Wednesday, September 17, 2008

10 Year Old Eco-Village Found in Wales

For five happy years they enjoyed simple lives in their straw and mud huts.

Generating their own power and growing their own food, they strived for self-sufficiency and thrived in homes that looked more suited to the hobbits from The Lord of the Rings.

Then a survey plane chanced upon the 'lost tribe'... and they were plunged into a decade-long battle with officialdom.

Yesterday that fight, backed by more modern support for green issues, ended in victory.

The eco-community in the Preseli mountains of west Wales was set up in 1993 and lived contentedly away from the rat race round a 180-acre farm bought by Julian and Emma Orbach.

In 1998, it was spotted when sunlight was seen glinting off a solar panel on the main building, which was built from straw bales, timber and recycled glass.

When the pilot reported back, officials were unable to find any records, let alone planning permission, for the mystery hillside village surrounded by trees and bushes.

Read on from the Daily Mail.

10 Electric Cars You Can Buy Today

Ecomodder has an article about 10 cars, from the $6,795 Gem to the $435,000 Venturi that are available to buy today. Read from Ecomodder.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Offshore Drilling is a Non-Issue

A picture is worth 1,000 words... From architecture2030

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ten Ways to Save Green by Going Green

But that doesn’t mean I can’t save money on gas, water, and other living expenses by taking simple—often free—steps to reduce consumption of natural resources. Even if you’re not trying to save the planet, by consuming and wasting less, you’ll save money. And that’s something we all like to conserve.

1. Become Anti-Bottle
A bottle of water usually runs between one to two dollars, which means buying a few bottles every week could add up to over one hundred dollars a year. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, consider what else it costs: 1.5 million barrels of oil go into making those bottles, and 22 million head to landfills every year.

2. Displace Instead of Replace
Instead of a fancy, new low-flush toilet to replace old large tank toilets, there is a simple, cheap (even free) method: displacement. By placing a brick, a plastic bag filled with water (sometimes called toilet tummies) inside the tank it will reduce the amount of water per flush.

3. Go Low-Flow
Low-flow showerheads will reduce water consumption, and, because they save hot water, energy consumption as well. If you have older pipes and your shower takes a while to heat up, simply put a bucket in the stall to capture the cold stuff and use this to water plants, mop, or wash dishes.

Adding aerators and low-flow faucet adapters (usually less than $5 at hardware stores) on all sinks will save water—and ultimately, money.

4. Move It, Don’t Lose It
Can’t afford a Prius? Not a problem. There are cheap, even free, ways to keep money in your pocket while still getting around town: bike, walk, run, carpool, or use public transit. Since gas prices aren’t likely to drop much from where they are now, getting in the habit of going car-free is not only a cheap way of transport, it’s a long-term habit that will save you money and reduce your carbon output.

If you do have to drive, there are ways to make your dollar go further. Drive laid back—don’t accelerate too fast from green lights and gradually slow down to red lights. And don’t let the tires slow you down. According to the Consumer Reports Web site, properly inflated tires can save up to one mile per gallon.

5. Weather Strip It

6. Wash Smart

For dishwashers, make sure to fill the dishwasher to the brim before washing, and opt out of the “heat dry” cycle...

For the clothes washer, use cold water, and during the summer months, line-dry.

7. Make Your Own
Rather than buying often-overpriced green cleaning products, you can make your own with everyday household items like baking soda and vinegar.

Along the line of simplifying to save, one way to cut back on how much we spend on disposables like paper towels, napkins, aluminum foil, and plastic bags is to use tea towels, cloth napkins, and Tupperware instead

8. Ward off the Vampires
You know those appliances that, although turned off, still have a standby screen that’s lit up or flashing? These are known as “vampire” or phantom electricity loads, and have been estimated to be responsible for 10 to 40 percent of the energy used in homes.

9. Cook Green

10. Buy Less
Divine Caroline, see details there.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Message from Al Gore: Call Your Representative

I need your help. Will you make a call?

Congress will consider energy legislation this week. Of course, the oil industry is pushing its "drill, drill" slogan with all its might -- and some are hoping to use this for political advantage.

Meanwhile, tax credits for investments in solar and wind power have not been extended, and the growing renewables business that just made America the largest producer of wind power in the world, is on the verge of shutting down huge planned projects all over the country.

Billions in private investment, thousands of megawatts of new, clean energy, and more than 100,000 new jobs expected for 2009 will be lost.

We face a stark choice: subsidize old, dirty energy or invest in new, clean energy. This should be easy, but the influence of the oil lobby is deep -- they've already spent more than $100 million in lobbying and advertising this year. Please call your members of Congress now and tell them to pass legislation that will Repower America.

Click here to find out how to call.

Washington is being diverted by all the political noise around "drill, drill" away from what really will make a difference -- building a new, clean energy future. Projects in the pipeline that will power millions of homes will be canceled, setting us back for years, if Congress doesn't do the right thing now. Congress needs to hear from all of us.

Thank you so much,

Al Gore