Chevy Volt’s progress…A step in the right direction

Photo Courtesy of General Motors

General Motors first began selling the Chevy Volt, as the first ever plug-in hybrid vehicle, in December of 2010. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Volt achieves about 94 miles per gallon. However, with a price tag of around $40,000, consumers have been slow to jump on board with the plug-in electric car concept. In fact, production was halted back in March-April, 2012, due to sluggish sales. However, General Motors resumed production this past April, a week earlier than planned, as Volt sales have begun to turn around. Some say that this past summer’s high gas prices have encouraged more consumers to invest in the Volt. The following is an article, out of the NY Daily News, discussing the Volt’s return:

What a difference a few months made for the Chevy Volt. From underselling political deadweight to automotive press darling, GM’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle went back into production this week after a shorter-than expected shutdown announced in early March to reduce the inventory levels of unsold vehicles.

At that time, the Volt’s future looked bleak — it was being rounded on by US Republican presidential candidates and was still suffering from the aftereffects of a series of damaging headlines after a federal investigation into battery safety.

But that was then and this is now.

Check out the entire article. It’s inspiring to see that although progress has been slow, we are moving closer to achieving energy independence and reducing our carbon footprint…One car at a time.

Urban farming in Cleveland


Free Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When you think of a farm, you think of a classic rural image like the one above. But with the emergence of urban farming, the idea of farmland is changing. Older cities like Cleveland and Detroit are starting to use land in the inner city area for farming purposes, and the urban farming trend is starting to grow.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has an article about the emergence of urban farming in Cleveland:

Old MacDonald had a farm, but probably not on an abandoned city lot tended by a farmer from Burma and supported by some of the top restaurants in town.

Cleveland, however, has such unconventional growing places. After only a few years of operation, they are bringing home surprising harvests.

Taut-skinned eggplant and fragrant parsley are being snipped off a row and, within minutes, walked three blocks to Flying Fig, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and other popular dining spots in the city’s Ohio City neighborhood. Off East 55th Street, a flower and vegetable farm provides cherished jobs for folks with developmental disabilities.

A few forgotten acres in the Kinsman neighborhood are now a green training ground for farming entrepreneurs. And a vineyard in Hough hasn’t made its first bottle of wine yet, but the vines look good, and the first cork is expected to pop next year.

Check out the whole article and you can see how an economic ecosystem is being built around these farms. The potential is staggering. It’s also interesting to read how the local restaurants are supporting these efforts by using these farms as a source of fresh fruits and vegetables, and you even have Great Lakes Brewery growing hops for their craft beers.

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