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Driving in cold weather? Skip the "warm up." As Ecomodder.com points out, an idling engine gets "zero miles per gallon." (And it's environmentally uncool.) Also recheck your tire inflation as the season cools; air temperature affects tire inflation and you may need a "fill up."

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Really green Christmas gifts for 2008

November 24th, 2008

The Voltaic Solar Panel Messenger Bag – portable solar power

This seems like such a no-brainer. Get someone a messenger back with its own juice. But there are some hang ups. Will this person be able to access the sun? Some offices lacking windows just aren’t set up for a mid-afternoon recharge. But if you’re pretty sure the prospective message bag owner can re-up when it’s time to re-charge the iPod, cell phone or digital camera, then this is a most thoughtful and eco-friendly gift. Not only can the Voltaic Solar Panel Messenger Bag claim energy from the sky, it’s made of recycled PET plastic (typically very durable).
The bag also comes with a battery to store surplus energy, so electronics can be charged after the sun goes down. The battery’s converter also lets you charge from a wall socket. The Voltaic’s battery pack needs 8-10 hours of direct sunlight to be fully charged; cell phones and iPods need 4 to 6 hours. Also available in a backpack, suitable for students or people who work outside.
Messenger bag sold at Reuseable Bags.com, Amazon.com and other outlets. $199

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