Archive for the ‘living green’ Category

What Can Solar Lighting Do For Me?

We are all looking for ways to cut cost as the price of living continues to rise. And, with the recent push to more green power sources, we look for ways to do our part in saving the environment. One of the best ways to accomplish both of these aspects is to switch to solar power. There are so many different ways to implement the renewable source in our daily lives, and with a few simple questions, you can find the right one for you.

Maybe you’re a Realtor in need of lighted signs for your properties. What are your options? You are in luck, because there are affordable and dependable solar lighting systems that fit right on top of your existing Realtor signs. No one wants to lose a possible sale because it was dark and the interested party could not read your sign. Solar lighting is an excellent option to make sure your signs are always readable.

It seems like those city bus stops must use a lot of energy with those lights, but you wouldn’t feel safe without some sort of illumination. Are there any other options? Yes! In fact, there are a whole line of lighting systems that depend on solar power. And, some of these systems offer this neat little motion detector, so when a passenger steps under the shelter, the light automatically comes on. These systems could save a city thousands of dollars in electrical bills.

Are all of those warning lights and traffic notifiers using up electricity? In most cases, these lights, like speed indicators, school zone lights and flashing warning lights do depend on electricity. The good news is that more and more localities are switching to solar power for these signs too. Again, this is a great money saver and another step toward green living.

Have you always wondered about parking lots and street lamps and the power they use? They are needed, but they seem so unreliable, going out at the worst moment. Are there more reliable options? Solar powered lamps for these cases are more than reliable. They are each self contained, meaning that, if one was to malfunction, and the others will continue to glow brightly. The cost of installation of such a lighting system will pay itself off in a matter of months, since the lights use no electricity and need little or no maintenance.

What can you do for outdoor lighting at your home? There are numerous styles and designs for home outdoor lighting needs in sun powered options. You can find cute little pathway lights to illuminate the walk to your door. You can choose decorative lighting for your gazebo or patio. And, you can even install solar powered security lights to make dark corners of your yard feel safer. With outdoor lighting the options are endless. And, installing these solar systems will save you both money and time.

Perhaps you have a dock, and are always worried that something will cause your light to malfunction. What can you do? Consider installing a solar light. These illumination devices are available as track lighting along the edge of the dock or as pillars that can also serve as mooring. They are reliable even if the power goes out.

As you can see, there are so many excellent solar powered lighting options. These seven above are just a few of the many uses for these lighting systems. For anyone looking to save a great deal of money on power bills or for those looking for green power options, then a solar light system is definitely a great choice. You will not be dissatisfied, and you will love the drop in your electric bill.

About The Author
Kriss Bergethon is a writer and solar expert from Colorado.
Solar Lights – Solar E-Clips – Box of 14 LED Light sets

Insect-Repellent Fabric Treatment Is It Enough

Have you done any research on insect-repellent fabric treatment? I’m curious about what’s involved in production and whether it does indeed work.http://www.purpleturtle.co.uk/acatalog/Protective_Clothing_and_Fabric_Treatment.html
Answer
The active ingredient in this clothing won’t protect exposed skin from insects, although you’ll likely sustain fewer bites through your clothing. And while it may prevent ticks from crawling on your clothes and then on to you, the clothes won’t keep ticks from jumping onto exposed heads, necks, arms or feet.
Here is something else that will help at least you wont have to get it on your skin. Clips onto belt, purse.
Effective Protection Within minutes, OFF! Clip-OnTM repellent provides personal protection from mosquitoes. If you move, allow a few minutes for the unit to rebuild its protection. Protects against mosquitoes that may carry West Nile Virus
No Skin Application Unlike ordinary personal repellents, OFF! Clip-OnTM repellent provides mosquito protection without putting anything on your skin.
Fan Powered The quiet, battery-powered fan circulates repellent all around you. Batteries are included.
Odorless OFF! Clip-OnTM repellent uses an active ingredient with no scent. Johnson S.c. & Sons 70318 Here are some other safe solutions MQ7 – Personal Mosquito Repellent Lotion
Liquid Repellent for Mosquitoes, Ticks, Fleas, Flies & More
Safe for yards, parks, ball fields, golf courses, gardens and more. Mixed and applied as directed Mosquito Barrier repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, black flies, and gnats. It is also a deterrent for animals such as; armadillos, deer, field mice, geese and rabbits. All Natural & Safe:
Mosquito Barrier is a very strong liquid garlic extract (over 99% garlic juice). It comes from a special variety of garlic which is many times more potent than the type found in grocery stores. Using liquid garlic as a repellent is not new, it has been used by master gardeners and farmers for many generations.
What Makes Mosquito Barrier the Best In Mosquito Control?
Mosquito Barrier Liquid Repellent is made in the USA.
All natural, biodegradable ingredients with no poisons.
Effective for mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, black flies, gnats and other insects.
Use it safely on grass, turf, gardens, trees, flowers, vegetables, vines and more.
Safe to use around children, pets, fish, birds, bees and food products.
Properly mixed, 1 quart of concentrate covers 1.25 acres of grass or turf.
Properly mixed, 1 gallon of concentrate covers 5 acres of grass or turf.
Kills adult mosquitoes on contact, kills larvae in standing water.
Made in the USA.
Download the Mosquito Barrier Product Brochure (PDF)

Mosquito Barrier – Liquid Spray Repellent – 1 Quart, For Grassy Areas; Yards, Parks, Athletic Fields And Golf Courses, Keeps Away ticks, fleas, gnats, fire ants and black flies for nearly a month

Bug Off! Kids Biting Insect Repelling Wrist Band – 1 ea

Green Building Materials And Products

Select materials that are manufactured locally or regionally. This reduces the use of fossil fuels, minimizing air pollution and other negative environmental impacts. Remember also that green design should promote healthy living and that improved indoor air quality is essential to any green design.
Problems associated with poor indoor air quality may result from the presence of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the home or workplace. Carbon monoxide refers to highly toxic air formed during the combustion of fuels such as wood, oil, and natural gas that causes oxygen deprivation. VOC refers to indoor air pollutants, typically used as solvents in products such as household cleaners, paints, inks, and dyes. Common sources include formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, chlorine, and acetone.
Many of these chemicals, which are emitted from a variety of building materials and furniture products, off gas pungent odors. Off gassing irritates the eyes and upper respiratory tract and may be lethal at high levels of exposure. Associated health issues include increased problems with asthma and allergies, sick building syndrome (SBS), or building related illness (BRI). With exposure to high levels of toxins over time, a person may develop multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS).
Materials such as particleboard, medium density fiberboard, oriented strand board, and plywood are all used in a variety of ways in construction and furniture manufacturing. These materials are usually wood byproducts bound together with heat, pressure and resins. These act as adhesives or binders and often contain formaldehyde or other toxins that off gas.
When finishes or finish materials are applied to those substrates, they may also be applied with toxic adhesives that may off gas. Examples include plastic laminates, wood veneers, or in the case of coatings, wood sealers, stains, and paints.
Be sure to examine product information to determine the toxin content. One great way to do this is through the use of material safety data sheets (MSDS), which are available from all manufacturers. These fact sheets identify hazardous chemicals, as well as health and physical hazards, including exposure limits and precautions for workers who may come into contact with these chemicals.
Cleaning products for interior finishes and furniture also have a significant impact on indoor air quality. Emphasize to your clients the importance of using environmentally friendly cleaning materials that are safe, biodegradable, and water soluble or water based.
Above all, remember that knowledge begins with research. Committing extra time to this effort will be rewarding in many ways. As with any complex issue, there are no simple answers and always a few more questions.
Here are a few things that I do to address green design issues:
Work with companies that embrace a green design philosophy.
Get rid of trash compactors and replace them with recycle bins. The compactors compress garbage so that oxygen can’t get to the trash to help it biodegrade.
Recycle materials, such as cabinets, coming out of projects through organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
Specify energy-efficient windows and doors.
Use LED lighting whenever possible.
Specify washing machines and dishwashers that use less water.
Encourage clients to invest in new refrigerators with energy-saving features.
Specify recycled or sustainable materials whenever possible.
Specify low VOC paints.
Specify ceiling fans to lessen the need for air conditioning.
Use passive solar principles as often as possible.
Keep up to date with resources that embrace green design.
Use whirlpool tubs that do not require in-line heaters.
Specify certified wood sources.
Educate myself and my clients on the latest green design techniques and materials.

Top 50 Things To Do To Stop Global Warming

Global Warming is a dramatically urgent and serious problem. We don’t need to wait for governments to find a solution for this problem: each individual can bring an important help adopting a more responsible lifestyle: starting from little, everyday things. It’s the only reasonable way to save our planet, before it is too late.
Here is a list of 50 simple things that everyone can do in order to fight against and reduce the Global Warming phenomenon: some of these ideas are at no cost, some other require a little effort or investment but can help you save a lot of money, in the middle-long term!
• Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
We recommend you purchase your CFL bulbs at 1000bulbs.com, they have great deals on both screw-in and plug-in light bulbs.
• Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.
• Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment.
• Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
• Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most energy efficient products available.
• Do not leave appliances on standby
Use the “on/off” function on the machine itself. A TV set that’s switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.
• Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50°C.
• Move your fridge and freezer
Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ºC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.
• Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.
• Don’t let heat escape from your house over a long period
When airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during six cold months (10ºC or less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.
• Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing
This requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in the long term. If you go for the best the market has to offer (wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), you can even save more than 70% of the energy lost.
• Get a home energy audit
Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.
• Cover your pots while cooking
Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!
• Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full
If you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load or economy setting. There is also no need to set the temperatures high. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.
• Take a shower instead of a bath
A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximize the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.
• Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.
• Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.
• Insulate and weatherize your home
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. Energy Efficient has more information on how to better insulate your home.
• Be sure you’re recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.
• Recycle your organic waste
Around 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions through the methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By recycling organic waste or composting it if you have a garden, you can help eliminate this problem! Just make sure that you compost it properly, so it decomposes with sufficient oxygen, otherwise your compost will cause methane emissions and smell foul.
• Buy intelligently
One bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. As well, buy recycled paper products: it takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.
• Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can
You will also cut down on waste production and energy use… another help against global warming.
• Reuse your shopping bag
When shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.
• Reduce waste
Most products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one or another way, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes.
• Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.
• Switch to green power
In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. In some of these, you can even get refunds by government if you choose to switch to a clean energy producer, and you can also earn money by selling the energy you produce and don’t use for yourself.
• Buy locally grown and produced foods
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.
• Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
• Seek out and support local farmers markets
They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. Seek farmer’s markets in your area, and go for them.
• Buy organic foods as much as possible
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!
• Eat less meat
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.
• Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Look for transit options in your area.
• Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. eRideShare.com runs a free service connecting north american commuters and travelers.
• Don’t leave an empty roof rack on your car
This can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% due to wind resistance and the extra weight – removing it is a better idea.
• Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.
• Drive carefully and do not waste fuel
You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. By readjusting your driving style you can save money on both fuel and car mantainance.
• Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
Proper tire inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!
• When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle
You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency on FuelEconomy and on GreenCars websites.
• Try car sharing
Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar – offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.
• Try telecommuting from home
Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.
• Fly less
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel carbon emissions by investingin renewable energy projects.
• Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions
You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging other to take action.
• Join the virtual march
The Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort to bring people concerned about global warming together in one place. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of other people urging action on this issue.
• Encourage the switch to renewable energy
Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely but there are regulatory barriers impeding them. U.S. citizens, take action to break down those barriers with Vote Solar.
• Protect and conserve forest worldwide
Forests play a critical role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere – deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Conservation International has more information on saving forests from global warming.
• Consider the impact of your investments
If you invest your money, you should consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on global warming. Check out SocialInvest and Ceres to can learn more about how to ensure your money is being invested in companies, products and projects that address issues related to climate change.
• Make your city cool
Cities and states around the country have taken action to stop global warming by passing innovative transportation and energy saving legislation. If you’re in the U.S., join the cool cities list.
• Tell Congress to act
The McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would set a firm limit on carbon dioxide emissions and then use free market incentives to lower costs, promote efficiency and spur innovation. Tell your representative to support it.
• Make sure your voice is heard!
Americans must have a stronger commitment from their government in order to stop global warming and implement solutions and such a commitment won’t come without a dramatic increase in citizen lobbying for new laws with teeth. Get the facts about U.S. politicians and candidates at Project Vote Smart and The League of Conservation Voters. Make sure your voice is heard by voting!
• Share this list!
Send this page via e-mail to your friends! Spread this list worldwide and help people doing their part: the more people you will manage to enlighten, the greater YOUR help to save the planet will be (but please take action on first person too)! http://globalwarming-facts.info/assets/files/50-tips.pdf
http://globalwarming-facts.info/50-tips.html

Global Warming :: 50 Things You Can DOClick here for the funniest movie of the week

Some Awesome Green Tips

In an effort to save some electricity try turning your AC up a few degrees. Just a couple of degrees and you will probably not even notice. Also, if you leave your home during the day, turn your AC up about 10-12 degrees for maximum savings. Just little things like this can make a big difference in not only your monthly utility cost, but the environment as well.

  • Recently I have been using vinegar to clean up a lot of stuff. From stains in a toilet bowl to whipping down the counter tops, vinegar has a wide range of uses and is much better for the environment than any chemical formula you find in a squirt bottle. Want to have a green cloths wash… use vinegar and baking soda and your cloths will come out fresher than you have ever seen. Want to dissolve mildew, soap scum or algae.. Again vinegar can do it all.

  • A lot of water is used, especially in the summer, to water plants and lawns. A simple way of making use of rainwater, is by catching excess water runoff from your roof and using it to irrigate at a later time. By simply placing a barrel at the bottom of one of your roof drain leaders, you can store enough water to irrigate the lawn and your plants until the next rain. No roof drains, just put the barrel underneath a valley in your roof to catch the runoff which would otherwise erode away the ground where it hits.

  • Paperless billing is relatively new and most companies are jumping on board because it saves them money. This not only saves money, but the more people who use it, the better it is for the environment. Paperless billing allows companies to use less virgin paper because smaller and smaller amounts of paper bills are being mailed out. This equates to less virgin paper being used and produced, which will save a lot of trees from being clear cut. So, signup for paperless billing and pay your bills online, its easier, faster and better for the environment.

  • It is heating up, and during the summer many home loose their efficiency due to heat gain through their windows. A quick and dirty fix would be to close the blinds on the Southern and Western sides (Northern Hemisphere) of your home after lunch. Although this is more effective than just leaving the windows unprotected, heat still passes through the window and radiates inside the structure. There are alternatives which would stop this radiant heat gain, such as investing in double pane gas filled energy star windows or better yet save some money and get the same performance with someEnergy Film Glare Control Window Film 48-by-84-Inch

  • Earth

    earthJames Earl Jones narrates this US version of the 96-minute documentary film (the English and German version are narrated by Patrick Stewart and Ulrich Tukur, respectively) which follows families of arctic polar bears, African elephants, and humpback whales for an entire year. The film tracks the animals’ migrations across the globe and through some of the harshest terrains and climates on earth, pointing out in a factual and remarkably non-political way the negative effects of global warming and habitat destruction on these animals and the planet as a whole. Watch The Earth – Official Trailer [HD] Watch “Earth” Movie

    ECO Tip – Disposable Biodegradable Tableware

    As you are shopping for your Forth of July parties, think about buying disposable biodegradable tableware & cutlery.
    Jaya Biodegradable has a great natural alternative for styrofoam and plastic silverware. Their forks, knifes, and spoons are made from sugar cane fiber that is a waste product of the sugar refining process. Their products are heat resistant to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, microwave safe, freezer safe and non-toxic. They also cut as well as any plastic fork.
    EarthShell has an awesome alternative for styrofoam and plastic plates & bowls. Their dinnerware is made from renewable resources such as corn and potato starches and abundant limestone. Plus they are much sturdier than paper plates and microwave safe too.
    Celebrate the Forth & the earth this July by buying biodegradable tableware.