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Automated pizza ovens and horse-drawn hybrids

An Iranian engineer has come up with an unlikely breakthrough in gasoline-free transportation by creating a hybrid automobile that connects an electric drive train — to a horse.


In a design that owes more to the Volt than the Prius, the sporty two-seat Naturmobile uses a pony on a treadmill to recharge a bank of batteries. The only existing prototype has achieved speeds up to 28 miles per hour. No word yet on the vehicle’s range.

Closer to home, a Burger King in New Jersey is experimenting with power-harvesting speed bumps that capture energy from cars in the drive-thru lane. In North Carolina, a “green” McDonald’s will become the first such store in the nation to offer an electric vehicle-charging station.

Spying a bigger opportunity, Dallas-based Current Energy has been outfitting chain restaurants with sensors that help them plug energy leaks. For example, a restaurant owner receives a text message whenever a freezer door is left open. Or a pizzeria uses occupancy sensors to shut down ovens when business is slow. Little tricks like these can shave 50% off gas bills, or 20% of total energy bills.

Will these inventions by themselves be enough to solve climate change? Yes, they will. Thanks, science!

Take the first step.

Start small. Be conscious of the impact your actions have on the environment and figure out what you can do to lessen the blow. Calculate, conserve, and offset.

For businesses, our Corporate Sustainability Plans can help you with your emission reduction goals.

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