Thursday, October 23, 2008

Algae, Man's New Best Friend

Algae Soaking up CO2 and acting as a source of hydrogen, biofuels and cash: -

Very interesting

Friday, May 09, 2008


A green index has been prepared by national geograpic that details countries' attitudes towards green issues. Not surprisingly, the USA came last, and India and Brazil came first.

You can also calculate your own index here:

Mine was 65 - I'm sure that's beatable as we have a car and a disabled child who needs ferrying to various groups ! Stick a comment on with your score !

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Silliest idea ever

This one actually works though. UPS now plan their routes in the US so that they make right turns in preference to left turns. This means they spend less time waiting to cross the flow of oncoming traffic and therefore use less fuel. Over the entire fleet this seemingly daft idea has saved them 30 millions miles and 3 million gallons of fuel. Scarily that implies their vans only do 10 miles to the gallon - even taking into account the smaller US gallon they should be able to improve on that.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

fun fun fun

Quad biking is quite fun - now you can get electric quad bikes !

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Tescos are clearly seeing $$$ in the whole 'carbon' thing - they are starting to lable some of their products to show the suspected environmental impact of them. Full story here

Zoom zoom zoom

Nice bike (there, I said it):

It's an electric scooter - and for once, someone's come out with electric transport that isn't crippled and hideous. OK, the top speed is 100kph - but it's a scooter; they're usually speed limited to less than that anyway. 0-50 in 3.8 seconds. Range is a little low at 110Km, but for commuting to work or running errands in town it would be ideal.

The video on their website ( ) is quite interesting; the number of parts in the bike is about a tenth of an equivalent petrol powered bike; I've not found anyone willing to divulge a price yet though !

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Low Energy Lighbulbs

Huraah!!! I have finally replaced the last incandescent bulb in my house. The reason I took so long is that it was connected to a dimmer switch which have been a real problem for low energy bulbs. Homebase have finally started selling dimmable low energy bulbs made by a company called Varilight.

The bulb was a lot more expensive than an ordinary low energy bulb (£11.99) but I had wanted to replace the incandescent bulb for a long time and I expect the price will start to drop sooner or later. The bulb works pretty well with the dimmer although it take a significant fraction of a second to adjust so if you change the dimmer to quickly the light increases or decreases in sudden steps.

Overall the bulb is good but I think the price needs to come down before they'll really start selling.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cool Looking Zero Emission Car!!!!!

The subject of why alternative fuel source cars look like plastic bricks has come up a few times on this blog. Antony is particularly passionate about the subject, often flying into extreme rants and demanding answers that we all want. This post should provide warm fuzzy feelings and calm all of our doubts about whether a cool looking car can be ever be environmentally friendly.

That great manufacturer of classic cars Morgan has developed a new vehicle it has called the Morgan Life Car (to be unveiled this month at the Geneva Motor Show). The Life Car motor is powered by hydrogen fuel cells and so only emits water. The Life Car itself however emits an look of classic elegance and style. The specs are not too bad: -

22KW motor
150 mpg
250 miles per tank
0-60mph in 7 seconds
100mph top speed.
50% energy recovered from regenerative braking

The Morgan Page is here
The BBC story is here

Now the pics

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Air Powered Car pt2

I while ago I posted a story about a French design for a compressed air powered car read it here.

BBC news have done a story on the development. The car should be on sale within a year and may cost as little as £2500 for a 5 seater. It can be refueled from a compressor in 3 minutes or plugged into a domestic supply overnight and refuel with an onboard compressor in 4 hours. It can also burn various liquid fuels to preheat the air increasing it's range.

The company MDI is planning a range of products from sales of the actual motors, through a range of small cars and even including buses. Their website can be found here.

Read the BBC story here.

Here is an artist's impression of one of the small car models.

Cycling in London

London is about to receive a £500 million investment towards improving cycling in the city. The scheme will include 6000 hire bikes. These will be available from docking stations where users of the scheme can unlock them, use them and then place them in another docking station when they are finished. This is similar to the Velib scheme in Paris shown below.

The scheme will also include 12 new cycling routes as well as clearly marked bike zones linking parks, waterways and key destination around the city. The aim is 5% of all journeys in London being made by bike by 2025. Personally I think that 5% in 17 years is pretty unambitious and that it will take a hell of a lot more than £500m to change the way Londoners travel. However I have seen the system in Paris and it was very popular so it may take off (assuming Londoners don't steal or vandalise all of the bikes).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Renewable Suber Grid pt2

In August 2006 I wrote a post about a plan for a renewable energy super grid covering Europe and North Africa read it here.

The plan is now going ahead. The company behind this is the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Company (
TREC). The plan is to build commercial concentrated solar power stations in North Africa that would sell electricity to Europe while simultaneously desalinating sea water as a by product of energy production.

Germany and Algeria have already reportedly signed a deal to lay cables stretching as far north as Aachen on the German-Belgian border. read more here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Excuse me my good man this wine is errr.....bagged.

One of the areas of environmental concern that is thankfully gaining increased attention is the carbon footprint of food production and distribution. Many producers are now starting to reduce packaging in their products while retailers are starting to make more local produce available (there is still a very long way to go but it is a start). Now changes are coming to that most traditional and civilised of packages, the wine bottle.

Australian producer Wolf Blass have started to use PET plastic bottles while Banrock Station are using my least favourite packaging the infamous Tetra Pak. However the prize for ingenious packaging must go to Arniston Bay with their resealable bag. They claim the bag uses 80% less of a carbon footprint than glass bottle. It also uses 90% volume in landfill (for those too damn lazy to recycle) and can be taken to public events where glass is not allowed. All this may be true, it may also be a good thing but it does not bode well for the traditional images of the snooty wine waiter, the dust covered bottle in a musty wine cellar, the scrunch of a champagne bottle in a silver ice bucket or the homeless person reduced to drinking blue nun or black tower from a bottle inside a brown paper bag. Oh well here is a picture: -

Thursday, January 10, 2008

new battery tech

Silicon nanowires have been used in a lithium battery to increase the capacity by a factor of ten - should lay waste to the 'milik float' arguement against electric cars.