Convert your car to an electric car

Spending too much on gas? Maybe it’s time you switch to electric…

MetaEfficient has a great post about how to convert your car to an eco-friendly vehicle.

Snip from MetaEfficient:

Basically, electric conversion involves removing the entire internal combustion engine from a vehicle, installing an electric motor in its place, and also adding a large bank of batteries. A conversion will cost you about $6000 in parts, and about $1000-$3000 for batteries and installation. But, for this up-front  expense, you’ll get a zero-emissions vehicle that costs only a few cents per mile to run. Your electric car will also be more reliable and require much less maintenance that a conventional one. Remember that gas-powered cars cost the owner about $1800 per year on average for fuel costs alone, and there is the addition expense of engine maintenance and oil changes. The engine of an electric car has a virtually infinite lifespan — the components will probably outlast the chassis. The only real expense is the batteries, which will need to be replaced about every 3 to 4 years.

A reader commented that it’s not as easy as it looks though. Duh!

electric car conversion

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Calculate Your Impact in the Environment

Greendex

You’ve read the news—everyone wants to be green now. But do you really know how your personal choices are adding up? What about the choices of your fellow citizens? How well are people around the globe adopting behaviors that can make the world a more environmentally sustainable place?

National Geographic and the international polling firm GlobeScan have just conducted a study measuring and monitoring consumer progress toward environmentally sustainable consumption in 14 countries around the world.

The result: the National Geographic/GlobeScan “Consumer Greendex,” a scientifically derived sustainable consumption index of actual consumer behavior and material lifestyles across 14 countries. The Greendex will be tracked over time and will be comparable across the selection of countries representing both the developed and developing world.

Answer these questions, then go to Calculate, and you’ll learn what your own personal Greendex number is. My Greendex number was 40, which is much better than average!

Take the quick Greendex test

Parking lot solar system

The Envision Solar Grove is a highly customizable, aesthetically-designed, photovoltaic-integrated parking lot solar system. Originally designed for Kyocera Solar, the simple elegance of the Solar Grove lends itself to a variety of surroundings and terrain that could otherwise prove challenging to more standard designs.

The design is based on a  graceful analogy, known as “biomimicry” — just as a citrus grove absorbs sunlight to produce food, a Solar Grove absorbs sunlight and produces energy. The language of the analogy continues—the frame and modules of the Solar Tree become its “canopy,” the support structure becomes the “limbs” and “trunk,” while the base foundation and wiring beneath the earth is known as the “taproot.”

solar charger parking lot

The Envision Solar Grove can be sized and positioned to meet the needs of the facility, and is particularly useful in sloping parking lots or lining curved edges. The single support column per tree allows for unhindered maneuverability about the parking area. Unique heavy-duty light fixtures turn on automatically at dusk and shine up toward the canopy, which illuminates the parking area for nighttime safety. Eight translucent solar modules, allow light to pass up through the tree to create another visually appealing sight. During the day, these translucent models allow dappled sunlight to pass through to the ground — a bit like leaves on a real tree would allow. (more…)

Space Vegetables Could Solve World’s Food Crisis

The seeds from which these giant veggies grew were fired into space, where they orbited the Earth for two weeks. Once they returned they were cultivated in hothouses, producing the monster specimens seen here.

China, which is behind the space fruit and veg, says they could be the answer to the world’s food crisis. China has been experimenting with space plants since the 1980s.

pumpkin

Previously it has claimed that the near zero gravity conditions – microgravity – have created high-yield rice and wheat plants, and tomatoes and peppers with harvests ten to 20 per cent greater than normal.

The most recent batch of 2,000 seeds was launched into orbit in 2006 on the Shijian 8 satellite. Afterwards they were cultivated and the best specimens selected for further breeding. The results include two-foot cucumhebers and 14lb aubergines. China says its giant fruit and veg have already been sold to Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

Researcher Lo Zhigang admitted he and his colleagues could not explain why time in orbit causes the seeds to mutate. But they suspect exposure to the cosmic radiation that bombards spacecraft in orbit, as well as microgravity, could play a part.

chilli