Thursday, February 26, 2009

2nd BiWeekly Post - New Orleans MIR

This weekend I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras with Sarah and her coworker Kaile. We drove up and stayed with a friend of a friend and it turned out really great. As soon as we got there we dropped our stuff off and hit up a parade right near Tulane University. Not exactly the most eco-friendly of a holiday. The place gets trashed and beads are literally everywhere. But its a good to relax about that stuff once in a while I guess.

The next day we decided to go west of Tulane and New Orleans to check out the above ground tombs. Here is a shot of Kaile next to some of the Tombs.

Just randomly after breakfast we happen to be stumble upon a really interesting looking house. It was so interesting and we had taken a wrong turn to get there so we got out to check it out. After further inspection I saw it had Solar Panels, Solar Hot Water Heaters, and Rainwater Harvesting... this was not just a normal house. (Its pictured below)

So after some encouragement from Sarah, I went up to the front door (I mean what I figured was the front door... it wasn't that clear) and hoped for the best. What we got was beyond the best. The man inside was the Architect of the building (his home) and his company (Conchordia) had designed 2 of the house designs for Brad Pitt's Make It Right Project we were about to go see! So he took us around the house and showed us all the wonderful ways he had made his house more sustainable. He designed his house to be a lab, where he could see which techonologies worked and which did not. The house was LEED Gold I believe.

After we thanked Steven for showing us his lovely house we headed to the 9th ward to check out The Make it Right Project.

The place was totally devistated, there was nothing on this flat piece of land except 6 or so new houses from the MIR project. There was a group of people hanging outside this house below.
They were very nice and actually offered to show us around the house. Gloria, I believe was her name, was given the very first house in the 9th ward and she was able to tell the Architect exactly what she wanted (where as everyone else has to pick from the 13 eco-designs). On the inside the house was pretty normal, but there were a lot of bedrooms and people living in this house. They gave us home cooked Ribs and told us to stay but we were ready to move on and felt they had been kind enough (I tried ribs... 2 bites).

The trip was really great and I am really interested in going back to the 9th ward a year or so from now to see the progress that they have made. They are suppose to build 150 houses and they have funding for 90ish houses so far. Don't forget to check out the website for MIR and more of my pictures on facebook.


Monday, February 9, 2009

1st BiWeekly Post - DC Car Show

Earth 911 is a great site for your questions about how to dispose of things you don't need anymore. For instance, I just looked up motor oil and it went into the hows and whys to recycle used motor oil.

Green Yahoo is another site I just came upon. Its a collection of green blogs.

So this weeks story....

On Sunday, my Dad and I went to the DC car show. We almost could have gotten away with not paying because the main attraction (that I wanted to see - The Green Cars), was at the entrance before they collected tickets.

There were a number of green and "green" cars. Electric cars, propane powered cars, dieseal cars, plug ins, hybrids, biofuel and solar powered cars.

Here is the i MiEV from Mitsubishi

Cool little car, going to be all electric, I couldn't find a lot on it because most of the info was in Japanese.

We saw the old Rav-4 Electric Car that Toyota did years ago in response to California's 90's EV standards.

So then there were a bunch of other "green cars" (like biofuels and weak hybrids) and they were boring. So we did pay $20 for parking downtown and $12 each so we decided to get our money's worth and check out the main show rooms.

Inside we were able to walk through and pick out the hybrids and concept cars staggered between the SUV's and junk.

Here is the Chevy Volt

It was weird that they wouldn't open up the hood.

My dad and I really liked this Hybrid SUV. The Saturn Vue Hybrid. It is out right now (2009 Car) and in a year or so they are going to have a V6 plug-in version that is going to get even better mileage.

I found a site where this company took this car (2006 version) and made it a plug in that gets 150 mpg. Here is it

This was my Dad's favorite. It in the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid. Suppose to get 100 mpg. It is a 2011 car so a little ways off but possible worth the wait. Video here

And My favorite was the Tesla Roadster. It was really cool to finally see this car in person. The black model was all the way in the back and we thought that was so strange. Even when we got to the middle and found this red one, no sales person was telling people about it.

Side note - here is an article about Tesla getting $350 million in a few months to start production of their new car the model S.
Article Here

And Finally to show I am not a cold heartless only electric car person.... here is a nice petro car.

Ford GT i think.

That's It see you next week.