May 16, 2011
Unless you’ve been lying under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ll probably have heard about the new trend for eco-friendly cars. Hydrogen fuel is the latest fashion when it comes to green transport, and it’s currently at the top of the list for manufacturers looking to tap in to the potential of an environmentally-aware customer base. It’s unsurprising that a hydrogen fuel cell can swing a consumer in to making a purchase, as green travel also has the additional benefit of being cheaper than conventional fossil fuels. There are a number of other advantages for having a green car, which make it a simpler decision than just offsetting your carbon footprint…
Getting Tax Benefits through IRS incentives
As the UK and US government are encouraging more vehicle owners to switch over to hydrogen water cars as their preferred mode of transport, drivers are benefiting from an enhanced level of benefits for making an environmentally-friendly choice in their driving habits. Moving from a traditional fuel to hydrogen through conversion can encourage the government to offer a significant tax deduction for vehicle owners, of between $5 to $50 thousand. What’s not to like?
Save money on repairs, maintenance and fuel costs
Taking the decision to use hydrogen instead of petrol or diesel can deliver the traveler huge costs savings when it’s time to re-fuel. There are less repair costs, lower maintenance service requirements and hydrogen lasts longer than regular fuel, so overall the vehicle owner saves a large amount following their initial investment. Great news on the environment, and even better news on the pocket!
Experience improved performance from your vehicle
Hydrogen brings the car owner a noticeable list of improvements in terms of performance for their cars. The vehicle will offer an enhanced number of miles for the amount of fuel purchased, which brings benefits both when driving through the city or on the open road. In addition, the engine performs better with hydrogen fuel, with a large reduction in the amount of noise generated and enhanced use of fuel. The engine will actually be greatly improved through the use of a hydrogen converter, keeping it in tip-top condition for the coming years.
Support the environment
With an HHO fuel cell in your cars, you will be vastly reducing your carbon emissions as a responsible vehicle owner. Cleaner emissions from the car will support you to bring your part to the battle against carbon offsetting, when compared with the pollutants emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles. Hydrogen brings the following benefits to the environment:
• Hydrogen is available in abundance, and brings no threat of running out as a depleting resource like gasoline
• It is easy, simple and cost-effective to produce hydrogen
• The fuel can be generated through water treatment sites or wind apparatus, making it a simple, easy and sustainable source of power
• The government has shown an ongoing commitment to the production of hydrogen, ensuring that there are enough fueling stations available to make it convenient and easy for the vehicle owner to top up their cars as necessary.
April 4, 2011
It’s estimated that there are close to a billion tourists traveling across the globe each year. That’s a heck of a lot of sightseeing! Unless we plan carefully, and think before we travel, we run the risk of allowing our travel plans to take a harsh toll on the planet’s natural resources. Of course, nobody’s saying that you have to stay home during vacations – instead, it’s important to consider the small steps you can take to make your holiday adventures more enjoyable for you and kinder to the environment.
We’ve assembled a few of our top tips for Eco-friendlier travel. No doubt you’ll have some of your own suggestions to add too – so please share your ideas and comments below.
Many of the major, reputable travel operators now give you an option to automatically offset the carbon emissions associated with your journey. The costs of offsetting are linked to the intended length of your travel, but most regular flights will charge between $10 – $50 to offset your carbon. It’s a small price to pay to travel to reduce your conscience! And if you are traveling by plane, select a direct flight where possible, to avoid multiple carbon emissions. Of course not flying at all is better….
Change your mode of transport
Do you really need to take the plane? Can you take the bus? Or a train? Or even cycle? These are certainly more environmentally friendly modes of transport which will decrease your journey’s carbon footprint dramatically. If you’re going to drive, rent a hybrid car – they’re more fuel efficient and emit less pollutants into the atmosphere.
We’ve all been guilty of packing everything but the kitchen sink for our travels abroad. Try to be more disciplined when you pack your case. After all, the less weight you’re carrying, the less fuel your intended mode of transport will need to use. One good example is to collaborate with your traveling companions on toiletries. Instead of everyone bringing shampoo or shower gel or toothpaste, decide amongst you who will bring what – you’ll be amazed at how this small step lightens your load.
These days, more and more global destinations are developing eco-hotels and lodges which have strong environmental credentials. It’s easy to drop most hotels an email to find out more about their recycling programs, including:
• Waste recycling
• Towels and bedding – is there an option to re-use?
• Hotel energy efficiency
• Local corporate responsibility initiatives
You’ll quickly get an idea of the hotels that take their environmental responsibilities seriously – and you can reward them with your business.
Contribute to the local economy
If you’re staying in a half-board or all-inclusive resort, sometimes there’s a temptation to stay in the hotel grounds for the duration of your trip. However, exploring the local area, and frequenting local shops, restaurants and arts and craft stores can provide vital support to local people and the local economy. Hopefully, you’ll also have a more authentic in-country experience – and some great stories to share with friends and family on your return home.
Small changes in your travel plans can make a big difference. So, if you’re suffering from the winter blues, and you’re starting to plan your summer vacation, why not put these ideas into action?
February 28, 2011
Car maker Toyota has produced a free app for the iPhone called A Glass of Water to help you drive in a more environmentally friendly manner.
The idea comes from the suggestion that if everyone drove with a glass of water on their dashboard and drove like they didn’t want to spill a drop then fuel consumption would go down 10%.
The app records your driving distance, time, fuel consumption and amount of ‘water’ spilled. After each journey you can go on the website which analyses your drive and makes suggestions on how you can reduce your power consumption. And you can compete with your friends too.
Check out the website here.
Spotted via Springwise.
October 18, 2010
Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has issued an interesting press release which for once I’m going to replicate below. It’s something I’ve thought about quite a bit – encouraging people to use public transport and then regularly allowing large, over inflation price increases:
Massive rail fare increases are at odds with the Government’s pledges to cut carbon emissions and will mean long-term financial losses, says sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
Reports today indicate that rail fares could rise by up to 8 per cent next year, which Sustrans says will be a real barrier to people’s travel choice.
Peter Lipman, Sustrans’ Policy Director, said: “Rail offers a sustainable alternative to the car for long distance trips, so it is very disappointing to see the Government proposing significant increases on fares.
“Indeed, over the last 30 years public transport fares have consistently increased – often above the rate of inflation as in this case – whilst the cost of motoring has fallen by around 17 per cent in real terms.
“Presenting rail passengers with the biggest rise in ticket prices since privatisation in the 1990s will mean long term financial losses and remove travel choice from commuters looking to alternatives to car travel and congestion.”
October 1, 2010
General Electric have launched a new interactive program called “The GE Show” which covers various technology and energy related things. Ones episode is focused on the future of electric vehicles.
Not just an episode but there are other interactive features such as the “Rollout Reality” widget, which calculates some eye-opening EV stats from our past, present and future and the “So Near, So Far” range calculator for EV drivers, and the educational “Electric Avenue” online game.
Check out all the the video and tools here.
Some interesting facts from the show:
“- Electric cars aren’t just part of the future – they’re part of the past as well. 35% of our cars were electric-powered in the early 1900’s, but were not widely adopted due to limited range and a lack of powering infrastructure.
- Most people don’t know that many electric vehicles can handle their daily mileage easily. The average American drives 32.88 miles per day. The Nissan Leaf, for example, can go 100 miles in a single charge.
- Projections show that there will almost be 14 million electric vehicles on the road in just 10 years.
- For every mile, an EV owner only pays less than 2.5 cents per mile (as opposed to 10 cents per gas-powered mile).
- If the estimates of 14 million EVs on the road by 2020 are accurate, it would mean close to 65 million tons fewer emissions.”
July 5, 2010
If you live in Bristol in the UK you can get your bike fixed for free until 24 June. Well you have to fix it but the tools and advice are free.
Life Cycle UK has been funded by Cycling City to set up Bike Kitchens across the city which allows you to fix your own bike by providing access to professional tools and advice from an experienced bike mechanic. You only pay for the parts you use.
Life Cycle UK has teamed up with Jakes Bikes in the Stokes Croft area to provide eight of the kitchens which are open between 6pm and 8.30pm every Thursday until 24 June. Check out Jake’s Bikes for their locations.
June 11, 2010
Actor and comedian Rob Brydon met a life-size steel version of himself as he paid a visit to a newly installed artwork near his hometown of Port Talbot in South Wales.
Rob Brydon was chosen to be immortalised in steel alongside acting legend Richard Burton and a local man – forest ranger Dick Wagstaff – all local heroes to the community in the town of Cwmafan near Port Talbot.
The artwork is part of a national project called the Portrait Bench – from sustainable transport charity Sustrans who are one of the largest commissioners of public art in the UK.
This is the first of 80 benches to be installed across the UK on newly created walking and cycling routes. The bench is accompanied by three life-size effigies of local heroes chosen by the local community to represent them, their culture and their history.
The figures are cut from corten steel (like the famous Angel of the North) so that they will rust and weather to become a natural part of the landscape.
Rob Brydon said: “This is a great honour and I look forward to offering weary cyclists the chance to catch their breath. I love the thought of becoming part of the landscape alongside Dick Wagstaff and the great Richard Burton. I’m hoping that my sculpture might be able to persuade Burton’s sculpture to quote some poetry of an evening, or at least a bit of War Of The Worlds.”