« October 2009 | Main | December 2009 »

November 2009

11/30/2009

Eco-Friendly Exercising Never Felt So Green!

Share |

By Liz Kaadou

Treadmill2 Imagine how much energy and natural resources are wistfully wasted at your local gym? From towering treadmills, to fabulous flat-screen TVs, vending machines overflowing with bottled water, and even to the hoards of towels washed every hour.  The terrifying truth is that most gyms around the globe are far from basking in green glory.  While finding eco-concious gyms are a tedious task, here a few environmentally friendly ways to add a glimpse of green glimmer to your daily home workout routine.

 

Outdoorexercise 1) Instead of investing in electrically powered exercise machines like treadmills and stationary bikes, why not explore the great outdoors.  Go for your daily run on a beautiful trail in your neighborhood and along the way stop for some push-ups and lunges to elevate your workout.

 

2) If you must purchase some exercise equipment for your home gym, opt for eco-powered ones, like Eco-Powr treadmills. These resourceful running devices use one third less energy than your traditional treadmills, making your eco-imprint on the world much friendlier!

 

Brita 3) Bypass the bottled water aisle in your supermarket and instead buy a Brita water filter.  This way you can quench your thirst during grueling workouts without wasting water bottles on a daily basis. Click Here to buy one!

 

Medicine balls 4) Fill your home gym with effective, yet energy efficient workout gear like dumbbells, jump ropes and medicine balls. This Medicine Ball Set with Rack by TKO is a great addition to any home gym! Click Here to purchase one.

 

Vegangymshoes5) Greenfiy your workout wardrobe! Materials like organic cotton and bamboo get the eco-friendly stamp of approval, or gracefully glide your way into eco-fashion heaven with these Earth Glide Vegan gym shoes. 

 

For more eco-friendly workout advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section

 

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Roadandtravel Blog   Become a Facebook Fan

11/20/2009

New Car Review: The 2010 Kia Forte

Share |

By Bob Plunkett

2010kiaforte Forte (say: FOUR-tay) is a word which denotes one's strong point, a strength or special talent.  Kia, the inventive automaker out of South Korea, uses this word as the label on a shapely new four-door sedan for the compact class stocking a respectable powerplant, noteworthy safety systems as standard equipment and value-packed price points honed to a competitive edge.  Tagged as a 2010 model, the Kia Forte in notchback sedan configuration calibrates to a generous scale in a stylish and sleek package with surprising space in the five-seat cabin and plenty of spark stemming from a sophisticated four-pack engine.

Each Forte model looks downright handsome with a prominent face, chiseled contours on the body and wheelwell flares that turn into sculpted shoulders.  The shapely design will no doubt provoke a second peek, should you find a Forte on the street.  It's marked by a thick and flat bumper in body-colored tint thrust ahead of the chrome-rimmed grille, which tucks horizontally between narrow headlamp clusters shimmering like jewels from multiple round lenses.

Two distinct creases at top edges of the headlamps attract the eye and lead it up the hood to define front fenders accentuated further by arching swells wrapping around frontal rims of the wheelwells.  The flared rims sweep rearward across flanks to form sloping shoulders set below a broad expanse of windows in side doors with center pillars fading to black to simulate the profile of a sporty coupe.  At the stubbed tail of Forte there's a subtle spoiler lip topside arching between vast clusters of corner lamps and a thick and smooth wrap-around bumper in the body color.

Decor for the cabin consists of subdued colors with fabric upholstery on seats and soft-touch plastics for hard-case surfaces such as the dashboard and console or map pockets on side doors.  Layout of the cabin appears conventional with two buckets up front and a bench for up to three riders in back.  However, the personal space for heads and shoulders and legs is definitely not conventional for a car in the compact mold -- the cabin seems tall and broad with generous room to stretch out.

Now check the list of standard equipment on Forte and you'll see that this car also exceeds convention for the caliber and quantity of on-board safety equipment.  Measures for passenger safety in the cabin extend from the sturdy safety-cage construction to front seatbelts with load-limiting and pretensioning apparatus, backseat restraints with anchors to mount a child's seat, smart multi-stage frontal air bags and side air bags for the front seats along with curtain-style air bags tucked in the ceiling for outboard seats on two rows.  Forte also stocks active safety systems designed to avoid accidents, including a rack and pinion steering system and an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with brake assist system (BAS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), plus a traction control system (TCS) and an anti-skid device via the electronic stability control (ESC) system.  There's even a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on tap.

Then the manufacturer supports this product with an impressive warranty program which extends well beyond protection for most other vehicles -- the powertrain is insured for ten years or 100,000 miles and there's a five-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper shield against defects plus unlimited mileage for a five-year roadside assistance program with emergency towing and even lockout service.

And Kia racks the MSRP chart quite low for Forte -- down to $13,695 for Forte LX with a manual shifter.

For more information see Road &Travel Magazine's Kia Buying Guide or visit kia.com

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Roadandtravel Blog   Become a Facebook Fan

11/18/2009

Take Your Jewelry Collection from Glam to Green!

Share |

By Liz Kaadou

Green jewelry Green clothes, green shoes… and now green jewelry? Yes, the world of shiny and sparkly stones has transgressed into a ravishing realm of eco-friendly elements composed of fallen wood, grass, nuts and even seeds. These environmentally friendly materials get the eco-seal of approval and provide a great option for eco-lovers looking for some luminous luster that would make the environment sing its praises.  Although finding green jewelry may seem like a tedious task, here are a few daring designers dedicated to providing trendy and totally natural alternatives to fulfill your need for some gorgeous green glam.

 

ZulugrassbeadsMade from zulugrass, which is sustainable natural grasses that are dyed an array of different colors, these beads are handcrafted and entirely eco-friendly.  Click Here to buy these neat and nifty necklaces- they would make a great gift idea!

 

Exoticjewelry A stunning and unique piece by Tribal Chick, this necklace is created completely out of tropical pumpkin seeds, acai seeds and melon seeds.  The center is adorned with Tagua nuts in hot pink hues and even comes with a set of earrings! Click Here to purchase this artistic and alluring creation!

 

Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more ways to go green!

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Earth, Wind & Power Blog Become a Facebook Fan

11/16/2009

Go Gaga for "Green" Games

Share |

By Liz Kaadou

Videogames In this day and age, playing video games pretty much surpasses traditional pastimes like hopscotch, building a tree house, and even spending the day at the park.  Instead, tots, teens, and yes, even some adults, live in a more vivacious virtual world of demons, cool conceptual cars and anything else the imagination dares to dream up.  Crazy creatures, army brigades in tanks, and flying dinosaurs come to life in these animated automation's we like to call video games.  On the plus side, as distracting as these devious devices are, they may actually keep kids occupied long enough to teach them something valuable.  Advance to the next round by teaching your kids these quick and easy tips to take their gaming to the "green" level.  

1) Use rechargeable batteries - this will lower energy use and end up saving you big bucks when it comes to the electricity bill.

 

2) Make sure to always teach your kids to turn off the gaming console when they are not using it; otherwise a ton of energy is wistfully wasted. If you own a Playstation, use the Power Save mode to make gaming more energy efficient.

 

3) Veer from the car racing games and opt for a few “green” games aimed at teaching young kids about global warming and ways to recycle.  This way, they still get to enjoy their favorite virtual pastime, but are actually learning the early ropes of eco-living. Here are a few choices: Plan it Green and Recyclorama.

 

4) Recycle old video games and consoles instead of throwing them away. You can find a location to recycle it by utilizing Earth911. This way, toxic elements are disposed of responsibly and metals and plastics can be transformed into new electronic products.

 

Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more ways to go green!

 

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Earth, Wind & Power Blog Become a Facebook Fan

11/13/2009

New Car Review: The 2010 Toyota Camry

Share |

By Bob Plunkett

2010camry We find a clear lane down the Pacific Coast Highway while steering the latest edition of best-seller Camry, the Kentucky-built mid-size sedan of Toyota.  Our shapely Camry XLE, containing a new four-pack engine and more sophisticated equipment for safety, navigation and comfort than you can quickly enumerate, takes over the winding road, dominating the asphalt with rock-solid stability expressed through precisely carved turns and spurts of speed down the infrequent straightaway.

Not only does the car propel its riders in a confidence-inspiring manner, but it envelops them in an elegantly stylish package which contains a host of safety gear and luxurious cabin features to position the car close to the realm of Lexus, Toyota's elite upscale line.

The four-pack plant qualifies for Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II) status and delivers fuel economy numbers as high as 33 mpg, a definite plus to this eco-friendly ride.

The exterior package of Camry seems sleek and shapely, yet it reflects subtle lines and subdued paint shades in the manner of an upscale vehicle.  And Toyota has tapped into the Lexus bag of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) tricks to insulate and isolate the passenger compartment of Camry from external discord and mechanical chatter.

Elaborate safety systems, either passive or active, appear as standard equipment with this car.  Passive safety measures include a reinforced structure with crumple zones to absorb and diffuse energy from a sudden impact along predictable paths but also deflect the force away from the passenger compartment.  The cabin is surrounded by hidden air bags, up-front inflators for front seats plus seat-mounted side air bags and one more to shield the driver's knee, then curtain-style air bags tucked above side windows.  On tap to help stop the vehicle are four disc brakes tied to the anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

Additional electronic vehicle controls include vehicle stability control (VSC), which corrects lateral skidding, plus traction control (TRAC) to check wheel spin and a brake assist (BA) system to add maximum braking pressure during an emergency stop.

Entry issue Camry stocks plenty of gear from power controls for windows and door locks and mirrors to cruise control, a tilting steering wheel with audio controls and 16-inch steel wheels with P215/60R16 tires.  Price points for the 2010 Camry look favorable, beginning at $19,395 for base Camry with the new six-speed manual transmission.

For more information see Road &Travel Magazine's Toyota Buying Guide or visit toyota.com

 

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Earth, Wind & Power Blog Become a Facebook Fan

11/12/2009

Witty Ways to Greenify Your Work

Share |

By Liz Kaadou

 

Paperatwork Prim, proper and paperless? Sounds like the perfect combination for an efficient, effective and eco-friendly work environment. Did you know that as much as 93% of all office waste is actually paper, and most of it is recyclable. The problem is, most employees quickly crumble up used paper and target it directly for the trash. Instead, here are some extremely easy ways to take your work routine from wasteful to wonderful.  

 

Recycle bin 1) Set-up recycling bins around the office for paper and plastics. People like convenience and if the bin is directly in front of their trash cans, chances are they will think twice before trashing recyclable materials and documents.

 

2) Contact companies that dispose of old software and electronics in an eco-conscious way.  This will put your out-dated technology to good and gratifying use! 

 

Emailmessage 3) Add a signature to all emails that reads “Only print if extremely important.”  This will remind those printer-happy employees that not everything received in an email needs to be documented on piles of precious paper.

 

4) On a more humorous note, place a sign in the lavatories that states, “This is our last roll of toilet paper, so please use it wisely. After that, we are going paperless.” This is an ingenious method to add a bit of comedy into the work place while simultaneously reminding employees of the perils of extreme paper use!

Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more ways to go green!

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Earth, Wind & Power Blog Become a Facebook Fan

11/11/2009

Baby Steps to Go Green

Share |

By Liz Kaadou

Not ready to convert your entire house into an eco-oasis, live off organic fruits and vegetables from your garden, bicycle to work, or even trade in your hefty SUV for a humble hybrid?  While these are big steps to preserve the environment, you may not be ready for such dutiful dedication.  Instead, try these simple baby steps to incorporate a little green into your everyday life.


Lightbulb

Here's a "bright" idea, switch your regular light bulbs for some energy efficient ones like the Verilux Global Cooling Bulbs.  These beneifical bulbs last 13 times longer than normal bulbs, which means fewer bulbs in landfills.  They also use less energy to produce light, so fewer greenhouse gases are released into our atmosphere. Click Here to buy some!


PurFilter Invest in a water purifying pitcher like the Pur- Stage Oval Water Pitcher.  Not only will this delightful device remove 99.9% of water contaminates, but by bottling your own filtered water, you will save money and help the environment by reducing plastic waste from discarded water bottles. Click Here to take a giant gulp of green goodness!


Greenbag Bag any green guilt you may have with a reusable shopping bag. Forget paper or plastic, this Green Bee tote is a smart eco alternative.  Each pouch stores three bags and is tiny enough to take on all your shopping excursions. The bag is even made with recycable polyester.  Click Here to grab one and go!


Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more ways to go green!

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Earth, Wind & Power Blog Become a Facebook Fan

11/10/2009

Take a Trip to the Eco-Salon

Share |

By Liz Kaadou

Did you know that most blow-dryers use as much energy as an electric toaster and that nail polish is riddled with harmful solvents and resins? It is quite scary to think that almost all of the items we use on a daily basis could be harming the environment, but have no fear; there are plenty of eco-friendly beauty products for the green-go-getter in you.

Nailpolish

 

Green your manicure with PeaceKeeper all natural nail polish.  Rated as the safest paint-based natural nail polish by the Environmental Working Group, this pretty polish comes in an array of environmentally-friendly shades.  Click Here to buy.

 

 

Shampoo Get the shiny, healthy, voluminous hair you deserve- minus the harmful chemicals with Poofy Organics Lovely Lavender Shampoo.  With natural ingredients like organic lavender essential oil and organic apple cider vinegar, this shamppo will leave your hair and the environment squeaky clean!

 

 

Blowdryer

Blow-dry your hair in true green style with this Eco Ionic hair blower by Conair. This dutiful drying machine uses 25% the amount of electricity as traditional hair blowers and is packaged in one hundred percent post-consumer recyclable material. Click Here to purchase.

 

 

Shaver Shave your way to smooth skin with the Power Plus Piranha Dynamo Shaver. With no power supply needed, it is perfect for camping or traveling.  Say goodbye to dead batteries, simply wind it up to recharge and you are good to go! Click Here to buy.

 

For more eco-friendly beauty advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

 

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Roadandtravel Blog   Become a Facebook Fan

11/06/2009

New Car Review: The 2010 Hyundai Accent

Share |

By Bob Plunkett

 

HyundaiAccent Well past the morning rush, traffic flows at a brisk clip along the I-90 expressway as we head eastward out of Seattle on a course that runs through foothills of the Cascade Range.  The objective of this jaunt is to assess the poise and capability of updated and enhanced 2010 editions of Accent, the eensy-weensy economy car by Hyundai of South Korea.

 

Accent looks like a streamlined egg that conforms to a family-friendly four-door notchback sedan or cargo-hauling three-door hatchback coupe.  Out of the box with no frills attached, the new Accent Blue coupe rigged with a five-speed manual transmission lists for about $10,000.  The top model -- Accent GLS the sedan -- costs more, but still won't break $17,000.

 

Teeny-weeny compact cars in the price-conscious economy club can be a pain to drive due to physical and fiscal restraints.  But that's not the way it feels to drive the Accent.  Those riding up front do not feel so squeezed together in a tiny compartment like you might in some other economy compacts, due to a tall wrap of windows and larger seats.

 

Measures for passenger safety extend from the sturdy safety-cage construction to front seatbelts with pretensioning apparatus, backseat restraints with anchors to mount a child's seat, smart multi-stage frontal air bags and side air bags for the front seats along with curtain-style air bags tucked in the ceiling for outboard seats on two rows.

 

All 2010 Accent models carry lower friction engine components, aerodynamic improvements, low-rolling-resistance silica tires, a smart alternator management system and other enhancements aimed at trimming fuel consumption.  New economy edition Accent Blue goes further by revising the transmission gear ratios and lowering the ride height to score higher fuel economy numbers.  For Accent Blue the fuel figures reach as high as 36 mpg for highway driving using the manual five-speed transmission, or 28 mpg for city driving.  Other Accent models earn 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg city with a manual shifter.

 

Standard gear on Accent Blue ranges from variable intermittent windshield wipers to six-way adjustments for the driver's bucket and the fold-down rear seatback split 60/40, a tachometer and digital clock, two 12-volt power outlets, a defroster for the rear window and a spoiler on the tail.

 

For more information see Road &Travel Magazine's Hyundai Buying Guide or visit Hyundaiusa.com

 

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Earth, Wind & Power Blog Become a Facebook Fan

11/05/2009

Five Ways to Greener Driving

Share |

By Liz Kaadou

Cardriving If the world were an eco-oasis, we would all proudly drive swanky electric cars, jump on the super efficient subway or simply stroll to our desired destination.  But the world is not that perfect, and with work, school, the gym, errands and anything else penciled on our “to-do-list," being environmentally friendly is sometimes the last thing on our minds.  To make life a bit easier and driving a bit more “greenified,” here are five practical ways to take your car rides to the green level.

 

1)  Take the Junk out of your Trunk - we tend to accumulate everything from soccer balls to pop bottles in our trunks, and adding extra weight to your car only guzzles more gas. Try emptying your trunk and throwing away the junk every night to ensure a swift car ride the next morning.

 

2) Be Creative with Carpooling - find some buddies at work or school that live nearby and set up a car sharing schedule.  Not only is it a great way to reduce pollution but it saves you money at the pump!

 

3) Keep a Detailed Drive Schedule - keeping a schedule of all your driving destinations for the day will allow you to plan the best routes and group errands that are close to each other, thereby avoiding any unnecessary travel.

 

4) Shade Yourself - a simple way to reduce energy use is to invest in window shades. These inventive devices keep your car cooler during warm weather so your A/C can take a breather!

 

5) Fuel up at Night - Heading to the gas station later in the day is actually a plus for the environment. When you fill up your tank at the station, fumes are created by the patron in gas and are more potent during the day because the temperature is warmer.  At night, less gas evaporates, lessening the potent fumes released in our atmosphere.

 

For more eco-friendly driving advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

 

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com Bookmark and Share Digg!
Subscribe to Earth, Wind & Power Blog Become a Facebook Fan