This week at TreeHugger: Though we tend to stick to the green, we still dig gadgets as much as the next blog, so we're happy to find the Energy Star podcasts that dig into the efficiency of consumer electronics. Wired's NextFest had so much green gadgetry that we're still finding TreeHugging gems weeks after the doors were closed. When it comes to TreeHugger tech, it doesn't get much better than this guy who removed the gas engine from his motorcycle and installed an electric drive system in its place. Lastly, who needs propane when you've got the sun? The Sun Cook Solar Oven not only works, it times your cooking with a built-in sundial (really).
Though we spend most of our time worrying about RoHS, WEEE and other toxic no-no's in gadgetry, energy efficient cell phones, PDAs and the like always perk up our ears. But which ones are best? How can we save some juice at home, too? Thankfully, Energy Star has produced a series of podcasts answering these burning questions about the devices, their environmental impact, and actions consumers can take to save energy while still enjoying the benefits of electronics. Want to cut back on "vampire power" in your home? You know you do...check it out.
We mentioned Wired's NextFest last week, true, but there was so much good green stuff that we can't help ourselves. GE's hybrid locomotive and fuel efficient aircraft engines, GM's fuel cell concept car, the new Saturn VUE Greenline hybrid all made extensive appearances, and there's more. Everything from the futuristic, like a prototype car straight out of the Jetsons, to the frustratingly effective, with the radio that untunes itself when energy usage in the house runs high, was on display and we were drooling. When people worry that the novelty of green can't last, we say, great...what's next?
Ever wondered what it would take to build your own electric motorcycle? Well, wonder no more, as this guy named Mike took his Derbi GPR-50, removed the gas motor, and installed an electric drive system. How'd it comes out? Well, the bike goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9 seconds, and it has a top speed of about 75 mph...not too shabby for a weekend DIY project. There are even some tips for other DIY diehards out there, including where to get parts; the whole process teaches us all that we don't be a slave to old dinosaurs. Plug in and feel the buzz!
Lastly, take a look at the Sun Cook Solar Oven, the gadget that proclaims to be your propane-free replacement for the barbeque. While the barbeque is many a gadget-lover's sanctum sanctorum, the Solar Oven does have a sufficient amount of polished metal to pass the test. This Portuguese design has polished reflectors which concentrate sunlight in the insulated oven chamber; a metal plate on the bottom absorbs solar energy, and the tempered glass top holds it in, and it works. The best part, though, is a decidedly un-techie twist: your cooking is timed with a built in sundial.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.