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Green tech finds: the very unsexy edition

What do scooters, bike helmets, and building retrofits have in common? None of them are particularly cool, but they’re all here in this week’s green tech finds.

Feel like a dork in a bike helmet?: I don’t, but I’ve heard I’m unusual in this regard. Swedish company Hövding sees a market in self-conscious bicyclists, and has created an invisible, air bag helmet that deploys when needed. Check it out above. (via The Guardian)

Play air quality scientist with your phone: The Air Visibility Monitoring app from USC’s Robotic Embedded Systems Lab allows you to find out about air pollution levels in your location just by snapping a picture of the sky. (via Treehugger)

Retrofits ain’t sexy: But they’re generally a lot greener than a new building. The Urban Green Council’s EBie Awards will give a little love to existing buildings, and their tremendous energy saving potential. (via Grist)

Neither are scooters: But they’re cheaper than cars; that price differential goes wayyy up when we’re talking about EVs.  Boutique auto maker Z Electric Vehicle (ZEV) is recognizing that expensive high-performance electric cars won’t sell very well in today’s economy, and so they’ve built a scooter. (via The Energy Collective)

Fuel efficient cars in demand: A new report from the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows that fuel economy is, by far, the top factor in car purchases these days. Yes, gas prices are at least part of the story here, but so are consumers’ desires to live “in a more environmentally friendly fashion.”

Go sightseeing without the guidebook: Guidebook-free tourism could save a lot of paper, and the small town of Monmouth, Wales, is testing out the idea of giving tourists access to information through Wikipedia articles and QR codes. (via Inhabitat)

Are you an energy idiot? Probably – most of us think we know a lot about the topic, but few of us actually do. Planned interactive e-textbook The WATT? An Energy 101 Primer could help change that. (via Earth Techling)

Got sexier finds than these? Or less sexy? Either way, share them below.

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