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Archive for February, 2007

Solar Power for Computers

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

solar power fo computersSolarHome from partsonsale.com A solar electric system, specifically designed to power a full sized computer system and can also act as an emergency power system for your home. The only catch is that the cost at $3,695.00 is significantly more than most home computer systems. But if you use your computer in a remote area or if the power is unreliable and you use your computer for your business and can’t afford to be without power, then this may be a practical solution.

There are also a few solar laptop computer chargers. sierrasolar.com sells the Notepower Solar Laptop Computer Charger. They claim this device will provide enough power to run and/or charge most laptop computers including nearly all Macintosh as well as PC portables. You just easily set up the solar array, put it in the sunshine, plug in a 12 volt DC lighter adapter and you’re set. A 10 foot cord allows you to be in the cool shade while the solar module does it’s thing in the hot sun.

Solo Computer Classsolo Computer

Approximately two billion people around the world still live without electricity, a world that now uses the computer as an indispensable tool for nearly every area of activity. Getting access to computers for schools in remote areas of developing countries is gaining attention. One computer that seriously tackled this issue is the Solo computer that is designed for very low power usage and is designed to be used with solar panels. (note solar panel on the left side of the photo) Here is a great article that explains more about the solar powered Solo computer.  Here is another link that talks more about using solar powered computers for education in developing countries.

Greener Printing Options

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Yesterday’s post examined some eco-friendly options for computer printing paper. Today I wanted to look and see about any greener options for a printers on the market.

As you probably know, the big companies making printers: Epson, HP, Canon, etc often sell their printers at cost or even below cost so you will be forced to use their proprietary ink cartridges sold at exorbitant prices. Refilling these cartridges yourself is one way to beat the system, and their are many solutions on the web in terms of good quality inks and refilling systems and kits. Echostore.com has a variety of options to refill your ink cartridges and seems reasonably priced.

If the thought of doing this all yourself seems too messy or worrisome then you might consider going to your nearest Walgreens, apparently they now have a program to refill your printer cartridges. Here is a link to more info. I found this information about walgreens at worstedwitch.com has a terrific post on ecological issues around print cartridges. (more…)

How to make your printing be more earth friendly

Monday, February 26th, 2007

landfillTrillions of paper reams are rotting in landfills slowly decomposing and releasing methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere – adding its small contribution to global warming. In my little home office I want to reduce my paper usage and figure out ways to green my printing, so I looked around the web for some solutions.
It seems crazy that most paper is made from cutting down trees, nearly half of the trees cut in North America go to papermaking. A fascinating article (part of a comprehensive look about paper usage) is on conservatree.org that gives an terrific overview on the history of paper making and the how paper making effects the environment. Another great article on how to print more greenly is at ezine articles.com on the process of eco friendly printing.

So what’s the best paper to use?
Conservatree rates and lists computer papers and give a great deal of information on choosing the best earth friendly paper. (more…)

Green Planet Films – DVD’s to rent or buy

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Green DVD - Boiling PointRent or Buy Environmental and Nature DVD’s at Green Planet Films.com
Green Planet Films currently has and extensive selection of green DVD’s with 40 related to various environmental issues. The average price is 7.99 to rent. You can also purchase the dvd’s for a variety of prices. Some great titles on important topical environmental issues like Boiling Point with Ross Gelbspan on Global Warming. Other promising titles related to green solutions like green building, environmental justice, energy issues, recycling and many more. Their website also feature podcasts and other resources.
world at waste World at Waste – a dramatic film about recycling (if the preview is represents fairly the entire movie – might be a bit over dramatic!) . They have a preview you can watch. (http://www.recyclemovie.com/)

how to save the worldHow to Save the World From the Green Planet website “This is not your usual doom and gloom experience – it gives great optimism for the world and WHAT ORDINARY PEOPLE CAN DO.”

The ozone hole’s getting bigger, UV Meter can offer protection

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

UV HawkThe UV HAWK™ $29.99 fusiontank.com

Add another thing to your list of things to be paranoid about. The giant hole in the ozone was thought to be well on its way to being healed with the elimination of refrigerant chlorofluorocarbons, the elimination of damaging aerosols in spray cans, and other such chemicals back in the late 80’s. But now scientists have discovered that the ozone hole has expanded again, the ozone hole over the Antarctica is now estimated to be the size of North America!

The New York Times yesterday had a frightening article about the rapid increase in the number of people in China and India who can now afford to buy air conditioners. This combined with factories operating at full speed making millions of new cheap air conditioners makes a dangerous scenerio. Even if these new air conditioners use the HCFC-22 refrigerant which is about only 5% as harmful than the previous chlorofluorocarbon, when you add millions of new air conditioners you are seriously putting the ozone at risk, not to mention the extra greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere from the extra power usage.

With real health risks now at stake there is a gadget called the UV Hawk that could come to the rescue. A tip of the branches to treehugger for their post on this new device (2/21/07 post) (more…)

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