Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ecotricity vs EDF

EDF are running a 'green britain' campaign at the moment to support a national renewables awareness day. Leaving aside the debate as to whether their mix of coal and nuclear can be considered green, what's really cheeky is that they nicked Ecotricity's logo for it:

Npower and british gas are having a dig as well, claiming they are green every day of the year. Let the greenwashing begin !

Sunday, July 19, 2009

LandArks zero carbon off grid homes

Off grid zero carbon homes are about the most environmentally sound lifestyle choice you can make. Producing their own electricity and collecting and filtering their own water they have virtually no impact environment whatsoever.

The last time I wrote about zero carbon homes that could be completely detached from the grid (water, electricity, drains) it was Earthships. These homes are made of recycled materials (tyres, aluminium cans, etc) and adobe. They user solar energy (photo-voltaic and thermal), thermal mass and reed bed water filtration. and are very cool.

However Earthships are a quite large investment in time and effort to build. If you are looking for a simpler zero carbon off grid home solution then LandArks or GardenArks could be the perfect choice. These homes are easy to construct kits that can be built by the buyer or the company and have the following design features: -
  • They are made of wood sourced from FSC managed forests with cavity insulation made from sheep's wool.
  • They have a curved living green roof that has a greater surface area than the land taken up by the Ark itself and can be planted with species that match the local grasses, heathers, etc. This roof makes the Ark far more pleasant to look at allowing it to blend in with the landscape, produces oxygen, insulates the Ark and acts as a rainwater collection and filtration system.
  • Power is generated by a rotatable solar array and a wind turbine.
  • The Ark can be connected to the grid to allow it to use grid electricity when it is not producing enough and to sell electricity back when it is producing too much.
  • The Ark is raised off of the ground which provides thermal insulation and also minimises the damage done to the land when the ark is built or removed.
  • The Ark contains a log burner for heating and cooking.
  • People wanting a larger home could have multiple arks joined together.
The Ark comes in two sizes, The GardenArk is perfect for a place in a large garden, a home office, spare bedroom, etc. Here are some pics including two I took at the Hampton Court flower show.

The LandArk is a larger building that can be used as a holiday home or primary home. Ideal for a group of friend wanting to buy some land and creating a small eco community. Here are some pics.

The Company site can be found here, good information can be found here and here is a page from the Grand Designs show website.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tesla Model S

At last an electric car that would not look out of place in any motor show rather than looking like a plastic roller skate. The Tesla model S: -

225 miles/charge
0-60 mph in under 6 seconds

Here is the pic

Read about it on The Register

or Road & Track

Monday, January 12, 2009


An expedition is being mounted this year to drive from London to Tombouctou. The big difference is the expedition will use a Biofuel powered flying car. The car is a 2 seater buggy with a huge fan on the back that can fly by deploying a large paragliding wing. They are also hoping to make a production model by 2010. This will offer the performance of a sports car and a light aircraft and I WANT ONE.