Thursday, July 16, 2009

Verdantic's Dream Car

Sometimes it seems that in order for something to be believably eco-friendly, it has to be ugly. Sure, there are beacons of beautiful eco designs, like Piano's California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Here's some ugly ones: solar vest, washing machine + toilet collabo and most of all, eco cars. Why does an eco car, electric vehicle or hybrid irrevocably have to be ugly or unsafe? Verdantic will be needing a car soon as I prepare my move back to California. Here's my car of choice: The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Stationwagen.
Here's some car dork mumbo jumbo:
Turbo compressor

1,968 cc 2.0 liters in-line 4 front engine with 81.0 mm bore, 95.5 mm stroke, 16.5 compression ratio, overhead cam and four valves per cylinder

Diesel fuel
Diesel common rail fuel system

14.5 gallon main diesel fuel tank 12.1

Power: 104 kW , 140 HP SAE @ 4,000 rpm; 236 ft lb , 320 Nm @ 1,750 rpm
- 2.0L L4 engine

Here's what I need to know about it:
- Turbo!
- 30 MPG city / 41 MPG highway
- Diesel and convertible to bio-diesel
- Engine sounds like a real car
- Looks like a normal car

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dirty problem, Cleaner solution: Pee Poople

To calculate the number of pet dogs in a populated area, you divide the human population by 2.65 then multiply by .534. For New York City's 8 million, that works out to 1.6 million pet dogs. Let's assume 90% of dog walkers pick up their dog'(s)' daily shit. Assume some are crazy enough to pick it up with a newspaper. Some may use bio-bags as well. I could go on to calculate the number of unpicked up turds per city block in NYC, but that's not exactly the point. Point is, that's at least a million plastic bags a day. Banning plastic bags in this regard will be a tough sell. I can't imagine President Obama picking up Bo's poop without plastic.
Meet the Peepoople. They developed a biodegradable bag to help sanitation in Africa. The bag serves as a toilet but when buried, it provides organic fertilizer for improved soil structure. Perhaps this innovation could help NYC reduce trash and enhance urban farming and gardening.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

HOGWASH: Marylhurst University's Online MBA in Sustainable Business

Blogger's foreword: I love school. I encourage everyone to take any opportunity to learn something new. That said, I was intrigued by this banner ad on treehugger today:
Marylhurst University's Online MBA in Sustainable Business
What's not to like?
1: Why go to classrooms when you can learn at home? Networking is a huge part of business school. If it's 100% online, you can avoid the awkward alcohol-infused social events intended for business networking. Experiencing the throes of presenting a gaudy group clusterfuct powerpoint in front of your peers is a must.
2: Not sure if executives at Fortune 500 companies love hearing from business-minded whistleblowing employees with 18-months adeptness in the following areas of expertise: renewable energy; public policy; green development; and natural and organic resources. 18 months of evening online eco-discussions won't make you a scientist--a verdanticist at best.
3: Being in the first graduating class of any program from any school will be frustrating. Accreditations from the NWCCU or the IACBE don't mean anything if only 4th-tiered schools are on the lists. Plus, I thought the MFA was supposed to be the new MBA.