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Friday, October 31, 2008

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a mixed bag of green news


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Friday, October 31, 2008

BeGreenNow – reuse a bag and plant a tree


bgp1.jpgOK.  So I’m a (reusable) bag lady.  The folks from BeGreenNow know this, and they asked me to review their BeGreen Pod bag.

After using their good-sized tote for several weeks, I’m happy to say, it’s adorable, useful, and cleverly made.  Here’s why I like it: it’s created from 100% recycled polyester and designed to scrunch up into itself, you can fold it up and clip it onto your backpack, purse or briefcase; (it comes with a carabiner and clip). According to BeGreenNow, choosing a reusable bag rather than paper or plastic helps prevent about 21 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. To top it off, for every bag purchased, one native tree is planted in an ecosystem restoration project in the U.S.

What are you waiting for?  be green now ($12.95)

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Touchless Recycling Bin


touclessrecyclebin.jpgThis touch-less recycling bin is ideal for germaphobes, clean freaks and those seeking a more organized and self-contained recycling set-up.  The lid automatically opens when your hand enters the zone within 6″ of the unit’s infrared sensor located on top of the bin.  Remove your hand and the lid closes in 3 seconds.  Comes with wheels for moving it around and two 8 gallon, plastic inner buckets.

Operates via the included AC adapter or 4 D-sized batteries.

$129.99 @ greenandmore.com

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seamus weighs in on Halloween and more


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We dogs don’t get Halloween. Please leave your pets with a shred of self respect by leaving them out of your wacky costume festivities.  Don’t give in to your compulsion to: shave your pet Maltese, Mel’s, head, dress him in some freshly minted low-riding jeans and parade him around as “Joe the Plumber Dog.”

seamwtoylksup_1_1_1.JPGSpeaking of the Presidential dog fight…I see where Barack and Michelle Obama have promised their girls a dog after the race for the White House is over.  In anticipation of this ‘event’ the AKC’s website took a poll of its readership and came up with the poodle as the ideal companion for the Senator’s clan.  Hopefully, Senator McCain doesn’t realize that’s a ‘French’ poodle and the info gets transformed into an attack ad…Oh, Senator McCain does have 4 dogs of his own.  Wonder if Senator Cranky Pants can name them all?

the frightening costumes pictured above can be found @ spoiledrottendoggies.com

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Chevy VOLT – a sneak peek


Last night we attended the Chevy VOLT press event here in NYC,
and laid our hands and eyes on GM’s $1.2 million dollar prototype,
(“Please don’t slam the doors…”).

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The vehicle looks sharp and rather sporty.  Not as dorky or funky as the Prius, but distinctive — in an intentionally more mainstream way.  Fact is, Chevy wants to sell a lot of these cars, and has designed them to utilize technology and materials that ultimately can be mass produced at an affordable price.  Market research has told GM that most folks, (80%), commute an average of 40 miles or less, each day.  This car is designed to run fully electric for that daily commute, meaning you don’t have to load any fossil fuel into that tank to get back and forth to work.  Your daily commute could cost you less than 85 cents a day in electricity, or save you up to $1,500 (depending on the price of a gallon), per year on gas.

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The VOLT is being referred to as an E-REV, or Extended Range Electric Vehicle, meaning the gas engine under the hood is actually an electric power generator. And this baby runs electric all the time, as opposed to a hybrid, which switches to a conventional gasoline engine for acceleration and high-speed driving.  The car is aerodynamically designed to reduce drag wherever possible to increase fuel efficiency.  Longer trips will require the gas generator to assist in creating electric power.  But unlike hybrids that have a noticeable change in feel and performance when they switch over to the gas engine, the VOLT stays electric with the smooth acceleration only an electric car can provide.

Some stats: The battery area runs beneath the center console, making the VOLT a four-seater. The car goes zero to sixty in a rather mundane 9 seconds and has a top end of 100 mph.  The VOLT’s lithium ion battery will have a ten-year, or 150,000 mile warranty.

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One consideration — you do need somewhere to plug this baby in.  It fully charges in just 3 hours with a 240 volt supply (think washing machine) and 6 hours at 120 volts.  Urban charging sites and infrastructure (if you don’t have a garage) should rapidly expand if these cars catch on.  Available to early adopters in sometime in 2010 for somewhere north of $30K – due in no small part to the limited initial production run.  a bunch of photos after the jump…

gm-volt.com

Related on altCon: Can the Chevy Volt save GM?

(more…)

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