Friday, October 21, 2005

Electric Car

The choices are limited. When D and I decided to go look at a Prius while outside on vacation, the trip to town took us through a small ski town that had advertised a low mileage, bi-turbo, Quatro with 6 speed manual transmission. I had to drive it. That was a mistake. While the mileage was our first concern with the rising cost of fuel, there are reasons enough to want 4W drive in Alaska, and for us, 4% grade with switch-backs to our home on top of the hill, the 6 speed transmission holds unusual appeal. The problem is not a lack of power or appropriate gear to climb the hill but in having the right gear to hold us back coming down. It’s a brake job once a year. That was the excuse. The result was of course after driving that magnificent bi-turbo Quatro the Prius felt tentative and a bit unstable, so we are still looking.

The criteria for us now including: electric or some combination for economy better than 40 MPG shortens the field. Make that a small car for shopping, regenerative brakes for the hill and some mechanical sophistication and the list grows shorter yet. None have it all. What I would really like would include: 3 cylinder diesel or ceramic turbine to back up an electric 4W drive or a fuel cell to accomplish the same.
Toyota RAV4 EV, now out of production. A few may be for resale in California.
Prius, for obvious reasons.
Honda Civic, hybrid.
The Ford Hybrid does not have the mileage
Neither does the Jeep Liberty
And then there is that 400 horsepower Quatro with 6 speed shift.
The Mini-Cooper actually makes the list at this point.
All but one is satisfactorily economical. I come away liking the Beetle largely for it’s advanced trany and diesel. The all electric Toyota would be a find. Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Catholic Relief Services, Fair Trade Coffee

Dear Friend:
We are writing to share some exciting news—the CRS Fair Trade Coffee Program is now proudly working with 14 Fair Trade coffee companies across the United States, including Colorado-based Earth Friendly Coffee!
CRS Fair Trade Coffee Program
The CRS Fair Trade Coffee Program works overseas to help improve the lives of low-income coffee farmers. Here in the United States, it creates opportunities for you to make international trade fairer for them and countless others like them through the everyday choices you make about what kind of coffee you buy.
CRS & Earth Friendly Coffee
Earth Friendly Coffee is deeply committed to the welfare of the farmers who grow the coffee they sell—the same commitment CRS upholds in its work with coffee farmers overseas in places like Nicaragua. And Earth Friendly Coffee is also committed to CRS —for every bag of coffee you buy through the CRS Fair Trade Coffee Program, it will donate a percentage of your purchase to the CRS Fair Trade Fund to support our work with low-income coffee farmers overseas.
Earth Friendly & You
Start building a relationship with Earth Friendly Coffee. Invite Earth Friendly Coffee to events in your parish and community to serve coffee or to talk about their commitment to justice for the farmers they work with overseas. And the next time you buy coffee for your parish, home or office, consider purchasing
About Earth Friendly Coffee
Earth Friendly’s mission is to find the best Arabica coffee from small farmers worldwide; to pay these growers a price
that enables them and their families to prosper; to offer
this excellent coffee at a
modest price that allows many more people to enjoy it; to provide our customers with an excellent chemical-free shade grown coffee; and to be fair to ourselves as well.

Contact Information:
Diane Hughes
Fair Trade coffee from Earth Friendly Coffee as part of your commitment to work for economic justice and walk in solidarity with our brothers and sisters
in need around the world.
When you buy Fair Trade coffee from Earth
Friendly Coffee, everyone wins—the low-income farmers who grow your coffee are treated with dignity, a local socially responsible business gets rewarded for its commitment to justice, CRS gets support for its important work overseas, and most
of all, you get great coffee you can feel good about!
For more information about CRS, Earth Friendly coffee, or any of the other Fair Trade coffee companies participating in the CRS Fair Trade Coffee Program, visit us online at or call us
at 1-866-608-5978.
With warm regards,

Michael Sheridan
Economic Justice Program Officer
P.S.: Call Earth Friendly coffee at 866-807-6089 today, or visit them online at to learn how you can get involved! Be sure to let
209 West Fayette Street Baltimore, Maryland 20201-3443 www.crsfairtrade.orgthem know you participate in the CRS Fair Trade Program!