Friday, January 30, 2009

Bottled Water is bad for the Planet! What’s the Alternative?

The Bottled Water industry is now a 15.5 Billion dollars business in the US alone. But have you ever thought about what drinking all that bottled water does to the planet? Here’s a little food for thought.

Americans toss 38 billion water bottles into landfills every year! That’s 2.7 million tons of plastic, taking about 1000 years to degrade. Bottles that are incinerated produce toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas entering the air, and ash containing heavy metals enters the soil.

Manufacturing the water bottles necessary to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually. Just think: that is enough energy to fuel about 100,000 cars for a year, running up demand for oil. In addition, more clean water is wasted in the production of the bottle than the bottle holds while a sixth of the world has no access to potable water.

Each week here in the US we are moving 1 billion bottles of water around in ships, trains, and trucks. That is a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers burning up fossil fuels just to deliver water! (Water weighs 8 1/3 pounds a gallon. It's so heavy you can't fill an 18-wheeler with it--you have to leave empty space.)

The Alternative? So simple!
• For your Bottled water needs for water coolers or crocks, filter your tap water where you use it with a high quality water filter such as PureCool. Not only is this choice a blessing for the planet – it will save you lots of cash to boot!
• Install a quality water filter under your sink. This provides the safest water and costs far less than bottled water or pitcher/canister type filters. The best one I’ve found is Legacy 105 which lasts a full year without giving it another thought. It has the highest flow rate on the market and only costs a couple of pennies per gallon.
• The best choice of all is a whole house filter. With this choice, not only do you “Break the Bottled Water Habit,” but you eliminate chemical absorption through your skin - making you feel and look better! An added bonus from this choice is that your water-using appliances will last up to 50% longer, meaning your filter pays for itself is savings. Be careful to choose a filter such as the SMF Whole House water filter that takes care of chloramines and health related contaminants such as cysts and VOCs.
• Get yourself a good reusable stainless steel personal water bottle (or 2 or 3) and refill the same bottles every day. There are extremely light and durable ones available now that can last you a decade! New Wave has the best value I’ve found. It‘s a great investment, again, saving you thousands of dollars over the life of the bottle.

None of these alternatives requires you to give up a thing – in fact they are money savers. Yet each one will have an enormous impact on the planet if each of us does our part!

About The Author-- Donna Hoffman is the owner of, provider of the highest quality, earth-friendly water purification products for home, office, pool and spa. Donna is dedicated to supplying healthy water for drinking, bathing, and recreation by sharing products that are “Good to You and Mother Earth Too.”

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recycle Tips | How Recycling Can Fit Into Your Lifestyle Easily?

There are many recycle tips out there on the Internet. You can probably hear it and see it everywhere you go today. Many people believe that recycling is hard to do. We tend to do what is easy and taking a few extra steps to recycle is not easy. So instead of recycling we tend to go the easy route and just throw everything away. But that should not be the case. There are a lot of innovative ways to recycle today. There are new products that seem to be coming out daily that are trying to make it easier to recycle.

The recycle tips out there can be categorized from easy to hard in terms of how easy it is to fit it into your lifestyle. Since most people believe it is hard to recycle, they tend to ignore the recycle tips they are given. One of the easiest ways to recycle would be to use a reusable water bottle. Millions of water bottles are in landfills today because people think it is easier and more convenient to use the disposable bottles. Another easy to do recycle tip would be to buy recycled products. The idea of recycling is to be able to reuse the material and eliminate waste and the need to use more virgin materials.

A few recycle tips that take just a little space in your house would be to reuse old birthday cards and Christmas cards by making them into homemade postcards. It will save you money and allow you to keep in touch with friends and family. Another recycle tip that uses everyday objects is to reuse your fabric softener sheets.

You can reuse them by putting them in your clothes drawers, to clean the lint of the dryer screen, wipe pet hair off of the furniture or eliminate static cling in skirts by rubbing it on your pantyhose. Another way to use old newspaper is to wet it and clean your windows with it. The ink from the newspaper is a great cleaning solution. It gives the newspaper a second use before you recycle it and it will save you money.
What Happens At A Recycling Center?/ Que Pasa En Un Centro De Reciclaje?

Recycle tips are not meant to make things harder on your lifestyle. If anything they are meant to make things easier and more cost effective to be included into you lifestyle. By incorporating just a few recycle tips a month into your daily routine, you might find that it is not as hard to recycle as you thought and you might be surprised at how much money it might save you in the long run.
Author Resource:- Curt Roese is the author and is a Real Estate Broker holding the EcoBroker and NAR GREEN Designations. Find more information about recycling and sign up for his informative newsletter at Green Healthy Home

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Energy efficient tumble dryers

According to recent research, it seems that nearly sixty percent of the household in the United Kingdom actually own a tumble dryer, which mean that around fourteen million households use electricity to dry their clothes when they could just hang them outside or inside therefore saving a lot of energy!
Apparently, using a standard dryer means that you would use around 4KWh of energy and produce around 1.8 kg of CO2. Even if drying your clothes outside is particularly difficult in the United Kingdom with so few sunny and dry days.
There are currently three types of tumble dryers used in the United Kingdom which are the electric venting tumble dryer, the electric condensing and finally the gas tumble dryer. It seems that the most energy efficient one is actually the gas tumble dryer. Sadly though only few of those are being produced and sold here.
For information, a condenser tumble dryer will collect water and you will then have to empty it, whereas a vented tumble dryer will have a hose that leads the hot air out of the home and need to be connected to an outlet in the wall with a vent installed on it.

Another way of saving energy is for example to buy tumble dryer spare parts like Bosch spares or Hotpoint spares when your tumble dryer is broken. By doing so you will not have to buy another tumble dryer and the life of yours will improve.

Whereas finding energy efficient fridges is becoming very easy, just as well as getting fridge spares like white knight spares or others, tumble dryers are not that good when it comes to energy saving and a lot of them tend to be in the C rating or even lower instead of A or B.
Interestingly, an A+ fridge used for twenty four hours a day will produce around 116 kg of CO2 but an A rated tumble drier used three times a week will generate around 160kg of CO2 per year, which is pretty high.

It is very important nowadays to consider the impact on the environment your appliances will have, so make sure you check everything before buying a tumble dryer, a fridge or anything else. A lot of those appliances can now be bought online and websites usually provide a lot of information. On top of that, a lot of appliances usually have plenty of different programmes with some of them being more energy efficient than others.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Green Kitchen Guide to Energy Efficient Stove Cooktops

Green Kitchen Guide to Energy Efficient Stove Cooktops

Author: Sunny Miller

When it comes to designing a green kitchen, evaluating stove cooktops for their energy efficiency can cause you to make a decision between convenience or your preferred method of cooking and being eco-friendly. But, if you really want to conserve energy and help to reduce your carbon footprint, your stove cooktop is something you need to consider in your kitchen design.

Unless you are going to cook in your fireplace over an open flame, you've got to consider the energy usage of the model of stove or cooktop that you buy. Most cooks prefer a gas cook top. With gas, the heat is easier to control and this can make cooking a lot easier.

However, gas stoves are powered by natural gas which is a fossil fuel and, as we know, fossil fuels are not that environmentally friendly. On the other hand, the electricity that powers electric cook tops comes mainly from coal burning power plants which, once again, are not that environmentally friendly. So, what's an environmentally sympathetic cook to do?

When it comes right down to it, choosing stoves and cooktops that are practical and good for the environment boils down to one thing - the efficiency of energy usage.

Which Stove Cooktops Are Most Energy Efficient?

When looking for energy efficiency, the electric cooktops are going to beat the gas ones hands-down. They are simply more efficient, so if the environment is tops on your list, go with electric.

But, there are many different types of electric cooktops that you'll need to evaluate for your green kitchen. In today's electric cooktops, there are many choices between the surface elements. These include induction elements, halogen elements and the traditional electric coil that seemed to be almost old-fashioned today. Each of these has it's advantages and disadvantages and they are not all equal when it comes to energy efficiency.

Needless to say, the newer technology cooktops are going to be more costly but they will also be more energy-efficient. The induction stove is the most energy-efficient because it transfers energy electromagnetically right to your pan. Of course, these are the highest priced.

The ceramic glass cooktops that use halogen elements are the next best when it comes to using energy, however if you don't have very flat pans, you will be wasting energy because they do not work efficiently if there isn't good pan to cooktop contact.

The least expensive - the electric coils are also the least energy-efficient not to mention the least attractive so please cross these right off your list when shopping for new cooktops for your kitchen!

Basics Of Energy Efficient Living: A Beginner''s Guide To Alternative Energy And Home Energy Savings

When considering stove cooktops for your kitchen, you're going to have to weigh your budget with your desire to lower your carbon footprint. Just like most things in life, you have to compromise to achieve your goals. Going with a higher-priced and more efficient model might cost you more upfront but can save on your energy expense as well as your impact to the environment over time.

About the Author:
To find out more about which stove cooktops are more energy efficient as well as get more tips for an eco-friendly green kitchen, visit the Green Kitchen Design Guide.

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Sew Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag or Tote

Sew Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag or Tote

Author: Di Ellis

It's very easy to make your own reusable shopping bag or tote. All you need is some sturdy fabric (such as heavy duty calico) and some cotton webbing or braid for the handles.

Suitable Fabrics & Notions

As noted above, you should choose a sturdy fabric such as heavy duty cotton or calico. To make one bag you'll need half a yard of fabric (assuming the fabric width is 43" or more). For metric sewers, you'll need ½ metre of fabric if the fabric is at least 106cm wide.

It may also be worthwhile to invest in some quality thread, as you may be carrying some heavy items in your bag, and you cannot afford to have your bag break due to cheap quality thread!

For the handles, I recommend cotton webbing or braid about 1" wide (2.5 cm). You'll need 48" of the webbing (or 122 cm).

To Make Your Pattern

There are only 5 pieces to cut out. 2 rectangles form the bag's front and back, there is one long piece that joins the front and back (to give the bag depth), and then 2 pieces for your handles.

Lay your fabric face down, and then draw out your rectangles as follows:

Bag sides (you'll need 2 of these) 13½" wide by 14½" tall (this gives a ½" seam allowance). In metric, this is 2 rectangles 34cm by 36cm (with a 1cm seam allowance).

Then you'll need long rectangle measuring 42½" by 5½" (or 106cm by 12cm).

Lay them out as shown in this diagram and then cut out.

Take your webbing and cut 2 handles each 24" long (or 61cm).

To Make Up

Basically, the long piece of fabric needs to be sewn along three sides of each rectangle (as shown in this diagram Place one rectangle along the side of the long piece (right sides together) and start sewing. Stitch slowly when turning the corners of the rectangle. I strongly recommend that you sew each seam twice for extra strength, especially at the corners.

Now attach your handles to the bag and sew on by sewing a rectangle, then sew a cross in the middle (see this diagram Again, it would be wise to double stitch these seams.

It doesn't matter whether you attach the handles to the inside or the outside, it's up to you. And that's it. Very simple.

About the Author:

Diane Ellis has been sewing since she was very young and got her first sewing machine at 6 years old (albeit a miniature one!). She sews purely for friends and family, and enjoys making her own patterns, and using her skills to decorate her home. She is the co-author of the website where, for a limited time, you can sign up for a free 6 part sewing course called Easy Fun Sewing Projects.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

5 Things you can do Right Now to Go Green

When the people I talk to hear the words “going green” they right away think about people that live in the woods, love nature, and eat figs and nothing else. The fact is going green is more than just not cutting down trees or driving less. There is a whole plethora of things that are considered “going green”. Here are five things you can do today to go green.
Buy Organic

In a nutshell organic foods are foods grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Breaking that down even further organic foods are also grown as part of a permiculture as opposed to a monoculture. A permiculture is farming where multiple varieties of vegetation are grown in the same area to maximize the soil, sun and compost. An example would be growing tomatoes next to sugar beets. A monoculture is farming where you grow just one type of vegetation in a field. The best example of this is a corn field. By going organic you are purchasing vegetation that does not use any means of chemicals. As the demand for non-organic foods goes down so will the need for chemicals. A lot of times organic foods are cheaper if they are grown locally.


When items are not in use unplug them. Sounds simple right? Well you would be surprised at which appliances draw power that is not even in use. If you are not using an appliance unplug them to ensure that no power is being drawn. Not only does this help you go green by using less electric but will help you save some money as well.

Save Water

Even though water covers over 75% of the earth most of it is not drinkable. Therefore we must do our part to conserve the drinkable water that we do have. You can take a shower instead of a bath, make sure you do your laundry on the appropriate size setting, do not run the water while you brush your teeth or shave, to name a few. Again this is a tip that not only helps conserve water but will also save you some money.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Sure this one is common sense since you more than likely recycle, paper, bottles, plastics and cans. But did you also know that you can recycle your food waste. The process of recycling your food waste is called composting. By burying your food waste (no steak bones) in a hole about 2 to 3 foot deep, what you are doing is supplying food to earthly creatures, i.e. worms, bacteria and fungi in the soil. When you do this their castings supply nutrients to the soil which creates an ideal growing environment for flowers, vegetables, trees and other plants. If you have a garden you should definitely give this a try.

Educate Yourself

Last but not least, but last for a reason is to familiarize yourself with what you can do in regards to going green. It can be as easy as doing a Google search on the Internet or reading a book from the library. Educating yourself will give you the tools you need to be successful in helping out your environment.

These are just 5 of the many ways you can participate in the art of going green. You will find as educate yourself more that going green usually translates into saving money. So not only are you helping the environment, but you are saving some money in the process. About the Author:
Mr. Tucker is a regular contributor on Bukisa, an online community for writers that pay you for your articles. You can also follow him on Twitter.