Archive for April, 2007

Solar Big Wheel Love Seat

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Amazing what a little ingenuity can come up with… imagine what would happen if a whole lot of ingenuity, like a few hundred billion dollars worth, were applied to the problem of getting renewable, clean, and cheap energy to power our transportation.

On the other hand, here is an example of a somewhat questionable use of ingenuity – despite it looking like it would be a pretty cool ride. The people at armchaircruisers.com who have built and are selling gas-powered, motorized, arm-chair recliner mobiles, some come with built in coolers for beer and chips… I wonder if they make an extra-wide model? I am having a hard time with the question if these were solar powered, would it make them any better? They have videos that show their chairs in action.
armchair cruiser

Energy efficient light bulbs

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Color Changing LED light bulb

Color changing LED light SmartHom e.com
icon $34.99

The incandescent light bulb and its inefficient use of electricity will soon be a thing of the past. Incandescent lights are essentially little electric heaters that just happen to emit light. They’re extremely inefficient, wasting most of the power they consume as heat. Lights are a significant part of the power usage in your home so by replacing all of them with modern efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)or LED lights you will not only save some serious money but will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energystar.gov says on their website that “if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.

Many new types of energy efficient lighting solutions are now on the market. While they tend to be more expensive to buy up front they will save you money in the long haul in that they last so much longer. They are also less expensive than they used to be and have more attractive shapes, capabilities and other aspects than older models.

CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents. A 22 watt CFL has about the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent. CFLs use 50 – 80% less energy than incandescents.

An excellent article on the environmentaldefense.org site discusses all you need to know about choosing the right bulb for your needs. They also have a page with a form to determine the right energy efficient bulb for a given fixture and shape of bulb. Another good read is Popular Mechanics’s, article in their current issue titled “The Best Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: PM Lab Test, Can the new breed of energy-saving fluorescents hold their own against incandescents? We ran seven bulbs through our optical course to find out.” that can be read online.

To buy energy efficient lights online you might try smarthome.com who have a wide selection of interesting CFL, LED light bulbs and many other types including the cool color changing one shown in the photo. Another very good online source, with a very wide selection of all kinds of energy efficient lighting is the Conservastore.com.

Diva Cup

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Diva Cup
Diva Cup $28.99 at the Grist Amazon Store

Each year billions of tampons and sanitary pads and their packaging made their way into landfills and sewage systems in the USA alone! One solution many are turning to is the Diva Cup.

in the 1930’s a menstrual cup was invented as a form of internal feminine protection. The DivaCup is a modern version that has been redesigned with the latest technology.

The Diva Cup is a small soft rubber cup that collects menstrual flow and is inserted more or less like a tampon. It’s reusable indefinitely — the idea is that you take it out, empty it, wash it with hot water and put it back in. You can wear it up to twelve hours, and comes in two sizes for pre-childbirth and post-childbirth.

Here is a good link for lots of information on menstrual cups.

End of Suburbia DVD

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

End of Suburbia
THE END OF SUBURBIA: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream
DVD (various prices) – DVD-lite: $17.95US + $3.80 shipping from EndofSuburbia.com

How confident do you feel that our politicians will enact policies that will not only slow down global warming but also solve the peak oil crisis looming over us? Suburbia was built on the premise that we will always have cheap gas, what happens when this is no longer the case? Check the trailer below – or go to their website where they have other trailers special offers and much more information.

Cell Phones and Bee Death Buzz

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Bee Death from Cell Phones?
Are Cell Phones Really Killing the Bees?

Over the past several months there has been a rapid decline of significant percentages of world wide bee colonies. Colony Collapse Disorder is the new name for what has been destroying bee hives. The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is reported to have lost 60 percent of its commercial bee population, with 70 percent gone on the East Coast. Scientists are don’t know the exact cause, but researchers at Landau University suggest that radiation from mobile phones may be at least partially to blame. Some suggest that the proliferation of cell towers in rural areas may play a role.

Don’t be too quick to believe that cell phones will cause our doom. Spiegel Online looks critically at the research on cellphones and bees death in detail. This article also looks at the many other, more convincing reasons for the Colony Collapse Disorder such as GM crops or global warming.

Bill Maher asked on his HBO show last week if people would give up using the cellphone in order to save the bees – and help prevent the massive ecological collapse and wide spread hunger. He repeated the now famous but quote by Albert Einstein “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years left to live.’ But is it accurate? Snopes.com suggests its very doubtful Einstein ever said that.

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