Saturday, July 28, 2007

Green is made of people...

Stomp the yard? No.

Step by Step with a New Design On the Block? No.

Walkin' on Sunshine? No.

So many punarific ways I could go here, but I'm not going to do it...

Ever live underneath a dance studio? Ever had bad enough neighbors that it felt like it?

People-powered "Crowd Farms" are growing more and more popular, harnessing the power of movement and motion created in every day situations. If you've ever experienced the aforementioned stomping, imagine the energy generated by 1000 commuters in a subway station.

Two graduate students from MIT’s Department of Architecture have figured out a way to harness all that movement and use it as a source of sustainable energy. James Graham and Thaddeus Jusczyk proposed that energy micro-generation is the wave of the future, soon surpassing large power plants in energy production, by creating a chair that exploits the passive act of sitting for power generation. The weight of the body on the chair spins a flywheel, powering a dynamo that lights four LEDs, putting to use some of the energy that is usually dissipated into the surrounding architecture.

I have a Liberal Arts degree. Would you like fries with that?

Although the article states the application would not work in residential situations since, "a single human step can only power two 60W light bulbs for one flickering second," it does state that if you "get a crowd in motion, multiply that single step by 28,527 steps...the result is enough energy to power a moving train for one second."

Think Vegas strip. Grand Central Station. Mall of America. Fried Twinkie line at the Ohio State Fair.

Somebody get these boys some seed money.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Channel Surfing in Green...

Green Energy TV, the world leader in green energy television, is up and running on a tank full of environmentally-friendly steam.

There are currently a ton of blogs on the market showcasing any and all things green, but it's nice to see a site devoted specifically to video. From the website:

Green Energy TV is an Online Television Channel that is dedicated to airing Green/Alternative/Renewable Energy videos for millions of viewers around the world to see. Green Energy TV is passionate about sharing innovative ideas to help educate individuals and organizations of all sizes to use cleaner alternatives in their every day environment.

Every step counts and everyone can make a difference! We want to see what individuals, schools, companies/organizations, inventors, etc. all around the world are doing to make a difference. Upload your videos to help educate others in becoming Green. Watch the videos and become part of one of the most important initiatives in protecting our environment and our future generations!

For Individuals: It's the collective grassroots efforts of you and I, as individuals that can make a huge impact in saving our environment. Just by changing a light bulb can help start saving the environment. What are you doing different? Make a quick and fun home video of what you are doing to be Green and share it with others!

For Companies/Organizations: Companies/Organizations of all sizes are welcome to Upload Videos to show what you are doing to become a Green Company. Green Energy TV will help promote what you are doing so that companies and organizations all around the world can make an educated switch to becoming Green.

For Schools: Whether you are a grade school participating in a recycling program or a university creating Green technology, we want to see it all. Upload your videos and share your Green ideas with the world.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

But does it lose suxsion?

Captain over-ennunciation is at it again. It's not a $500 vacuum (for that price, I want an iPhone mounted on the front), but it is a wicked cool hand drier.

We're all trying to be a little more eco-aware now-a-days, but be honest...when faced with a bathroom decision of paper towels or blow dryer, how often than not do you automatically go for the paper towels?

Towels will always trump dryer...until now.

£599 for industrial usage? Pretty good if it's strapped with a strong warranty and long life-cycle.

Can't afford it? Be a true American and lease this Bentley of blow.

How it works.

How it was developed.

Where to buy.

Rachel Carson eat your heart out...

We are officially back in Ohio, but the bug is spreading. With fever maxing out in the 103's, it's time to check out till I feel better. I'll try to get up some newer posts when I can.

And yes, the baby is doing just fine. He's like a little germ UPS, dropping off chemical deliveries twice a week. This week I got E-coli via 2nd day diaper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

2007 IDEA Awards

The 2006 IDEA awards came in a while back, so I thought I would post a few of my favorites:

Verdi Lawnscaping System

Verdi is a low-maintenance modular landscaping alternative to traditional grass lawns. The pre-seeded interlocking tiles with built-in irrigation practically eliminate the need for high-pollution mowers and inefficient water usage. The entire system is connected to a pump that circulates gray water through the tile network. Modular accessories, such as solar-powered light tiles, shrub planters and path tiles, give Verdi a versatility unavailable to most backyard do-it-yourself enthusiasts. The tiles can be fitted with a variety of inserts, including recycled glass composite, bamboo or molded recycled plastic, to extend the aesthetic possibilities, transforming any space into a beautiful, environmentally sensitive oasis.

Sync Handwashing System

Sync is a no-touch hand cleansing and drying system for public restrooms. Simply hold your hands over the drain and the system does the rest. High-pressure jets spray a mist of ozonated water that sterilizes germs without the need for soap. The fully cyclical airflow dries hands quicker than standard hand dryers. Sync’s large, continuous surfaces make cleanup easy, and since there are no flat surfaces, water doesn’t pool for dirt and bacteria to gather in. The system is also naturally handicap accessible since knobs are not necessary. Among its other benefits are improved restroom traffic flow, reduced water usage and the elimination of disposable hand towels.

Green Air

GREEN AIR is a low-cost, space-efficient air purification system that uses plants to reduce toxins in the air. The wall-mounted ceramic planter contains a small 115 VAC fan that slowly pushes air through the soil to the plant’s roots, a process that breaks down toxins equal to that of 15 regular plants. A conical bottom allows users to easily replace plants without interfering with the fan. GREEN AIR’s organic, twisting form appears to wrap around the plants in an elegant, nurturing manner, and its matte, textured ceramic exterior is a soft contrast to the plant’s dark, glossy foliage. Because over-watering is the number one reason indoor plants die, an ambient temperature sensor, which looks like a droplet of water, changes from blue to brown to indicate when and how much water the plant needs.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monitor your usage, pig....

As I continue to explore the delusions that come with what is -now- a 102.6 degree fever (WebMD says I have Tuberculosis in their Symptom Checker...I'm going for a second opinion), I managed to find something good that was featured on FOX news (fever delusion or not?).

The Power Cost Monitor claims that it can help you save 20 cents on every dollar you spend on electricity by monitoring what you spend as you spend it. It's real-time feedback on your environmental degradation!

From the website:

The PowerCost Monitor™ is a real-time direct feedback display device for domestic energy consumers. It will tell you at a glance how much electricity your home is currently using and your home's total electricity used in dollars and cents and in kilowatt hours.

For instance, as you turn on or off electrical appliances, you will be able to see the adjustment right away on the clock-sized display which would be located inside your home.

The PowerCost Monitor™ shows only your home's electricity usage in real-time. Ultimately, it is up to you to use this information to reduce your electric bill.

I'm weary, but interested to see it in action.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

From the "Why didn't I think of that" files....

Today I'll be borrowing an item from Josh Spear, who borrowed said item from Apartment Therapy.

People normally think of grey water collections systems in large-scale proportions, concentrating mainly on landscape irrigation in industrial or mixed use settings. This, however, is an ingenious little invention from Vivavi: The AQUS Toilet System.

The AQUS system collects used water from your sink and collects it to use as flush-water for your toilet. According to the website, the system can reduce water usage in a 2-person home by 5,000 gallons per year. Josh Spear also brought up a good point that the system is non-invasive enough to be easily installed in a rental. Much easier than asking your landlord for solar voltaics on your roof!

Strangled in Suburbia.

As I continue to pop pills and down liquids, here's an interesting article I found in the Washington Post, profiling the down-sizing of Virginian suburbanites.

Breaking Free of Suburbia's Stranglehold.

As a Central Ohioan, I've never quite understood the "suburban dream." Downtown Columbus is currently surrounded with endless sprawl, rows and rows of long-commute suburbs that clog our highway arteries each morning and afternoon. It seems to me that living out there would be more trouble than it is perceived.

Fortunately, downtown Columbus is experiencing a major revival. Talk of light rail and building rehabilitation have developers foaming at the pocketbook. We even have a mayor with a solid understanding of sustainable enterprise. It looks like we're making moves in all the right directions...

...but (you knew it was coming) the truth of the matter is this: families will come if and when the general stigma surrounding Columbus Public Schools is eliminated, even though that fear is unfounded, given schools like Columbus Alternative High School see 98% of their graduating seniors advance onward to college.

Sick days? Already?

Updates for the next couple of days are going to be sporadic. We are currently on vacation in Southern California and I am dealing with the full-blown flu. Pray that my Z Pack works. Seriously. Pray.