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is diesel a dirty word?


You may have smirked at the latest Volkswagen commercial that takes a stab at the less-than-fun-to-drive aspect of many whisper-quiet hybrids. (As a car lover, I admit—I’m all for the power and fuel efficiency of a Jetta TDI.) The commercial’s message is timely, as Audi (a Volkswagen company) rolls out their own campaign: Clean Diesel = Energy Independence, in favor of more carbon-conscious fuels.


According to the data, converting just one-third of our nation’s vehicles to clean diesel would save 1.5 million barrels of foreign oil per day. Per day. Narrow it down and you’ll find that one drop of diesel fuel has 12 percent more power than the same amount of gasoline. Check out the “Truth in Diesel” video here.

I’m wondering: do you still think of diesel as a dirty word? And if you had the choice, would you opt for the clean diesel that’s fun to drive or the hybrid that is working to help eliminate fuels all together?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a mixed bag of green news


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GoBe solar briefcase and power hub


Here’s a portable, solar, off-grid power source that can keep more than just your cellphone or iPod charged.  This 10.5 watt solar charger, power hub combo from GoBe Solar can extend your laptop’s battery life for an estimated 3 to 6 hours, or be used to charge or operate lights, small appliances and a wide array of small electronic devices.

The hub can be charged via the solar panel (10 hours of sunshine to fully charge) or wall outlet, while simultaneously powering your gadgets.  The Power Hub has AC, DC and USB outlets.

  • caveats: the sturdy suitcase solar panel weighs in at around 12 lbs and the hub weighs another 9 lbs – so unless you’re Lance Armstrong, you won’t be biking around or backpacking very far with this combo.  It also costs $349 plus $45 shipping.


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Tehama – eco friendly sportswear


High-end sportswear maker Tehama was founded by alpha man’s-man, Clint Eastwood, and fashion designer Nancy Haley, back in the late 1990’s.  The brand’s ‘Green’ line of clothing has been created to provide golfers and sports enthusiasts a high quality, environmentally friendly, sportswear option. Tehama Green garments are made of fabrics containing: bamboo, coconut, recycled polyester, Vitamin C and organic cotton.

Above left: Tehama’s Hurricaine Engineer Stripe Polo with Vitamin C Dip.  Tehama’s Vitamin C enriched shirts promote healthy new skin by adding Vitamin C nutrients directly into the product’s fiber. Also features UPF 30 Protection and natural hydration. (I don’t know if it helps create the perfect posture and ‘V’ shaped physique pictured, $68.)  The golfer’s organic cotton/recycled polyester short, (above, in tortoise), will run you $68.

Above right:  Tehama’s woman’s Serenity Print Polo in Juniper.  Made out of an organic cotton/recycled polyester blend with a water-based print, ($64).

more info and store locator @

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glass food storage – the clear choice

I love using my Pyrex flea market finds for storing foodstuffs in the fridge.  Aside from the eco upsides, I derive the added benefit of not having plastic of any sort — baggies or containers, touching, and possibly leaching into my food.  (Plastic # 7 can leach Bisphenol A — BPA, a hormone disrupter.)  Lidded glass containers such as those pictured below are especially good for salads, fruits and veggies.

A great way to be kind to your body, planet and wallet — search your mom’s upper shelves of her kitchen cupboards for reusable glass containers, or seek them out at tag sales, flea markets, e-bay or etsy.

If you happen to be looking for a nice, practical gift for an upcoming bridal shower or birthday, check out these Anchor Hocking  glass storage dish options.  Added perk — with such clarity, it’s easy to see just what’s under the lid in that fridge.  find @

Related: previously on altCon
(4.7.08)  preserve and feel good about it
(10.25.08)  the remains
(10.17.08)  healthykitchenware food carrier – no more plastic
(8.12.08)  etsy – the convertible sandwich wrap

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