I am a big fan of Subaru.
They may not be the most efficient cars on the road, but they are a
wonderful all-terrain alternative without resulting to buying gas-guzzling
SUV. There has been a lot of attention on car companies like Honda
and Toyota for their continuous effort to create greener vehicles.
While Subaru currently does not have an ultra-efficient car on the market, their recycling program might make up for that.
Subaru of Indiana
in Lafayette, Indiana, recycles 97% of their leftover steel, plastic,
wood, paper, glass, and other materials. The remaining 3% gets
shipped to Indianapolis to be incinerated. Paint sludge is dried
to a powder and shipped to a plastics manufacture to be mixed in with
other plastic compounds. Solvents used in the painting process
are cleaned, recovered, and reused.
Subaru also designs their vehicles
to be recycled easily. The can be easily dismantled and the parts are labeled and coded to make sorting
easier. Not only are the vehicles easy to recycle they are also
made up of recycled materials: plastic bottles are used in insulation,
plastic bumper waste are used for new bumpers, scraps from clothing
manufactures are used for base trim layers, paint sludge and discarded
paper are used in vibration-absorbing door panels.
Not all the materials in the
vehicles are recyclable nor are they all made of recycled material,
but Subaru continues to be a leader in Cradle to Cradle car care.
We blogged a while back about the prospects for the LA Auto
Show, and even broke the news
that GM was designing a concept Hummer
that would emit pure oxygen instead of CO2 through the use of algae
converters. No one took that very seriously, as it sounded ridiculous,
and hadn't been confirmed. Well consider it confirmed! And here we are,
ready to bring you the eight other contestants in this year's LA Design
We're excited to see that the focus isn't just on fuel cells and elecrics
but on making cars lighter, safer, and more efficient through broader
design changes, embracing new materials, and developing some downright
Our favorite design of the competition is the Toyota RLV (renewable
lifestyle vehicle.) When it goes, it goes, up to 75 mph at a pretty
good clip, using nothing more than it's electric motor. But when you're
stuck in a Los Angeles traffic jam, forget about wasting your batteries, and just pedal. That's right, the RLV
has a pedal power option, if you're feeling like getting some exercise,
taking it easy, or conserving your battery, just pedal the lightweight
two seater to your destination. The RLV
represents more than a new design for a car, it's a new design for cars
in general and, from what I can tell, a darned good one.
Volkswagen has announced a new fuel cell that promises to be faster, stronger, and more productive than its competitors.
The new High Temperature Fuel Cell (HTFC) uses layers of carbon fiber cloth to insulate the cell membrane, allowing operating temperatures as high as 120 degrees Celsius (248 Fahrenheit). Fuel cell prototypes that don't utilize the carbon fiber insulation are restricted to temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius (176 Fahrenheit). The higher heat allows for a more effiecient fuel cell.
Better insulation also means that VW's new fuel cell requires a smaller cooling system, in turn allowing the company to implement the HTFC in a wide range of vehicles, from subcompacts to small trucks. Unfortunately for ecogeeks chomping at the bit to hop into a HTFC Rabbit, Volkswagen says the technology won't be considered for production until 2020.
Via The AP
I've been thinking, in my own diabolical brain, how to turn cars into
cigarettes. Maybe that wasn't clear...here's what I mean. Cigarettes
used to be cool. But it turns out they're addictive, expensive and
dangerous. Well, cars are cool now, but in the last few years we've
realized that they are also addictive, expensive and dangerous. So what
do we do? Start with warning labels, Check. Next, make the industry pay
for advertisements showing how horrible they are. Well, we're not there
yet, but Britain might be headed in that direction.
A British politician (and Chair of the House of Commons Climate Change Committee,) Colin Challen,
has put forth a measure that would require 25% of all car ads to
discuss only environmental impact data. Operating on the assumption
that a more informed public would purchase fewer gas guzzlers, this
could make a pretty significant difference for car companies. And, more
importantly, it could be a significant step toward the
self-vilification of what is almost certainly a world-wide villain.
We all know that Americans drive more than other folks. It's a big country
with a car culture...but a new study from the University of Illinois
has shown that the 25 lbs gained (on average) by every American since 1960
is has actually directly lead to one billion gallons of extra gas
"Hows that?" you ask. Well, every extra pound an engine has to push
requires more gas, and in the past forty years, Americans have been
putting on a lot of extra pounds. If we all shed a few pounds, millions of gallons could be saved! Now we EcoGeeks
finally have a good reason to quit the Mountain Dew and Doritos diet.
Maybe I'll even take a jog down to the health food store. Or maybe not.
Via Mother Jones
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