07 August 2007

Alexandre Verdier's redesign of the Westfalia

Sorry I couldn't in good conscience miss posting this thing. It's beautiful. I now renounce my goals of owning a home and aspire to own this.

04 August 2007

Use the sun as your pen

I ran across a post on Instructables that was well worth repeating. There is always a focus on how the sun and solar energy can help mankind do more work and be more productive, but what about fun in the sun.
The instructions give step by step detail on using the sun to engrave images into wood using items you probably have lying around the house. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks to provide a humane alternative to popping ants with a magnifying glass.

Carbon Conscious Consumer launches campaign to slow carbon emmissions

Carbon Conscious Consumer

Carbon Conscious Consumer has taken advantage of Web 2.0 social technologies and is seeking to affect reductions in carbon emissions through actions of individual consumers. Users can pledge to not drive for one day each week and can earn rewards by encouraging others to sign the pledge.

read more | digg story

Carbon Conscious Consumer launches campaign to slow carbon emmissions

Carbon Conscious Consumer has taken advantage of Web 2.0 social technologies and is seeking to affect reductions in carbon emissions through actions of individual consumers. Users can pledge to not drive for one day each week and can earn rewards by encouraging others to sign the pledge.

read more | digg story

03 August 2007

Green Base Jumping! Just cool.

 
 

Sent to you by Josh via Google Reader:

 
 

via EQUITY GREEN by Garrett on Aug 03, 2007

This video is crazy...base jumping off the blade of a giant wind turbine. Now we're talking sustainability!


 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

02 August 2007

The Greening of Computing

You may notice that I tend to post a lot on computing and computer related things (i.e. Google Maps). Well it might be because I am a nerd and I seek justification for my love of computers. Thankfully for my interests the recent "Green revolution" spawned by threats of global warming also extends to the technology industry.

Earth2Tech
, a recent entry to the blogosphere, did an excellent writeup today on the importance of green data centers. We all tend to focus on greening the devices and commodities that we see everyday, but what about those hidden computing centers from which we retrieve our information services such as e-mail and online documents. The article states that energy costs are approaching costs greater than 30% of the informational technology total. If you ponder it, these are systems that are always on and due to the global nature of the internet there isn't really a time when power demands can be scaled back. Hey, people across the international date line need MySpace too. The industry have every reason to focus on longterm investments in alternative localized energy sources as the cost of their energy needs begin to approach equipment cost.

Help is on the way for the conscientious, tech-savy consumer, enter Zonbu. Zonbu is lower-end computer device that uses 1/3 as much power as a standard light-bulb. The device is intended to use with your daily tech gadgets (cameras and iPods) and to provide access to internet based computing needs. It's Linux based and not really intended as a full fledged computer for gaming or power hungry applications, but lets be honest how many of us are really using our computers other than the internet, device management, and productivity applications. The pricepoint is reasonable at $99, though it does require a subscription service ($12.95/mo) for data storage. EcoGeek claims that you can make up for the subscription fees in utility savings. You can also purchase it straight out for $249. The subscription service includes support and firmware upgrades as well as centralized back up on the Zonbu servers. It's an excellent idea and I might be sold on the subscription based on the simplicity of such a device. Check out further information on EcoGeek and MetaEfficient. I wonder how energy efficient the Zonbu data center is.

In further green computing news, Inhabitat pointed out that Western Digital has begun releasing harddrives with energy efficiency in mind. Western Digital claims that these drives will save 13.8kg CO2 annually when compared with similar drives. If manufacturers continue on this trend then data centers may be able to quickly take advantage of economic savings through energy conservation.

Bike Sharing Goes Hi-Tech

I've seen a lot of information lately about bike-sharing programs being implemented throughout Europe and even select locations in the states. I personally love this idea as I can see definite need for multi-modal transportation that is flexible and doesn't require the immense forethought that our current transit systems are sometimes associated with. Maybe you missed your normal bus and need a quick way to cut accross a few blocks to catch an alternate route. Perhaps you can ditch your car for your in-town errands following a lengthy commute.

Streetsblog had a pretty interesting post on a program in Berlin that uses cell phone technology to lock and unlock the bike. The program does away with the need for bike lockers or designated racks through its innovative self locking mechanism. A user who wished to check out the bike simply calls the number on the bike and the rear-wheel locking mechanism is released. When the user is done with there errands they call the number again to re-lock the bike leaving where it sits. The service charges about 6 cent a minute and is administered by the government. Check out the full post.

01 August 2007

Oh God No! Not The Nalgene

Treehugger (who incidentally was purchased by Discovery today) featured a rather disturbing article on the iconic accessory of the outdoorsy environmentalist. It turns out that the rumors floating around about Nalgene bottles and hormone disruptors might have some ground. Check out the full post for more information.

Whatever shall we switch to? Glass? I think not. I can't chuck a glass bottle in my pack and ride the bike wherever without risking loss of limb or at a minimum digits. I checked out Sigg bottles, but I seemed to remember some scare about Alzheimer's and aluminum as kid. It must have been big as I have no such cookware in my kitchen (suggesting that the metal was somehow subconsciously stigmatized at my hands). A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that the research on the Alzheimer's/Aluminum link is inconclusive at this point, so who knows if they are entirely safe.

Then again with cities beginning to ban bottled water (due to litter though the disposable plastic bottles are linked with the same horomone disrupting problem as the Nalgenes) the race to find a new, rugged container is one. Anyone have suggestions?

Map where your meat comes from..

Just to meld the whole herbivore slant of this blog along with the posts on information systems and mapping, I decided to post on Factory Farm Map. Factory Farm Map allows users to examine the geographic distribution of factory meat farms around the U.S. The data is broken down to the county level and is intended to show where the highest levels of animal farming associated pollution would be found. I wish there was a similar interface for veggies so that people could understand the importance of recruiting local foods to combat centralized food production.