Norway May Ban Gasoline Cars by 2015

Norway is looking at the option to ban gasoline-powered cars to be sold in Norway. Under the proposal hybrids, flex-fuels, and biofuel powered cars can still be sold, which means that the plan is quite reasonable. I really hope they go forward with this plan – and hopefully other countries will follow.

“This is much more realistic than people think when they first hear about this proposal,” she told Reuters, defending a plan by her Socialist Left Party to outlaw sales of cars that run solely on fossil fuels in six years’ time.

Halvorsen denied that her proposal would undermine the economy — Norway is the world’s number six oil exporter.

“Not at all … we know that the world will be dependent on oil and gas for many decades ahead but we have to introduce new technologies and this is a proposal to support that,” she said.

Asked what she would say if she met the head of a big car producer such as General Motors, she said: “develop new and more environmentally friendly cars. And I know they are working on that question.”

Singapore’s Billion Dollar Green Plan

Singapore has announced their ambitious plan to make the republic green. It seems like their ultimate goal is to have a sustainable lifestyle and economy in order to have an edge over other places – good for them!

If successful, it will make energy usage here more efficient, reduce pollution and expand the nation’s green spaces – even as the demand for resources rises along with economic growth.

The report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development (IMCSD) – co-authored by five different ministries – also pledges to advance Singapore’s ambition to be a clean technology and urban environmental solutions hub.

This sector is set to add an estimated $3.4 billion to economic output and create 18,000 ‘green collar’ jobs by 2015.

GPS Directions Help Save the Environment

One of the largest makers of consumer GPS devices has commissioned a study on fuel consumption in cars that have GPS devices and cars that lack the feature. The conclusion is that having a device that informs drivers about traffic can lower emissions. Of course, if you can avoid taking a car you should do so.

In a three pronged study which evaluated drivers without a navigation system, drivers with a navigation system, and drivers with a navigation system that included traffic, the results revealed that drivers using navigation devices 1) drove shorter distances and 2) spent less time driving. Conducted in two metropolitan areas of Germany – Dusseldorf and Munich – the study also showed that drivers with navigation devices had a 12% increase in fuel efficiency, as measured by liters of fuel consumed per 100 kms. Fuel consumption among those drivers using navigation fell from 8.3 to 7.3 l/100kms.
This increase in fuel economy translates to an estimated .91 tons (metric) decrease in carbon dioxide emissions every year per driver, or a 24% decrease over the amount that the average non-navigation user emits per year. Stated in terms of grams/km the reduction equates to 25 g/km per car. And with an annualized decrease in driving of nearly 2500 fewer kilometers per driver, 1.19 million tires would also be saved from disposal in Germany due to the decrease in wear and tear.

Cannabis Houses = Zero Carbon

Hemp, part of the cannabis genus, is a great building material according to researchers in the UK. EcoWorldly has a good write-up on the hemp housing research.

Technically speaking, hemp is the common name for plants of the entire Cannabis genus, although the term is more typically used to refer only to strains of industrialized varieties which are not cultivated for drug use. Because industrialized hemp grows so quickly, requires almost no pesticides or herbicides, controls topsoil erosion and is a significant carbon sink, many environmentalists have been touting the plant as an eco-friendly miracle crop for decades. Furthermore, hemp can serve as a green-minded replacement for many other raw materials which aren’t good for the environment, such as tree paper, plastics and certain clothing fibers. Hemp seeds are also edible, and hemp seed oils offer healthy alternatives to other cooking oils.

Good Room Design Ideas

Some good design news and how you can improve your decor to change how you think for the better.

Architects have long intuited that the places we inhabit can affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. But now, half a century after Salk’s inspiring excursion, behavioral scien -tists are giving these hunches an empirical basis. They are unearthing tantalizing clues about how to design spaces that promote creativity, keep students focused and alert, and lead to relaxation and social intimacy. Institutions such as the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture in San Diego are encouraging interdisciplinary research into how a planned environment influences the mind, and some architecture schools are now offering classes in introductory neuroscience.

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