Friday, December 7, 2007

Electric car? You already have one

Listen to this news report on Public Radio's Marketplace on how you can convert your existing vehicle into an electric vehicle using a kit from Electro Automotive.
"Instead of waiting until you buy a hybrid to reduce your eco-footprint, why not make your vehicle electric now? James Nestor has more on a company that has been converting gas cars to electric for decades."

Marketplace: Electric car? You already have one

Friday, November 30, 2007

Green Home Guide

Green Home Guide: Here's a website that has reviews and advice on Green products and services, from professionals and homeowners.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

12 Ways to be an Environmentally Friendly Photographer

Here are 12 ways that you can personally save the environment and ensure that future generations will have the same photographic opportunities that we have.

  1. Tread Lightly
    Be gentle on your surroundings with as little impact as possible. The environment will help reclaim itself, but not if you keep beating it down.
  2. No Trailblazing
    If you’re outdoors where trails are available, don’t make your own. If everybody with a camera left the trail, the impact would be massive.
  3. Don’t Alter the Scene
    Staging a shot by moving or removing parts of the environment is a big no-no. Either make the shot work, or find a different scene.
  4. No Souvenirs
    If everybody took something back with them every time they went out to photograph, there’d be nothing left to photograph. Get your souvenirs in your camera.
  5. Keep Your Distance
    When it comes to wildlife, stay far enough away to keep your presence unknown. Disturbing animals can have severe effects on the local ecosystem.
  6. Pack It In — Pack It Out
    It’s fine to bring waste-producing items with you on a photo outing, but don’t leave it out there. If you had the room to bring it, you have the room to take it away.
  7. Clean Up After Others
    Packing out our own trash is good, but packing out the trash others left behind is great! Make the next photographer’s experience a better one.
  8. Carry a 1-Gallon Bag
    Not only can this handy item protect your camera in wet weather, but it’s also a great trash receptacle.
  9. Document the Beautiful
    Capture things that amaze us. Let everybody know just how beautiful that place can be.
  10. Document the Ugly
    Capture things that disappoint us. Let everybody know that the environment needs our help.
  11. Use Rechargeable Batteries
    If you have a compact camera or a flash unit that uses AA batteries, use rechargeables — they can last for years and help reduce unnecessary waste.
  12. Be a Leader
    If you see somebody doing things that will harm our environment, stand up to them and make them aware of the impact they’ll have.
12 Ways to be an Environmentally Friendly Photographer

Thursday, October 11, 2007

50 Quick, Painless Ways You Can Help the Environment Today

[Playing] your part to help the environment doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or sweeping. You can help out in little ways, making gradual changes, baby steps.

Starting today.

Pick one, and start today.

  1. Take a shorter shower.
  2. Use a rag or hand towel instead of napkins or paper towels.
  3. Don’t print at least once today.
  4. Carpool once this week.
  5. Turn off the TV for an hour.
  6. Turn off the lights.
  7. Use a coffee mug instead of disposable.
  8. Use CFC light bulbs.
  9. Skip the foil and plastic wrap.
  10. Inflate your tires.
  11. Clean up.
  12. Talk to your kids about the environment.
  13. Reuse printed paper.
  14. Turn down your water heater.
  15. Plant a tree.
  16. Hang out your clothes.
  17. Buy a manual reel mower or electric mower.
  18. Get a low-flow shower head.
  19. Lower your thermostats.
  20. Participate or organize a clean-up.
  21. Avoid fast food.
  22. Use acryllic paint.
  23. Coat your roof.
  24. Clean your filters.
  25. Telecommute.
  26. Wash clothes in cold water.
  27. Fill your toilet tank.
  28. Buy recycled products.
  29. Recycle.
  30. Buy a smaller car.
  31. Buy a smaller home.
  32. Look for energy efficiency.
  33. Water grass early in the morning.
  34. Plant shade trees near your house.
  35. Use rechargeable batteries.
  36. Buy used.
  37. Walk instead of drive.
  38. Unplug appliances.
  39. Unload your car.
  40. Try cycling.
  41. Install a water filter.
  42. Use cloth shopping bags.
  43. Mend your stuff.
  44. Compost.
  45. Try mass transit.
  46. Buy in bulk.
  47. Buy durable.
  48. Use your oven less.
  49. Join a local organization.
  50. Join Blog Action Day.
Read the entire article with more detail here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A company I’d like to buy from

This is what will drive more people to recycle and reduce toxic waste from ending up in garbage bins. From batteries to bulbs and electronics to computers, all of our modern conveniences come with a price; they all have toxic materials. If the companies who sell these goods make it easy for the consumers to send the item back to them for proper disposal--at a reasonable price, I think more people would do it.
"What about this, though? What if GE or Sylvania or the other companies sold their CFL bulbs in little, post-office-approved, mailing tubes (made from a strong, recycled cardboard, say)? What if they included in the tube, along with the bulb, an adhesive prepaid mailing label? What if that prepaid mailing label stuck on the tube, with the burned-out CFL bulb safely placed inside, directed the bulb to a central CFL bulb disposal center? That would turn every mailbox in the country into a good, safe place to dispose of our CFLs."

No Impact Man: A company I’d like to buy from

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Riding the Green Wave

A "green wave" is sweeping Canadian residential development. Here are some of the highlights...
Top five trends:

• More "free" power through the increased use of geothermal, solar and wind energy in new home construction

• Widespread use of paints, carpets and other building materials that are free of volatile organic compounds, commonly referred to as VOCs

• The use of more recycled or salvaged building materials such as glass, steel, aluminum, plastic and drywall

• More building products from rapidly renewable natural sources such as bamboo, jute, cork and sisal

• Products made or harvested using processes that use little energy or water, are free of pesticides ,and don't produce any emissions or other pollutants

Riding the Green Wave (TreeHugger)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Finding a Green Contractor

Considering an eco-friendly home renovation, new kitchen or roof but don’t know where to look for contractors or architects? Shop around at the sites below and remember to always ask for several references.

Your first (and maybe only) stop is the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) website. It lists building professionals accredited by the USGBC for having “demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and familiarity with LEED requirements, resources and processes.” To find LEED accredited professionals in your city and state, see www.usgbc.org.

Non-profit Co-op America’s Green pages also lists architects and designers that have been screened for a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. See www.coopamerica.org.

Also, many green businesses are members of local chapters of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), a network established to ensure “that economic power resides locally, sustaining healthy community life and natural life.” To find local members, see www.livingeconomies.org.

Finding a Green Contractor

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Google To Invest $10 Million In Green Startups

"Google will be investing up to $10 million in “green” startups, the company said today. Specifically, they are looking to invest $500k - $2 million in multiple for-profit startups that are focusing on electric/hybrid transportation. Details are here.

But startups don’t have much time to fine tune their pitches - proposals requesting funding must be submitted to Google by October 22 2007."

Google To Invest $10 Million In Green Startups

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

7 BIG ways to reduce your carbon footprint

"[We’re] going to be taking a look at the big things that you can do. The things that may take a bit more effort, that may even take a complete shift in lifestyle. But things that will make the biggest impact in reducing your impact. Do you want to have a tiny little carbon footprint and live as if we only have one planet between all 6,602,224,175 of us? You do? Read on."

7 BIG ways to reduce your carbon footprint at EcoStreet - Raising Green Consciousness since 2002

Monday, September 10, 2007

Windspire : Wind power in your backyard

Don't know how economical it is in the long run--they claim it pays for itself in about 20 years--or what percentage of your daily energy needs this can replace. In any case, it's a good feeling when you can switch to a renewable energy source in your own backyard.
"Windspire is a low-cost, easy-to-install wind power appliance that provides a safe and attractive method for harnessing power from the wind. At only 30 feet tall and 2 feet wide, Windspire is safe for birds and people, and is distinguished by its sleek propeller-free design, silent operation, rugged construction, simple installation and affordable pricing. Designed for operation where we live and work, it sells for $3,995.00 and comes complete with the inverter, poles, and an installation kit."

Mariah Power - Windspire Overview

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Big Steps in Building

Do we need these monstrous mega-mac-mansions, filled with stuff that we hardly use? Wouldn't it be better to live small with just the things we need and use? My vote is for the latter.
"The average post-war 1950’s house was 983 square feet; by 1970 it was 1500 SF; last year it was 2350. Encouraging smaller homes, like smaller cars, would save a lot of energy, but codes applies the same standard across the board. Just as conservation is a resource, everything we use in housing has embodied energy, a carbon footprint and an operating cost; we have to treat them all as resources where we can mine savings of energy and greenhouse gases."

Big Steps in Building: Change our Building Codes from Relative to Absolute (TreeHugger)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Shipping-Container Homes from Lot-ek

Love this idea of reusing shipping containers to build pre-fab homes.

Visit these links for more info:
LOT-EK Container Home Kit (CHK) and LOT-EK

Texas startup says it has batteries beat

This seems too good to be true, but I'm hoping it is true.
"An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised 'technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries,' meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline."

Texas startup says it has batteries beat - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Slow Home: An alternative to suburban sprawl

An excellent 10 step guide to sustainable living.

1. GO INDEPENDENT
Avoid homes by big developers and large production builders. They are designed for profit not people. Work with independent designers and building contractors instead.

2. GO LOCAL
Avoid home finishing products from big box retailers. The standardized solutions they provide cannot fit the unique conditions of your home. Use local retailers, craftspeople, and manufacturers to get a locally appropriate response and support your community.

3. GO GREEN
Stop the conversion of nature into sprawl. Don’t buy in a new suburb. The environmental cost can no longer be justified. Re-invest in existing communities and use sustainable materials and technologies to reduce your environmental footprint.

4. GO NEAR
Reduce your commute. Driving is a waste of time and the new roads and services required to support low density development is a big contributor to climate change. Live close to where you work and play.

5. GO SMALL
Avoid the real estate game of bigger is always better. A properly designed smaller home can feel larger AND work better than a poorly designed big one. Spend your money on quality instead of quantity.

6. GO OPEN
Stop living in houses filled with little rooms. They are dark, inefficient, and don’t fit the complexity of our daily lives. Live in a flexible and adaptive open plan living space with great light and a connection to outdoors.

7. GO SIMPLE
Don’t buy a home that has space you won’t use and things you don’t need. Good design can reduce the clutter and confusion in your life. Create a home that fits the way you really want to live.

8. GO MODERN
Avoid fake materials and the re-creation of false historical styles. They are like advertising images and have little real depth. Create a home in which character comes from the quality of space, natural light and the careful use of good, sustainable materials.

9. GO HEALTHY
Avoid living in a public health concern. Houses built with cheap materials off gas noxious chemicals. Suburbs promote obesity because driving is the only option. Use natural, healthy home materials and building techniques. Live where you can walk to shop, school and work.

10. GO FOR IT
Stop procrastinating. The most important, and difficult, step in the slow home process is the first one that you take. Get informed and then get involved with your home. Every change, no matter how small, is important.

Slow Home Principles [via TreeHugger]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Xerox Creates Cheap, Eco-Friendly Printer Paper

"Xerox, one of the world's largest purveyors of copy machines and printing supplies, has made a new environmentally friendly copy paper. Xerox says the paper requires half as many trees to make and less than other green papers before it. But it's not clear whether consumers will go for it."

NPR : Xerox Creates Cheap, Eco-Friendly Printer Paper

Spain Powers Homes with First Solar-Thermal Plant

Why can't they do this in the United States?
"A company in Spain has started producing household electricity from a solar power plant near Seville. The technology is called concentrated solar thermal energy, which means it uses heat from the sun to run steam turbine generators. And running it doesn't generate any greenhouse gases."

NPR : Spain Powers Homes with First Solar-Thermal Plant

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How to Run a Green Office

"'Greening' your computing equipment, though, is a low-risk way for your business to not only help the environment but also reduce costs. It's also one of the hottest trends in business today."

PC World - How to Run a Green Office

Saturday, August 18, 2007

GoodCleanTech - The Independent Guide to Ecotechnology

Good site for info on the latest in Eco technology.
GoodCleanTech aims to provide you with news, tips, advice, and ideas about how to do more with less. With the help of the editors and analysts at PC Magazine, we'll praise those companies that have committed to better ecotechnologies and hold to the fire the polluters and resource hogs. And we'll keep you informed about the latest environmentally friendly developments in the worlds of computers, automobiles, fuel, power, and more.

GoodCleanTech - The Independent Guide to Ecotechnology

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Green & Gorgeous Video Podcasts

TreeHugger has teamed up House & Garden magazine and Teragren (maker of sustainable bamboo flooring) to produce a series of video podcasts, all about the fabulous world of green. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wozniak's New Goal is Efficient Housing

Interesting interview with Apple co-founder and legendary hacker Steve Wozniak where he talks about building an energy efficient home using Southern Yellow Pine which has a natural property of heating and cooling homes, eliminating the need for A/C and heating. He also takes about a company called Enertia that has kit houses made of Southern Yellow Pine, ready to assemble without using any nails. This is a really intriguing idea!
You build a home out of a type of wood that keeps the temperature constant without air conditioning or heaters. The miracle wood in this category is Southern Yellow Pine. As for renewable resources, more Southern Yellow Pine trees are planted each year than are used. I'm told this is the only tree with this benefit. The Southern Yellow Pine has a resin inside that melts and freezes at 71 degrees F., a very comfortable temperature for humans. The chemical actions of melting and freezing work to balance the temperature. If it's a hot day, some small amount of the resin melts (it takes a huge amount of energy to melt a tiny amount) and the melting process pulls heat from the surroundings, from the home. When it gets colder at night, the resin-wood emits heat as it freezes.

In high school chemistry we had the latent heat of fusion concept. You let ice settle in water. You can measure the temperatures. The ice and water are both 32 degrees F. It seems like the tiniest amount of energy would cause the ice to melt. After all, you only have to change it maybe a hundredth or less of a degree. But it takes a huge amount of energy to accomplish melting. This represents the difference in energy between the solid and liquid states. In this way, large amounts of energy can be stored. In the case of Southern Yellow Pine, energy from the summer can even be stored in the wood until a later season in some cases.

This company Enertia prepares blocks of this Southern Yellow Pine with grooves and sells the pieces as kit homes that you build yourself. The only tool you need is a power drill. No nails are used in the construction. I suspect that's because the metal of nails helps outside temperature conduct to the inside. The homes are also designed in an envelope fashion with 2 layers of wood and a space between them for natural air circulation around the home. The Southern side is all glass to collect sunlight. The homes are designed for more sunlight getting in during the Winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, than during summer, when the sun is higher in the sky.

All of these simple principles wind up with a very attractive house that is as normal and livable as any other, but without insulation or air conditioning or heating. The typical energy bill might be as low as $30 a month, depending on where you live. The outside temperature can be 50 degrees hotter or colder than the inside temperature of 71 degrees.

Recently I bumped into the builder of my first home. We reminisced and I told him of my plans to build one of these Enertia homes. He had built many homes with the efficient ram-dirt process and for one of them he used the resin-wood (presumably Southern Yellow Pine) for the roof. With only the roof being of this resin-wood the temperature inside never varied more than 5 degrees he told me. So the combination of approaches is one thing I'm considering too.

Wozniak's New Goal is Efficient Housing

Leonardo DiCaprio's "The 11th Hour"

Rebuilding Greensburg as "green'' town

The tornado flattened town of Greensburg, Kansas, is thinking Green as it rebuilds itself. The news was featured on Good Morning America, reported by Bob Woodruff. Greensburg plans to be the first green town, in the United States, built from ground up. The biggest challenge seems to be the other kind of "green - money." So they are looking to funding from being part of "Eco-Town," a 13-part reality series on cable television being considered by Discovery Communications. Leonardo DiCaprio is executive producer of the series.
"The task of rebuilding Greensburg is presenting the supporters of so-called 'green' design with an opportunity to display the environmental-friendly philosophy on a community-wide scale.

But determining what a green Greensburg will look like will require careful maneuvering around issues of politics, financing and even reality television in the town devastated by a May 4 tornado .

For starters, there isn't another 'green town' in the United States on which to base Greensburg's redevelopment, said Stephen Hardy, a city planner with a Kansas City, Mo., architecture firm brought in by the state to do consulting work. That gives planned 'an endless list of opportunities,' Hardy said."

Rebuilding Greensburg as "green'' town will be a challenge - AOL News

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How To Heal A Sick Office

Read this BusinessWeek article for ideas on how the moral and health of an office and its employees can be improved by changing the environment within it's walls.
"Ever since cubicles sprouted up in office buildings 40 years ago, inhabitants have been under assault. Chemicals in carpet glue, cleaning supplies, and printer cartridges can cause headaches, dizziness, lethargy, rashes, nausea, and respiratory irritation. This could be solved by pumping in lots of fresh air, but the windows in most modern office buildings are sealed shut. Then there's the space allocation: A typical office worker gets about 40 sq. ft.—less than a third as much as in the 1970s. Dozens of studies have documented the toll all this takes on body and mind. How are we ever going to blossom into globally networked, branded superstars while trapped in shrinking cubicle farms bathed in foul fumes?"

How To Heal A Sick Office

Monday, August 13, 2007

Why is New Housing so Big and Lousy?

TreeHugger has a different take on the recent housing crash, it's worth a read.

I am amazed at the amount of space, resources and energy wasted in building and maintaining large mega-mansions. How much space and "stuff" do we need in order to live comfortably? Not very much. Hopefully the housing crash will make us all think harder about what our real needs are, how we are negatively impacting the environment, and lead to more sustainable, smaller, energy efficient, and affordable homes being built.
"Developers don't borrow money to build, they build to borrow money. All a house is to them is a way to use leverage to turn a cornfield into a more valuable crop, turning dirt into gold. It takes a huge amount of cash and without lenders it doesn't happen. Now the mortgage lenders are going broke, the hedge funds are shaking, and the quants, the rocket scientists, are proving to be like every other genius who makes money in a rising market but folds in the turn. As families see their houses sink in value and their subdivisions unfinished they will toss their keys to the lender and walk away; this is 1992 all over again, a speculative bubble has just burst and a lot of people who got caught in it are going to get hurt."

Dumb Question Dept : "Why is New Housing so Big and Lousy?" (TreeHugger)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Yahoo! Green Icon Contest

Yahoo! has a contest to design a Green icon for use on all their green relates sites. Designers, here's your chance to make your mark.
"At Yahoo!, we're flagging simple, eco-friendly things you can do on our network, and letting YOU design the icon. The Bix community will vote and and choose..."

Yahoo! Green Icon Contest

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Eco-friendly Countertops

"The EnviroSLAB from EnviroGLAS is made from 100% recycled glass, and this glass comprises 75% of the total countertop. An ‘agricultural-based epoxy resin binder’ bonds the materials together and makes up the remaining ingredients. The countertop requires no sealing. When no sealing is required then there is less effort at installation, and less maintenance over the life of the product. EnviroGLAS in manufactured in Texas, and recycled materials the U.S. The EnviroGLAS team has done an independent assessment of their products, and you can the read the LEED report here. EnviroGLAS’s EnviroSLAB retails for $50 per square ft. for the materials, and installation varies depending on your local contractor rates."

green remodeling-green products-build green-eco-friendly

Monday, August 6, 2007

147 Tiny Tips to Live Healthier, Happier, Greener and Better

"The following 147 tips, broken down into ways you can improve your life through your job, around the house, in financial matters, in your goals and beliefs, in romance, in your social life, and through your health and diet, will lead you to a healthier, happier, greener, and better lifestyle."

Frugalist » The Frugality Cheat Sheet: 147 Tiny Tips to Live Healthier, Happier, Greener and Better

Sunday, August 5, 2007

How to Trash an Old Computer

Here's some good advice on disposing of old computer equipment peoperly.
"Disposing of a PC takes some legwork. Ensuring your hard drive is void of company info before it leaves your hands, though, is a snap..."

How to Trash an Old Computer

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

No Impact Man

Another interesting experiment by Colin Beavan aka No Impact Man to live a zero eco-impact life for a year with his wife, daughter and dog.
"No Impact Man is my experiment with researching, developing and adopting a way of life for me and my little family—one wife, one toddler, one dog—to live in the heart of New York City while causing no net environmental impact. To do this, we will decrease the things we do that hurt the earth—make trash, cause carbon dioxide emissions, for example—and increase the things we do that help the earth—clean up the banks of the Hudson River, give money to charity, rescue sea birds, say."

No Impact Man: What you need to know

Green as a Thistle

Here's an interesting account of one womans (Vanessa) ongoing experiment to live green for an entire year with minimal impact on the environment.
"Spend each day, for an entire calendar year, doing one thing that betters the environment. The idea is that everything I do, I keep doing (so if I switch brands, it's a permanent switch; if I turn down my thermostat, I keep it down), so that by day 365, I'll be living as green a lifestyle as it gets. I hope, in the end, this proves that being an environmentalist doesn't necessarily have to require massive change, compromise or Greenpeace levels of dedication — it can be simple, and inspiring."

Green as a Thistle

Living green, by design - Los Angeles Times

"One home is efficient and thrifty. The other is stylish and opulent. They both help the planet.

DONNA SIDER painstakingly renovated her 1,000-square-foot Pasadena home to be more energy-efficient as a way to save money and help the environment at the same time.

Jeffrey Eyster built an eco-friendly, 2,200-square-foot dream house in the hills above Laurel Canyon, in tune with his appreciation of fine architecture, superior materials and healthful living.

Eyster's home demonstrates that luxury and cutting-edge design can be integral to environmental construction.

Sider's is proof that going green doesn't require a lot of gold. Their efforts can serve as examples to homeowners who want to fight global warming or trim their household expenses, or both. And the payoffs in both areas are substantial, environmental leaders say."

Living green, by design - Los Angeles Times

Bye, Bye Greenfly?

Eco friendly solution to getting rid of insects (and other pests) from damaging your plants.
"A weak soap solution is ideal for dispatching little buggies like the ones which are eating your plant.

Make sure to use real soap and not detergent (most commercial dish soaps are actually detergents). For example, Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap is real soap and is certified organic... perhaps you already have some around the house.

Mix a tablespoon or two in a quart of water and give the plant a good spray. The soap will dehydrate (and therefore kill) the bugs and, in small quantities, will not harm the plant -- or render your peppers poisonous.

Other natural pest repellents include onions, horseradish, cayenne, and garlic, which is particularly good for repelling deer"

Good Question: Bye, Bye Greenfly? [via Apartment Therapy]

Can Think's electric car revolutionize the auto industry?

The "Think Car "looks very promising. A fun, small electric car from Norway looks like just the ticket for everyday commuting.


"Have you driven a Fjord lately?

Think's zippy little Web-enabled, carbon-free electric driving machine could help reverse 100 years of automotive history...

Taking a cue from Dell , the company will sell cars online, built to order. It will forgo showrooms and seed the market through car-sharing services like Zipcar. Every car will be Internet-and Wi-Fi-enabled, becoming, according to Willums, a rolling computer that can communicate wirelessly with its driver, other Think owners, and the power grid.

In other words, it's Web 2.0 on wheels. 'We want to sell mobility,' Willums says. 'We don't want to sell a thing called the Think.'"

Can Think's electric car revolutionize the auto industry? [via Slashdot]

Monday, July 30, 2007

Make your own BioDiesel

"Etruk offers a home biodiesel processing plant so you can make your own cheap, cleaner burning (60% less CO2) renewable fuel for your vehicles. The company also offers training to make sure you get it right. For those what don’t know, biodiesel is biodegradable and can be made from waste vegetable oil (from restaurant chip fryers for example) or animal fats etc."

Make your own BioDiesel - cheap legal engine power on tap - The Red Ferret Journal

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is it possible to recycle old CD's or DVD's?

EcoGeek has some good suggestions on where and how to dispose old CDs and DVDs. Additional tips on Apartment Therapy's Green blog.

EcoGeek | Recycling CDs

Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Ants

Got ants? Here are some Green solutions to get rid of them.
"Since we can't find the nest to pour boiling water on it, we're more drawn to the tips that involve sprinkling products on the ant trails. Some of these are: aspartame, black pepper, borax, catnip, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, crushed mint, cucumber, a mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar, or citrus peel and water, or white vinegar and water. If the ants return, we think the idea that we'll try is to spray peppermint or spearmint essential oil on the trail."

Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Ants

Green : Carpet Deodorizer

[Make] your own carpet powder using this formula:
1/2 cup of borax
1/2 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cloves and/or cinnamon (cloves help keep closets moth-free)

Apartment Therapy - Green

Black is the new Green

"With energy consumption and the environment becoming central concerns, Google has stepped into the frame to create a search engine front window that's a little bit greener - because it goes back to black.

Why black?

Well, when your screen is white - whether it's depicting an empty word processor page, or the Google search webpage, your computer consumes approximately 74 watts of power...

...but when screens are black the computer consumes just 59 watts of power."

Black is the new Green - Macworld UK

Monday, July 23, 2007

Five Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Instead of harsh chemicals, use plants such as, Citronella Grass, Catnip, Rosemary, Marigolds and Mosquito Plants to repel mosquitoes (read on).
"The most common way of repelling or getting rid of mosquitoes involves spraying a large quantity of poisonous chemicals in your yard and on yourself. If you are interested in a more natural approach, consider these plants that repel mosquitoes."

Five Plants That Repel Mosquitoes [via Unclutterer]

Card-to-cradle

A really novel and wonderful way to recycle cards.
"These Bloom and Grow cards from UncommonGoods are designed with this short lifetime in mind, and in true cradle-to-cradle spirit, feed the earth once they're discarded. Seeds are embedded in each card, and with a little patience and water, will bloom into healthy flowers after the card is buried."

Card-to-cradle (via TreeHugger)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Environmentally friendly hard drive hops onto the scene

This is great news for all us techies, since we have an ever expanding need to store and backup digital information. I hope more manufacturers will offer environmentally friendly computer accessories and peripherals so we can all reduce energy consumption and hazardous materials in our environment.
"Kanguru Solutions has released the Kanguru Eco Drive, an 'environmentally friendly and energy efficient' external hard drive. With its three built in Power Saving modes, the Kanguru Eco Drive automatically gauges hard drive usage to reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent and extends the life of the hard drive itself...

The Kanguru Eco Drive is also RoHS compliant. RoHS, or the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, is an international directive to restrict the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of certain types of electrical equipment..."

Macsimum News - Environmentally friendly hard drive hops onto the scene

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

62 Little Known Uses Of Vinegar

Here are some really good uses for Vinegar; and they are eco friendly.
"Vinegar is a liquid produced from the fermentation of ethanol in a process that yields its key ingredient, acetic acid. Ninety percent of American Households buy vinegar. The 4 major uses are for salads, as cooking ingredients, pickling and home canning. Anyways, I just thought that everyone should know about the usefulness of vinegar other than for the 4 things mentioned above. I've put together 61 other things with pictures about everything else that you can do with vinegar."

62 Little Known Uses Of Vinegar | because you value your body

The True Cost of Bottled Water

From childhood, we're told to drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Unfortunately more and more Americans drink those eight glasses out of eight different plastic bottles—a convenience that stuffs landfills, clogs waterways and guzzles valuable fossil fuels...

Paying thousands of times more for bottled water, and damaging the environment while you're at it, simply makes no sense. Head out with your own reusable bottle.

Tapped Out: The True Cost of Bottled Water:

Green Vacations for the Summer

Considering a Green vacation for your family? This article highlights some good options available at the National Parks in the US.
Despite a pristine image, our national parks aren't exactly unspoiled. Once, it was common to dump trash wherever handy, waste the natural supply of water, even feed bears for entertainment. And the park lodges – no matter how magnificent the structures – were often the worst offenders.

Greenlight | The Greenest Summer Vacations

Time to consider going Solar?

Greenlight magazine thinks it's time to re-consider using Solar energy, since costs are on the decline and more options available for consumers from the likes of Home Depot and Target. Check out the article.
The days of cumbersome above-roof mounts and minimum investments of $30,000 are gone. Solar technology is evolving quickly, and it may be time for you to give it a fresh look.

Greenlight | Simple Solar?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Saving Green While Going Green

Some good tips here; including investing in Green businesses, reducing waste, and opting out of unnecessary paperwork.
Our personal finance contributor offers tips for people who are interested in protecting the environment, but also protecting their cash flow. (Listen to this story...)

NPR : Saving Green While Going Green

Friday, July 13, 2007

Top 10 Computing Energy Savers

A very timely list of energy saving tips from Lifehacker.
Reducing the amount of energy your hungry computers eat up every day won't only save you money on electricity bills, it will reduce your carbon footprint. If you haven't thought about how much electricity your gadgets use up every day, now's the time. Turns out just a few changes in habits and system settings can save you money AND the environment. After the jump, have 10 ways to reduce your energy consumption and compute greener.

10. Upgrade your gear
9. Dim your screen
8. Consolidate and virtualize computers
7. Turn off peripherals
6. Kill unnecessary processes
5. Get a smart power switch
4. Enable energy saver settings
3. Unplug energy vampires
2. Spin down your hard drive
1. Shut down

Lifehacker Top 10: Top 10 Computing Energy Savers - Lifehacker

Make an Eco commercial for Al Gore

Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection is conducting a contest for the best "Eco" commercial; the winner will receive a Hybrid Toyota Highlander. Check the Current TV website for details.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not recycling? Now’s the time to start

Just do it. You'll feel better.
Unlike paper and plastic, electronics aren’t so easy to dispose of. They often contain toxic substances and can be large and heavy...

[...] Thankfully, some manufacturers and retailers such as Sears, Lowe’s, Target and Circuit City have begun their own recycling initiatives or worked through Call2Recycle, a national collection and recycling program run by the nonprofit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. (RBRC).

The RBRC can help you recycle your used portable rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys. RBRC recycles the following battery chemistries: Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion) and Small Sealed Lead (Pb). RBRC is dedicated to keeping rechargeable batteries and cell phones out of our nation’s solid waste stream and preserving natural resources. Check out the RBRC web site to see what you can do.

Meanwhile, some of us in the U.S. need to get on the ball. While three-quarters (77 percent) of American adults recycle something in their own home, one-quarter (23 percent) still recycle nothing at all, according to a new Harris Interactive study. One may think that the younger generation is the one most likely to recycle, but this isn’t the case. Three in ten (30 percent) Echo Boomers (those aged 18 to 30) recycle nothing, compared to 19 percent of Matures (those aged 62 and older), the report adds.

There is also a regional difference in who recycles and who does not. Those in the East and West are more likely to recycle (88 percent and 86 percent respectively). One-third (32 percent) of those in the South as well as three in ten (30 percent) of those in the Midwest, however, say they recycle nothing.

Not recycling? Now’s the time to start

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Re-Thinking The System That Is Food

How does our modern concept of food and our eating habits affecting our health and the environment around us. TreeHugger's Tamara Giltsoff has a wonderful article based on her personal experience on this issue. Be sure to read the entire article here.
Food is so connected to who we are and how we operate in this world. Think about the different patterns of food that cross cultures and social divides. It also reflects the patterns of the modern world and the downfalls of a globalized world – processed food, hormone induced animals, hymogenization, pesticides, food miles, GM etc.

What did I learn when food was taken away from me and I spent a whole week discussing the provenance of produce, how we should be eating, how we once ate and why the current system of food is failing the world and our bodies?

Fasting – Re-Thinking The System That Is Food (TreeHugger)

The Green Gym



Via: The Joy of Tech

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eco Friendly Bamboo Optical Mouse

They also make a Bamboo keyboard :)
This environmentally friendly Bamboo optical mouse combines technology with nature. The components on the cover are made entirely of bamboo.

Eco Friendly Bamboo Optical Mouse

Friday, July 6, 2007

Computers left on at night Cost U.S. Businesses $1.7 Billion

We all know that leavings PCs, lights and other electrical appliances on when not in use is a huge drain on energy. It's about time corporations took notice; if not for “saving energy” then at least to save money. Either way it's a good thing for the environment.
Nearly half of all corporate PCs in the US are not regularly switched off at night, costing US businesses $1.72 billion in energy and causing emissions of 14.4 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to recently released PC Energy Awareness report...

The data show that American businesses are wasting energy while we sleep. A mid-sized company, which includes about 10,000 PCs, wastes more than $165,000 a year in electricity costs for computers left on overnight. In addition, by turning these computers off, an employer can keep more than 1,381 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Computers Left on at Night Cost U.S. Businesses $1.7 Billion [via TreeHugger]

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Vodka and Sunshine Can Keep You Warm

Here's an inspirational story, published in the NY Times, of one man who built an almost self sustaining home for his family.
It is not the prettiest house to ever grace the pages of the New York Times home section, but perhaps that is why it is so interesting, it is such a switch from the usual swish. Larry Weingarten designed it to be cheap to run and maintenance free: “Didn’t Thoreau question whether the man owned the lawn mower or the mower owned the man?” Mr. Weingarten said on a late-spring afternoon, paraphrasing slightly.

Anyone can do the simple things (cladding is Hardishake, decking is Trex, handrails are galvanized pipe, size is a modest 1800 square feet) but it also has photovoltaics for lights and the computer, and a gravity fed solar hot water radiant heating system with a thousand gallon tank in the basement. If you get thirsty, he uses vodka as the antifreeze because it is more efficient and non-toxic. (compared to industrial antifreeze anyways.)

Vodka and Sunshine Can Keep You Warm [via TreeHugger]

How to save energy one monitor at a time

This article gives some good tips on how to save energy while using a computer monitor and makes a good case for switching over to LCD monitors.
Do we need our monitor at it’s brightest all the time? Do we need Microsoft Word background look like white paper? Can we write white over black instead of black over white? Can we all follow some monitor manners and save energy?

By following simple monitor manners below, in fact we can save lot of energy.

1. When not in use, simply switch off the monitor by hand.

2. If fits in your budget, buy an LCD monitor.

3. Use “blank screen” as a screen saver option.

4. If your computer allows power setting control (all laptops usually do), then change power settings to “turn monitor off” after 2-5 minutes. These setting are usually accessible somewhere around screen saver settings.

5. Right click on your desktop or background, go to properties>appearance tab>advanced. Now select “window” in the list and select a light gray color instead of white. Play around with schemes, use your creativity.

6. Refer to the article

7. But be careful while printing because you are not printing what you see. At such times, you can easily revert back to default scheme from display settings.

8. Reduce brightness settings, increase contrast settings.

OK, So what’s the big deal?

If you look at statistics below, you will see that it can actually be a big deal.

The USA has almost 574 personal computers per thousand population, among the highest in the world. Barring a few exceptions, each personal computer has a monitor with it. So for 292 million population, @574 per 1000, we have 177 million monitors.

Just following one or two of the above tips above, you can easily reduce your monitor’s average consumption by around 20 W. If 177 million people save 15W per monitor, it accumulates to a gigantic figure of 3500 Mega Watts, or 3.5 GigaWatts.

If you saved 3.5 Gigawatts, you just shut down four coal fired power plants in Texas, namely Gibbons creek (1 X 480 MW), Welsh (3 X 558 MW), Sandow (3 X 121, 1 X 591 MW) and Oklaunion (1 X 720 MW). That means almost 5.25 million lb CO2 emissions avoided PER HOUR. Yes, I checked my calculations twice.

This savings can be realized on your CRT monitor, not a single penny out of your pocket. A perfect conservation. If you switch to LCD, you save a lot more.

And while the environmentalists within you are drooling over the idea of closing down coal fired power plants, do not forget these additional benefits.

* If you are not saving this energy, then what is happening to it? It is getting converted to bright light and is going in your eyes. Our eyes are not designed to stare at bright white thing from 2 feet close, 8 hrs a day, whole life. They deserve a break.

With my new monitor settings, I find my eyes much more comfortable at the end of the day.

* Amory Lovins (www.rmi.org) once said “Any attempt to make the car lighter by 1 lb actually ends up in making the car lighter by 1 and half lb”. Because when you reduce body weight, you can use lighter chassis, then you need lighter suspensions and so on. Similarly any attempts to reduce monitor consumption by 100 watts actually end up saving overall 110 watts (figuratively speaking). Because to show you something on monitor, computer processor has to do work, hard disks need to be spun, video card must be fired up and fan must run faster to cool these things down. When monitor is off, all these things can take it a bit easy by a watt here and a watts there.

* Just for fun I calculated how much money I would save if I saved 15 Watts for 6 hours every day. Turns out that @ 12 cents KWH rate, I would be saving around $4.85 per year. OK, you cannot buy Lexus with this saving. But hey, at the end of the day, where would you rather put extra 5$? In Your pocket or in your utility provider’s pocket?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Al Gore on Live Earth: Live Webcast on July 5 with Simran Sethi

The Live Earth countdown is in its final days (the concerts are this Saturday, July 7), but before Madonna performs her new song or Spinal Tap and the rest of the headliners inspire headbanging and other consciousness-raising behavior on all seven continents, Al Gore wants to talk global warming with you. In an exclusive webcast at 1:30 pm Eastern time on July 5 (that's this Thursday!) moderated by TreeHugger's green media maven, Simran Sethi, Gore will answer reader-submitted questions about the climate crisis. 'Whether you have questions on how to make your home more green or how to make small, yet effective, changes to your daily routine, Gore will offer simple tips and tricks you can start using immediately.' Go to liveearth.msn.com to learn more, including how to submit your burning questions, and stay tuned for the results on Thursday.

Al Gore on Live Earth: Live Webcast on July 5 with Simran Sethi (TreeHugger)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

PaperBackSwap : Your source for swapping books online!

Here's a wonderful site for all you book worms who want to reduce clutter; swap those books you are never going to read and save some trees in the process!
“We are a group of readers who share books with each other (NOT just paperbacks) for nothing more than the cost of postage!”

PaperBackSwap : Your source for swapping books online!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Never Ending Lightbulb

A UK firm has developed a bulb that is more than 3 times as efficient as CFL bulbs and will burn brightly for decades. They claim that it will burn for so long that the building or appliance that contains it will wear out before the bulb does.

The traditional light bulb remained the way it is for so long because there wasn’t enough of an incentive to change. No one bothered to develop newer, more efficient designs because they were so cheap to produce. They waste 95% of energy and don’t last long.

That is changing now with CFL bulbs, because the green movement is providing an incentive to change. Now they are becoming even more advanced. The Economist is reporting that a team of researchers has developed a bulb that lasts, for all intents and purposes, forever. It’s also far more efficient, converting more energy to light rather than heat.

UK Company, Ceravision, have created a new bulb design that doesn’t use electrodes, so cannot burn out. It uses a magnetometer to bombard a small piece of aluminum oxide with microwaves to create an electrical field. Gas is then passed into a hole in the aluminium, in order to ionise it and create a glowing plasma. Traditional bulbs convert only 5% of energy to heat, CFLs make use of around 15%, but this new design converts over 50%.

There are other bonuses as well, both financially and environmentally. The bulbs are expected to last for decades, so will need replacing far less often. This means less carbon emissions from production, and lower costs. It also doesn’t have the traces of mercury that CFL bulbs have, so will be easier and cleaner to dispose of once it does burn out.

Never Ending Lightbulb [via TreeHugger]

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lightning Looking to Zap Tesla

The Tesla Roadster is impressive; it's one of the first electric cars to be desirable to TreeHuggers and petrol-heads alike. However, a bit of competition never hurt anyone, and is great for us consumers. That's one reason that the Lightning electric car is good news. The other is that it has 700 bhp and does 0-60mph in 4 seconds.The company is taking orders on their three different models now, with production planned to start in 2008. There's a luxury model, a lightweight sporty model and an extended range model with a range of 250 miles.

Lightning Looking to Zap Tesla (TreeHugger)

Encyclopedia of Earth: Wikipedia, for the Environment

The Encyclopedia of Earth... aims to become the definitive one stop destination for all things environment, climate change and sustainable development.

Encyclopedia of Earth: Like Wikipedia, for the Environment (TreeHugger)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sunslates: Solar Powered Shingles

In Europe, where they build to last, few builders put cheap asphalt shingles on houses, and Eternit Fiber-cement shingles are common. Atlantis Energy fits them out with solar cells; a standard installation of 216 Sunslates will crank out about 3 KW and take up about 300 square feet of roof.

Sunslates: Solar Powered Shingles (TreeHugger)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Playgreen: Green living wiki

Playgreen is a recently launched wiki that allows users to contribute ideas about how to live environmentally conscious lives. If you're looking for ways to live greener (or if you're an expert in the green lifestyle) give Playgreen a read.

Playgreen: Green living wiki - lifehack.org

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

New and Improved Wind Power

If you've been toying with the idea of installing your own wind power in your backyard, you should read this article.
For many years, residential wind turbines have been most popular in rural locations where zoning laws tend to be less restrictive and neighbors less likely to object to them (mainly on aesthetic grounds). That may be about to change. Many in the small-scale wind turbine industry think residential wind power is about to enter suburbia with simpler, less expensive systems that perform more like household appliances than complicated renewable energy systems. And the potential is enormous; it’s estimated there are at least 15 million homes with the resources necessary to make a wind installation cost effective.

New and Improved Wind Power

Monday, June 4, 2007

Using Solar Roofs To Power Hybrids

"A company called Solar Electrical Vehicles is specializing in adding a convex solar roof to hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius, Highlander Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid. The solar modules are rated at 200-300 watts, and this power is utilized to charge a supplemental battery. With the solar roof, the Toyota Prius can operate up to 20 miles per day in electric mode thus improving fuel economy by up to 29% (depending on driving habits and conditions). The system costs $2000-$4000 and the payback time is said to be 2-3 years."

Using Solar Roofs To Power Hybrids (TreeHugger)

Friday, May 25, 2007

101 New Uses for Everyday Things

Some good natural cleaning solutions here...
"101 New Uses for Everyday Things"

101 New Uses for Everyday Things | RealSimple.com [via Lifehack.org]

CleaningProductFacts.com

"Cleaning and Laundry products play an essential role in our daily lives. By removing soils, germs and other contaminants, they help us to stay healthy, care for our homes and belongings, and make our surroundings more pleasant. These products are used safely and effectively in homes, schools, businesses and healthcare settings by millions of people every single day, yielding improvements in both hygiene and overall quality of life."

The Soap and Detergent Association CleaningProductFacts.com

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Zero-Emissions Skyscraper

German architect Eckhard Gerber has an ambitious plan to build office towers in Riyadh, Dubai, and Bahrain that produce all their own energy...

A handful of architects... recently dreamt up a state-of-the-art tower, a giant 68-story building projected to rise to a lofty height of 322 meters (1,056 feet), which would make it number 22 on the list of the world's tallest buildings. What is even more impressive is that not only will the Burj al-Taqa ('Energy Tower') consume very little energy -- but it will also produce all its energy itself.

The Zero-Emissions Skyscraper

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dallas going dark at night

This has been a long-standing gripe of mine. I see so many office buildings and businesses that leave their lights on all night long. We can save so much energy by turning off the lights in our cubicles, offices etc. at the end of the day.

The same is true for the multitude of computers and monitors left running 24 hrs of the day unnecessarily; barring some critical systems, many of these desktop and laptop computers should be shut-down when not in use.

Dallas is certainly taking a step in the right direction, but there is much more to be done.
Kids everywhere need to be told to turn off the lights. So too, do businesses that leave the lights on all night for the sake of making the building look 'cool.'

Thousands of Dallas' city lights 'could fall dark four hours each night under an ordinance Dallas City Council members will consider Wednesday as part of a broader effort to conserve energy and reduce power plant emissions. According to an ordinance draft, businesses citywide would be required to switch off most of their exterior and signage lighting between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

That includes: --Decorative lighting, 'such as lighting that illuminates or outlines a building's facades or elements'; --Lighting used to illuminate fountains, sculptures, flagpoles and other similar structures; --Landscape illumination lighting; --Lighting that illuminates premise signs, whether attached to or separate from a building. Violators could face fines of up to $2,000.

Among the ordinance's exemptions are security, hospital, traffic control, residential and transportation lighting. State and federal government facilities, as well as businesses open and operating between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., would also be exempt, according to the ordinance.'

More "Simple Things First" - Dallas Style (TreeHugger)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Staples starts computer recycle program

Staples Inc. is expanding its electronics waste recycling program by accepting used computers and monitors that can now be dropped off for a $10 fee at any of the office products chain's 1,400 U.S. locations during store hours.

The step by the world's largest office products supplier follows similar initiatives by many computer makers and retailers to confront the growing environmental and public health risk posed by discarded computers and other electronic gadgets containing toxic metals and chemicals.

Staples starts computer recycle program - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Trim Those Packaging Pounds

It was heartening to read in the New York Times this past weekend about companies cutting down on packaging in order to reduce their impact on the environment. Major manufacturers such as Proctor & Gamble, Coca Cola, Aveda and countless others are tweaking designs in order to shed the extra layers and use more recycled and recyclable materials, all to retain a place on Wal-Mart's shelves now that the retail powerhouse has promised to become "packaging neutral" by 2025.

Companies say many of the easy changes to packages have already been made. Beverage cans are much lighter and most use recycled aluminum, shipping cartons contain large percentages of recycled fiber. But failure at the municipal level to collect recyclable materials could slow further progress.

Recycling in my city seems to be working at home but not well at all in the office. It's going to take more pressure from consumers to step up our municipal recycling programs. The Environmental Protection Agency offers a very good program - the WasteWise Program - to help organizations eliminate costly municipal solid waste and select industrial wastes, benefiting their bottom line and the environment. I'm going to register our office for the program. WasteWise provides free technical assistance to help you develop, implement, and measure your waste reduction activities.

It's also up to consumers to choose those products made with the highest recycled content, and packaged in the leanest container made of easily recycled material. Buy household and office supplies in bulk, choose juice concentrates and use thermoses and check the recycle code on a container before you buy it to make sure it's recyclable. These are all ways to cut down on the amount of raw materials used and save energy and money along the way. To make it extra easy for yourself, download the Green Guide's handy Smart Shopper's Plastic Picks Card.

Trim Those Packaging Pounds [via The Green Guide]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gas-Saving Tips

Here are 10 easy-to-follow steps to increase your fuel economy. When you've mastered these, grasshopper, you'll be ready for the master's course in hyper-mileage.

1. Don’t speed.
Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph will increase your fuel economy by about 10 percent. Pride yourself on being a slowpoke.

2. Avoid "jack rabbit" starts.
Flooring the gas pedal wastes gas and leads to drastically higher pollution rates.

3. Anticipate stops.
Think ahead to anticipate stops so your vehicle can coast down. Accelerating hard and braking hard wastes gas, increases pollution, and wears out your brakes.

4. Keep your tires properly inflated.
For every 3 pounds below recommended pressure, fuel economy goes down by about 1 percent.

5. Avoid rush hour, if possible.
Stop-and-go driving burns gas and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants. For hybrids that can stay in electric mode at low speeds, the effects of stop-and-go driving are greatly reduced.

6. Travel light.
An extra 100 pounds in your trunk reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent.

7. Combine trips.
Warmed-up engines run more efficiently and generate less air pollution.

8. Leave off the air conditioning, if possible.
AC increases fuel consumption, increases smog-forming NOx emissions in some vehicles, and can involve environmentally damaging fluids. At high speeds, open windows increase drag; use vents if possible.

9. Check your own fuel economy every few weeks.
If you notice the numbers slipping, then think about how your driving might have changed, and consider getting a tune-up or an oil change.

10. Drive less.
Give your car a rest by taking public transportation, riding a bike, or walking. The exercise will do you good.

Gas-Saving Tips

Calculate and reduce your carbon emissions with Zerofootprint and Yahoo! Green

Two new tools for combating global warming launched today. Zerofootprint's Carbon Calculator determines your current CO2 emissions based on your lifestyle; and Yahoo! Green assembles your plan for reduction.

Over at Zerofootprint enter the kind of car you own and the number of miles you drive it per year, your air travel habits, your electricity bill and other carbon emissions-related info, and the calculator tells you how many tons of CO2 you're adding to the environment. At Yahoo! Green, make the list of small changes you can make to reduce that number - like keeping your tires inflating, driving the speed limit, replacing light bulbs and reducing your meat intake. See also ten easy ways to go green. —Gina Trapani

Yahoo! Green [via CNET]
Zero Footprint [via NYT]

Calculate and reduce your carbon emissions with Zerofootprint and Yahoo! Green [via Lifehacker]

Clean technology bigger than internet: software guru

"A global response to climate change will spur a business revolution bigger than the internet," said co-founder of Sun Microsystems Bill Joy.

"This is a much larger opportunity," he told Reuters, pointing to the scale of the problem and the profits to be made from simple steps like a more careful use of energy.

"It's profitable to be more efficient, it has a negative cost and a competitive disadvantage if you don't do it."

Clean technology bigger than internet: software guru - Yahoo! News

Monday, May 14, 2007

Eco-friendly laundry supplies, greener laundry, natural laundry products

"Thanks to government trade-secret laws, manufacturers of cleaners aren't required to disclose ingredients on product labels, making it difficult for consumers to choose an environmentally preferable and healthier alternative."

Read on for tips on how to be eco-friendly while doing laundry.

Eco-friendly laundry supplies, greener laundry, natural laundry products - The Green Guide:

Friday, May 11, 2007

ZENN Motor Company: Electric Vehicles

"As a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of electric vehicles, we thrive on providing drivers with choices they can feel good about. Working with our internationally respected partners, we’re bringing the world’s finest zero-emission vehicles to you—setting a new standard for what electric vehicles can be. The culmination of this passion for quality, the ZENN™, the only luxury NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) on the market."

ZENN Motor Company - Electric Vehicles

Electric Drive Transportation Association

"EDTA is the preeminent US industry association dedicated to the promotion of electric drive as the best means to achieve the highly efficient and clean use of secure energy in the transportation sector. We support the sustainable commercialization of all electric drive transportation technologies by providing in-depth information, education, industry networking, public policy advocacy and international conferences and exhibitions."

Electric Drive Transportation Association

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

How to recycle office paper into blank books

Here's a good way to reuse all those print-outs that typically end-up in the trash. I typically reuse the blank side when I want to print something temporarily, make notes, sketches, and storyboards etc. When I'm finally done using both sides I recycle the paper.
"[A] simple bookbinding tutorial using a Japanese stab-binding technique for making blank books from paper that is printed on one side. These books are useful for all kinds of notes, and tell an interesting story about the place they came from. I work in the computer lab at my school, where a lot of printer paper is wasted. I go through the recycle bin to find my papers."

instructables : How to recycle office paper into blank books > via > Lifehacker

Architecture for Humanity

"Architecture for Humanity is working to connect families and individuals who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina with architects and designers who can help them to untangle complex new building codes and FEMA elevations, make decisions about their future, and ultimately empower them to re-envision their homes, businesses and communities."

Architecture for Humanity: Hurricane Katrina

Monday, May 7, 2007

10 Reasons Why I Ditched My Car

Here's one woman's account of why she got rid of her car and what she gained in return.
"While not having a car poses some problems, overall they are small to what I gain in return. I realise that not everyone can get rid of their car, but a lot more people can than think it is possible. These are the 10 reasons that I don’t have a car and don’t want one"

10 Reasons Why I Ditched My Car

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ancient Forest Friendly Tissue Products

Forest friendly tissues for your daily needs.
To send a strong message to Kimberly-Clark that ancient forest destruction doesn't pay, only buy ancient forest friendly tissue products. If your local grocery or corner does not stock these products, talk to the store manager and ask that they do.
Ancient Forest Friendly Tissue Products | Kleercut.Net

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Maine Solar House

Why pay for home electricity and heating fuel when the sun offers a free alternative? Time to create your own energy policy.

Maine Solar House

design: e²

design:e2 (the economies of being environmentally conscious) is an original six-part series that explores the vitality of the environment through eco-friendly architecture. Narrated by Brad Pitt and masterfully shot in high-definition, the series introduces us to the inventive leaders and technologies driving sustainable practices worldwide in the design of buildings where we live, work, and play.

design: e² | PBS

Saved By the Sun

NOVA on PBS has a new show on Solar Energy tonight. Check local listings in your area.
"Saved By the Sun" probes how innovative technologies, new business models, increasing financial incentives, and a growing grassroots commitment to solving the climate crisis are driving a renaissance in solar energy around the world. Across the U.S., solar panels are capping more and more roofs. In Germany, a 'great wall' of solar panels lines the autobahn, feeding the Munich power grid. At Cal Tech, nanotechnology is spurring new solar inventions. Worldwide, solar energy is expected to be a $50 billion industry within a decade.

NOVA | Saved By the Sun | TV Program Description | PBS

Saved By the Sun: Ask the Expert

Have a question about solar power, photovoltaics, or other aspects of solar technology? Until April 25, 2007, the day after the premiere broadcast of 'Saved By the Sun,' we will collect questions from viewers for solar-technologies expert Steven Strong (see bio below). On April 30, we will post Strong's responses to selected questions. Please note your question may be edited for clarity.

Send in your question

NOVA | Saved By the Sun | Ask the Expert | PBS

This Solar House

Think you can't go Solar? Check out this site to see how one family actually did it.
Many people think to have a zero-energy* solar home, you need to start with new construction, spend a small fortune, and/or lose comfort or convenience. But we found that was not the case. In just over a year, we transformed our 1960s tract house in southern California into a solar-powered, energy-efficient home. While the initial investment was substantial, we funded it through an affordable home-equity loan. The makeover will pay for itself in seven years, after which the energy for our home (and our electric car) will be entirely free. And with these changes, we annually offset at least 21,000 pounds of carbon dioxide—a key pollutant in global warming—that our pre-upgrade home and car would otherwise have added to the atmosphere. In this feature, let us show you in detail how we went about our zero-energy retrofit, which saves money, energy, and the global climate.—Norma and Alan Williamson

NOVA | Saved By the Sun | This Solar House | PBS

Monday, April 23, 2007

Five Green Fixes for Your Home

Here a few quiet ways to make your home more energy-efficient.

1. Follow the EnergyStar
2. Mind the gaps
3. Do a blow test
4. Watch your water
5. Upgrade windows

Five Green Fixes for Your Home

How to Go Green

TreeHugger has some excellent articles on how to "green" our lives. Check them out.
We present below, a plethora of handy guides to help you green your lives with ease, while understanding why. Our aim is over 100+ guides so do come back to visit. And please tell your friends, family and colleagues! Most of us understand that we need to do something, some of us understand what to do but few of us are actually doing anything... Carpe diem kids!
TreeHugger: How to Go Green

Saturday, April 21, 2007

How to find an eco-realtor

Green seems to be all the rage lately, and web sites are cropping up all over cyberspace to help green homeowners sell their houses.

Lighter Footstep - How to find an eco-realtor

Lighter Footstep: Sustainable Living Blog

This is a wonderful resource for people looking to reduce their impact on the environment.
Lighter Footstep is a web-based magazine dedicated to sustainable living: learning to thrive in our personal and business lives by making wiser choices.

Lighter Footstep - About Lighter Footstep

Want a free CFL for Earth Day?

Haven't tried CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) yet? Would you give one a shot if it were free?

You'll have your chance this Sunday. Home Depot has earmarked one million CFLs for giveaway in observance of Earth Day. The offer is open to U.S. customers in the 48 contiguous states.

Lighter Footstep - Want a free CFL for Earth Day?

Friday, April 20, 2007

The MDI Air Car - the world´s cleanest car.

Welcome to the future! The car with a compressed air engine, MDI. Costs less than a penny a mile.

The MDI Air Car - the world´s cleanest car

Buy A Dell PC, Plant A Tree

Buy a PC, plant a tree. Sure, it's a gimmick, but as gimmicks go, it's a good one. I didn't see Michael Dell's 'Plant a Tree for Me' announcement at CES this year, but I was told the auditorium was pretty empty. That's too bad, because his program could go a long way toward solving a serious problem. We live in a culture that never powers down, and all that power takes a toll on the environment.

Buy A Dell PC, Plant A Tree

10 Eco-Friendly Gadgets

Every day is Earth Day with these eco-safe products, including a flexible solar panel, USB-rechargeable batteries, and a robotic mower.

10 Eco-Friendly Gadgets - Reviews by PC Magazine

One Man's Trash ...

World Computer Exchange collects unwanted systems from businesses, schools and even individuals. The group tests the systems, packs them onto container ships and sends them out to third-world countries. There, other nonprofit groups, schools or governments get the computers into the schools where they are needed.

One Man's Trash ...

Sharp & CitiMortgage offer home financing for solar energy systems

“We recognize that consumers have become more energy-conscious and are increasingly more receptive to solar power. In some cases they are even willing to pay a premium for a home that uses solar energy,” said Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp’s Solar Energy Solutions Group. “In addition to offering reliable and attractive solar solutions, Sharp will now work with CitiMortgage to provide a way for consumers anywhere in the U.S. to finance the purchase of a system, and start them on the road toward enjoying the environmental and financial benefits of solar power.”


Sharp| Press Releases

Green Water Bottles

Nalgene water bottles
These water bottles are durable, inexpensive, can be used repeatedly and are widely recyclable. For more information visit www.nalgene-outdoor.com.

New Wave Enviro Products
Corn-resin bottle with filter ($8.99) provides pure, clean drinking water and can be reused up to 90 times, and the bottle biodegrades in just 80 days. For more information visit www.newwaveenviro.com or call 800-592-8371.

SIGG water bottles
Using a premium reusable bottle like SIGG greatly helps reduce unnecessary environmental waste caused by plastic PET water bottles. Get more information at mysigg.com.

Via: Oprah.com

Saving Energy

BITS Ltd. smart power strips
Even after turning off a computer, power continues to flow to computer peripherals like printers and scanners. This power strip ($32.99) stops the energy from being wasted. For more information visit www.bitsltd.net.

Carbonfund.org and Terrapass
If your local utility company doesn't offer green power, you can reduce the environmental impact by purchasing offsets. In this system, you give money to companies like Carbonfund.org or Terrapass, which use it to develop renewable energy sources. For more on purchasing power offsets, visit www.carbonfund.org or www.terrapass.com.

Duke Energy
Duke Energy provided energy efficiency starter kits for audience members. The kits are available to their customers in Indiana and Kentucky who qualify for in-home energy audits. To purchase a kit, visit www.dukeenergykit.com or for additional information visit www.duke-energy.com. Check with your local energy company for similar ways to save energy.

GE Energy Smart lightbulbs
GE Energy Smart bulbs use 70 to 75 percent less energy than incandescent lightbulbs and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. For example, by using a 26-watt compact fluorescent lightbulb—equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent lightbulb—users can save up to $59 on energy costs over the life of the bulb. Saving energy saves money and is better for the environment.

Via: Oprah.com

Green Shopping and Cleaning

Ecobags
Bringing your own bag when shopping saves plastic bags. Visit www.ecobags.com.

Method Home
Method offers some cleaners that are dye- and perfume-free, nontoxic, biodegradable, naturally derived and never tested on animals. For more information, visit www.methodhome.com.

Mrs. Meyers cleaning supplies
All of their cleaning supplies are made with natural essential oils, are biodegradable and phosphate-free. For more, visit www.mrsmeyers.com.

Seventh Generation products
Seventh Generation is one of the leading brands of nontoxic household products. For more information, visit www.seventhgeneration.com.

Shaklee
Find out how to get a discount on Shaklee's Healthy Home Pack. You can order the Healthy Home Pack starter kit by calling 800-225-0600.

Via: Oprah.com

Green Activism

American Forests
The average person is responsible for emitting 94 pounds of carbon dioxide every day. It takes four trees, which act as natural air filters, to offset the carbon dioxide each person generates in a month. For each dollar donated, American Forests plants a tree. For more information and to plant trees, visit www.americanforests.org.

Earth 911
Find information about environmental services and events in your community, visit www.earth911.org.

Engines Off
Lynn Romanek from Glencoe, Illinois, has organized parents at her childrens' school to turn off their cars instead of idling in the parking lot. Idling 10 minutes less per day can keep 550 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air every year. For more information visit www.enginesoff.org.

Greendimes
A group that reduces junk mail and plants trees. For more information or to sign up, visit www.greendimes.com.

Treehugger
For ideas on green living, visit www.treehugger.com.

Stop Global Warming Tour
Learn more about Sheryl Crow and Laurie David's tour and what you can do to find solutions for global warming. Visit www.stopglobalwarming.org for more information.

The Green
Simran Sehti hosts The Green on the Sundance Channel. Visit www.sundancechannel.com/thegreen for more information.

The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen
Simple things you can do to save the planet. Find more at www.readthegreenbook.com.

Via: Oprah.com

Go Green This Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day, April 22, make 'going green' more than just a catchy line. Make it a part of your life—every day.

'In honor of our Earth, I love her, I'm asking all of you today to implement just one green idea to help the fight against global warming,' Oprah says.

Start by making small changes…it's easier than you think.

Related links:
Go Green This Earth Day

Seven Continents, Seven Ways to Save the World

Watch 'Planet Earth 2007: Seven Ways to Help Save the World,' Friday, April 20 on all ABC News programs and platforms.

Related links:
Video - Planet Earth 2007: Extinction
Video - Planet Earth 2007: Water
Video - Schwarzenegger's Green Agenda
Video - Sneak Peek: 'Planet Earth 2007'
Video - Revelations, Deep in The Amazon
Sacred Tribal Ritual -- The Disease-Fighting Powers of Poisonous Ant Bites
Planet Earth 2007: China's Changing Landscape
Be Seen, Be Heard: How Do You Fight Global Warming?

ABC News: Seven Continents, Seven Ways to Save the World