• Ricoh flashes it green on Times Square

    Posted in Alternative Energy on July 4, 2008

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    Time Square in the dark is now impossible to imagine, with its Las Vegas like lights flashing with adverts, it makes it an overwhelming sight for the first time tourist. Yes looking at that makes us wonder as to how much power is being consumed and in turn wasted when the street is desolate. Japanese electronics maker Ricoh has decided to do something radical in spirit of the environment. It is erecting a 47 x 126-foot billboard at Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street that will be completely powered by the sun and wind. Fueled by 45 solar panels and four wind turbines, the billboard won’t even need a backup electric generator.

  • Fireworks go green this Independence Day

    Posted in Awareness and Hype on July 3, 2008

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    This year let’s hope our Independence Day celebrations are more eco friendly than ever. Although the celebratory fireworks are meant to paint the sky with light, they however fill the sky with smoke, lead and mercury since they are always in the mix. Among the toxic culprits being addressed lately, potassium perchlorate is a reliable and inexpensive oxidizer, but it has been connected to cancers and thyroid problems. The technologies behind fireworks have changed little through the ages. Today’s fireworks products may be able to last longer and burn brighter, they essentially contain a form of gun powder used in wars fought in China some 800 years ago. Strontium and lithium may be used for red, barium and copper lead for green, and sodium glows golden. Calcium deepens colors. Zinc makes smoke clouds, aluminum sparkles, and antimony adds glitter. Scientists in Germany and at Los Alamos National Laboratory have explored reducing perchlorate, smoke, and carbon by using substances rich in nitrogen. Los Alamos researchers responded to complaints some 10 years ago from Anaheim, Calif., residents about pollution from fireworks shows every night at Disneyland. The theme park in 2004 announced it was adopting safer air cannons that use compressed air instead of a chemical propellant, eliminating black smoke.

    Eco Friendly train that never makes a stop

    Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2008

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    A Taiwanese inventor has come up with a very Eco Friendly Train system that reduces its environmental impact and increases its efficiency. The idea consists of a “train” racing through a station, at its top velocity of 85 kilometers per hour speed, it rarely averages and if so then it’s somewhere at 35kmph. But instead of a well timed leap or the use of specially trained train pushers, passengers will only need to enter a “boarding” car, which is put in motion ahead of the train’s arrival. After the rear of the traveling train catches up, the boarding car attaches itself to the rest of the boarding cars.

    Taurus Electro – The Electric Airplane is here

    Posted in Transport on June 30, 2008

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    Flying may soon become an everyday thing to do if the plans of CAFE Foundation take shape. CAFE is a nonprofit aiming to advance personal air travel, CAFE stands for Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency. The Electric Aircraft Symposium held in April in San Francisco was host to a crowd of several dozen engineers, venture capitalists, and members of clean-tech companies who plotted the potential of Electric flight. A Slovenian company called Pipistrel highlighted its newest model The Taurus Electro which can climb to 6,000 feet after taking off on a 30-kilowatt motor. Recharging the glider’s lithium-polymer battery is meant to take about as long as powering a cell phone. Depending upon the weather and skills of the pilot, the glider can travel 1,000 miles in a day. Pipistrel’s customers include Formula One driver Pedro de la Rosa. But even Google co-founder Larry Page, who attended the forum, might have to wait to purchase the electric Taurus if he were interested.

    Apple, Microsoft, and Nintendo – Losers in Greenpeace’s Guide to greener electronics

    Posted in Awareness and Hype on June 30, 2008

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    Sony and Sony Ericsson (SE) may have topped Greenpeace’s latest Guide to Greener Electronics, but almost all manufacturers saw their scores plunge thanks to new, more stringent marking criteria. Greenpeace decided that it was now necessary to make the grading system tougher and to create additional grading criteria. For example, it added more toxic compounds to its list of materials manufacturers must commit themselves to eliminate and provide a timeline for that process. Chemicals added to the roster of nasties include beryllium in all its forms and compounds of antimony. That’s were Apple failed, in the previous report it scored 6.7 but, has since seen its score drop to 4.1. Greenpeace admitted that the firm’s timeline for PVC and BFR phase-out is positive, but slapped the iPhone maker on the wrist for failing to provide a timeline over which it’ll withdraw use of other Earth-damaging chemicals, such as beryllium. It also lost points over its use of recycled plastic content; it’s somewhat sketchy information about plans for the reduction of its carbon footprint, and failure to provide any information about the amount of renewable energy it uses, if any.

    Airlines look for options to keep costs down

    Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2008

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    The next horror film could be based on a trip to the gas station, imagine that! We all know of how much it pains our hearts to burn precious fuel as we go about dealing with the most gas guzzling task in the entire world, TRAFFIC! Well that’s what we have to deal with now compare your car woes to a fleet of jets in an airlines nest and you’ll know what the pains of an airline are. Considering that 25% of an airlines cost of operations goes into just filling it up with gas, it isn’t surprising to know of airlines going bankrupt in the near future. Southwest Airlines however doesn’t have that problem the low-cost, no frills, peanuts (or pretzels) only airline has been fuel conscious for years. The Texas-based carrier buys its fuel years in advance. The company orders its Boeing 737’s with drag-reducing, energy-saving upswept wing tips and now it’s reportedly hosing down the insides of its jet engines for smoother air flow and better fuel economy. But it still doesn’t really help the other airlines much, jet engines, are one of the fuel hungriest machines ever devised by man. With so much invested in jets it’s hard to imagine the airlines as well as the aircraft manufacturers switching to something else in the name of customer comfort. The Airlines are left with two options to save them from going extinct.

    Lithium Vs Hydrogen – The new war of the alternatives

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 28, 2008

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    If you still haven’t realized how serious the fuel problem is, it could only mean two things either you live on an island disconnected from the rest of humanity or your filthy rich. The price of fuel doesn’t seem destined to fall anytime soon even though Saudi Arabia promises to ease up on trade norms. The automobile manufacturers didn’t see the present fuel crisis as a long term situation, and automobile manufacturers somehow thought that announcing better fuel efficient hybrid vehicles to be launched years from now will ease our present woes. Toyota is slipping out info of its next generation Prius almost everyday, and Honda soon coming out with its Clarity FCX Fuel Cell car. What are we to do by knowing of future cars being more fuel efficient while we drain our money into $4 a gallon gas everyday till the next hybrid is out that promises 40Mpg. With the plethora of new alternative fuel projects being announced everyday, it makes it very hard for us to decide on which technology will stand the test of time in the new war of the alternatives. It is the same reason car companies are hesitant to roll off alternative fuel cars into the market; they simply cannot afford watching more loss graphs already donated to them by the recent gas price inflation. The technology to build alternative fuel cars simply hasn’t been available until recent years.

    Shanghai plans a zero carbon emitting city by 2050

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 27, 2008

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    There is a recent craze in reducing the amount of carbon emissions, and many are going so far as proclaiming of building an entire city that does not depend on any fossil fuels to cause any environmental damage whatsoever. China as always does not want to be left far behind, after the debacle of being listed as the largest contributor of Co2 into the environment it wants to clean up its act. Its announced building a fully self sufficient, zero carbon emitting Eco-city by the end of 2050. The city sits near the eastern tip of Chongming, the world’s largest alluvial island in the mouth of the Yangtze River. Developers hope the community will become home for up to 400,000 people across 30 square kilometers – about half the size of Manhattan. Currently, the city has ten wind turbines along the boundary, which will run on energy from sources including wind, solar power and biogas from municipal waste. Generating electricity from wind is estimated to be at least twice as expensive as using coal. Electricity from solar power could be ten times as expensive. Yet it seems saving the environment is at the forefront of Chinas agenda and it’s nice to know it will value green power over cheaper and harmful alternatives. The city is expected to house about 400,000 residents by the time it is completed in 2050. Improved access could make Dongtan the new home of wealthy commuters

    WD Caviar GP goes green with a power sipper

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on June 27, 2008

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    Although not many people think about how much power their computers consume and its direct effect on the environment simply because some components just appear to not use any energy when in reality they are power gulpers. The new WD Caviar GP is a 500GB 3.5-inch SATA HDD, so what’s so new about it you say? Well, its one from the Green Power initiatives by WD. By consuming just 3.3 watts in idle mode beating other drives by almost five watts it reduces carbon emissions by 13.8 kilograms a year.

    Beehive inspired apartment buildings

    Posted in Architecture on June 27, 2008

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    When looking for a new house many young couples look for nothing less than paradise with all the best amenities. They are promised exactly that in utopist sales brochures, what finally is sold is just another cubic mundane house. That’s what the designers of this apartment complex took to heart and designed these modular honeycomb clusters of a beehive complex. It was constructed for low-income residence for young families and couples in the industrial district of Izola on the Slovenian coast. The complex has facades of solar shading and natural ventilation to regulate its interiors all year-round. Each of the balcony modules is topped with a colorful textile shade that provides for efficient solar shading and ventilation.