Monday, October 3, 2011

To idle or not to idle

So, It has been a whole year since I last posted - crazy!
Here is the rule of thumb regarding car idling costs and the ADDED benefit of cutting pollution. Engines consume gas while idling - in the range of 2-5 gallons per hour. When shut-down they consume ZIPPO. In a recent issue of Popular Mechanics in the "Car Clinic Q&A" the editor wrote "that's why hybrids and some new cars shut-down at traffic lights - to conserve fuel - restarting automatically when your foot comes off the brake so the car is ready to go by the time you get to the gas pedal." The misconception comes from the old days "when cars had carburetors and chokes, a cold start involved ...a few pumps of the accelerator" to get the engine going - which used a half-spoonful or so of gas. This old-school cold-start process seems to have bred a generalization about the starting process which does not jive with the physics of the present day fuel injected start. Bottom line, shut 'er down rather than idle for more than a few seconds.
See ya' at the Starbucks drive through with the engine off,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sun Chips: Too Noisy??? Come on!

The ever influential consumer is mounting a push-back against the new Sun Chips 100% compostable bag. Why you ask? Get this - it is too NOISY! that's right, too noisy. Apparently the new biodegradable Sun Chips bags are made from a stiff plant material that quickly breaks down in landfills, but is very noisy when chip eaters are digging into the bags. According to a report by Stephanie Hayes of the St. Petersburg, FL, Times, "sales dropped 11 percent, so the company last week said it would bring back the original packaging (NOT COMPOSTABLE!!) while developing a quiter eco-friendly bag". Don't blame consumers for rejecting inferior products, said Eric Felten in The Wall Street Journal. You can't force-feed "environmentally conscious alternatives" that are "poor substitutes." Come on Eric - really?? This blogger is pissed-off at the environmental apathy of so many of my fellow American's. Crazy man.
(Source for this blog entry, The Week, October 22nd issue.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dr. Seuss - Ahead Of His Time

Anyone read The Lorax, by Dr. Suess lately? What a crazy book. He was ahead of his time. I read it to my kids occassionally. The simple message - if you use up all that Mother Nature has given us, it is GONE. He published it in 1971. I wonder what he would think of Global Warming? Get the book and read it to every young person you know. Get on it!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Low and no VOC paint manufacturers

More on low/no VOC paints. Check out the following manufacturers that this blogger has used. Benjamin Moore: Eco Spec and Aura lines of paint – both are low VOC options. Benjamin Moore Natura - no VOC paint, Cabot LOW VOC Stains, Vermont Natural Coating manufacturers of great low VOC floor coatings/sealers and Safecoat. Look at the web-site for more paint options and other great green stuff!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Low VOC paints - get on it!!

Low VOC paint. Do you know about it? What is it? Why do YOU need to use it? VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds . On the web-site they write: “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, paints, stains, and other architectural coatings produce about 9 percent of the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer and commercial products, making them the second-largest source of VOC emissions after automobiles.” Check out the link below for some great and easy-to-read facts about this topic - If you plan to paint your house, office or ANY space in-side or out, you owe it to the environment and the air you breathe to go LOW (or NO) VOC. Get on it!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BPA in water bottles

Old news? Maybe. But this fact is worth constant re-stating/reminding. Many manufactueres of water bottles used materials containing BPA. Two of the larger companies that used BPA in their products were Nalgene and Sigg. According to the web-sites of both companies, they have stopped using BPA, but many of us may still have the versions of these bottles that contain BPA in our homes. Do your homework. My advice, go with BPA free stainless bottles (such as Klean Kanteen - or the new BPA free Sigg bottles or, for my comfort level, I go with good old food safe glass (Life Factory Water Bottles – ).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BPA In Cans That Contain Food

How about the use of BPA (bisphenol A) in the linings of metal cans designed to contain food! BPA seems to truly be everywhere. An example in USA Today, reported 5/19/10 states that “92% of food from metal cans is contaminated with…BPA.” More on the topic can be found in a study released May 18, 2010 by the National Workgroup for Safe Markets – a coalition of 19 environmental groups. USA Today reports that the study calls on congress to “ban BPA in food and drink containers.” The article goes on to state that some companies, like “Eden Foods already sell vegetables in BPA-free cans.” Finally, the article notes that “Canada and Denmark restrict the use of BPA in certain children’s products, as do five US states, three counties in New York and the city of Chicago.”