Friday, October 31, 2008

Fuel efficient hot rod!

Doug Pelmear, a Toledo, Ohio-area mechanic, is driving his 80-110 miles per gallon 1987 Ford Mustang to the SEMA show in Las Vegas this year. Perfecting an engine conceived by his grandfather, Doug and his team will document fuel mileage and performance along the 4,000 mile round trip. Pelmear claims that the Mustang produces 400hp and 500lb-ft of torque and accelerates from 0-60mph in 3 seconds with a top speed of 180mph.

Afterward, the Mustang will be entered into the Automotive X-competition in 2009, a race where inventors from around the world compete for the best mileage and the most marketable technology.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


General Motors executives voted to cancel plans to develop the next generation of the full-size sport utility vehicle, essentially erecting a R.I.P. headstone on the SUV market. According to the New York Times, "...the era of the big S.U.V. was ... done in by soaring gasoline prices and consumers fleeing to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars."

Earning an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 on every SUV it sold, GM lived off and even accelerated development of trucks and SUV's to offset shrinking passenger car revenues. But this year, sales have tumbled more than 30 percent this year and have been in decline since 2004.

All of the Big Three have had to close plants and lay off thousands of workers. "In the second quarter alone, G.M. took $1.3 billion in write-offs to reflect the drop in the value of trucks and S.U.V.’s coming off lease. Overdependence on big S.U.V.’s has also hit Ford and Chrysler hard, but, as the biggest producer, G.M. had the most to lose," according to the New York Times.

"Analysts see little point now in second-guessing G.M.’s huge commitment to the S.U.V. market when gas was cheap and Americans bought the vehicles in droves. ...Yet by focusing so heavily on bigger products for so many years, G.M. put off investing in cars that consumers want now. The company is also struggling to dismantle the truck-making infrastructure it had so diligently erected."

G.M. still expects to sell some SUV's, but not nearly as many. Instead, they will make an effort to catch up in the small-car and hybrid arenas.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hotel Goes Green With 100% Wind Energy

In a Green Power Partnership with the EPA, the Legacy Hotel & Meeting Centre is proud to be powered 100% by wind energy - bringing their carbon footprint to zero for energy consumption. Hotel guests can further offset the carbon footprint of their stay supporting the hotel’s new Turn On™ program by purchasing an eco-friendly t-shirt logoed with the hotel’s campaign slogan “I Got Turned On At The Legacy!” and by signing up to have their entire room energy turned off during their absence and turned back on 30 minutes prior to their return. The hotel converted its cleaning products and detergents to organic, biodegradable solutions, and offers recycling baskets in each of its 162 guest rooms.
"We are proud of our commitment to both traditional hospitality and contemporary environmental responsibility," says Eric Siegel, ExecutiveVice President of Cohen Companies, the owner group of The Legacy Hotel & Meeting Centre. "We are introducing our 100% recycling policy and hope that our guests will join our efforts to greening their stay."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Save money with this cool new rain barrel

During these tough economic times, everyone is looking to save money. Coincidently, saving money can also be good for the environment! There are three main ways how we can live more green: reduce, re-use, and recycle. A rain barrel does all three!

A rain barrel not only conserves water and saves money, but the ones offered at are aesthetically appealing and durable.

According to a manufacturers spokesperson, Walat Yasin, "...[some] rain barrels are ugly. The concept behind this new product has been to develop a rain barrel that homeowners could proudly display, like a piece of furniture.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

California Company Installs Largest Corporate Solar Power System

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dedicated a 2 megawatt solar power system at Applied Materials’ campus in Sunnyvale, California earlier this month.

The company is touting the solar system as one of the largest corporate solar power installations in the U.S., incorporating more than 7,000 wafer-based solar panels and capable of generating approximately 2 megawatts of power annually, the equivalent of powering 1,400 homes.

The parking lot-mounted system tracks the sun to increase the efficiency of the panels while also serving as shade for several hundred employee cars, and is "a great hedge against future energy cost increases,” said Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials.

In addition, the company recently announced that it would purchase 8,220,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually from wind and solar generation sources in California.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Green Diesel?!

Peterbilt Motor Company introduced a hybrid diesel good for around-town driving.
“With higher fuel costs and growing concerns with the global carbon footprint, Peterbilt is at the forefront in the development of green technologies that help the environment by providing greater fuel savings and reducing emissions,” says Bill Jackson, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President.
By reducing overall fuel use from 30% - 60%, the new technology is the perfect way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint without significant and potentially costly new procedures. In fact, the hybrid will save money in fuel costs immediately!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Solar Halloween Lights!

Use NO electricity with these solar-powered LED lights!

The solar panel charges in the sun all day, then the lights light up automatically at dusk, and last for up to eight hours.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are long-lasting (these are 100,000-hour lights) and safe, unlike CFL's that contain toxic mercury.
Since they are also low voltage, there is no risk of electrocution, and their low temperature eliminates the risk of fire and burns, making them very child and pet-friendly!
Now that is Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SEMA's going green!

The SEMA Show is almost here! SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association and is the show is THE premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center every year, it is the pinnacle of industry leaders, innovative products and automotive engineers in one place. Last year, the SEMA Show drew over 60,000 domestic and international buyers through two million square feet of exhibits, educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, and networking opportunities.

This year there will be a "Making Green Cool Zone" featuring creativity and innovation in the development, deployment and marketing of the green vehicle technologies! Green can also be cool! To be green in SEMA's zone, the company has to be aligned with one or more of the following categories:
o High-Performance and Green Mobility
o Current Powertrain Solutions
o Future Powertrain Solutions
o Vehicle Energy Management
o Mobile Electronics for Green Mobility
o Green Wheels Tires and Suspensions
o Fast Tracking 35 MPG
o Making Green Cool
o Marketing Green Solutions

Glad to see the automotive industry going green!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Go fly a kite!

A large kite installed on a merchant ship is expected to save shipping fuel costs by up to 20% and do its part for the environment.

The kite will cost pay for itself after about three years.

Use of the computer-controlled kite to assist the ship's diesel engines is expected to save 20-30% on fuel costs (or $1600 per day) over the course of the month-long transport.

"The shipping industry emits 800 million tonnes of CO2 now and that will rise to over 1 billion tonnes in five years," says Niels Stolberg, a SkySails company rep.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Porsche and Corvette win ALMS Green Challenge

Audi might have won the overall Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) over the weekend, but a Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder won the Green Challenge’s prototype class and a Chevrolet Corvette took the Green Challenge GT category. The Porsche and Corvette each had the best scores in class for overall performance, fuel efficiency (petroleum displaced) and environmental impact (greenhouse gas emissions) in the 1,000-mile race.
The Green Challenge was created in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International, the world’s leading automotive engineering organization.
“We have begun something that will have a profound effect on the motor sports and automotive industry,” said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the ALMS. “When you get the type of support we have had from the highest levels of the EPA and DOE, you know that you are involved in something that can really make a difference. Fuel efficiency and energy independence are two of the most relevant topics we all face today and the American Le Mans Series is prepared to lead the way.”
Look for a possible electric hybrid prototype at the season finale on Oct. 18 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Green Racing?!

Oh yeahhhhh! Sign me up! The Petit Le Mans this weekend will feature a Green Challenge(TM) race within a race, with awards going to green racecars in overall performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Scott Atherton, the President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series, intends to be the Global Leader in Green Racing.

"We want to be the leading and most recognized sports and entertainment property for relevant environment concerns, ideas and practices," said Atherton.

The American Le Mans Series is the first and only race series to meet the criteria and protocols for green racing set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International. Those protocols are primarily focused on alternative fuel and the Series is the only motorsports body in the world that features multiple street-legal alternative fuel sources - clean diesel, E10 gasoline and E85 cellulosic (non-feedstock) ethanol.

E85 cellulosic ethanol is different from the E85 we buy at the pump, however. Pump E85 is a blend of grain ethanol and gasoline, whereas cellulosic ethanol is produced from biomass such as wood waste, switchgrass or citrus.

The American Le Mans Series features technical rules that not only allow new technology, but actually encourage auto manufacturers to introduce new innovations into the racing environment. I can't wait to see what else they come up with!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Avoid being greenwashed!

Spending green going green? Confused about what 'green' means? You are not alone! Polls show that confusion is one of the top reasons why shoppers don't buy more eco-friendly products. To avoid being 'greenwashed', and have developed standards to help us wade through the raw compost pile of products and find the fertile ground of green. Both websites help find and compare products that are green certified, use materials or ingredients that are ecologically responsible in nature, or recommend merchants who are who offering products that reduce our carbon footprint (like reusable bottles and low-flow fixtures).