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Google To Spend $10 Million On Electric Cars

by Justin Thomas •

Wow, this is great news for those of us who would like to see electric cars go mainstream. Yesterday, Google switched on the 1.6 megawatts solar roof on its corporate campus. The roof will provide about one third of the company’s electricity. Google also announced plans to accelerate the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Google.Org is awarding $1 million …

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Solar-Powered Boat Sails Across The Atlantic

by Justin Thomas •

A company called MW-Line in Switzerland has been busy creating solar catamarans for tourism operations, where quietness and clean fuels are major pluses. Their Sun21, a 46 foot catamaran, was the first boat to cross the Atlantic on solar power alone. The Sun21 is actually a commercially available solar Aquabus C60, which holds 60 passengers.

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Rapid-Charging Electric SUV Demonstrated

by Justin Thomas •

Recently, Phoenix Motorcars demonstrated their plug-in electric SUV that will go on sale in 2008. The SUV uses AltairNano’s fast-charge lithium-ion battery technology for power. The vehicle has a top speed of about 100 miles per hour, and its range is about 250 miles. Here’s a video of the SUV in action.

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An Innovative Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Bus

by Justin Thomas •

It’s a prototype of a diesel-electric hybrid bus from DaimlerChrysler! The company plans to unveil this bus, the Citaro, to the general public sometime this year. The bus has a sophisticated hybrid system, that allows the bus to run in emission-free battery-only mode. Rather than providing continuous driving power, the diesel engine in the Citaro series hybrid operates as a …

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Video: View From A Wind Turbine

by Justin Thomas •

In the town of Swaffham (love that name), England, they have one the few wind turbines in the world that features an observation tower. It’s open to the public, so Newconsumer.TV went inside to climb the turbine, and take a look. Last week, the EU committed Europe to producing 20 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020. For …

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Furoshiki: Traditional Japanese Cloth Wrapping

by Justin Thomas •

A “Furoshiki” is a traditional Japanese cloth used to wrap gifts, clothes, and other goods. Recently this practice has been revived in Japan. The appeal of this form of wrapping is that the cloth is reused for other purposes, and it is an eco-effective technique in this regard. Furoshiki means “bath spread” and it derives from the practice of bundling …

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Optimal: Natural Linen Sheets by Area Simone

by Justin Thomas •

simone-natural-base_3

We recently discovered these 100% natural linen sheets by Area Simone. Linen, which comes from the flax plant, is an optimal material for making sheets. Like hemp, linen does not require pesticides to grow. By contrast, 25% of all pesticides used in the world are sprayed on cotton. Linen is also 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton, has no …

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Carfree Cities: Where Are They?

by Justin Thomas •

Interested in knowing where you can find places free of cars? There’s an extensive list of carfree places around the world, available now on the Wikipedia. There’s also a book about Carfree Citites available. Here’s our review: Imagine life in a city free from the noise, stench, and danger of cars, trucks, and buses. Imagine that all basic needs, from …

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Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

by Justin Thomas •

Hotspots are places with publically accessible wireless internet access. Depending on where you are in the U.S., finding a free Hotspot can be tricky. Here is a overview of what’s available: Panera Bread Company offers free Wi-Fi in about 500 of its stores nationwide. Here is a complete list of Wi-Fi enabled Paneras, you can also search for a ZIP …

Household Products: Health & Safety Database

by Justin Thomas •

What’s under your kitchen sink, in your garage and on the shelves in your laundry room? The National Institutes of Health has a database listing the ingredients of these products, the potential health effects, and safety and handling. Information in the Household Products Database is taken from a variety of publicly available sources, including Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) prepared …