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Back to the Future: Hydra Light and the Long History of the Electric Battery

A colleague recently brought the Hydra Light to our attention, a personal flashlight and charging station that runs on an electrolyte battery. While this design is patent pending, the basic technology behind it is as old- or older- than the pyramids. There is evidence that electrolyte batteries were known in ancient Persia and Egypt, and possibly across the ancient world. The windowless pyramids were lit with electric lights.

But how do electrolyte batteries work?

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40 Years Ago Today: The 1977 NYC Blackout

On the evening of July 13, 1977, lightning struck a substation in Buchanan, NY, triggering a series of events that resulted in most of the city experiencing a 2-day blackout.

While people’s experiences ranged from delightfully exciting (stores giving away ice cream beofre it melted) to the really, really scary (extensive looting in Crown Heights, the Bronx and Harlem), one thing is certain: If the city had had more decnetralized electricity in the form of battery-backed solar, the blackout would not have been nearly as far-reaching and frightening. Now that New York is well on its way to making the switch to renewables, hopefully blackouts like this are a thing of the past.

You can read more about the 1977 Blackout on Wikipedia here. Photo by Allan Tannenbaum.


Do You Know About the Swedish Dishcloth?

While the sorts of environmental problems that can best be solved by “green” consumerism are admittedly small, they do add up if a lot of us do them together. One of my guiltiest pleasures is my love of paper towels. They clean up everything and you can just get rid of them- you can even compost them. But despite all the rationalizations, the numbers speak for themselves: In the US alone, we use 13 BILLION pounds of paper towels, or 45 pounds per person per year. And while I can’t find any numbers on sponges, they usually stay wet for long periods of time and can harbor all sorts of bacteria. In fact, the kitchen sponge may be the dirtiest thing in your entire house!

The Swedish Dishcloth has the amazing ability to (mostly) replace both products and change your life.

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SAVE THE DATE for Oktoberfest 2017


Here Comes Solar Gets Some Love from BRIC TV

If you’ve been curious about Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program, thanks to the awesome folks at BRIC TV, you can learn all about it in this informative video. Professional futurist Garry Golden will show you his own rooftop solar array in South Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Here Comes Solar program director Noah Ginsburg explains how the program works and its goal to help solarize Brooklyn…and beyond.

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