Browsing the archives for the green living tag.


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    Are we selling the U.S. to the foreigners?

    alternative, energy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, forum, green living, solar, Wind

    I don’t usually like to get political or get involved in the discussion of the national economy, but… It just seems to me that when a company from a foreign country comes in and buys a large portion of an American company it threatens our national security. Just my personal opinion. Now I am reading how companies from Japan and Germany are coming in and buying into American renewable energy to take advantage of new renewable energy initiatives (http://bit.ly/B5Byb). Are we selling ourselves and our wind overseas? I would love to hear your comments on this.

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    • leaf-on-panel-oregon-dot-solar-panel-solar-cell10 Off the Beaten Path ETFs That Everyday Investors (Probably) Haven't Heard About Have you noticed that everyone seems more interested in the esoteric, out of the ordinary types of investments these days? I have. Some people might want to buy gold because they're caught up in the fear trade, or others might want to buy raw commodities like oil or natural gas......
    • blog traffic exchangeTap Into The Power of DIY Solar Energy and DIY Wind Power by Teegan McElroy Considering that the two most plentiful energy resources known to man, is solar energy and wind energy, it's hardly surprising that homes and businesses can nowadays be powered solely in this manner. With solar panels or a wind power generator installed, practically every type of electrical appliance......
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    Energy Saving Screens

    alternative, energy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, green living, solar, Uncategorized

    My wonderful husband has taught our German Shepherd, Duke, to open and close the screen door by himself. It originally started innocently enough. We were remodeling downstairs and often times my husband would be carrying heavy things in and out and nobody was around to open the door for him. Duke would jump through hoops of fire for my husband and quickly mastered this trick. The problem is that now the remodel is over, I refuse to use the energy to turn on the air conditioner so the doors are always open, and now Duke uses the screen door as his private doggy door. Needless to say the screen has been pushed through and ripped and is now a public mosquito entrance.

     I decided to go online and see if any of the local stores carried that pet screening that stretches instead of ripping when an animal jumps up. What I found is a great energy saving screen. A company named Phifer, that makes the pet screening, makes a whole line of screening and fabric. I never even knew there was something called weave technology, where the type of fabric woven in different ways can have different effects. The one that caught my eye was the Super Solar Screen.

     The company claims the Super Solar Screening reflects 90% of the suns heat and glare, improves daytime privacy, and still allows for excellent outward visibility, not to mention it keeps the bugs out. Sounds like the claims on an infomercial, but at the Home Depot site the product had been rated and review by two individuals. Both reviews gave the screening 5 out of 5 stars and both said it performed as advertised.

     This will be a huge benefit for a house like mine that faces northwest. I get full sun at my backdoor every morning in the summer; I don’t like to open the door and shades because it raises the temperature in the house. Then in the late afternoon I get the full effect of the sun as it gets ready to set so I have to close all the doors and shades on that side of the house. I am hoping with my Super Solar Screen, I will be able to get airflow from the windows and doors without the heat and glare from the sun. If I decide to turn on the air conditioner it should not have to work as hard with the Super Solar Screen. But maybe with the heat and sun reflected away from the house I won’t have to turn on the air conditioner at all. Sounds like a huge energy saver to me.

     As for my screen door, apparently there is no pet friendly screen that can hold back a German Shepherd. I am going to replace the screen with the Super Solar Screen and buy pet guards to keep Duke from going through it.

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    • Are You Wasting Valuable Energy and Money? This post was written by USwitch.  With gas and electricity prices spiraling, consumers are looking for ways of saving money. As well as establishing an energy saving regime in the home which can reduce the average fuel bill by up to £250 according to the Government it is worth shopping around......
    • blog traffic exchangeHome Energy Management: Are You Wasting Money On Your Home Energy? [The following is a guest post brought to you by uSwitch] We recently talked about the need for proper business energy management, now we will switch gears and focus on the home. With electricity prices rising all the time and fossil fuels nearing depletion, it makes a lot of sense......
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    Take Action Now!

    alternative, energy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, green living, solar, Uncategorized, Wind

    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller

     Sometimes people don’t vote because they think “one vote can’t change anything”. I think the 2000 election proved that wrong, but some people still don’t believe. Now is your time to be counted by your elected officials. If you want this country to move forward with cleaner energy contact you Congressional Representatives and Senators today. It only takes a minute but can help save the earth a life time.

     Click here to email your U.S. Representative and Senators about the NAT GAS Act today!

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    • blog traffic exchangeBudget Crunched? Not sure about where you live, but here in Fredericksburg, VA the gas prices have really started to come down. Just last night I filled up both of our vehicles for $3.09 per gallon for regular unleaded. While the stock market has begun to resemble a terrible train wreck, the......
    • wind-turbineAlternative Energy For Homeowners As home heating costs rise, and energy in general gets more expensive, many homeowners are turning to alternative means to power their homes. While many systems require a lot of effort to implement, there are quite a few that can be easy to install and quite economical. Whether it is......
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    Start with Energy Conservation

    alternative, energy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, green living, Uncategorized

    When it comes to clean energy, saving our environment and living green, the best and only place to start is energy conservation. For every unit of energy saved, a unit of energy does not need to be produced. That sounds so very simple, yet I see it over looked time and time again. People are so impressed with the newest solar product, the next residential wind turbine or if hydrogen technology will replace natural gas, that they forget that all this technology can replace a greater percent of our energy if we use less energy to begin with. In other words energy conservation and efficiency are very often more economically worthwhile than renewable sources and also helps bridge the gap between demand for and availability of renewable energy.

     

    We have all seen list after list of ways to save energy around our house; these should not be pushed to the side because you “did” the list last year. Like all maintenance around the house, conservation cannot be done once and forgotten about, that is why they call it maintenance. There are always new products coming out that can make energy conservation easier, more efficient and more affordable.

     

    My attic is always the first place I look when thinking about energy loss. I have a cathedral ceiling in my living room and just never feel comfortable in the room during the cold winter months. Obviously I have insulated but I still just feel the heat escaping. So I went up to the attic at night leaving the living room lights on and the attic lights off. Bingo! I was able to identify several areas that were not completely insulated around the recessed lighting (make sure your recessed lighting fixtures are rated to have insulation around them). Next I went up to the dark attic on a very sunny morning, before the heat made it unbearable. Again, Bingo! There were a couple of places along the eaves where I could see daylight. Once these were fixed I started looking at different insulation products for attics that were DIY friendly and wallet friendly. Two products caught my eye: Super Insulating Radiant Barrier and the Battic Door Attic Stair Cover.

     

    The Super Insulating Radiant Barrier is a fold out, insulating, reflective product that goes over your current insulation and/or over the roof rafters to create a barrier that actually radiates heat back down to the living space.

     

    The Battic Door Attic Stair Cover is an insulating box that goes over dropdown attic stairs and keeps heat from escaping. This product is a huge improvement over ones of days gone bye. I have had a similar product for about fifteen years and can see this will pay for itself in very short time.

     

    Take time to look at these and other energy saving products. A dollar spent today could save hundreds over a life time not to mention helping to save the environment. Never under estimate the heat, or cooling, loss in your home. Keep vigilant about conservation, any energy saved is energy that does not have to be produced.

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    • blog traffic exchangeWhat Do You Do To Go Green? Going green can vary for all of us. We each do what we can in our lives to be environmentally conscious and reduce our eco-impact. If you haven't began your green adventure, here are a few simple steps you can take to go green that my family and I have......
    • blog traffic exchangeLengthen Your Pool Season With Solar Swimming Pool Heating Solutions Who would rather dive in heated water than freezing water? A lot of us want to warm our swimming pools without skyrocketing our electricity payments. In the past, this isn't possible, but now that we have the solar energy system, we can have heated water in our pool without paying......
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    Habitat for Humanity, a Homerun for Energy Efficient Products

    alternative, energy, forum, green living, heating options, light bulbs, solar, Uncategorized, Wind

    In a June 1st article by Dan Cook, in Arizona’s The Daily Courier, he wrote about a Habitat for Humanity home that had been built as a “net-zero energy” house.  The idea is to use smart building products and techniques, as well as alternative energy sources, such as solar, so that the house does not use any energy from the grid or fossil fuel. This is a whole new niche in the building industry and there is an unlimited amount of products and services to choose from. The problem is that builders and prospective  homeowners, we don’t know which products are proven, or will work in our situation, or have a chance to see the product installed or talk to a builder who has actually installed the product.

     

    That is why I found this article interesting. If the companies offering these great new innovative energy saving products donated them to Habitat for Humanity, we would all benefit. First the company would win, getting actual exposure to the public with their product, as well as goodwill, for donating the product. Any builder interested in the product could donate their time to help install the product at the Habitat for Humanity job site. This gives them goodwill for helping, but also gives them experience with new products and techniques that they can sell to their clients. The homeowner wins because they are buying a product that they have seen work and are having it installed by someone who has had experience with the product. The recipient of the Habitat for Humanity home wins with lower or no utility bills. And last, but not least, the environment wins every time we do not use fossil fuel to power our world. This could be the ultimate win-win situation.

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    • blog traffic exchangeThe Unrevealed Secrets Behind A Successful Product Or Service Launch Total Product BlueprintA single of the details that has come to define the internet advertising space above the past couple of several years is the use of product launches to promote the introduction of new goods into the marketplace. Most of us have experienced the onslaught of emails, videos and......
    • ecofriendlyThe Truth of Green Product Claims If you are confused when it comes to green building products and the claims that are being made by their manufacturers, you are not the only one. Navigating the complex world behind green products and the claims that they make is not always easy, but it has become necessary in......
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    Lessons for Wind Power

    alternative, energy, green living, Uncategorized, Wind

    According to Boston Business Journal, Boston’s Museum of Science announced this week that it will be putting a wind turbine laboratory on its roof. Apparently they have already done wind studies for a year and have come to the conclusion that there is not enough viable wind in their location to create any meaningful electricity. They already have two turbines up and intend to put up three more of varying shapes and sizes ranging from 7 feet to 40 feet. The idea is to “demonstrate small wind turbines that could be erected on small businesses and homes”.

     

    The problem is that small wind turbines cannot be erected on any building, ever. Mother Nature is a very formidable force to deal with. Any and all wind turbines have an incredible vibration; this can cause both structural and noise problems. Roof top turbines have been known to cause nails to vibrate right out of the roof. While the museum roof may be substantial enough to withstand this, with a full time maintenance crew, the average home is not engineered to withstand these forces. 

     

    Second, there is no usable wind on a roof. When you see a small wind turbine on a roof spinning wildly, it looks like it would be generating plenty of power. The truth is, all that spinning is the turbine trying to find a steady wind in a very turbulent area. Wind is invisible, and most people don’t understand what they can’t see. Think of a stick lazily drifting down a calm stream, making slow but steady progress, then there is a rock in the way, the stick goes around the rock but gets caught twirling in the eddy behind it, there is a lot of movement, but no progress. Wind is the same way, once it hits an object, such as a house or a tree; there is wind turbulence behind the object. Another way of looking at this is a sailboat in the lee of a bluff. You feel the wind on your face, it feels strong, but the sail is slapping madly and the boat is going nowhere. A wind turbine is the same way as it searches for the wind in the turbulence.

     

    The Boston Museum of Science would be doing the public a huge favor by teaching the physics of wind and turbulence using smoke chambers and roof mock ups to show how a nail or a screw can be loosened due to vibration. They should teach the benefits of clean wind energy when placed in the right location and the uselessness of putting it in the wrong location. With all my heart I hope the Boston Museum of Science is not advocating building mounted turbines, not only would they be putting the public at risk physically and promoting a waste of money, they will be putting a black mark on wind energy when these turbines never produce any meaningful electricity.

     

    Look for an upcoming blog on proper wind turbine location.

     

    For more information check out the Warwick Wind Trials data on building mounted turbines.

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    • Home Wind Turbine Study Reveals Shocking TruthHome Wind Turbine Study Reveals Shocking Truth According to a UK home wind turbine study, turbines are generating only a fraction of the power claimed by manufacturers, and some even use more power than they produce!  The results showed that the worst performers produced a mere 41 watt-hours per day - that's less than what a household......
    • green-living-photo-by-valentins_k10 Ways to Prove that Frugal Living is Really Green Living in Disguise. I'm probably the most unlikely Green Living advocate on the planet. I'm an advocate of offshore drilling, I voted for Bush in 2004 (bad call I know), and I drive a crossover SUV. Yet, more and more these days, I find myself being slowly taken in by the tree hugger......
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    Think Globally, Buy Locally and Grow Organic!

    energy, green living, Uncategorized

    I just read a blog this morning on how salmonella is unchecked in the frozen foods we buy. The article was more politically oriented and I don’t want to get into that. But it brought up a good point about global warming.

    If you buy a head of lettuce grown in California and you live in Maine, how does it get to you? Think about this, the soil is prepared and the lettuce is planted using large fossil fuelled machinery. Then there is mega amounts of water wasted as huge sprinkler systems water the crops and everything in between. Then there is that wonderful fertilizer, the kind you wonder what it contains. Then we get our trusty underpaid, underappreciated immigrant workers to harvest the crop and package it for shipping. Then it is sent to a refrigerated distribution center and put into large, refrigerated trucks to be sent across the country, using diesel fuel all the way. Now once it is on the other coast it goes to another distribution center and sent out in another truck. Finally, about a week after being picked it goes on your grocery store shelve.

    That head of lettuce has probably used more fuel to get to the store than you used to run errands this week. A better option would be to buy local produce. Now that summer is around the corner, numerous farmers markets will be selling their goods. This not only saves all that waste of shipping your lettuce across the country, but it feeds the local economy and environment.

    Better yet, grow your own. Especially if you have young children, this is a rewarding endeavor. You will be teaching your children a life long lesson that no school could possibly teach, not to mention children are more likely to eat vegetables they grew. As an added bonus your children will not be ingesting dangerous chemicals from artificially fertilized food. There is nothing more satisfying than eating produce you grew yourself and knowing you helped the environment.

    If you are new to the horticultural lifestyle try Organic Food Gardening Beginners Manual.

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    • blog traffic exchangeBuying a Used Green Hybrid Car Given the newness of green hybrid electric cars, you might not think it's easy to find a used one for sale. They are out there, though. Many people who are financially fortunate enough to be able to do so tend to swap out cars every 2 or 3 years so......
    • Is Being Green Futile? As many of you know, I am a large proponent of living green. In fact it is one of my newest passions. Both my husband and I have been working on converting our home to a green home, one that is free of chemicals and toxins that are bad......
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    Go To a Convention For FREE!

    alternative, energy, forum, green living, heating options, light bulbs, solar, Uncategorized, Wind

    Haven’t you always wanted to go to a convention and find out more information, but you just couldn’t justify the time and expense of going? Now is your chance. Virtual Energy Forum is offering a free two-day converence on clean energy. No plane trip, no hotel room and no credit card bill!

    Just sit down at your computer and wonder through the convention. Catch a live presentation by a keynote speaker or ask a vendor some questions. All while sitting at your desk, you can learn the latest about the most important issue facing the world.

    This is your chance to find out how you can make a difference in clean energy without wasting any of your energy. Sign up today for free at Virtual Energy Forum. They can’t make it any easier than that. Set the date June 24th and June 25th, 2009.

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    • blog traffic exchangeChance to win a free Personal Finance book If you have ever heard of Larry Winget you know his style: brash and honest. Exactly what a lot of people need to help them get their finances on track. If you have never heard of Larry, here is a chance for you to win his latest book for free.......
    • What Are Earthships and What Can We Learn From Them About Saving Money? Guest Post Author Bio: This post was contributed by Jane Sanders from Debt Management. Jane makes every effort to live sustainably and is very passionate about the state of our planet. She's also pretty keen with financial advice. Visit her site for more financial tips and debt management help.......
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    Wind Is Blowing In!

    alternative, energy, green living, Uncategorized, Wind

    Great news on wind. The American Wind Energy Association had announced 2,800MW of new wind energy installed in the first quarter of 2009. This is awsome news for renewable energy and puts us on our way to reaching President Obama’s goal of 25% of our electricity coming from renewables by 2025.

    But we still have some major obstacles, the largest of which is the lack of updated, smart grid transmission lines. Unfortunately, most great land wind in areas with smaller population densities. We need to get this great power to where it is needed.  We need a renewable energy standard (RES). Everybody who wants a cleaner, healthier future needs to write their Congressmen, their Senators and President Obama and demand what we voted for, a RES today.

    To read the full AWEA report click on this link: http://www.awea.org/publications/reports/1Q09.pdf

    To contact your elected officials click on this link:http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

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    • greenhouseGreen Home Improvement Tips The green home improvement movement is very strong these days.  It seems that no matter which direction you look, you’ll find some new article being written about it.  Some of the articles are written by people that are very gung-ho about ecologically friendly home improvement.  There is nothing wrong with......
    • How To Transition Your Family Into Going Green So, you have finally made the decision to live a life that is a lot more environmentally friendly. That’s a great choice! Your decision will have a long term impact on the world around you. There is still a challenge that exists however. You need to transition your household......
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    Solar panels are evolving

    energy, green living, solar

    One of the largest hurdles of solar photovoltaic panels is converting their production of DC (direct current) electricity into AC (alternating current). AC current is what all household electrical systems use. Solar panels are usually placed on a roof top and wired and grounded together. Then the high voltage DC electricity is collected and fed to an inverter where it is changed to AC and fed into the household system. This causes the solar array to perform only as well as the least performing panel. So if one panel gets shaded in the afternoon, all the panels get “shaded” in the afternoon.

    A California based company, Akeena Solar Inc. , is changing the design of their Andalay solar panels to include a micro inverter in each panel. This means that the electricity produced by each panel will be converted to AC as it leaves the panel and is then fed directly into the house electrical system. If one panel becomes shaded all the other panels will still be producing AC electricity at their optimal levels. Because each of the Andalay panels already comes with a built in rack system, and comes with its own micro inverter, the company predicts design and installation costs to go down by as much as 25% and efficiency to go up by 5% to 25%.

    Akeena has found a way to make solar more efficient and financially feasible to more consumers. With the federal and state tax credits available it almost doesn’t make sense for most households not to try solar. Until more households start using the technology today, the industry will not be able to learn and develop how to make solar more cost efficient for the future. Solar has always been expensive and will remain so until the industry is given the time and resources to find a “better way.” In the meantime it is never too soon to reduce our carbon emissions.

    Akeena Solar Inc. plans to start producing the panels in 2009.

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    • timemoneySave Time, Money and Space in Over 80 Ways If you're looking for handy gadgets, tools and various items that can save you time, money or space (or all three!) this list of more than 80 top products is just what you need. Everyone's got saving money on their minds these days- whether your at the grocery store, or......
    • blog traffic exchangeHome Renovation and the Economy Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and I visited the Home Renovation and Remodeling Show at the Nashville Convention Center this past week-end. We were looking for ideas and potential vendors for some home upgrade/remodeling projects we are considering. It turns out that one can get a good idea of how the economy is......
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