Tag Archives: green energy

VOD: Bill Nye Tells You Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

The millenial generation grew up receiving their science facts from a guy with neat curly hair and a wonderful array of bow ties. Many of us are adults now and “Bill Nye the Science Guy” has long been off the air, but that doesn’t stop that magical man of science from trying to save the world anyway. In this YouTube video Bill describes what climate change is, how we got here and what we need to do to stop it.

“This climate science is no longer a matter of opinion, politics or dogma,” Bill says towards the end of the video. By the time the current population of children reaches middle age the human race’s carbon dioxide production will be double the earth’s natural carbon cycle – yet we are already seeing the hazardous effects through higher temperatures and more extreme weather. If we act now we can prevent things from getting worse but we are dangerously approaching the point of no return where we will be forced to recognize a new normal of extreme weather and unbearable temperatures. Why would we ever let that happen when there are so many clean energy sources being made available to us? That’s a question we should probably be taken more seriously.

Did you know this about climate change? Have you tried replicating Bill’s simple experiment? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Green-Up Your Home to Live a Happy Healthy Life

greenvalentineBy: Elizabeth Eckhart 

It seems today that more and more Americans are concerned with the current state of the environment, and what we can do to help. Everywhere you look, companies are “going green” in an attempt to appeal to the demands of the increasingly educated public. Even electric companies in places like Texas, the oil capital of America, are touting their green energy options, and it’s all beginning to turn the tide: according to the EPA, in 2008 Americans were able to avoid releasing the equivalent of 29 million cars worth of greenhouse gases through eco-conscious living. This translated to a savings of $19 billion for Americans that year.

However, it’s not just our commercial goods we are wanting to be eco-friendly – many of us want to live greener and thus healthier lives defined by mindfulness of our place on the Earth, and making our home as green as possible is an undeniably important part. Our homes should be a haven, not a harm to us, and shouldn’t be reducing the quality of the environment.

So what exactly is a “green” home? Compared to an average American home, green homes are gentler on the environment because they use less energy, water and other natural resources while avoiding waste and negative environmental impact wherever possible. Standard homes consumes about 30 percent of total energy and 65 percent of all electricity generated in the US. By making plumbing, fixtures, landscaping and irrigation systems more efficient, greens homes can use 50 percent less water than standard American homes. Also, constructing a green home generates about 50 to 90 percent less waste than standard homes.

Based on these facts and simple observations, it should come as no surprise to see the rise in the number of eco-friendly homes being built, and for good cause. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that buildings in the U.S. contribute 70 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and residential buildings produce 20 percent of our total CO2 emissions alone. It is clear that our homes and offices play a major role in the environment, so it’s our responsibility to limit the damage we inflict with them.

Also, not only do standard constructed homes negatively affect the environment, but they are affect our wellbeing. Green homes create less indoor air pollutants than standard homes, which can enhance allergies and asthma and may lead to lung cancer.

There are many options for current homeowners to turn their homes into energy efficient ones. One of the most popular programs to help with this process is the Energy Star program, which was launched in 1995. Energy Star certified energy efficient products typically use 20-30 percent less energy than what is required by federal standards. While Energy Star certifications are for what’s in your home, LEED Certification, launched by the United States Green Building Council, is for the building itself. LEED-certified homes aim to reduce their negative impact on the environment by reducing their energy and water use by an average of 20-30 percent as well as maximizing fresh air within the home to reduce exposure to domestic pollutants.

The reality is though, that most Americans simply can’t afford to build a new LEED certified home, or buy new Energy Star certified products. Luckily, there are many steps all of us can take to reduce our impact on the environment that don’t break our bank.

The first step would be to get an energy audit — many electric companies offer these at minimal to no cost, or you can do it yourself. A DIY audit consists of checking for, and sealing, indoor and outdoor air leaks that could be driving up your energy bill by 5-30 percent a year. This is particularly important for older homes, since they are more prone to having drafts.

Next, compare home electricity providers to see which companies offer green products, such as solar panels. Many companies today are utilizing renewable sources from solar, to wind, hydro and geothermal to generate electrical power. If you live in states like New York, Maryland, Texas, and other parts of the South, you can try here to see which companies offer eco-friendly options for household electricity in your area and which would work for you and your household’s electricity needs.

The next step is to check your home’s insulation, which keeps the heat from escaping through the ceiling and walls. The attic is the biggest culprit for heat loss, so look there first if you have one, then consider checking and re-sealing the borders of windows and doors.

Your heating and cooling equipment should be next on your list. Cleaning or replacing filters, inspecting ducts and pipes for leaks, and replacing the unit every 15 years will ensure tip-top energy efficiency and will protect your lungs from breathing in mold and other harmful toxins.

The last, and easiest step is to monitor your use of electronic devices. Aside from using any electronic devices less frequently, make sure to unplug everything that isn’t being used at that moment, and definitely do so if you’ll be out of the house for a few hours or more. Unused, but plugged in, electronic devices are leeches of electricity and cost you hundreds of dollars a year without you being any the wiser – this includes power strips and surge protectors, so be sure to unplug these as well as they will continue to draw power. To get more tips on a do-it-yourself home audit check the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.

Other greener options for the home are to use less water, use fewer paper goods such as paper towels (opt for cloth towels instead and reuse them), get newer appliances that are more energy efficient and whenever possible buy green household cleaners that don’t contain harsh chemicals or toxins.

Not only will doing everything you can to make your home green reduce your impact on the environment, it will also lead to a happier, healthier life. Wellness begins at home, so make sure your house is part of your solution!

Have any other tips for making your house more green? Share in the comments below! 

***

Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

4 Green Technologies That Are Actually Selling

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People are becoming increasingly concerned about their carbon footprint. However, just because we are concerned about this as a society does not mean that all green technologies are selling as well as they should be. In fact, too many of them have gone by the wayside. Luckily, there are still green technologies that are actually selling.

Hybrid Cars

The price of hybrid cars keeps coming down, and the demand keeps going up. As the price comes down, more people can afford them. When buying new cars, one of the biggest things families look at is the gas mileage. The next thing they look at is the overall price of the car. So, if they can get a car that is relatively inexpensive but will give them great gas mileage, they are going to jump on it. This is the biggest reason that these vehicles are selling extremely well.

Cleaning Supplies

Have you walked down the cleaning supplies aisle at the grocery store lately? Take a look around; you’ll see that there’s a lot of “green” products. That’s because these things sell like crazy. No one wants to clean their home with harsh chemicals. Instead, they want to get things clean, but do it as environmentally friendly as possible. Companies that create cleaning products have noticed this and now make green cleaning products that fly off the shelves.

Home Solar Panels

As the solar panel technology is getting smaller and more easily available for home use, it’s also becoming more popular. People are buying solar panels to put on their roofs to power their homes. Some use these to supplement their power, while others bring in so much from their solar panels that they are able to sell back to the power company in their town. In addition, many new homes come pre-installed with solar panels. This is a technology that is becoming almost as common as high-speed Internet in homes – it’s not quite there yet, but give it a few years.

Windmill Farms

One of the biggest sellers for cities and states is the wind technology. In fact, many areas are setting up windmill farms. These expanses of land literally have windmills set up on them, and that’s it. They harvest the power of the wind and use it to produce power. That power takes the place of more traditional power creation methods, lowering the carbon footprint of the city. Plus, many cities that do this are able to sell the excess power they create to other cities or even other states. In addition to larger entities doing this, some individuals are able to set up windmills on their own land. Sometimes the land is rented to larger organizations for the power creation.

There are a lot of green technologies out there. Some have come and gone without much stir in the community. Other technologies have yet to be tested on a larger scale. What are your thoughts on the green tech industry? Do you see potential for economic growth and job creation through these endeavors?

Reflections on “The Green Thing”

Looking Back and Looking Forward:

Reflections on "The Green Thing"

 

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman
that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman
nodded agreement and said, “We didn’t have ‘the green thing’
back in my day."
 
That’s right, they didn’t have ‘the green thing’ in her day.
 
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to 
the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and
sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So
they really were recycled.  
 
But they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.
 
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an 
escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the 
grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every 
time they had to go two blocks.
 
But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
 
Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have 
the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy 
gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really 
did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their
brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.  
 
But the lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.
 
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in 
every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, 
not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they 
blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric 
machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item
to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not 
Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
 
Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to 
cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They
exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to
run on treadmills that operate on electricity.  
 
But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then. 
 
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a
cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They 
refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they 
replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the 
whole razor just because the blade got dull.
 
But they didn’t have the green thing back then.
 
Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to 
school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 
24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not 
an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they 
didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from 
satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest 
pizza joint.
 
The green thing wasn’t "necessary" back then.
 
A little perspective, past to present, for the road ahead…

 

 

 (Adapted)

 

Kimberly King

The Peace Company

www.thepeacecompany.com

 

 

Why Choose Solar Energy?

Solar energy is a tried and tested power source that is already being used around the world for numerous commercial, industrial, government and domestic applications.  Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the Sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.

Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the Sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.

For every change in the world, one being had to advance lead the others joined. Even if you anticipate you cannot change the bearings all by yourself, do not worry. When humans acquisition you adequate the abundant advantages of application solar power, they will chase your example.

Solar panel is apple-pie and does not could cause any pollution. It does not bankrupt the earth’s accustomed non-renewable assets of energy, appropriately allowance to conserve the eco-system. Using solar ability can accomplish the apple a cleaner and bigger abode to reside in.

Solar panels may crave an ample bulk of amplitude area they can be set up, and added so if there are an amount of solar panels, the after-effects can be actual rewarding. You can save up to 90 percent on your ability bills.

Once you complete the accession aspect of a solar ability unit, you can eventually go absolutely off the filigree and never accept to pay ability bills. You can adore charge less and ceaseless ability after annoying about the costs.

Solar energy is not acclimated alone for electrical ability generation. It can as well be put to an amount of added uses that are as abundant important. You can use solar energy to fry food, light solar bulbs, heat water, run solar buses and solar trams, run a centralized cooling or heating arrangement and abundant more. Appliances like solar powered calculators, attic fans, etc. are as well added examples that appearance you the advanced ambit of use for solar power.

Solar energy can change the atmosphere of your home into a cleaner and safer one.

New Technology In Cheap Solar Cells Will Make Clean Power Inexpensive

Researchers have had a great discovery in the push toward making solar power an inexpensive and efficient method of clean energy production that can be used to supply power to the nearly 2 billion people having no power or at best unreliable power as well as for all advanced industialized modern societies.

The iJET is a new type of solar cell that’s cheap and easy to make, requiring not much more than a pizza oven, some nail polish remover, and a common inkjet printer. Read More Here: livesmartbook.blogspot.com/2009/07/clean-green-cheap-solar-power-they.html

Environmental Change is Part of a Bigger Picture

I just read Robert Redfords blog Harnessing Natural Power on Huffington Post. He’s right, there is a lot of natural power available in this country. Why have we not harnessed it to power our lives? Why aren’t more green power solutions accessible? And why do they have to cost more than convetional energy solutions? Maybe we need to change the equation by standing up and demanding it. We forget that we have the power to ask for change. We have the power to demand better.

I think the problem is deeper than that. Maybe we need to be asking why do we think we are separate from the environmental crisis itself? We talk about global warming, financial instability, the breakdown of social mores, lack of water resources, terrorism, the plight of women and children, hunger, thousands of refugees. Are all of these crisis are separate? In 2005, Kofi Anan wrote a report to the Security Council including all of these issues (In Greater Freedom – download if from my website – http://cathytowle.wordpress.com/good-reading/) and I think they are part of a much larger problem that says we as a human race are out of whack. We have gotten out of balance and we need to find our way back. And the only way to do that is in solving these problems. These problems are our salvation. If we can gather our creativity and start addressing these problems, THAT is how we are going to rekindle our humanity. That is how we are going to regain balance. That is how we are going to find a new way of living that supports the earth and all of those living on it. Until we recognize the larger problem and how solving one problem actually begins to solve others, we will continue to find ourselves holding on to old ways that just don’t work.

You know, re-thinking the way I relate to my environment is one way I can begin to embrace change. I live in Brooklyn with my family, rent refugees fleeing out of the neighborhood that we had been in for years to find more space and more managable rent.  Even though we are living miles away from our former neighborhood, I have been schlepping my daughter to school there because the neighborhood we are presently in does not have good schools. It doesn’t have a dog park either, so my dog rides along with me every morning to get a good run in the Park. Then every afternoon, I do it again. Now these are choices we made based on wanting to stay in the city we love, and still have a good life. Although I have a garden and compost and do all kinds of other things, in this way of commuting by car does not contribute to saving energy. Maybe it’s not just about energy, but a different way of living. My choice is either downsizing to a smaller home closer to school and community, which might actually be more efficient; or paying a lot more money, which really isn’t an option for us in this economy. I wouldn’t have thought of making changes like this before I got interested in reducing my own carbon footprint, but now I bring that kind of consciousness to all of my decisions about how we live. I think now more about contributing to a large fabric that I am a part of.

Change is in the little things, which lead to the bigger things. It’s just lke my husband doing the dishes. The sink looks incredibly daunting to him when it is piled high with dishes. I remind him,  if you take one dish at a time, in no time you have a clean sink. He still avoids the dishes. What can you do? Change is not exactly how we are wired. But awareness can make a big difference.

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