Walking Makes Strides in All Kinds of Communities

“The health benefits of walking are so overwhelming that to deny access to that is a violation of fundamental human rights,” declared Dr. Robert D. Bullard, father of the environmental justice movement in a keynote speech at the National Walking Summit in Washington, D.C. “All communities should have a right to a safe, sustainable, healthy, just, walkable community.” We found inspiring stories from places across the U.S. where people got things started in communities not so different from where you live.

‘Worst Walking City’ in U.S. Gets Back on its Feet

We are in the midst of a walking renaissance as millions of people discover a daily stroll can prevent disease, boost energy, ease stress, connect us with our communities, and is just plain fun. The number of us who regularly take a walk has risen six percent in the last decade. Oklahoma City is taking part to improve life for people who walk — and reaping big benefits.

Automakers Ring in 2016 with Electric Car Showcase

General Motors and Volkswagen unveiled various green-thinking transportation ideas, providing consumers with an in-depth peek at what could represent green transportation in the coming years.

'Kickstarting' the K15 Bamboo and Recycled Aluminum E-Bike

Assembled in China from native bamboo and recycled 6160 aluminum tubing gussets, this bike frame seemed the perfect complement to the ZeHus motor. I not only ended up with one of the most beautiful e-bikes Iʼve ever seen, but it also turned out to be one of the lightest. Learn how you can reserve a future production version of the e-bike.

Driving Green at the FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS fairgoers could choose a vehicle from a fleet of Ford hybrid cars to test-drive on the rolling countryside outside Asheville, N.C.

What America’s Most Walkable Suburb Can Teach Towns Everywhere

Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car. That’s changing now. Arlington, Virginia, shows how feet on the street helps a community thrive. Learn about how Arlington is promoting walking through city initiatives as well as 10 more cities that are striving to make their communities more walkable.

Evergreen Transportation

How we need to rethink our transportation in order to keep Washington the evergreen state.

Finding a Comfortable Bike Seat

Long rides making your rear-end sore? It should go away after riding for some time. If not, here are some tips to finding a more comfortable bike seat.

Ford Brings a Charge to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Ford Motor Company’s electrifying presence at the 2014 Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR included sponsoring the event, giving test drives, and updating fairgoers about the latest news on electric and hybrid vehicle technology.

MAX Car 109: Reducing Rolling Resistance

MAX isn't just streamlined - MAX has its rolling resistance down to a minimum too, thanks to low-drag tires and lubricants. Here's a video to show how much it matters.

New Cycling App for Bicyclists

The free CycleMap cycling app pinpoints the locations of nearly one million miles of bike paths around the world.

Bike and Walk to Work for Better Health

Biking and walking to work have significant health benefits, according to a new study. Pedestrians and cyclists have lower risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and tend not to be overweight.

May Is National Bike Month

Go out for a spin this May during National Bike Month, and join the growing ranks of people who are discovering the benefits of bike commuting.

Multimodal Commuting Calls for Courtesy

This is a modified version of a guest post written by Zach O’Connor, Communications and Publications Coordinator for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), for the "Building the U.S. Bicycle Route System" blog. In it Zach explains how his coworker’s bicycle commute from the suburbs to the heart of Washington, D.C., makes use of the District’s newly improved bicycle facilities.

National Parks for Bicyclists

One of the best—albeit not the warmest—times to bicycle in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks is during the month of April.

Compare Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Step on the gas with a clear conscience: Use Clean Cities' vehicle comparison site to find the right light-duty model among alternative fuel vehicles, and green up your life in the fast lane.

Mackinac Island Hospitality: Eco-Tourism in Michigan

John D. Ivanko discovered that those in the hospitality business on Mackinac Island showcase the best of the past, blending it perfectly with modern sensibilities and, by default of it being an island, an ecological awareness to protect and preserve exactly what the millions of visitors come to see and experience every year.

Where Cars Are Illegal: Eco-Tourism on Mackinac Island, Michigan

As soon as my wife, son and I stepped off the Shepler’s Ferry, one of only three ferry services to Mackinac Island, our connection to motorized transport ceased to exist. Since 1898, cars and nearly every other form of motorized, gas-guzzling transportation are illegal on this Michigan island.

MAX Update No. 103: The Metro Miata “Cold Rod”

If MAX is a bit too Spartan for your tastes, here's a homebuilt high mileage sports car that's a bit more plush - a Mazda Miata with a Geo Metro engine - and it's coming to the Mother Earth News Fairs.

National Plug In Day is Coming

Celebrate the third annual National Plug In day on Sept. 29, 2013, and see what electric cars are all about.

The Many Benefits of Half the Oil

We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035.

Our Solar-Powered Tractor

The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.

Find a Fuel-Efficient Car

Whether you’re looking for a sporty two-seater, a large family vehicle, or a heavy-duty farm or work truck, here's how to find the best options for vehicles that use less fuel and save you money.

Best and Worst Cities for Public Parks

By analyzing park distribution in the biggest U.S. cities, studies show the long-term benefits — environmental and psychological — of having accessible parks in a city.

New York Bike Share Program Stirs Controversy

In less than a month, Citi Bike – New York’s public bicycle option – has taken the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn by storm. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated bike share program already has its share of haters.

Trans-America Cycling Tour Begins

My friend Tom and I arrived in the USA on June 13th, ready to start the biggest cycle of our lives. It didn't start smoothly. We have completed 361 miles to date after 7 days of cycling, this is pretty much bang on schedule which is a good position to be in for the Trans-America cycling tour.

Can You Ride a Bike on the Sidewalk?

The presence of bicycles on sidewalks has long been debated: Is it legal? Is it safer than the road? Shouldn’t children be able to ride on sidewalks?

MAX100 The Shows Must Go On

A big crowd likes MAXine better than MAX, and I’ll see you soon, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.

Chicago to Launch Bike Share System

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will launch the city’s new bike share system – called “Divvy” – later this year, with the goal of expanding to 4,000 bikes at 400 neighborhood locations.

Young People Are Driving Less

Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.

'Ride the Future Tour' Aims to Promote Green Travel

Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.

Bike Commuting Grows by Leaps and Bounds

The number of bike commuters is on the rise everywhere in the United States, but especially in Bicycle Friendly Communities where it has increased an average of 80 percent.

Stuff: Selecting Gear for a Cross-Country Bicycle Trip

So, I separated my bicycle gear for the cross-country cycling trip into two piles: needed, and nice. The needed items came in at 43 pounds. I will be traveling through towns almost everyday so replenishing items like soap, insect repellant, sun tan lotion, first aid items, bicycle parts, and personal hygiene should be easy. With this in mind I drastically reduced the quantity and different types of consumables: 37.8 pounds.

Take Your Bike to Work

Bicycling for transportation takes center stage during National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17, 2013.

Walking for Health

American leaders are planning to launch a national summit recognizing the benefits of walking for health.

The 2013 National Bike Challenge Sets High Goal

Last year, more than 30,000 Americans participated in the National Bike Challenge and rode more than 12 million miles. This year, the League of American Bicyclists wants to know if riders are ready for a bigger challenge.

Bike-Share Programs Across the World

Bike-share programs are now operated in more than 500 cities in 49 countries. Most cities are finding that bike sharing leads to better mobility and safer streets.

Shape Up

Optimize your training routine for the best results.

Start a Crossing Flags Program

Crossing flags could improve pedestrian safety and walkability in your city. Find out how to start a program in your own neighborhood.

See The USA

Thoughts and ideas about purchasing a recumbent bicycle for a cross country trip.

National Walking Day Aims to Get People Moving

The American Heart Association aims to get people moving by organizing a National Walking Day. Follow some of these easy suggestions to participate in National Walking Day.

Changing the Context of Transportation

Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?

Bike Boom More Than Just a Fad

The growing bike boom may be more than just a fad. It may be a full-blown movement toward a more sustainable mode of transportation.

How to Build a Cargo Bike Trailer

Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.

Active Transportation Benefits Health: Walk to Run Errands

Most Americans use vehicles to travel less than three miles, a distance that can easily be walked. Choosing active transportation over vehicles can improve your health, decrease your spending and minimize all that time you spend at stop lights.  

Top Car Sharing Cities in America

As gas prices continue to rise, so does car sharing. Walk Score lists the top 10 car share cities in North America.  

How To: Winter Biking

Winter biking doesn't mean spending tons of money on new cold-weather gear. Adding a few essential items to your closet can help keep you warm during cold weather biking.

Cycling Tour to Benefit TREE Fund

The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.

League Takes the Lead on Cycling Laws

The League of American Bicyclists has compiled a database of state-specific highlights of traffic laws that affect bicyclists. Find out if you live in a bicycle friendly community.    

Bicycle Infrastructure Guide

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently released an updated version of its Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities -- the go-to bicycle infrastructure guide for planners, engineers and contractors.

SuperTruck: Let's Get the Snowball Rolling!

Feels like I'm finally getting the ball rolling on my DIY Plug-In Hybrid Truck Project. I got a chance to visit Hot Rod Jim, talk about drive shafts, and even got the bed off the truck!

The Best-Loved Car in the World

I was gratified when, two weeks ago, Consumer Reports announced that the Chevy Volt was the best-loved car in the world among people who drive one – for the second year in a row. I have never loved a car like I love this one. And I have loved some cars.

Motorcycle vs. Car: Which is Best for Commuting?

As gas prices go up, more motorcycles appear on the roads. There's a strong belief among commuters that bikes are cheaper to own and operate. But which machine is really the winner in the battle of motorcycle vs. car?

Researchers Study Switchgrass Biofuel

A Louisiana State University forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock. Using switchgrass biofuel is practical because the plant requires little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods.

Quick Cook Method Turns Algae Into Biocrude

Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a way to “pressure cook” algae to produce biocrude. The process shows promise in the development of green fuels.

Biofuel Grasses Spark Criticism

Two grasses under consideration for biofuels in the United States are considered invasive species that may do more harm than good.

Build a Bicycle Cargo Trailer

Build a bicycle cargo trailer and haul almost anything—furniture, boxes, even a barbecue grill—using pedal power.

MAX Update No. 97: Deer Prudence

MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.

Car-Free Week, Dare to Ride!

Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.

Fuel for the Body Bike T.O.U.R.

This fall's Fuel for the Body T.O.U.R. ("Total Organic Understanding Ride") will educate the public on the benefits of living a green lifestyle that includes eating organic food and supporting local, organic farmers.

How Much Wood is Need to Run a Wood-Burning Truck?

Wood is a wonderful motor fuel! But how much do we need? Wayne tells us how efficient his truck really is on wood gas, and we take a look at how much we'd use if everyone decided to drive on wood.

Collaborative Advocacy in Action in Portland

Portland is the nation's most bike-friendly city, yet this Oregon community has had to deal with cycling disparities among its population. One nonprofit organization addressed this issue by developing new programs targeting low-income immigrant communities.

MAX Update No. 94: FrankenMAX

MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.

Mother's Wood-Powered Truck

Our research team's wood gas experiments have been so successful they've used their gas generator to run a wood powered truck.

My First DIY Solar Car

What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.

Wood Gas Speeding Ticket

Wayne you'd better slow down! The master of vehicle gasification is hard pressed to stay within the speed limit.

Making Hay With Wood Gas

Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.

MAX Update No. 93: Plugging Away

Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.

Wood Gas Meetup in Argos, Indiana

What happens when you gather 100+ wood gassers in one place? They have a convention! The wood gas meetup in Argos Indiana was a blast, check out the photos!

Hat Over the Fence: DIY Super Truck!

So here's an idea - why not take existing technology and build a DIY diesel electric pickup truck? Is it even possible? I think it is, but I'll need your help!

MAX Update No. 91: The Light Underbelly

The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.

Wood Gas With Wayne Keith

Wayne Keith and Chris Saenz have been making woodgas history. Follow their achievements via the Wood Gas Adventures blog!

Types of Biodiesel

Check your vehicle owner’s manual for guidance on which types of biodiesel and biodiesel blends you can use in your car.

Do You Need to Warm Up Your Car?

Although you might think warming up your car is best on a cold morning, doing so is a bad idea — and not just because it wastes gas.

Expensive Hybrid Car Battery Replacements Are Unnecessary

Hybrid cars now have a 12-year history in the United States, but hybrid car battery replacements have been surprisingly unnecessary. Most of the hybrid cars on the road are still using their original battery packs — even many of the 300,000-mile Ford Escape Hybrids used as taxis in New York and San Francisco. 

Hybrid Minivan in the Near Future

Been on the hunt for an electric or hybrid minivan? The options are currently limited in the United States, but a wider selection of green minivan options should be on the market soon. 

Electric Car Range in Cold Weather

Electric car battery range is worse in cold weather: A drop of just 10 degrees could theoretically sap up to 50 percent of a battery’s charge.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS: GUIDE TO GREEN CARS, Summer 2012

Our Summer 2012 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Green Cars features the most up-to-date information about the world of fuel-efficient cars, including more than 50 car reviews, an update on biofuels, the truth about electric car safety, expert advice and much, much more.

The Longevity of Diesel Engines

Diesel engines are engineered and built to be more robust due to the higher compression ratio in the combustion chamber and the high torque output they produce.

E85 Gas Prices

Supply and demand have kept E85 gas prices low, and politics has played a role.

Truck Gas Mileage

Today’s full-size pickup trucks are more efficient than trucks of just a few years ago, but it’s still common for truck gas mileage to be in the mid-teens. The best overall full-size pickup fuel economy can be found on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid.

MAX Update No. 89: Good Work Car

To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.

Nissan Leaf Test Drive

David Borden, a long-term MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader and auto enthusiast, reports on the performance and comfort of the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

Becoming Bike Travel Friendly: A Minneapolis Case Study

There are small things that any city -- large, medium, or small -- can do to become more bike-travel friendly. Minneapolis is a great case study -- a place that many other communities can aspire to emulate.

Blue Ridge Parkway Needs Your Comments

A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).

DIY Electric Car attracts Media Attention

Building my own electric car seems to have caught the attention of the Media. As though getting on the front page of the County paper for a speeding ticket in my electric car wasn't notorious enough, now I'm getting calls from big-shot reporters!

Blueberry Man and the No Fly Zone

Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....

Coffee-Powered Car Goes 66.5 MPH

Across the pond, engineer Martin Bacon and a team of volunteers have created a coffee-powered car that averaged 66.5 mph over two speed runs.

Men in Black

Keeping the project going is my goal.

I Went 84 MPH in a Wood Gas Truck

Every day, Wayne Keith proves that wood gas can be a practical, renewable and sustainable transportation solution. Certainly not for everybody, but certainly for anyone with moderate welding skills, a sustainable source of wood or other type of biomass, and a sawmill or access to a sawmill. I think there are many, many MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers who fit the previous description, just for starters.

MAX Update No. 80: Cooling Tests and Travels

On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.

Gold Prospecting And Having Fun

Spending a day having fun prospecting for gold, enjoying the outdoors, exploring a ghost town and the high mountains.

Toyota RAV4 EV Coming to Market in 2012

Recent reports have incorrectly stated that the 2012 RAV4 EV will only be marketed to fleet and car sharing programs. We’d like to set the record straight.

Act Today -- Save National Bike Programs

It is hard to believe but after more than 20 years of successful federal investment in biking and walking facilities, Congressional leaders are poised to eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking.

Mix It: Food and Bikes

Recently my passion for pickles was reignited, burning green, burning bright, and leading me to think constantly about food, even as I'm thinking about bike touring. Pickles led to bread, stew, then fudge (the kind my grandma used to make)...

The Mitsubishi I Electric Car at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.

Bikes Make Life Better

Bikes Make Life Better is the title of a new, fun video from the People for Bikes campaign.

AASHTO Approves New U.S. Bicycle Routes Across America

Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes.

Celebrate Earth Day ... At Home

Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!

Cycling Silk Movie Trailer: Beyond Borders

Inspiring video by two female bicycle travelers crossing borders, making friends, and documenting the human effort to keep the natural world connected despite our nation state boundaries.

With My Own Two Wheels

With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe.

MAX Update No. 69: Two Tired to Test

MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?

Welcome to Wood Gas Adventures!

Yes, you can power a car or truck on wood. Chip Beam thinks it won’t be long before we encounter a gas shortage and/or significantly more expensive gas. So what can be an alternative source of energy to power our vehicles? How about wood chips or pellets of plant matter? It may sound bizarre, but it really works. Here’s the first post in a new blog devoted to wood gasification for transportation.

Do Those Fuel Additives Work?

Our expert explains what really happens when fuel additives are put in a gas tank, and how this may cause more harm than good. If you really want to increase your mpg, our expert has a few tips for that as well.

MAX Update No. 68: Idle Speculation

Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.

Use a Digital Tire Gauge to Get Better Gas Mileage

Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.

MAX Update No. 66: Go With the Flo

Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.

Current Motor Company Debuts Line of Electric Scooters

Current Motor Company recently introduced a line of electric scooters that could take you where you need to go without using a single drop of gasoline. And with a potential $2,000 discount for new customers, the electric scooters could help your wallet while you help the environment.

Make Holiday Shopping a Joyride

Mia Birk's new book weaves together personal and professional history to illustrate the transformative power of bicycling.

MAX Update No. 62: Throttle Management

A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.

Photo of the Week: Pedal Power

Take a break from your automobile in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own images, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!  

Motorcycle Guys Test Drive the Honda CR-Z Hybrid

MOTHER EARTH NEWS managing editor John Rockhold picks the brains of his colleagues at Motorcycle Classics magazine (editor in chief Richard Backus and senior associate editor Landon Hall) about the new Honda CR-Z hybrid. Apologies for the wind noise!

Why MAX Didn't Make the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Wood Gas Car at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Chip Beam of Beaver Energy to hear about Beam's latest exploits with wood gasification to power vehicles.

MAX Update No. 60: An Unplanned Body Modification

So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.

Celebrate Alternative Transportation on World Car Free Day

World Car Free Day is an annual international event to raise awareness about alternative transportation. Every Sept. 22, cities and towns around the globe recognize the negative impacts of car pollution and encourage walking or biking as ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

MAX Update No. 51: The Rally Green Route

The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.

The Fisker Karma: An Electric Car With Curb Appeal

The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric car won't be for everyone, given its high price tag. But this sleek and cutting-edge electric car could break the mold for green cars and raise the bar for electric car technology and production.

All-New 2011 Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid Coupe to Start at Less Than $20,000

The all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe will debut Aug. 24, 2010. Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment.

MAX Update No. 46: Working With the Fiberglass Body

We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.

MAX Update No. 41: New, Safer Seats

In which Jack departs a little from his fashion sense and MAX gets new racing seats. But not just any racing seats: safer seats with real head restraints.

Two Spoke Gives Cyclists a Place to Chat

Two Spoke, an online forum devoted to cycling, gives cyclists a place to discuss everything from commuting bikes to cycling apparel to cyclist rights. This interview with a Two Spoke site administrator discusses the forum and its role as a resource for cyclists.

Is There an Electric Car in Your Future?

Do you see yourself in an electric car? Dan Chiras lists the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, and predicts the benefits will increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

The Prius Effect

The sales history of the Toyota Prius illustrates an exciting phenomenon: When a new idea or a piece of technology ignites the human imagination, it can spread very rapidly.

Do You Check Your Car's Gas Mileage?

How often, if ever, do you check your the gas mileage of your car or truck? Did you know it's super simple to calculate mpg, and observing it over time can help you improve your gas mileage and save money?

MAX Update No. 33: Your Roof Ideas Wanted

MAX needs an aerodynamic and easy-to-assemble roof. Plus it needs to look cool, be cheap, cost little, have a simple design and be reliable. No problem, right? So, do you have any ideas?

How Often Do You Ride a Bike?

Share your thoughts about using a bicycle to get around town and your tips for less experienced bikers.

Budget-Savvy Green Travel Guide

With the UCS green travel guide, you can leave a smaller environmental footprint getting from point A to point B.

MAX Update No. 27: The 5,000 Mile Inspection

One would think a car wouldn't need a mechanical inspection at 5,000 miles. But when you're building a 100-mpg car from scratch, and the builder is meticulous, it's wise to look for problems even when there are no signs of problems.  

New AMP Electric Riding Mower from Ariens

If you’re tired of using fossil fuels to run the lawn mower, but aren’t quite ready to fence the sheep in the front yard, take a look at electric riding mowers. Soon, both zero-turn and rear-wheel drive models will be available.

The 2010 Honda Insight: 40+ MPG for Less Than $20K

The launch of the 2010 Honda Insight marks the return of North America's first commercial hybrid gas/electric car, but with improved technology and performance. Originally published as "Honda’s New Hybrid: 40+ MPG for Less Than $20K" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Wike: Best Bicycle Trailer-Stroller Combo

The Wike Softie is a bike trailer-stroller suitable for pavement, gravel roads, or forest trails, and is a great way to take the smallest family members along on bicycle rides. Originally published as "Wike: Best Bicycle Trailer-stroller Combo" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Obama Asks EPA to Reconsider Auto Emissions Position

President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.

MAX Wins 800-Mile Road Rally, Without Gas

Using straight vegetable oil for fuel, Jack McCornack and MAX took first prize in the Escape from Berkeley alternative fuels road rally. Originally published as "MAX Wins 800-mile Race, without Gas" in the February/March 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Eco-Friendly Electric Cars Coming Soon

Eco-friendly electric cars are coming soon. Just over the horizon is a host of electric vehicles that tout improved range and speed, and state-of-the-art battery technology. Here’s a list of the models that are hoping to make an appearance in 2009 or shortly thereafter.

OPEC Cuts Oil Production

OPEC annouced it would cut oil production to stop oil prices from falling, which might be the best way to reduce American oil consumption.

Odyssey Day

Odyssey Day embarked from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago as a nationwide effort to encourage and promote the use of petroleum-free fuel. The day is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Clean Cities, which has helped reduce petroleum use by almost more than 2 billion gallons so far.

Toyota Taps Sun Power Too

Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends farther than the road.

To Moped Or Not To Moped...

Mopeds are springing up all over America, but are they really as environment-friendly as people make them out to be? Find out what I've learned and see if there's anything you want to add.

MAX Update No. 8: Fuels Rush In

MAX version 2.0 is about to start moving. This may come as a surprise, but Jack is going to try it with biodiesel.

Save Money Using an Electric Vehicle

Discover how to save money using an electric vehicle, using an electric scooter is good for the environment and uses renewable energy instead of gas. Originally published as "Country Lore: Go Electric!" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Falling in Love with an Electric Car

Zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Equivalent of 256 mpg. 220 mile range. Costs less than 2 cents per mile to drive. I'm in love. And you will be, too, after watching this video.

Honda’s High Mileage Club

Honda cars are famously reliable, and now there's an online community for owners of 100,000+ mileage cars to share their stories.

Ford to Get Serious about Small Cars

Today Ford announced a long overdue shift in its business emphasis: away from trucks and SUVs and toward small cars. Before setting this new direction, there has been plenty of struggle between old think and new think.

MAX Update No. 1: Half a Glass

Is the glass half empty? Half full? Or is there just too much glass? I'm designing MAX to be just the right amount of "glass" for the vast majority of our driving. Here's to efficiency.

Enter MAX: 100 mpg or Bust

We're at work on a 100-mpg DIY car! Come meet MAX and take a seat for what will be a long, but fun, journey.

UPS Adds Alternative-Fuel Vehicles to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Read about how UPS expects to save 176,000 gallons of fuel per year in order to reduce CO2 emissions from company vehicles by 1,786 metric tons annually. Originally published as "What Brown Can Do to Reduce CO2 Emissions" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The 100 Mile-Per-Gallon Alternative Car

100 mpg with off-the-shelf technology? Jack McCornack isn’t crazy, he just believes cars can have a lot better fuel economy than we’ve settled for historically. Enter MAX — the MOTHER EARTH NEWS entry in the Auto X Prize competition, a $10 million race for 100 mile-per-gallon alternative cars. This article details MAX’s origins and the early stages of its development. Originally published as "Here Comes the 100-mpg Car" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

This Truck Runs on Wood Chips!

You can run a truck on wood chips! No joke. Mother Earth News reported on this idea more than 25 years ago and the idea lives on. Using recycled water heaters, you can burn wood chips to power a truck, with little or no engine modifications required.

Carbon Counting Cheat Sheet

It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.

Affordable Fuel Efficient Cars

Check out these 30 affordable, fuel efficient cars that get 30 mpg or better. Originally published as "Affordable Cars Fantastic Fuel Economy" in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Run a Diesel Vehicle on Vegetable Oil

With a few modifications, you can run a diesel vehicle on vegetable oil to power your car or truck. People across the country are using conversion kits to retrofit their vehicles. Others are taking a do-it-yourself approach. Some burn free waste vegetable oil from local restaurants; others burn clean straight vegetable oil. But there’s a catch: Technically, it may not be legal. Originally published as "Would You Use Veggie Oil to Fuel Your Vehicle?" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Designing a Low-Emission 100 Mile-Per-Gallon Car

The X Prize Foundation wants to break our addiction to oil and slow the effects of climate change. They’re offering a multimillion dollar prize to the first team to create a low-emission, 100 mile-per-gallon car that’s safe, affordable and ready for mass production. The contest is gaining speed internationally, with more than 30 teams from numerous countries. Originally published as "Racing to a Revolution" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Back to School With Reduced School Bus Pollution

School buses are heading back to school with reduced school bus pollution. Those familiar yellow school buses may be the safest way to get our children to school, but they also subject children to harmful pollution. Thankfully, there are many emerging means for communities to clean up what carries our most precious cargo. Originally published as "Back to School with Better Buses" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Check Tire Pressure With a Digital Gauge and Get Better Gas Mileage

Check your tire pressure with a digital gauge regularly to improve your gas mileage. Digital tire gauges are the easiest and most accurate way to maintain the right pressure and get better mpg. Originally published as "Tire Pressure: Use a Digital Gauge and Get Better Gas Mileage" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Update: Progress on the GM Volt

An update regarding the progress on the GM Volt. General Motors’ plug-in electric car, the Volt, is now more than just a concept.

Where is E85 Ethanol?

Odds are you've heard much more about E85 than you've actually seen of it.

More High-speed Light Rail, Pronto!

Efficient public transportation can play a key role in a sustainable energy future. So why is it not already a major effort in the United States?

Toyota Yaris Review

This is a fun, zippy, yet efficient performer, says our Toyota Yaris review.

Nissan Versa Review

Even with its many ammenities you'll still get good fuel economy, says our Nissan Versa review.

Low Sulfur Diesel Is Coming

Forget the foul, sooty impression you may have of diesel. With federally mandated low sulfur diesel coming on the market, this once dirty fuel is getting cleaner. Originally published as "The New Diesel: Cleaner and Greener" in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Honda Fit Review

A versatile little urban runner, says our Honda Fit review.

The Myth of SUV Safety

They might not tumble and roll like a carnival ride, but don't trust in SUV safety to get your children from one place to another.

Why We Need Electric Cars

Electric cars promise to bring about a transportation transformation whose time has come.

Civic Hybrid and Camry Hybrid: Two American Favorites Go Electric

Honda and Toyota continue to advance the prominence of hybrid gas-electric cars with new versions of the Civic Hybrid and Camry Hybrid. Originally published as "Two of America's Favorite Cars Go Hybrid" in the August/September 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Review: Who Killed the Electric Car?

Chris Paine's documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" examines the factors that contributed to the demise of General Motors' innovative EV1.

Human Powered Vehicles

Don't miss your chance to try out human powered vehicles at the HPV conference.

Do Your Own Electric Car Conversion

Once you have the correct type of vehicle, you can do your own electric car conversion or hire someone to do it for you. Originally published as “Make Your Own Electric Car” in the April/May 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

California Standards on Automobile Emissions

California is leading the way to greener transportation by setting new limits on automobile emissions of carbon dioxide. Originally published as "Cleaner Cars Are on the Way" in the February/March 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Biodiesel Fuel: Homegrown Oil

Learn how clean, renewable biodiesel fuel is a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based fuel and how it can power any diesel engine. Originally published as "Biodiesel: Homegrown Oil" in the February/March 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Fuel Economy: Green Means Go

Here’s how to find the right vehicle for your needs, save money with fuel economy and pollute less.

Vegetable Oil Fuel

Turn used vegetable oil into a valuable fuel source for your vehicle.

Discover the Great Green Vehicles of 2003

Great Green Vehicles of 2003 October/November 2003 October/November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS shares a chart showing the top-scoring green vehicles of 2003, with detailed information on green cars and how they score for green transportation.

Finding an Environmentally Friendly SUV

James Kliesch shares important information on SUV's that pollute and how to find an environmentally friendly SUV. Originally published as "Greener Cars and Trucks" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Researching the Best of Green Cars

Will Nixon shares his story of researching the best of green cars to replace his old-faithful Nissan Sentra. Originally published as "Better Than Speed" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Finding an Environmentally Friendly Diesel Car

James Kliesch shares important information on diesel fueled vehicles and finding an environmentally friendly diesel car. Originally published as "Greener Cars and Trucks" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Scorecard for Green Cars and Trucks

James Kliesch discusses the latest green cars and trucks, including suggestions for the top green cars and hybrids for the environment and those that have the best mileage. Originally published as "Greener Cars and Trucks" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Switch to Fun and Economical Electric Vehicles

Change over to economical electric vehicles, includes cost savings when owning an electric car, environmental benefits and comparing gas and electric vehicles. Originally published as "Energy and Environment" October/November 2002 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Corn vs Straw: Environmentally Friendly Ethanol Production

Environmentalist are concerned that ethanol fuel made from corn is not as an environmentally friendly ethanol production process as creating ethanol fuel from wood chips and straw. Originally published as "Fuel From Straw" June/July 2002 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The California Assistance Program Helps Car Owners Meet Clean-Air Standards

The California Assistance Program is helping car owners to repair their cars or compensation for cars unable to meet the state's tough clean-air standards. CAP's goal is to eliminate 50,000 polluting vehicles within four years. Originally published as "Roads Less Traveled" December 2000/January 2001 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

The Moller Skycar

A sleek transportation feat, the Moller Skycar can reach speeds of up to 350 miles per hour at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet. Originally published as "Dad, Can I Borrow the Skycar" in the October/November 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.