Green Tech Book Includes Solar OLED
Those who invest in the book "Gruen Produzieren" ("Green Production Technologies") will receive an added bonus, an OLED, powered by a solar cell. The book itself, edited by the German Engineering Association in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is a sort of who's who of Germany's green leaders combined with projects going on at research centers.
Go Solar Heating With Updated Guide
Want to convert your heating system to a solar one? "Solar Water Heating", written by Bob Ramlow and Benjamin Nusz, is part of the Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series and has been recently updated and expanded. It starts with the history and gives examples of systems, including advantages and disadvantages of each. The 272 page book will help you find the proper size, type and then help you with installation, operation and maintenance. The guide is now available for pre-order.
Via "Solar Water Heating"
Neil Kaminar Simplifies Solar Projects
"Solar Basics" was penned by Neil Kaminar, a solar engineer with 40 years of experience behind him. The book is written in simplified terms and details financing, installation, testing, repair, recycling and maintenance of solar modules. One hundred illustrations are also included. Neil also wrote "Solar Design", a how-to make your own system book that comes with a CD with extra tips.
Via Neil Kaminar
Solar Bibles en Route to Haiti
A US based group is sending audible Bibles to Haiti. Designed to run on solar power, about 600 "Proclaimers" are apparently en route. The organization believes that it will provide the homeless spiritual relief. They have been around for a while and their free audio books come in 482 different translations in about 150 different countries, in this case French and Creole, Haiti's native languages.
Solar Bible Speaks to You
Now even bibles come solar-powered. The handheld audio book contains the Old and New Testaments. A one-button push can select both book and chapter. The Solar Bible has a built-in speaker, volume control, pause, bookmark and move back or forth in 15 sec. intervals. A full charge will give you up to 14 hours of play and earphones are included for privacy.
Via Solar Bible
DIY Solar Food Dryer
Eben Fodor, an organic gardener and travel guide writer with a background in engineering and solar energy, has written The Solar Food Dryer with step-by-step details on how to build your own. Keep your extra vegetables, fruits and herbs all year long by preserving them in the dryer made with inexpensive, readily available materials. Not only does the book come with several designs, it also has resources, solar charts and food drying tips.
Via Eben Fodor
Our First Official Holiday Gift Guide
We may be one of the newest green sites on the Interweb, but we are getting there, thanks to all of you who read us. For you and those surfing by, we present our first annual Holiday Gift Guide. Included are kits, panels, chargers, and stuff that just looks cool. And if you are on a budget, we will help you turn others green for little funding.
Practical Solar Stuff
Suppose you spend a bit less on toys this year and a bit more on your home, helping to save the planet at the same time. Sunforce's 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit has everything needed (sans battery) to generate power. The kit has four 15W amorphous solar panels with mounting frames, a 200 modified sine wave power inverter, a 7 amp solar charge controller, and a wiring kit with accessories. Sunforce also has a 400W Deluxe Kit that, although is steeper in price, can be used as an off-grid power supply or for backup power.
The Portable Hybrid Solar Charger can be used with an iPhone, BlackBerry or other smartphones. On cloudy days it can charge via USB. The 2 in 1 Folding Panel comes with a 6 volt, 200 mA folding solar panel, AA and AAA battery charger and multi-plug connectors. It can charge cell phones, portable game systems or PMPs. Don't forget the solar batteries.
Kits for Kids
The Thames & Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop was developed with Germany's Greenpeace, includes 320 parts for building different types of vehicles and is recommended for ages 8 - 12. RobotiKits'
6 In 1 Educational Solar Kit has one solar module and a gear box with snap together pieces for building several different solar models and is recommended for those over 10.
Elenco's OWI Super Solar Racing Car Jr. is part of their science series that also includes a Frightened Grasshopper and the Happy Hopping Frog.
The deluxe Tree of Knowledge Solar Power Science Kit offers about 150 experiments by building a solar generator, motor, water heater and more.
The Wagan Lantern is great for camping, mountaineering or emergencies. Charge in 30 - 35 hours by the sun or 15-20 hours with a 12 volt DC attachment in your cigarette lighter. Its handle, cell and lantern all rotate to get maximum exposure. SolaDyne's Table Top LED Lantern can also be hand cranked and has a foldaway hook for hanging.
If you know someone who put up a flag after 9/11 and never took it down, then he/she would love Annin's Flag Pole Solar Light that is easy to install and comes with batteries. With the Moonrays 2-Sided Address Light, everyone will be able to find your home during the holidays. It comes with a stake or can be wall mounted. Giving up to 10 hours of light, numbers and directional letters are included in the package.
Even if the Fairy is asleep, the solar globe shines with a calming green light for at least 4 hours. Who couldn't love Echo Valley's 10.5" tall Lawn Gnome with rainproof solar panels that, after charging, provides light for 4 to 6 hours.
Do it Best Imports' Tier Light 6 Pack with 2 NiCad rechargeable batteries has a clear globes, white LEDs and black finishes. Each automatically recharges during the day and turns on at dusk.
Know someone who wants to go solar but hasn't a clue? Get them "Solar Power Your Home for Dummies" . It has information on choosing and installing a system, various projects, tax rebates and incentives and how to avoid problems while doing any of the above.
Show up your neighbors by adorning your house with a string of 50 Christmas White Lights that are 23 ft. in length and turn on automatically. Decorate with a 50 bulb Net that stretches to 45 x 36".
Instead of regular wind chimes, surprise someone with Hummingbirds that light up the night. The 22 x 6 x 6" chimes are made of polyresin and include mounting bracket. Tomy's Cardinal Breezy Singer is powered by its hut
The Poof Slinky Solar Energy Lab features a collector, heater, focusing lens and thermometer and offers over 25 experiments.
Solar Beads change color more than 5,000 times and can be used over and over. They come with project and experiment booklet. The Solar World Electricity Kit comes with cell array, motor, wind propeller, optical illusions and instruction manual is a fine start to anyone who wants to understand how solar power works.
The Frost 50 LED Lamp Set can be used indoors or outdoors illuminates up to 8 hours from a full day's charge. Sylvania's LED Flashlight can be clipped on a car's visor or belt for those unexpected power outages as can the 'Green' Flashlight with 5 super-bright LEDs and built-in compass.
Although solar gifts are great, there are other gifts that we included that are related. These fall under the donation heading, because part of saving the planet is saving those on it.
The African Wildlife Foundation is trying to save elephants, mountain gorillas and other endangered species. Twenty five dollars will adopt an animal in need while a donation of $75.00 can save an entire animal family. The same is true of the National Wildlife Federation as they are dedicated to saving endangered species and their habitats. You can even become a certified Wildlife Garden by providing food and water, and places for cover and raising their young in your own back yard. A
$20.00 application fee will get you a personalized certificate that recognizes your NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat as well as other benefits.
The Sierra Club has been around since the 60's. During that time it has striven to protect the environment and preserve wilderness through various campaigns. A gift to them would be a gift for your children. The National Parks Conservation Association protects parks and the wildlife that lives in them, as well as promoting new ones.
If you want to help out your local community, think about donating to a neighborhood animal shelter or go out during the holidays and volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter. Food is always welcome at co-ops, especially if you grew it yourself and have excess, and Habitat for Humanity can always use your time and would love to welcome you on a Global Village trip, where you can help an entire community. The best gift this season is really yourself.
Site O' the Week: Mother Earth News
Mother Earth News has been around as long as we can remember, as it came out in print over 30 years ago. So it is no surprise that one of the leading green magazines deserves our SOW honor. They have always been concerned with such topics as renewable energy, homesteading, green transportation and sustainable farming, so of course they are a fine source for all things solar. The News is still available in print for now at a reduced rate of $10.00 for 6 months.
Via Mother Earth News
Solar Power Your Home For Dummies
It's true. The world of Dummie books has one for those who want to go solar but don't have a clue. "Solar Power Your Home For Dummies," by Rik DeGunther, will help you to figure out your current energy efficiency in your home and decide where solar power is best used. You can also find if the investment will be worth it before you build and whether or not you should hire someone or DIY. There is even a chapter on solar mistakes that can save you money before you get in too deep.
Then again, if you know what you are doing but like to create, "Solar Energy Projects for the Evil Genius," written by Gavin D. J. Harper, provides you with plans, instructions, parts lists, and sources. Build a solar hot dog cooker, environmentally friendly robot or "death ray" for alien invasions.
Via Solar Books
Whole Earth Catalog Lives On
Stewart Brand launched The Whole Earth Catalog in 1968. If you were fortunate enough to have grabbed a copy of any of them, you learned early how to help the planet. For example, we learned of an early solar washing machine that one could make with a used barrel with detergent and water. Add clothes, seal the barrel, place it in the back of a truck, go about your normal day, and the sun's rays heated the water while the agitation cleaned your garments. Of course, you still had to rinse, but no system is perfect.
We were pleased to see that the WEC lives on, in its original catalogs for sale, tools, words of advice and website. Take some time to read the original, contribute to the site and help keep Mr. Brand's vision going.
Via Whole Earth Catalogs