Emitting nothing but water vapour, the Hydrogen 7 from BMW is billed as the world's first hydrogen-powered luxury car. That's full-sized, unlike many of the model hydrogen cars we've mentioned here previously. It can also run on gasoline, and gets 15 miles per gallon in city, 22 mpg on the highway. Accelerates from 0 to 100kph in 10 seconds and is limited electronically to 200kph. No word on price, but odds are that since it's limited edition anyhow, if you have to ask, you're better off with a Prius. [GT]
ThreeMinds has what is nominally a review of online travel site TripAdvisor (which is built around reviews of travel hotspots), but which is actually a great rundown of how to put together your own holiday if you want to end up somewhere Hippyshoppy and less visited, like the Himalayas. While it may not have all the answers, it provides a good set of questions to ask about where your information is coming from, which is a key tool in any Hippy workbench. [GT]
The 120-M.P.H. Electric Car clocks in at around £54,000, so I'm not about to recommend you go buy one, but since it comes from gifty warehouse Hammacher Schlemmer the odds are that if you receive one, somebody loved you very much (and the planet too). Almost half its 1500 kilo weight is taken up by batteries which give it a 65-130km range (more than enough for the average commute or run to the shops) and it is so small (narrower than most motorcycles) that you can actually park perpendicular in parallel parking spots. If it looks flimsy to you, don't worry - the side panels are made of a rugged yet pretty mix of Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass, with the results that it rates 4x as much crash resistance as a typical SUV.
It's getting late to go to English beaches, and of course the Dounreay area has flung up over five dozen radioactive particles called "bone seekers" in any case. Maybe what you want instead is a shorthaul flight (don't forget to make it a Treeflight) over to Egypt's Moonbeach Retreat, on the shores of the Red Sea. In a pristine environment, they offer windsurfing, kitesurfing, yoga, massage, and access to Cairo and the Pyramids. Prices start at £325 for a week in their four-star hotel, plus flight (from £280) and visa (£15). And here's an extra bit of convivial news: Beach bar happy to serve your duty free so bring plenty. [GT]
Having just finished re-reading A Year in Provence - a book written so slickly that I long for crazy-bad winters, peasants I can't understand, workers who take until Christmas to finish renovations, deceptively high-alcohol wine and a wind that can rip the ears off a donkey - I'm all geared up to Taste Organic Provence myself. Available are weekend mini-breaks for wine discovery and same for themed weekends of gastronomic bliss. Also there is just wine, wine, wine. If you have entire hols available, you can go to Domaine des Aspras for €960 a week in low season, €2860 a week in high, with space for up to 12 people. And much "discovery" of organic wine. [GT]
No matter where you go, there you are, and no matter where you go, you can always use more transparent pockets and sheets to write on. Enter the destination: unknown handmade travel journals in pocket (3 5/8" x 5 1/8") and notebook (5" x 7") sizes (which are $20 and $25 USD plus P + P respectively). Each has 100 pages plus some grid paper at the back, a nice little cello pocket at the front for tickets or photos or perhaps pressed flowers, an elastic band to keep it all nicely together, and wire binding so it can be hyperextended to use as a floppy serving tray in a pinch. (One of these uses is not endorsed by d: u.) Handmade by Pam Bauer, wherever she may be. [GT]
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Treeflights - the service that, for £10, plants a tree to offset the carbon generated by your air travel - is creating all new forest planting at Pant-y-pond this October. That's in addition to their existing expansions of twelve year old forest in Pantglas and six year old woodland in Ffos-y-ffin. While Treeflights doesn't entirely negate the effects of your air travel, it's a darn sight better than doing nothing; on this planet, every tree helps. Skip a couple of cafe lattes and buy a tree for Pant-y-pond next time you fly. [GT]
Here's a simple picture that explains why you shouldn't buy bottled water. David Coale of Acterra displaced the amount of water from each designer bottle with the amount of oil it takes to ship that bottle from its natural spring point to the shops. This is an excellent basis for sticking with locally produced and compostable Belu or One's Welsh ethical water. Or just reuse a leftover glass bottle from Luscombe Elderflower bubbly and fill from your tap. As you go about your weekend business, think about 50 Ways to Save Your Water. [GT]
Ibiza is the latest spot where people are gathering not just to dance, but to recover their hippy roots. Loaded with celebs, there's a strong movement to keep Ibiza a beautiful and natural place, instead of allowing it to become overrun with hotels and god forbid, quasi-shopping malls. The New York Times lists a set of must-visits, from Las Dalias hippy nightclub, to Pacha, a comfort spot in an old farmhouse, to Atzaró holistic spa and retreat. [GT]
If you have a week for hols in September but want to keep it close to home, affordable and ethical, check now to see if there are any spots left in the English Lake District Walking Holiday from VegiVentures. The guest house extends to the shores of Buttermere, where lakeland guides have activities ranging from stretch, breathing and movement classes in the early morning through visits to Wordsworth's cottage at Grassmere or boating on Lake Windermere. £315 (£179 camping) for 7 nights half board, and naturally the food is all vegetarian. [GT]
Powered by wood burning and wind, the eco-lodge is a year-round accommodation with a kitchen, two bedrooms, a shower, and a nice place to sit outside. Drinking water comes from the mains but all washing water is rain. No television, no distractions, just nature. Sleeps four. £160 for a Monday-Friday stay (plus £5 per person) or £320 for a Friday-Friday stay. Produce is extra but you can pre-order it. Nice rates for a casual, green foursome in the countryside. [GT]
Olive Co-operative is a workers' co-op founded in 2003 to bring Palestinian fair trade goods to the UK, and arrange tourist packages to Palestine and Israel. The trips are intended to let visitors see the situation firsthand, visit important historical, political and religious sites, bond with your fellow man, and return to spread the word. Olive is serious enough that they even provide bursaries for low-income would-be travellers so long as you intend to use your experience to "work for a just peace back in the UK or in Palestine and Israel itself." [GT]
I got mail today from Christopher Alonso, who's installed a Fitch Fuel Catalyst. In his own words:
Today I installed a Fitch fuel catalyst on my 1995 GMC K1500. The truck gets approximately 16 mpg with mixed driving. It used to get 18mpg, but 16 is very good considering that it has 178,000 miles and it uses a rather crude fuel delivery system. (Throttle Body Injection). Most cars sold today get the same mileage that was being delivered 10- 15 years ago, they just put out less emissions. I used the inline kit, and did the whole job out in my driveway. The kit was not specific for my vehicle and the hoses provided were too small for my fuel lines. The instructions are inconsistant; the online version tells you to locate the unit 8" away from heat and electromagnetic fields in a vertical position, my instructions did not state that. I placed it on the inside of the frame rail after the fuel filter. Overall it was a pain it the butt to install on this application. Had I done it at work on my lift (I work on Mercedes) there would have been much less swearing. I hope this thing works. I'll keep you informed.
What, you may ask, is a Fitch Fuel Catalyst? It's the most interesting gasoline saver I've ever seen.
Travel is getting easier to make green, ranging from Google's Make it a Green Summer to Fair Trade Tourism. Now one simple little thing you can do is put out ten quid to Make it a Treeflight. Buy your ticket normally, then truck over to Treeflights.com and buy a sapling for a Welsh forest - available in a variety of flavours, including willow, ash and black cherry. Black poplar gives home to over 200 insects, so while you fly, you're giving tiny fliers a new home. [GT]
Product page: Make it a Treeflight
Google, in its ongoing quest to provide unexpected and welcome services, has teamed with Earth Day Network to help you Have a Green Summer. They're offering maps and video of five top US vacation spots if you want to go green: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando and San Francisco. They also have a set of Google-specific search tips to help you plan. But the best part is, as always, user-sponsored.