Read More From Source: ScienceDaily: Solar Energy News
Read More From Source: ScienceDaily: Solar Energy News
Read More From Source: ScienceDaily: Solar Energy News
Read More From Source: ScienceDaily: Solar Energy News
While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information presented here is correct, the contents herein are a reflection of the views of the author and are meant for educational and informational purposes only. All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy or any other implied or explicit purpose.
20 Tips for Living Green Around the House 2
1. Keep plants around the house. 2
2. Save heat when the fireplace is on. 2
3. Have it fixed instead of throwing it out. 2
4. Reduce the waste when giving gifts. 2
5. Reuse products whenever possible. 2
6. Donate things you don’t use any more. 2
7. Say no to junk mail. 2
8. Use rechargeable batteries. 3
9. Find out what you can recycle. 3
10. Dispose of hazardous materials properly. 3
11. Reuse paper. 3
12. Read the news online. 3
13. Borrow books and magazines from the library. 3
14. Teach your children about being environmentally responsible. 3
15. Choose environmentally friendly baby products. 4
16. Have a battery free Christmas. 4
17. Pay your bills electronically. 4
18. Get involved in environmental charities. 4
19. Buy your energy from eco-friendly utility companies. 4
20. Look for little ways you can make a difference. 4
20 Green Living Tips for Your Yard 5
1. Install motion detectors on your outdoor lights. 5
2. Wash your car on the lawn. 5
3. Sweep walkways, patios and driveways. 5
4. Make your swimming pool more energy efficient. 5
5. Use all natural fertilizers. 5
6. Get a rain barrel. 5
7. Use solar or LED lights in the garden. 5
8. Find natural ways to keep pests out of your garden. 6
9. Plant a tree. 6
10. Conserve water. 6
11. Opt for a variety of different plants. 6
12. Don’t use pressure treated wood. 6
13. Use an alternative to peat moss. 6
14. Choose the right type of grass for your area. 7
15. Don’t water your grass during the day. 7
16. Opt for energy saving mowers and trimmers. 7
17. Choose the right types of trees. 7
18. Don’t rake up your grass clippings. 7
19. Plant your own vegetable garden. 7
20. Use a soaker hose or watering can. 7
12 Eco Friendly Bath and Laundry Tips 8
1. Install water saving showerheads and faucet aerators. 8
2. Turn the tap off. 8
3. Never flush your old medications. 8
4. Use less water when you bathe. 8
5. Install new toilets. 8
6. Buy recycled products whenever possible. 8
7. Hang your clothes to dry. 9
8. Clean out your lint filter. 9
9. Use all natural cleaning products. 9
10. Avoid dry-cleaning your clothes. 9
11. Don’t use antibacterial cleaners. 9
12. Buy phosphate free detergents and soaps. 9
20 Tips for Living Green Around the House
1. Keep plants around the house.
Plants are amazing at cleaning their environment. Having them in your house can reduce indoor air pollutants by more than half. Great choices are English ivy and peace lilies, which absorb toxic gases like benzene and formaldehyde. Just be sure that if you have pets and/or small children that you opt for plants that are not poisonous.
2. Save heat when the fireplace is on.
An open fireplace wastes up to 85% of the gas it uses because, like a wood-burning fireplace, the fire sucks heat from inside and sends it out through the chimney. Direct-vent gas fireplaces burn more efficiently and can save you money.
3. Have it fixed instead of throwing it out.
With the price of many consumer goods getting less and less every year, it’s tempting to simply replace old electronics and appliances when they break. But often they can be repaired for a fraction of the cost. Not only do you save money, but you’re keeping that item out of the landfill.
4. Reduce the waste when giving gifts.
Instead of wrapping paper, choose newspaper (the comics work great when they’re in color), reusable gift bags or even leftover wallpaper. When you receive a gift packaged in a reusable material be sure to save it for later. Also save your greeting cards and recycle them into gift tags.
5. Reuse products whenever possible.
Have you ever looked at just how much waste your family generates in a one week period? Manufacturers use so much packaging that it is easy for a family of four to have several bags of waste come garbage day. Next time you’re thinking of throwing something out, try and think of ways you can reuse it instead. For example old containers can be used for storage, stained clothing can be used as rags for cleaning and broken hockey sticks make great garden stakes. If you get creative you may be surprised how many new uses you can find for items you thought were trash!
6. Donate things you don’t use any more.
Instead of throwing out items you don’t use anymore, give them to charity. Old clothing, shoes, home décor items, sporting goods and toys are all happily accepted by charities such as the Salvation Army. You’ll have less clutter in your garage and your donation will help families in need.
7. Say no to junk mail.
So much paper is wasted on sending junk mail and flyers. Put up a sign on your mailbox refusing these items and send a message to advertisers that you want them to change their marketing techniques. If enough people do this they will eventually listen.
8. Use rechargeable batteries.
If yours is like most households, you have a lot of things that run on batteries. Everything from the TV remote to your camera. And if you have children you can add a seemingly endless number of toys to the list! Do the environment a favor and use rechargeable batteries. They cost more upfront but they generate significantly less waste and in the end will save you money. Solar powered battery rechargers are even available online.
9. Find out what you can recycle.
Different cities accept different items for recycling. It is important that you know exactly what is being recycled in your area. A lot of people put out items week after week thinking they are being recycled when in fact they are being thrown in the garbage at the recycling facility. By knowing the policies in your city you can avoid buying products that are not sold in recyclable containers and you can ensure you are putting out all of your garbage that can be recycled.
10. Dispose of hazardous materials properly.
Most municipalities have programs for properly disposing of hazardous materials such as old tires, batteries, electronics, used oil materials and toxic substances such as paint and paint thinners. Be sure to inquire in your area about programs designed to keep these potentially dangerous materials out of the landfills.
11. Reuse paper.
A lot of the paper we recycle only has printing on one side. Instead of using a fresh piece every time, print on the other side for documents that are not important. You can also reuse paper as a scratch pad for notes or put them together as a pad and keep them next to the telephone for taking messages.
12. Read the news online.
Daily newspapers generate a huge amount of waste. Even though this can be recycled, it is better to eliminate this unnecessary use of paper entirely. Instead of subscribing to newspaper services, read the news online. Think about how much paper this will save over an entire year!
13. Borrow books and magazines from the library.
Libraries are a great resource for anyone looking to reduce the amount of waste they generate. Instead of purchasing books and magazines, check them out of the library.
14. Teach your children about being environmentally responsible.
Our children really are the future of our earth. Start teaching them early about the importance of making environmentally friendly choices and it will become second nature to them. Make sure that you also practice what you preach! Kids are much more likely to do what they see you doing – rather than what you tell them to do.
15. Choose environmentally friendly baby products.
The amount of chemicals used to create baby products today is staggering. Not to mention the amount of waste generated! Disposable diapers are the single largest type of garbage in our landfills. Refuse to contribute to the problem by using cloth diapers. Nowadays they are designed to be easy – no more pins! And many communities actually have services that drop off clean diapers each week and pick up the soiled ones.
16. Have a battery free Christmas.
If you have children, make next Christmas “battery free”. Tell all family and friends that instead of toys that require batteries to run, that you would rather your children be given gifts such as books, puzzles and non-electronic toys. Not only will you help the environment by using fewer batteries, you’ll also save money and your kids will use their imaginations more. Even if you don’t have children of your own, make it a policy to only give battery-free gifts.
17. Pay your bills electronically.
Almost all companies now offer the option to receive your bills electronically and pay them through online banking or telephone banking. Save all that unnecessary paper by using this service.
18. Get involved in environmental charities.
There are lots of different charities that are devoted to helping the environment. Whether you choose an international organization such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) or something more local, the important thing is to get involved. You’ll feel great, help a worthwhile cause and be setting a good example for the other people in your community.
19. Buy your energy from eco-friendly utility companies.
There are many companies now offering electricity that is generated from renewable resources such as wind and low-impact hydroelectric generation. Inquire in your area about companies that use these services for all or part of their electricity and make the switch! If enough people start to do this, more and more companies will begin offering it.
20. Look for little ways you can make a difference.
Sometimes the best thing we can do for the environment is to make small changes in our every day life. When we add them all up, we can make a significant difference. Look at everything you do in a day and see what you can do differently. For example, if you are a tea drinker only boil as much water as you need in the kettle. If you generate a lot of garbage think of a couple of ways you can cut back.
20 Green Living Tips for Your Yard
1. Install motion detectors on your outdoor lights.
Instead of leaving on your outdoor lights all evening, install motion detectors so they only come on when needed. This relatively simple change can save as much as 30% of the electricity needed for your outdoor lighting.
2. Wash your car on the lawn.
This does double duty – you get a clean car and you water your grass at the same time. Plus you are using a lot less water than is used at commercial car washes. Be sure to use a bucket or a trigger hose attachment so you only use the amount of water you need.
3. Sweep walkways, patios and driveways.
Instead of spraying them down with your hose and wasting water, get out the old fashioned broom. They’re just going to get dirty again soon anyway! And you’ll be getting some healthy exercise.
4. Make your swimming pool more energy efficient.
Pools account for as much as 60% of a home’s summer energy costs – and more in parts of the world where pools are used year round. Cut this down by as much as 20% simply by using a solar blanket to help keep the pool warm. Save another 20% by turning down your pool heater by a few degrees.
5. Use all natural fertilizers.
Unfortunately fertilizers never stay on the grass and flowerbeds where they are applied. Every time it rains the chemicals spread into the ground water, which can pollute lakes, rivers and streams and even our drinking water. Avoid any problems by choosing all natural fertilizers. They cost a little more but they are much gentler on our environment.
6. Get a rain barrel.
Every time it rains a lot of great water goes right down the drain. Instead, install a rain barrel and capture this water for use on your flowerbeds. You can even hook your hose up to most rain barrels and use it to water your lawn. They are very easy to install – all you have to do is hook them up to your eaves trough downspout. Then when it rains the water collects in the barrel instead of going down the sewer system.
7. Use solar or LED lights in the garden.
A beautifully lit garden is a wonderful space to spend time during the warmer months. But instead of installing lights that are not energy efficient, choose solar or LED. Solar lights have their battery charged by the sun all day so that they are ready to go in the evening. LED lights do use electricity but only a small fraction of what regular light bulbs use. In fact one string of white LED fairy lights uses only 2 watts of electricity and the bulbs last up to 100,000 hours.
8. Find natural ways to keep pests out of your garden.
Insects are a fact of life in the garden. And many are actually beneficial to your yard. But when you find that your plants are being munched on, it’s time to find natural solutions to deal with the pests. Instead of reaching for chemicals, opt for natural insecticides. For example, a saucer of beer will keep slugs off hostas. And planting chives beside your roses will keep aphids away. There are also all natural insecticidal soaps that you can “wash” your plants with.
9. Plant a tree.
Help make the air cleaner and your neighborhood more beautiful by planting trees in your yard. No matter the size of space you have, there is a tree that will work for you. Talk to your local nursery about the spot where you would like to grow a tree and they will help you select one that will grow to a manageable size for your area and has a root system that will not interfere with anything. Some municipalities offer rebates for planting trees so be sure to check that out.
10. Conserve water.
There are several things you can do when preparing your flowerbeds that will help you to conserve water in your garden. An important one is to plant native species because they are acclimatized to the amount of rain you get in your area. Also, be sure to add compost to the soil to help it retain any moisture it does get. And top off your beds with mulch, which will keep moisture in and has the added benefit of keeping weeds out.
11. Opt for a variety of different plants.
Large numbers of the same plants are much more likely to attract pests and diseases than a garden with a mixture. So when you’re doing your planting be sure to mix it up! You’ll not only have healthier plants but you’ll also attract a greater variety of creatures which can be beneficial and make for a much more interesting garden.
12. Don’t use pressure treated wood.
Although it is readily available and less expensive than other types of building materials, you should never use pressure treated wood when building fences, decks and sheds. It is full of chemicals that continue to be emitted in to the atmosphere for many years. This is not only bad for the environment, but is also bad for you as you breathe it. Spend a little extra and get untreated wood such as cedar. If you go to a lumber mill instead of your local building center you will find more variety and usually save some money.
13. Use an alternative to peat moss.
Peat moss is readily available at garden centers for use as an additive to soil. Its ability to hold moisture makes it very useful for gardeners. And although having to water your gardens less is great for the environment, peat moss is not. Peat is harvested from ancient wetlands and by removing it the natural filtration of groundwater is disturbed, natural flood prevention is altered and the homes of many species of wildlife are destroyed. A great alternative to better hold moisture in your soil is coir (coconut fiber).
14. Choose the right type of grass for your area.
By sowing grass that is ideally suited to the weather where you live, there will be less work to maintain it. Look for drought and disease resistant varieties at your local garden center and talk to them about how to care for it.
15. Don’t water your grass during the day.
When you water your grass during the day, a lot of that water simply burns off from the heat and sunshine. Instead, water early in the morning or in the evening when the sun has started to go down. This will also reduce the risk of burning your grass, which can happen when the sun is reflected through water drops.
16. Opt for energy saving mowers and trimmers.
Did you know that some older lawn mowers actually produce more pollution than cars? If you are still using inefficient garden tools, now is the time to switch. There are many different brands of mowers and trimmers available that are battery powered or manual. Using these instead of gas or electric powered garden tools can save you money and they are much better for the environment.
17. Choose the right types of trees.
When planting trees, consider the location you want to put them before deciding on the type of tree. This will ensure that you choose trees that will give you necessary shade when you need to stay cool and that will allow sun to shine in when you need heat. For example, if you have a room where the sun shines in during the warmer months and heats it up, plant trees outside these windows that will provide shade. By choosing deciduous trees (ones that lose their leaves) you will have the benefit of allowing the sun to shine in during the winter months and helping naturally heat your home.
18. Don’t rake up your grass clippings.
By leaving grass clippings on the lawn you create your own fertilizer. As they decompose they put important nutrients back in to the soil that make your lawn healthier and stronger. You also save all those clipping from going in to a landfill site.
19. Plant your own vegetable garden.
A lot of resources are needed to produce the food we buy at the supermarket. From the water used on the crops to the fuel needed for transportation, there are many negative environmental repercussions. Growing your own food is a great way to be more environmentally friendly. And home grown vegetables always taste better!
20. Use a soaker hose or watering can.
If you must water your lawn or gardens, choose an option that conserves as much water as possible. For small jobs, opt for a simple watering can. For larger jobs, choose a soaker hose. They use 70% less water than most types of sprinklers.
12 Eco Friendly Bath and Laundry Tips
1. Install water saving showerheads and faucet aerators.
Heating water accounts for approximately 15% of the average household energy bill. Cut this down by installing water saving showerheads and aerators on kitchen faucets. They use nearly 60% less water and chances are you won’t even notice the difference (until you get your electricity bill!)
2. Turn the tap off.
Your mother probably told you to do it when you were a child, but do you? When brushing your teeth or shaving, always be sure to turn the water off. Even a few seconds can waste a tremendous amount of water unnecessarily. It’s a simple thing that can have a big impact on the amount of water used in your home.
3. Never flush your old medications.
In almost everyone’s medicine cabinet there is expired medications. But whatever you do, do not flush them! That puts them into the water, which can be dangerous. Instead inquire at your pharmacy about whether they will take them and dispose of them properly. If they cannot handle them they will at least be able to tell you where you can take them.
4. Use less water when you bathe.
Baths typically use less water than showers. So whenever possible opt for a soak in the tub. If you prefer showers keep them short. Ten minutes is way too long. And be sure to install a low-flow showerhead and faucet to reduce the amount of water. You can cut back nearly 50% of the water used and barely even notice the difference.
5. Install new toilets.
Newer toilets use significantly less water than older ones. And the low-flush toilets not only conserve water but they actually reduce the greenhouse gases produced in the water-purification process. If you can’t afford to buy a new toilet, a great alternative is to place a plastic water bottle – with the cap on – in the tank. Doing so means less water is used for each flush.
6. Buy recycled products whenever possible.
Many of the products that we use every day can be made from recycled materials. Doing so saves 70% – 90% of the energy and pollution versus using virgin materials. In particular, paper products are a great place for you to choose more environmentally friendly products. Look for bleach-free toilet paper that is made from a minimum of 80% post-consumer waste content.
7. Hang your clothes to dry.
The average household does more than 400 loads of laundry in a year. That is a lot of electricity to dry all those clothes! You can cut this down dramatically by hanging your clothes to dry. In the winter months opt for an indoor drying rack. When it’s warm outside you can move your indoor rack out to a deck or patio, or use an outdoor clothesline. There are many new styles of clotheslines available now that are easily removable when not in use or that can be elevated to keep them out of the way.
8. Clean out your lint filter.
Having a full lint filter in your clothes dryer can result in 30% more energy being used. Be sure to clean it out before every use and scrub it with a soft bristle brush every few months. To check and see if it needs to be cleaned, fill it with water and see whether it drains. Often tiny particles can clog the holes even though it appears that they are clear.
9. Use all natural cleaning products.
Almost all household cleaning can be done using vinegar, baking soda and water. Use vinegar as a natural disinfectant, deodorizer, all purpose cleaner and window cleaner and add it to the rinse cycle of your laundry as a fabric softener. Clean your bathtub, toilet and counters with a paste of baking soda and water. If you prefer to use commercial cleaners, there are many companies now offering environmentally friendly versions.
10. Avoid dry-cleaning your clothes.
The majority of dry cleaning chemicals are highly toxic. Not only are these chemicals harmful for the environment, but also they remain on your clothes as you continue to wear them, which can present a health risk. When buying clothes, opt for items that you can wash at home rather than needing to be dry-cleaned. And keep in mind that most items that say ‘dry clean only’ can actually be washed by hand with a mild detergent and cold water. If your garment absolutely cannot be hand washed, look for a cleaning service that practices wet cleaning instead of dry cleaning.
11. Don’t use antibacterial cleaners.
We have become a society that is obsessed with living germ free. And we may be hurting ourselves more than we’re helping. Antibacterial cleaners contain a chemical known as triclosan, which is a form of dioxin. In addition to causing a variety of health related problems including decreased fertility and birth defects, this chemical is also mixing with the chlorine in our tap water and forming deadly chlorinated dioxins. So you’re better off just using regular soap. In fact, doing so will kill 99.4% of germs. Compare that with antibacterial soap that kills 99.6%.
12. Buy phosphate free detergents and soaps.
Phosphates that find their way in to our lakes and rivers are responsible for the overgrowth of algae. When this algae takes over a body of water it chokes out the other plants growing on the bottom and causes a series of problems. Do your part to limit the amount of phosphates that end up in lakes and rivers by choosing detergents and soaps that are phosphate free. Don’t forget to check our review site here: Green Energy reviews
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Comparison check – solar panel and inverter
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The Ecotricity 1800 Watt Solar Generator is a great solar back up unit for around the house in case of blackout or power outage. Whether you need back up power to charge up your cell phone to make important calls for help, need to power your radio to hear what’s going on around your area during an emergency, or simply want to charge up your laptop, the Ecotricity 1800 Watt Solar Generator is a great choice. The rollable solar panel rack gives you the ability to quickly move the unit to the best location for optimal sun exposure. High efficiency foldable solar panel Built in 1800 Watt Xantrex inverter/charger Practical and portable mobile solar generation Digital Battery status indicator 3 x 18Ah internal SLA batteries 4 x 120VAC electrical outlets 1 x 12VDC accessory or charging port 50Ft of cable between solar panel and inverter No assembly required Charge from 80W solar panel or AC plug No noise or emissions (Read more…)
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