eco friendly

The MINI bike for urban mobility launches in August

MINI presents an eco-friendly, space saving solution to city centre parking hassles with its very first bike.

The MINI Folding Bike which launches in August 2011 and is available from all MINI dealerships is compact enough to fit into the boot of a MINI (except the MINI convertible where it will need the back seat!) when folded. For commuters, it’s a fantastic ‘Park and Ride’ accessory, enabling you to park out of town and then simply continue your journey in style. With many city centre car parks offering free bike bays, it’s a pocket-friendly, environmentally-conscious transport option featuring MINI’s unmistakable design credentials.

The MINI Folding Bike is a genuine high-tech vehicle: with high-quality components, a light-weight aluminium frame and a clever folding mechanism that enables the bike to be folded and unfolded in just a few seconds. The bike is folded along the crossbar and handlebars. In addition the saddle can be retracted and the pedals be folded up. This makes the bike extremely easy to handle whilst saving space.

 Fitted in a sleeve under the saddle is a practical transport bag. The MINI Folding Bike can easily match the riding characteristics of a “normal” bike. Weighing less than 11 kilos and equipped with 8 gears and 20-inch wheels, it is quick and versatile. The teflon-coated chain prevents annoying soiling caused by chain oil and reduces the wear and tear on the components. The comfortable gel saddle ensures comfort. Thanks to the front and rear mudguards, you can carry on peddling regardless, even in the rain. It also has decent visibility on the road with its accompanying reflectors.

The bike comes in matt black. Silver highlights are set by the MINI lettering on the crossbar, the brand logo on the handlebars and the Union Jack motif on the rear forks. The the bike chain and bell in bold neon yellow.

The MINI Folding Bike is available as of August 2011 for £499 at www.mini.com/shop  and from all MINI dealerships. The bike comes fully assembled and ready to ride.  Additional accessories available soon.

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Eco Chic: Top 10 Tips to be a Greener Gadgeteer

 

As I’m sure you all know green is the new black so check out my top 10 tips to make your way to being a green gadgeteer. 

1.Browse the internet on your mobile

Updating your Facebook once on your PC uses the same amount of energy as updating it a hundred times on your phone.

2.Use Eco Font

Eco Font (www.ecofont.com) has been designed to reduce the amount of ink used when printing. It has small holes in it which are barely visible to the naked eye. If you don’t want to use eco font, or can’t for any reason, why not ask everyone in your office to use the low quality option when printing? You’ll be helping save energy (and a few pennies too).

3.Reduce your printing

Pretty simple this one. Consider how many pages you print a day and if you’re printing more than you actually need to, don’t print so much. No brainer!

4.Ink cartridges

Loads of environmental charities offer a freepost service to send off empty ink cartridges to be refilled and reused. Not only do you reduce the volume going into landfill, but you also help these charities to continue to do their bit. Refilled ink cartridges are available in most stationers and cost no more (and sometimes considerably less) than newly manufactured ones. So buy them instead.

5.Extend your gadget’s life

If your current gadget does everything you need, consider hanging on to it a little bit longer eeeek we know how hard that can be though!!  Not only will you save yourself some money, you’ll also be making more efficient use of the materials that have already been deployed. If you do get a new device and your old model still works, consider donating it to a non-profit organisation such as Computers with Causes, which refurbishes computers for educational institutions. 

6.Use an energy efficient computer

Manufacturers are now making more energy-efficient computers so when it comes to buying a new PC, do your research thoroughly to find the greenest possible option.

7.Recycle your gadgets

Approximately 70% of the heavy metals found in landfills emanate from electronics, and PCs (especially the older ones) contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and polyvinyl chloride. For more information on how to recycle your gadgets (and in some instances get a bit of cash out of it too) visit www.recycleyourgadget.co.uk

8.Use your computer more efficiently

If you go downstairs to put the kettle on, put your computer into power-saving mode. Consider turning down your screen brightness and turning off any hardware such as printers, that you’re not using. Pull the plug on your laptop. Your battery (and Mother Nature) will thank you.

9.Use rechargeable batteries

Instead of buying disposable alkaline batteries over and over again, consider purchasing a set of rechargeable NiMH batteries to save money and help reduce landfill waste. They might cost more upfront, but they quickly pay for themselves the more you use them. And they usually have a longer battery life too. Duracell do a great range of these.

10.Use solar chargers

Solar chargers utilise energy directly from the sun and turn it into usable power. Because sunlight is  free to everyone, it makes for a pretty good power source. Without the need to generate artificial energy we preserve our valuable resources and reduce the amount of emissions that pollute the air.

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