Archive | August, 2010

Holden and its New Green Baby

31 Aug

Green Car?

Perhaps the idea of a green still conjures up such an image. Being environmentally friendly and driving still does not go hand in hand for a lot of people. In an earlier post, I shared some car models that treat Earth a little better. Today, Holden just released news that they have upgraded their Commodore to a VE Series II, that runs on bio-ethanol.

What exactly is bio-ethanol? Apparently some people create it as fuel right in their household, although I wouldn’t recommend that for your car. Some good things about the Holden VE Series II Commodore, that any driver would be concerned about:

  • fuel-saving, up to 12% in improvement (of course a lot still depends on how you drive)
  • comes with Blue Tooth, wireless, cable and USB connections, to a music junkie’s delight
  • bio-ethanol fuel will be available from around 100 petrol stations by 2011

For drivers like myself, the big leap of faith will still be about the convenience that the vehicle can offer. After all, convenience is why one would get a car to begin with. I do foresee that with more stations providing greener fuel, it will be easier for people to make the switch to a greener car. What would get you to go on a greener car?


What’s Up There, Mother Earth?

22 Aug

A fuzzy looking earth?

Nope, this picture wasn’t captured when a cosmic storm passed through the solar system and decided to envelope Earth. Wanna take a second guess?

Those bits that you see hovering over Earth are satellites, all 6000 of them. They are the things that transmitted what you are reading right now (yes these very words) across the airwaves and allowing mass loads of data to be transferred via broadband connection across the globe every day. I don’t recall the Earth looking like this. The last mental image I’ve ever had was:

Quite a contrast isn’t it.

Even though there are 6000 satellites out there, only 800 are operational. Some of the bits are actually debris from collisions and accidents. Nobody is taking them down because it’s too expensive but somebody’s got to do it before the overcrowding causes more collisions in the future.

We’re not just junking up the Universe, here on Earth there are other wastes to consider. Every year, billions of mobile phones and computers go to landfills because of their high turnover rate. How often do you change your mobile phone and computer? Probably once every 3 – 5 years, typically, and you are not fully to blame. Technology changes so quickly that before your very eyes, Windows 7 will go out of the windows very soon;  4GB RAM will be laughable in 2 years’ time and people would have forgotten what an Intel processor is. Most of these electronic wastes we create contain elements of toxic such as mercury and lead, which can get into the soil and contaminate our waters. It will also endanger the lives of those workers at landfills and extra precaution have to be taken.

Will technology slow down, come to a peak and stay there? At the rate we are going, I doubt so but I also do not have the vision to see further than that. I just hope that as technology progresses, so will efforts be made at the same pace to ensure the sustainability of the Earth, for the sake of the next generation. Extend the shelf life of your purchases by buying smartly. Dispose of your computers and mobile phones responsibility and let not the toxic e-waste situation such as that in China continue.

Here’s some practical things you can do:

  • Dispose your old computers at a recycling centre
  • Dispose your mobile phones at recycling centre
  • If your electronics can still be used, give them away to Salvos cos it gets a new lease of life

Being Green and Going Tech

14 Aug

Photo thanks:

Technology has changed the way we communicate and interact with one another. I used to keep a Nokia 6300 for the longest time because that’s what a mobile phone should do isn’t it – keep you connectible to people even on the move, serving it’s basic functions of being a phone. Who really needs a smartphone? Why would I want to keep my time on the move glued to my phone, staring at the tiny screen, playing silly games and checking up on the internet when I can go home and do it on a bigger screen and keep my eyesight good for a longer time? Also, with the mobile phone industry getting people to keep changing phones every other year and creating more waste that goes into the landfills, I certainly wasn’t too keen to contribute to that.

But owning a iPhone 3GS now completely changed my life. Well sorta. It changed the way I communicate with people, stay in touch with a certain group of people (thanks to Whatsapp, a ‘free’ messaging application that allows you to send  text/photo/contact/location messages to friends around the world through internet) and be a total cam whore when it comes to uploading photos on the move, which is pretty good news for my stalkers, if any. Checking on Facebook on the move becomes a way of life; and though I usually would not think of paying for any apps (I was quite resistant to that idea), I actually paid US$2.99 for BeJeweled Blitz (after I got hooked on it through Facebook) along with some snazzy photo-taking applications just so I can take cool, retro looking photos such as the Toycamera.

The iPhone is the perfect accompaniment for any girl because now, we have a reason to dress up our phone as well with options and choices of all the fabulous-looking covers available out there. Some of my favourites are those that have vintage looks. What other phone can you dress up in similar fashion to what you are wearing? But I am detracting from topic here. How can I own an iPhone yet stay true to my greener alter ego?

Perhaps the best part of the iPhone for me, as an eco chick, is the fact that somebody came up with a solar charger for girls who use internet on the move. As it’s common knowledge that the iPhone use up battery really quickly, there is no better option than to get a solar charger for the phone. Novothink came up with Surge which looks cyber spacey yet functional so you still look good with the iPhone, with an extra 79 grams of weight to keep it going through the day on a high usage. You also get to choose from 5 different colours.

Photo thanks: Novothink

For those of you who dream of staying out in the gardens (absorb the nature and sun type of thing) with your laptop and lament that it’s impossible to do so because you can’t charge up, here’s a solar charger for your laptop buy Voltaic. This will get you enjoying the best of both worlds – technology and staying true to your green principles.

So in a way, like it or not, I gotta admit that being green and keeping up with technology does go hand in hand at times, especially when inventors keep coming up with ways to keep energy efficient and green and making it possible for greenies like myself to be part of this techy community. And oh, I’m definitely aiming to keep my iPhone for a long long time to come. Who needs the iPhone 4 and it’s bulletproof skin anyway? I’m heading to the botanics, not war zone.

Greener Automobiles

6 Aug

With rising oil prices and decrease in the supply of petroleum (think BP and the spill, gosh!), the comeback of the electric car seems like the most ideal solution. Wait, did I say comeback? Yes. Apparently, the electric car did make its appearance during a period of car history but was eradicated after a short stint, and the big oil industry players were cited as the key culprits for the death of the electric car.

Thanks to technology and increased research and development, some key market players are pitching their markets and working towards increasing demand for electric cars. China and the U.S. are 2 major markets with huge, dense populations that are working hard at promoting the implementation of electric cars in a bid to reduce the impact of gasoline-run vehicles on the environment. It is such an important issue that China is willing to pump in $15 billion to promote greener automobiles.

If you’re planning on buying your ride, why not consider such a green option? In Australia, REVA is the only option at this point. Else, there are hybrid models such as the Honda Civic Hybrid, the Toyota Prius and the Lexus GS450h to consider.

If you’re still deciding or want to be part of a community of action-takers, join Plug In America or be part of Facebook’s electric car-loving community!