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lotus eco elise – smoking hemp + solar sportscar

I’ll forgo the usual joke about the designers of this concept car sampling the raw materials, and get to the real issue – automakers exploring alternative manufacturing materials and solar power as components in making a car greener and more energy efficient.

Sports cars are supposed to be all about performance, almost exclusively at the expense of the environment. But this Lotus, which recently made an appearance at the British International Motor Show, makes a nice move to the greener side of the highway.

The brown sections of the body of the Lotus Elise pictured above are a made from renewable, lightweight, pressed hemp.  The hemp used is ethically farmed and grown locally to Lotus, so the amount of CO2 created in shipping the material is minimal and the hemp plants themselves absorb CO2 in the growing process. The hemp body parts are lightweight and not structurally critical.  The roof-mounted solar panels power the Eco Elise’s electrical subsystems, including the iPod/MP3-compatible stereo, which increase MPG.

Of course calling it “Eco” is more than a little bit of a stretch since the Eco Elise is still a gas guzzling sportscar at heart, but it does show the industry designers pushing body construction and power systems in a positive direction.  Now about that engine…

photos + via:

another photo after the jump (more…)

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

HempGarden Great Green Giveaway WINNERS!


Compliments of HempGarden, The Alternative Consumer’s Great Green Giveaway random drawing has drawn to a close. And it’s official —  Congratulations to our lucky winners: Colleen S., Christene and Charlene (rhyming is unintentional)!


Winners will receive HempGarden’s luxuriating Hand Cream (120ml)! It nourishes and protects even the driest of skin, with extracts of carrot, Aloe Vera, Frankincense and enhanced with Patchouli, lemon and Geranium.

Thank You to everyone for entering, and Congratulations to our winners.  You can all be winners by visiting HempGarden, to help keep your skin beautiful. (Update: links removed)

Our next Great Green Giveaway begins tomorrow…stay tuned!

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solar ski jacket from zegna sport

zegnasolarjkt.jpgEco fashion innovation, or tech overkill – you be the judge.  Zegna Sport has created their Solar Ski-JKT with a collar-mounted solar panel to harness the suns rays to keep the electronic toys of communication-starved Wall Street-types and small device junkies fully charged on the slopes.  Whether heli-skiing into remote terrain or just posing by the lodge in Aspen, you can now stay in touch with mom and/or ski some bumps while listening to that death metal you so love without plugging into that wall socket at the Travel Lodge to recharge.

zegnasolarcollar.jpgCharges most 5 and 6 volt devices. Oh, the collar can be removed and operated independent of the jacket, or for cleaning. Features pockets for all your electronic doo-dads, and reinforced shoulders etc. if you actually want to do some skiing or boarding.

goes for a frightening $995

Now what ever happened to the concept of skiing as a Zen-like escape into nature…

(Update: links removed)

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a mixed bag of green news


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