Friday, May 16, 2008

Carbon Footprint

Have you ever heard the term "carbon footprint"? Check out this website where you can calculate your carbon footprint.

Water Cybering

Have you ever been driving around on a rainy day and you drive by a house that has their sprinklers on and your thinking to yourself what a waste of water. Well I happen to be watching the weather channel the other day and saw this amazing idea on combining water and the computer together. It's designed with a sensor so that on the coldest or the hotest of days it will adjust accordingly so that your conserving your water and saving money!! Check it out

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Summer is here!

Although the first "official" day of summer is not until June 21st, Northern California is set to be 100 degrees HOT the next few days.

Make sure your home air conditioner is ready. Here are a few tips on how to prepare and maintain your air conditioning unit from the MID website. A well maintained unit can save you money as well as energy. Stay cool!!!

Green Your ....

Check out this site. It can be pretty useful, or pretty funny. Depending on what you want to turn "green".

An Incentive to Build Green

I ran across something interesting this morning regarding a declining housing market, mortgage turmoil, and building "green". It appears that Countrywide Home Loans is trying to do their part to help correct this downturn in the housing market, as well as do something for the environment. Countrywide Home Loans is offering a .125% decrease in the interest rate on the purchase of a "green home". There are a few different ways to be able to put the "green" stamp on newly constructed homes. For more info click here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Japan always gets the cool tech stuff before us!

This has to be one of the coolest GREEN inventions I've seen in a long time. Triumph International Japan Ltd (a lingerie manufacturer) has just come out with a green bra. This bra is not only green in color, but it can also generate enough juice to power up your phone or your i-pod! It has a solar panel that goes over your belly section and creates enough juice to re-fuel your mini-techy-devices! This is definitely in line with blue tooth ear pieces and under the skin implanted debit/id cards and all the other tech stuff that goes on your body...and I thought cyborgs died with the 80's sci-fi flicks...go figure...Here's the link.

Eco-Friendly Natural Cleaners

Ever find yourself using a cleaning product and you have to leave the room because the scent is so strong and you have to leave the room? Why pay for expensive cleaning products when you can create them at home for half the price using everyday products within your home? These recipes are especially great if you have children at home!

3 things you need...
  • Plastic bottles ( you can find these cheap at your local dollar store, they always have them)
  • A Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • 1 trip to the grocery store

Sophie Uliano's Veggie Cleaner Spray (for those who can't buy organic)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract (available at your local health food store)
Combine ingredients in a large container then transfer to a spray bottle. Spray on produce, and rinse after 5 to 10 minutes.

All Purpose Surface Cleaner
  • white vinegar
  • salt
Mix together equal parts and spray.

No-Streak Glass Cleaner
  • 1/4 cup of undiluted white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 quart warm water
Divide into spray bottles and spray for sparkling mirrors and windows.

It's that easy! Using all natural cleaners in your home is a "win-win" situation. You can also buy these products online or at some health food stores. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5 Ways to Save : The Hot Water Heater

Most people are all too familiar with the TV father who steps into the shower in the morning only to find there's no hot water. It's a classic TV skit but one that, if it happens to you, could cost lots of money.

Here are 5 tips that'll help you save money, energy and water.

1) Heating too much water is a HUGE waste of energy. It's best to consult a licensed plumber to determine what size water heater you need but here are some general guidelines to help you out. If you have 1-4 occupants in your home you would need a 30-50 gallon water heater. For a family of 4-7 people you'd need a 50-80 gallon water heater on average. If you have a large family of 7+ occupants you're looking at a big water heater of 80+ gallons.

Working on the hot water heater. Photo by Christopher (aka Mr.Thomas on Flickr).

2) If your rooms requiring hot water are widely separated, it may be more efficient to install two or more smaller heaters rather than one large central water heater. This is because water flowing through the pipes loses heat causing you to draw more water from the tank to get it to the proper temperature.

3) Lowering the water heater temperature from 140°F to 120F° can reduce your energy bill by as much as 10 percent. (Keep the temperature at 140°F if you use a dishwasher without a temperature booster.)

4) Reduce sediment in the bottom of your water heaters tank by once a year draining a bucket of water from the tank. Sediment in the bottom of your water heaters tank can waste energy by "blocking" the water in the tank from the heating element.

5) Take showers instead of baths. Filling the bath tub requires far more heated water than that put out by an energy efficient showerhead. Pick one up at your local home remodeling store or visit for a great selection of energy efficient showerheads.

Photo by Christopher (aka Mr.Thomas on Flickr).

Green Hype

We have heard a lot of news lately about large companies making strides to be a part of the green movement. Companies like Wal-Mart, British Petroleum, and UPS are making headlines left and right for their efforts to make their businesses more green. Many of these companies are developing and marketing new green products and going above and beyond to show their green side to consumers. Are these large companies genuinely concerned about the environment and the future of our earth, or are they simply leveraging green publicity to make more money?

A recent article in Telegraph suggests that some of these large companies may be missing the boat.... literally. The article explains that Ex. Beatle Paul McCartney was gifted a new Lexus LS600 from Lexus for his part in helping to promote the new hybrid vehicle for the auto maker. At first glance, giving away a high efficiency vehicle seems like a very green thing to do, however, Lexus made one big mistake. They decided to send their gift express, and flew the car from Japan to Britain on a Korean Air Flight, creating a carbon footprint almost 100 times larger than if they had shipped the car by sea. While the company is obviously creating and marketing products that promote sustainability to consumers, it is obvious that they are not taking simple steps to integrate sustainability in their own business operations. Does this seem hypocritical to anyone else?

There is a lesson here to be learned. Simply because a company sells green products, does not mean that they are doing their best to be green as a business. Although many big businesses are making an effort to look green, their number one concern is still to make profits. Don't believe the green hype. It seems we still have a long way to go before big business will truly have the earth's best interest at heart.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Yesterday I was spending Mothers Day with my mom when a light bulb went out in her dining room light. "I'm going to have to run to the store tomorrow to get some more. It seems like we're going through a bulb a week anymore."

"Mom!" I said. "Don't just get a light bulb get a Compact Fluorescent. Compact Fluorescents are a little more expensive when you initially buy them but they last up to 10 times longer. You save buy not having to buy more bulbs every week AND you cut your energy bill too! Not only that, Compact Fluorescents help you save money on your air conditioning during the summer months because they generate less heat!"

Needless to say my mom went out this morning and bought Compact Fluorescents for every light fixture in her house. What a great Mothers Day gift!

To learn more about Compact Fluorescents check out