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Archive for July, 2009

EarthDay Birthday Celebration Means Brainstorming Ideas For Appropriate Slogans

by earth guide on Jul.31, 2009, under Green News


EarthDay Birthday Celebration Means Brainstorming Ideas For Appropriate Slogans

EARTH DAY IS A SPECIAL DAY - There is a special day each year that was established in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson to raise awareness in individuals, communities, towns, governments and countries about the state of our earth.

We have come to realize that our Blue Marble has finite resources. Once human greed and actions of indiscretion removed or destroyed our land, water, and air it would take thousands of years to repair our fragile planet, if ever.

OUR CHANGING WORLD Many had no concept of the untold repercussions upon all living organisms that would result from thinking only of how to take from the earth and not give back or preserve. We are feeling the effects in our escalating human diseases, loss of rain forests that filter our air, changing climates bringing drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or floods. We are observing the rapid extinction of plants and animals both on land and in our oceans.

INCREASED AWARENESS Due to the heightened awareness from past Earth Day Celebrations many have championed for preservation and replenishing our Earth. This year we hope to far surpass the original 20 million people who were involved with that first Earth Day almost 40 years ago. The need is more pressing and urgent. Our landfills are over-burdened and farm animal waste seeps into our water supplies. We scrape coal from the ground and leave eroded denuded rock. We need to find technological methods to secure nuclear waste, stop air pollution and clean up the invisible acid rain that harms every living thing.

LAWS CAN BE ENACTED Countries around the world have created governmental committees and agencies to spearhead environmental clean up and to oversee improved management of natural resources. We should legislate for better programs and ways to protect our earth. The spirit of the day includes binding people together by simply stating the cause through slogans, posting them on banners in public places and using them as public service announcements.

BUILD COMMUNITY AND AWARENESS WITH MOTTOES Slogans solidify the main theme for each year’s celebration. You may want to emphasize the grand scheme of things or focus on a particular issue. There may be off-shoots from different organizations as they gather support for their favored area. One group may consider the rivers and streams where their people fish and recreate as the top priority. Others may focus on trees, natural preserves, and all aspects of wood and forests. People living in mountain ranges may emphasize the importance of clean air and fight to prevent acid rain. Villages that live on the coasts want to keep their fisheries alive with clean oceans.

GET INVOLVED BY BRAINSTORMING SLOGANS Suggestions for stimulating discussion, approaching the issue of slogans and having fun at the same time:

1. Meditate on the idea of Earth Day. What does your intuition tell you?
2. Look around and take notice how pollution effects you? What is the most important issue?
3. Read the paper, listen to the radio, or search the latest news online. What current event topic comes up most often?
4. Talk with friends, family, community and congregation members. Get some opinions.
5. Join an environmental group in your region and read their articles.
6. Create a survey.
7. Now that you’ve got the juices flowing, begin writing the main ideas.
8. Use as many words to describe the themes and then see if any phrases or words cover these ideas.
9. Are they catchy like the hook of a song or the repeating stanzas?
10. Would the phrase fit on a button or shirt?
11. Are the words powerful? Would they motivate others to action?
13. Are the words emotional? Do they touch the heart with meaning?

http://budurl.com/EarthDaySlogan - See a list of slogans that have been used in the past or have been proposed by others visit this Hubpage
http://www.eventslisted.com/eventlaunchstrategies/ - Learn more about the Social Media aspect of EarthDay and the power of the internet and people working together towards one goal.
Please write to me if you have ideas for EarthDay Birthday Celebration Slogans.

Debby Bruck, CHOM. believes hope and healing can be accomplished through homeopathy. She sees the good in all people and prays that the people of the world will work together to repair the earth. Every little good act makes a better world.

Green Tech


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Green Energy Technologies

by earth guide on Jul.30, 2009, under Green News


Green Energy Technologies

We Can All Do

Saving the rainforests and environment is not an easy task. It took many years of neglect, mainly on our part, in keeping the environment clean. We polluted our air and our water through chemicals and different types of bacteria and debris. We used paper products that were not recyclable and or were not biodegradable.

Rome wasn’t built in a day as the old cliche states, but we managed to ruin our planet over the years and unfortunately it will take longer than a day to rid the Earth of all the garbage we have dumped on it. It is so easy to throw a piece of paper out of your car window, instead of finding a receptacle to dispose of it, or to throw empty cans in with your regular garbage instead of separating them for the recycle pickup or to bring bottles back to the store. Let’s not forget the broken down refrigerators, t.v.s, mattresses, etc on the side of the road.

I have traveled to third world countries and it breaks my heart to see that. They have no means of garbage disposal and they certainly don’t know how to recycle. Most of the people, although poor, take pride and keep their properties neat and debris free, others do not care. The same goes for people who live here on Earth. Some are proud of what they own and others could care less.

By the inch it’s a cinch, by the yard it’s hard. If we all do our part in what ever little way, we can help improve Mother Earth and make it liveable for generations to come. Let’s start by picking up our litter, don’t let the water run when brushing your teeth, use rags instead of paper towels, carpool if you can, don’t discard items on the side of the road to make it look unsightly, but for the most part…. Be Proud Of Where You Live and What You Have!!!!!!

“Nothing Leaves An Impression Like A Lasting One”….

http://www.impressionsbyjackie.com

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Green Tip - Moms Use Clothe Diapers

by earth guide on Jul.29, 2009, under Green News


Green Tip - Moms Use Clothe Diapers

Sure, this is a little messier than the easier, disposable version. However, do you even realize the amount of disposable diapers that are filling landfills?? Cloth diapers are a choice that every mother should seriously consider. Let’s look at some facts that are quite alarming…

Disposable Diapers Sobering Facts:

* from birth to about 2-1/2 the average child will go through about 7,300 diapers

* the cost for that is about $2600

* 18 billion diapers enter landfills each year

* disposable diapers make up about 3.4 million tons of trash

* health risks such as fertility issues in males, eyes, nose and throat issues and even asthma-like symptoms have been connected to disposable diapers!

* long term negative affects on animal and water life.

* the chemicals that make disposable diapers white increase the risk of cancer

* affect development

* they use more water. yep. you may need to wash cloth diapers, however, way more water is used making disposable diapers!

* a study, conducted by Anderson Laboratories in 1999 and published in the Archives of Environmental Health, found that disposable diapers release chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene. They have been shown to have toxic health effects, such as cancer and brain damage, when used over time or high exposure.

* they use 1.3 million tons of wood pulp. that’s about 1/4 million trees every year.

* they take up to 500 years to break down.

* more viruses than you want to know about…including polio, survive for two weeks or more after disposed of.

There are many many many more reasons to avoid disposable diapers. However, I think our readers are intelligent and the above information is enough to get you thinking! Research for yourself. You will be shocked!

Go for organic natural reusable cloth diapers. You will not only be helping the environment and saving money, you will also protect your sweet precious love bugs from harm!

Copyright © Green Christian Network, All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Cindy Taylor is a Christian stay at home Mom who love the Lord and cares about God’s planet. You can see her passion and writing at her website, Green Christian Network (http://greenchristiannetwork.com).

World Tech Update

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Ban Or Save the Plastic Bag?

by earth guide on Jul.28, 2009, under Green News


Ban Or Save the Plastic Bag?

As part of the conservation and environmental movement worldwide there are several campaigns aimed at banning the plastic bag. These fit in perfectly with going green at home and with our longer term life styles.

A quick search on the web will take you to the San Francisco Bay Area, “Bay vs Bag”, to the Daily Mail’s (UK) “Banish the Bags” as well as similar situations in Canada, Holland, China, elsewhere in the US and even Zanzibar.

A lot of the focus is based on the damage done to wild life, including sea mammals and birds; the effects on waste and the average number of bags used per person in different countries. In one of the lists I saw, Singapore was topping the list at 625 bags.

One of the targets is to reduce by 10% the yearly consumption of these bags.

On the other hand there are also “Save the Plastic Bag” campaigns, with the plastic industry behind it. Their main focus is highlighting what they call misinformation. Their points are based on “exaggerations” on the damage done to wild life; errors in how plastic bags are made (from ethane gas that would otherwise be burnt and not petroleum); effects of co2 vs methane; potential job losses and so on.

On the banning side of the argument, there can be exaggerations as well as questionable scientific data - questionable as in anybody can question it, after all to have an argument you must always have at least two points of view.

From the “saving” the industry point of view, there can be many counter arguments to the data that is presented. And this is quite understandable, after all their industry could be hit very badly. (This just reminds me that all businesses have a life time curve that goes from birth, to growth, to maturity and finally to demise. The time scale can be as short as a year to as long as a hundred years or more, but the end result is that it is replaced by something else).

Some of the arguments are saying that nets and not plastic bags are causing marine life casualties, that paper bags are a worse alternative (side stepping the plastic bag issue) and basically attacking the “plastic bag misinformation campaign”.

Very probably both sides are looking to make their points by reducing or ridiculing their opponents point of view. But the overall issue is still there - are plastic bags affecting our environment?

To get back to the plastic bag banning situation, where paper bags have the negative effect of more trees cut, the information that is being retrieved is very important. But it must also be as objective as possible. Having said that, we know that it takes literally centuries for plastic to degrade and this should be the foremost argument.

Just to expand a little on the paper bag argument, which is totally reasonable, the option is not to cut more trees. The options are to recycle and use bio-degradable alternatives.

In the old days, when plastic bags hadn’t been invented but grocery shops had, natural fiber bags were used and the customers were the ones who brought their own to the shop.

With just a little effort on the individual front, these campaigns wouldn’t be necessary.

Want to know about environment and natural living? Information, news and facts can be found at: http://natural-living-tips.com/


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Too Expensive to Be Green?

by earth guide on Jul.28, 2009, under Green News


Too Expensive to Be Green?

Really? Seriously? Is it still too expensive to be green? I am a little surprised when people say that cannot do anything to be green because the products are too expensive. This may have been the case eons ago but not anymore. People now say going green is too expensive as an excuse in my opinion. Granted, I am not able to afford solar panels on my roof just yet but that does not mean I am not green or trying to be green in my own ways.

Here are some simple things that you can do now to start you off in the right direction without too much money out of pocket. Keep in mind, that while you will spend money at first, the payback is well worth it for you and the environment.

One of the first things I did to start my own green movement at home was to buy canvas bags for the grocery store. They were $1.00 each and I bought 10 of them. I always leave them in my car so no matter what store I go to I bring a bag with me. Each time I visit the grocery store I get 5 cents back for each bag that I bring.

So each week when I grocery shop I get 50 cents back. Each week that adds up quickly and before you know it, I have made my $10.00 back and am no longer a slave to the plastic bags. U.S. consumers use approximately 100 billion plastic bags annually which require an estimated 12 million barrels to produce! Just think, the majority of these bags are used just once from for less than 30 minutes and then they go into our landfills or end up in our oceans where they are a serious threat to wildlife.

The second green thing I did was change my water bottle habits. I have to admit, this one was hard for me until I did the math and it was at that moment I went to Target to buy a water filter and ordered my CamelBak Better Bottle.

The funny thing is that people are so quick to complain about the cost of gas but have you ever complained about the cost of the water bottles at the grocery store? I paid $10.00 for my bottle and $30 for my water filter and I have never once gone back to the store to buy my 12 pack of water for $6.00. And to think, a 12 pack of water bottles was finished in one week or less! I really don’t like when people say they reuse their plastic water bottles…. Do you know the bacteria that are on the bottles and the plastic leaching that occurs? Please do yourself and the environment a favor and buy a BPA Free water bottle today!

How many of us use paper napkins each day for lunch and dinner? Time to save a tree! Even napkins made from recycled materials are not as innocent as they may seem since they too wind up in landfills. A family of 4 can easily go through 84 paper napkins a week and if you think of each paper napkin costing 2 cents - well that adds up quickly over the course of a week, month, and a year. Cloth napkins can be used several times before tossing them into the laundry. With a family of four, laundry is done quite a bit so go ahead and make the switch.

Finally, do you wash all loads of laundry in cold water? Did you know that if you washed all of your clothes in cold water your clothes would last longer? Not only that, but you would save on your electrical bill. Unless you are washing baby diapers or grease stains, cold water is the way to go. 85-90 percent of the energy needed to wash your clothes in a machine is used to warm the water. Only 10-15 percent actually goes into the washer. The next time you need to buy laundry detergent, look for the detergents that are specially made for cold water.

And of course, we all know about the light bulbs and such but these were a couple other reminders of what you can do today to start saving money and you can be proud of yourself for going green! Remember, it is cool to be green!

Leah LaBrece
http://www.earthkits.com

 

Economics of Solar

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Water Extraction in DC

by earth guide on Jul.25, 2009, under Green News


Water Extraction in DC

There are many beautiful and interesting sights in Washington DC, among them are the White House which has been home to every president of the United States ever since 1800; the Tidal Basin Lake famous for its abundant Japanese cherry trees that blooms in Spring; the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, etc.

But regardless of the beautiful tourist attractions that one could go to in the State of DC, natural calamities in the form of flooding sometimes happen. And when it does, most household residents in DC do the physical cleanup by themselves without hiring water extraction professionals or experts to deal with the situation. Prior to actual removal of water and cleaning, the starting place of the water which caused the flood should be identified as soon as possible and fixed permanently to prevent it from arising all over again.

Cleaning would usually require having to remove all visible waters first by making use of a wet vacuum pump or a bucket - depending on the volume and availability of equipment. The extraction process must be done immediately or as soon as possible to avoid a higher cost of damage inflicted by the dirty waters and also to thwart of any possibility that the area becomes a source of infectious diseases due to the presence of pathogens.

When all the water has already been extracted, floor coverings should be removed immediately and disposed properly. This includes removing items which came in contact with the flood water that are very porous, because the high absorbency rate of such materials has already contaminated the item in question making it very dirty and highly infectious. No amount of cleaning or fixing could reinstate it in its previously clean state; hence replacements should be made eventually if still needed.

Brushing all affected surfaces with a soapy water solution removes the presence of dirt. Pay particular attention to dirt which is inserted within cracks on walls and floors. Rinse the entire area by using a mop and bucket or a garden hose with a spray gadget.

When the rinsing stage has already been done, disinfecting the entire place is a must to remove remaining germ and fungal spores. Remember that disinfecting does not entirely mean total sanitation but a means of making the area or place habitable again. Never mix chlorine bleach with other cleaning products that contain ammonia as this will produce poisonous gas. Before and during application of any disinfectant, make sure to open all air passage ways and vents to avoid inhaling the vapors of the disinfecting agent upon application.

After having done the disinfection phase, the whole area must be thoroughly dried out, and drying usually takes a couple of days or weeks depending on how big the place is and the weather. The re-occupation of any living space which has been previously flooded must only be done once the area is declared by a professional water extraction expert to be absolutely dry. The dryness is tested by a moisture meter which shows the amount of moisture above and below a given area.

Leo Nov is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS. To learn more about Water Extraction visit our website. Click here for more information on Water Extraction DC.

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With Natural Finishes Go Green

by earth guide on Jul.20, 2009, under Green News


With Natural Finishes Go Green

Finishes are coatings that are  applied to the external and inside surfaces of walls to protect them from the elements and from wear and tear.  They also improve the appearance of the structure and are used to enhance the design of rooms.

Petroleum, our main source of oil-based wood finishes and paint, is a non-renewable resource.  There are now paints and finishes on the market that are derived from a renewable resource, which  in a small way, helps to reduce dependence on oil, and  contributes to a more sustainable world.

The basis for these products is whey, which is a product of cheese making, and which has a high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).  This increases the burden on waste treatment facilities, and can also pollute our natural water sources.  In the last ten years, this by-product has been used for many new purposes, one of which is natural wood finishes.

When choosing paints for your decorating, use the low or no VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. For hundreds, no, thousands of years, earth, clay and lime have been used, both in hot and cold areas of the world.  And now this knowledge is being readapted for contemporary use. If you do any redecorating or new building, it makes sense to contribute to having green, healthy surroundings.

Low and no VOC paints have less smell and less impact on air quality.  EPA studies have shown that indoor air quality is up to five times more toxic than outdoors, mainly because of toxic emissions from paint and finishes. This particularly affects anyone with allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities. With the new “green” paints, there will be lower contamination of landfills, groundwater, and the ozone.

Switching will not cost you more.  Cleanup is easily done with soap and water, instead of toxic chemicals, and brushes can easily be cleaned and reused.  The paint is still washable, and is far less harmful to you, your pets, and the environment.

Lisa is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content. She has also authored her own books and works as a consultant to other writers, Internet marketers and Internet businesses.

Professional wordsmith for hire: gamer, wife, mother, entrepreneur, published poet, co-owner of game guides company (http://www.liti4.com), public speaker and Internet business consultant. You can learn more or follow Lisa’s blog from her website: http://www.freelancewriter4hire.com

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Reuse and Recycle, THE 3 Rs - Lazy Ways to Reduce

by earth guide on Jul.18, 2009, under Green News


Reuse and Recycle, THE 3 Rs - Lazy Ways to Reduce

The 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) is no longer simply a mantra for environmental activists, it’s a ticket to saving you money while you consider the planet. The 3Rs ask you to buy less, reuse more, and recycle products at the end of their useful life-wonderful guiding principles for reducing our environmental footprint and bringing our lifestyles into balance with nature. But in practice, how many of us are really willing to cut back on the stuff we want to own, to reuse what we’d like to throw out, and to recycle when doing so is often incredibly inconvenient? Fortunately for budget-conscious Lazy Environmentalists, the 3Rs are receiving a twenty-first-century facelift, making them easy to implement and even easier on the wallet.

Reduce, the first of the 3Rs, releases you from the hassle, expense, and waste of unwanted stuff while helping you use less energy and create less trash. And while most of us can’t imagine life without our most prized four-wheeled possession, the first place to embrace Reduce is with our cars. That’s because our automobiles generate about half of our personal greenhouse gas emissions-the other half comes from our homes.

Today, you can enjoy the freedom of being in the driver’s seat while eliminating all of the expense of owning-or leasing-and maintaining a car by joining a car-share service. Zipcar is leading the way. Available in more than 40 U.S. cities, Zipcar lets members locate cars conveniently parked at designated spots around the city and reserve them for an hourly fee (typically between $10.50 and $16.50). Members arrive at the parking spot, swipe their membership card over the windshield sensor to unlock the door, hop in, and go. There’s no need to pay for gasoline or insurance; Zipcar has got you covered. You won’t sacrifice your ride either; Zipcar lets you choose from models like the BMW 325, Mini Cooper, Honda Fit, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Volvo S40, Mazda 3, and Subaru Outback. According to the company’s surveys, over time Zipcar members reduce their car usage by as much as 50 percent. Zipcar estimates that each of its cars removes the equivalent of about 15 privately owned vehicles from the road. Other car-sharing services are popping up across the country and around the world. Visit Carsharing.net for a comprehensive list.

Reuse-the middle child of the 3Rs-has been a part of our lives before we were “eco” anything (eco-conscious, eco-savvy, even a tentative eco-curious). Think about it: Every day, we reuse items like T-shirts, cereal bowls, and underwear without a second thought. We don’t toss them after one use. We reuse. The secret to twenty-first century Reusing is to discover how to reuse other people’s really cool stuff as well as our own.

Reuse logic is in effect at Goozex.com, where gamers gather to swap their video game. Visit the website, create an account and list the games you own that you’d like to trade. Then Goozex quickly locates other gamers who want them and makes instantaneous matches for you. With each game you mail, you earn Goozex points, which you can then use to acquire the games you want from other members. Instead of spending lots of money on new games (and paying for all that packaging waste), you’ll pay Goozex $1 each time you receive a game. Whether you’re partial to Xbox, Wii, Nintendo, or many other gaming platforms, the Goozex trading community has got you covered. Get your reused copy of Call of Duty 2 or NCAA Football 09 today.

Swapping websites are emerging in all kinds of categories. Bookworms can browse more than two million titles available for trade at Paperbackswap.com. Movie collectors can visit Swapadvd.com to trade both new and classic DVD titles. CD fans (you know you’ve still got ‘em) can tap into more than 130,000 titles available at Swapacd.com. And new and expecting parents can trade for baby strollers, bibs, bedding, bumpers, and more at Zwaggle.com.

Recycle, the last of the 3R trio, is the most transformative of the Rs. When we recycle, we’re giving used products the chance to be reborn as something new. That’s especially the case thanks to companies like Preserve that has partnered with Stonyfield Farm to recycle its yogurt cups-from organic yogurt, of course-into ergonomic plastic toothbrushes, razors, and an assortment of colorful kitchenware (and now also does the same with Brita pitcher filters).

TerraCycle, another green innovator, is on pace to redefine much of America’s relationship with trash. The company that began with its signature Plant Food-made from worm poop, packaged in empty Pepsi bottles and sold at the likes of Home Depot and Wal-Mart-has evolved into an innovation powerhouse that continually introduces new products made entirely from waste. Take the E-Water Trash Cans and Recycling Bins available at OfficeMax for $10.99 each and made from crushed computers and fax machines (that would otherwise end up in a landfill). Or the rain barrels and composters made from Kendall-Jackson oak wine barrels that sell for $99 each at Sam’s Club. They’re both prime examples of a company that sees opportunity where others see garbage. In so doing, TerraCycle helps us make attractive choices that are mindful of the planet and our wallets.

Josh Dorfman is an environmental entrepreneur, media personality and author of The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living. He is also the founder and CEO of Vivavi, a retailer of modern, green furniture and home furnishings. His latest book, The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget: Save Money. Save Time. Save The Planet, is now available. For more information, please visit: http://www.lazyenvironmentalist.com

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Recycling Helps Prevent Global Warming - How to Keep the Environment Clean

by earth guide on Jul.18, 2009, under Green News


Recycling Helps Prevent Global Warming - How to Keep the Environment Clean

If you want to keep the environment clean then you need to recycle everything you can. You should set aside a few spaces so that you can keep your recyclables in a separate area. All of your water bottles should go into one container so that it will make it easier for you to take them to the recycling center. Also you need to make sure that you recycle all of your chance and glass bottles as well because this will also help the environment. Many people do not know that you can also recycle your old newspaper, you can call to have it picked up each month.

If we are going to prevent global warming than one way that you can take part is to recycle everything you use. the best thing you can do is educate yourself on the best way that you can recycle all of your throwaway items. Maybe some of your old clothes can be donated to Goodwill this way they can be recycled and used again. Make sure that you try to avoid using plastic bags from the grocery store because once they end up in a landfill they can cause a lot of problems. Once you have started a recycle program in your house you will find that it is easy to do.

Remember that if you want to improve the environment you need to recycle everything you can. It always works better if you have specific containers that you use for each of your recyclable items. Once you make a few small steps towards improving the environment you will feel better about yourself.

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Bryan Burbank is an expert in the field of Environmental Issues and Going Green

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No Bailouts Necessary - Green Transportation

by earth guide on Jul.18, 2009, under Green News


No Bailouts Necessary - Green Transportation

Unless you have been trapped in a cave for the last seven months you are well aware of the disaster overtaking the American automobile industry. Our government is using billions of taxpayer’s dollars to prop up an industry that has been one of the leading facilitators of numerous ills in our society, which will also take billions of dollars to repair, if it is even possible to do so. 

Air pollution which contributes to increased medical costs, urban sprawl, a negative balance of payments from importing oil and global warming can all be traced at least in part to our addiction to the automobile. Now that I’ve ranted about the autos effect upon our society I also greatly acknowledge that we all, myself included, greatly enjoy the mobility and freedom provided by the pernicious machine. We can’t live with ‘em and we can’t live without ‘em. What are we to do?

A lot has been written about the currently nonexistent plug-in electric car. This machine when it finally hits the market could help solve some of our problems but current pricing estimates place the car in the forty thousand dollar range. I’m sure of one thing, it won’t solve many problems if you don’t sell them and at that price I’d hedge my bets.

However, there is one personal transportation option on the market that fits into all of President Obama’s initiatives for energy self sufficiency, global warming (reduction of green house gases), health care (exercise and weight loss), environmental protection (reduction of air and water pollution), and infrastructure renewal.   That option is the Electric Bicycle.

The electric bike using lithium batteries (traditional lead-acid is very environmentally harmful) can go, depending on load factors and riding habits, roughly twenty miles at twenty miles an hour on one charge. It is almost completely silent, gives off no emissions, does not use foreign oil, does not require much room to operate or park, never needs a tune up and provides exercise. It eliminates many of the drawbacks of riding a traditional bicycle for basic transportation while having few of its own. I recognize that not many of us are hardy enough to ride a bike in the rain, snow or freezing cold but that applies as well to motorcycles, motor scooters and traditional bicycles. The electric bike can get you farther, faster without arriving at your destination soaked in sweat. It can operate in many places where other motorized vehicles cannot and makes taking hills a cinch. Riding five or ten miles to work is no big deal and you can simply pedal around bottled up traffic. Usually the lightweight batteries easily detach from the bike and can be carried into your place of work or school for recharging.

Some electric bicycles offer high tech extras such as LiFePO4 batteries that are good for a thousand recharges, regenerative braking that helps recharge the battery much as a Prius does, and internal gearing to generate more torque for uphill climbs. Most electric bikes use what is referred to as a hub motor. This is not a traditional gear or belt-drive motor but is built directly into the hub of one of the wheels. This motor contains two internal rings of opposing magnets that when power is applied causes the wheel to spin. Such motors need little service and never require oil changes, spark plugs or new belts.

Electric bikes come in several of styles. There are the traditional “beach cruiser” and mountain bike styles as well as electric folding bikes, tricycles and “road bikes”.   The electric folding bikes are particularly interesting. Smaller and lighter than a traditional bicycle, they easily fold up and fit into a car trunk and can be carried on a commuter or subway train with little effort. You can take the train to your stop, unfold the bike and pedal on your way. They are also useful for those who live in tight quarters and have no external place to store their ride.

For those of you that are moderately handy with tools, there are a number of electric bike kits on the market that allow you to adapt an ordinary bicycle into an electric bike. One company, Worldwide Electric Bikes, has a particularly well-designed kit that has many of the features I previously mentioned. These electric bike kits do not require a high level of mechanical ability to install. A few common hand tools, a basic understanding of how things go together and the ability to read directions is all that is required. However, if you don’t know the difference between a crescent and a hex wrench, you may wish to buy a pre-made bike or have someone install the kit for you. If you do choose to go the kit route, you can end up with a much more powerful and sophisticated bike for substantially less money than a factory built electric bike. 

Electric Bicycles in all forms have long been a staple of personal transportation in Europe and Asia where there are hundreds of thousands in operation. In the United States bicycles have traditionally been dominated by the toy or recreation market or for the dedicated enthusiast. In both Europe and Asia, cycling has been a traditional means of basic transportation. I believe that this is going to be more and more the case in this country. People are avidly seeking relief from the high financial and societal cost of automobiles. The electric bicycle, while not a panacea, is definitely poised to help provide a portion of that relief.

Electric Bicycles are inexpensive to purchase, require no license or insurance, have a negligible cost of operation and are totally “green”. So, what’s not to like?

 

http://www.worldwideelectricbikes.com

   

The News for Green Vehicle Team (segment 3)


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