'blog' Category

DIY SOLAR PANELS

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Do It Yourself Solar Panels have become quite popular, especially if you or someone you know is handy. You can build them easily with a little patience and time. The savings is substantial, and from what I can tell the quality is as good as many prefabricated panels- if you’re using quality parts.

I’ve run across many DIY sites for solar panels, and I’m opting not to put in links- but rather have you do a search for ‘diy solar panels’ and see what looks good to you. You always want to do the research on any given company, or before buying a manual that promises to give you all the answers. There are so many options that you will be surprised.

You also want to do the research for your geographical area to determine how well solar panels will work for you.

Fukushima Power Plant update

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The nuclear plant in Japan has gotten considerably worse than what we were originally led to believe by the news media. Maybe it was a miscalculation, and maybe they were trying to tone down any hysteria that it might’ve caused at that time.

What they are saying as April 1, 2011 isn’t very reassuring. I can only hope someone wouldn’t be foolish enough to use this as an April Fools Joke!

According to the report, Japan has gone into a “maximum alert” due to plutonium found in the soil around the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Plant and radioactive water that has leaked from a reactor in the plant.

With radiation showing up around the world, I haven’t heard what the levels really mean- is it worse than getting an x-ray?

 Link to International business times:

Japan’s Nuclear Plant- Post Earthquake

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

I was reading http://www.treehugger.com/  (a ‘green’ blog) today and there is a posting that is very interesting relating to the state of the nuclear plant in conjunction with the recent earthquake.

Link to story here:

The writer states that he is not an expert on this subject, yet he poses some very interesting questions, and answers some of these questions to the best of his ability/ resources.

It may be awhile before we find out more accurate information about this tragedy!

Mini FAQ link here:

Electric Volkswagen bus

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The Volkswagen Bus has been re-born as an electric vehicle that will run for about 186 miles on a single charge. It is supposed to fully charge in one hour at an electric charging station.

A top speed of 87 mph is electronically controlled.

It also boasts an iPad integration system that fastens to the dashboard of the car.

The ‘VW Bulli’ was introduced at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.

      TopGear.com

Collaborative Consumption- Botsman

Friday, February 18th, 2011

I received a link from a friend recently about Rachel Botsman and the ‘rise of collaborative consumption’ called “What’s mine is Yours”. She has collaborated to write a book about recycling and reusing on a truly global level. This is a theme that has been on the rise, and gaining speed. Pass the link on, it is really inspirational. Retailers won’t like it because it will reduce sales. But this is about waste and re use, not creating more waste and consumerism.

Rachel is a compelling speaker, and her talk on TED.com is great. This is well worth the watch.

Ted.com  is about ‘ideas worth spreading’ and a site worthy of frequent visits for tangible content, not fluff and gossip.

Enjoy!

Recycled Home in Netherlands

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Villa Welpeloo in Enschede, the Netherlands, was designed by

Architects Jan Jongert and Jeroen Bergsma. It doesn’t look like a recycled building. The architects reversed the typical order of the design process (first home, then materials) and began scouting the local area for items to recycle. “Reused materials account for 60% of the structure” says Jongert. “And that goes up to as much as 90% when it comes to the interior.”

They created a ‘Harvest Map’ for an inventory of possible materials to use within a 9 mile radius. They even used Google Earth seeking abandoned buildings for telltale signs of defunct industry and possible scrap materials.

Follow link here:

Amazon Curbs Wasteful Shipping Materials

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Amazon is starting a program to help curb shipping material waste.

There will be a ‘ship free with Amazon tote’ button. The tote is a reusable, weatherproof bag that you return to Amazon after delivery.

Amazon has worked out a zip code schedule according to geographical areas.

Particular areas with certain zip codes have a specific day of the week as their tote day. Items sold directly by Amazon and under 50 pounds are eligible, and will have the “ship free with Amazon tote” button on the page. Most regular items should fall under this category. You just need to time it so that it arrives on your next ‘tote day’. There are no minimum delivery sizes, subscriptions or fees attached. You may keep adding items to your order until 10am 2 days before your ‘tote day’. They say you may the leave the tote bag on your doorstep to be picked up the next week on the scheduled delivery day.

Sounds like a great idea to me. I hate the waste of the packing materials that I recycle.

Ford Focus’ New Electric Car

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Ford focus has introduced their new electric version of this popular car. They say it will launch in late 2011. Total range hasn’t been disclosed yet, but an estimate of 100 mile range is suggested.

There are two charging options: 120v standard charging will take up to 20 hours for a full charge. 240v optional charging station will do a complete charge in 3-4 hours, and will be sold and installed by ‘Best Buy’ at an estimated cost of $1,499.

They are using a 23 kwh lithium-ion battery.

A lack of public charging stations is a concern for some. Others say it may force larger cities to make more charging stations available.

Top speed is expected to be about 84 mph (136 kph).

Ford and Microsoft have partnered to bring electric drivers a smart phone app called “My Ford Mobile,” which helps owners plug in remotely, advise drivers when utility rates are lowest and search MapQuest for charging stations.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I know that this is a totally lame posting, but in an effort to push something out in a very busy week, I’m posting a YouTube video about Geothermal Heat Pumps.

I will post more on this subject after I’ve had a chance to research this more.

It looks awesome, and I have heard of this in the past. It looks like it could be rather costly, but may have come down in price over the years and there may be tax incentives available! 

Geothermal Heat Pumps:

VENT FREE FIREPLACES

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

“EcoSmart Fireplaces are environmentally friendly vent free open fireplaces that produce a wonderfully warm dancing flame.”

This line of fireplaces is visually creative and seems quite exciting.

They are clean burning, fuelled by liquid bio-ethanol which is renewable because it comes from sources such as: sugar cane, potato and corn.

Easy to use and maintain, they bring warmth and energy into a room. They do not produce ash or soot, so there’s no mess to clean up.

The fact that they do not require a flue or chimney means that they don’t really require installation (in some cases) and are easily moved. Apartment and Condo dwellers can add a fireplace, and take it with them when they move.

They manufacture a variety of fireplace grates, inserts and freestanding models as well as outdoor models.

Vent free ecosmartfire.com:

Bio ethanol fuel:

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