Bottle It Up.

At one time or another, you've probably heard that plastic beverage bottles can leach chemicals into your drink, but this isn't just a rumor; it's a known fact. Plastic beverage bottles contain harmful chemicals, including Phthlalates and Bisephenol A, which can leach into your beverage and make their way into your body, and I'm no expert with chemicals and their direct effects on the human body, but I have a feeling that it's probably not a good thing to have traces of plastic chemicals floating around in your bloodstream.

But aside from being harmful to your body, one-time-use plastic bottles also have extremely negative effects on the environment. In most cases, a quick solution to that problem would be to simply recycle the product, but plastic bottles are an exception, as they only have about a 20% recycle rate. The other 80% are most commonly put into landfills, and sometimes downcycled into other products such as fibers and carpet, but with America's disposal of about 30 million plastic bottles a day, using plastic beverage bottles just isn't reasonable or responsible.

So, if not plastic water bottles, what are we to use for on-the-go storage of beverages? There are a couple of options. My preference is glass, since the risk of plastic chemicals leaching out of the bottle material is avoided (not sure about the cap, though). Another worthy material would be stainless steel, although I've heard that the liners may contain BPA even if the product is labeled as BPA-free. Glass seems to me to be the better option, but I recommend doing some research of your own to find an option that you like.

0 to 60 in 3.9

Leading the way in the electric vehicle industry, Tesla Motors started taking orders on Sunday, January 11, for its high-performance zero-emissions sports car, the Tesla Roadster, pictured above. With a base price of $109,000 (yes, a little pricey, but that doesn't stop me from wanting it!) in the US, the basic features of the Roadster include: 100% electric fueled, 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, burns no oil, and 244 miles per charge. This car is really the ultimate electric vehicle, and, as of right now, Tesla has delivered more than 150 Roadsters to customers, and about 1,100 more people are on the waiting list.

Not only is this car super-sleek and ultra-efficient (it's twice as efficient as a compact hybrid sedan), it will also eventually pay for itself, not only because of its gasoline-free nature, but also from some incentives that several states will be putting into effect:

Save Some Green by Going Green

You’ll save more than the environment by driving electric. Perks include tax incentives in select states as well as a variety of other conveniences. Here are some examples:

  • Single-occupancy access to all carpool lanes in some states
  • Free parking at charging stations at LAX and other airports
  • No parking meter fees in an increasing number of major metropolitan areas
  • Discount electrical rates for recharging and/or on the charging unit available in some states

New laws and incentives are being added rapidly at the federal, state, and local levels, and it would be impossible to list them all. Contact your electric service provider to find out about green incentives in your town. Your city or county administrative offices should be able to update you on any parking benefits. State departments of motor vehicles tend to manage permits for single-occupancy driving in car pool lanes. For those who live in California, some sample references are listed below:

> Southern California Edison: Rate Information

> Southern California Edison: Electric Vehicle Information

> Los Angeles Department of Water & Power: Residential Electric Vehicle Services

> Pacific Gas & Electric: Information for Low Emission Vehicle Customers (PDF)

> Pacific Gas & Electric: Electric Vehicle Charging Rate and Economics

> Drive Clean - Zero Emissions Vehicle Guide: List of Incentives

> Car Pool Lane Stickers

I, for one, am unbelievably excited about this car; the more I read about it, the more I love it! I've been keeping tabs on Tesla for a few months now, and finding out that these 100% electric vehicles are being produced and sold to the public gives me hope that one day, we will be able to achieve an emissions-free transportation industry.

So if you're thinking about buying one of these bad boys, or you'd just like to take a look at the specifics, check out this page from Tesla, and even if you're not in the market for Tesla's Roadster, I encourage you to keep them in mind, because I'm betting that in a few years, these cars will be more affordable and all the rage (at least I'm hoping!) and you might just be able to get your hands on one!

As for me, I think I'll be opening a 'Tesla Roadster' savings account sometime soon, and I'm also seriously considering getting a summer/senior year job, which is kind of funny, because I thought about getting a job to help pay for college, and I was just like, "Ehh, too many scheduling complications with school and stuff; I'll just get some scholarships or something," but now that the Roadster is out and about, I really am seriously thinking about a job for this summer and next year!

Photos are of the Tesla Roadster and some various charts from Tesla that I found kind of interesting.

tesla front

tesla rear

tesla driving range

oil stats

243 Barrels per Second.

21 million barrels of oil are consumed by the United States every year. That' s a lot of oil. But with all of the harmful and negative effects that oil has on the environment, from carbon pollution to oil spills, I have to wonder, why do we continue to rely on oil as a primary energy source? There are countless alternatives to oil out there, so why are we still using a fuel that is known to have negative environmental effects? It's like using some out-of-date software that slows your computer down when you have a brand new version sitting on your desk. It just doesn't make sense. Existing alternatives may not be flawless at the moment, but I'm betting that with some further research and testing, any alternative, such as wind power, could be turned into a leading energy source.

So let's rethink this whole oil thing, and consider other sources of energy that won't have lasting negative environmental effects for future generations.