Archives for March 2010

The Story Of Bottle Water With Annie Leonard

The Story Of Bottled Water” is the latest video from Annie Leonard and the team that created The Story About Stuff video in 2007.

The Story Of Bottled Water follows the rise and acceptance of bottle water as a pseudo healthier alternative to tap water. And the video highlights bottled water’s success as a perfect example of manufactured demand; corporations playing into our fears and selling us on products we don’t need and/or already have. The video’s message is simple and encourages people to reconsider their next purchase of bottled water in favor of normal everyday tap water. In many cases, tap water scores higher than bottled water in quality and blind taste tests.

[youtube width=”480″ height=”289″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0[/youtube]

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Sorry Kids, Green Smoke Electronic Cigarettes Won’t Make You Look Older. Just Nerdier.

Wow – I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for the last year because I haven’t participated in the e-smoke revolution of e-cigarettes. One of the leading players in the e-smoke rebellion is Green Smoke out of Miami. Green Smoke produces an e-cigarette in multiple flavors and nicotine settings for all levels of smoker. Green Smoke CartridgesWhen you place your Green Smoke order, you can pre-select your nicotine setting and flavor:

  • 0 mg (e-smoke but no nicotine)
  • 4 mg (ultra-light)
  • 6 mg (light)
  • 8 mg (full-flavored)
  • 16 mg (buttless)

History
Electronic cigarettes were originally developed in 2003 by SBT Co. Ltd out of Beijing. Through separate product releases to the public first in China and then the European Union in 2006 and 2007, electronic cigarettes gained a following as a smoking substitute rather than a smoking cessation product. That’s because you still get all of the nicotine addiction with e-cigarettes without the tar, CO and other carcinogens you inhale when you smoke tobacco based cigarettes.

How do e-cigarettes work?
E-cigarettes could best be described as a nicotine delivering, smoking simulator. It’s the nicotine that smokers want and with Green Smoke’s e-cigarettes, it’s delivered in vapor form when an e-smoker inhales. For Green Smoke, it’s a 2 piece setup:

Greensmoke E-Cigarette

The LED activates when the user inhales giving an e-smoker the feeling of actually smoking. Simultaneously, the atomizer initiates and turns the water into steam and the nicotine into vapor for the “green smoke” effect. Each atomizer/nicotine cartridge costs around $3 and is the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes.

Is Green Smoke a Jubbling oxymoron like “clean coal”?
Yes, switching to Green Smoke will reduce secondhand smoke and reduce the number of butts you see on the ground but is that enough to make it Jubbling? I’m not sure and I don’t think companies like Green Smoke are sure either. As we’ve found, sometimes surrounding your product with terms like “green” or “eco” is all you need to gain wider market acceptance. Ten years ago Green Smoke might’ve been called “Extreme Nicotine” to appeal to the kids but now, the buzz word is green so you slap that moniker on any new product and hope you get some play out of it.

Jubbling, however, is a label that you really have to earn and as much as I want it to catch on, I promise not to put the Jubbling name on any type of nicotine delivery product. Condoms and enemas are one thing but addictive products are not on our radar.

Watch the video with the head of the newly formed Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA). And yes, that is a picture of Hee Haw’s Roy Clark hanging on the wall behind him.

[youtube width=”425″ height=”275″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCNqwIZ5_k0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]


Here is a testimonial from a Green Smoke e-cigarette smoker and Mensa member blowing the vapor in his cats face to show how friendly the product is. (If you feel dirty after watching this video, please click on the ASPCA banner to the right and donate.)

[youtube width=”425″ height=”319″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIBmJS1pV5A[/youtube]

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ZERO Charger From AT&T Eliminates Vampire Draw

AT&T ZERO Charger
The new ZERO Charger from AT&T will eliminate standby power/vampire draw for any USB device connected to it. According to AT&T:

Conventional chargers left plugged in – even when not actively charging – can draw as much as 5 to 20 times more energy than stored in the battery.

And the ZERO Charger will automatically shutdown when it’s not in use. There is no information on the price yet but the ZERO Charger looks like a Jubbling no-brainer. [ZERO Charger AT&T]

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Hypermiling Tips For The Reasonable Hypermiler

As with anything Jubbling, hypermiling can be taken to an extreme. It’s the idea of exceeding your car’s posted fuel economy rating, or MPG, Go Around Me.  I'm Hypermiling.by changing your driving habits and through vehicle maintenance. Some people take hypermiling to level “crazy” but by taking it to this level, they could compromise their safety and the safety of others with their extreme techniques. Ideas like drafting and Driving-Without-Brakes (DWB) are more in-line with NASCAR and less about saving fuel driving on public roadways.

We’ve done a little research and here is the “Best Of” suggestions that drivers can adopt now to improve their gas mileage:

  1. Check Your Air Filter – Nearly one in four cars needs an air filter replacement. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%. [The Daily Green]
  2. Multi-Task With Your Daily Routine – You will essentially cut distance traveled and fuel usage in half by making all your stops at once, instead of taking lots of short roundtrips. [Popular Mechanics]
  3. Anticipate – A fuel-efficient strategy is to anticipate what is happening ahead, and drive in such a way so as to minimize acceleration and braking, and maximize coasting time. [Wikipedia]
  4. Do Not Accelerate Quickly Or Brake Heavily – This reduces fuel economy by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent around town. [Tips 4-9 from CleanMPG.com]
  5. Do Not Idle If Not Necessary – Consider shutting down your vehicle if stopped for more than 7-seconds as that is all the fuel it takes to restart a modern day, fuel-injected engine.
  6. Slow Down – This increases aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) and mechanical friction which reduces fuel economy.
  7. Remove Cargo Or Cargo Racks – Cargo and/or racks on top of your vehicle (e.g., cargo boxes, canoes, etc.) increase aerodynamic drag and lower fuel economy.
  8. Minimize Running Electrical Accessories – Running electrical accessories (e.g., air conditioner) decreases fuel economy. Operating the air conditioner on “Max” can reduce MPG by roughly 5-30% compared to not using it.
  9. Maintain Your Automobile – A poorly tuned engine burns more fuel, so fuel economy will suffer if it is not in tune. Improperly aligned or under inflated tires can lower fuel economy, as can brake drag.

Wayne Gerdes of CleanMPG.com is considered the father of Hypermiling and is often credited with coming up with the term. Here is a 2008 video from CNN of Wayne Gerdes showing Reporter Miles O’Brien how he hypermiles:

[youtube width=”384″ height=”231″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGeCL2RSuHs[/youtube]

Fred Flintstone Barney RubbleYou get the idea that Wayne would opt for the “Fred Flintstone” feature on his car if he could. Then it would be easier to give it a running start from inside the car.

Hypermiling really came to the fore in 2008 as gas prices in the U.S reached $4/gallon and it went extreme about that time too. Jubbling, however, is not about extremes. It’s about small ideas that are easy to adopt and will make a difference. So please stick to tips 1-9 and you should be fine.

Related links: Cruise to Gas Savings, Walk Around Town

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Solar Surge iPod and iPhone Cases Are Shipping Now.

Solar Surge iPhone iPod Touch Novothink
The Solar Surge iPod Touch and Solar Surge iPhone cases from Novothink are now available and shipping for $69.95 (for iPod Touch) and $79.95 (iPhone 3G and 3GS). According to the Solar Surge specs, you should get “30 minutes of talk time on a 3G network or 60 minutes of talk time on a 2G network after 2 hours of solar exposure.” From Inhabitat and Novothink. Unfortunately for dinosaurs like me, the Solar Surge is not compatible with the iPhone 2G.

For more information on the Solar Surge or to place an order, please visit http://www.novothink.com/.

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The Waterpebble Tells You When To Get Out Of The Shower

“But can it differentiate water from urine? If I step in the shower with a ‘full tank’, so to speak, I don’t want that going towards my overall count!”
Comment from Tipoo on the Waterpebble
Cnet Crave

Priestmangoode WaterpebbleThe Waterpebble from Priestmangoode is a neat little gadget designed to alert you when you need to get out of the shower. It works by monitoring the amount of water that goes down the drain during your shower. And with each use, the Waterpebble fractionally shortens the amount of time you should spend in the shower through the use of lights. The Waterpebble is a one-time use product that will last approx 4-6 months and is fully recyclable. Here is how it works:

The Waterpebble from Priestmangoode

Our take on the Waterpebble is that it’s a great idea that could inspire new ideas that encourage shower-takers to be more aware of their shower length. My system now is to get out when the water starts to feel cold which for men gives new meaning to the term “Waterpebble.” But I would consider purchasing a Waterpebble for my kids who seem to believe the vast ocean they’ve seen is the source of their shower water. So in our case, it’s either a Waterpebble or an egg timer in a Ziploc bag.

Where to buy the Waterpebble: Dry Planet (UK)

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