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Upper East Side

Upper East Side

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 38th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

Money walks through the Upper East side. Here are the rest of the shots, Day 38 – Four More.

-Cara

I first heard of solar backpacks when I was reading this stuff the crew from “Living With Ed” was writing about. They were saying they used them to charge their electronics. SOLAR BACKPACKS…what? I want a million of them.

You can charge your mobile phones, mp3 players, some even have enough power to charge a laptop. They have the same type of power source as in your car. It is attached to a flexible solar panel that is placed in any of the pluthera of bags out there.

I will give it up right away and start with my favorite site, Reware.com. Understand I’ve tried none of these bags…my judgement is just based on what I have seen on their sites and instinct. :D

Solar Shirt

They created a fresh solar bag line called Juice. They have the widest variety of bags, they are cool and I love the whole idea. I am going to save up some loot and get one . :) Maybe the beach tote and use it as a grocery bag!

Here is a little blurb about them, by them,

NEXT GENERATION SOLAR

Turn free sunlight into clean electricity without moving parts, heat or sound. The Juice Bag’s incredible 7 Watt flexible solar panel is made up of 52 solar cells and represents the latest in flexible solar technology.Our power technology is military-tested and approved, and our stitching and fabrics undergo a triple-quality check before leaving our warehouse.

And, while no small solar power device of this size puts out enough power to charge a laptop directly, keep an eye on us – we have a solution brewing for use with laptops and other larger devices!

SIMPLE TO USE

Juice Bags come with a built-in Car Lighter Adapter (CLA) socket – the same plug as in a car. It’s universal. Just plug in the adapter you would normally use in the car that is approved for your phone, PDA, MP3 player or other 12volt device. The moment sunlight falls on the Juice Bags solar panel, the bag generates electricity. It is that easy!

With Juice Bags, you don’t need a battery to charge your 12 volt devices, but we offer an accessory line of SolarReady Batteries so that you can store the sun if you want. Just plug the SolarReady into your Juice Bag, store up sunlight, then plug the battery into your device later.

Juice Bags are used by travelers, students, relief workers and many others for whom the freedom of clean, everywhere free energy is important.

Imagine going anywhere…anywhere…in the world and being able to keep your satellite phone, GPS Unit or digital camera charged.

MADE IN THE USA.

We now make Juice Bags in the USA with great attention to detail, and use premium fabrics and materials for superior quality.”

——

Next solar bag site I really like is, Voltaic System bags. They were the first company to sell a solar bag powerful enough to charge a laptop.

Solar Laptop Bag

Another reason these guys rock is they use,

fabrics made from recycled PET i.e. soda bottles. We worked extensively with suppliers to develop these fabrics, since they were not previously available. Recycled PET fabric is light weight, extremely durable, UV resistant and water resistant. It even looks better than the nylon it replaced. Most importantly, it uses significantly less energy to produce and creates demand for recycled materials.

My favorite part about the laptop bag is the handle…

Bag Handle

An indicator light inside the handle shows when the panels are generating a charge. That is super fresh.

There are a few other sites that sell solar bags, but their stock consists mostly of leather and that isn’t my flavor. :P I hope these solar bags really are fresh. I’ll let you know when I know.

:)

-Cara

Update- Marine made this solar bag for me she liked this entry so much. :]

Today’s thing to do…already, it was hard for me to figure out what I  wanted to write about. What I came up with is a simple solution to a big problem, B.Y.O.B., bring-your-own-bag to the store when shopping. I have had the nerve to tell people they should use their own bags shopping and honestly, I don’ t think I ever have, but I know I have always wanted to and people just should. :P I do use my huge blue Ikea bag [I was forced to buy so I could drag my disposable, stylishly cheap housewares home on the free bus.] to bring my dirty clothes to the laundry.  This is my journey too you know…

Ok, so started my research and on a site I love Care2, I found a piece called, Easy Greening: Shopping Bags, written by, Melissa Breyer, Editor, Care2 Green Living. It has a fafillion reasons why you should bring your own bag, where to recycle them, what stores give credit to you when you bring your own bag, where to get cute bags, the impact on the world, etc. It was everything I needed to know to inspire me to B.Y.O.B. next time I pick up some groceries and whatnot. I know I will forget the first few times, so I will make the commitment now, every time I go shopping and forget my bags I will carry my stuff with no bag at all. After the first few times, I’ll never forget a bag again. Update to follow.

Good Times!

xoxo.

Cara

Here is the article I was talking about:

As far as shopping bags go, the plastic versus paper dilemma is as puzzling as the one about the chicken or the egg. The truth is, the statistics on both types of bags are deeply disturbing. At first glance the alternatives seem less than convenient—-but after learning the facts and finding some easy solutions, we’re saying “neither thanks” to “paper or plastic?”

SIMPLE SOLUTION: In South Africa plastic bags have been dubbed the “national flower” because so many are seen fluttering from fences and dangling in bushes—-some report that at times it looks like a snow storm. According to the National Geographic News, between 500 billion and one trillion plastic grocery bags are consumed worldwide each year. That 100,000 birds die annually from encounters with plastic bags actually seems like a relatively small number—-ditto the estimated 100,000 whales, turtles, and other marine animals.In the United State alone, 12 million barrels of oil are required to produce enough plastic bags to appease our needs. And then there’s that little decomposition problem: 500 years in the landfill.OK, paper then, right? Well, actually. . .producing paper bags requires more energy and creates more air and water pollution than producing plastic bags. Recycling paper is much more energy-intensive than recycling plastic—-and then there’s the issue of all those trees. In 1999, 14 million of them were knocked out to create the 10 billion paper grocery bags we used that year.Armed with this knowledge, here’s what we’ve decided: reusable shopping bags aren’t such a hassle after all. Here are some tips:1. Pack some ultra compact nylon bags (that fold up into tiny packets) in your purse so that you are always prepared for unexpected errands.2. Stow fabric (hemp, jute, canvas, cotton, recycled plastic textile, etc) bags in your trunk for big shopping trips-—just get in the habit of returning them to the trunk after unpacking groceries.3. Reusing plastic and paper bags helps; keep a supply of them in your trunk for groceries and use them until they are too worn, then recycle. (Some stores, like Whole Foods, offer a rebate when you BYOB.)

4. Look French and use baskets when you go to the farmers’ market. Salad doesn’t get as squashed when you put it in a round-bottomed basket.

5. If you get stuck with groceries but without your totes, pick plastic: when statistics are compared, it is the lesser of the two evils. Try to reuse it again and when it comes time to recycle it, tie it in a knot to keep it from blowing away from the trash and landfill and into the trees and ocean. Some chain supermarkets, like Stop N’Shop, actually have a barrel in front for recycling plastic bags.

The best advice is to simply get into the mind-set: once it becomes habit the inconvenience disappears and it seems there was never another way. In fact, in 2002 Irish supermarkets began charging a mandatory 15-cent tax on each new plastic bag. According to one of the largest grocery chains the consumption of new plastic bags has dropped by 97.5 percent—-how’s that for inspiring? Clearly, the plastic bag will not be replacing the shamrock, so let’s follow that example. Here are some good places to start:

For cute and peppy totes: b.happybags

For a great selection of super-practical (including ultra compact): Reusablebags.com

For stylish bags and a 10 percent donation to protect sea turtles: Blue Lotus

One of our favorites—-packs of five wonderfully designed bags that fit in a pouch for your glove compartment or medium-size purse: Envirosax

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