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Ford hybrids to ‘talk to’ the power grid


If the electric car movement is going go mainstream it’s going to need some serious infrastructure.  In that effort, Ford Motor Company has announced that it has developed an intelligent vehicle-to-grid communications and control system for its plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that “talks” directly with the nation’s electric grid.

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This new technology allows the vehicle operator to program when to recharge the vehicle, for how long and at what utility rate.

When plugged in, the battery systems of specially equipped plug-in hybrids can communicate directly with the electrical grid via smart meters provided by utility companies through (more…)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Missouri’s solar and wind-powered eco inn


In Northeastern Missouri, there is a quiet—but dedicated—effort to operate a sustainable community called Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Led by proprietor Alline Anderson, it’s the type of place that captures your attention at first glance (or in my case, on first click). Comprised of 36 adults, Dancing Rabbit is home to the strawbale-built Milkweed Mercantile (an online shop too), an Eco Inn, Organic Café, and plays host to a healthy round-up of retreats and seminars.

DRESign.jpgThe B&B-style inn, which is set to open this Fall (reservations will be available in November), is slated to be an “entirely green alternative”—crafted from only reclaimed, recycled or sustainable materials; powered by self-generated electricity (on-site solar and wind); and completely commercial scent free. Made up of four guestrooms, all named after ecological and social hall-of-famers, the inn overlooks the rolling prairies. (Rates begin at just $65/night during the low season and include waking up to an organic, local breakfast.)

So, if you’re looking to dip a toe into the communal lifestyle pool, head toward Missouri. You can check out a list of seminars and retreats here (2010 lists will become available in late September) or get a better feel for Alline’s efforts by perusing her informational Passion for Green Business blog.

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upcycled t-shirt rug – from rags to riches


We’ve seen too many unfortunate deaths of the everyday t-shirt.  (Many in the form of “memory” quilts-gone-wrong.)

RTSRg.jpgAll the more reason to love this purplish-gray, feet-friendly, 100 percent recycled rug, crafted from discarded, hand-cut tees. Super soft and available in an array of sizes suitable for any room (21”x30” to 5’x8’), the rugs, by Talking Squid start at a respectable $48.

For $5 off of a $30 purchase, become a fan of TalkingSquid on Facebook and use code “Face5” when ordering through etsy.

Love the idea but not the rug? Check out this DIY project that will turn your old tees into something just as chic, but wearable. A delicate, sinewy necklace.

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