EcoModo - The Best of TreeHugger

This week at TreeHugger: We climb behind the wheel of the Tesla Roadster, only to find it parked and without keys. Still looks good, though. In honor of Earth Day, we take a peek at how to buy a green computer. There may come a time where you will have an extra computer or two lying around. We dig in to two different ways of getting rid of your old machine: the joy method and the profit method. Lastly, books and phones come together with Blackbetty, who has developed technology that allows a book to be ordered and delivered to your mobile phone as easily as downloading a new ring tone.

A working prototype of the Tesla Roadster was on hand this weekend at the Green Apple Fest in New York City, and we got to climb behind the wheel. Unfortunately, that's as far as we got—no driving allowed, this time 'round—but it sure looked good. After kicking the tires and taking a few pics, we had to move along, but not before we caught David Vespremi, Director of PR for Tesla Motors, on camera saying he likes TreeHugger...swoon!

In honor of Earth Day, we took a peek at a guide on How to Buy a Green PC, which looks under the hood the most important aspects of environmental home computing. The article is broken down into six parts: Buy a smaller computer, avoid hazardous substances (always check for RoHS compliance), check for energy efficiency, get an efficient power supply, find a good multi-core processor, set your software on power-save and, finally, make sure to recycle anything that might otherwise be thrown away. If you're in the market for a new machine, this guide's for you.

There may come a time where you will have an extra computer or two lying around. In fact, that time is probably now, as about 75 percent of used computers are currently stockpiled in storage (read: your basement). Rather than turn it in to e-waste, we have two methods that produce better results (assuming your old clunker still works): the "joy" method and the "profit" method. The joy method reminds you that 'tis better to give than receive: give it away, and someone gets a new toy. The profit method involves a bit more work, but can put a little cash in your pocket, or a lot: some guy made $300,000 by selling 10 used Cisco cards.

Lastly, for those who love for reading is only exceeded by their love for technology, we bring you Blackbetty: technology that allows a book to be ordered and delivered to your mobile phone as easily as downloading a new ringtone. Blackbetty has recognized that consumers are put off by having to carry around a special ebook device, and even installing special software to enable ebooks on existing equipment is a hurdle to the reticent consumer. The first generation of ebooks for readers, PDAs or smartphones required software such as Rocket eBook, Mobipocket or Adobe Reader. With Blackbetty, you just send an SMS with a keyword in the text and start reading. But if you fear that content will suffer due to focus on technology, fear not. Blackbetty's first mission is content; they deliver everything you get in a real book: full cover art, copyright/publisher's info, dedications, acknowledgements and the full text of the book in a text quality that is a pleasant surprise considering you may have a mental block at the concept of a book on a mobile phone display.

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.