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Today, (April 22) marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day when hundreds of countries and millions of people reflect and take action, in order to save our planet. 

Going green isn’t easy. It asks that we change our well worn and destructive habits and think of Earth and the future in ways in which we are unaccustomed. It asks us to think of a future that involves our antecedents and not us directly, to imagine a thriving pollution free world without us in it. 

Some of the biggest strides toward safe guarding our planet and future generations of all life, have come from the automotive industry in the form of clean fuel efficient rides. Makes sense, since the car and plastic industries are responsible for the pollution in the first place, manufacturing vehicles that either use electric power or ethanol. Fossil fuels shoulder the blame for the depletion of the ozone, which acts a layer of skin protecting the planet from harmful sun rays and deforestation names two causes why our world is changing lanes on us. Of course, these vehicles and ideas are met with resistance but the public is getting used to the idea.

One country that’s embraced the movement towards green fuel is Brazil, where some 90 percent of automobiles there run on ethanol fuel which is made from sugarcane. 37 percent of the world’s ethanol fuel is manufactured by Brazil. There are laws in Brazil which demands that bio fuels be used in all light cars. 

The U.S. is the second largest exporter of ethanol. Combined, the U.S. and Brazil account for 89 percent of ethanol consumption and export. Brazil has practiced this type of living for 30 years,  adapting their agriculture to deal with the problem. The U.S.? We dropped the ball. 

After the break we’ve assembled a gallery or some of the coolest fuel efficient and green vehicles on the planet. Happy Earth Day! 

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This BMW Green Concept is the company’s first foray into luxury green. 

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The 2011 Toyota Prius offers more fuel efficiency than its two previous incarnations.

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A Green Superbus, an insane 23-passenger electric superbus that can hit 155MPH.

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The Erban Speedster is a bamboo bicycle that is sturdy and fuel efficient. Its power depends on what you put in your body and your ability to move. It’s also made from hemp.

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This Brammo electric bike gets 100 miles per charge. It goes from 0 to 30 in 3.8 seconds. 

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This Peugeot is called the Loop Green and was created by designer Javier Arturo Rivera. It aims at being the epitome of revolutionary green car design for the future. Designed to resemble a cross between the wheels used by the ancient Romans and Egyptian to transport huge blocks of stone and a modern Segway scooter, the Loop uses the axle between the two giant wheels as a seating space which simplifies the design as a whole without compromising on functionality.

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Concept Car by Arturo Nogueras. It runs on algae.

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