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Solar-powered motorbike from SunRed

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solar%20powered%20motorbike.jpgThis strange Armadillo-like creature is the latest in solar-powered motoring technology: it's a motorcycle encased in 25 square feet of solar panels from Spanish manufacturer Sunred.

Sadly, you won't see anyone driving the bike around in this excitingly futuristic configuration, as it is designed to charge with the 'shell' down while parked. Once full of solar energy, the bike has a 12 mile range and a top speed of, er, 30 miles an hour. Not exactly a mean machine, then.

The electric motor is stuck right inside the rear axle, saving on transmission friction, and SunRed hopes to start making a working prototype soon. As soon as loads of venture capital companies read all the web coverage this prototype picture has got and bung them over a few million quid. Then maybe they can make it go a bit faster!

GTC.jpgFor peripatetic females, who are pondering their next backpacking trip or simply heading off on their hols, Girlstravelclub.co.uk (GTC) is a valuable resource. This new online boutique for female travellers specializes in beautifully designed and carefully selected travel essentials, particularly fair trade, recycled, environmentally responsible and ethically produced goods. If you choose to venture onto this site you will find useful goodies such as: DEET free insect repellents, natural remedies and essential oils, organic personal care products (including essential sun protection lotions), hemp travel bags, vintage wash bags and much more.

New electric car from NICE has 4 seats!

nice%20mega%20city%20electric%20car.jpgUntil now, a major drawback of electric cars has been their smallness: they include the famously diminutive Smart car (an electric version was recently launched); the G-Wiz, which is so tiny it failed routine safety tests; and the original two-seater NICE Mega city car. All great if what you want is a miniature run-around to transport you and your briefcase to and from work, but not so great if you have a family to move from A to B.

Jeremy Clarkson hated it, the Green Car Guide loved it - Toyota's hybrid electric car is top of the list when it comes to finding a green car. With only £15 road tax a year and no congestion charge Toyota claim it will save you fortunes on fuel and save the world with its low CO2 emissions. Watch our 'Hippy Gear' video review to find out if the Toyota Prius is the answer to our green motoring dreams.

_41184609_canal203.jpgMPs are urging the government to offer financial incentives to companies who choose to move their freight by water, instead of by road or rail. According to the environment, food and rural affairs select committee CO2 emissions from inland and coastal shipping are 80% lower than road haulage, but unfortunately only 1% of UK freight is transported this way. In 2000 British Waterways had promised to double the amount of goods carried on rivers and canals by 2010, but at the halfway point in 2005 figures had actually dropped from 4.3m tonnes to 3.4m tonnes. The general consensus is that this form of haulage is uneconomical, therefore incentives from the government would be one way to turn this around.

[via The Guardian]

paradisebay.jpgFancy a holiday in an exotic location without the guilt? Try Paradise Bay Villa Beach Resort and Spa in Grenada. The resort has a wind turbine that produces all the electricity the resort uses, and sells the excess electricity to the local power company. They even buy carbon offsets for the emissions from guest’s flights to the resort. Their commitment to the environment does not stop there. They buy local organic produce as much as possible and they support social and cultural projects.

The resort consists of nine villas set within 1000 acres of green and lush countryside, with two beaches in close proximity. There are set walks and hikes with local guides to explain the local flora and fauna. The walks are classed as easy to intermediate, so any one can enjoy them. The spa has a host of relaxing and invigorating treatments to take away the stresses of life. For the more sporty types there is a well-equipped gym with sports classes too. Sounds lie a great place for a holiday or a honeymoon.

27n_bellam_wideweb__430x281.jpgHaven Holidays have teamed up with legendary environmentalist David Bellamy to introduce a series of green measures to their caravan parks. They include employing a full time Environmental Consultant and having 'Green Teams' who ensure the parks are run in a sustainable and responsible manner. They have introduced extensive recycling facilities and are taking responsible for protecting local wildlife and plants, landscaping to encourage biodiversity and measures to save water and electricity. As a result all of Haven's caravan parks now carry either a silver or gold environmental award.

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Going on holiday to Scotland? Make sure to look our for a Green Tourism award from The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS). It's the leading eco-label for sustainable tourism in the UK, with awardees mainly in Scotland, which is the scheme's base. Since it started in 1997 it has become the largest and most successful scheme of its type in the world. Currently with over 1100 members, their aim is to build on this strong position and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of sustainable tourism in the future. Last year GTBS members saved £1.5 million through reduced carbon emissions by 7000 tonnes. It’s a great way for hotels and tourism venues to jump on the green bandwagon, whilst encouraging them to take steps towards a more sustainable business.

Related stories: 5-star Rufflets hotel goes green | Apex Scottish eco-hotels

fumesThe science correspondent reports in The Guardian today that exhaust fumes can also cause heart disease as well as the previously-known effects for respiratory disease. The fine particles in the fumes cause inflammation and hardening of the arteries (cardiovascular atherosclerosis) which is a leading cause of death in Western countries.
The team at the University of California in Los Angeles lead by Andre Nel researched the effects of diesel particles on human cells and found that the particles which contain potentially toxic compounds such as organic hydrocarbons, sulphates and nitrates, trigger a knock-on series of genetic changes which lead to the arteries hardening.
The research does not reveal exactly how the particles cause the genetic changes, but it adds to an already-impressive body of research linking exhaust fumes to heart disease, stroke and early death.

huskies.JPGInuit communities in eastern Canada are being urged to return to traditional dogsleds rather than using modern snowmobiles. There is concern that the ice, thinned by global warming, can't hold the Skidoos (a type of snowmobile).

Martin Tremblay, a geographic researcher in the area said: "For the last 10 years or so we've had winters that are more mild, so ice forms later in autumn and winter. One of the most effective means of transport is the Skidoo, and the period when it can be used is shorter than before. It causes security problems, because the ice is thinner and more unstable."

logo-200x129.jpgWe all know how frustrating it can be when a local road is being repaired. You get a whole host of vehicles and workmen blocking the traffic, not to mention the cauldrons of tar, concrete etc that they use. Nu- Phalt Scotland are different. They can do road repairs with only one vehicle and two operators. Not only that, by recycling the existing road materials on site, it means there are no excess lorries travelling back and forth from the site (therefore less carbon emissions) and none of the old road surface is sent to landfill.

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Earlier this year the Black Eyed Peas star, Will-i-am was inspired by Live Earth: "I'm getting ready to blow up my Hummer."

The intentions were good, but blowing up Hummers is not necessarily the eco-friendliest way to get rid of the gaz-guzzling behemoths. So, Will-i-am has had a rethink. He now intends to recycle his Hummer.

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A Formula One race is probably not the first place you would expect to find serious talk about climate change. But, the sport (which could be seen as the least green in the world) is taking climate change seriously.

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Bike-in-a-Bag is a precision built, easy and fun to ride, folding bike, with a special dual purpose bag. The bike fits snuggly in the bag which includes a handle and shoulder strap. Then when you are ready to ride, the bag coverts into a backpack to carry your stuff. So instead of struggling to balance a briefcase or shopping bag on your handlebars or rack you can carry it on your back using a highly visible rucksack.

Related stories: Ixibike – new concept in collapsible bikes | Bike Friday Folding Bicycles

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Could this herald the start of eco-extremism? A Hummer owner in Washington D.C. got a nasty surprise when two masked men attacked his car, breaking all the windows and slashing every tire. As a final flourish the vandals scratched "FOR THE ENVIRON" onto the side of the car.

[Via MSNBC]

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