I quickly wanted to leave an update. I’ve been really busy with all the work over at Ukoonto. So if you want to keep in touch about things that I do, please go to Ukoonto’s webpage to follow all the work going on there.
I also quickly wanted to post about an awesome house just outside of Toronto. It’s called the Wilson Natural Home. For more info and a video click here. The Wilson Home is going to host an open house on October 19th 2008 and you will definitely find me there. It’s so interesting and this is exactly what I would like to do. Our little house has just been the beginning.
As I understand correctly, Unicell was approached by Purolator to develop a modern delivery truck for urban zones that is not only economical, but also much healthier for the operators and the environment. First, the team observed what a delivery truck really does in one day of operations and they found out that the truck only drives for about 60 km’s and makes about 200 stops in 10 hours per day.
The team built a fully electric truck, that kneels and has very low ground clearance, eliminating the steps that the operator/deliverer needs to take every time he walks into and out of the old style (box) trucks. This reduces the wear on the driver, speeds up his work day and the reduces the risk of injury (therefor also the down time of sick operators, which is very costly in a large company). The doors also open and close automatically, which enables the operator to use a two wheel dolly of and on the truck. The truck was used for 7 weeks in the fall of 2007 and all the operators really liked it. The batteries for the electric drive train never ran out.
This truck is a very good example of a company that thought an old concept through and created a product that is much more economical, and healthy for employees and the environment.
The following videos show the truck in action.
I would also like to add, that Purolator also uses another company called Azure Dynamics to retrofit their already existing fleet of box trucks to be hybrid diesel trucks, which cuts down on the carbon footprint of the fleet.
Last but not least, here is some food for thought, for some really advanced environmental solutions. The team from Unicell explained to me that these kind of trucks can be used for a very advanced electrical grid. This is a very theoretical scenario, but very possible in the future. One of the problems of having an electrical grid that relies on wind, hydro-electric and other renewable energy sources is the availability of the power in the grid. If the wind happens to blow a little less and therefor not provide as much power as needed, some energy needs to be stored. This is where a large fleet of these kind of trucks comes in: In an extremely smartly designed electrical grid, the electric batteries in the trucks can provide power back into the grid. It is very well possible to know, that the trucks don’t need the energy stored in the batteries at a certain time (ie: on weekends or at night) and feed it back into the grid and still be fully charged by the time the truck is needed.
… But where are we walking to? If you’re interested in walking some more, but don’t really know what’s all close by, just go on “Walk Score”. You might be surprised what you’ll all find within your neighborhood.
More than 150 large corporations just pledged to reduce their carbon emissions according to this news article on Reuters. Lets not forget about this pledge and remind them of their own goals. Something is happening and it’s good!
I just found a webpage that I need to report about. More and more people understand the importance of eating properly, now it’s time to understand how it is to “house properly”.
When we (my wife Carolyn and I) purchased our house in November it was very important to us that it was not a cookie cutter house. So we got a beautiful old house and renovated it to our liking with environmentally methods and materials. You should do the same, it feels so good to live in environment that is anti fast food.
I would like start of by introducing you to a quote from Albert Einstein:“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
I found this on the page of Grassroots – an environmental store in Toronto. Since I read this quote I was not able to forget it. It’s so interesting to reflect on it.
I often get involved in discussions about our environmental issues and about possible solutions. One of the very common arguments I get to hear is: “Well, what are we going to do with … [fill in whatever new waste product is going to be generated] when we are done with it?” … It is very hard to get people to snap out of this kind of old thinking.
If we look back in history, we have found solutions for so many types of problems, so why don’t we learn from it and trust that we will be able to come up with solutions. Lets go beyond our mental borders and find new solutions.
Here’s an example regarding electric cars: Maybe we will one day exchange empty standard battery packs at “gas stations”/”recharging stations” with freshly charged packs. It’s possible!
There is many different creative approaches to issues that seem to be to big to solve, let’s rethink our problems, because everything is rethinkable!