Earth Hour 2011 is nearly upon us and it’s time to decide if you are going to participate. It’s pretty easy to shut off the lights and power down your electronics for a single hour. Geeks have never done anything halfway, though, and this should be no exception. There are several other ways you can show your support for this fantastic event, as well as many ways you can make some serious life changes.
At 8:30 PM on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has lent his voice to Earth Hour’s global ‘lights out’ action calling on citizens of the world to use the moment to make a commitment to one ongoing environmental act: “Switch off your lights and switch on to the meaning of Earth Hour. Join this global call by the people, for the planet.”
How can you take part other than turning off the lights in your home? Why not consider turning the lights off on Twitter? By signing in with your account and choosing your time zone, you’ll be ready to join what could potentially become millions of others in showing solidarity across the popular micro-blogging platform. Once signed in, the application will automatically send out a Tweet to show your support. Then, when Earth Hour hits in your time zone, your avatar will change to a darkened one automagically.
Please note: your avatar will NOT change back! You can either manually change it yourself or click here to put the old one back in its place.
How can you go beyond the hour in your own life? There’s more to it than simply shutting off lights, folks. You can find many ideas on Beyond the Hour, including:
- Cutting down the use of plastics.
- Rollerblading, biking or walking to work instead of driving.
- Switching bulbs to more energy-efficient ones.
- Recycle products whenever possible.
… and the list continues. You can even add your own pledge and suggestions to help others.
You may not think that it’s such a “big deal” to work on saving this Earth, but I’m pretty sure your kids and grandkids will thank you for it.
I think I am in the wrong line of business. I knew already that Facebook’s Farmville was a huge hit. Every time I log into the site, I see people harvesting their crops and begging me to fertilize them. I’ve also seen people cooking up delicious things in their restaurants on Cafe World. I’ve heard (and read) that you can use real money to advance yourself in these games. I had no idea, though, just how huge of a market this is until now.
The people behind World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment, struck gold this week – literally. In the past, they have occasionally offered limited-edition virtual pets for sale in their online store. Pay Blizz some real money, and you can have yourself a seriously cool pet on the toon of your choosing. This week, the geniuses introduced a new Celestial Steed, which allows you to “travel in style astride wings of pure elemental stardust.” I’ll admit that the steed is pretty cool looking. But I can’t see paying twenty-five real dollars for it if I was already paying fifteen every month just for the privilege of playing the game.
Apparently, one heck of a lot of people disagree with me, though. Blizz is reporting that in the first four hours that the mount was available they made an astonishing two MILLION dollars just off of that pet alone. That is over eight-thousand smackers per minute.
The mount doesn’t give a player any advantages in the game over other subscribers. It simply looks cool. Who knew that you could make a fortune in moments through a virtual game? I need to put my brain to work to come up with one of my own.
Photo courtesy of MMO Champion and Blizzard Entertainment.
You don’t have to play WoW or even join Facebook in order to see what’s new in our software center.
There’s this thing called “Earth Hour,” and it’s happening today at 8:30pm – you can “Vote Earth” by switching off your lights for one hour. That would be… Earth Hour. So, I asked my Twitter followers:
More Earth Day Green Tips from Ideal Bite. This one is for all of you living somewhere where Spring has really begun. Here in Seattle we finally got some Spring weather last weekend (70 degrees and sunny), but now they’re calling for snow this weekend!
Looking to save an extra buck at the gas pump? Be cool AND smart.
If you feel a little warm in your car this spring, roll your windows down while driving around town, but kick on the AC if you are going more than 45 mph. We all know that air conditioners drag down our vehicle’s fuel efficiency. But once over 45 mph, your car windows provide wind resistance and actually decrease your engine’s efficiencies at higher speeds.
- Save money. Being smart about your cooling system can save 10-20% on fuel consumption, and with today’s gas prices, who isn’t looking for a break?
- For extra savings, use the recirculation feature in your ventilation system when the AC is on – it cools the already cool air in your car down, lowering the temps faster.
- Reduce nasty emissions that are harming the environment and decreasing our air quality.
- Keep your hairdo. We used to arrive at places looking like we were trying to recreate the 80s (before it was a retro move). Feel free to roll them up now when going faster, and keep your ‘do.
Like most of you, we’re both kind of missing the days when we worried about fuel prices in the $2 range.
Well, just roll down your windows around town. Some additional tips for saving fuel as prices keep climbing:
- Keep all 4 windows down to reduce wind drag. With the back windows open, air can escape from the car easily.
- Use cruise control whenever possible to keep the car at a steady speed and avoid haphazard starts and stops.
- Remove extra weight from your trunk – which sort of wrecks our tendency to use the car to store stuff we are planning to take to Goodwill.
- For more tips on increasing your gas mileage, visit Green Car Club.
Ideal Bite offers light green living tips for real people who lead busy lives and want to make small changes that add up to big results. (In other words it’s for all of us who don’t have the time or the energy to reduce their carbon footprint to zero.) Their Daily Tips cover everything from energy saving gadgets to eco-pet products to saving money at the gas pump. In addition to their general Daily Tips newsletter, they also offer newsletters for eco-living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.
Earth Day is only eight days away, so we contacted our friends at Ideal Bite to see if they had some tips to share. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, Ideal Bite offers light green living tips for real people who lead busy lives and want to make small changes that add up to big results. (In other words it’s for all of us who don’t have the time or the energy to reduce their carbon footprint to zero.) Their Daily Tips cover everything from energy saving gadgets to eco-pet products to saving money at the gas pump. In addition to their general Daily Tips newsletter, they also offer newsletters for eco-living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.
Here’s one of my favorite Ideal Bite tips from a couple of months ago – Energy Saving Gadgets. The Trevor Baylis Eco Media Player sounds especially sweet. Anyone out there have one yet?
What’s underneath your trench coat?
Besides your birthday suit. Answer: gizmos that put Inspector Gadget to shame. Here are our energy-saving, waste-reducing green gadget picks. Now go-go gadget eco-tip!
- Getting a clue about sustainability. Geeks (including girl geeks) love being on the cutting edge – and green technology that combines recycled and sustainable materials with usefulness is the newest wave of gadgetry.
- Wowsers! These contraptions won over the gizmo-nerds on the Bite team.
Brett, who bikes to work on his tricked-out Surly Karate Monkey (even through the MT snow), mounted a HYmini on his bike and uses it to charge his cell phone.
- HYmini – a portable charger for your cell or mp3 player that powers up using solar and/or wind energy ($50). (ThinkGeek has the HYmini for $49.95 and don’t forget to use coupons).
- Trevor Baylis Eco Media Player – video and MP3 player, radio, flashlight, and cell-phone charger all in one wind-up gadget (£130/$259).
- Vers iPod Dock – 15-watt speaker with remote that amplifies music from your iPod or iPhone; made using sustainable wood and packaged in recycled materials ($150).
- USBCell AA Batteries – batteries you can recharge hundreds of times using your computer’s USB ports ($17.50/2).
- Dynamo Illuminator Flashlight – get a forearm workout and a lotta light with this wind-up flashlight ($7.50).
- Make – DIY instructions for making everything from furniture to an LED bike helmet.
Mini HyMINI Review
I have a HyMINI wind-powered charger that usually doubles as an LED bike light when I’m getting around San Francisco at night. It’s lighter than it looks, and charges up even when I’m not biking fast as the, uh, wind. I love the efficiency of the gadget, and, last but not least, it works great as a conversation piece when you’re parking your bike and wanna chat up the cute biker chaining up their bike next to you.
-Toshio…off to ride like the wind…