Cedar Rapids eco lodge

Cedar Rapids eco lodge

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Cabins_Cedar RapidsDown a somewhat private lane on the west side of Fontana Park in Buchanan County sit two solid new cabins — prime examples of sustainable resources, says Buchanan County Conservation Executive Director Dan Cohen.

Built and opened to the public in 2011, the cabins feature many sustainable-living elements, including triple-paned, energy-efficient windows, structural insulated panels and locally sourced materials and labor. All of the electrical needs are operated through off-grid solar panels.

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Five Thai Eco-hotels

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Thai hosts are so good-natured and sweet that it is no suprise their eco-resorts are among the best in the world. A new book, “Green Guidebook: Green Life, Green Communities”, signposts some of the country’s best eco-conscious destinations. Here are a selection:

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Pamela Stephenson joins Boomer rush to sea

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Actress Pamela Stephenson achieved her dream of sailing the world for a year, and now she doesn’t want to stop.

Stephenson, 56-year-old psychologist and former comedienne, who has three children with the Big Yin, Billy Connolly, said she was sick of being the “responsible one” and was desperate to escape her humdrum existence.

So she embarked on a mid-life adventure which saw her sail 19,000 nautical miles in ten months, visit uncharted islands and resist a hunky fisherman. But this was no primitive idyll. She travelled in a 112ft super-yacht with a crew of seven.

She has written a book on her travels, Treasure Islands, which she says has helped put her life in order: “I’ve survived. And I’ve never been so terrified.” You can buy the book on the next page.

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LOST – an eco-travel metaphor

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“Lost” is “Baywatch” for the new millennium.

And just as Baywatch embodied the values of the 80s, so Lost incorporates our current set of values – all our secret hopes and fears. It must do – that’s why its successful.

So what does the success of Lost tell us about ourselves? Fans talk about the suspenseful story lines and the sexy actors (see the unofficial LOST site).

The great modern fear – death by aircraft, is too obvious to be mentioned. More subtly, the idea of being somewhere primitive but idyllic and making the most of it, is of course, close to the ethical travel life we espouse on this site, and which the success of Lost suggests must be a great hidden theme in our technologically driven advertising- saturated lives. “Lost on paradise isle and never wanting to be rescued” shouts the London Daily Express in one article about the series.

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Camping vs. Kamping

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Sandra
Sandra Tsing Loh

I had often thought true camping to be a low-impact, environmentally progressive thing, writes Sandra Tsing Loh, that lean-muscled Sierra Club members do, involving tissuey materials like Gore-Tex and Thinsulate, ballerina-like climbing shoes, martial arts-style ponytails, and pitches of difficulty 5.7 and higher.

By contrast, I’d often associated car camping with Kar Kamping, as in Kampgrounds of America, where the wilderness bar is low, of difficulty or perhaps even -12.6. Kar Kamping is pulling the minivan into an oil-spotted parking place next to a rusty fire pit that cradles marshmallow droppings and discarded Bud Light cans, 50 yards away from the humming UFO-like vibrations of a fluorescent-lighted public bathroom. Kar Kamping is a camouflage-toned “fishing chair” whose seat features a built-in beer cooler, a Winnebago tent (bought at Kmart) so big you can stand up and flip hamburgers in it.

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What a corker

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Scientists say they can use corks as an alternative energy source, the BBC reported. They noticed that a cork bobbing about in water generates power, so they set about designing a machine which could convert wave power into electricity. The bobber uses floats instead of corks which are attached to a rig in the sea. the partially-submerged floats bob about in waves and generate energy which is converted into electricity.

Tests suggest it is capable of producing more that double the amount generated by off-shore wind farms.

Inventor Peter Stansby said: “The Bobber’s output of five megawatts is the mean power output, with the potential of more depending on the conditions.” This he said, compared favorably with a wind turbines ‘maximum output’ of two megawatts. The team, based at Manchester University, is now trying to secure funding for a full scale trial, the Engineer trade journal reported.

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Solar powered Prius

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A presentation at the Green Car Congress details how a Canadian engineer named Steve Lapp has created his own version of a prototype Photovoltaic Prius. The car is a 2001 Toyota Prius modified with roof-top solar panels and an additional battery system to supplement the charge in the original equipment NiMH batteries. The car is still a rough prototype — a demonstration of concept — but even with the limitations of the systems, he says he has achieved an initial 10 percent fuel efficiency improvement from 4.5 l/100km (52 mpg US) to 4.0 l/100km (59 mpg US).

Steve Lapp’s PV Prius is still a rough prototype—a demonstration of concept—but even with the limitations of the systems, he has achieved an initial 10% fuel efficiency improvement from 4.5 l/100km (52 mpg US) to 4.0 l/100km (59 mpg US). Click below for more on this story.

IRS Certifies Toyota Prius. : An article from: Battery & EV Technology – Buy it on Amazon

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New signing at Man City FC – Ecotricity

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Manchester City Football Club is set to get one of the UK’s largest land-based wind turbines provided by independent green power company Ecotricity, in a bid to curb its carbon emissions and become genuinely green in its energy supply.

The turbine has been designed by globally celebrated architect Sir Norman Foster.

We're Not Really Here: Manchester City's Final Season at Maine RoadWe’re Not Really Here: Manchester City’s Final Season at Maine Road – buy it from Amazon UK
The turbine will also be used to supply energy to the homes of people in East Manchester.

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Yee-hah: Wyoming Wind Festival

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Renewable energy conference set

Roping the Wind returns to Douglas, Wyoming. After last year’s success this is another opportunity to learn about renewable energy.

This year’s program will emphasize installed projects, covering everything from large-scale commercial wind farms to off-grid wind and solar energy installations. There will also be presentations on geothermal and biomass applications.

The conference is scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12. For more information, visit the Web site www.ropingthewind.org

It has no relationship to the book of the same name – but we thought we’d offer it here anyways.

Roping the Wind“Roping the Wind” – a History of Cowboys and the Land – buy it from Amazon

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Raising Arizona Renewables

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US heat map
Baby, its hot down here

The State of Arizona has set up subsidies for household solar and wind installations as part of a big package announced this week.(12th August 2005)

“We should be to solar as Texas is to oil,” said Arizona Energy Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes as he argued for development of Arizona’s solar resources.

Shop for Solar Energy products at Gaiam.com!

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