• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  1. 15 Ways Under $30 to Save Energy

    Photo credit: pfala A common problem that I run into is that people think that it costs a lot of money to go green. In some cases this may be true, but there are a lot of small things we all can do to save a little energy. I've put together a list of things that cost under $30 that will save you energy. 1. Programmable Thermostat: Using a programmable thermostat can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. The basic idea is to not heat or cool your home when you are not there. These can easily be purchased at your local hardware store and are fairly simple to install. 2. Caulk: It's amazing what a $4 tube of caulk can do! Fill in all those leaky cracks around windows, doors and foundations and you can really cut down on your energy usage. 3. Furnace Filter: If your home is heated using a forced air furnace, than you need to replace your furnace filter on a regular basis. When they become clogged up this will cause your furnace to work harder, which uses more energy. Also choose your filter carefully, as a thicker filter may make your furnace work harder! 4. Power Strips: A lot of electronics such as DVD players and coffee makers are always using power when they are plugged in. By plugging your appliances into power strips you will easily be able to cut the power to these devices when they are not in use. 5. Window film: There are huge varieties of window filmthat you can use on your house hold windows. Some of these reflect sunlight keeping your home cooler. There is also the added bonus fewer UV rays fading your furniture! 6. Light Sensors: This one may seem a little unusual for home use, but think how many times we leave rooms with the lights on and get sidetracked. By having sensors installed the lights would simply turn off after no movement is detected for a certain period of time. 7. Timers: If you can plug it in, you can run it off a timer. Things like exterior lights and water heaters are great things to have on timers. Why keep lights running when they are not needed and why heat water when you are not home to use it. 8. Low Flow Shower Heads: Low flow shower heads are designed to give you a great shower, but use less water in the process. This saves on water heating costs and pump costs. 9. Draft Stop: These are more helpful in colder climates, but a draft stop along the bottom of exterior doors can keep a lot of cold air out of your home. This can help reduce heating costs and also keep your feet warmer! 10. Blinds and Drapes: Blinds and Drapes are a great way to keep the hot sun and UV rays out in the summer and keep the warm air in during the winter. There are thousands of different designs, but to save some money, you can always make your own! 11. LED Christmas Lights: LED Christmas Lights not only use 80-90% less energy than standard lights, but they also last a lot longer. This keeps our electricity bills down and our landfills a little less crowded. 12.Wall Plate Insulators: All of the wall sockets and light switches in your home that are on outside walls can let cold air inside. By using insulators behind the plates, you will keep a little warmer this winter! 13.Blankets and Sweaters: You can keep the thermostat set a little lower in the winter by wearing sweaters and covering up with blankets. There really is no need to have your home temperature set high enough to be able to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt! 14.Insulating Pipes: By insulating your hot water pipes you can save water heating costs. You can also save yourself from burning yourself on hot pipes! Pipe insulation is easy enough to install that any home owner should be able to do it! 15. CFL light bulbs: While I am not a fan of CFL light bulbs because of the Mercury content, frailness, and short life span, they do save electricity. They are a far better choice than the old incandescent bulbs we have been using for 100 years.
  2. Is IKEA Entering the Eco-Friendly Car Market?

    I read this somewhere not that long ago.. I think they are selling something like the Tata nano car.... I'll have to go back and figure out where I read that...
  3. Green Commuting!?

    I agree that would be a better idea! Here in Ann Arbor they are working on a county wide Wifi system. So everyone can have free wifi service anywhere they go. It's a little patchy right now, but once fully working well, you should be able to use it on the city busses.
  4. GM Wants To Bankrupt The Rest Of Us Too

    I could go on and on about the auto industry and debunk most the myths that people spread across the internet about GM. Don't get me wrong, the company did not do a good job at adapting to scale. When other car companies came onto the scene, they just kept building the same amount of cars. This lead to higher rebates on new cars and lower resale for used cars. This alone is why GM is in trouble. It has nothing to do with the cars they build (they get better milage than most apples to apples) and it has nothing to do with the UAW (workers pay is about 10% of the overhead). It's simply that they build to many cars, and have to give up proffits to sell them. Now the Volt, if it works out, with be far far better than a prius. You have that nice 40 mile buffer on no gas use at all. Most people don't drive 40 miles per day. Do I think it's expensive? Well, at $40K for a car that I would hardly ever have to put gas into... maybe that's a little high, but is having the lower emmissions worth it? Do I think we should have bailed them out... well yes I agree with that. But keep in mind I live 30 miles from Detroit, so having an even bigger mass failout of jobs isn't something I want in my neck of the world. I think the bailout will end up being cheaper in the long run. It will also be less money than the governement has spent insuring Walmart employees with medicaid/medicare and less money they have spent on the war...
  5. How green is nuclear power?

    One thing I have noticed, is that since the economy has been down here in the US, that people are starting to lose the consume more attitude. People are liking the fact that we can sell them a lighting product that uses less electricity and will last for years. The sticker shock is going down as people are starting to see the true benifits of saving energy over the long haul. I agree that it's just a matter of time, and we will be easily over producing eletricity. Then it will be far easier to have solar and wind supporting our needs.
  6. Photo credit: kevindooley When most of us think of a community fair, we think of ferris wheels, halls of mirrors, rodeos and greasy food. Families come from miles around to ride the rides, watch the shows, look at the animals and stuff their faces. The good news is that local fairs are still going strong, the even better news is that more fairs are focused on being green. Green fairs seem to be a great new trend in communities. Instead of crazy rides and sloppy food, green fairs show off the latest green products, ideas and organic foods. A green fair might not have adrenalin pumping rides or shows, but they definitely get people pumped up about being green. What exactly makes up a green fair? In Plymouth Michigan, the Green Street Fair has all sorts of events over three days. There are expert speakers, bands rocking for the Earth, companies showing off their green products, tons of great food and much more! Events like the Plymouth fair are a great place for families to come and have a great time and also learn about things they can do to take care of Mother Earth. Why aren’t all communities holding green events? I think this is a question everyone who cares about the well being of our environment should be asking. Most people don’t think about environmental issues unless they are in their face on a regular basis. What better way to bring up great ways we can do our part then a big fair! Having great music, awesome food and fantastic hands on exhibits will reach a lot farther than Al Gore lecturing about Global Warming. It’s a great way to get people into the mood of doing what is right. We all know that if we are not in the mood to do something, it just doesn’t get done. What should we all be doing? We all should be pushing to spread events like the Plymouth Green Fair all over the world! It really isn’t difficult to talk to local business owners, the chamber of commerce and the city mayor to get the wheels turning. There will be many people in your community that will want to help out! Throwing a green fair in your community just may be the push folks need to make the environment a higher priority!
  7. Green Commuting!?

    I think they want to get large vans and small busses to transport people. They just want them to have internet on board. It's sounds like car pooling, but you can do some work while in the car.
  8. How green is nuclear power?

    This is interesting. I personally come from the belief that we need to simply use less energy. We need to make things more energy efficient and we need to make things last longer.
  9. LED lighting

    Why yes I do! If you are part of the link in your sig, we should do some cross marketing together!
  10. LED lighting

    I just wanted to let everyone know about a great place to buy LED lighting products.