Daily Green Wrap-up 14.November, 2012

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered a fast way to turn algae into biocrude oil, a clean substitute for conventional crude oil. Chemical engineering professor Phil Savage and doctoral student Julia Faeth were able to pressure cook microalgae in 1,100-degree-Fahrenheit sand for about one minute, converting 65 percent of it into biocrude.
Newlight’s process converts air and greenhouse gas into high-performance thermoplastics that are not only biodegradable, but that are claimed by the company to be able to “out-compete oil-based plastics on price and performance.”
Diesel car owners in Northern California will be able to give algae-based fuel a try through a month-long pilot program offered by Propel Fuels and Solazyme.
While America struggles to accommodate the tide of vehicles on the roads, the Dutch have a different problem entirely. Rather than worrying about road rage, they are worrying about lane rage as they deal with too many bicycles on the streets. While it sounds like a nice problem to have, it does raise real questions about how to accommodate bike traffic in a country where the number of bikes outnumbers the number of people.
Bill McKibben and the folks at 350.org have decided to target the pernicious financial influence of the fossil fuel industry and its front groups. On the day following the election, they kicked off a 21-city “Do the Math” tourto “mount an unprecedented campaign to cut off the industry’s financial and political support by divesting our schools, churches and government from fossil fuels.”
When the world is grey and cold outdoors, a bit of greenery can brighten up one’s space exponentially—especially if one is an avid gardener. For the green-thumbed folks in your life, consider putting together an “Urban Gardener” kit for a holiday gift. It’s a super-simple DIY project that can be assembled at low cost from materials you can find at the hardware store, and brings happy, verdant life into someone’s heart in the depth of winter.
  • (Ally)GreenJoyment: I love this idea! It’s thoughtful and creative. I’ve also been looking into eco-friendly christmas cards and there are quite a few options out there. Look for cards made from recycled paper. There are also seeded cards that grow wildflowers when planted. You could include one of these seeded cards with your urban gardener kit instead of regular seeds!
…But far too many people are simply missing the fact that the Internet is power hungry and actually fairly ungreen. Last year alone, the Internet industry used more power than the auto-manufacturing industry. In total, it consumes the approximate output of 30 nuclear power plants annually.

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