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Monday
Aug312009

OMG TDI FTW!

Too many acronyms for you? In plain English I'm saying that my new Jetta TDI is everything we hoped it would be... The debate on hyrbids vs. clean diesels will go on forever. Nothing I say here will change the way hyrbid owners think and nothing will make me feel differently about the diesel.

We use hyrbids here at Pizza Fusion for our delivery cars. We're taking full advantage of a hybrid's unique capabilities. Drive under 35mph and you're on all batteries. That's pretty awesome. The areas that a hybrid may not excel at are road trips, highway commutes, driving fast for no reason, etc (all things I excel at by the way)

About 2 months ago my wife and I set out to find a new car. Our Passat W8 had died and we we're looking for something with good gas mileage and low emissions. The W8 was about as "green" as you'd expect a car to be when it is designed for 4 cylinders and has an 8 cylinder engine wedged in it. 18 or so mpg and about 260 miles to a tank. - OUCH

We have a growing family (2 year old and another on the way) so that immediately cut out a few options for us. (we weren't going to test drive the Smart anytime soon) We we're definitely looking for something used and more importantly a car that will last for a very long time as car payments & self sustainability seem like opposing forces to me. All of these choices led us to look for an 00-05 Jetta TDI.

Let's see...

Mileage? 40-50mpg depending on driving conditions. On our first fill up we literally doubled our old car's range. 480 miles vs 240!

Economical? Diesel is $2.59 by my house undercutting the Premium we had to use on the other car by .40 cents per gallon. That's 10 bucks a fill up! (since we fill up half as much)

Emissions? This is where it gets debatable. REAL debatable. There are many tests and reports that say the new "clean diesels" emit less harmful gasses into the atmosphere than gasoline. There are also tests that dispute those results. I will eventually make the argument moot by switching over to bio-diesel entirely. In the meantime I use Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel or ULSD exclusively.

In the end we found a nice car that fits our family well, gets great gas mileage, will run forever and will hopefully allow us to get one extra step off the "grid". (or at least gas up less often)

Have you made any big decisions lately that will have a positive affect on the environment? I'd love to hear about them!


Friday
Aug282009

The Earthbox Chronicles (part 2)

In some of my previous posts, I've talked about some of the steps we're taking in our home to get more "green", eat better, and get ourselves off the grid one step at a time...

The Earthbox arrived just a few days after placing the order. I did buy a "ready to grow" kit but since I wanted to grow my veggies from seed instead of buying seedlings, I had to get those started before I can plant anything outside.

***DISCLAIMER*** I know nothing about gardening. I have never successfully grown anything.


To get started you'll need some seeds and one of these...

IMG_0370photo

Below I'll explain how I started my seeds in makeshift "pots" I made with a pair of scissors and a few empty Honest Kids juice packs! (btw these drinks are all sorts of awesome.)

1. Cut the juice packs in half

2. Fill up the bottom pieces with some good organic soil - I used Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil (I've since found a local provider for my organic soil)

3. Put one seed into each "pot" about 1/4 inch deep in the soil

4. Water lightly

5. Put near a light source (I used my aerogarden for this with exceptional results)

6. Continue to water every few days when the soil feel's dry to the touch

If all goes well, in about one week you should see something like the picture to the left and two weeks later they should look like the right.

IMG_0396IMG_0395

This weekend I plan on transferring both cucumber plants into the Earthbox. I started the tomato plants two weeks late to allow for the second Earthbox to get here. (Yep I ordered a second before I planted my first!)

In two weeks I should have 4 plants out in the yard and they should hopefully be growing strong. I'll keep you posted and let you know how I fare.

I’ll continue updating step by step of my first Earthbox experience. I have never grown a thing in my life so if I can do it, I’m pretty sure anyone can. Hopefully I’m able to spark something here and get a few others involved.

Do you grow your own veggies? I’d love to hear about your garden and hopefully learn a thing or two!
Tuesday
Aug112009

Long live the queen! 

I'm not an expert on honey bees but I have seen Bee Movie so consider my shock when I found out these little hysterical bees are vanishing. The crazier thing about it is, we don't really know why... What we do know is that our entire food system relies heavily on these bees to go out and dance it out everyday. Check out what Häagen-Dazs and ExperienceProject.com are doing to help save the bees.

Häagen-Dazs has long made saving endangered bees a mission. And that’s no small feat, considering that nearly one third of the world’s food supply is dependant on an extremely vulnerable bee population. Now Häagen-Dazs and ExperienceProject.com are working together to save these bees through a number of social networking projects.

Haagen-Dazs and ExperienceProject.com are combining their efforts, along with the power of social networking, in a fight to save endangered bees.

Read More @ treehugger.com & here
Saturday
Aug082009

Pizza Fusion Serves Up Organic Goodness to Sports Best at 2009 ESPY's

As you may have read in a previous post, Pizza Fusion was the food sponsor at this year's ESPY Awards Style Studio.  The ESPN ESPY Awards is the "Oscar's of Sports" and the Style Studio was the gifting suite where the world's sports elite and Hollywood A-list alike were treated to some of the best schwag you can dream of.  This year's ESPY Awards was hosted by Samuel L Jackson!

TERRELL OWENS - Buffalo Bills (NFL) DSC03725

We were excited to be making our organic goods for some of sports best including Michael Phelps, Ben Roethlisberger, Terrel Owens, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. All of the VIP guests were were greeted with heavy duty Undefeated military-style duffel bags to carry their goodies. Undefeated teamed up with EA Sports to create 30 limited edition bags with a hidden electronics pouch that encased a PSP or Play Station 3. Athletes were able to custom design a personal laser engraving on these on site in the EA room.

KENDRA WILKINSON - Playboy DSC04271EVANDER HOLYFIELD DSC05888

Guests woke up to the sweet aroma of our neighbors, Marley Coffee, an awesome new organic coffee company founded by Bob Marley's son Rohan. Pizza Fusion, that's us, served delicious organic salads, organic pizza and organic chicken sandwiches, while Patron Tequila served drinks in the EA Lounge which came complete with big screen TV's and a DJ. Some of the other notable sponsors were Land Rover, Axe Body Spray, The Breeder's Cup, Coach Sunglasses and our new best-friends and suitemates, Skull Candy Headphones! (Let's just say we were a popular pair... music & food!)

It was 3 loooong days of "hard work" but it gave us the opportunity to serve organic food to some of the best athletes in the world.  We also took the advice of one of our Facebook fans, and had each athlete and celebrity sign our "globe" to make a commitment to help us "Save The Earth, One Pizza at a Time"!  For each signature, we promised to plant trees in each celebs name and it was a HUGE hit.  We are excited to see so much support, and I mean genuine support for such a wonderful cause that we care so deeply about.  We even had Kendra from "Girls Next Door" in on the fun!  I must honestly say though, the highlight for me was meeting Zindzi & Zondwa Mandela, Nelson Mandela's Daughter & Grandson!

Here are some pics from the suite, enjoy!

I knew it took me a hot-second to get this post up here... my apologies, and thanks for all the comments and emails while I was out there.  Until the next episode... ~Vaughan

[gallery link="file" columns="4"]
Thursday
Aug062009

Ohhh Samsung... HELLO APPLE!!!

Well... it looks like Samsung and Sprint have beaten Apple to the punch!  Just when you thought tech couldn't really push the grren envelope any further than offsettng their carbon emissions, Samsung has come out with thee perfect mobile device to compliment your Prius and organic cotton Prana shirt!!!

reclaim_box
Sprint and Samsung have just introduced the Reclaim, a super-eco cellphone made from 80 percent recycled materials. The eco-gadget is constructed from "bio-plastic" materials made from PLA or corn, is free of PVC, and mostly free of BFR (brominated flame retardants)... which are apparently naughty-naughty. The phone has a 2 megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, can accept microSD cards (we assume) up to 32GB, and has Sprint Navigation onboard. Even the packaging will be eco-friendly, made from 70 percent recycled content and printed with soy-based inks. The carrier will be selling the Reclaim in "Earth Green" or "Ocean Blue" (weird) come August 16th for $50 (after a $30 instant rebate and $50 mail-in rebate)

And to put some icing on the organic cake, $2 of that profit will be funneled to the Nature Conservancy's Adopt an Acre program.  They got my attention... But will it walk my dog?  Until my next un-eco-friendly blog post from my Apple iPhone... Vaughan, signing off!