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Electric Car Parade

Santa Monica, California drew the stars and cars early on Sunday, Oct. 16 to help celebrate National Plug In Day. The event, a joint effort between Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association, was held in 21 cities, with electric vehicle owners participating in parades, tailpipe-free tailgate parties, and other festive grassroots events. “It’s wonderful to see all these cars with plugs,” raved actor and eco-activist Ed Begley, Jr. at the Santa Monica parade. “I’ve had a Rav4 electric for ten years come February and [it has] 94,000 miles.”

national plug in day parade 2011

Begley—joined by “Revenge of the Electric Car” producer Chris Paine, former “Baywatch” actress Alexandra Paul, model pitchman Fabio, Los Angeles Congresswoman Janice Hahn, and Air Force veteran Tim Goodrich—snapped photos and spoke to a crowd at Santa Monica’s city hall before sending 188 eco-friendly vehicles down the road.

“It was so quiet as we drove that we could talk to people along the route,” says parade participant Deb LaCusta, who steered her new bright blue Nissan LEAF alongside her husband, actor Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer on “The Simpsons”). “It was fun to be involved and get the message out.”

Iraq war vet Goodrich delivered an exceptionally poignant message. “While serving in the Middle East, I quickly realized that America’s involvement had a lot to do with our need for gas and fossil fuels.” Eventually Goodrich grew opposed to the war and returned to America after his tour to champion electric vehicles.

Not that driving electric makes for an easy cause. Critics are quick to point out the obstacles: they often lack power and run on expensive lithium batteries that only last for several years. Batteries need to be constantly recharged, and the cars aren’t great for long distances. “We talk about range anxiety and plugging in, and what happens to batteries,” admits producer Paine, “but what really changes people is the experience of driving an electric car.”

Electric Car Parade

Santa Monica, California drew the stars and cars early on Sunday, Oct. 16 to help celebrate National Plug In Day. The event, a joint effort between Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association, was held in 21 cities, with electric vehicle owners participating in parades, tailpipe-free tailgate parties, and other festive grassroots events. “It’s wonderful to see all these cars with plugs,” raved actor and eco-activist Ed Begley, Jr. at the Santa Monica parade. “I’ve had a Rav4 electric for ten years come February and [it has] 94,000 miles.”

national plug in day parade 2011

Begley—joined by “Revenge of the Electric Car” producer Chris Paine, former “Baywatch” actress Alexandra Paul, model pitchman Fabio, Los Angeles Congresswoman Janice Hahn, and Air Force veteran Tim Goodrich—snapped photos and spoke to a crowd at Santa Monica’s city hall before sending 188 eco-friendly vehicles down the road.

“It was so quiet as we drove that we could talk to people along the route,” says parade participant Deb LaCusta, who steered her new bright blue Nissan LEAF alongside her husband, actor Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer on “The Simpsons”). “It was fun to be involved and get the message out.”

Iraq war vet Goodrich delivered an exceptionally poignant message. “While serving in the Middle East, I quickly realized that America’s involvement had a lot to do with our need for gas and fossil fuels.” Eventually Goodrich grew opposed to the war and returned to America after his tour to champion electric vehicles.

Not that driving electric makes for an easy cause. Critics are quick to point out the obstacles: they often lack power and run on expensive lithium batteries that only last for several years. Batteries need to be constantly recharged, and the cars aren’t great for long distances. “We talk about range anxiety and plugging in, and what happens to batteries,” admits producer Paine, “but what really changes people is the experience of driving an electric car.”

The Snobbish Wine Guest Switcheroo and Other Cheapskate Wine Tips

As you might have heard, it’s a controversial element the NCPP (“National Cheapskate Profiling Program“). Many, but not all, cheapskates like me love box wine.

In fact, I’m fond of “recanting”—as opposed to “decanting”—the wine I serve our dinner guests. “Recanting: Secretly funneling inexpensive box wines into empty, premium brand bottles kept on hand for the express purpose of impressing guests who care about such superficial stuff.”

I’ve done this for years, and no one has ever questioned the authenticity of the wine I serve. Not even wine snobs have enough confidence in their taste buds to question what the label on the fancy bottle is telling them. If you don’t believe me, this study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Institute of Technology essentially proved the same thing.

> Related: 8 Boxed Wines and Meals to Pair With Them

Not only is box wine a terrific value when it comes to saving money, but there’s more and more research showing that—compared to most bottled wines—it’s saving Mother Nature, too. According to the American Association of Wine Economists and other industry sources, boxed wine (a.k.a. “bag-in-box” packaging) decreases landfill waste by roughly 85 percent and is more than 50 percent more carbon efficient when compared to wine packaged in traditional glass bottles.

How to Preserve Family Farms, and Critical ‘Foodsheds’

Just as watersheds provide drinking water for thirsty cities, “foodsheds” provide safe, secure food.

5 Frugal Fall Gardening Tips

digging in the garden

Sure, everybody’s green thumb seems to blossom with the first warmish day of spring, just about the same day the green blades of the daffodils pop up in the flowerbed. But by autumn, most fair weather gardeners have long ago hung up their hoes for the season and planted their butts firmly in front of the TV to watch football.

That’s a shame, because in most parts of the country the Fall is the best time of year for all kinds of garden activities, including planting and transplanting my types of plants. It’s also the time of year when you can save a bushel of cash on gardening equipment and nursery stock, and save even more by properly tucking in your garden and equipment for its long winter’s nap. Here’s how:

Great deals on end of season nursery stock:
In most climate zones, Fall is actually a better time of year than even spring to plant or transplant trees, shrubs, and many other perennial plants. The soil tends to be warmer which promotes root growth, and — unlike with spring planting — there’s not the potential of a long, hot, dry summer facing the young upstarts. And, even though I’m an anti-lawnite, if you’re going to put down sod, Fall is also generally the best – and cheapest – time to do it. Many nurseries dramatically discount their remaining container-grown plants and other nursery stock, both to avoid over-wintering them and to make room for the soon-to-arrive Halloween pumpkins and Christmas trees. I’ve found it’s a great time to negotiate an even better deal by simply asking for an additional reduction on already discounted nursery stock.

5 Frugal Fall Gardening Tips

digging in the garden

Sure, everybody’s green thumb seems to blossom with the first warmish day of spring, just about the same day the green blades of the daffodils pop up in the flowerbed. But by autumn, most fair weather gardeners have long ago hung up their hoes for the season and planted their butts firmly in front of the TV to watch football.

That’s a shame, because in most parts of the country the Fall is the best time of year for all kinds of garden activities, including planting and transplanting my types of plants. It’s also the time of year when you can save a bushel of cash on gardening equipment and nursery stock, and save even more by properly tucking in your garden and equipment for its long winter’s nap. Here’s how:

Great deals on end of season nursery stock:
In most climate zones, Fall is actually a better time of year than even spring to plant or transplant trees, shrubs, and many other perennial plants. The soil tends to be warmer which promotes root growth, and — unlike with spring planting — there’s not the potential of a long, hot, dry summer facing the young upstarts. And, even though I’m an anti-lawnite, if you’re going to put down sod, Fall is also generally the best – and cheapest – time to do it. Many nurseries dramatically discount their remaining container-grown plants and other nursery stock, both to avoid over-wintering them and to make room for the soon-to-arrive Halloween pumpkins and Christmas trees. I’ve found it’s a great time to negotiate an even better deal by simply asking for an additional reduction on already discounted nursery stock.

The Latest Organic Cotton Jeans and Sustainable Denim Styles

Tips for buying the right sustainable or organic cotton jeans for you.

Eco Friendly Kids’ Shoes

Made with organic cotton, canvas, rubber and other eco friendly materials, these kids’ shoes wear well.

Saving Money, Amish Style

amish road sign

I’ve always been fascinated with the Amish

Green Halloween Tricks and Treats

Everything you need for a safe, fun Halloween, from creative homemade costumes and organic candy to scary facts about bats to impress little ghouls and boys.

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