Tag Archive | "eco friendly"

Making it Electric

Making it Electric

This was written by Jack Payton of Tires-Easy.com.

My initial encounter with the now popular trend of retrofitting classic cars with electric motor happened at an eco-beer fest in Boise, Idaho a couple of years ago. The eco beer fest is always a great event, where local and visiting microbreweries who specialize in green operations and organic ingredients converge to share their creations. The event is not only for breweries; rather, it is an opportunity for other local green industries and organizations to showcase their efforts—one of which was the Green Car Club of Boise. At the time, there were only a few cars in town that had received the retrofit modification, so the exhibit drew a great deal of attention for this very fact. Furthermore, the cars that had been modified were classic cars—the sort you would never expect to see running on electric power.

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The other weekend, the eco-rides made another appearance at a local car show—one that is revered for top-restorations and high performance muscle. As a fan of history, I really enjoy these artifacts, and I was elated to at the presence of the eco-rides in this setting. Once again, the small nook where these rides sat drew a notable crowd. Motor heads and eco-fans alike flocked around the scene, asking questions and sparking conversation. Perhaps the most impressive of the rides resting on the green grass was a modified 1968 Chevy Blazer. Fire engine red, this vehicle has always given the appearance as the epitome of poor fuel economy; yet, here she stood in the corner with the other eco-cars. The back bed of the Blazer was loaded with battery cells.

I allowed myself the time to really look over these amazing rides, and realized the owners had not only modified the mechanics of the car, but had also really taken the time to clean up the process. What was once a mess of wires and haphazard batteries was now a neat, clean exhibit of organized tubing and colorful, well-placed cells. The engines appeared solid, and the cars themselves appeared to be in fabulous condition. It really appeared as though the groups appearance at the eco-beer fest a few years prior had highlighted the experimental process of their mission; and now, they managed refined the task to not only effectively retrofit these old cars, but they can now do so with the skill of professionals, not amateurs.

I allowed myself the time to speak with Bob, who owns the Blazer, about his practice with converting his classic vehicle into a modern eco-machine. He noted a few of the challenges with the procedure, and spoke about the positive aspects. Not surprisingly, Bob mentioned the issue of weight as being the biggest challenge in converting a car. This is not just an issue of packing weight, but more of a balance act. While it is certainly true that adding the ten-plus batteries needed, will put more weight on the back end than usual, and the front-end risks being to light without the engine, this is not the main trick in loading the added weight of the batteries. Rather, the major issue rides with equally dispersing the weight so that the wheels receive the weight proportionately enough to avoid steering difficulties and tire wear.

Bob was very open in admitting that the conversion is not really something you should do if saving money is your goal; rather, this is a procedure for someone who really cares about the world and being green. Costing about $8,000-$11,000 for a DIY job—excluding the cost of the car itself—and the $2,000-$5,000 of replacing the batteries every two to five years, there is no way you will make back the investment in fuel savings. Bob has no regrets in his decision. He feels it is worth the cost to do his part in cutting down on carbon emissions, and at the same time he can drive the classic blazer he has wanted since he was a child.

Bob gave me some great advice about avoiding the use of a kit for the conversion, which you often see advertized when looking into this option. He explained that often the kits included only the easy to find necessities, while missing many of the pricier and trickier pieces to find. Kits also never include the batteries, and ignore the fact that these conversions actually require more than just adding parts to an existing body. The kit is just someone doing your shopping for you with a giant mark up at the end. If you also decided to have the conversion performed for you by an expert, the kit is completely obsolete.

Bob informed me that the best thing about converting a vehicle to electric, apart from investing in a greener world, is it brings people together, despite their stance on the environment. Car shows are great examples. Most of the people stopping by are high-octane gear guys who know lower MPG is more power, yet they love the ingenuity required to put something like the Blazer together. They stop and chat, asking questions and admiring the work of another. This is a powerful thing, as there is nothing better for the earth than better communication between people.

While I personally doubt I will ever be in a position where I can afford to convert my own car to electric power, I love the idea. People like bob who take the time and invest the money and time to achieve something as magnificent as his Blazer are generous; what they have done benefits all of us. Clubs and groups that center on electric conversions exist nearly everywhere. If you are interested in learning more about the process, or just to check out what other people are working on, try looking to see if there are any in your area. In the end, it’s all about having fun, and sharing experiences with people who care.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

Posted in Automotive, Electric Vehicles, TransportationComments (0)

Ibiza Joins the Green Movement

Ibiza Joins the Green Movement

This guest post is by Shay of http://www.ibizaairport.org.

An estimated two million tourists visit Ibiza in a year. This is no surprise, since the place has long been declared as the entertainment or clubbing capital of the world. People from different corners of the globe make early reservations to beach resorts for a chance to enjoy its unspoiled and iconic beaches. However, if the locals and its guests remain irresponsible with the use of its natural resources, then the natural beauty of the island may become part of history.

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It is fortunate that the government is aware of the environmental issue of their territory. It is spreading news to guests and locals on how to enjoy an alternative lifestyle that is free from adding pollution to the world. There are various holistic holidays offered by several communities and companies for a chance to live a natural, positive, and inspiring life in this island paradise.

Ibiza Agroturism and La Casita Verde

This is one of the healthier and earth-friendly vacation alternatives for those who wish to enjoy their weekend. You will be granted opportunity to experience an authentic countryside atmosphere enough to revitalize your body from a stressful city life.

La Casita Verde is located at the village of San Jose. It is a 5.5. hectares of land that has been transformed to serve as a fully functional and modern ecological education facility committed to help spread earth friendly lifestyle to both the locals and its visitors. It is open daily and operates from two to six in the evening.

To take advantage of this opportunity, it requires a lifetime membership fee of only five (5) EURO, which will then allow you to explore its premises through its informational guided tour. You will witness and learn how you can make fresh juices and organic produce from your backyard. It offers chilled music sessions, natural and relaxing massages and therapies; while you leave your children enjoying themselves at its play area for some fun games and artwork sessions. Before leaving, be sure to indulge with their vegetarian meals, which are made from ecological products frown from the model eco-farm for only six (6) Euros.

Visit them on a Thursday and you will be granted an opportunity to help assist at the eco-farm for the day. As a prize, you will be allowed to share a communal meal with its regular workers. Just make sure, you give them a call before visiting so they can inform you of any additional requirements.

Ibiza Limpia: Beach Cleaning

Since the locals are aware that most of their revenue comes from its beaches, they see to it that it is clean and well kept. Regular beach cleaning activities are conducted by several volunteers. The most recent was performed last April 21, which involves waste removal around popular beaches and sorting for recycling. This has been a regular practice initiated by Casita Verde and is fully supported by the government

Ponder about your next Ibiza escapade. Consider an Ibiza Agroturism adventure and look forward to a weekend of eco-friendly fun and entertainment.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

Posted in Eco Events, Ecotourism, Lifestyle, Nature, News, Sustainable Travel, Travel, Weekend EscapeComments (2)

Freezer Running Eco-Friendly

Is Your Freezer Running Friendly?

This guest post is by Rob Jenkins of plrpanda.net.

You may not realise it but your freezer is one of the worst things for the environment in your entire house, partly because it takes a lot of energy to keep things frozen and partly because in order to function properly it needs to be running all the time (i.e.365 days a year). Typically you freezer will cost $246 per year to run in terms of electricity which as you can imagine is a huge amount of power, which of course will have been produced with environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels. To put this in perspective your average dishwasher will cost just $32 per year.

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So what can we do about this problem? There are a few things that you can do to help reduce this gargantuan power consumption; the solution begins when you start looking at new freezers to buy. If you are conscious about your impact to the environment you absolutely must find a freezer which matches the following specification:

An eco-friendly freezer: – there are several manufactures who specify in producing efficient freezers, an easy way to identify them is by the Energy Star or Energuide stickers.

Don’t get a freezer with an ice cube maker: – As useful as they are in hot countries they actually add 1/5 to the energy consumption of any given freezer. Ask yourself is it really necessary that you have one, as an alternative you can invest in some ice cube trays, which would produce ice cubes without adding to the freezer’s energy consumption.

Fridge don’t freeze: For smaller households a freezer may not actually be needed, it could mean a few extra trips to the market but things like ready meals are still safe to eat when chilled in the freezer. The only difference is that they won’t keep for years. On the other hand this will also encourage you to prepare fresh meals which will inherently be much healthier for you.

Once you have your freezer…

In addition to the above considerations before buying there are also things which you can do if you already own a freezer.

Clean the coils: – The coils which are responsible for the temperature can often become grubby, which of course means more energy is needed to keep the freezer at a constant temperature. For the best results do this every three to four months.

Clean the seals: – If your freezer’s seals are dirty it can cause a leak letting the cold out, which again means the freezer needs to harder to produce the same temperature.

Don’t leave the freezer open for a long time: – It goes without out saying that your freezer will have to work harder if it open for any length of time. Same is true if you setup the freezer near something warm.

Defrost the freezer: – Although it may seem odd that more ice can be bad for your freezers energy consumption, trust me it is so make sure you do this every six months or so.

If you enjoyed or found this post useful why not check out another of my posts where I ask: How cold is a freezer?

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

Posted in Energy, Energy Conservation, TechnologyComments (0)