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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Off the Grid: Tips and Fun Facts

City Green Buzz

Plans are in the works to add an electric car to the fleet of City of Eau Claire cars in the very near future. Hoops are being jumped through as you read this!

Chippewa Valley Sustainable Future Festival

The Chippewa Valley Sustainable Future Festivalwill held at the Eau Claire County Exposition Center, Saturday, August 11, 2012. This festival focuses on educating people about creating a more sustainable lifestyle through workshops and speakers. Kids can enjoy the kid’s activity tent and gardeners will enjoy the annual Eau Claire Area Master Gardener Volunteer Association plant sale.

More City Green Buzz

Or should I say bus? Yes, the city got a grant for close to a million dollars to purchase two green buses. Mike Branco, Eau Claire Transit says, “Come 2013, you will able to ride on one of two prius busses and breathe easier. Not only are you riding the bus which is eco-friendly, but that the bus itself now is eco-friendly.”

Eat Local, Green and Eco

Obsession Chocolates not only has the best truffles, they have a conscience too. When you eat, treat or splurge at Obsession in Eau Claire, you are doing more than just helping a local business thrive; you are helping the earth thrive too. Owner, Rebecca, uses as many local and organic ingredients as she can find, she has recently switched all her to-go carriers to eco-friendly, biodegradable containers and bags, and when the gardens open up downtown, she and her restaurant have a composting space in Phoenix Park Gardens. So next time you’re hungry for lunch, dinner with local wines and beers, or just jonesing for some homemade gelato, treat yourself and know that the gelato cup is made of recycled material and is as eco-friendly as you are.

Organic Expansion

If you shop for local and organic foods, you will be excited and giddy to know that with Festival Foods’ new Wine and Spirits section, their old liquor section will be turned into a Natural and Organic Shangra-la. I mean serious selection.  They will be expanding from their one awesome isle to double the size of dry, bulk, refrigerated and dairy! So, I know you’re asking WHEN? The anticipated date for the new section to be open is the end of April 2012, so keep your eyes peeled! It’s gonna be SWEET!

Coffee Car, Awesome!

Did you know that coffee grounds do so much more than deliver a delicious brew and enrich our compost piles? They also help power electronics. In early 2011, an engineer in England found a way to convert old coffee grounds collected from local shops into fuel to power a car.

The coffee car sped up to 66.5 mph and broke a Guinness World Record for vehicles run on organic waste, beating out 2010’s record of 47.7 mph by a wood-burning car.

To modify a car to run on coffee grounds, the coffee car team equipped the vehicle with a gasifier that burns organic material at high temperatures. When the coffee grounds are burned, they produce combustible gases, which, after cleaning and cooling, are used to fuel an adapted combustion engine. Super cool!

Drink More Coffee, Save the Earth

If you thought your cup of coffee was only good for giving you a burst of energy, think again. According to, researchers at the University of North Dakota are developing a process to convert waste from coffee processing plants – from the grains to the packaging – into green energy.

Did you know?

Kwik Trip on Golf Road has a charging station for an electric car on site.

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