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Which is greener?

Posted by admin on Aug 28th, 2008
Aug 28

I’ve been wondering lately, which is greener – to use a paper cup for beverages or to use a reusable ceramic mug? I know conventional environmental thinking is to use the ceramic mug since it’s not cutting down trees and being dumped in a landfill (at least not after the first use). But, since water is such a precious resource then is it worse to throw a bio-degradable cup away, or to use the 8oz of water to clean the mug? Which is more valuable in the end?

Just a thought.

Hypermiling update

Posted by admin on Aug 21st, 2008
Aug 21

I’ve been doing some more experimenting with hypermiling lately. One big thing I’ve found is that 40mph is kind of a sweet spot for driving efficiency for my car (the 2007 Dodge Charger). The way I know this is because of how the car coasts. If I’m going 50 on level pavement, and I put the car in neutral to coast to a light or stop sign, the speed quickly drops at a rate of about a mile a second until it hits 40mph. Once it hits 40 then it drastically changes the deceleration and is about one mile per 5+ seconds. It has proven to be very consistent.

What this tells me is that, if possible, I should try to typically drive no faster than 40mph on surface streets. Doing so will significantly reduce drag, increase overall efficiency, and overall mpg. This has altered my driving a bit and I either try to avoid higher speed streets, or I end up not always “keeping up” with the other drivers and actually driving the speed limit more often. Even though my driving style needed to be altered to accommodate for my findings, it’s all worth it in the end – for at least two reasons. One is the increased mileage, and two is the less aggressive driving style. Of course there are negatives too – most commonly, more people tailgate me now. I’ve learned to ignore them.

I’m not going to have as many opportunities to practice my hypermiling in the car starting in about a week. I bought a motorcycle for my daily commuting and my wife will start using the car as her daily driver instead of the Yukon (yes, the full sized SUV. Can’t trade it in….). She is also going to be getting a scooter soon so the car may end up sitting for long periods of time in the near future. Between my motorcycle and her scooter, we’ll be going from around $450 a month in gas to about $100 a month, as well as producing a lot less CO2.

I now work for an eco-friendly company

Posted by admin on Aug 11th, 2008
Aug 11

It wasn’t what I set out to do, but it was a pleasant surprise to find out that my new job is with a company that is conscious about environmental issues and has things it place to promote green habbits. There are signs up all over the office about “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, they have an energy efficient coffee machine from, a soda fountain (i.e. no cans), water coolers (so no bottled water, like at my last job), recycling recepticles, and even the building is Energy Star rated. I didn’t even know a building could be Energy Star rated!

I’ve been a little busy lately coming up to speed at the new job so I haven’t been updating as often as I’d like, but I will take some pictures and post them sometime this week.