The recent story about Matt Peterson and Brad Pitt’s collaborative efforts to build green apartment units in New Orleans is so unbelievably refreshing, it makes me want to cry. Not only because it’s such a ridiculously brilliant way of double trouble shooting environmental and socio-economic crises, but because I can actually understand what it is that they’re talking about! Brad and Matt are improving the quality of life for low-income victims of Hurricane Katrina using cost-effective and sustainable materials such as non-toxic paints and solar panels.
See and hear Brad talking about Global Earth and how paying for electricity is unnecessary.
Can utility bills really be eradicated just because Brad says they can? It is projected that these residents will be able to cut their bills by 70%. We won’t know for sure until people are actually living in them.
But eradicate electricity bills entirely? Rather than hauling in a team of experts I’ve never heard of, Brad directs our attention to the sun, the water, the wind. If these houses, once completed, do indeed succeed in lowering costs by 70%, no card stacking of expertise will be necessary, as a simple electricity bill would prove the point.
If I haven’t told you lately… I love my ’03 Toyota Prius. Let me count the ways: 39mpg / 385 miles to the tank, $30 to fill up, drive solo in the carpool lane and free meter parking. What’s not to love?
But my life has changed. As a retired commercial actor, I no longer drive all over L.A. on auditions. My job’s at G Living. My car sits at home and I bike to work. Perfect reason to get rid of my car! BTW, my lease is up, too, which means it’s time to either give it back or buy it outright.
So, come with me as I explore my options and get into something totally “G”.
The greenest thing to do would be give it back. I know plenty of people who’d jump at a used hybrid with those kinds of perks. I looked at buying it and then selling it on eBay, but I’ve never done that before and it seemed like too much hassle.
The wife’s ride is a 2001 Prius with high miles, so we had a family meeting and came up with a solution: find something “G” and trade them both in: two for one. Brilliant? We’ll shall see…
– $20,000-30,000 ride
– 2006 or newer; used is okay
– electric or hybrid a must
– a body style we like
– a dealer who will accept both of our cars as trade-ins
The Tesla Roadster At $100,000 it’s way out of our price range. Although the future is all electric engines (0-60 in 4 seconds) with 2 person sports car bodies made of carbon fiber, this is not meant to be. Even if I were rich and had the $50,000 deposit, I can’t wait until 2008. My lease is up August 30th. (Tesla Motors/ More info)
Second Option: The Phoenix Motor Car Electric SUT (sport utility truck) 100+ miles per charge, 95mph, 95% charge in 10 minutes. Sweet. Also comes in an SUV that seats 5. Rumored at $45,000 with only 6,000 vehicles available for 2008 — out of our price range, too much competition for limited quantity and not available now. (Phoenix Motorcars / More info)
Third Option: The NmG Myers Motor Car I’ve had my eye on this since it was the Sparrow at the 2000 L.A. auto show. It’s a three-wheeled hard top motorcycle and it goes 75mph. $25,000, gets 30+ miles in distance and takes 4-6 hours to charge. Sounds sweet, but that leaves no room for the wife (or me, depending on who gets in first). Great idea, but a one passenger vehicle simply doesn’t get it done for a two person family. (Myers Site / More info)
Fourth Option: The Prius Which takes us back to where we started… to the Toyota line of hybrid vehicles. We researched used hybrids and found a low mileage Highlander SUV at a local dealership. I test-drove the Luxury Limited, but it was out of our price range ($38,000) and a bit too much vehicle (third row seating?). We don’t want the Corolla sedan, nor do we want another other make and model (like a Ford Escape or Nissan).
So, back where we started: the Prius. You may wonder why we didn’t just start there and stay there. Well, call us old school, but we like the pre-2004 body style. It’s compact and has the same interior space as the new Prius, but it’s not so big on the outside. Unfortunately, the pre-2004 body style is just that… pre-2004. So, we looked at a 2007 Prius Touring Edition, which gets gets 50+ mpg with upgraded features for less than $30,000!
We called the dealership where my wife bought her Prius in ‘04 and was told they’ll gladly take our older models. That puts them back on the road replacing non-hybrids and gives us a great deal on a 2007 model before the 2008s hit the lot in a few months. On Friday, we’re going into the dealership with the cars that have been so good to us, some cash in hand (if needed) and our best kept secret: we’ll call him Justin. He’s the Winston Wolfe of car shopping (“Pulp Fiction” reference). We will drive to the largest Toyota dealership in the nation and get ourselves a 2007 Toyota Prius Touring Edition. At least that’s the plan.
The search has taken the better part of a month and we had to act fast. While it has not resulted in us getting a cool, futuristic, modern electric vehicle with amazing fuel to miles savings… the only difference: we are back in a hybrid vs. an all-electric vehicle. My memo to Tesla, Phoenix and Myers Motor Car Companies: mass produce a $20-30,000 electric vehicle and give me a call. I’ll put one in my driveway and power it on solar energy. Until then, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I love my Toyota Prius. Again.
Skinny Bitch authors, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin were interviewed on the Today Show to talk about the surprise success of their diet book, Skinny Bitch, 2 full years after its release. The book shot up in sales 20% in June, thanks in part to the media sensation caused by the overrated skinny Posh, Victoria Beckham. Beckham’s publicist stated that she hasn’t actually read the book, but she does follow a balanced vegetarian diet. Everyone’s talking about this book now, and it has its share of fans as well as some obstinate critics.Click here to watch the interview.
The United Nations issued an alarming wake-up call yesterday: tens of millions of people could be displaced from their homes within the next ten years unless governments revamp their environmental policies to combat growing desertification. The study conducted by over 200 experts from 25 countries proclaimed desertification as “one of the greatest environmental challenge of our times.”
According to the U.N. report, one-third of all people could be potential victims of the desert’s creeping effect. An estimated 50 to 100 million people could be forced to migrate to more fertile lands abroad, inciting a chain reaction that becomes a global social crisis. Imagine a chaotic scene taken from a page out of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.
Desertification also hurts our chances of reversing global warming. We rely on our leafy green friends to absorb the carbon emissions from our vehicles, factories, and homes. Without them, we are jump three steps closer to the global hot seat. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Is it just me or is there something hot about a band rocking out on a glacier in Antarctica to a sold out crowd of 17 scientists, and an entourage of Empire Penguins? It’s not something you see every day (or ever). If you missed this clip during last Saturday’s global concert for climate crisis known as Live Earth, here’s a second chance to see the debut performance of Nunatak, Antarctica’s most popular — ok, only — rock band. But they’re quite good, and they’re scientists! Enjoy.
The last time Spinal Tap members Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins, and Derek Smalls “reunited” on stage was back in 2001, for a nine-city “Back from the Dead Tour.” But with old tensions still unresolved, the musicians known for heavy metal hits like “Big Bottom” and “Stonehenge” couldn’t hold on to their brief union. They parted ways again, launched fresh careers involving ferrets and colonic chairs, and sadly, put music behind them. Until now.
According to “official” sources (Wikipedia that is) Spinal Tap plans to reunite again–this time performing at Live Earth this July 7 to help raise awareness for global warming. “They’re not that environmentally conscious, but they’ve heard of global warming,” said This is Spinal Tap mockumentary filmmaker Marty DeBergi, “Nigel thought it was just because he was wearing too much clothing–that if he just took his jacket off it would be cooler.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
This is an article I just found in Business Week. Looks like Wal-Mart was a bit too ambitious about jumping on the organic bandwagon that they didn’t realize their strategy to attract the lowest price point customers, might not be the best market motivated to purchase organic food, even at only 10% higher costs. They’re not giving up, but it looks like they are scaling back on what they had predicted their growth in that segment might be. I guess maybe it was never that great of an idea to condition consumers to the mistaken belief that price and quantity always triumphs quality and sustainability. Obviously that is not reality.
“I put Gisele plus three down on the guest list; my friends are like, [dismissively] ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.'”Photo: Melissa Hom
David Moltz just celebrated his first anniversary as a server at raw-food mecca (and popular anniversary spot!) Pure Food and Wine. He isn’t going anywhere — at least not until his band Salt and Samovar takes off — and why would he? He’s had the opportunity to serve everyone from raw foodists such as Woody Harrelson to fellow omnivores such as Bill Clinton (“I couldn’t believe it when he walked in,” says Moltz. “He rolls with a crazy entourage.”) We asked him to spill the beans Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Is there anyway to stop the Emerald Ash Borer from whipping out the Ash Trees in North America?
The emerald ash borer already has infested trees in more than 1,200 cities and townships in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, said Philip Bell, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service regional manager for the beetle.
The USDA has imposed a quarantine in states with the beetle that prevents host materials such as firewood, bark and wood chips from crossing state lines. The Wisconsin DNR adopted an emergency rule last year that forces campers at state parks to use firewood obtained in Wisconsin.
Sen. Neal Kedzie, R-Elkhorn, said he’s ”sickened” by the thought of losing Wisconsin’s ash trees, but doubts the state can stop the beetle. The USDA has imposed a quarantine in states with the beetle that prevents host materials such as firewood, bark and wood chips from crossing state lines. The Wisconsin DNR adopted an emergency rule last year that forces campers at state parks to use firewood obtained in Wisconsin. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
We have been hearing about this film for months now, but this is really the first complete picture of what we can expect from the film. Looks like this is a followup film to Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Leonard has teamed up with the Directors Leila Conners and Nadia Conners, and set out to document interview with 50 plus people working on solutions and discovering the problems we have here on Earth.
The films site (11thhourfilm.com) gives an overview and the list of interviews and included this press release: Leonardo DiCaprio has begun production on 11 th Hour, a feature length documentary that will examine the state of the global environment, and includes visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet’s beleaguered ecosystems. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Arnold Schwarzenegger took a break from governing to star in MTV’s Earth Day episode of “Pimp My Ride.” The special episode was shot as part of MTV’s thinkMTV 12-Step Campaign “Break The Addiction.” The actor-turned-California-Governor Schwarzenegger teamed up with rapper/host Xzibit to pimp out a 1965 Chevy Impala by turning it into a biodiesel classic.
Schwarzenegger was so blown away by the makeover he told mechanics to install the same biodiesel engine in his gas guzzling Hummer. Of course he’s much better off switching up to a ride that uses far less biodiesel resources per mile, but it’s certainly a step up from petroleum!
In accordance with Earth Day 2007, MTV and the “Pimp My Ride” crew prove that going green can get extreme, especially with a little help from a friend -California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. As part of a very special Earth Day episode airing April 22nd at 1 pm ET/PT, Governor Schwarzenegger visits Xzibit, Mad Mike and the entire “Pimp My Ride” crew at G.A.S. Galpin Auto Sports, as they take aim on a ‘ 65 Chevy Impala, and give it a one of a kind ecological alteration. Ultimately proving that power and preservation can co-exist thanks to partners at Galpin, Imperium Renewables, General Motors and others, the Impala gets an 800 horsepower diesel engine that will run on biodiesel, turning it into one extraordinary clean machine! “I would like to thank MTV and the entire ‘Pimp my Ride’ crew for shining the spotlight on the importance of alternative fuels and the fight against global warming. I am very encouraged by the great potential in converting vehicles to run on biodiesel as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I am pleased that the power of MTV’s message will reach an audience throughout California and the nation to reinforce the benefits of alternative-fuel vehicles and protecting our environment.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos