EcoModo - The Best of TreeHugger

treehugger-gizmodo-week104.jpgThis week at TreeHugger: The Loremo (that's Low Resistance Mobile) makes the jump from concept car to working prototype at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show. Jason Lewis, one committed young man, just finished up the world's first muscle-powered circumnavigation of the globe in a shade under 13 years. Toshiba adds another direct methanol fuel cell gadget to its burgeoning lineup with its prototype PMP. Lastly, check out these fun iPod cases, made from old cassette tapes, that protect your 1st or 2nd generation nano, just in time for the new video nano -- there's nothing like one antiquated piece of technology protecting another, right?

TreeHugger sees a lot of slick-looking, future-forward car concepts; they've all got fancy computer-generated images, amazing stats about how fuel-efficient they are, and we drool and fawn all over them, and cross our fingers that we'll see something from them again. A lot of the time, we don't -- the development of the Aptera, now available for order, and the Tesla, are both notable exceptions. We're happy to add the Loremo to this list; first spotted last year, the diminutive, diesel-engined car sips fuel to the tune of 2 liters per 100 km, roughly equivalent to about 120 miles per gallon, turned up live and in living colour at the recent Frankfurt Auto Show.

On 6 October, Jason Lewis, the first man ever to circumnavigate the globe entirely by muscle power, ended his journey of 13 years. He hopes to use Expedition 360 to raise money for humanitarian causes and to draw attention to environmental issues. The trip relied on many types of transportation. Major water crossings were made in Moksha (sanskrit for liberation), a pedal-powered boat. Bicycle and rollerblades dominated land travel. Creativity, such as using a traditional Turkish boat to transport his bicycle across water, was at times necessary to maintain the commitment to human-powered travel.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more ardent advocate of fuel cell technology in the world of electronics and high-end gadgetry than Toshiba. Having already announced the creation of a line of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) concept audio devices a few years back, the Japanese company has now introduced a prototype PMP that integrates the fuel cell block with the device. Company officials claim the cell runs on nearly 100% methanol, and that users will be able to refill it from the side face. With the fuel cell block, they estimate the player will last for about 10 hours.

If you secretly preferred cassette tapes to vinyl (but have made the jump to digital music via the trusty iPod), then this lil' gadget is for you. Brought to you by the same folks who dreamed up the iPod cases from old 45s, these create similar utility for old cassettes; if you aren't still listening to them, you might as well use 'em for something, right? Nothing like one antiquated piece of technology protecting another, eh?

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.

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