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French energy company Total is to invest $1.37 billion in the U.S. solar company SunPower. Total is estimating the renewable energy to become competitive with fossil fuels in the near future. When Total approached SunPower with this offer, Total’s stock was already declining.

SolarPower is one of the biggest renewable energy companies out there and it has been one of the fastest growing companies in the past few years. Before Total approached SolarPower, Total has spent two years looking at 200 different companies before making their decision on SolarPower.

If everything goes according to the plan, Total will own 60 percent of Class A common shares and 60 percent of Class B common shares of SunPower’s stock. Total refused to sell the whole company because it wanted to maintain the Silicon Valley’s “entrepreneurial pace.”

Both companies have also decided to keep SunPower’s current managerial team. This shows great companionship between these companies that will set an example for many similar contracts in the future.

This is good news to anyone who is concerned with sustainability. Just the gesture of an oil company investing that much money in the renewable energy will create a much needed awareness. This will start a chain reaction for other oil companies to move toward an alternative fuels or to at least consider partial investments in the renewable energy.

This could actually mark the beginning of the new era.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20058546-54.html?tag=mncol;txt

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Beavers have been around for thousands of years. They play very important part in our ecosystem.  When beavers take trees down, they usually drop them in a strategic location. This kind of action keeps small ponds from drying out and therefore provides water for other species.

So next time someone encounters a beaver, please let them know how much their work is appreciated.

Here is a top ten list of beaver appreciation gestures.

1. When a beaver is nearby, greet it with a respect by calling it “Sir Beaver”

2. If possible, come up to a beaver and brush it’s teeth.

3.  Take a beaver on a ride along, they love cars.

4. Give a beaver a high five to it’s tail.

5. Challenge a beaver to a half a mile swim.

6. Kiss beaver’s nose

7. Read beaver a happy poem.

8. Watch “Friends” with a beaver.

9. Compliment beaver’s hair.

10. Spend a whole night cuddling with a beaver.

Please consider these beautiful gestures when encountering a beaver.

Many people think that if someone has all of the money in the world, they would not care about the environment. That has been a major misconception about the rich people and celebrities. Today celebrities rather ride their bicycle than be stuck in a polluting car.

Everybody knows celebrities are rich, therefore they have no ego to protect. They are free to do what they want. It seems all they want to do is set an example for others to follow.

Let’s see who is going green.

          Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Looks like they are going for a family ride, but the cars behind them aren’t too happy.

By Emma Grady

Up next we have Jake Gyllenhaal

Spotted in Hudson River Park in NYC. It looks like he is playing it on a safe side with that helmet.

By Emma Grady

Owen Wilson

It looks that Owen is not in the paparazzi mood, but rather in the going green mood.

By Emma Grady

Last, but not least we have Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Refaeli enjoying their day in NYC.

By Emma Grady

These celebrities are setting a prime example for everyone to follow.

The green community solutes them.

http://www.treehugger.com/galleries/2008/12/our-favorite-guys-on-bikes.php?


The greenest transportation around is the bicycle. The problem is that some bicycles are bulky and too heavy for most people. Most of the stores only sell these kind of bicycles. Therefore people have a narrow minded perspective on what is available.

There are foldable bicycles on the market that will fulfill the idea of compact and light. Some of these bikes have set world records as far as being able to fit into buses, yachts, cars and trains.

These bikes have smaller wheels, but are still very fast.

See most popular ones below.

Nice!!

What: Citizen Bike Alloy
Where: Citizen
Why: The heaviest model in this little review, at 14 kg (30 lbs), but with the lightest price. Not bad for a six speed 20” folding bike.
How much: $254

Dennis's favorite

What: iXi Breakaway
Where: iXi Bike
Why: Separating four speed 12.25 kg (27 lbs) city bike, sports a greaseless composite drive chain, integrated carry handle and rain poncho!
How much: $1,000

sweet!!

What: Bike Friday Tikit
Where: Bike Friday
Why: Made in the USA 11 kg (23.7 lbs) commuter that folds in 5 seconds, from a company with legendary customer loyalty
How much: $1,195

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/11/buygreen-small-wheel-folding-bikes.php

Apple is one of the leading technology companies. Many people associate Apple with earth friendliness and sustainability. Therefore Apple has charts and websites dedicated to show how green they are in comparison to the other companies. People tend to wonder if the statistics are actually true.

Geekphone has decided to do their own eco impact testing of the iPhone. Since there are 100 million iPhones out there, it seems like an important thing to do. They did a good job in this infographic shown below.

Geekaphone's How Green is the iPhone Infographic

Geekphone points out that upgrading should only be done when necessary. The recycling process seems to be just as important. The last thing to note is that the purchase of a used iPhone can probably be most important on the whole list.

With so many iPhones on the market, the impact it can have is fairly dramatic.

Please consider this infographic next time the new iPhone comes out.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/04/how-green-is-the-iphone-infographic-explains.php

Caring about the environment varies vastly from society to society. Most people grow up accustomed to throwing everything away into one trashcan. The Industrial Revolution had a lot to do with it, and has socially conditioned many people to be narrow minded about the environment.  Some of them don’t even understand who and why someone would bother to recycle, reuse and save electricity.  Their question would be “ Who cares about the environment?”

As a child, growing up in the late 80’s was fun and exciting. One of my favorite relaxations was to go fishing in the pond near my house. The place was always secluded and I would usually go swimming right after the fishing session was over. The place was beautiful and whenever I couldn’t be there, I would just close my eyes to imagine it. Even with my eyes closed I could remember the gentle breeze carrying green leaves across the pond, water reflecting sunrays, birds singing and the presence of love was all around me. I had the whole place memorized and I felt unique connectedness to everything that was there.

Sometime later we moved to a big city, which was noisy, dirty, chaotic and stressful. The daily life there consisted of going to school that had fights break out everyday, rushing to work with my mom, hearing gunshots at night. Yet with all that madness, I could always remember my beautiful pond atmosphere.

One day my parents decided to go back to our old house. I remember being super excited and joyful. As a child I was somewhat introverted, but on that day no one could shut me up. The trip was only few hours away, so the whole way there I had my eyes closed remembering the place I’m about to revisit.

After our arrival to the old house, I immediately took off running toward my place of tranquility. I was nearly sprinting and tripping on rocks trying to get there.  When I made my last step over the hill, I nearly dropped to my knees.

Everything was gone.

Instead of trees there were only stumps, instead of clean water there was gasoline floating on top and there was no fish, no birds, and nothing alive around. All I saw was some food wrappers and some metal brackets.

As sadness was clouding my mind the anger was slowly creeping in to take full control. I kept asking myself  “why would somebody do this?”

On that day I lost a part of me. That lost part became a great motivator for me to live a sustainable life.

So, who cares about the environment?

Its the people who feel the unique connection to nature and have experienced the destruction of it.

I am one of those people.

Silva Limited is introducing the most durable and sustainable Macbook case on the market. The case is made out of bamboo and has wool felt inside of it. Silva Limited focuses on making the custom bamboo cases for the 13 inch and 15 inch Macbooks. While the case is beautiful, the price might be too high for some folks.

Photos by Silva Ltd.

When it comes to sustainable materials, the bamboo is on top five list. Bamboo has been used for centuries in home construction, boat construction and gardening tools. In the past five decades the bamboo has been phased out due to the industrial’s ability to reproduce a bit stronger materials. It wasn’t a problem until the world realized how many hazardous chemicals were being used in the production process of such materials. The society today is becoming more aware of the damage that has been done upon earth. Therefore, bamboo is coming back in popularity.

With today’s technology the bamboo can be made as strong as steel. There are already several bicycle and motorcycles manufactures that use bamboo for their frame construction.

The bamboo is also spreading to the protective products, such as cases.

Silva Limited is being one of the leading manufacturers in bamboo cases today.

All of the Silva Ltd bamboo cases are made specifically for Macbooks. They are hand crafted by Justin Silva and thoroughly tested for a perfect fit. Since the cases are made out of bamboo, they only weigh two pounds and are extremely sturdy.  The handle is made out of genuine leather, which will probably out last the Macbook.

Photos by Silva Ltd.

Anything handcrafted is usually built with highest quality in mind and that quality is certainly reflected in the price of $179.99.

The price can be justified by someone who travels a lot or someone who is just completely in love with their Macbook.

The bottom line is, the case is gorgeous, sustainable and durable.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/04/beautiful-bamboo-case-for-macbook-laptops-are-sustainably-stylish.php

The Lito Green Motion has manufactured an electric motorcycle that goes up to 124 miles per hour. The company has originated from Canada and has decided to build the fastest electric motorcycle available on the market. The motorcycle is called “Sora” and can travel 185 miles on a single charge. It is safe to say that this motorcycle looks awesome.

When it comes to electric motorcycles, the aesthetics are usually the weakest aspect of the whole. Many electric motorcycles look like an oversized moped these days.

But, not anymore!

Photo: Lito Green Motion

The Lito Green Motion from Canada is introducing an all new Sora. The Sora has pretty impressive specifications and definitely falls under the superbike category. What is even more impressive is that the biker can change the driving dynamics by adjusting the seat configuration with a push of a button.

Most of the controls reside on the GPS system, which is built in near the steering wheel. Since there isn’t a gas tank in the middle, it allows for more room for the additional technology and other equally impressive specification. (See list)

All this innovation comes at a price of $44,000.

The company allows anyone to reserve a test drive and with this kind of price, it is highly recommended.

On a positive side, tax incentives and rebates will apply and might justify the high price.

The bike should be available during October of 2011.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/04/sora-electric-motorcycle-lito-green-motion.php#ch02

LED bulb cost reduction

The LED manufacture Cree has announced a new LED bulb breakthrough. Cree is claiming to have produced an LED light that is similar to incandescent light bulb in color reproduction and in uniformity. Cree has also mentioned a major cost reduction in LED bulb production. This will mean that the possibility of LED bulbs may rise up to 46 percent in commercial lighting industry by 2020.

MR-16 bulb components that go with new Cree XM-L EasyWhite LEDs. (Credit: Cree)

When it comes to light bulb sustainability, the LED technology cannot be beaten. LED lights only use four watts of power, while offering 340 lumens of brightness. The incandescent bulbs use as much as 100 watts of power.

So why aren’t LED bulbs everywhere by now?

The main reason is they are considered to be too expensive. Depending on the company, some LED bulbs can go as high as $50 per bulb. Up until now CFL bulbs have been dominating the market, but because CFL’s contain mercury, many environmentalists are ruling against them.

Cree has claimed to find a new way of reducing the LED cost. The company mainly specializes in projection light fixtures and initially is going to sell package deals to various companies. The actual price reduction hasn’t been announced yet, but If Cree will reduce the price down equivalent to CFL bulbs then the CFL’s will be a thing of the past.

Researchers at University of Illonois are in process of implementing Nanostructured materials into batteries. Professor Paul Braun has been working with his team to make a highly porus metal foams. These foams help battery to stores a sufficient amount of energy much faster. Nanostructured materials have been too hard to work with in the past, but now the technology is there.

Nissan Leaf battery (just as an illustration of an EV battery, they don't have this technology yet). Photo: Nissan

Batteries are the most used source of portable electricity today. In the last few years batteries have been making their way into car manufacturing business. People love the idea of not paying for gas, but having to wait six hours to charge a vehicle is a major turn off for many consumers.

This creates a critical demand for a battery that can charge much quicker.

Professor Paul Braun has a team of researchers who have helped him implement a new technology for faster charging. This technology consists of highly porous metal foams, which will provide a high electrical conductivity. If this technology works as planned, the charging stations will be able to charge electric cars within minutes.

The ability to charge an electric car faster than pumping gas will attract many consumers.

It is safe to say that this day will come soon, so most vehicles could be replaced with electrical vehicles.

Also consider Toyota just reached 1,000,000 Prius sales in the U.S. With this kind of demand electrical vehicles could rule the world in about ten to fifteen years.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/04/batteries-nanostructured-metal-foams-charge-minutes.php