Thursday, May 29, 2008


TRIAC Electric Car. Range: 60-100 Miles. Cost: 2 cents per mile

This little number has been getting some good press lately (see EcoGeek and Inhabit), and for good reason: it’s the first commercially available electric vehicle with a price tag and functionality that could meet the needs of the average city driver (assuming you can afford it).

OK, you aren’t going to fit a family of 5 in there, but that’s not what it’s made for. Green Vehicles, manufacturer of the 3-wheeled TRIAC EV, calls it a “modern freeway commuter,” because the zero-emissions vehicle can reach 80 mph and will get you into the carpool lane with a single driver. Safety-wise, it has a structural steel cage the company says is the “same metal skeleton used in race cars” and a low center of gravity to maintain balance (but surprisingly has no airbags).

Back at home, it takes about 6 hours to charge the car’s lithium-ion batteries at an estimated cost of about 2 cents per mile. Not a bad deal if you can afford the $20,000 price tag. The company website says the TRIAC EV is currently available at dealerships in San Jose and Mill Valley, California, and should be more widely available in the future.

Link via Gas 2.0, for the manufacturer click here.

Wood Waste Ethanol Breakthrough from New Zealand

New Zealand believes it may have discovered a solution to global warming and diminishing energy with its own alternative fuel. Scion, a state owned forestry research corporation, says that can be used for biofuel production. The announcement could presage an alt fuel breakthrough.

The investigation by Scion via bio refineries has been the target and hopes of this company. They are currently able to process waste from pulp and paper mills. There is a processing plant in the Central North Island of New Zealand that has the potential to produce over ninety million liters of ethanol annually. This would surpass the Government’s target of a 3.4 per cent biofuel component of gasoline and diesel by 2012.

Read on from the Cutting Edge News

Eight reasons higher prices will do us a world of good

Americans should be celebrating rather than shuddering over the arrival of $4-a-gallon gasoline. We lived on cheap gas too long, failed to innovate and now face the consequences of competing for a finite resource amid fast-expanding global demand.
A further price rise as in Europe to $8 a gallon -- or $200 and more to fill a large SUV's tank -- would be a catalyst for economic, political and social change of profound national and global impact. We could face an economic squeeze, but it would be the pain before the gain.
The U.S. economy absorbed a tripling in gas prices in the last six years without falling into recession, at least through March. Ravenous demand from China and India could see prices further double in the next few years -- and jumpstart the overdue process of weaning ourselves off fossil fuels.
Consider the world of good that would come of pricing crude oil and gasoline at levels that would strain our finances as much as they're straining international relations and the planet's long-term health:
1. RIP for the internal-combustion engine
2. Economic stimulus
3. Wither the Middle East's clout
4. Deflating oil potentates
5. Mass-transit development

From MarketWatch.

Natural Gas Powered Vehicles

I did some research, and found that compressed-natural-gas vehicles are fetching big premiums online in places like Utah and Oklahoma where natural-gas prices are ridiculously low—as low as 60-cents per gallon. When I listed the car on eBay, it sold three days later to someone in Oklahoma for $18,600, about $4,000 more than what I paid for the car when I purchased it from Honda less than a year before, and $2,000 above its Kelley Blue Book value. (The sale price to me reflected various state and federal tax incentives that Honda took when they owned it.)

Who’d have thought that the highest-performing investment of my entire year would be a used Honda Civic? We loved owning the car, and will miss its greenest-car-on-earth cache. But we realized that living five miles from work is probably better for the environment than living 65 miles from work, no matter what you drive.

Via RideLust. Note that this is a common trend in countries like Brazil.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tesla? Ha, who needs it! Here comes AMP!

Tesla has long dominated news of electric cars, with it's sexy Ferrari-like styling, famous customers, and tabloid worthy behind the scenes politics. But what if you don't have in excess of $109,000 for the base model? What if you don't want to wait a year? What if you don't want to settle for a close cousin of the golf cart? What if you'd like to travel further than your commute?

Up until now, your options were pretty well non existent. Now comes the AMP, which looks suspiciously like a Saturn Sky. That's because it is, converted to be a plug in electric, with a 150 mile range, 0-60 in under 6 seconds, at a total pre-tax cost including the car of around $50,000. That's $10,000 less then the deposit alone for a Tesla!

AMP, or Advanced Mechanical Products has created a car power system based around Lithium Phosphate batteries, which are apparently safer than the at times troubled Lithium Cobalt batteries, are non toxic, and weigh 1/3 that of typical car batteries, enabling the overall weight of the car to remain the same from before the conversion, retaining the balance and stability that was engineered into the original Saturn.

Via Triple Pundit.

Landowners getting trampled in gas rights rush

Stories of fast-talking industry representatives using scare tactics to strong-arm people into signing lowball leases are popping up in rural areas and suburbs from New York to West Virginia to parts of Indiana and Texas. All sit atop largely untapped natural gas deposits made suddenly viable — and valuable — by soaring prices and improved drilling techniques.

Castle and his father thought they were getting a windfall when they signed a $5-an-acre lease with a small Michigan company and promise of 12.5 percent royalties for the gas rights to 800 acres they own near Rowlesburg in northern West Virginia. The process started when a landman — an industry term for a person who secures mineral rights — knocked on their door.

"They're very nice people, the ones that come around. You thought you could trust them," said Castle, who adds that he was warned to sign or drillers would siphon the gas beneath his property without paying him a dime.

His feelings of trust evaporated when rival companies started offering $350 an acre and royalties as high as 15 percent.

But Decker held out and formed a pool with other landowners that has grown to more than 40,000 acres. The approach worked: Decker's group agreed to a five-year deal that pays $2,411 an acre and a 15 percent royalty.

"There just aren't a lot of savvy landowners out there," McDivitt said of the calls he gets regularly. "Some of them are just, 'Hey, we just had some slick-talking guy who's just been pounding on us, but we don't understand.'"

Read on the Newsvine.

Truth or Consequences: $4+ for a Gallon of Gas Should be Mandatory?

Imagine for a minute, just a minute, that someone running for president was able to actually tell the truth, the real truth, to the American people about what would be the best — I mean really the best — energy policy for the long-term economic health and security of our country. I realize this is a fantasy, but play along with me for a minute. What would this mythical, totally imaginary, truth-telling candidate say?

For starters, he or she would explain that there is no short-term fix for gasoline prices. Prices are what they are as a result of rising global oil demand from India, China and a rapidly growing Middle East on top of our own increasing consumption, a shortage of “sweet” crude that is used for the diesel fuel that Europe is highly dependent upon and our own neglect of effective energy policy for 30 years.

No, our mythical candidate would say the long-term answer is to go exactly the other way: guarantee people a high price of gasoline — forever.

This candidate would note that $4-a-gallon gasoline is really starting to impact driving behavior and buying behavior in way that $3-a-gallon gas did not. The first time we got such a strong price signal, after the 1973 oil shock, we responded as a country by demanding and producing more fuel-efficient cars. But as soon as oil prices started falling in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we let Detroit get us readdicted to gas guzzlers, and the price steadily crept back up to where it is today.

We must not make that mistake again. Therefore, what our mythical candidate would be proposing, argues the energy economist Philip Verleger Jr., is a “price floor” for gasoline: $4 a gallon for regular unleaded, which is still half the going rate in Europe today. Washington would declare that it would never let the price fall below that level. If it does, it would increase the federal gasoline tax on a monthly basis to make up the difference between the pump price and the market price.

More on the NY Times.

Oil's perfect storm may blow over

The perfect storm that has swept oil prices to $132 a barrel may subside over the coming months as rising crude supply from unexpected corners of the world finally comes on stream, just as the global economic downturn begins to bite.

The forces behind the meteoric price rise this spring are slowly receding. Nigeria has boosted output by 200,000 barrels a day (BPD) this month, making up most of the shortfall caused by rebel attacks on pipelines in April.

The Geneva consultancy PetroLogistics says Iraq has added 300,000 bpd to a total of 2.57m as security is beefed up in the northern Kirkuk region.

"There is a strong rebound in supply," said the group's president Conrad Gerber.

Saudi Arabia is adding 300,000 bpd to the market in response to a personal plea from President George Bush, and to placate angry Democrats on Capitol Hill - even though Riyadh insists that there are abundant supplies for sale.

The signs are already surfacing in global inventories. Opec says that stocks held by the OECD club of rich countries are above their five-year average, with "comfortable" cover for 53 days' use. US stocks have edged up for the last four months, though they fell last week.

The countries that account for the most of the growth in oil demand over the last two years are almost all nearing the limits of easy economic growth.

Read on the Telegraph.

Sweden turning sewage into a gasoline substitute

Chemically, biogas is the same as natural gas from fossil fuels, but its manufacture relies on a process where bacteria feed on fecal waste for about three weeks in an oxygen-free chamber. The result is two-thirds methane and one-third carbon dioxide, as well as a nutrient-rich residue that can be used as soil or construction material.

Once the methane is purified, it is pumped through Goteborg's network of gas pipelines to specialized filling stations, where it is pressurized for delivery. Any car with an engine and tank configured for compressed natural gas can use biogas.

After each fill-up, the corresponding amount of biogas is injected into the natural gas grid as an offset, said Bo Ramberg, chief executive of FordonsGas, which is based in Goteborg and operates the largest chain of biogas filling stations in Scandinavia.

Ola Fredriksson, an engineer at Gryaab, the sewage facility in Goteborg, said that what an average person flushed down the toilet each year created enough biogas to drive 120 kilometers, or 75 miles.

"If the oil price keeps on going up, and people are prepared to pay more for renewable energy, then it will make our company interested in producing more biogas," he said. "We have the capacity.'

More on the Herald Tribune.

The Question of Global Warming

When we put together the evidence from the wiggles and the distribution of vegetation over the earth, it turns out that about 8 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by vegetation and returned to the atmosphere every year. This means that the average lifetime of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, before it is captured by vegetation and afterward released, is about twelve years. This fact, that the exchange of carbon between atmosphere and vegetation is rapid, is of fundamental importance to the long-range future of global warming, as will become clear in what follows. Neither of the books under review mentions it.

The main conclusion of the Nordhaus analysis is that the ambitious proposals, "Stern" and "Gore," are disastrously expensive, the "low-cost backstop" is enormously advantageous if it can be achieved, and the other policies including business-as-usual and Kyoto are only moderately worse than the optimal policy. The practical consequence for global-warming policy is that we should pursue the following objectives in order of priority. (1) Avoid the ambitious proposals. (2) Develop the science and technology for a low-cost backstop. (3) Negotiate an international treaty coming as close as possible to the optimal policy, in case the low-cost backstop fails. (4) Avoid an international treaty making the Kyoto Protocol policy permanent. These objectives are valid for economic reasons, independent of the scientific details of global warming.

All the books that I have seen about the science and economics of global warming, including the two books under review, miss the main point. The main point is religious rather than scientific. There is a worldwide secular religion which we may call environmentalism, holding that we are stewards of the earth, that despoiling the planet with waste products of our luxurious living is a sin, and that the path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible. The ethics of environmentalism are being taught to children in kindergartens, schools, and colleges all over the world.

Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The worldwide community of environmentalists—most of whom are not scientists—holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard.

By Freeman Dyson at the NY Review of Books.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cost of converting entire U.S. to electric cars? Zero.

How much would it cost to convert the entire U.S. fleet of passenger cars, which collectively burn 40 percent of the oil that we use, to electric cars? Let’s look at some numbers:

* total oil consumption in the U.S.: 21 million barrels every day (CIA Factbook)
* cost per barrel: $130
* days in year: 365
* total spent per year: $1 trillion
* percentage of oil consumed by passenger cars: 40
* total spent per year on oil for passenger cars: $400 billion [refining into gasoline, distributing, and retailing add even more to this]
* at 5 interest, how much we could we borrow and pay $400 billion every year in interest: $8 trillion
* number of registered cars in the U.S.: 250 million (Wikipedia)
* cost of a new electric car, if mass-produced: $20,000
* value of a used car, if exported to Latin America or China: $5,000
* cost to upgrade average existing American car to a brand-new electric car: $15,000
* number that could be converted for $8 trillion: more than 500 million cars (i.e., twice as many as we have now)

Instead of sending $400 billion each year to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, we could spend it on electric car production in the U.S., Mexico, and China. At current oil prices, it wouldn’t cost us a dime extra to stop importing and burning oil for passenger cars. In fact, if the goal were to end up with the same number of cars on the road, we would have a few trillion dollars left over. One or two trillion dollars would be sufficient to build nuclear, solar, or wind electric power plants to replace all of our plants that currently burn coal and oil (note that less than 1 percent of current electricity generation in the U.S. is from oil (source); most electricity that we use today is from coal, natural gas, or nuclear).

So… simply by stopping our purchases of oil we could finance the construction of power plants that emit no CO2 and electric cars that emit no CO2.

From Philip Greenspun at Harvard.

How Farting Cows May Help Solve Energy Woes

Could bacteria end our oil woes? A farmer in Georgia thinks so, and the Pentagon is paying attention. And it can’t happen a moment too soon.

The folks at Bell Plantations in Tifton, Georgia are developing a way to convert bacteria into hydrocarbons. By genetically manipulating the bacteria, they believe they can produce different molecular chains to produce the basis for gasoline, diesel, propane and a variety of other hydrocarbon fuels.

In essence, they will be able to turn bacteria into oil – in a matter of months, rather than the millions of years it takes for fossils to degrade into usable fuels.

That’s what cows, termites and lots of other things do. They eat biomass and turn it into hydrocarbon. So Bell started looking for bacteria that could break down biomass into hydrocarbon, and he found lots of them. He found them in snails that eat grass, in the gut of a wood-eating catfish in the Amazon and, of course, in wood-eating termites.

Bell Plantations plans to clone the bacteria and genetically manipulate the biomass to produce hydrocarbon in the various forms needed to supply the market they anticipate. Present plans call for 500 nationwide production facilities within 18 months, which would give Bell Plantations the capacity to produce up to 500,000 barrels a day within two years – based on expected production capacity and a U.S. Department of Agriculture study showing that the U.S. produces 1.1 billion tons of recoverable biomass every year.

How much of an impact would that make? The entire country consumed 20.7 million barrels a day of liquid fuels and other petroleum products in 2007. If Bell can do what he says he can do, he can supply 2.5 percent of the entire country’s fuel needs within two years. And that’s for a brand new technology. Once it matures, who knows what it can do?

Read more here.

An accidental discovery at Vanderbilt University may well be the key to making light-emitting diodes the dominant lighting technology of the century. Up until very recently, the only way to make "white" light was to add yellow phosphors to bright blue LEDs. It wasn't quite right, though, as even the best "white" LED retained a blue tint. This week, we got the news that a chemistry grad student at Vanderbilt has stumbled on a way to make broad-spectrum white LEDs using quantum dots -- and in doing so, he may well have kicked off a revolution.

Michael Bowers was making quantum dots, tiny nanocrystals just a few dozen atoms across. Crystals at that scale often have unusual properties, and the ones that Bowers created were no exception. When he illuminated his batch with a laser, rather than the blue glow he expected, out came a rich white light, similar in spectrum to sunlight.

Bowers then took a polyurethane sealing liquid, mixed in some of his dots, and coated a blue LED. Although the resulting bulb -- pictured above -- is crude, it puts out white light. Its visible spectrum is similar to a typical incandescent bulb, but it puts out twice the light-per-watt, and lasts fifty times longer. One key reason for its efficiency is that it doesn't put out the infrared light typical of a regular light bulb; despite being much brighter, it's still far cooler to the touch. (The LED assembly still gets hot, however.) Completely by accident, Bowers had come up with a technology that possessed the quality of incandescent light, but none of its drawbacks.

Read on from World Changing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Garbage Will Lead the Biofuel Revolution

“Don’t let invasive biofuel crops attack your country” was the warning delivered by concerned scientists yesterday at a UN meeting in Germany. Scientists from the Global Invasive Species Program (GISP), the Nature Conservancy and the International Union for Conservation of Nature all warned that bioenergy crops could prove ecologically and economically disastrous, as many of the proposed energy crops are in fact invasive species.

This warning could easily be aimed at entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and be read as: “Don’t let invasive biofuel crops attack your business plan/investment.” Indeed, while Coskata and other cellulosic biofuel startups are stressing “non-food feedstocks,” perhaps the real next step is “non-crop feedstocks” — to that end, many biofuel startups are targeting garbage, waste and leftovers as feedstocks that are both low-cost and low-risk.

In their new report, “A Risk Assessment of Invasive Alien Species Promoted for Biofuels,” GISP lists 28 plant species already being cultivated for biofuel use that are classified as invasive. And “invasives,” as defined by the National Invasive Species Council, can be subject to stifling federal and state regulations.

This is a serious potential regulatory monkey wrench for the biofuel startups depending on America’s cropland being quickly converted to green waves of energy grasses. But it could be a boon for startups focusing on using waste products as biofuels. Agricultural wastes, like corn stover and sugarcane bagasse, are being targeted in the U.S. by startups like Mascoma and Coskata and in Brazil by Brenco and KiOR.

The logical conclusion of this progression is Craig Venter’s much-vaunted “fourth-generation biofuels.” Venter has said that by next year, his startup, Synthetic Genomics, will be producing octane from the ultimate waste product - carbon dioxide.

GISP recommends risk assessment and information gathering before any country moves full-steam ahead with energy crop plantations. That might be a little late as both the U.S. and the EU have already passed legislation mandating increases in non-food biofuels. In the mean time, we haven’t seen anyone raise objections to using garbage as a feedstock…yet.

Read from earth2tech.

Canadian Teen Isolates Plastic-Eating Microbes

Getting ordinary plastic bags to rot away like banana peels would be an environmental dream come true.

After all, we produce 500 billion a year worldwide and they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. They take up space in landfills, litter our streets and parks, pollute the oceans and kill the animals that eat them.

Now a Waterloo teenager has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster -- in three months, he figures.

Daniel Burd's project won the top prize at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. He came back with a long list of awards, including a $10,000 prize, a $20,000 scholarship, and recognition that he has found a practical way to help the environment.

He knew plastic does eventually degrade, and figured microorganisms must be behind it. His goal was to isolate the microorganisms that can break down plastic -- not an easy task because they don't exist in high numbers in nature.

First, he ground plastic bags into a powder. Next, he used ordinary household chemicals, yeast and tap water to create a solution that would encourage microbe growth. To that, he added the plastic powder and dirt. Then the solution sat in a shaker at 30 degrees.

Tests to identify the strains found strain two was Sphingomonas bacteria and the helper was Pseudomonas.

Read on from The Record.

San Francisco to Charge Polluting Firms

The rules, due to come into effect on 1 July, could cost big emitters more than $50,000 (£25,000) a year, but most firms will pay less than $1 (50p).

Backers say the move sets an important precedent for the rest of the US.

But opponents say it may interfere with plans to introduce much tougher emissions targets across California.

The state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed a landmark law designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change in 2006.

The California Air Resources Board is due to release its preliminary proposals to implement the law next month, with a final plan to be approved later this year.

From the BBC.

Jay Leno Reviews the Tesla Roadster

Biofuel Thefts Rampant?

A few years ago, drums of used french fry grease were only of interest to a small network of underground biofuel brewers, who would use the slimy oil to power their souped-up antique Mercedes.

Now, restaurants from Berkeley, California, to Sedgwick, Kansas, are reporting thefts of old cooking oil worth thousands of dollars by rustlers who are refining it into barrels of biofuel in backyard stills.

"It's like a war zone going on right now over grease," said David Levenson, who owns a grease hauling business in San Francisco's Mission District. "We're seeing more and more people stealing grease because it lets them stay away from the pump, but it's hurting our bottom line."

Levenson, who converted the engine in his '83 Mercedes to run on straight canola oil, has built up contracts to collect the liquid leftovers from 400 restaurants in the last two years.

Last week when his pump truck arrived at Thee Parkside, a dive bar known for its chili-cheese fries, his driver found someone had already helped himself to their barrel of yellow oil.

But as the price of diesel shoots up, so, too, does the value of grease.

In the last three years, the price of soybean oil -- the main feedstock for biodiesel made in the United States -- has tripled. Last week, a gallon of crude soybean oil fetched 66 cents on the open market, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

Those kinds of numbers have encouraged biofuel enthusiasts to plunder restaurants' greasy waste, and have even spurred the City of San Francisco to get into the grease-trap cleaning business.

"Restaurants and staff are no longer looking at this material as trash, they're looking at is as something that's about to go into city vehicles," said Karri Ving, who runs the city's new waste cooking oil collection program. "Unless you lock down every trash can, thefts are going to happen."

The National Biodiesel Board reports that U.S. production of biodiesel reached 500 million gallons last year, up from just 75 million gallons in 2005.

Read from CNN.

Avoiding Power Vampires

we're talking about vampire power, phantom loads, idling standby current, and wall warts. They all basically refer to the same thing: electronic devices with two sharp, pointy teeth that latch into your wall sockets and suck blood...err...electricity all day, all night, whether on or "off," whether charging batteries or not. These devices include TV's, VCR's, DVD players, answering machines, iPods, cell phones, stereos, laptops, desktops, anything with a remote, anything with a charger, anything with a clock display. They are everywhere. Lurking.

Top 10 ways for you to fight the vampires

1. Unplug your devices
2. Reduce your demand
3. Use the other off switch
4. Plug your devices and chargers into a power strip
5. Remove chargers from the wall when you're not charging
6. If you're in the market for new electronics, buy Energy Star qualified.
7. Get a phone that tells you to unplug it.
8. For your various computer accessories, try a smart strip.
10. If you're up for a whole house project, check out GreenSwitch

Basics of vampire power

Most people think that when you turn something off, it actually turns off. Most people assume that it stops drawing power. Unfortunately, that's not true in the case of most electric devices. Most of them just hover in standby mode, waiting for you to 'turn on' the power again.

A 1999 study in New Zealand conducted by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority indicated that 40% of microwave ovens used more electricity to power the clock and the keypad over the course of the year than actually heating food. Big screen TV's (and their respective cable boxes and satellites) up to 30 watts when off. A computer left turned on can potentially draw as much current as a refrigerator. And what about those chargers? Even when your cell phone (or other battery operated device) isn't charging, even if it's not even plugged in, it's still drawing power. It may even add as much as 10% to your energy bill.

This is bad news for your wallet and bad news for the environment. Studies conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimate that standby power consumption in the US accounts for 5% of all residential power consumption. That means Americans spend more than $3.5 billion annually on wasted power. It also means that our standby power is responsible for 27 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that globally standby power is responsible for 1% of carbon dioxide emissions (to contextualize that number, it is estimated that 2-3% of CO2 emissions are from air travel). And let's be honest. Those numbers are probably growing given the affinity many of us have for new gadgets and fancy appliances.

Read from Green Home.

New York’s First Solar Powered Ecoeatery

1. Solar panels
2. Food truck
3. Kids corner
4. Batmobile
5. Rain water collection
6. Place settings
7. Fountain
8. Recycled aluminum
9. Recycling & composting
10. Picnic tables
11. Rain water gutter
12. Reclaimed doors

Created by artist and restaurateur Sean Meenan, Habana Outpost was built on the principle of social responsibility. Our mission is to show respect for the community, the environment and the arts in a setting that is always fun and accessible. With forward-thinking design and business practices we have created a space where neighbors can gather, learn and create.

Click on to the EcoEatery Habana Oupost.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

N. Texan Builds Car That Costs $7 For Every 300 Miles

With gas pushing $4 per gallon, many people are looking for ways to save some green at the pump. One North Texas man found a way to help the environment and commute to work for just pennies a day.

"The most common question I get is, ‘Is this an electric car?’ and then they're like, "Is it a hybrid?’ Nope, it's a real electric (car)," Murray said.

When his car is low on fuel, Murray simply plugs the power cord into the nearest outlet.

"Yeah, just plug it in here. Just a regular old extension cord," Murray said.

The self-described computer geek from Kennedale bought the 1993 Eagle Talon from a junkyard for just $750.

"First thing I did when I got the car home was pull the engine out," Murray said.

He then spent about $4,000 more to convert the gas-guzzler to run on electricity alone, doing all the work himself in his garage at home.

"I bought the electric motor and I was like well, I gotta figure out a way to couple it together with the original transmission,” he said.

The car can hit 55 mph, driving right past the high prices at gas stations.

"I hear people complain about them at work all the time. I just grin," he said.

Murray spends just $7 per month on electricity to charge the batteries -- enough to go about 300 miles.

"I don't even look at the gas prices," Murray said.

More, and video, from NBC.

In a Landfill, How Long Does Trash Really Last?

But how long do things last? These rough estimates, compiled from U.S. National Park Service, United States Composting Council, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Sciences, and the New York City government, give an idea of how long our consumables remain after we’ve kissed them goodbye.

  • Glass Bottle—One Million Years

  • Plastic Bags—Unknown, Possibly 500+ Years

  • Plastic Beverage Bottles—Unknown, Possible 500+ years
  • Aluminum Can—Eighty to 200 Years

  • Cigarette Butt—One to Five Years

  • Newspaper—Two to Four Weeks or Longer

  • Apple Core—One to Two Months or Longer

Via Divine Caroline.

New Light Source Lasts 15 Years Without a Recharge

Disclaimer: We found this article lacking in a lot of basic information, even having typos in it. Albeit an interesting technology, it would be good to know more details like the energy cost for creating this material.

How about a glowing light source that lasts for 15 years instead of the typical 15 minutes of a glowstick? GlowPaint’s newest product does just that and is also non-toxic and inexpensive and doesn’t require a recharge via solar or electrical sources for its entire lifespan. According to the company, “This has potential to save billions in energy costs world-wide. Litroenergy™ surpasses all known available lighting options for cost/durability/reliability and safety.” Their products are expected to be used to replace other forms of safety, emergency and novelty lighting duties normally performed by glow sticks, LEDs and other light sources.

“The Litrospheres are not effected by heat or cold, and are 5,000-pound crush resistant. They can be injection molded or added to paint. The fill rate of Litroenergy micro particles in plastic injection molding material or paint is about 20%. The constant light gives off no U.V. rays, and can be designed to emit almost any color of light desired.”

From PureEnergySystems via Ecoble.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Homemade power banishes the bills

Charmaine Watts hasn't had a power bill for eight years.

Her family of two adults and three children are one of hundreds around the country generating their own electricity.

With power prices on the rise, the $20,000 the Watts spent installing solar panels, a small wind turbine, storage batteries and wiring is starting to look like a good investment.

"I don't need to worry about power cuts," said Ms Watts. "It's just like a normal house. I flick the switch on my computer or my DVD player and away I go."

Watts is the head of the Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand, a group representing small-scale wind, hydro and solar power generators. Nobody knows exactly how many families generate their own power, but together it's thought they make between 5 and 6 megawatts of power a year - a drop in the bucket when measured against Meridian's planned West Wind wind farm near Wellington and its 142 megawatt production.

"Anyone with a roof has the potential to make their own electricity."

Mr Prior said solar generation would be affordable for most people only if the Government followed Germany and Australia and subsidised renewable power. "The market exploded in Germany. Manufacturers couldn't make enough panels," said Mr Prior. "The trouble here is the Government gets a return from state-owned renewable generators like Meridian Energy, so there's not much incentive to provide subsidies."

"We've saved something like 10,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide since 2000 by using natural, renewable energy."

More from the NZ Herald.

235 MPG VW of the Future...from 2002

But Volkswagon took that extra step and made a bobsled with a diesel engine. It is, in fact, actually a car. It seats two (arguably), gets roughly 235 miles per gallon of diesel fuel and is perched at the very cutting edge aerodynamic technology. Of course, this comcept car has been around since 2002, and we're still no where near seeing it on our roads.

The car's technology comes from it's unique shape and it's ultra-light body. The frame is actually made of magnesium, an extremely light metal, and the outer skin is reinforced with carbon fiber. The one cylinder engine is made of aluminum and sits on top of the rear axle. The car is only a bit more than three feet high and weighs less than 700 lbs.

It might seem like a death trap and, if you got in a head-on with an SUV, it would be. But the car is surprisingly safe for its size, employing an excellent roll-avoidance system that makes the car virtually impossible to flip.

So...the car of the future was officially here four years ago. It could have been (and maybe still could be) a whole new class of vehicle. But nobody wants the passenger to straddle the driver in what looks to be the child of a VW Bug and a bobsled. The technology is in our hands. We choose not to use it.

From EcoGeek.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Door to Hell" Giant Gas-Filled Hole in Uzbekistan

This place in Uzbekistan is called by locals “The Door to Hell”. It is situated near the small town of Darvaz. The story of this place lasts already for 35 years. Once the geologists were drilling for gas. Then suddenly during the drilling they have found an underground cavern, it was so big that all the drilling site with all the equipment and camps got deep deep under the ground. None dared to go down there because the cavern was filled with gas. So they ignited it so that no poisonous gas could come out of the hole, and since then, it’s burning, already for 35 years without any pause. Nobody knows how many tons of excellent gas has been burned for all those years but it just seems to be infinite there.

More photos and video at English Russia.

MythBuster: Why Electric Vehicles Beat Gas in 5 Extreme Tests

I'm really big on electric vehicles because the total amount of fuel consumption involved is much less than what gas vehicles consume thanks to the efficiencies involved in a power generating plant. But there's a lot of talk out there that electric vehicles just don't perform as well as their gas counterparts—and, because we want to keep the planet intact, it sounded like a good myth to bust. So we decided to put gas and electric models of compact cars, ATVs, motorcycles and go-karts head-to-head on the track and the road to figure out if electric could hold its own.
Besides almost zero emissions, electric vehicles also have some very distinct advantages: An electric ATV is quiet, healthier to have around crops, and you don’t need it to go 300 miles on a charge. Barefoot’s prototype is running 2.5 hours of average use on a charge and is back to 80 percent charge over a lunch break, which is more than adequate run time on a farm or vineyard. Our highways and neighborhoods will be quieter and cleaner with electric cars and motorcycles on them.

Building an electric go-kart or ATV is not any more difficult than making a radio-control electric car. Sure, we’re using welders instead of pre-made plastic parts, but you’ve got an electric motor, a bank of batteries and a speed controller. Look at your racing RC toys—it’s the same thing. The home-built electric car we tested had serious limitations, but I think I could build one that doesn’t have those problems. I fully intend to make a full-size electric car; I figure it’d take about $28,000 worth of components for a plus-300-mile range. It should take me about a week or two to build—tops.

Read from Popular Mechanics.

U.S. Can Boost Clean Wind Power for 2 Cents a Day per Household

May 17, 2008 | A stunning new report just issued by the Bush administration finds that for under 2 cents a day per household, Americans could get 300 gigawatts of wind by 2030. That would:

  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 25 percent in 2030.
  • Reduce natural gas use by 11 percent.
  • Reduce cumulative water consumption associated with electricity generation by 4 trillion gallons by 2030.
  • Support roughly 500,000 jobs in the U.S.

The report doesn't mention that this would require adopting policies the Bush administration opposes. But that's what elections are for.

Wind power is coming of age. In 2007, some 20,000 megawatts of wind were installed globally, enough to power 6 million homes. Sadly, most wind power manufacturers are no longer American, thanks to decades of funding cuts by conservatives. Still, new wind is poised to be a bigger contributor to U.S. (and global) electricity generation than new nuclear power in the coming decades. As I have written earlier, concentrated solar power could be an even bigger power source, and it can even share power lines with wind.

That means we can realistically envision an electric grid built around renewables: electricity with no greenhouse gas emissions, no fuel cost (and no future price volatility) and no radioactive waste. But while it is poised to happen, and other governments are working hard to claim market share, America will need a bold president to ensure leadership in these major job-creating industries of the 21st century.

Read more from Salon.

$2 Billion Wind Turbine Order from Texas Oilman

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens has placed an the largest ever order for wind turbines: he ordered 667 wind turbines from GE, each costing $3 million dollars, making the total order $2 billion. Pickens plans to develop the world’s largest wind farm in the panhandle of Texas.

The $2 billion order is just one quarter of the total amount he plans to purchase. Once built, the wind farm would have the capacity to supply power to over 1,200,000 homes in North Texas. Each turbine will produce 1.5 megawatts of electricity. The first phase of the project will produce 1,000 megawatts, enough energy to power 300,000 homes. GE will begin delivering the turbines in 2010, and current plans call for the project to start producing power in 2011.Ultimately, Picken’s company, Mesa Power, plans to have enough turbines to produce 4,000 megawatts of energy, the overall project is expected to cost $10 billion and be completed in 2014.

Via MetaEfficient.

Saying Goodbye to Air Travel

The airline industry has no future. The same is true for airfreight. No air carrier has a viable plan to make a profit with oil at current prices—much less in years to come as the petroleum available to world markets dwindles rapidly.

That’s not to say that jetliners will disappear overnight, but rather that the cheap flights we’ve seen in the past will soon be fading memories. In a few years jet service will be available only to the wealthy, or to the government and military.

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic says he wants to use biofuels to power his fleet of 747’s and Airbuses. There are still some bugs to be worked out in terms of basic chemistry, but it might be possible in principle—if only we could make enough biodiesel or ethanol without further driving up food prices and wrecking the soil. Even then it would be very costly fuel.

There are good reasons to cut down on air travel voluntarily: flying not only swells our personal carbon emissions but spews CO2 and other pollutants into the stratosphere, where they do the most damage. However, the worsening scarcity of the stuff we use for making jet fuel takes the discussion out of the realm of optional moral action and into that of economic necessity and personal adaptation.

Those who live far from family will be more than inconvenienced, as will the hundreds of thousands who work for the airline industry directly or indirectly, or the millions who depend on tourism or airfreight for an income. These folks will have few options: teleconferencing can accomplish only so much.

Our species’ historically brief fling with flight has been fun, educational, and enriching on many levels to those fortunate enough to benefit from it. Saying goodbye will be difficult. But maybe as we do we can say hello to greater involvement in our local communities.

Via the Global Public Media.

Rochester's Omega Laser Brings Us Closer to Fusion Power

The University of Rochester will mark another important step in the effort toward attaining sustainable fusion, the ultimate source of clean energy, Friday, May 16. University President Joel Seligman, along with special guests, who include U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Representative Thomas Reynolds, and Undersecretary and National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Thomas D'Agostino, will dedicate the new Omega EP (Extended Performance) laser facility at the Robert L. Sproull Center for Ultra High Intensity Laser Research at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE).

The Omega EP comprises a new set of four ultra-high-intensity laser beams that will unleash more than a petawatt—a million billion watts—of power onto a target just a millimeter across. Working in conjunction with LLE's original 60-beam Omega laser, the Omega EP will open the door to a new concept called "fast ignition," which may be able to dramatically increase the energy derived from fusion experiments and provide a possible new avenue toward clean fusion power. If successful, fast ignition could lead to the highest energy densities ever achieved in a laboratory.

More from the University of Rochester.

Quietly, wind farms spread footprint in U.S

While growth in ethanol use as an alternative fuel has had a big impact on rural America, wind power has also been growing steadily for the past three years, with wind farms like this one springing up all over the windy expanse of the Great Plains and beyond.

While only 1 percent of U.S. electricity comes from wind, it is attracting so much support these days that many in the industry believe it is poised for a growth spurt.

"These are pretty heady times," said Randall Swisher, executive director of the American Wind Energy Association, which held an investment conference April 30 in Iowa that drew more than 600 attendees.

"People are finally starting to see the data about what is happening to the world's climate and that is really having an impact," said Swisher.

Read more from Reuters.

Learning from Europe

I have seen the future, and it works.

O.K., I know that these days you’re supposed to see the future in China or India, not in the heart of “old Europe.”

But we’re living in a world in which oil prices keep setting records, in which the idea that global oil production will soon peak is rapidly moving from fringe belief to mainstream assumption. And Europeans who have achieved a high standard of living in spite of very high energy prices — gas in Germany costs more than $8 a gallon — have a lot to teach us about how to deal with that world.

If Europe’s example is any guide, here are the two secrets of coping with expensive oil: own fuel-efficient cars, and don’t drive them too much.

Notice that I said that cars should be fuel-efficient — not that people should do without cars altogether. In Germany, as in the United States, the vast majority of families own cars (although German households are less likely than their U.S. counterparts to be multiple-car owners).

But the average German car uses about a quarter less gas per mile than the average American car. By and large, the Germans don’t drive itsy-bitsy toy cars, but they do drive modest-sized passenger vehicles rather than S.U.V.’s and pickup trucks.

Read on, from the NY Times.

Hemp powered vehicles

Hemp is a controversial material, part of the famous family of plants known as Cannabis Sativa. Hemp grown for industrial use is very low in THC the psychoactive chemical in its famous sister marijuana thus making industrial hemp useless as a drug.

Ironically, Hemp powered cars was the dream of both Henry Ford and Rudolf Diesel. However, gasoline powered engines became so cheap to manufacturer and were easy to maintain so they caught on in the automotive industry even though the pioneers had other dreams.

Now that we’ve nearly liquidated the world’s oil reserves we should take a look back at the pioneers of the automotive industry’s original ideas.

Hemp was a mainstream crop in the United States

From 1776 to 1937, hemp was a major American crop and textiles made from hemp were common. Yet, The American Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, and most American history books contain no mention of hemp. The government’s War on Marijuana Smokers has created an atmosphere of self censorship–speaking of hemp in a positive manner is considered taboo.

Hemp is ridiculously easy to produce, is a major source of ethanol that would allow the use to curb food shortages as a result of Corn and Grain Farmers being asked to sell their grain to ethanol manufacturers.

Hemp should be legalized its a much faster source of ethanol in that it can be harvested in 120 days after it has been planted with much larger crops. It’s also a great alternative when manufactured as biodiesel.

Via ridelust.

Friday, May 16, 2008

BioWave - Biomimicry Solution for Ocean Power

Biomimicry - or designs based on natural systems - is one of the most intriguing methods for designers and engineers to create innovative and efficient solutions to problems. Inspired by forms and functions found in nature, this approach to sustainable design allows for environmentally friendly solutions for energy, waste reduction and a bevy of other design challenges. Using biomimicry as the guiding design principle, the Australian firm BioPower Systems has developed Biowave: an ocean power system that harnesses energy by mimicking the motion of underwater plants in the ocean currents to generate electricity.

Biowave mimics the swaying motion of the sea plants found in the ocean bed. The system looks like three buoyant blades which are constantly oscillating to the motion of the sea. As they sway in the tide, electricity is generated. If at any point the system is in danger because of the strong currents, it simply lies in flat until the ocean calms down.

BioPower Systems is currently testing a prototype off the coast of Tasmania. A prototype unit of 250kw will inform the company on how to best deploy a larger scale system which in turn is expected to provide power to Flinders and King islands, and in the future, if successful, the entire state of Victoria, home of the city of Melbourne.

Check out Biowave via

Solar Lounge Table

Although there are many projects involving the development of devices that produce renewable energy. Solar panels are not very efficient, but it’s the first step to a clean Earth and they are relatively cheap and easy to replace. Their drawback is that for the moment they can’t compete against fossil fuels therefore not many love them (I think these people don’t care about Earth).

If we can’t produce enough energy to power an entire city, at least we can produce energy to power our gadgets and electronic devices. One interesting idea is the SOLo Lounge Table which charges your gadgets with renewable energy. SOLo Lounge Table was designed by Intelligent Forms and it’s basically a solar power work table. Now, it’s easier for you and you have to love the fact that you will power your laptop directly from the table that you are working on.

More of a design concept than a practical idea, but interesting. Via

Gallery of Endangered Species

See more at the Chicago Tribune

NASA Team Pinpoints Human Causes of Global Warming

Human-caused climate change has impacted a wide range of Earth's natural systems, from permafrost thawing to plants blooming earlier across Europe to lakes declining in productivity in Africa.

Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York and scientists at 10 other institutions have linked physical and biological impacts since 1970 with rises in temperatures during that period, including changes to physical systems, such as glaciers shrinking, permafrost melting, and lakes and rivers warming. Impacts also included changes to biological systems, such as leaves unfolding and flowers blooming earlier in the spring, birds arriving earlier during migration periods, and ranges of plant and animal species moving toward the poles and higher in elevation. In aquatic environments such as oceans, lakes, and rivers, plankton and fish are shifting from cold-adapted to warm-adapted communities.

"This is the first study to link global temperature data sets, climate model results, and observed changes in a broad range of physical and biological systems to show the link between humans, climate, and impacts," said Rosenzweig, lead author of the study.

Read more from via MetaSurfing.

Whales Inspire New Efficient Blade Technology

He discovered that these bumps, called tubercles, are this creature's secret weapon, allowing a whale the size of a school bus to make tight turns and capture prey with astonishing agility.

To understand this phenomenon, imagine airplane wings. Pilots increase the angle of the airfoil to provide more lift. But when the angle gets too steep, the air current drags on the wing, suddenly reducing the lift and causing the aircraft to stall.

Fish found that humpback fins act a little differently. He and his colleagues tested a scale model of the whale flipper in a wind tunnel. To their surprise, the experiments revealed that significant drag occurs at a much steeper angle on the humpback fin than it does on a sleek flipper. Each tubercle redirects and channels air over the flipper, creating a sort of whirling vortex that actually improves lift, Fish says.

"These bumps were thought of as anatomical anomalies, but they do modify the flow and they do it in ways that are beneficial to the whale," says Fish.

The technology can be used in a huge range of machines such as turbines, compressors, pumps, and fans that use blades or rotors – most anything that cuts through air, water, steam or oil, says Fish.

"There was a 20 percent drop in energy use, a significant drop in noise decibels, and overall distribution of air was more even," says Envira-North CEO Monica Bowden. The increased efficiency also means the new fans will have five blades instead of 10, making them cheaper to manufacture.

More from MetaSurfing.

Global Rooftop Now Offering a Way to Directly Fund Environmental Initiatives

Want to impress your friends with your concern for our planet? Give the gift of a Carbon Credit (want to know more about Carbon Credits? click here).

A Carbon Credit is equivalent to 1 metric ton of CO2. A Carbon Credit is used to promote green energy production, by allowing people such as yourself, to fund green, earth friendly initiatives.

Money raised from the sale of our GRT Carbon Credits are used to purchase Carbon Credits on the Chicago Credit Exchange, one of the recognized leaders in Carbon Credit trading.

Your purchase of Carbon Credits will go a long way to offset your impact to the planet. If you have questions, please read the FAQs.

Send the gift of hope, send a Carbon Credit Gift now!

Solana: The world largest solar plant

This project is the result of the contract which Abengoa Solar has signed with Arizona Public Service (APS), the largest electric company in Arizona, to build and operate what will be the largest solar power plant in the world.

For the Solar Business Unit, this contract represents the construction of the first concentrating solar power plant for producing electric power in the United States.

The plant will be installed about 100 kilometers southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend. Solana, with 280 MWe of power output capacity, is based on parabolic trough technology and thermal storage using molten salts. When operation starts up, the plant will have the capacity to supply power to 70,000 homes and will eliminate around 400,000 tons of CO2.

Details from Abengoa Solar.

Fuel from Trash Will Power California Garbage Trucks

300 garbage collection trucks in California will soon be fueled by the same trash that they haul. Landfill gas will be purified and liquefied, producing up to 13,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) daily.

This facility at Waste Management’s (WMI: NYSE) Altamont Landfill in Livermore, California will begin operation in 2009. It comes with a price tag of $15.5 million, with grants providing $1.4 million.

Read on from Cleantechnica.

General Motors' Quest to Become "Green Motors" - Maybe

On Thursday, Rick Wagoner, Chairman and CEO of General Motors came to San Francisco to speak about the future of the company and "green" auto technology. It's fascinating to think that not long ago, General Motors was a company beloved by most Americans, a symbol of the innovation, spirit, and the pleasant lifestyle typical of American culture. Today, it is the target of much criticism, when Wagoner must watch his words carefully and bring along a security outfit, for fear of protest. One did break out, but certainly nothing violent or warranting more security than was provided for Nobel Prize winning social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, who had none present at a Commonwealth Club event at the same venue, which he actually more than filled up.

I was actually looking forward to writing a positive review about GM and its efforts to become a leader in environmentally conscious auto manufacturing. Cynicism gets pretty boring. Yet, in Wagoner's carefully scripted speech, there was little to genuinely get excited about. In fact, GM's view of its strategy in green is well-captured in its advertising campaign that states "GM has the most models with EPA-estimated 30 mpg or higher highway fuel economy." We're fine, you're just not buying our cars.

Click to read from

Lineup for X-Prize Cars

Sexy fuel-efficient cars.

PM's expert car editors have watched this $10 million competition from the beginning, test driving some of the most fuel-efficient cars in the world, following the first teams to sign up—even sponsoring one. Now, as gas prices soar and the AXP entry pool officially opens, we take a detailed look at the most promising startups. These are the innovators we believe at this point have a very real shot at winning the X Prize—and developing a mass-market 100-mpg vehicle. (We'll examine some of the race's unsung heroes soon.) Adhering to the X Prize Foundation's rules, we analyzed all 64 entrants thus far based on six factors—technological feasibility, fuel economy, design, performance, price and production reality. The result is the most comprehensive, up-to-date scouting report on the field for the ultimate car of tomorrow.

Read more from Popular Mechanics.

Startup Makes Cheap Solar Film Cells ... With an Inkjet Printer

This year could bring the Silicon Valley-funded renaissance in solar power we've all been waiting for. First, San Jose-based Nanosolar began delivering its affordable thin-film solar coating, followed by a construction boom in American solar thermal power plants—essentially the reflective equivalent of geothermal power. Now, for the first time, the solar cell revolution is arriving by droplet.

Konarka Technologies, the Massachusetts-based company we first recognized with a 2005 Breakthrough Award for its affordable Power Plastic solar film, said this week that it has successfully manufactured those thin solar cells using an inkjet printer. In addition to decreasing production costs because it relies on existing inkjet technology, the printable Power Plastic cells can be applied to a range of small-scale, highly variable power opportunities, from indoor sensors to small RFID installations.

Read on Popular Mechanics.

What Is The Real Cost Of Bottled Water?

As John McCain and Hillary Clinton tell Americans tales of a gas tax holiday to relieve us of a whole 20 cents per gallon this summer (we’re paying more than four dollars anyway) it’s probably worth discussing one of the other reasons that gas is so darn expensive…

Of course, the reason is demand. Although developing countries such as China and India take the blame, there are other forces at work. Bottled water for example, which despite being past its peak, consumes roughly 17 million barrels of oil every year, not including transportation. The worst part of it is that that’s not even half the problem.

In addition to the 17 million barrels of oil (equivalent to just under the GDP of the Cayman Islands at today’s prices) used in production, bottled water consumes gallons and gallons of water.

Three gallons of the wet stuff is required to produce one gallon of what you will happily pay a dollar for, largely because of the length and complexity of the various “purification” processes and the evaporation loss that takes place while the water is in the plant. This is quite an ugly statistic, when juxtaposed to the fact that less than one percent of the water on our planet is both accessible and potable.

Besides the extravagant amount of oil used to make the bottles and large volumes of water used in the bottling process, there are of course, several other considerations. Firstly, there are the transport costs - by the time you transport every bottle by rail or truck and keep it cool, you may as well have filled it one-fourth of the way with oil. Let’s also not forget the operating costs of the factories themselves and the profit the bottled water companies have to make for their shareholders.Therefore, purely from an economic standpoint, if you only drink bottled water, you’re a mug.

Read on