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Zip It?


According to Zipcar, some folks are so happy with Zip’s car-sharing, they’re doing away with their own car-ownership. Zipsters seem to have more zip in their lives. Click here to learn how it works. If you’re a zipster, tell us your story.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ethanol Part 2: Corn


Ethanol is currently the pretty boy of alternative fuel options. Embraced by lobbyists, politicians, environmentalists, and funded by Wall Street, the ethanol currently being produced is created from sustainable, renewable sources; produces 20% less harmful emissions than current fossil fuel blends; and can cut US dependency on foreign oil.

However, the ethanol produced in the US comes from a less-than-ideal source: corn. The amount of energy required to refine corn-based ethanol is significantly higher than that of many other alternatives — particularly, sugarcane. Ethanol distilled from sugarcane is much cheaper to produce, and generates far more energy per unit of input—eight times more, by most estimates—than corn.

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Action Sports Environmental Coalition

Organizations that can effectively get kids involved in environmental issues are few and far between. Here’s one that’s both effective and cool. Action Sports Envirnomental Coalition

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Natural Collection – Better Options

foilWrap_1_1_1.jpgWondering how to put an end to that annoying habit of using plastic bags; those extremely handy, but really nasty dumpsite-fillers? It may not be easy, but here are a couple of suggestions…try switching to eco-friendly containers for storing your food and pantry items. Either rifle through your mom’s cupboards, or comb through flea markets & tag sales for those fabulous Pyrex and generic glass containers for storing leftovers.

Also check out London-based, Natural Collection. They carry many eco-friendly household options — bio-degradable, GM-free, fully compost-able, cornstarch bags to store foodstuffs. And plastic liners in trash cans can be replaced by ones that are made from either potato starch or biodegradable, 100% recycled polythene.

While you’re at it, if you find yourself feeling guilty as you reach for the aluminum foil as part of your outdoor grilling ritual, maybe it’s time to make the switch…NC offers a foil made from 100% recycled aluminum. And their parchment paper is made from unbleached paper with a silicone coating, saving you from exposure to, or ingestion of, the usual chemical compounds found in traditional grease-proof papers.

NC also offers a wide variety of other practical alternatives for the entire home. In business since 1999, they’re considered pioneers, and remain at the forefront of innovative, ecologically-minded, UK-based companies. It would be wonderful if there were a company that offered such innovative products on our shores as well. If anyone knows of a US-based resource such as this, we’d love to hear from you.

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