No Impact Man

by Justin Thomas •

No Impact Man is really on the cutting-edge of efficient, green living. This recent post is a good introduction to what he is all about. While some might think this kind of living is extreme, I think his approach to living actually very practical. It just goes against-the grain our very ineffective societal norms.

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Storing Sunshine Using Flow Batteries

by Justin Thomas •

Flow batteries are a unique kind of battery — they have tanks that hold hundreds of gallons of the chemicals, called electrolytes. Flow batteries just happen to be very good at storing solar or wind power. Renewable power sources suffer from being intermittent, and less reliable for continuous power supply than coal or gas. Neither resource is a good match …

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Manitoba Hydro Tower: 60% Energy Savings, 100% Fresh Air, Maximum Daylight

by Justin Thomas •

The new head offices for Manitoba Hydro, in downtown Winnipeg, will be a model for extreme climate design. Winnipeg is one of the coldest large cities in the world. Temperatures vary 100 degrees over a year. The design of the 700,000 ft² office tower is targeting a 60%+ reduction in energy consumption, through the use of passive solar techniques.

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Optimal Toothbrush System

by Justin Thomas •

I consider the Smile Brite toothbrush system the most efficient and sustainable available, for two reasons. First, the toothbrush bristles comes from a natural source, and they don’t contain any synthetic dyes. This reduces the chemical load in your mouth. The bristles are harvested from special breeds of boar which have the fine, soft bristles required for use as brushes.

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Portland City Storage: 175,000 SF Of Solar Cells

by Justin Thomas •

This complex is a storage facility to be built by Portland City Storage on the east bank of the Willamette River in Portland. It will have a glass tower rising more than 22 stories and enclosing a giant mechanical arm capable of lifting 40,000 pounds (to conserve valuable riverfront land).

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Convert A Golf Cart To Solar Power

by Justin Thomas •

A new product called the Sunray Solar Roof Kit, from Cruise Car, will allow most golf carts to become solar powered vehicles. It will soon be available to golf courses, resorts any anyone who owns a golf cart. The solar panels can generate up to 180 watts and supply 3 amps directly to a 36 or 48 volt battery. Overall, …

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Wind-Up LED Camp Lantern

by Justin Thomas •

This lantern is said to have a very efficient wind-up mechanism. Apparently, you can get thirty minutes of ambient light from a minute’s worth of winding. The light can be placed on a flat surface, or hung up using the recessed loop. You can also charge it via a 12V car socket. Available from I Want One Of Those (£19.95). …

Ford’s New Plug-in Electric Partnership

by Justin Thomas •

Ford and Southern California Edison (a utility company) will be partnering in a joint initiative to test and demonstrate a fleet of plug-in hybrid electric cars. Ford will give the Californian utility a demonstration fleet of 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid SUVs that will be converted by Ford to become plug-in electric vehicles. A Ford press release said that as their …

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All Buses Rides Are Free In Hasselt

by Justin Thomas •

The Tyee reports: Ten years ago the people of Hasselt, Belgium embarked upon a bold experiment: no more charging for bus rides. Ever since, they’ve been proving the idea can work wonderfully. This city of 70,000 residents, with 300,000 commuters from the surrounding area, has made traveling by bus easy, affordable, and efficient. Now, people in Hasselt often speak of …