Optimal Gift Wrapping

Optimal gift wrapping comes from renewable sources and does not contain toxic substances. Virgin forest fiber, bleach and heavy-metal inks need not be a part of gift giving. What are some of the better choices? One of the more optimal ways to wrap gifts is Furoshiki, a traditional Japanese technique of wrapping gifts using cloth. The appeal of this form …

HP To Install 1 Megawatt Solar Rooftop

Hewlett-Packard has announced it will install a 1-megawatt solar array in its San Diego facility. The installation will be made up of 5,000 panels on seven buildings. It’s a large solar array, but smaller than Google’s 1.6-megawatt solar array, which is thought to be the largest corporate installation to date in the United States.

Biomethane: A Fuel From Pure Grass

This is highly optimal. In Austria, cars can now fill up on a renewable, locally-produced fuel. The fuel is called “biomethane”, and it’s created by fermenting meadow grass (Poa pratensis). The grass is grown without the input of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. And it’s a true ‘cellulosic biofuel’ — it doesn’t rely on grains and oilseeds.

Extreme Folding: MIT’s Bike Folds To Become Suitcase-Sized

A group at MIT has unveiled a scooter that folds in half, and collapses to the size of a suitcase. The low-cost bike could be carried on a bus or stored under your desk at work. A prototype of the new design was recently unveiled at the Milan Auto Show. According to William J. Mitchell of MIT’s Smart Cities Group, …

Throttle-Free Electric Bike To Be Introduced In 2008

Scheduled for release in early 2008, the iZip Express is an electric bike that will operate without a throttle. Instead, the bike has a special torque sensor that applies power as the rider requires it. Basically, the harder you pedal, the more the motor assists you. Test drivers have said that this automatic drive system is one of the most …

The Wind Shade Roof

Personally, I find combination of clean energy and art to be compelling.  Michael Jantzen‘s designs certainly embody both ideas. Pictured above is his “Wind Shade Roof” concept – it’s a swimming pool complex with wind turbines integrated into the roof. The turbines provide power for night lighting, pool heating and pumps. I’m sure the design is not entirely optimal, but also …

Solar Beads Could Cut Costs By 50%

Here’s another solar innovation that could reduce cost of solar energy by as much as 50%. A company in Japan has developed a novel way of making solar cells with arrays of thousands of tiny silicon spheres surrounded by hexagonal reflectors. The key advantage of the system is that it reduces the total amount of silicon required, says Mikio Murozono, …

Google Wants To Make Clean Energy Cheaper Than Coal

eSolar is one of the early-stage companies Google is working with. Google has announced a plan to develop sources of renewable energy that will be cheaper than coal. The new initiative, RE<C, (renewable energy is cheaper than coal) will begin by focusing on solar power technology, and will also encompass geothermal energy production. According to the Google.Org blog, of the …

Brammo Electric Motorcycle To Debut

Brammo Motorsports, a company based in Oregon, will be debut their Enertia Bike at the EVS-23 Show in Anaheim California (it’s an electric vehicle show). The Enertia Bike was designed from the ground up to be a fully electric bike. It has a top speed of 50 mph, range of 45 miles, and can fully recharge via a standard plug …

Velomobiles: Efficient Commuter Vehicles

go-onevelo-yellow

The Go-One Velomobile A velomobile is a “bicycle car”, or more officially, a “human-powered vehicle, enclosed for protection from weather and collisions”. They are virtually unknown in the U.S., but a quite popular in some parts of Europe. Velomobiles are highly efficient commuting vehicles, especially when they are equipped with an electric assist motor. Velomobiles tend to attract a lot …