It’s called the SnapRays Guidelight and it’s genius! The SnapRays Guidelight has a built-in sensor that activates the nightlight and according to its Kickstarter page, the nightlight-outlet only consumes $.10 of electricity per year. Also, the Guidelight cuts out the middleman (a separate nightlight) and it’s expected to last up to 25 years. One more bonus: the SnapRays Guidelight snap-installs in seconds and doesn’t require re-wiring. [Gizmodo]
Ok, who’s in for shortening their next shower? For the few that did raise their hands, Sprāv is the product for you. Designed by students from Case Western Reserve University, Sprāv is a wireless water meter that gives you control of your water and energy consumption. Sprāv attaches to the arm before your shower head and uses green, yellow and red lights to let the shower taker know how long they’ve been showering. The goal of the changing lights is to encourage users to shorten their showers.
We’ve seen shower shorteners in the past (ie Waterpebble) but what makes the Sprāv different is its ability to track your shower and instantly report to you how much you are saving by changing your showering habits.
Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass but if you do, here’s a link to “Red States Are Less Energy-Efficient Than Blue Ones: Another Partisan Divide?” The last thing we need to do is to push both sides further apart – blue states feeling all superior and red states caring even less about energy efficiency. [GTM]
The 100% solar-powered Solar Impulse airplane arrived in the US on February 21 and is in the process of being reassembled for its transcontinental solar flight from San Francisco to Washington DC with a final leg to New York. Its powered by four 10 horsepower electric engines and has a cruising speed of 50 mph.
Led by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Solar Impulse will not be the first plane to cross the US powered by solar – that feat was first accomplished in 1990 by Eric Raymond’s Sunseeker solar power airplane. Mr. Raymond’s transcontinental trip required 21 separate flights over 121 hours to cross the country. The Solar Impulse’s transcontinental trips will be broken down into 20 hour flights with stops along the way to raise awareness about solar power.
Below is a video of the Solar Impulse being disassembled and shipped to San Francisco. [Wired]
The whole childish “you go first” between the US and China on carbon taxes might be coming to an end soon. According to a report in China’s state-run Xinhua news website, taxing carbon emissions is on the agenda for the Ministry of Finance (MOF). From Xinhua:
“The [Chinese] government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, Jia Chen, head of the ministry’s tax policy division, wrote in an article published on the MOF’s website.
It will be the local taxation authority, rather than the environmental protection department, that will collect the taxes.
The government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation, according to Jia.
To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes. A resource tax will also be levied on water.”
As consumers of $400 billion worth of Chinese goods (2011), the US deserves an assist for China’s pollution problem. I never quite understood how carbon tax opposing US politicians could pass so much blame on China for their lack of pollution controls when our consumption of their goods is driving it. At least the Inhofes, Rubios and Bachmanns will still have India to blame and do the “you go first” carbon tax dance with. [Mother Jones]