Emission-free Cooking with a Boost
Solar ovens are obviously not standard kitchen appliances, yet more people are turning to them for emission-free, guilt-free cooking.
You can use them for everything from cooking rice to roasting chickens to baking desserts, and not just in Death Valley weather. Even when the mercury stays in the pleasant zone, solar ovens function fuel-free, simply by reflecting light into a dark box area and retaining the heat with a clear lid. (Think of how hot your car gets in a parking lot.
The Tulsi oven is a unique breed of solar oven and a favorite of tech-minded cooks. It’s a portable hybrid contraption which comes with an electric booster to kick-start the heat or keep things cooking on cloudy days. Even with the electrical boost, it’s still more efficient than conventional ovens. And it comes as a clam-shell type of suitcase, ready to pack up and go wherever the dinner party may be. There’s a small learning curve with solar ovens, but essentially anything that works in a crockpot works in a solar oven.
Buy a Tulsi Hybrid Solar Oven
Here’s an innovative concept: Solar Leasing. This company will, starting in 2008, lease solar home systems, maintain them, and install them (with no upfront costs) for the same price as what you pay for electricity now.
It’s called the Citizenrē REnU program. Watch a video with Ed Begley, and check out the basic info “here”:http://www.liveearthsolar.com/. Essentially, you pay to Citizenrē what you would normally pay to your existing electricity supplier during the lease term, which runs in one, five and thirty year increments. But you lock in the rate at the beginning of each term, so even if your electric company raises its rates during the same period, you’re not affected. Plus, you stay on the grid in case the solar system fails or runs low on solar reserves.
It sounds like a winning concept for the environment (no greenhouse gases from solar energy), and for the consumer (no rate increases, no purchase or installation costs, or maintenance issues for what would otherwise be a very costly venture). The company is taking orders now for launch in 2008. It sounds great, but I haven’t read all the fine print and am always cautious about working with a company that’s still tweaking their operations and their local installers (especially since we live in a rural area).
If anyone takes them up on the deal, tell the rest of us how it goes. But if they can make this system work, what a great step toward solar energy for all. If they deliver as promised, and they service my area, we’ll be certain to sign up. Check out Citizenrē REnU at “http://www.liveearthsolar.com/”:http://www.liveearthsolar.com/
“If you say you can remember the 60’s, you weren’t really there.”
While Bill Graham’s Fillmore pulsed with San Francisco psychedelicos, the Vulcan Gas Company was blowing open its doors to a nascent Austin counterculture, deep in the heart of Texas. Then came the Armadillo World Headquarters, where acts like BB, ZZ, and Zappa played to a mixed bag of hippies, cowboys and suits.
Now, Austin, TX has rolled out a new music stage. Literally. It’s on wheels, it’s green, and it may be heading for a town near you.
Austin remains an incubator of cutting edge everything, from music to tech to green. Besides billing itself as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is host to SXSW (the South by Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Festival), and the PBS series Austin City Limits, on air since 1976 and now an annual festival in its own right. So it’s not surprising that a portable solar powered music stage has fired up here.
Sustainable Waves converts trailers to green music stages: Solar panels generate enough energy to power up sound equipment, as well as charge reserve batteries for use on cloudy days. The sides of the trailers lock down in transit, then pop up upon arrival. In just minutes, the stage is ready to rock and roll, compared to the hours a crew of stage hands needs to mount a traditional stage. And because it’s completely self-powered and self-contained, without wiring or plug-ins, music can go wherever the trailer goes, to parks, lakes, ranches, beaches or neighborhoods. Sustainable Waves rents their big green music machines to bands for performances both in town and on the road.
Plus, listeners get to hear solar energy in action. They come away with a good time and a greener perspective. So far, the Sustainable Wave and its Eco Tune package has made a splash at venues in Telluride, Joshua Tree, San Diego, Santa Fe and other hip places.