Earthtoys February Alternative Energy Emagazine

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Earthtoys February Alternative Energy Emagazine is now up. As always there are great articles about alternative energy technologies, green building, and alternative forms of transportation. You’ll also find an interesting article about how to grow houseplants to filter the air in your home or office.

I also wanted to put up some interesting comments from the ezine’s publisher:

In the State of the Union Address, there was much talk about Alternative and Renewable Energy … which is great. Our news page contains press releases from many energy related associations discussing the speech and debating it’s relevance …some positive and some negative reactions.

My two bits worth is this: Any serious discussion about Alternative Energy is good … but so far I’m not seeing enough action resulting from all the discussion. We need solutions to the energy problems we are facing and they must range from small inventions to mega-projects. Everyone needs to be engaged in applying the solutions to everyday life. There are many products out there already that work. Lets start promoting their use and generate some cash to build more. We do not need to reinvent the wheel … just start rolling it and having fun with it.

Down with the study groups and up with the EarthToys!


Solar Innovations

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I was just checking out the EarthToys.com emagazine for this month and found a very cool article about eco-friendly gadgets and innovations. The article is heavy on solar technology, and talks about such unusual things as solar powered trash compactors and light sensitive dyes that are making for some very unique solar technologies.

“Nanotechnology has come to solar with Konarka Technologies (MA) having then first pilot manufacturing line – of solar electric dyes atop flexible materials that are being sewn into army tents sporting camouflage colors, and soon on consumer devices.”


Earth Toys August EMagazine

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EarthToys.com August emagazine is up and it is full of great articles about alternative energy, green building, organic gardening, and more! Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

• Is American Ready for Hydrogen?
• Scotland – UK Green Revolution.
• Micro Thermoelectric Generators.
• LED Buyer Beware!
• Greening Affordable Housing.
• Natural Fertilizers Outperform Chemicals.

I particularly enjoyed the greening affordable housing article, which talks about Habitat for Humanity’s East Bay projects in Oakland, California. Habitat East Bay (HEB) is working hard to make green housing available for all levels of the economic spectrum:

For years Habitat East Bay (HEB) experimented with environmentally friendly products. In 2002 the organization adopted sustainability into its mission, making a commitment to build all of its homes using green building principles.

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HEB has received grants from the Environmental Protection Agency to renovate brown fields, clean them up, and make them available for housing. Additionally, they use a number of environmentally-friendly products in their construction, including engineered lumber instead of solid sawn wood, fiber-cement board siding, which contains recycled material, and recycled latex paints. Natural linoleum, which is made from renewable sources, is used in the kitchen and baths of HEB homes. It is very durable and is considered a better construction material than sheet vinyl.

They are also implementing elements of passive solar design and advanced framing. Advanced framing is also known as “Optimum Value Engineering,” and involves laying out studs every 24 inches instead of every 16 inches. Most homes have a southern exposure and photovoltaic panels to help reduce energy costs for families.

It is clear that HEB is leading the way in green housing for low income families. Let’s hope more organizations follow their lead!


Dwell Green Housing Magazine Issue

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The new issue of design magazine Dwell is dedicated to sustainable design and green housing. Article themes include: Sustainable Homes of Tomorrow, Today; Design Like You Give a Damn; Flooring With a Conscience; Tree Houses Grow Up; It Takes a Villa near Barcelona, Spain; Emerald in the Rough in Ireland; Zeros Effect in Phoenix; Dwell Labs magazine racks; Detour in Brussels; Conversation with Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa. The issue is printed on recycled paper.


World View Magazine’s Water Issue

The National Peace Corps Association’s magazine World View just released a special issue dealing with water. One of the Peace Corps’ main projects these days is building water systems in rural and impoverished areas of the third world. Given the fact that millions of people throughout the world live without access to potable water, this is very important work. Additionally, the Peace Corps works to educate communities on how to maintain their water systems, and the importance of hygiene. Read more about the new water issue here.