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Solar Powered 12 Volt Battery Charger

by Justin Thomas •

Solar powered 12 volt battery chargers are small solar panels that trickle charge your car’s battery while the sun is shining. Basically, the solar charger provides a small amount of power to the battery, so that if you leave your car’s door open you won’t be left with a dead battery. This reminds me: I’ve always wondered why cars don’t …

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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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Top Rated, Energy Efficient Refrigerators

by Justin Thomas •

In terms of quality, cost and energy efficiency, Kenmore refrigerators get high ratings from Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports. They make many “no-frills” refrigerators which are Energy Star compliant. Kenmore fridges have factory-installed ice makers, which are less prone to break down than those built into the door. For example, a reasonably priced, mid-sized Kenmore fridge is available from Sears …

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Man Retrofits Freezer to Make an Ultra-Efficient Fridge

by Justin Thomas •

An off-grid experimenter in Australia, Tom Chalko, has retrofitted a chest freezer to create a fridge that uses only 100 watt-hours (0.1 kWh) per day! Why a chest freezer? Tom points out that vertical door refrigerators are inherently inefficient. As soon as you open a vertical fridge door the cold air escapes, simply because it is heavier than the warmer …

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Carfree Cities

by Justin Thomas •

Imagine life in a city free from the noise, stench, and danger of cars, trucks, and buses. Imagine that all basic needs, from groceries to child care, lie within a five-minute walk of every doorstep. Imagine that no commute takes more than 35 minutes from door to door, and that service is provided by a fast, cheap, safe, comfortable public …