Finding Fuels: An Alternative Fuel Mapping System

Via Treehugger:

A few weeks ago, we drove to New York with Andy, the designer of the MiniHome, in his lovely diesel Volkswagen Beetle. In the three years he had owned it, Andy has never put straight dirty diesel in it, swearing that it runs better and needs less maintenance on a straight bio diet. One has to plan ahead- there are not too many biodiesel stations around and the pickings were thin. We had a lead on a station in Troy; we got there and found that they sell it for heating but not for automotive. We found another in the Bronx; it was closed. In the end, Andy had to fill up with straight diesel for the ride home.

Now there is a new resource from MapMuse, a sort of wiki map idea where alternative fuel types can plot stations, pictures and comments- the community of biodiesel or ethanol enthusiasts can build a map that we sure hope gets to be more effective than the map we used to plan our trip. They still don’t show anything between the border at Buffalo and New York City, and we hope they do soon. ::mapmuse for Biodiesel or ::Mapmuse for Ethanol

UPDATE: Andy points out that it is not nearly as dire as I paint it, because of the incredible range of diesel cars. He averages 1000Km between fills (620 miles) and has done 1400 with a tailwind. (869 miles) so you don’t need a lot of biodiesel stations to get across the country.

Lessons Learned: The Guardian Explores Greener Schooling

Via Treehugger:

Treehugger has reported previously here, here and here on the UK based Guardian/Observer newspaper and its increased focus on sustainability. Another offering last week saw the publication taking on the subject of sustainability in schools. As part of their weekly Education section, an 8 page supplement entitled “Going Green – How to Become a Sustainable School” tackled everything from renewable energy to sustainable travel plans for pupils. Greener computer equipment, more efficient buildings, waste reduction, and awareness raising amongst pupils were also explored.

Not all of the articles appear to be available online, but their website does feature a very interesting article by Lucie Carrington on the challenge of building greener schools. Amongst other highlights was a useful list of resources for teachers including the excellent eco-schools website, details of an award from Toyota of £15,000 to registered green schools, and information on Groundwork, a charity dedicated to transforming school grounds into sustainable outdoor spaces for learning and fun.

It certainly looks like the UK’s education system is finally making some significant moves towards a greener future, and the Guardian is intent on supporting it. [Written by: Sami Grover]

Dell Raises the Bar on Computer Recycling

Via Treehugger:

Dell recently announced that it would offer free recycling of any of its machines, regardless of whether their owners were buying replacement systems from Dell. Previously, consumers needed to buy new Dell equipment to qualify for free recycling, a requirement that remains the practice for many other leading computer companies.

“Dell’s new program sets the bar high,” said Kate Krebs, executive director of the National Recycling Coalition in Washington.

With the new program, consumers will go to Dell’s Web site (see this page) to print out a mailing label, then contact the company’s recycling office to schedule a pickup by a local recycling contractor. Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer and other companies have introduced less ambitious programs to encourage the recycling of obsolete equipment.

Biodiesel Magazine: Now Available Online

Via Treehugger:

For anyone who can’t get enough transesterified plant and animal oils, Biodiesel Magazine is now available online.

The virtual version contains an archive of all print edition articles, and will feature weekly web-exclusive content, like a poll-type “Question of the Week” and an “Ask the Expert” column; the current expert question deals with the potential impact of ultra low sulfur diesel will have on the burgeoning biodiesel industry, for example.

The magazine partners with the authorities at the National Biodiesel Board and currently has 3,000 subscribers. When you want to know about the most efficient way to make it, or who’s brewing the stuff, it’s worth a read. ::Biodiesel Magazine via ::AutoblogGreen

Green Movement Sweeps U.S. Construction Industry

Read/hear the full story from NPR.

A growing demand for building projects that use environmentally friendly and energy-efficient materials has spurred a green movement in the construction industry. An estimated $10 billion of “green buildings” are in the process of construction this year in the United States.