Good ideas and suggestions

The Next Generation Asks: Why Not Act on Climate Change? (Video)

Young People Demanding Action

Young people worldwide are demanding answers on climate change. Watch their auditions and add your voice. Thousands heard the call from all over the planet and while it wasn’t easy, we’ve been able to select eight inspiring young people to attend the United Nations Climate Summit in New York on September 23 and ask “Why […]

Seafood Watch App for Android & iPhone

Seafood Watch Guidlines

Seafood Watch has always been a great resource in letting you know more about fish and seafood available to you. It recommends certain species that are to be avoided and why, then recommends alternatives. Now with the app for your smartphone, it makes it a whole lot easier to easier to enjoy seafood in a […]

Wool dryer balls can replace chemical laden dryer-sheets and reduce drying time by 50%

Dryer balls can reduce drying time by 30 per cent. (Credit: Jennnifer LeBrun)

At my house we prefer to hand dry most of our clothing, but we do still throw some things in the dryer – socks, underwear and towels for the most part. And currently we do use dryer-sheets for these loads, mainly to get rid of static cling. For those that don’t know, these dryer-sheets are […]

Is this an intelligent use of resources for 1 liter of water?

Water Bottle Energy Use

“It takes a quarter of a liter of oil and 3 liters of water to deliver 1 liter of bottled water. This is an intelligent use of the human ability to reason, right?” I wrote a post before on this subject; OK, Enough with the bottled water already, this is just a quick addendum […]

The Story of Change (Video)

If you haven’t already viewed my post “The Story of Stuff“, I would highly recommend it. This video is from the same people and and is narrated by Annie Leonard as well. Below is a blog post from Annie Leonard discussing the premise of their latest video. And of course you can view the video below as well ;-)

I used to think the truth would set us free. Like many who care about the environment, I spent years thinking that information would lead to change. So I wrote reports, gave speeches, even testified before Congress.

Some things changed. Sadly, the big picture didn’t.

For a long time I couldn’t understand why. Now I’ve realized that it isn’t because we don’t have enough data, white papers or experts to tell us we’re in trouble. The problem is we’ve forgotten what it takes to make change.
My new movie, The Story of Change, argues that’s partly because we’ve gotten stuck in consumer mode.

I’ve come to see that we have two parts to ourselves; it’s almost like two muscles – a consumer muscle and a citizen muscle. Our consumer muscle, which is fed and exercised constantly, has grown strong. So strong that “consumer” has become our primary identity, our reason for being. We’re told so often that we’re a nation of consumers that we don’t blink when the media use “consumer” and “person” interchangeably.

Meanwhile, our citizen muscle has gotten flabby. There’s no marketing campaign reminding us to engage as citizens. On the contrary, we’re bombarded with lists of simple things we can buy or do to save the planet, without going out of our way or breaking a sweat.

No wonder that faced with daunting problems and discouraged by the intransigence of the status quo, we instinctively flex our power in the only way we know how – as consumers. Plastic garbage choking the oceans? Carry your own shopping bag. Formaldehyde in baby shampoo? Buy the brand with the green seal. Global warming threatening life as we know it? Change your lightbulb. (As Michael Maniates, a professor of political and environmental science at Allegheny College, says: “Never has so little been asked of so many.”)

Now, all of those are good things to do. When we shop, it’s good to choose products without toxic chemicals and unnecessary packaging, made by locally-based companies that treat their workers well. But our real power is not in choosing from items on a limited menu; it is in determining what gets on that menu. The way to ensure that toxic, climate-disrupting choices are replaced with safe and healthy alternatives – for everyone, not just those who can afford them – is by engaging as citizens: working together for bigger, bolder change than we could ever accomplish as individual consumers.

Look back at successful movements – civil rights, anti-apartheid, the early environmental victories – and you’ll see that three things are needed to make change at the scale we need today.

First, we need a Big Idea of how things could be better – a morally compelling, ecologically sustainable and socially just idea that will not just make things a little better for a few, but a lot better for everyone. Millions around the world already have that idea: an economy based on the needs of people and the planet, not corporate profit.

Second, we need a commitment to work together. In history’s most transformative social movements, people didn’t say “I will perfect my individual daily choices,” but “We will work together until the problem is solved.” Today, it’s easier than ever to work together, online and off.

Finally, we need all of us who share that Big Idea to get active. We need to move from a place of shared concern, frustration and fear to a place of engaged citizen action. That’s how we build the power to make real change.
We have to aim high, work together and act boldly. It’s not simple, and it won’t be easy. But history is on our side. Let’s get to work to make the kind of change we know is possible.

New ‘Shock Wave’ Engine Could Revolutionize Hybrid Vehicles

Well, bad news for internal combustion engines, especially the small ones used to supplement the electric engines in most hybrid vehicles; a completely new engine system that is 350% more efficient and produces 90% less CO2 emissions has been developed. You can read the full story here at Digital Trends, but here are the pertinent details taken from the article:

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a prototype of an entirely new type of engine that is partially powered by shock waves, which some in the auto industry believe could greatly reduce the fuel consumption of hybrid vehicles, reports New Scientist.

So far, the auto industry has struggled to fine energy efficient and cost effective ways to re-tool the fuel-hungry internal combustion engine, which has been widely used since the late 19th century. This new engine works in an entirely different fashion.

The prototype engine, called a Wave Disk Generator, requires very few parts to run. Unlike internal combustion engines found in cars today, the Wave Disk Generator doesn’t need a transmission, radiator, pistons, valves or any number of other parts found on a traditional engine. This makes the new type of engine far lighter and smaller than a traditional engine, which further allows for less fuel consumption.

A Wave Disk Generator is basically just a metal disk with channels cut into it. When the disk spins, air and fuel mix together in the chambers. The mixture is compressed into the center, unable to escape due to the position of intake and exhaust ports. It is then ignited, and the exhaust is pushed through the outlet port. The backward thrust of the exhaust pushes against the ridges of the disk, which causes it to spin. This, in turn, creates electricity.

Experts say a car fitted with the Wave Disk Generator engine would be roughly 20 percent lighter than the same car with a standard engine, and is also 3.5 times more efficient. The engine can run on a wide variety of fuels, from gasoline to hydrogen, and is said to potentially reduce auto emission by up to 90 percent compared to a standard combustion engine.  A 25-kilowatt version of the engine is expected to be ready later this year.

10 Simple Eco-Tips


Some good very sensible tips that are easy to do and can make a difference. You can view the original post here, at 1. Stop idling your vehicle Every moment you spend idling your car’s engine means needlessly wasting gas, as well as rougher wear on your vehicle. Idling for more than 10 seconds […]