The Green Wrap-up 17.December, 2012

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) appear to have outsold battery electric vehicles in California by about a two-to-one margin since the Toyota Prius Plug-in started US sales earlier this year, according to the state’s Center for Sustainable Energy.
Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader with five low-emission hybrid vehicles available. Since its very first Luxury hybrid in 2005, Lexus has helped advance the concept of sustainability without sacrifice. Eco-Chick had the opportunity to test drive the new Lexus ES at the ESPN Women + Sports Summit in Tucson, Arizona in October. Suffice it to say we were beyond impressed.
Were you so busy surfing the web for cool gift ideas that you totally forgot to do any actual shopping? If so, there’s no need to fret because we’ve got you covered with a last minute gift guide full of clever and imaginative presents that can be whipped up at the 11th hour. Check out all of our ideas from a basket full of practical presents they’re sure to appreciate to the ever-elusive gift of closet organization to this foolproof crowdpleaser.
When most of us were teenagers, we were more worried about an embarrassing outbreak of acne or who to ask to homecoming than the challenges of developing nations. After witnessing children in India drinking from a stagnant pool of water, 14 year-old Deepika Kurup from Nashua, New Hampshire was inspired to help “find a solution to the global water crisis.”
We wouldn’t be called TreeHugger if we didn’t have a certain fondness for trees, so it was heart-warming to learn that tree-planting is not a lost art, and that the Earth Day Network has completed the first phase of its commitment to plant 10 million trees in impoverished areas of the world in 5 years (350k done, 9 million and 650 thousand to go…).

Recipe idea: Roasted, curried squash soup with homemade bread

It might not be as cold right now as it was a few weeks ago, but winter is very much the time to cozy up indoors with homemade soup – and why not make your own bread while you’re at it!
  • (Ally)GreenJoyment: I love butternut squash! It’s tasty and packed with vitamins like potassium, folate and vitamin B6. The only part I don’t enjoy about this big beautiful gourd is the arduous process of peeling off the skin… that’s why I was thrilled when I read this recipe and saw that this soup doesn’t require peeling the squash! Yay!
One idea, touted by permaculturist Mark Shepard, is to change the farming paradigm away from annual crops to perennial crops. The concept of replanting crops every year is the norm in farming culture, but we don’t often stop to ask if that is the most efficient and environmentally friendly methodology.
There are two really remarkable differences between the American car culture, and the one in Europe. First and foremost to me is that manual transmissions are still very popular in cars of every class with Europeans. Secondly, about half of new cars sold in Europe come with diesel engines. Now several German automakers are teaming up to help push clean diesel engines here in America.

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