Here’s a CNN feature on eco-friendly trikes here in the Philippines. The trikes are currently operating in a limited part of Metro Manila, but I personally love the look and idea, and I hope the e-trike program will be implemented more widely in the near future. I like the approach they used to promote the concept to tricycle drivers as well. While highlighting the environmental benefits sounds like a good idea, many people generally have an I-don’t-give-a-@#!* attitude towards the environment, and are more concerned about having money to feed their families. Hence, the program focused on the economical benefits instead.
Biking green with Bambike
Riding a bike instead of driving is certainly one way to live a more eco-friendly life. You can make things even greener if you’re riding an eco-friendly bike, though. Bambike (Bamb EcoLogical Technology Inc.) offers a number of bicycles made out of bamboo and feature a rattan seat. The bikes are handmade by people who are involved with Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine community development organization for the poor. Check out all their different models here. You can find different bikes for cruising and even off-road biking.
Slovenian biologist embarks on a green flight
Matevz Lenarcic, a Slovenian biologist and environmentalist, has a pretty interesting project this year: fly around the world in the lightest plane while using up the least amount of fuel. His aircraft, a Virus-SW914, weighs only 640 lbs. While he’s up in the air, the plane will record levels of black carbon, and Lenarcic will also take pictures of various sights around the world to help emphasize the importance of protecting the environment. Learn more about his goals and his project at his website, GreenLight WorldFlight.
“10 Different Fuels Actually Used to Run Cars”
(Article reprinted with permission. Original article can be found here.)
“10 Different Fuels Actually Used to Run Cars”
We have known, for quite some time, that the fossil fuels we use today are a finite source of energy; we only seem to disagree on when those sources will run dry. Alternative sources have been around for quite some time, including electric power and solar power, but none has yet supplanted dead dinosaurs. Presented here are some other fuels, some strange, some downright weird.
- Trick-or-Treat – University students in England tested a Formula racing car that ran on fuel made in part from waste chocolate from a Cadbury plant. No word on whether-or-not the car was eaten after testing was completed.
- Gobble Gobble – For turkey-lovers (Ben Franklin suggested, tongue-only-partly-in-cheek, that the turkey would make a more noble national bird than the eagle), the idea of putting a Tom into the gas tank might seem anathema, but viable fuel can be made from virtually all parts of the bird.
- Starbucks In the Tank – Coffee grounds, which contain a lot of oils, make a bio-fuel that is relatively cheap and clean to produce, comes from an abundant source, and, of course, makes the morning commute a much more aromatic experience.
- Paper or Plastic? – Both paper and plastic can be made into fuel, and each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, though the future may show us many new ways to recycle waste products in a green manner.
- Blow Me Down – Wind turbines have been mounted on vehicles, and they have been used to charge batteries that then power the vehicle. This system works best for those who live in tunnel-free expanses of windy salt-flats.
- Mulch for the Minivan – Not as strange as it sounds, wood chips and sawdust are prime ingredients of what are called “bio-mass” fuels, which are foreseen by some as the most likely replacements for petroleum-based fuels.
- Styrofoam – With as many styrofoam cups as we see littering our highways, it would be a nice thing to see if economically feasible methods of converting those cups into useful fuels can be developed.
- Dung Beetles? – Methane gas, available in all your friendly neighborhood cow-patties, can be rendered into fuels that can run an automobile.
- Beans, Beans, They’re Good for Your Car – Beans, soybeans in particular, are used to make bio-fuels, and are among the few sources that show real universal promise.
- Lend Me Your Ears – Ears of corn, that is; ethanol is a fuel already in wide use around the globe, and can be made from crops such as corn, potatoes,sugar cane and the ever-popular manioc (known more commonly as “cassava”, one of the most-eaten sources of carbohydrates on the planet). Henry Ford was using ethanol in his Model T’s as early as 1908.
You won’t be able to run your car on tap water any time soon, but hydrogen (the “H” in H2O) is seen as a leading candidate to replace world dependency on fossil fuels. Stay tuned.
Curitiba, Brazil’s eco-friendly bus
Congratulations to the city of Curitiba in Brazil for coming up with the world’s longest environment-friendly buses!
These green buses run on bio-fuel made from soybeans. Measuring 28 meters long, the buses can accommodate 170 passengers. In a day, the buses can transport an estimated 77,000 passengers. Even the stops made by these buses are lessened by about 10 minutes, as compared to a regular bus.
Here’s a good example of public transportation made greener!
Taxis of Tomorrow
New York City’s quintessential yellow taxicabs need a make-over. Here are some of the NY Taxi and Limousine Commission requirements for the new fleet:
- meets highest safety standards
- lower emissions and improved fuel economy
- more useable interior room
- wheelchair accessibility meeting ADA guidelines
Check out Taxi of Tomorrow website and sound off.
Anand man creates eco-friendly hybrid bikes
Does Motoscoot sound familiar to you? It doesn’t to me, but it should. Or maybe it will in the future. Read “The Times of India” article “Anand man creates eco-friendly hybrid bikes“. Not a bad idea at all. Just makes me wonder why Mr. Paresh Budh isn’t getting the support worthy of his invention. He laments, “People have not recognized my work. In fact, they joke about it…” Maybe in time, he’ll be the one laughing his way to the bank for his invention. It’s useful. I only wish they had a picture of the Motoscoot.
2nd Philippine International Motor Show to showcase more green vehicles
CAMPI, or the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, is holding the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show on August 21 to 24. The event promises to focus more on green and fuel-efficient cars as a response to the more sluggish car sales this year, thanks to the increasingly ridiculous fuel prices.
In the motor show, CAMPI will also be featuring concept cars for the future. These include General Motor’s Malibu and Tahoe hybrids. Exactly 15 global auto brands will be represented at the motor show, which will be displayed at an 11,000 square meter area at the World Trade Center.
Methinks another great addition to this car show is to showcase Philippine-made green cars as well, yes?