MetaEfficient Vacation

by Justin Thomas •

MetaEfficient is on vacation. This week, I’ve managed to travel around town and to the beach by bike. I’ve also been reading A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander — this 1200-page tome is good to read in a hammock. I would like to optimize this house and this town, based on their principles.

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A Portable Kinetic Motion Charger

by Justin Thomas •

Human Motion Charger

A company called M2E Power has announced plans today to release a charger that will powered by kinetic motion. The released date is expected to be next summer. The charger derives power from the motion of walking, jogging, cycling, or driving. Six hours of motion provides 30 to 60 minutes of charging power. It will be priced between $25 and …

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Biogas: Producing Ultra-Efficient Fuel From Sewage

by Justin Thomas •

We could be generating huge amounts of power from sewage. The process is fairly simple — just ferment sewage to produce a fuel called biogas. Biogas is almost entirely methane, and so is natural gas, so the two are essential interchangeable. The potential to produce biogas is almost entirely overlooked by most countries — except Sweden.

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An Inexpensive Electric Bike Conversion Kit

by Justin Thomas •

An Electric Bike Convesion Kit by AmpedBike

Sales of electric bikes have spun into high gear this year — some merchants reporting a 6000% increase in sales. This is good news, because, for short trips, the efficiency and convenience of electric bikes is hard to beat. You may have heard that in the U.S.,  40% of all trips are made within two miles of the home, and 50% …

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Vancouver: All New Developments Must Be Green

by Justin Thomas •

In June, the Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the adoption the the highest green standards for private sector development in North America. Effective immediately, all new re-zonings for development in Vancouver will be required to achieve or exceed the level of LEED Silver, and they will have to achieve LEED Gold on January 1st, 2010.

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The Greenest Cell Phones of 2008

by Justin Thomas •

Most cell phones don’t even come close to being green — their chargers are energy inefficient, they contain hazardous chemicals, and they not are designed for upgrading or easy recycling. Recently though, some the big players in the field like Nokia and Sony Ericsson are making moves towards green design. As far as assessing which phones are greenest, the best …

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New Zero-Emissions Electric Commuter Bike: The A2B

by Justin Thomas •

A company called Ultra Motor has released a new electric bike called the A2B. This bike looks great – I like the functional, minimalist style. The A2B is designed for urban or suburban commutes. According to Ultra Motors, the A2B offers unassisted power on demand for up to 20 miles at a cruising speed of 20mph. At that speed it’s still …

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Solar Powered Air Conditioner Released

by Justin Thomas •

A company called GreenCore Air has released an air conditioner than can be powered by a single 170 watt solar panel. The GreenCore air conditioning unit can heat and cool a 600 square foot room. It runs on DC power, so there is no need to put an AC inverter between the solar panel and the air conditioner. This eliminates …

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The Greenest Monitors of 2008

by Justin Thomas •

Continuing our coverage of green computing devices, let’s take a look at the greenest monitors currently available. These monitors are energy efficient, and they eliminate most hazardous chemicals from their design. Some even incorporate recycled plastic into their casings. EPEAT is the most comprehensive green certification for monitors — the EPEAT certification incorporates Energy Star 4.0 requirements, and the European …

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The First LEED Platinum Data Center

by Justin Thomas •

Chilled Water Inside A Data Center

ADC (Advanced Data Centers), a company based in San Francisco, is set to build the country’s greenest data center. Because of its efficiency, the project stands to save its owner from $1.8 million to $2 million in energy costs. ADC says its new center will be 25-30 percent more energy efficient than the industry standard. The data center will use …