Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Solar Electric Light Fund earns $00 for each person who reads these 3 primers

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Posted by Elinor on January 4, 2008, 12:01 am
"In less than five minutes, you can educate yourself on ways to help
the environment, save money, AND donate to an extraordinary
organization without losing a penny of your own money!  There is no
catch, just pure goodness all around!"

Dear Friends,

From 2003-2004, I had the deeply enriching experience of working as
the Communications Director for an innovative nonprofit organization
based in Washington, DC called the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF).
SELF combats both global climate change and severe poverty
simultaneously by bringing solar power to rural villages in developing
countries for improvements in health, education and economic well-

I've remained in close contact with SELF, occasionally working on
contract or volunteering, and witnessing as the organization spreads
its impact tremendously throughout Africa.  Just this past year, SELF
helped Bill Clinton and Partners in Health to solar-electrify 25 HIV
clinics in rural Rwanda and Tanzania, providing health care to
thousands of people living with the virus.  SELF also provided solar
electricity for water pumps, schools and micro-irrigation projects in
other parts of Africa.

To help continue this amazing work, I'd like to share with you an
incredible, seemingly "too good to be true", opportunity for you and
SELF - an opportunity that will require not a penny by you and no more
than 5 minutes of your time.

The Hinkle Charitable Foundation (HCF) has issued the Pure Waste
Challenge to motivate you to become an agent against global warming.
For each person who reads the following three primers, 'considers'
pursuing any of the proposed conservation methods, and then sends an
email confirmation to purewaste@thehcf.org, HCF will donate $00 to
the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). A simple challenge capable of
huge results!  (It doesn't matter where you are in the world:)

It's easy -- just read the text below and then write to
purewaste@thehcf.org with your name, email address and a one-sentence
confirmation that you read the primers, and SELF will receive $00!
The Foundation has agreed to pay SELF up to $00,000 and so far 400
people have taken the challenge (so that's $0,000:).  We need 600
more people!  In less than five minutes, you can educate yourself on
ways to help the environment, save money, AND donate to an
extraordinary organization without losing a penny of your own money!
There is no catch, just pure goodness all around!

Once you've taken the challenge yourself, consider forwarding this
email to your friends, families and colleagues and thereby
dramatically increasing your impact!

Thank you in advance for taking the time to make a difference.  It's
the little actions we take every day that go a long way.

I wish you a blissful 2008 and an abundant future for your children
and grandchildren.

With love and respect,

(1) Compact Fluorescent Lights Primer

Fluorescent light bulbs get a bad, and badly outdated, rap.
Technological advances in the last twenty years have introduced the
compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) with electronic ballast and, in
the process, have eliminated three of the four most common objections
to fluorescent lights.

Myth 1: Fluorescent lights flicker.
Yep, they used to. Modern CFLs, with their electronic ballasts, do not

Myth 2: Fluorescent lights are slow to start.
While CFLs don't start at full intensity like incandescent bulbs,
nearly all CFLs turn on (without flicker) instantly and reach full
illumination very quickly. Of the nearly thirty different types we've
tested, all come on instantly at close to full illumination. Only the
flood light styles start at noticeably less than full illumination,
but within 20 to 30 seconds they are at over 80% illumination.
Interestingly, we've come to prefer softer initial illumination. When
we enter a room the slightly softer initial illumination is more
welcoming, and the CFL is easily at full illumination by the time we
begin any light-dependent tasks.

Myth 3: Fluorescent lights are always cold-feeling and remind us of
office lighting.
Older, standard, long fluorescent tubes do emit a cool (bluish) light
(4,500+ Kelvin, see Kelvin definition below), but today there are CFLs
in a complete range of hues, and many CFLs are available that produce
exactly the same warm white light (2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin) as
traditional incandescent bulbs.

Myth 4: Fluorescent lights won't fit in my fixtures, candelabra, or
recessed lights.
We agree that this can still be a problem in certain situations. A CFL
is often not an exact size substitute for an existing incandescent
bulb, but a far greater range of sizes is available than is generally
realized. We've already successfully substituted standard, globe,
flood, candelabra, three-way and dimmable bulbs. To get the widest
range of shapes, it is often necessary to shop online or at a lighting

The EPA's Energy Star rating, when applied to CFLs, insures the buyer
of a CFL that it comes on instantly, comes quickly to full
illumination, is a warm/soft white hue (unless marked otherwise on the
package) and renders colors with excellent accuracy. Are CFLs the same
as the traditional incandescent bulbs with which we are familiar? No.
But as discussed below, they are significantly cheaper to operate in
the long run, are much better for the environment, and enjoy a number
of other advantages.

(2) Tankless Water Heater Primer

Hot water usage in American households consumes between 15 and 30% of
a home's energy demand, according to the US Department of Energy.
Surprisingly, the technology used to heat water in the US is
antiquated and highly inefficient when compared to the tankless or on-
demand technologies now used regularly in Europe and Asia . This
primer attempts to explain the new technology and benefits behind
whole-house natural gas-fueled tankless water heaters (TWHs).

Myth 1: Only a tank can provide a large amount of hot water.
Heating a tank of hot water is neither an effective nor an efficient
way to supply hot water. As hot water drains from the tank, in-flowing
cold water lowers the overall temperature of the water in the tank.
Traditional tank-based water heaters are not designed to heat the in-
flowing cold water rapidly enough to keep the out-flowing water at a
constant temperature. In contrast, properly sized TWH systems are
designed to keep out-flowing water at a constant temperature.

Myth 2: A tankless hot water system can't provide enough continuous
hot water for an entire household.
The reality is that the heat-exchanger technology used in TWHs is
specifically designed to provide a full and inexhaustible flow of
appropriately heated water to an entire household.

Myth 3: Tankless water heaters must heat the water so hot that it is
dangerous to use them.
Actually this fear is more relevant to traditional tank-based water
heaters than to TWH systems. Tankless systems are safer to operate
since they heat the water to only slightly above the level of intended
use. Traditional tank-based water heaters have to overheat the stored
water so that it will remain hot enough as the in-flowing cold water
mixes with it.

Myth 4: Tankless water heating systems cost more to operate.
Like any profitable investment there is an immediate outlay of cash,
but when you factor in the lower operating cost and longer (20-year)
service life, TWHs save their owners a substantial amount of money. In
fact, it is difficult to construct a scenario where owners of a new
natural gas TWH system will earn a return on investment of less than

(3) Anti-Idling Primer

Old habits are hard to break. To most, idling a car may seem fairly
innocuous, but it is actually detrimental to the modern automotive
engine, wastes gasoline, and is often done based on mistaken
assumptions or outdated logic, or simply out of habit. Each day,
Americans waste approximately 3.8 million gallons of gasoline by
voluntarily idling their cars. While all idling is bad for the car
engine, this primer addresses only voluntary idling, which occurs when
the car is not actually being driven in traffic. (Of course, the best
way to address involuntary idling, which occurs in traffic, is to buy
a hybrid, but we realize that most people are not yet ready to sell
their conventional cars and replace them with non-idling hybrids.)
There are, however, easy steps owners of conventional cars can take to
help the cause.

Myth 1: Cars should run in an idling mode for several minutes before
being driven.
Wrong. Modern engines do not need more than a few seconds of idling
time before they can be driven safely.  Moreover, the best way to warm
up a car is to drive it, since that warms up the catalytic converter
and other mechanical parts of the car, in addition to the engine.

Myth 2: Each time you start your car you waste more gasoline than if
you let it idle.
Wrong. Automotive engines do not operate efficiently when they idle.
Experts say there is a maximum 10 second break-even rule. If you are
idling longer than 10 seconds, both you and the engine are better off
if the engine is turned off and restarted.

Myth 3: Repeatedly restarting your car is hard on the engine and
quickly drains the battery.
Wrong. Frequently restarting your engine does negligible damage to the
engine and does not drain modern batteries excessively. In fact, the
opposite is true; idling an engine forces it to operate in a very
inefficient and gasoline-rich mode that, over time, can degrade the
engine's performance and reduce mileage.

When not actively driving, people tend to idle their cars largely for
one of two reasons: either to warm up the engine before driving or to
avoid wear and tear on the engine in situations that require frequent
restarting, such as drive-through service lines, rail crossings, car
wash lines, carpool lines, and departure from concerts and sporting
events, or while talking to friends or using the cell phone. By
understanding the effects of idling and reducing the practice, you can
improve your car's performance, save money, and reduce needless carbon
dioxide emissions.

Now that you've read the three primers, please write to
purewaste@thehcf.org with your name, email address and a one-sentence
confirmation that you read the primers, and SELF will receive $00!

Posted by southsidedelite on January 22, 2008, 7:04 pm

Too bad i cannot read the entire email address, i only see purewa-,
can you somehow write it full?

Very well put primers, of course this does not prevent the coming
apocalypse, but yes i have been talking about conservation for a long
time too, hopefully it does not mean that we leave more for others to
waste as prices are kept low, electricity prices should be way higher,
then carbon credits can be paid out, alternative energy would be cost

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