Friday, September 12, 2008

Save Money By Doing Simple Things...

You can start conserving energy and saving money by raising your thermostat in the summer by one to five degrees. In the winter you could lower when your gone and sleep with extra clothes on and blankets.

Always wash your clothes in cold water. Not only because cold water preserves the color but mainly because it is cheaper. When it is time to dry always make sure that you have a pretty full load; because believe it or not the fuller the load is the more you conserve energy.

When using lighting, you should use energy efficient bulbs; they reduce electricity up to 75 percent and last much longer. When using a might light, make sure to use the one that automatically shuts off during the day.

One thing that the most of us can all do is slow down when driving. By slowing down you can save money on gas. The faster you go the more your mileage decreases. A few things that can work to your advantage are getting your oil change regularly and using cruise control. Clean oil reduces friction and helps improve the fuel's economy.

Recycling Your Old Magazines

I don't know about you, but I never know what to do with my old magazines when I am done with them. They usually end up lying around collecting dust until I get sick of them and end up throwing them away. Well not anymore, magazines in fact can be recycled.
Different ways to do this are by dropping them off at local doctor offices or taking them to different establishments that could reuse them, you or your kids can use them for different work or school projects, or you can shred them and use them as filler paper. Another way is by simple recycling them. Recycled magazines can be made into different paper products such as newsprint, tissuepaper, boxboard and writing and printing paper.
I don't know about you but it is nice to know that I can do something with my old magazines after I am done with them besides just throwing them away.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A little bit goes a long way...

We are all familiar with saving water and the many water efficient devices that are available to us. For most of us, the concept of saving water has been embedded into us from an early age. “turn the water off when you brush your teeth,” and other phrases, are all ones we are use to hearing from our mothers. But, while you are turning off the water while you brush your teeth and waiting to do your laundry till midnight when its considered “off peak” hours, have you considered what chemicals you are mixing with all that precious water, that’s undoing all that hard water saving work?

When you’re washing those clothes at midnight, are you using biodegradable detergents and softeners that use plant oils? Or dryer cloths that don’t contain animal tallow? Thats some pretty dirty stuff to be put around your body let alone in our water!

What about when you’re washing your hands throughout the day? Are you using a non-toxic, triosan-free soap? If your not, you’re not only dirtying up our water, but you’re killing all the aquatic and plant life that it comes in contact with after it leaves your sink. “Soap's job is to clean. Not kill. So why do so many brag about their 99.99% death rate? if microbes can't take it, what makes you think your hands can?” - method. When you use the oh-so popular hand sanitizers that are out there, what are you using? Most of the leading brands carry harmful chemicals that are toxic to you let alone our water!

When you’re cleaning your kitchen and your bathroom, what are you using? You use a lot of water with all those products... Are you sure they are not contaminating while your cleaning? If you can’t understand half of the ingredients on the label, and if it says harmful if digested, keep out of reach from children, than it’s probably not good for the water either... We should be using biodegradable, bleach-free products.

What about washing dishes? Have you thought about what your soap is leaving behind and contaminating the water, let alone your food? If you spend the extra money to eat organic foods, you might as well save it. If you aren’t using a biodegradable, phosphate-free dishwasher detergent, than all those chemicals that you were trying so hard to avoid have just made their way back up onto your dinner plate.

As we grow into a more “green” conscience society, there are more and more product lines becoming available to us to assist us in detoxing our homes (and water!). One of the fastest growing and leading brands out there today, is Method. Not only are they selling environmentally safe products, but they have started a movement called “people against dirty.” Method has acquired a faithful following of product users like kids to the neighborhood ice cream truck! Other major brands have quickly tried to follow suit with providing environmentally safe products but have a while to go before they start nipping at Method’s heals. If you haven’t heard of Method, or tried their products, check them out. They have recently published a book called “Squeaky Green” that spills the beans on all the dirty little secrets hiding in your home. You can find Method at Target and other major retailers. You can also check them out online at

Monday, September 8, 2008

GM Plants Going 'Landfill Free' by 2010

Many businesses are realizing that to compete in today's environmentally aware marketplace they need to be "green". One of latest of these companies "going green" is none other than General Motors, manufacturers of the Chevrolet and GMC line of automobiles, who have vowed to make more than half of their manufacturing plants "Landfill Free" by 2010.

Free Press: "GM said Friday it has added 33 plants to its list of "landfill-free" plants, bringing the total to 43.

And by 2010 GM is aiming to achieve landfill-free status at more than 80, or half, of its manufacturing plants.

GM defines "landfill-free" as reusing or recycling 96% or more of the waste generated by the manufacturing process.

"As a result of our global efforts, recycled metal scrap sales are approaching $1 billion in annual revenue," said John Buttermore, vice president GM Powertrain.

GM will also generate about $16 million in revenue in North America, he said, from recycled wood, cardboard, plastic and oil.

"So in additional to being environmentally responsible, there is a bottom-line benefit to our recycling efforts," Buttermore said."

Water Agencies Getting Serious About Conservation

With California in the grips of one of the worst droughts in state history, Water Agencies are taking a tough stance with water wasters. "Since November, Bill Stephens and his fellow water cops have issued more than 450 warnings and tickets to water wasters in Riverside County. They've targeted commercial, industrial and institutional customers in the Eastern Municipal Water District from Moreno Valley to Temecula.

This month, Stephens started to cite residents for excessively using water. After two warnings, homeowners will be fined $100 or more.

“You see a lot of waste. You just see it everywhere,” Stephens said.

He mainly writes citations when water is streaming off landscaped areas or sprinklers are spraying onto pavement.

Water cops are the way Eastern, California's fifth-largest water district, is emphasizing the statewide drought. There are few equivalent programs in San Diego County, where officials are relying almost entirely on voluntary conservation despite some calls for mandates.

One exception is the Padre Dam Municipal Water District in Santee, whose employees recently were deputized to report water misuse, including irrigating between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Violators are sent a warning, and repeat problems can result in fines of $75 or more.

“It's time to get serious,” said Mike Uhrhammer, spokesman for the Padre Dam district.

The odds are increasing that similar restrictions and enforcement measures will become the norm throughout California next year. Water levels of major Northern California reservoirs that also supply Southern California are dropping dangerously low: the Folsom, Shasta and Oroville lakes are one-third full. Last winter's snowpacks in the Sierra Nevada were meager and there wasn't much rainfall.

Next year “could be the worst drought in California history,” Lester Snow, the state's water chief, said at a recent hearing in Fresno.

Sacramento-area districts have tried several tactics. One has adopted an odd-even daily outdoor watering schedule, another shuts off deliveries to farmers and ranchers three days a week and a third adds a surcharge to the bills of customers who haven't met its conservation standard.

As of Friday, homeowners and businesses in Folsom, along the American River, are allowed to irrigate landscaping only on specified days and never between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently signed an ordinance that doubles fines and prohibits watering lawns between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“We are stating unequivocally to all residents that anyone wasting our most precious resource will pay the price,” Villaraigosa said."

Photo by Dvaires via Flickr.

Discover the Delta

Ever considered where your water comes from? (No, I’m not talking about the tap). It’s a pretty important resource, wouldn’t you agree? California has a long history of moving water from where it falls to where it’s needed. The hub of California’s water system is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. Water is pumped out of the Delta and sent to Southern California to supply the needs of about 23 million people.

Discover the Delta Foundation is hoping to educate Californians about one of their main water sources. The nonprofit foundation has plans to build a 7,728 square foot information center where visitors will be able to learn about the geography and history of the Delta, as well as local hot spots for bird-watching, kayaking, wine tasting, or whatever interests them. The Information Center hopes to help people understand the region better and in the process, create a sense of value.

Maybe you’ve been following all the water talk in California, maybe not. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding Delta levees, more specifically, the possibility of failure of these levees in the event of an earthquake or flood. One of the hottest debates in California right now is in regard to construction of a canal that would deliver water around the Delta, instead of pumping water from the Delta. Depending upon how you see the Delta may have an impact on what you think about the canal.

For more information visit the Discover the Delta Foundation website at