Author Archives: Carin Lynn

Eco-Friendly Car Guide

Flex Fuel CarsEver wonder what the variation is between different alternative fuel cars like a plug in hybrid, a flex fuel or an electric car?

Here’s a breakdown of all the different types of green vehicles that are currently available and also in development.

Hybrids

Hybrids combine two or more different propulsion systems, typically a gasoline engine and one or more electric drive motors. Most hybrids on the road today compliment their gas engines by charging a battery when breaking. Engines running on diesel or other alternative fuels can also be used in hybrids. A hybrid drive is fully scalable, which means the drive can be used to power everything from small commuter cars to large buses and even locomotives. Hybrids get more MPG or miles per gallon than most non-hybrids, and usually have very low tailpipe emissions.

Plug In Hybrids

Plug in hybrids get high MPG, cover many miles on battery power alone, and include a gasoline engine to provide greater range as needed. Plug in hybrids are mostly recharged from the grid, but some plug-in hybrid models can generate electricity when using them.

Electric Cars

Electric cars use one or more electric drive motors, powered by batteries, for zero-emission motoring. Electric cars are recharged by plugging into the grid, either at home, or with special electric vehicle charging stations. Car manufacturers are actively developing a new generation of electric cars using technologies and lessons learned from electric vehicles developed in the 1990s. Electric cars are extremely efficient and run for pennies per mile, much cheaper than any other alternative fuel.

Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a renewable alternative fuel made from various sources ranging from waste vegetable oil to soybeans. Biodiesel can be used in most diesel powered cars without modification. Biodiesel is a cleaner fuel than standard petroleum diesel.

Ethanol

Ethanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel made from biomass. As a popular alternative fuel, ethanol is typically used in the form of E85 to power flex fuel cars outfitted specifically to run on this blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. There are  more than 30 flex fuel vehicle models that have been designed to run on two fuels from the same tank. Most ethanol today is produced from corn or sugar cane, although this will change as cheaper cellulosic ethanol made from fast growing woody grasses and other biomass becomes a reality.

Hydrogen Cars & Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen is perhaps the cleanest of all alternative fuels, burning with nearly zero emissions in an internal combustion engine and with emissions of only water vapor and heat in an electro-mechanical fuel cell. Hydrogen vehicles are being developed in many forms by most major car manufacturers.

Air Powered Cars

Air powered cars are relatively new to the green car scene. Compressed air is currently being explored as a viable ‘alternative fuel’ to efficiently power car engines with little or no environmental impact.

Natural Gas

Natural gas, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, is being used by an increasing number of medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Natural gas is stored and used in its liquefied or compressed states. It is most commonly abbreviated as LNG for Liquefied Natural Gas, and CNG for Compressed Natural Gas. While a variety of light-duty natural gas cars were once available, the only factory-produced natural gas car made today in the U.S. is Honda’s Civic GX. Other car models may be developed and sold in the United States as additional focus is placed on natural gas as a fuel source for alternative fuel vehicles.

Via: GreenCar

Living Off The Grid In An Earthship

Earthship is a radically sustainable green building made of recycled materials and powered by the sun & the wind, catching water, treating sewage, heating and cooling through thermal dynamics and growing food. It’s extreme Green living at it’s best by architect Michael Reynolds.

Here’s a detailed look inside an Earthship:

Cinco de Mayo Organic Margaritas

Cinco de Mayo is all about good company, music, the best food & margaritas. Celebrate this fifth of May with this killer organic Margarita recipe:

Margarita Ingredients:

Cinco de Mayo Organic Margaritas

  • 3oz of 4 Copas 100% Agave Organic Tequila (or a similar organic tequila)
  • 2oz of freshly squeezed organic lime juice
  • 1oz of simple agave syrup
  • Topped with some organic sugar and kosher salt for the rim

Margarita Directions:

Step 1:
Prechill your glasses by putting them in a freezer for a few hours prior to the party.

Step 2:
Make the simple syrup by adding 1 part agave nectar, 1 part organic sugar, & 1 part water to a sauce pan and cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.

Step 3:
Next fill your cocktail shaker with the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup & ice.  Shake until mixed and cool.

Step 4:
Mix up 2 parts salt and 1 part sugar and put it in a dish. (You can do this prior to the party.) Dip the rim of your chilled glass in the sugar/salt mix.

Step 5:
Strain the Margarita drink mix into your chilled salted glass, serve & enjoy!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

ecoskin – Recycled Plastic Smart Phone Antibacterial Covers

ecoskin - Recycled Plastic Smart Phone CoversThere are tons of skins, covers and pouches out there to protect your mobile phone from scuffs, scratches and dings but what protects you from the bacteria just lingering on your phone?

Introducing the ecoskin!
An eco-friendly smart phone cover with antibacterial protection.

The ecoskin is the only recycled mobile phone cover to be infused with Biomaster or silver ions to reduce harmful bacteria levels on the phone. The same material is used as an additive for many medical devices to decrease bacterial levels by up to 99.9%.

Plus the ecoskin is made with 100% recycled high grade plastic and is UV resistant. The packaging used for the ecoskin is also made from recycled materials.ecoskin - Recycled Plastic Smart Phone Covers

ecoskin’s Key Eco-Features:

  • Made with 100% recycled high grade plastic
  • Antibacterial Biomaster Silver Additive
  • Packaging made from recycled materials
  • UV resistant

Buy Now!

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Naturally dyed Easter eggsWho’s dying Easter eggs with their kids this weekend?

Need some DIY eco-friendly tips to avoid the toxic store bought dye kits? Try dying your eggs with vegetables, spices and everyday items found in your kitchen.

Supplies Needed:

  • Free-range eggs
  • Alum powder (available at the supermarket in the spice aisle)
  • White Vinegar
  • Vegetables & spices
  • Cooktop
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon and slotted spoon
  • Vegetable oil, wax, electrical tape, leaves, stickers, etc (optional)

Step by Step Directions:

Step 1:
Choose which colors you’d like to dye your eggs.

  • For blue, use red cabbage
  • For red, try whole beets (not canned), cherries, or cranberries
  • For light green, use spinach or fresh green herbs
  • For tan, brew some strong coffee, tea, or a handful of cumin seeds
  • For yellow, try turmeric (a spice) and yellow onion skins
  • For olive green, use red onion skins (the color is produced by a reaction with the vinegar)
  • For purple, grape juice or frozen blueberries

Step 2:
For each color, fill a saucepan with at least three inches of water. Add in your vegetables or spices. It’ll take a lot…around two cups, packed.

Step 3:
Bring the water to a boil, and add two teaspoons of alum powder UNLESS you’re using onion skins, as it creates a funky reaction.

Step 4:
Boil for thirty minutes.

Step 5:
Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool slightly. You don’t want to add the eggs to boiling water, because the shells will likely crack.

Step 6:
Return to heat, and stir in two tablespoons of white vinegar. Add the eggs, and bring the mixture back to a full boil. Reduce the heat slightly, and cook for 10-12 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, and let the eggs cool in the dye.

Step 7:
Remove the eggs from the dye. If you’re satisfied with the color, then allow them to dry. For deeper, richer colors, strain the liquid, and allow the egg to continue to soak for up to eight hours. (Any longer, and the vinegar will start to disintegrate the shell.) If you plan to eat the eggs, put them into the refrigerator.

Via: Curbly

Most Bike Friendly Cities

Chicago is quickly becoming one of the greenest cities in the US, however, it still has a little ways to go when it comes to being one of the most bike friendly cities in the US.

Even though Chicago has more than 110 miles of on-street bike lanes, more than 30 miles of marked shared lanes, many miles of off-street paths (including the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail), more than 12,000 bike racks, and sheltered, high-capacity, bike parking areas at many CTA rail stations; we’re still out ranked by Minneapolis MN, Portland OR, Boulder CO, Seattle WA, Eugene OR, San Francisco CA, Madison WI, New York City NY, and Tucson AZ.

Did your city make the list?

Bike Friendly Cities
Via: Motorcycle Insurance

Earth Hour 2011

Earth HourTomorrow is Earth Hour!
Y’all ready to turn off the lights (TV too) at 8:30pm for an hour?

What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007 as a global climate change initiative, calling individuals and businesses around the world, to switch off their lights for one hour.

  • In 2007 – The inaugural Earth Hour was held in Sydney Australia where 2.2 million Sydneysiders and 2,100 businesses participate in the event.
  • In 2008 – Earth Hour was held in 371 cities and towns in more than 35 countries globally.
  • In 2009 – Earth Hour was held in more than 4,000 cities and towns across 88 countries.
  • In 2010 – Earth Hour was held in a record 128 countries and territories.  Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas stood in darkness.