt Phoenix to finally respond to our requests for information or maybe get some more information sent our way. Got some?

Dubai investor Eqbal Al Yousuf, who has also invested in Zap, has a history with Phoenix that dates back to at least 2007. Al Yousuf, who is president of Al Yousuf, LLC, was named to the Phoenix board in March 2008. Thanks to Anonymous for the tip!

Under the radar: What's up with Phoenix Motorcars and bankruptcy? originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 18 Sep 2009 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Links Roundup of the Week: Affordable Housing  

2009-09-18 20:30

Affordable Housing

Living in New York City, I’ve lost touch with the concept of affordable housing. However, after competition finalists were announced for an affordable student housing complex in the historic center of Athens, Greece, I felt inspired to seek out other exciting developments in the world of affordable design.

Jetson Green reports on net-zero energy homes nestled into an idyllic setting among evergreen trees and grasses.

gbNYC tells us that Connecticut is getting its first LEED-certified residential building that also happens to be the first affordable housing developing in downtown Hartfood. Woot!

And I am having mixed feelings about Curbed that Milstein Properties exporting their affordable housing development to Bronx and Staten Island.

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Post tags: affordable housing, Green Building, real estate development


Eco-Beat, 9/18  

2009-09-18 20:00

Do First Ladies get a discount at the White House Farmers Market? Are you going to the inaugural NYC Climate Week? Why are people always doing dramatic stuff to the electric car? Give it a little time to recover, sheesh. Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the latest green news and tips.

Michelle Obama, credit: Win McNamee, Getty ImagesWhite House Farmers Market: Day One
The farmers market on Vermont Ave. (right across from the White House) opened its gates yesterday and the first customer was, quite appropriately, was the First Lady Michelle Obama. Despite rainy and cool conditions, the market was packed for the grand opening.

Hugh Jackman, credit: Gary Gershoff, Getty ImagesHugh Jackman Gives a Boost to NYC Climate Week
Monday marks the launch of NYC Climate Week, and to make sure the event is well-attended (by throngs of swooning women), organizers have booked People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" -- who just also happens to be an eco-warrior.

iPod Nano, credit: Mac Users Guide, FlickrDo You Strive to Green Your Gadget Print?
Last week marked the launch of a newer, more eco-friendly iPod Nano. Last month it was Samsung's Reclaim. Are you rushing out to upgrade to a handier, energy-efficient model? Or are you trying to squeeze all the life out of your old gadgets?

Who Stole the Electric Car, credit: whostoletheelectriccar.comUh, Oh: Someone Stole the Electric Car
Yup, the legacy of "Who Killed the Electric Car" is so gargantuan that it's inspired its own satiric B-movie. "Who Stole the Electric Car" isn't a documentary, or a mockumentary, it's a straight up comedy about a dude who steals an electric car to impress his hippie girlfriend.

Jeremy Clarkson, credit: Edmond Terakopian, Getty ImagesBBC Global Warming Skeptic Gets Steamy Surprise
Oh crap! The host of BBC Two's "Top Gear" was greeted by a steamy pile of horse manure when he arrived home yesterday. It was left there by environmental activists, protesting his jaded attitude towards climate change. How persuasive! That oughta change his mind ...
Green in a Flash:

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Bosch 18-Volt Impactor Review on ToolSnob  

2009-09-18 19:08


I just got done reading a great review, up now on, which spent 3+ months review the new Bosch 18v cordless Impactor. It looks and sounds like this tool was really put to the test including ladder drops and many other abuses.

My only complaint with the review was it states that the Impactor with (2) slimpacks starts at $250 (Amazon) but the ad on the top of their own site says you can get the Bosch 18v Impactor, Compact Drill/Driver & (2) slimpack batteries CLPK23-180 for $219 (Ohio Power Tool). Check out all the Bosch 18V Tools with some really great special pricing on Ohio Power Tool.    



It's Friday a.k.a. Naked PETA Pamela Anderson Video Day  

2009-09-18 17:01

Filed under: Celebrities

Summer is over, vacations finished, and it's back to the daily drudgery of working long weeks -- but PETA has a little something special to get your weekend off to a bangin' start: Pam Anderson as a sexy TSA agent!

Yeah. Like at the airport! Only instead of keeping people from sneaking on bombs, or box cutters, Pammie keeps them from bringing fur or leather on board.

The campaign is called "Cruelty Doesn't Fly", and wow, it took some serious nerve to launch it so close to the anniversary of September 11th. But PETA is nothing if not shockingly inappropriate -- hey, they're trying to save bunnies! And goats! This is frickin' serious, folks.

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How do I choose a good "green" paint that won't cost a small...  

2009-09-17 23:50

Victoria Schomer, founder of Green Built Environments in Asheville, NC, has been a leader in environmental interior design since 1989. For her pioneering work in the green design and building field, she received the American Society of Interior Designers' prestigious Design for Humanity Award in 2000. Victoria is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Question: We are looking into different paint companies, trying to find a good "green" paint that won't cost a small fortune. I was going to go with Mythic Paint; I can find it locally, but it is expensive. I also considered the new Natura paints by Benjamin Moore. A salesman pointed out that Natura is also quite expensive and showed me Elements by California Paints. The salesman said that most green paints are low or zero VOC—until you add the color. How can you tell if it is truly a "green paint" from start to finish? I just want a product that will be good for the air, earth, and people without killing my checkbook. Is that so hard?

– Ellen Wallingford, Rockport, ME

Answer: It's great news that we now have so many different formulas and choices for paint—in light to dark "shades of green," and at all price points. When I did my first green design project in 1990, there was one green paint available: a plant-chemistry based paint from Europe, at $60 per liter! Still, all the choices can lead to frustration and confusion. It's important to remember that while we've made progress, there are no 100-percent green and healthy products. For each project, we have to weigh a number of considerations, including budget, aesthetics, and green priorities.

Every major paint manufacturer now has a zero- or low-VOC paint. These "over the counter" paints are either water-based or made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. As you noted, colorants do add emissions. A few of these new green paints have been certified by third-party agencies, so check the websites of Greenguard, Green Seal, and Scientific Certification Systems to see a list of paints and finishes that have met their criteria for safer products. These certifiers have raised the bar on their own certification requirements to meet California's Green Schools programs.

The three paints you are considering are all newer, conventional (not plant-chemistry based), very low-VOC, and water-based. I have not used these paints, but some snooping around on the websites, and some MSDS (material safety data sheet) checking brought this information to share.

Mythic Paint is Green Seal certified through the 2006 standards, and will soon be tested for the new, stricter 2008 levels. The company's material safety data sheets describe a very safe product.

Elements, from California Paints, is a low-VOC paint with a stronger odor; it is not certified.

Benjamin Moore has been in the green paints business for quite a few years now, starting with their Eco Spec paint. My experience is with their Aura paint, which is Greenguard third-party certified under the stricter Children and Schools standards. It is also a different paint chemistry, resulting in a finished surface that retains its color after scrubbing. I have clients with chemical sensitivity who do just fine with Aura. The new Natura line you mentioned is not certified, but is a low-VOC paint, and the reviews I read were good: low odor, good coverage, easy to apply.

Home Depot and Lowe's also have low- and zero-VOC paints at lower price points. I have used these products, and they are fine paints—lower odor than traditional paints and a little lower in cost than most "green" paints. But across the board, it seems that safer, low-odor paints are premium paints, and do cost more. I would weigh the extra $10 to $15 per gallon against potential health risks. I believe with all petroleum-derived products—from gas, to plastics, to traditional paints—we are used to seeing low prices, but those prices don't include all the environmental and health tolls that we pay in other ways.

So in short, check for certification and choose the greenest paint within your budget, which might need to be reconsidered. And remember: no matter which paint you choose, give yourself plenty of ventilation and protection from paint emissions during application.

For more information:

GreenHomeGuide's Know-How article "Paint Like a Green Pro" gives practical tips for painting your home.

Read "Selecting Green Paint" for an overview of paint options and environmental and health considerations.

GreenHomeGuide's Ask A Pro archive has answers to dozens of other green home questions from our network of the best and brightest green architects, designers, contractors and consultants across the U.S.


What durable, attractive green countertops are affordable...  

2009-09-17 23:35

Victoria Schomer, founder of Green Built Environments in Asheville, NC, has been a leader in environmental interior design since 1989. For her pioneering work in the green design and building field, she received the American Society of Interior Designers' prestigious Design for Humanity Award in 2000. Victoria is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Question: My husband and I are building a house, and I want to use the most environmentally responsible materials possible. I was hoping to put in recycled glass countertops, but they are prohibitively expensive. My husband likes granite, but I worry about the environmental impact of quarried material. What would you recommend as a durable, environmentally responsible, and attractive countertop material that is also reasonably priced?

– Kaye Key, Bangor, ME

Answer: I think our universal fascination with granite countertops is due to the material's tremendous strength and durability, and its aesthetic beauty. Until recently, granite was rarely seen in homes except in beautiful furniture pieces. Now we see it in nearly every mid- to high-end home, and you can buy tiles or order custom slabs at all the big-box building supply stores.

But I have a number of problems with granite and marble materials, and I don't consider many of these products at all "green." First and foremost, granite's extraction does irreparable ecological damage, slicing off enormous sides of mountains and leaving behind altered landscapes and dangerous waste.

Granite countertops are gas guzzlers—they create a great big carbon footprint from the energy used to mine, transport, and fabricate rough slabs into beautiful countertops somewhere far away from the stone's original source. Strong chemical products glue countertops to their substrate and coat their surfaces to enhance their beauty and durability. And although I always hear that stone countertops can be reclaimed and used again, I don't think this really happens very often.

Perhaps my biggest complaint is aesthetic. As a designer I feel we have gotten stuck in a crazy formulaic style, driven by the desire to create a "look" of opulence, and perpetuated by the real estate industry. Where has our creativity gone? Why are we afraid to move past this product, this look, to something clever, unique, and green?

In that spirit, I have three ideas for an environmentally appropriate countertop.

One of the most durable materials I can think of for countertops is concrete. Concrete countertops are popular, with a lower carbon footprint than granite, and are most often made by a local fabricator. You can even try your own hand at making a concrete countertop. All kinds of reclaimed, recycled, or creative materials can be added as aggregates to make a unique concrete slab. And these countertops can be much cheaper than granite.

Local stone is another choice that's greener than imported stone. Although all quarried stone does irreparable damage to the earth, local stone avoids the carbon emissions required to freight stone from a faraway country. Your state of Maine has beautiful granite and soapstone for countertops. If you go this route, do your research to make sure the slab you buy is mined and fabricated locally in an environmentally responsible manner. Again, stone has the advantage of being a very durable material, and local stone is more affordable than imported stone.

One additional—and probably controversial—material to consider as green is good old plastic laminate. Given its improved durability, heat resistance, recycled content, and the small amount of material actually used, why not consider plastic laminate glued on top of a formaldehyde-free substrate? It's one of the more affordable countertop options available. Wilsonart and Formica are the major manufacturers of plastic laminate. Both are Greenguard certified and can help accrue LEED points as a low-emitting material.

Finally, a word of advice about wood substrate. The choice of a substrate on which to mount your countertop can be an important factor in your home's indoor air quality, as some composite wood products emit high levels of formaldehyde. Search for materials with no added urea-formaldehyde. On January 1, 2009, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began enforcing reduced formaldehyde emissions for composite wood products, so California suppliers of these materials will have safer composite board available for countertop projects.

GreenHomeGuide's Ask A Pro archive has answers to dozens of other green home questions from our network of the best and brightest green architects, designers, contractors and consultants across the U.S.


I'm researching wood flooring for my home and getting confused by...  

2009-09-17 23:16

Victoria Schomer, founder of Green Built Environments in Asheville, NC, has been a leader in environmental interior design since 1989. For her pioneering work in the green design and building field, she received the American Society of Interior Designers' prestigious Design for Humanity Award in 2000. Victoria is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Question: I am trying to pick a "healthy" wood floor for my home. The more I research, the more confused I get. I was told not to do engineered floors unless I could find one with no formaldehyde. Then I was told to avoid aluminum oxide finish because if we ever needed to sand the floor, aluminum would get into the air. I looked at oil finishes but found out they contain solvents and drying agents that can be bad for you. I thought about doing solid wood with a water-based stain and polyurethane sealer, but I just read on this site that a low-VOC label doesn't always mean a product is healthy. Can anyone give me the bottom-line truth on all this? What is truly the healthiest wood floor option, and what are the safest finish products to use?

– Stewart Forsbrand, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Answer: Your confusion and frustration bring up a very important reality: There are no 100-percent green and healthy products. In our quest to find the best green products for our projects, we all need to "pick our battles." An individual like you, seeking a healthy home, will establish one set of criteria for your flooring decision; another person who might be focused on finding a sustainable source of wood for their floor would use different parameters.

Choosing wood flooring, like choosing any green material, takes examining a number of its attributes—looking at its whole life story, and all its qualities, then deciding which characteristics align with your priorities.

Here are my thoughts on the confusing advice you've received about engineered flooring, floor finishes, and solid wood flooring.

Engineered flooring
There are a number of good manufacturers making engineered flooring from certified sustainable wood, and with formaldehyde-free glues. A few companies I feel good about are EcoTimber, which recently got top marks for its flooring in Consumer Reports; Plyboo, which does an exemplary job of overseeing its Chinese manufacturing of bamboo flooring; and Columbia Forest Products, which manufactures veneered wood panels that can be made into flooring, using very safe and strong soy-based glues.

Refinishing engineered flooring—or any wood floor, really—requires avoiding exposure to, and capturing, the dust and particulate from sanding. You should also take steps to minimize your exposure to emissions from the new finish. Read my tips article "Make Floor Refinishing Greener and Safer" for more detail on this.

Floor finishes
Factory-finished flooring often does most of its offgassing before it gets to the consumer. If you do need to finish the floor on-site, in your home, there are a number of water-based polyurethane finishes that are strong and low-toxic, as well as natural plant-chemistry based floor finishes that penetrate deeper into the wood, giving a more matte finish. I continue to have success with Bona Traffic, a commercial water-based polyurethane product. There are a growing number of companies producing finishes from plant chemistry, including a company called Vermont Natural Coatings that makes a floor finish with whey, the waste product from cheese production. Other natural finishes I like are AFM Safecoat's "Naturals" line, OSMO's Hardwax Oil, and in my neck of the woods—western North Carolina—a wonderful company called Earthpaint with a growing line of natural paint and finishing products safe enough to eat! These natural plant-chemistry based finishes can be a greener alternative to newer water-based polyurethanes, but some sensitive people have a reaction even to these natural ingredients' emissions.

Solid wood flooring
Solid unfinished wood flooring will avoid concerns regarding formaldehyde in the glues that bind some engineered floors together. (Wood itself does contain naturally occurring formaldehyde, but only a trace amount.) Reclaimed wood flooring has a lighter environmental impact, and can offer unique woods and grains remarkable by today's standards. Often a local mill will have reclaimed wood sitting on their lot, so I would start on a regional level, calling my area's wood suppliers to find local sources for reclaimed wood flooring. You'll save on shipping. Beyond that, there are 50 or more companies nationwide supplying reclaimed wood flooring. I just did a quick Internet search and found these two based on the east coast: Goodwin Heart Pine Company is based in Micanopy, Florida, and Mountain Lumber is based in Ruckersville, Virginia.

Once you've narrowed down your options, order fresh samples of the wood flooring you are considering and test your reaction to the product. This can help assure that you are making a healthy choice uniquely right for you and your green priorities.

GreenHomeGuide's Ask A Pro archive has answers to dozens of other green home questions from our network of the best and brightest green architects, designers, contractors and consultants across the U.S.


Google Developing Own Solar Thermal Technology  

2009-09-17 21:15

Megan Treacy

If you don't like how something's done, do it yourself. Google is taking that idea to heart when it comes to solar thermal technology. The company has been disappointed with the progress in this sector, so it's developing its own mirror technology that will supposedly make solar energy cheaper by at least half.

Google is experimenting with different materials for making the mirrors, trying to find an efficient and cheaper solution. The company wants to cut the cost solar thermal installations by half, but hopefully by 66 - 75 percent. Currently, a 250-MW solar thermal installation produces energy at a rate of about 12 - 14 cents/kWh. The company would like to develop a product that would lower that cost to 5 cents or less per kWh.

The company is planning on having a prototype ready for internal presentation within the next couple of months. Then they will perform aggressive testing to make sure the technology can withstand decades of wear.

Google is also working to develop a gas turbine that would run on solar power instead of natural gas that could lower electricity costs even further.

via Reuters

Eco-Beat, 9/17  

2009-09-17 20:00

Does David Duchovny seem like a guy who knows what's up in the garden? Is compostable plastic all it's greenwashed up to be? Do you scoop your dog's poop religiously, rain or shine? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on poop scooping, as well as all the latest green news and tips.

David Duchovny, credit: Charley Gallay, Getty ImagesDavid Duchovny: Organic Gardener Extraodinaire
The "Californication" star is putting his skills to the test on a completely unrelated show this weekend: "Extreme Home Makeover." Duchovny is helping the EHM team put the finishing touches on a green home makeover by lending a hand in the organic garden.

compostable cup, credit: Shira Golding, FlickrCompostable Plastic: Yea or Nay?
Sure, it makes you feel all warm inside when that cup you're sipping from is stamped "compostable," but what does that really mean? Are you going to take it home and throw it in your hydrolyzing compost bin? If not, might be better to go recyclable.

jet takeoff, credit:, FlickrSF Airport Gets Carbon Offset Kiosks
Buying carbon offsets has never been easier for those flying out of SFO ... or if you have a layover there. As of today, San Francisco International Airport is home to the world's first carbon offset kiosks. Buy a paper, offset your travel, and then board your flight. It's that easy.

scoop the poop, credit:Teaeff, FlickrIs Your Pet's Poop Killing Orcas?
A bag of fresh dog poop may not qualify as a fashion accessory, but it does express something about you: You care about other people's shoes and also about whales. A coalition in Seattle is raising awareness about the glut of dog crap that washes into Puget Sound.

German beer boot, credit: ES, FlickrA Website Dedicated to Sustainable Beer!
For those of us who like sustainably brewed beer (which I'm assuming is a lot of us) there's a whole website dedicated to the delicious, green suds. SustainaBrew keeps tabs on all sorts of sustainable micro breweries, so you can kick back and enjoy the brews.
Green in a Flash:

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Greenlings: How can we "refuel" electric vehicles today and tomorrow?  

2009-09-17 19:57

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, Better Place, Greenlings

Renault Zero Emission line-up - Click for high-res image gallery

Among the many claimed advantages of electric vehicles are the ability to "refuel" your vehicles at home, never visiting a gas station again. In principle, the only thing you need to "fuel" an EV is a working plug. However, in life, few things ever turn out to be as simple as they might appear on the surface. For example think about your cell phone. If, like most of us here at ABG, you have had multiple different phones over the years, you have of course noted that every one of them seems to have a different and unique charging adapter along with a completely different battery.

In a small hand-held, pocketable device like a phone, it would seem that standardizing batteries and chargers would be a relatively simple thing to do and yet it has only been relatively recently that most phones have begun converging on mini-USB connector standard. Batteries, of course, are an entirely different matter. Now imagine expanding these problems by several orders of magnitude and applying electrification to a car. Cars live in a greater variety of environments and are expected to last a lot longer than the typical consumer electronics device (do you still have your phone from six years ago?). Read on after the jump to learn more about how the problem of charging is being addressed.

Continue reading Greenlings: How can we "refuel" electric vehicles today and tomorrow?

Greenlings: How can we "refuel" electric vehicles today and tomorrow? originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 17 Sep 2009 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Milwaukee M12 Sub-Scanner 2290-21 Review  

2009-09-17 18:19


In stock now, the M12 Sub-Scanner 2290-21 was originally announced some time ago as part of the new M12 Test & Measurement tools (clamp-gun & temp-gun have been delayed). The Sub-Scanner is very very easy to use for finding studs, metal in concrete or live electrical wires. Without looking at any directions I’m pretty sure an 8 year old could operate this machine. Simply select stud or metal on the thumb control, hit CAL and you are in business. The Sub-Scanner has 4 wheels that easily glide over any surface. The only settings you can change are sound, units of measure (us/metric) and depth on stud finder. Checkout this Photo Album for more pictures.

On stud mode it shows a basic left, center, right which makes it almost idiot proof when finding studs. The “V” on the top of the tool lights up anytime you go over a live wire which is probably a pretty smart safety feature as well. You will feel very confident when you have found the center of the stud unlike some other stud detectors that simply beep or light up.

In metal mode the display is slightly more advanced but just as easy to use. It doesn’t give left or right indicators but does provide a depth reading and a Ferrous vs Non-Ferrous indicator. The tool is pretty accurate in metal mode; in the above picture you can see the rebar almost exactly 3.5” in the parking block.

Checkout all the Milwaukee M12 tools available on Ohio Power Tool. There are some very exciting things that have come out recently and more that will be launching soon. We will do our best to keep you up to date on all of it.  



Scotch Brite Sponge is a Cleaner Green - But it Only Comes in Brown!  

2009-09-17 17:06

Filed under: Home

Eco-friendly sponges from Scotch-Brite. Credit: Cat Lincoln

One of my favorite things is when big companies finally see the "Green Light" (and by green I mean eco-friendly and potential money-makers) of environmentally responsible products. Sponge king 3M, though its Scotch Brite brand, has clearly picked up on the whole, "Oh, people want sustainably-produced versions of this stuff!" concept. Hooray!

Like all good Green Warriors, when I first heard about the Greener Clean line I was suitably skeptical and suspicious of 3M greenwashing, just because their products use so many chemicals. I mean, there's a picture of a guy with a blow torch and a protective gas mask on their products page!

Very intelligently, they got the new line of Scotch Brite Greener Clean into the hands of bloggers at the BlogHer Conference, by way of the Room 704 gift bags. I got several samples, including scrubbers, sponges and wipes, all made from natural, sustainable, recycled and recyclable materials.

Continue reading Scotch Brite Sponge is a Cleaner Green - But it Only Comes in Brown!

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China Could Replace Coal with Wind  

2009-09-17 01:03

Megan Treacy

It's clear that China is taking on renewable energy projects at a fast pace. The country has doubled its installed wind power every year for the past five years and a new study shows the country should keep it up. Researchers from Harvard and Beijing Tsinghua University have found that China could meet all of their electricity demands from wind power through 2030.

The scientists came up with meteorological and financial forecasts that show that China can run on wind alone. They mapped the wind potential for different regions and then assumed that each had a smattering of 1.5 MW turbines. They excluded metro areas or unusable terrain. Once they calculated how much energy each area could generate, they then came up with the cost of the energy.

They discovered that many areas, especially northern and western parts of the country, could generate energy at about 6 - 8 cents/kWh. This meant 6.96 trillion kWh could be generated annually at a profit, which is twice the current energy demand and close to what the demand is expected to be in 2030.

If China chose this route instead of adding more coal, it could prevent 3.5 billion tons of CO2 from being emitted.

Since China is already installing wind at a rapid pace, the researchers think it's entirely possible that they could make these projections a reality. The major hurdle for the country would be upgrading and expanding their transmission system to handle new wind farms.

While a world powered by renewable energy is still a long ways off, it's really promising to hear of studies like these that show that it's definitely accomplishable.

via MIT Technology Review


New Life for Plastic as Fuel  

2009-09-17 00:35

Megan Treacy

A new company in Washington, DC, Envion, believes they've come up with a way to efficiently convert waste plastic into fuel by using carefully-controlled infra-red energy. The $5-million plant was unveiled this morning.

The process that Envion has created is still tightly under wraps, but the plant includes a chemical reactor with internal agitators for mixing the liquid and heating elements that deliver the necessary infra-red energy. Since the infra-red energy is easily controlled, the process is very efficient. The plant is able to convert 82 percent of the waste into fuel and the resulting sludge is usable too.

The liquid can be mixed with other components to become gasoline or diesel. Envion has already signed up one company to use their recycled oil as motor fuel and is negotiating contracts with others.

The plant can process all types of plastic except for #1 PET, which is easily recycled at a better value. For each ton of waste, the plant can produce three to five barrels of fuel, with each barrel costing about $10 to make.

via Green Inc.


Eco-Beat, 9/16  

2009-09-16 20:00

Wanna watch the only safe-for-work porno on the internet? Who would win in a battle royale: The Muppets or Big Oil? Would you pay 40 times as much for a bulb that lasts 40 times as long? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the latest green news and tips.

Isabella Rossellini, credit: Stephen Lovekin, Getty ImagesRossellini's Green Porno 3 Launches Online
For those of you with an insatiable urge to learn about how other animals do it, you're in luck. Isabella Rossellini's "Green Porno: Season 3" is now available to copulate with your web browser on the Sundance Channel's website.

Muppets, credit: Neilson Barnard, Getty ImagesThe Muppets Take on Big Oil
Word on the street has it that the next Muppets movie will pit Kermit and the gang against an oil tycoon in a battle over the fate of a cherished old theater that sits on a large pocket of oil. What kind of dirty tricks will the tycoon pull? Haven't they ever heard of slant drilling?

pigeon at the White House, credit: Paul J Richards, Getty ImagesA LEED Certified White House?
Small steps have been made to green the White House over the years (e.g. George W. Bush installed a photovoltaic system and solar powered water heaters). Now, the Obamas want to take it a step further -- LEED Certification. It's going to be a major undertaking.

earth ablaze, credit: Thebadastronomer, FlickrHow to Break the Ice with Climate Change Deniers
Considering that certain regions of the US are calling 2009 "the year without a summer" (though not where I live),the cooler-than-average summer has invigorated climate change naysayers. Here's some info to help explain the difference between climate and weather.

Panasonic EverLed, credit: panasonic.jpA Light Bulb That Lasts Two Decades
Would you pay more (a lot more) for an LED bulb that's not only super efficient, but you only have to change it every 20 years? Panasonic hopes so. Their new EverLed bulbs go on sale in Japan next month for $40 a pop. The do have 40x the lifespan of an incandescent, however.
Green in a Flash:

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Lenox Tools - Facebook Contest - Guess Hackman's Time  

2009-09-16 19:49

Lenox Tools

Starting now Lenox Tools has a new online contest to win free tools and gear. It goes until the end of the month and is pretty easy to enter if you have a Facebook account. Basically it’s a shameless way to get more Facebook and YouTube fans, how shameless… but while you are there also checkout the CopTool Facebook Page and Coptool YouTube Channel 

Apply your best guessing skills to win LENOX tools and gear!  LENOX’s HACKMAN cut a Double Decker bus in Fradley, UK with a T2 recip blade! How long do you think it took HACKMAN to cut an entire Double Decker bus in half with the LENOX T2?

Guess the duration of the cut (HH:MM:SS) and post your answers on LENOX’s Facebook page ( between September 15th, 2009 and September 30th, 2009.

The first one to guess the right duration in order, will win a LENOX recip kit (9 pc – Plumbing/Electrician kit), a HACKMAN World Tour T-shirt and a Koozie! The winner will also be featured on LENOX’s Facebook page.

The video will be released on September 30th at 12:00 am on LENOX’s YouTube channel: and the announcement of the winner will be posted by LENOX Tools in the comments section of the video. (After being contacted, the winner will have ten days to claim their prize. After ten days, unclaimed prizes will be awarded to the person with next closest guess)



Ritz-Carlton Shows that Luxury and Green Can Coexist  

2009-09-16 17:03

Filed under: Travel and Vacation

Compostable hot cup at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, CA. Credit: Cat Lincoln

My friend Annie Scott wrote a great post for our sister site Gadling about the many eco-initiatives of luxury hotel titan, Ritz-Carlton. It was serendipitous timing. I had just done a review of the Ritz-Carlton property in Half Moon Bay and heard about their "Green Initiative" in this ecologically fragile area. Just days later, my GreenDaily colleague Kristin Seymour sent me information about the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach receiving bronze-level Green Seal Certification.

Ritz-Carlton, with a name already synonymous with luxury and service, is officially becoming an eco-leader in the hotel industry!

While in Jamaica to learn more about event services offered by the Ritz-Carlton, Annie discovered, almost by chance, several green packages, including Giveback Getaways, Meaningful Meetings, A Vow to Help Others and VolunTeaming. She also heard about, and then researched Community Footprints, which is the Ritz-Carlton's admirable and successful local community involvement program.

Continue reading Ritz-Carlton Shows that Luxury and Green Can Coexist

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New Green Product Reviews and Information  

2009-09-16 10:00

While it’s easier than it used to be to find truly green products out there, it’s still not that easy. It’s often hard to find that Energy Star label on appliances or home electronics, even if the product qualifies. And there seem to be five dubious green claims for every one legitimate one. Through time, better [...]


Old Ford Plant Becoming Renewable Energy Park  

2009-09-15 22:40

Megan Treacy

We've written before about the need for using existing manufacturing plants for renewable energy projects instead of trying to build all new factories. As we transition into cleaner technologies and away from older, dirtier ones, that approach saves money, time and resources. In what is hopefully an example of things to come, a Ford plant that is no longer in use will be converted into a renewable energy manufacturing facility. Where gasoline-engined, carbon-emitting vehicles were once assembled, equipment for solar and wind projects will now be made.

The 320-acre plant in Wixom, Mich. is getting its clean energy makeover through a partnership between Ford Motors and Michigan Govenor Jennifer Granholm, and greentech companies Xtreme Power, Clairvoyant Energy and Oerlikon Solar. Some plans for the energy park include a thin-film solar factory that will have a 90 MW production line and a 1 million-square-foot energy storage and power management system factory. The solar plant should be up and running by 2011.

Xtreme Power and Clairovoyant Energy are purchasing the plant from Ford and will use half of it for their factories and lease the rest to other renewable energy companies. The conversion project will cost about $725 milion and is expected to create over 4,000 jobs.

via Earth2Tech



Eco-Beat, 9/15  

2009-09-15 20:00

Need a new tune to add to your global warming playlist? Who are the greatest per capita polluters on the planet? Is your cell phone trying to kill you? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the latest green news and tips.

Simon Le Bon, credit: Dan Kitwood, Getty ImagesRock Stars of the World Unite to Fight Global Warming
Thanks to the Global Humanitarian Forum, 55 rockers including Duran Duran and Scorpions have all thrown together to rock a Band Aid-ish version of Midnight Oil's "Beds'r Burning." Look for a cheesy in-studio music video of each artist laying down their tracks.

boxed wine, credit: Stanley Sparks, FlickrAll Liquids Now Come in a Box
First, it was juice. Then came wine. Now a companies like Tetra Pak are boxing up everything from soup to water to even shelf stable milk -- based on the fact that the box is both cheaper to ship and reduces landfill waste. Are you on board with boxed water? Boxed beer?

Australian Flag, credit: Thewamphyri, FlickrThe Top 5 Most Polluting Countries
Congratulations, America, we're not #1. Australia has overtaken us as the largest per capita polluter on planet earth. Americans are second overall, with Canada, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia rounding out the Top 5 (or Bottom 5, depending on how you look at it).

Motorola MOTO, credit: Powerupmobile.comIs Your Cell Phone Frying Your Brain?
For those of use who live life with a mobile device glued to our heads, microwaving our gray matter is an ever-present lifestyle risk. Are you talking on a radiation-spewing phone of death? The Environmental Working Group has ranked 1,000 cell phones by radiation levels.

road bikers, credit: Rei.comIt's Bike Buying Season
Not only is the cooler fall weather going to make it possible to ride to the store without getting drenched in sweat, but it's also model year closeout time. Bike shops may not run those obnoxious dealership commercials, but they do make some hot deals on last year's wheels.
Green in a Flash:

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SPX Power Team Predator Torque Wrenches & Hydraulic Pumps  

2009-09-15 19:31

Power Team

Several months ago SPX Power Team announced a new line of Predator Torque Wrenches and Electric Hydraulic Pumps. These new torque wrenches are serious tools putting out up to 28,800 ft. lbs. of torque on hex bolts as large as 6-1/8”. Unless you plan on building you own roller coaster or 80ft wind turbine in your back yard these tools obviously aren’t for the DIYers.  

This new generation of electric torque wrench pump feature much higher flow and automatic cycle operation both of which result in higher productivity. The Predator pump can be operated continuously, and also features low amperage operation and low sound level. These pumps are not build for lifting as the valves are not set up for load holding. See the chart below to understand how these compact pumps can operate at up to twice the speed of typical 2 speed pump.

In addition to the Predator electric powered hydraulic pumps are the new and durable steel square drive and low clearance torque wrenches. This new generation torque wrench features more efficient and faster operation in an envelope size that is 2/3rds the size of aluminum wrenches, allowing the tool to be used in applications where space is limited, yet is still comparable in weight.

Ohio Power Tool sells a wide range of the new Predator Torque Wrenches, Electric Pumps as well as the necessary high torque sockets. Typically configuring a proper hydraulic system of any kind is going to take some professional expertice. As always if you have any questions on any hydraulic equipment feel free to give the pros at Ohio Power Tool at call 800-242-4424 or email  



Colin Beavan, No Impact Man, Talks to GreenDaily  

2009-09-15 17:04

Filed under: Movies, TV and Books, Activism, Climate Change

Colin Beavan, No Impact Man. Credit: Cat Lincoln

Last week I encouraged you to go see "No Impact Man", the documentary about environmentalist Colin Beavan's efforts, with his family, to live for a year impact-free, in New York City. In the film and companion book, "No Impact Man," Colin shares the story of the experiment that he, his wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter, Isabella, conducted over the course of a year.

They reduced their trash to zero, ate only food grown within 250 miles of their home, (which meant giving up coffee -- eek!), and stopped using electricity, which meant dealing with nine flights of stairs to get in or out of their 9th floor apartment every day (double eek!). Their story is funny, and thought-provoking, and manages to make the idea of giving up toilet paper and electricity, in the middle of New York City, see accessible -- even possible.

I had a chance to meet Colin on the press tour for "No Impact Man," along with Beth Terry from Fake Plastic Fish. We got to ask some follow up questions about the No Impact Man experiment, plus get Colin's first-hand advice on living impact-free.

Continue reading Colin Beavan, No Impact Man, Talks to GreenDaily

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Tax Credits for Plug-In Hybrid Conversions  

2009-09-15 13:00

If you live in Colorado and own a Prius, here's a New Year's Day gift for you: $6,000 off a plug-in hybrid retrofit. Earlier this year, Colorado passed House Bill 1331, "Incentives for Efficient Motor Vehicles," which creates new tax credits of up to $6,000 for the purchase of, or conversion to, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The new credit will be a substantial discount off the average price of a plug-in conversion, which generally run around $10-14,000. On top of the Federal Tax Credit of 10% (up to $4,000), plug-in retrofits could start to make a lot of sense for some car owners.


California to Get Large Renewable Energy Standard, One Way or Another  

2009-09-15 03:49

Megan Treacy

Last Friday, the California legislature approved a new renewable energy standard for the state requiring 33 percent of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020, but Governor Schwarzenegger has vowed to veto it.

The good news is that it's not the size of the clean energy standard that the governor has an issue with, it's the part of the bill that requires two-thirds of that energy to be generated in-state. Schwarzenegger plans to issue an executive order that also calls for a portfolio of 33 percent renewble energy by 2020, but puts no limit on the amount of clean energy the state can import. It's possible that he will also expand the definition of "clean energy" to include nuclear and hydroelectric power.

One downside of this portfolio standard coming as an executive order is that it may no longer be binding when Schwarzenegger leaves office in 2010. He's supposed to issue the order by the end of the week.

Either way, California will end up with the largest renewable energy standard in the country. The state is already requiring its largest utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010 - a goal none of them are likely to meet. One of those utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric, only got 6.1 percent of it electricity from clean sources last year.

via LA Times


Patrick Swayze, Actor and Conservationist, Dies at 57  

2009-09-15 02:30

Filed under: Celebrities

Photo: Michael Caulfield, Stand Up To Cancer via Getty Images

Patrick Swayze died today at the age of 57 after a 20 month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Maybe you knew him best as the misunderstood dancer Johnny Castle in "Dirty Dancing." Or perhaps your favorite memories of him are from the amazing fight scenes in "Road House." We all have our favorite Swayze moments, and it's with a heavy heart that we say good-bye to the screen icon and one-time "Sexiest Man Alive".

Not only did he have a major impact on cinema, but he was a conservationist as well. While filming "King Solomon's Mines" in South Africa, he was moved by the people and animals in the African bush.

"Out of this experience was born an idea for a global conservation documentary series that is turning huge," Swayze told the LA Times in 2004. "I've got some of the leading paleoanthropological scientists in the world coming on my team, and award-winning wildlife documentarians."

Continue reading Patrick Swayze, Actor and Conservationist, Dies at 57

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Eco-Beat, 9/14  

2009-09-14 20:00

Looking for a farmer's market somewhere in the vicinity of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.? How is Edward Norton going to save the Kenyan wilderness in running shorts? Are your eco-friendly cleaning products really making a difference? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the latest green news and tips.

White House, credit: dcJohn, FlickrWhite House Farmer's Market: Go for Launch!
A few months ago, who'd have that the White House would get involved with a local food movement. A group called Fresh Farm Markets won approval for a farmer's market on Vermont Ave. The administration's role appears to be pretty limited (bigger fish to fry).

Edward Norton, credit: Andrew H. Walker, Getty ImagesEdward Norton Runs for Conservation
The latest celebrity to tackle the grueling NYC Marathon for the planet, Ed is running to benefit the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust -- a group that protects the grasslands of western Kenya. Is he up to it? He's up to about 15 miles so far.

Bamboo Soil Clock, credit: Inhabitatshop.comA Clock That Harnesses Dirt Power
Clocks that utilize renewable energy are not exactly new (remember those watches you have to wind?). Still, not too many tickers can use your houseplants as batteries. This eco-chic timepiece is made from sustainable bamboo and gets its power from moist soil.

Natural Easter Eggs, credit: observing life, FlickrChicken Sex: What You Need to Know
Is eating an egg the same thing as killing a chicken? For vegetarians out there who are simply averse to the thought of killing animals for food, the question remains: Is a carton of eggs really a carton of potential baby chicks? Grist has the answer.

Method cleaner, credit: hsn.comHow Green Are Method Cleaning Supplies?
Afraid that you've been taken by advertising campaigns that convinced you to buy a bunch of greenwashed cleaning supplies. Well, if you stocked your cupboard with Method products, pat yourself on the back. They've earned their street cred.
Green in a Flash:

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New Guide to Cell Phone Radiation  

2009-09-14 17:50

Over 4 billion people in the world have cell phones. They’re handy, portable, inexpensive and we wonder how we even got along with out them before we had one. Cell phones are here to stay, there’s no doubt about that. But there are mounting concerns about the adverse health affects from radiation emitted from your [...]


Camelbak Offers to Replace Your Aluminum Sigg Clunker  

2009-09-14 17:03

New Camelbak Stainless bottle. Credit: Camelbak

The internets have been abuzz with outrage at stainless steel aluminum* waterbottle manufacturer Sigg. In an effort to avoid the BPA present in plastic bottles, many people picked the metal Sigg water bottle. Now we know that the liner of some those bottles contained "trace amounts" of BPA, which totally defeats the purpose of using a Sigg in the first place.

Steve Wasik, CEO of Sigg, has been abject in his apologies, including two letters posted on the Sigg site. They're also offering to voluntarily exchange bottles with the BPA liner, although the consumer has to pay shipping costs.

Meanwhile, competitor Camelbak is looking pretty good. They offer several versions of BPA-free bottles, including a stainless steel option that just came out this summer. Talk about good timing!

Continue reading Camelbak Offers to Replace Your Aluminum Sigg Clunker

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At Witz' End - Best of the Rest from the Center for Automotive...  

2009-09-14 16:56

Filed under: Ford, GM, Toyota, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, At Witz End

I reported last month on Nissan's LEAF EV plans, as presented by Nissan Product Planning VP Larry Dominique at the August Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars (CAR MBS) in Traverse City, MI. Dominique's presentation was one highlight. Others included three speakers from Toyota and two each from Ford and GM that I wanted to share with AutoblogGreen readers. Can't cover everything, but here are interesting excerpts:

New Toyota President Akio Toyoda (oldest son of 1982-1992 president Shoichiro Toyoda and grandson of company founder Kiichiro Toyoda) didn't say much about advanced vehicles or powertrains but did position himself as a car enthusiast and race driver who intends to inject more excitement into his company's future products. He said Toyota would introduce a "fun and affordable sports car" and a (~$200K) Lexus supercar in the next several years.

Toyota Public Policy and Government/Industry Affairs Group VP Josephine "Jo" Cooper said, "It is more important than ever before that Washington and the auto industry work together and be serious about resolving our differences, which can lead to more sensible and effective policies." She added that Toyota "sees a clear path toward commercial introduction of a fuel cell vehicle by 2015" and will introduce a short-range urban commuter EV in 2012.

"In the 1990s," she reminded us, "we launched a retail version of our RAV4 EV to comply with a demonstration program required under California's Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate.... Our experience confirmed that three conditions must be satisfied before a new technology will be accepted by consumers: all technical problems MUST be resolved; the consumer and the market MUST be prepared; and regulatory policy MUST ALIGN with both these conditions.

There's more after the jump

Continue reading At Witz' End - Best of the Rest from the Center for Automotive Research automotive future forum

At Witz' End - Best of the Rest from the Center for Automotive Research automotive future forum originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 14 Sep 2009 11:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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From Parking Lot to Paradise  

2009-09-12 00:54

Pavement is one of the defining characteristics of our urban existence. From pop-culture terms like “asphalt jungle” to the Joni Mitchell song and its famous lyrics about paving paradise for parking lots, pavement is often used as a symbol of both the progress and peril of our urbanizing ways. Unfortunately, all of this pavement is [...]


Eco-Beat, 9/11  

2009-09-11 20:00

How does Jason Mraz stay dedicated to his super-strict, raw food diet? Is your need for speed negating your green driving efforts? In your expert opinion, are Fudgesicles a "smart" food choice? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the lastest green news and tips.

Jason Mraz, credit: Jemal Countess, FlickrJason Mraz is on a Raw Vegan Diet, His Chef...
A raw food vegan since last April, Jason Mraz is promoting his eco-diet and his current Cafe Gratitude Tour in a series of funny online videos. After watching Mraz's latest installment, I get the sense that some of his assistants are placating him. Don't know why.

Honda Insight, credit: Kiyoshi Ota, Getty ImagesInsight Not as Insightful on the Highway
Most cars get their worst mileage in the city and their best on the highway. For hybrids, the opposite is true. In fact, a recent test by Consumer Reports showed that the Honda Insight lost as much as 15mpg at speeds between 55-75mph -- so watch the lead foot.

bowl of loops, credit: Fille de Photo, FlickrFruit Loops Now a Health Food!
Fruit Loops were recently labeled a "smart choice" by manufacturers as part of an effort to make it easier to eat healthy, allegedly. Not to be confused with "organic," "natural," or any of the other dubious labels given to our foods, "smart choice" simply means that it won't kill you.

Treasure Island, credit: Tolka Rover, FlickrTreasure Island: The Jewel of Eco Developments
Developers are planning a LEED gold neighborhood on the other famous island in SF Bay (not Alcatraz), complete with urban farms, condos mid-rises, and a green wastewater treatment plant surrounded by wetlands. When complete, all eco-pirates will be jealous.

YikeBike pre-launch, credit: YikeBike.comWould You Ride This to Work?
Though I find old school pedal power completely adequate, electric bikes seem to be getting a pretty solid foothold in urban transit. Some e-bikes are, however, a little sexier than others. The YikeBike cost $5,500, tops out at 12mph and looks like part of a circus act.
Green in a Flash:

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World's First Smart Grid City Is Now Operational  

2009-09-11 18:16

Philip Proefrock

powerlinesXcel Energy's SmartGridCity project in Boulder CO is the first operational installation of a smart grid for electrical power in the world. This is a city-wide installation, rather than the kind of long-distance distribution system that many people think of when discussing a national smart grid, but both will be necessary components for an upgraded electrical infrastructure.
The SmartGridCity project also included automating three of four distribution substations, four computer-monitored power feeders, and another 23 feeders that are watched for voltage irregularities. Approximately 200 miles of fiber optic cable, 4,600 residential and small business transformers and nearly 16,000 smart meters are now connected to the smart grid system.
The smart grid allows the utility to better monitor and regulate the electrical grid. Using real-time monitoring and data feedback, the utility can more rapidly adjust for equipment failures, power outages, and other electrical problems. Individual consumers whose service is connected through a smart meter will also be able to access their own information and can "design and personalize energy consumption strategies" for themselves. Already this year, since some of the components were installed, four potential transformer failures have been detected, and outages have been able to be prevented by proactively replacing those units before they failed.

via: Renew Grid


Copenhagen to Observe a Special Earth Hour in December  

2009-09-11 17:06

Now that I've managed to absorb the the simplified information about the Copenhagen Climate Conference, aka COP15, I'm getting a grasp on the many ancillary programs and activities that are planned concurrently with the conference.

Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard, (best title, best name, possibly ever, and she's a groovy older lady who wears awesome glasses!) is hosting a gathering of the mayors from large cities around the world as a gesture of support. Well, support and pressure -- they're gathering as a show of strength, to tell state leaders that the citizens of the world expect a decisive action to come out of COP15. You tell 'em, Ritt!

I think one of the coolest events related to the conference is the special Earth Hour the citizens of Copenhagen plan to observe at 7pm on December 16, the day before COP15 concludes. This is their way of demonstrating support for the conference, and also to encourage the world leaders to come to a consensus.

Continue reading Copenhagen to Observe a Special Earth Hour in December

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Milwaukee M12 PVC / PEX Shear Cutter 2470-21  

2009-09-11 14:20


How to cut PVC the easy way with this innovative tool, yet another addition to the Milwaukee M12 battery system. It is clear they are really going after the Plumbers, Electricians and other tradesman with their compact 12 volt tools and this is another perfect example. The M12 2470-21 ($199) is designed specifically for cutting PVC & PEX tubing and really isn’t made for much else, unless you wanted to remove an extra finger or two. If you are a plumber, install sprinklers or work with PVC a lot this could be a very handy tool. Currently the most popular alternative would be a manual ratcheting PVC cutter like the Ridgid RC-2375 ($87) which can get tiring if you are using it all day.

The cutter itself puts out 1,900 in-lbs torque which is plenty to get through 2” PVC in about 3 seconds. The 12 volt lithium battery is rated to make over 200 cuts per charge. Using the tool is very simple, hold down the safety and pull the variable speed trigger. Once the cut is made there is a separate quick release trigger, not sure why there is a reverse option on the cutter as the quick release works much better. The blade is very easy to change and the wrench for removing it is conveniently stored on the tool, another nice feature. Checkout this Photo Album for more images.


Will a tool like this be successful? The market for a PVC cutter is much smaller than for a handy tool like the M12 Hackzall and it will depend on if plumbers will adopt it. It is in a similar boat to the M12 Copper Cutter ($219) which seemed like a great idea but hasn’t seen a big shift away from the tried & true manual copper cutters like the Ridgid 118 ($28). However the manual copper cutters are significantly cheaper and can cut almost as quick with little effort. The price gap for the PVC cutters (manual vs M12) is much smaller, the 2470-20 (bare tool) is only $129 and the manual PVC cutters require much more effort. Hopefully the new Milwaukee 2470-21 will find lots of success among professional.



New Energy Star for TVs Calls for Better Efficiency, Smaller Sizes  

2009-09-11 02:05

Megan Treacy

The Energy Star for TVs standards were released on September 3 and manufacturers will need to up efficiency and keep sizes in check if they want the coveted label.

The Version 4 sticker, coming May 1, 2010, will require a 40 percent increase in efficiency over TVs sold today and the Version 5 sticker, coming May 2012, will require a 65 percent increase. The new ratings will reflect the energy consumed when the TV is in "On Mode" as well as when it's off but downloading programming information.

The new versions pretty much take large TVs out of the running by requiring that any TVs over 50 inches meet the same "On Mode" requirements as a 50-inch one - 108 kW. The cover letter to the technical specifications for the new standards made it clear that large TVs just aren't environmentally friendly.

"The issue in this case is what TV sizes can the federal government credibly designate as preferable from an energy and environmental perspective. This has become an important issue as the sizes of TVs and energy use continue to grow."

Making it harder to qualifty for the Energy Star label will hopefully drive up efficiency on all TV models. TVs account for four percent of all households' electricity use in the U.S. According to the EPA, there are 275 million TVs in use in the country, consuming 50 billion kWh per year - enough to power all the homes in the state of New York for a year.

via CNET


Greenlings: How important is the appearance of a green car?  

2009-09-11 00:50

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hybrid, Hydrogen, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, Natural Gas, Greenlings

2011 Chevy Volt - Click above for high-res image gallery

There has been quite a spate of green car designs in the past few years that seem penned to prove the adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Indeed, some eco-intentioned vehicles appear to be the end result of an ultimate death match between form and function in which form never stood the slightest whisper of a chance. (We aren't looking at you, Sunmotor Coupe DX, but only because it's entirely too painful.) However, since the aim of high efficiency transportation is to leave as small an environmental impact as is possible, do looks really matter? We would argue yes.

We are not saying that every hybrid need look like rolling art. The Toyota Prius has become the most popular fuel-sipper of all time yet it could never be confused for the hybridized Essence concept from its competitor, Infiniti. One has been accused of resembling an aerodynamic toaster while the other seems a sculpted homage to sinful sensuality and yet each is reasonably successful at achieving its aesthetic goals. Most cars are conceived with a particular market niche in mind and the successful treatment not only marries form and function but also projects the proper image and social status. Come past the break and we'll explore the importance of appearance of eco-cars a bit further.

Continue reading Greenlings: How important is the appearance of a green car?

Greenlings: How important is the appearance of a green car? originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 10 Sep 2009 19:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Eco-Beat, 9/10  

2009-09-10 20:00

Is online grocery shopping more eco-friendly than the grocery store? Looking for ways to fight the green fight on you college campus? Are you ready to take you personal water conservation to a new level? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the latest green news and tips.

Al Gore, credit: Ethan Miller, Getty ImagesIs it Green? Al Gore Invests in Ocado
Al Gore, inventor of the internet and champion of climate change legislation, is investing heavily in an online UK grocery retailer named Ocado. While Al's no stranger to eco-controversy, the question this time around: Is shipping groceries greener than running retail stores?

Faber College t-shirt, credit: bayimprint.comWorking to Green Your Campus
Recently, Grist release their picks for the top 20 Green Universities. For those students who aren't going to transfer simply based on greenness, you can always work to make you college a little more environmentally-aware. Tree-sitting is not required.

shower signage, credit: Quosquos, FlickrShower Like the Planet is Your Battleship
A new shower head can cut a few gallons out of your shower, but if you really wanna get hardcore, I mean military-style hardcore -- try a Navy shower. Developed to conserve water at sea, it works like this: Turn on the water, get soaked, turn it off, lather, then rinse.

bottlenose dophin just checkin him out, credit: Willy Volk, Flickr"The Cove" Worked, but Not for Whales
In an odd twist on the dolphin slaughter story, fishermen in Taiji did round up 100 dolphins -- but didn't kill them. Instead, 50 f them were sold to aquariums. Things didn't go so well for the 50 pilot whales involved; they were killed in the name of tradition and whale steak.

light bulb, credit: Mr. Beaver, FlickrEU Says Goodbye to Thomas Edison
The European Union's ban on the incandescent bulb went into effect this month. That doesn't mean that the creepy light bulb police will be knocking on doors, but it does mean retailers are prohibited from purchasing any more old-school bulbs -- the end of an era.
Green in a Flash:

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International Coastal Clean Up Day: Sept 19  

2009-09-10 17:11

Filed under: Activism, Plants and Wildlife

Every year on the third Saturday of September, all the best people have the same social engagement: Get together and clean up the beaches around the world. The event is the International Coastal Cleanup, and this year that date is September 19th. Make a note on your calendar!

The annual International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer day of its kind. The Ocean Conservancy leads this event, with several sponsoring partners including Coca-Cola and Bank of America.

Last year 400,000 volunteers in 100 countries and 42 US states collected more than 6.8 million pounds of trash. This year they hope to see more volunteers in even more locations.

Continue reading International Coastal Clean Up Day: Sept 19

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Sometimes a Hybrid Isn't the Best Choice for the Environment  

2009-09-10 00:01

The electric Tesla Roadster Credit: GABRIEL BOUYS, Getty Images

For more than five years I've been one of those annoying people in San Francisco, driving a Toyota Prius and feeling smugly eco-superior. There have been many times when my husband and I have gloated over how little we spend on gas and how light it makes our carbon footprint.

This summer I had a chance to drive a few Ford 2010 models, and in that process met several people on the Ford Safety and Sustainability Team. Knowing that Ford offers several hybrids -- the Fusion, Escape, Milan and Mariner -- I figured our conversations would focus on that technology, and maybe get into plug-in electric vehicles.

In the course of several discussions, including a one-on-one interview with Sue Cischke, Ford Group Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, I learned something surprising: figuring out which car is most environmentally-friendly for your situation is more complex than just picking the hybrid.

Continue reading Sometimes a Hybrid Isn't the Best Choice for the Environment

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Avion withdraws from Auto X Prize, cites increasing costs of...  

2009-09-09 21:02

Filed under: Diesel, Green Culture, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, Green Daily, Automotive X-Prize

Another one bites the dust (see also: LincVolt and HP2G).

The Automotive X Prize will not feature an updated diesel-burning version of the Avion prototype from 1984 . Craig Henderson, the president of Avion Car Company, has sent a withdrawal letter to the AXP claiming that the costs of participating are too exorbitant for a small company like his. Henderson told AutoblogGreen that it wasn't easy to drop out of the AXP, considering that he's been working on high-efficiency vehicles for 25 years, even getting a Guiness record in 1986 for having the first 100+ mpg automobile:
It was a difficult decision to not sign the Master Team Agreement, a 64-page legal document for the X Prize, but the requirements for the contest and the cost of competing have gotten too rich for a work a day guy like me. I estimated it would cost around 25K to compete in the X Prize and the way the rules are (favoring battery cars) their was little point to continue.
Henderson says the costs he doesn't have the money for include the need to buy $4 million worth of liability insurance and paying for all the accommodations and meals in the upcoming on-road portion of the contest.

The AXP organizers will tell you that their MPGe method to compare various energy types doesn't favor one or the other, but apparently Henderson sees it differently. He will still be working on the new Avion that he hopes will beat his 113 mpg record set on a 263-mile trip in Washington State in 2008. Now that the Auto X Prize is out of the picture, Henderson promises, "The new Avion will be setting new records for REAL MPG spring of 2010" and the car will "be built on a custom limited production basis soon there after we break our old record." You can read Henderson's letter to the AXP after the jump.

[Source: Avion Car Company]

Continue reading Avion withdraws from Auto X Prize, cites increasing costs of participating in 100 mpg challenge

Avion withdraws from Auto X Prize, cites increasing costs of participating in 100 mpg challenge originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 16:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Eco-Beat, 9/9  

2009-09-09 20:00

Why is Pamela Anderson ripping the clothes off of air travelers' backs? Are you ready to bury the hatchet with SIGG? Should you have fewer babies for the environment? Today's Eco-Beat has the scoop on all the latest green news and tips.

Pamela Anderson, credit: Kevin Winter, Getty ImagesPETA's Airport Security Commercial Doesn't Fly
Pamela Anderson teamed up with PETA once again to use her uh ... assets to campaign against animal products. She plays a scantily-clad airport security officer who literally strips passengers of their fur and leather clothing. Needless to say, it's been rejected by airports.

SIGG bottle, credit: Amarand Agasi, FlickrSIGG Wants to Make it Right
Following a tidal wave of critical press, SIGG's CEO made a formal apology yesterday saying that he made a mistake by not announcing that SIGG's liners contained trace amounts of BPA. To win back your trust, SIGG is making it easy for you to trade in your old SIGG.

family portrait, credit: Corey Ann, FlickrShould the Environment be Part of Family Planning?
I don't think I'm alone in saying that if there's one thing that instantly gets under my skin, it's someone who's trying to lecture me about how many children I should or shouldn't have. If you're trying to have the family-print discussion with someone, I suggest reading this first.

sharp dressed men, credit: Auntie P, FlickrShould We Ban the Coat and Tie?
Hoping to conserve some electricity during an energy crisis, the government of Bangladesh has banned employees from wearing suits and ties. That's right, they banned suits and ties. That way, they can turn up thermostats in government buildings.

Brian Wilson, credit: Ezra Shaw, Getty ImagesThe Giants' Laundry Team Hits a Grand Slam
As the Giants battle for a playoff berth, the team's laundry services have already clinched the pennant. Along with other green efforts at Candlestick, the team's uniforms are now being washed in phosphate-free, botanical suds from locally-based VASKA.
Green in a Flash:

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Some Fein Lookin' Tools (Revisited) Bosch & Dremel  

2009-09-09 18:09

Fein Tools

Exactly one year ago today we did a simple comparison post on some new oscillating tools coming out from Dremel and Bosch that would compete directly with the Fein Multi-Master. See Some Fein Looking Tools – Bosch PS50 & Dremel Multi-Max 9/9/08. Since then this post has held strong as our most viewed post ever. I wanted to take a second to revisit the post and perhaps add some more related links, photos & insight now that these tools have been around the block a few times.

Since the original post we added several YouTube Videos (See Below) as well as some additional posts for Bosch PS50 Accessories and Dremel Multi-Max Accessories as well as found some great post on other blogs including this post on toolsnob, one of the best I’ve seen.

Just for good measure I snapped twenty or so more pictures of these two tools and put them in this Facebook Album. Some of the points I was trying to highlight in the added photos would include the difference in size and shape, often people think the Dremel is larger but in fact the Bosch is slightly longer. The difference in Cases, the Bosch is a clear winner here. Also a few pictures of the vents, both of these tools can get hot but the Dremel is often run continuous for longer amounts of time and can get really hot. The Bosch being cordless is less equipped to run continuously so it often has at least a minute or so to cool during battery changes. One guy I spoke with who runs the Dremels all day long actually uses two Multi-Max and puts different attachments on each and use each for 20-30 minutes then switches to the other which saves him time from switching blades but also give the tools time to cool.  

The accessories are also more substantial on the Bosch; in general the Dremel accessories are smaller, thinner metal but less expensive. The sanding pads do work interchangeably but you can see in this photo the Bosch sanding pads are slightly larger. Also you will see in this picture the Bosch adaptor which allows you to use Dremel or Fein blades as well. The Dremel is pictured with a simple washer because this is what we have found many of the tradesmen using so they could use the more substantial Bosch blades with the corded Dremel tool. Funny thing is I didn’t tell them to do this (legal disclaimer: nor would I ever suggest anyone ever alter a tool or make their own adaptors for any tool or accessory ever) but amazingly several different heavy users of these tools came up with the idea on their own. Obviously end users are going to figure out work arounds, manufacturers should accept that and make things easier on everyone.

If you are looking for Dremel Multi-Max ($99) or Bosch Multi-X PS50-2A ($179) PS50-2B ($199) or any of their oscillating tool accessories; Ohio Power Tool keeps all these tools and accessories in stock and able to handle quantity orders.



US Open - Blue Courts Go Green  

2009-09-09 18:00

Filed under: Fitness

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center covers 46 acres. Photo: Katherine Tweed

Down the endless web of concrete hallways at Arthur Ashe Stadium, past framed photos of former champions, there is a large chute on a loading dock with a single purpose: Collecting recyclables.

There are 500 containers for bottles and cans peppered across the 46-acre Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The bins are the public face of a campaign to show that, while the courts may have painted blue years ago, this year the message is green.

"You don't know what you don't know," says Rita Garza, director of public relations and Green Task Force chairwoman for the USTA. Garza is honest about how much she had to learn about paper cups, renewable energy and tennis ball cans when Billie Jean King called for the U.S. Open to green its practices at the complex that bears her name.

Continue reading US Open - Blue Courts Go Green

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New Ridgid Endura-Clear Thread Cutting Oil 32808  

2009-09-08 20:06


ELYRIA, OHIO – Ridgid Endura-Clear™ thread cutting oil 32808 ($20.15 - 1 gallon), the newest addition in the RIDGID® thread cutting oil product line, maximizes wear resistance, increases die life, decreases operating costs and is CPVC compatible.

“Endura-Clear thread oil is a great addition to our product line because it extends the life of dies up to 60 percent, while significantly reducing threading machine operating costs up to 30 percent over the RIDGID Nu-Clear oil (70835 $18.48 - 1 gallon),” said Larry Feskanich, product manager, RIDGID.

The formula has been tested to assure chemical compatibility with FlowGuard Gold®, BlazeMaster®, and Corzan® CPVC pipe and fittings and has been added to the FGG/BM/CZ™ System Compatible Program. Endura-Clear thread oil contains an anti-mist formulation to inhibit inhalation and decrease mess. It maintains a workable viscosity for cold weather threading to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit and is available in a one-gallon size.

Designed for hand threading and high speed machine threading, the RIDGID thread cutting oils allow users to produce effective threads in a variety of materials. The improved RIDGID threading fluids are mineral oil-based and do not contain any chlorine, halogens, PCBs, or heavy metals. The formulations effectively reduce friction and extend the life of the dies.