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32 posts from September 2012

September 29, 2012

Need a Charging Station for Your Electric Car?

Electric Car ChargingElectric car owners often complain that there is nowhere to charge their emissions-free vehicles. For times where you just can't get back to your garage in time to charge your electric car, ChargePoint Network helps you find charging stations near you. All you have to do is type in your current location and how far you can drive. 

No charging stations in your area? Ask your hometown for solar fuel stations for plug-in vehicles! These solar fuel stations create green jobs on all levels, from design, to installation, to maintenance. When these solar fuel stations aren't charging your car, they're feeding clean energy back into the grid. 


Hey Mr. Green: Don't Electric Cars Guzzle Coal Power?

Running on Empty: Cars That Never Need Gas

What Should Electric Cars Sound Like?

--By Laura Hayden/ image courtesy of iStockphoto/wellphoto

September 28, 2012

The Changing Façade of Urban Architecture

This green billboard is an example of vertical gardeningBig city, smaller footprint: Our friends at EcoSalon explore a trend that's blurring the line between landscape design and modern architecture. 

The trend of vertical gardening is up, as is the rise of the jolly green skyscraper. Easy on the eyes and easier on the planet, the trend ofupward greenery is transforming our concrete jungles into ivied oases.

The Musee du Quai Branly in Paris is one such example, with some 8,600 vertical square footage dedicated to more than 170 different species of plants.

Continue reading "The Changing Façade of Urban Architecture" »

Celebrate Autumn with Organic Mooncakes

Mid-Autumn Festival MooncakeNeil Armstrong may have been the first man to land on the moon, but the Chinese have homage for more than 3,000 years. Chinese emperors of old began worshipping the moon in autumn, hoping and believing that doing so would bring them another year's harvest. One that was abundant and fruitful, of course. Finding that the best time to do so was on the 15th night of the 8th month, moon worshipping extended to high officials and rich families whose participation was alongside that of the Emperor. Setting large tables in the middle of the yard and placing fruits and other various Chinese snacks atop, these offerings to the moon enveloped by its glowing light was a practice executed for many years before it became an official tradition.

Beginning with the Tang Dynasty in 618, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival was named and laid down in the books as a sanctioned annual celebration. By this time, the practice was no longer for the wealthy, but also the common citizens, all of whom partook in the music, dance, and merriment of praying to the moon for a bountiful year of harvest.

Continue reading "Celebrate Autumn with Organic Mooncakes" »

September 27, 2012

Recipe: Takeout Rice Pudding

Rice pudding recipeHow many times have you ordered Chinese or Thai food and ended up with more white rice leftovers than you know what to do with? Much of the time that rice just sits in the fridge, forgotten, until you spy it days later and end up tossing it because it's "too old." Not this time, people. We've got a way to salvage that rice before it heads to the dumpster... turn it into rice pudding! It's quick, it's easy, and it's the perfect way to recycle those unappealing leftovers into a sweet treat.


  • Leftover takeout rice (1 cup)  
  • 1/3 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups regular milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Dash of vanilla (optional)
  • Fruit (optional)


Continue reading "Recipe: Takeout Rice Pudding" »

Eco-Vocabulary Quiz: Wildlife Conservation

Save Nature Book

When it comes to ecological issues, do you know your windmills from your oil spills? How about your PCB's from your POP's? Take our eco-vocabulary quiz and find out if you're an environmental maven!

Test Your Eco-Vocabulary: Wildlife Conservation


2) Endemic

3) Extirpated

4) Wildlife Corridor

5) Umbrella Species


Continue reading "Eco-Vocabulary Quiz: Wildlife Conservation" »

DIY 3D Picture Frames: Think Inside the Box!

DIY Shadow BoxThe old adage goes that a picture is worth a thousand words; but what about the details that are not captured by the shutter button? Perhaps you've saved a map from every National Park you've visited or you've collected pressed leaves and flowers to mark seasons of your backyard organic garden. But if over the years your memory box has slowly turned into six bins filled with sentimental knickknacks that you'd rather not send to the landfill, it's time to breathe them back into vitality! 

Joseph Cornell, an American sculptor and one of the pioneers of box art, assembled amazing pieces of artwork in glass boxed frames, also known as shadow boxes. Inspired by fragments of beautiful and precious objects, Cornell artfully placed bric-a-brac and photographs in boxed frames. You can follow in Cornell's footsteps by creating unique art to preserve memories that photographs can't otherwise bring to three-dimensional life. At the same time, you can also dispel the myth that shadow boxes are only for the display of insects and bugs!

Here's what you will need:

Continue reading "DIY 3D Picture Frames: Think Inside the Box!" »

September 26, 2012

Jamba Juice to Go Styrofoam-Free

styrofoam cupsAfter Mia Hansen, a 10-year old from California, learned about Styrofoam's impact on the earth and animals, she began to see it everywhere. When she realized that Jamba Juice uses Styrofoam cups to serve her favorite smoothies, she decided to do start a petition on Change.org. Just three weeks after starting the petition, Mia spoke to Jamba Juice, who promised to stop using polystyrene cups by the end of 2013. 

Jamba Juice is considered a leader in the blended beverages and juices industry. If a company with over 700 locations around the world can make this type of commitment to the environment, others are sure to follow suit. There is another Change.org campaign that is asking Dunkin' Donuts, one of America's largest coffee chains, to do the same.

The Styrofoam issue is an old one, but it is still an important one. Styrofoam takes thousands of years to break down, and can cause serious intestinal problems for animals that accidentally ingest it. Eco-Cradle has come up with biodegradable alternative to the Styrofoam packing that cushions many electronics. California has banned the use of all Styrofoam, including take-out containers, throughout the state. 

Continue reading "Jamba Juice to Go Styrofoam-Free " »

Microwave or Stove: What’s More Efficient?

Mr. Green is Bob SchildgenHey Mr. Green,

I have about quart of soup left over.  Is it more efficient to reheat it on my gas range or in my microwave?

Paul, in Kalamazoo, Michigan

A microwave is a lot more efficient way to reheat than a stovetop, partly because a stovetop wastes a fair amount of heat. According to the EPA, the microwave uses 80 percent less energy when heating up relatively small amounts. Although the microwave needs a lot of electricity, it’s a relatively short burst of power. As the immortal Yogi Berra might put it, “A watched pot never boils, but it boils quicker in a microwave.”

Of course you can make regular gas or electric cooking somewhat more efficient by matching the size of the burner to the size of the pot, and, well, duh, keeping a lid on unless the recipe forbids. The EPA, for example, warns that using a six-inch pot on a eight-inch burner can waste a goodly portion of a burner’s heat.

Continue reading "Microwave or Stove: What’s More Efficient?" »

Eco-Vocabulary Quiz: Climate Change

Wind TurbineWhen it comes to ecological issues, do you know your windmills from your oil spills? How about your PCB's from your POP's? Take our eco-vocabulary quiz and find out if you're an environmental maven!

Test Your Eco-Vocabulary: Climate Change

1) Permafrost

2) Methane Hydrate

3) Climate Velocity

4) Carbon Intensity

5) Geoengineering


Continue reading "Eco-Vocabulary Quiz: Climate Change" »

September 25, 2012

Eco-Vocabulary Quiz: Pollution and Waste

Definition of RecycleWhen it comes to ecological issues, do you know your windmills from your oil spills? How about your PCB's from your POP's? Take our eco-vocabulary quiz and find out if you're an environmental maven!

Test Your Eco-Vocabulary: Pollution and Waste

1) POP

2) Endocrine disruptor

3) Eutrophication

4) Bioswale

5) Upcycling


Continue reading "Eco-Vocabulary Quiz: Pollution and Waste" »

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