From the senseless rioting in the U.K. to the chaos on Wall Street and tragedy in the Middle East, it’s no doubt been a discouraging week in the news.* But there’s a bit of sunshine at the end of the doom-y, gloomy tunnel ...

Hot on the tail of the announcement of an in-store partnership with Lowe’s that will help bring affordable residential solar leasing to the big box masses, Oakland-based solar powerhouse Sungevity recently made it official that the company will be expanding operations into New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and last but not least, Delaware.

And because nothing says $0 down solar leasing options like a biodiesel truck peddling hibiscus mint and banana cinnamon ice pops, Sungevity’s is unleashing just that — a solar-powered, biodiesel ice pop truck (no need to question its legitimacy) — at music festivals, farmers markets, and other alfresco gathering spots across the Northeast now through Sept. 4. Not only will the truck, the consumer-engaging centerpiece of Sungevity’s Rooftop Revolution campaign, be a source of free, all-natural ice pops, but it will also be equipped with iPads so the ice pop-sucking public can test out the company’s proprietary iQuote system (the same system set up at Sungevity kiosks at select Lowe’s stores) for themselves. In addition to the truck, Sungevity will also donate $1 to educational nonprofit The Solar Foundation for every “like” posted to the Rooftop Revolution Facebook page.

Sungevity’s ice pop and affordable solar leasing solar leasing campaign couldn’t come at a better time. In a July telephone poll conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Sungevity, 71 percent of American adults, especially those in the Northeast, admitted to being “overwhelmed” by rising energy costs. Three out of four adults believe that solar “should be the residential energy source of the future” although a large percentage of respondents appear to be out of the loop when it comes to solar basics: 45 percent think that solar is only an option in consistently sunny areas like Arizona and only 27 percent are aware that home solar systems can be leased and not purchased outright.

Keep up to speed with the Rooftop Revolution ice pop truck over at Sungevity’s Facebook page or via Twitter. Next stop? The truck will be making stops in northern New Jersey through Aug. 20 before landing in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 24. Have you caught it yet? Although I missed the truck's stop in in NYC, I could use one of those Hibiscus Mint ice pops right about now ...

* Although not as "doom-y and gloomy" as the aforementioned news coming out out of Wall Street, the U.K., and Afghanistan, additional sad news came this week in the passing of a great, green visionary: Ray Anderson chairman and founder of modular carpeting giant, Interface. For more on Anderson check out columnist Ken Edelstein's obituary and blogger Chris Turner's thoughts on Anderson's tremendous eco-legacy. Although gone, Anderson will most certainly not be forgotten.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Sungevity brings solar leasing, ice pops to the Northeast
To celebrate its recent expansion into a part of the country that needs some serious cooling down, solar leasing powerhouse Sungevity pushes free hibiscus mint