November 7, 2011 by
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Moving house is one of those things that nobody looks forward to, as shifting all of your possessions from one place to another can be a huge undertaking. Moving day can also end up being an environmental disaster, with often a dozen or so trips in the car and the use of heavy duty cleaning products.
Moving house is one of those things that nobody looks forward to, as shifting all of your possessions from one place to another can be a huge undertaking. Moving day can also end up being an environmental disaster, with often a dozen or so trips in the car and the use of heavy duty cleaning products. Make sure you are organized next time you move and think about how your move is impacting the environment.
Think About How You Pack
As soon as you make the decision to move, start saving boxes, green bags, promotional bags and anything else that will be useful when you go to pack up your house. Even newspaper will be useful for packing up glasses and other delicate items so don’t get stuck having to buy stuff you already have. Think ahead and save things for the move.
Donate Unwanted Items
As you go through and start packing up your house, you are bound to come across items that you either don’t need anymore or that you just don’t want to take with you to your new place. Start packing early so you have plenty of time to find people or places to donate unwanted items. There is nothing sadder than having to just throw perfectly good items away just because you have run out of time at the end. Think ahead, think of others and find a home for unwanted items.
Use Non-Toxic Cleaners
The least fun part of moving is definitely having to clean your old place from top to bottom. Make this huge task a little better by using cleaning products that are better for you and the environment. There are some pretty nasty household cleaning products out there, and while they will make your house look clean, you are better off choosing something less toxic. It might take slightly longer but you will still have your house looking great without jeopardizing your health or those of friends and family helping you clean.
Do It In One Move
Most people spend moving day driving back and forth between their old and new place, ferrying goods and people. Save time, petrol, hassle and the environment, by either borrowing or renting a large truck and doing the move in one hit. It will make moving day way easier to organize, mean less chaos and cut down on pollution.
If you want to have the energy to make it through the day, having lots of snacks and a good lunch on moving day is essential. Treat yourself and everyone helping you to some great organic food for the day. There is no question organic food is better for both you and the environment, not to mention it tastes way better, so be sure no one goes hungry helping you out on your move.
Deciding to move opens up a big opportunity for you to think about where and how you want to live. Most people live in houses that are far bigger than they need to be and therefore use up way more resources than is necessary, so think about how much space you need and consider moving into somewhere a bit smaller this time.
Comments Off on 10 Easy Tips to Cut Your Home Energy Bill This Winter
Brrrrrrr! The weather’s getting colder ( some cities have already seen snow !) and that means that many of us will soon be seeing a big spike on our monthly electricity bills. But it doesn’t have to be that way – there are plenty of simple ways to minimize the amount of energy needed to heat your home and save a bundle of cash doing it. From properly insulating your house to simply dressing for the season , check out our 10 easy tips to cut your home’s energy use – you’ll thank us when you receive your next electricity bill! Read the rest of 10 Easy Tips to Cut Your Home Energy Bill This Winter Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , 10 Ways to Cut Your Home Energy Bill This Winter , cut your home energy bill , eco design , energy audit , energy efficiency tips , energy efficient lighting , energy monitoring , energy saving , energy saving tips , green design , green lighting , green tips for the home , infrared gun , insulation , LED , led light bulbs , save energy , saving electricity , smart thermostat , super sealed windows , sustainable design
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10 Easy Tips to Cut Your Home Energy Bill This Winter
October 19, 2011 by
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To keep your home warm during winter install some solar panels, hang curtains or blinds in all your windows, block any gaps and have your windows double glazed.
It is easy to keep your home warm during winter, and without spending enormous amounts of money on your electricity bill. By thinking about other ways of keeping your house warm you can reduce your energy bill and help make your home more environmentally friendly as well. Getting some solar panels for your home can help reduce your heating bill and warm your house, as well as keeping your home maintained.
By installing solar panels you can not only keep your home warm during winter buy you can reduce the amount of money you spend on electricity. Using the suns energy you can heat your hot water system too. Solar panels can generate electricity that you can use throughout your home as well as run your heating system. With the cost of electricity on the rise and the need to look to more environmentally friendly methods of producing power, it is worthwhile looking into using solar energy.
Curtains and blinds
You lose a lot of heat through your windows, even when they are shut. Help trap the heat in your home by putting up curtains or blinds on all your windows and during winter having them shut, even throughout the day if it is cold and grey. Open them up to let the sun in and you might not need to turn on your heater as frequently.
Help retain the heat within your home by double glazing your windows. The double layer of glass will help reduce the loss of heat from within your home and the inner layer of glass will be closer to the temperature within your house. In between the two panels of glass the space is filled with air or a non toxic gas. This also warms and helps keep your home warm. Double glazed windows are fantastic insulation, and not only do they keep your home warm they reduce the heat in summer as the outer layer of glass absorbs the heat from the sun.
Do some baking
Using your oven can warm up your house, or at least the kitchen. Instead of eating store bought biscuits and cakes indulge in a bit of old fashioned home baking and warm up at the same time. The heat from running your oven will certainly warm the kitchen, and even the family area. There are two benefits, a cosy room and tasty home baked treats.
Before winter sets in go around your house and plug any gaps. Any cracks should be filled and make sure there aren’t any obvious holes between tiles and bricks. It is likely there would be lesser of a problem with newer homes, but it is still worth checking. A draught from a gap can
significantly cool down your home.
They may seem a bit old fashioned but get a draught excluder for your front and back doors. A draught excluder is a snake shaped length of material, usually filled with small beans, and it is wedged against the gap in the bottom of the door. You could easily make them yourself if you can’t find them in store.
October 13, 2011 by
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Kit homes are a cost effective way of building a new home. To continue to have a cost effective home you can turn your kit home into an eco friendly home that will not only reduce your carbon footprint but you will also notice a significant decrease in your household bills. As well as installing things like solar panels and rain water tanks even doing things like adding a veranda or patios to your home will help make your kit home more eco friendly.
Surprisingly a veranda can make a huge difference to how much you need to rely on your air conditioner during summer. A veranda while cast shade across your windows so that it limits the amount of sunlight that comes in therefore keeping your home cooler for longer during those hot days. A veranda will also help keep the exterior walls of your kit home out of the direct sunlight keeping it a lot cooler.
Making sure that you properly insulate your home will also mean that you won’t need to rely on your air conditioner as much as it will stay cooler for longer inside your home and during winter proper insulation will also keep your home warmer. Anything that reduces the need to switch on an appliance to regulate the temperature is helping your kit home be more eco friendly.
Adding solar panels to the roof of your kit home will certainly make your property more eco friendly. Solar panels can cost you a fair bit of installation but once they are up you will start to notice significant savings on your power bill and a reduction in your reliance on conventional electricity. You will save money and help the environment. Solar power can be used to run your lights, your appliances, heat your water and even heat your swimming pool.
Rain water tanks
Having rain water tanks is another step towards making your home eco friendly. By collecting your own water to supply your needs you will also reduce your water bill in the process. You can also put a system into place where the grey water from your home, or the water from your washing, can be piped out to water your garden. If you can when you have a shower put a bucket in the shower so you can save the water for the garden and scoop the water out of the bath to water the plants as well.
You can create an eco friendly garden around your kit home by constructing a compost bin. You can deposit all your fruit and vegetables scraps in the compost as well as egg shells and paper rubbish. It will break down and eventually you will have great compost for your garden.
You can also have your own vegetable garden which in a small way is reducing your carbon footprint as you are not relying on vegetables that have been transported by a pollution making truck.
October 6, 2011 by
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Water around the World
Running water is an everyday facility for developed countries, and without it the residentsâ€™ lifestyles would be completely different. Itâ€™s not uncommon for people to leave the tap running when brushing their teeth, without a second thought. However, this constant wastage of water is having negative effects on the environment and their pockets.
Reducing Water Waste
If you feel that youâ€™re using more water than you should be and would like to reduce your bills whilst helping the environment here are a few simple tips.
Bathrooms are one of the main water sources within the modern home, aside from kitchens. Often, abundances of water get wasted in the bathroom of modern homes as we donâ€™t realise the effects that leaving a tap running could have on the environment.
Bathrooms are prone to minor plumbing problems as they struggle under the strain of everyday life. Leaks can not only be irritating, they also waste and incredible amount of water and money. Regular maintenance checks can help to prevent the occurrence of leaks. Should you find any leaks, repair them as quickly as possible to prevent the problems worsening and water being wasted! Taps have a knack for coming loose too, making the tap harder to turn off completely; always ensure taps are tightened to the highest possible tension to prevent them from being left running.
Upgrading your bathroom suites can also help to improve your homeâ€™s water efficiency. Older models of shower heads and toilets use far more water than their newer, ecological counterparts. Specially designed water saving shower heads minimise the amount of water used when showering whilst providing the same powerfulness of the spray.
Modern toilets with a dual flush function are extremely effective water saving devices, with the ability to save up to 3 litres of water per flush, they can be a great money saving product for all households. Generally speaking, if the toiletâ€™s over 10 years old itâ€™s time for an upgrade. Plus, dual flush toilets have the ability to use even less water per flush for liquid waste.
Renewable energy resources can significantly reduce the amount of carbon emissions that are emitted from your home. If youâ€™re someone who enjoys indulging in deep baths then solar energy could help to reduce the amount of electricity wasted heating up the water. Solar PV panels work for producing electricity by natural sunlight and solar water heating uses sunlight to heat water which could then be used to take a bath. Although theyâ€™re not water saving devices, solar panels can help to reduce utility bills and climate change â€“ which is proving to have disastrous consequences for Third World countries.
Helping Underdeveloped Countries
In some developing countries clean, running water is considered a luxury. Many people are suffering from horrific, water borne diseases due to them only having polluted water to drink. Many of those
who drink it become severely ill and have little chance of survival. Conserving water in developed countriesâ€™ homes can help to prevent further damage to the environment, save money and help those who donâ€™t have the luxury of clean running water.
Your water intake could help underdeveloped countries to gain access to clean water, reducing the risk of diseases which are present with every mouthful of dirty water they swallow. Some bottled water brands donate a certain percentage of the bottle cost to charities who help to provide clean water sources for less developed countriesâ€™ towns. If you really canâ€™t resist the tap water though, there are charities which you can donate to without buying bottled water.
Conserving water is not only important for reducing homeownersâ€™ utility bills, itâ€™s also helping to save lives in underdeveloped countries. So before leaving your tap running whilst brushing your teeth turn it off and think of the difference you could be making.
October 6, 2011 by
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Why do we desire what is today called “alternative energy“? What is this source of energy an alternative to, and what comprises it? Alternative energy sources are in fact numerous. And they are alternatives to today’s commonly used sources of energy including petroleum products and coal-fired electricity. The reasons that we are looking for greater use of alternative energy today is because we recognize a few unsavory things about the commonly used and wide-spread energy sources of today:
* They are ultimately going to run out, and their run-out rate is increasing as the human population expands and as more developing nations place increased demand upon their supply.
* They generate undesirable pollutants.
* They are often very disruptive of the natural environment, and that disruption often has negative consequences that are practical as well as aesthetic.
In the case of electricity generation, we’re also facing problems with a decaying and ill-maintained infrastructure. This will eventually lead to more and more power disruption, blackouts, and natural disasters such as electrical fires. The costs of rebuilding and revamping that infrastructure are very high.
As things stand currently, the single group of greatest energy consumers on the Earth-the people of the United States-are heavily dependent upon importing oil. Often this oil supply has to come from places that are actually hostile to the US. All in all, the instability inherent in all of this oil importation, from political risks that drive up fuel costs to the increased danger of environmentally (and financially) harmful oil spills, means that the US needs to produce more of its own fuel supply. But all things considered, the best way to do this is to at least supplement oil, coal, and hydroelectric power generation with alternative energy supplies. There are obviously many alternative energy supplies out there, but what can you do today to start saving money on your energy costs and being a better environmental steward?
Install Solar Energy Panels Depending on the size of your home and how much you can spend on initial capital investment, these panels may serve as mere backup systems to your grid-electricity or they might become your main source of home electricity.
Install a Small Wind Turbine Tower These are “cool looking”, don’t take up too much space, and can supply you with plenty of electricity on days when the wind is sufficient. They are a perfect supplement to your existing energy supply system.
Install customized windows and doors By doing this youâ€™ll need less heating and cooling power. You’ll need an initial capital investment for this, but that increases the market value of your home and will pay for itself in
time as you save money on energy bills (and notice a cleaner and more comfortable home interior).
What Are Our Alternative Energy Sources? We can use alternative energy sources for environmental gains, financial gains, and even gains in personal independence. The sources of alternative energy currently under development and/or expansion are:
* Tidal energy (which was first used by the Romans and has been used historically by Europeans and by Americans)
* Ocean wave power (not the same as using the tidal forces as mentioned above, but instead making use of the energy inherent in ocean waves to transport energy, such as by Pelamis Wave Energy Converters)
* Solar power
* Wind power (today this means using wing turbines, the 21st century “windmill”)
* Hydroelectric power. This generates energy by transforming the power inherent in flowing or falling water. It is the most widely used form of alternative energy at the time of this writing. But since constructing very large hydroelectric dams can be disruptive to the environment, efforts are underway to construct many, many more of these dams all through the United States on smaller, localized scales.
* Radiant energy. This still seems like science fiction to many people (even many scientists), as it draws and transforms electrical-like energy out of the air and is fuelless. But, it is actually in use today in places like Switzerland’s Methernitha Community. And it has historically been known of and proven by brilliant minds like that of Nicola Tesla, who once wrote of an expiriment that he conducted back in 1896 “Whenever I received the effects of a transmitter, one of the simplest ways [to detect the wireless transmissions] was to apply a magnetic field to currents generated in a conductor, and when I did so, the low frequency gave audible notes.” Tesla was talking about perhaps the very first “cell phone” in history!
* Geothermal energy. This is rapidly expanding in scope, viable application, and popularity. Geothermal power generation simply captures and transforms the energy of the Earth’s heat and turns it into electrical power. It is always “turned on” and is immune to the fluctuations in energy costs of the non-renewable fuel economy. The most well-known geothermal energy plant in use today, one that has been in use for quite a while now, is The Geysers in California.
* Biomass energy sources. This is the burning of any organic biological material, dead or alive, for fuel. Today, it’s possible to even transform landfill toxic gases and liquid wastes into fuel.
* CNG, or compressed natural gas. This is the second-most used alternative energy source in the US, and since it’s lighter than air, natural gas is easily dissipated if it
spills, so it is safer than oil and gas. Also, the Canadians are big producers of natural gas, making this an easily imported alternative energy source that is also very low risk politically and not overly expensive to import.
* Nuclear energy. Often misunderstood in the media and by the public, nuclear energy is safe and clean.
October 2, 2011 by
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Whenever a home is sold Â it should be Â required that the home is inspected by the local fire department for properly working smoke detectors, as well as carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke detectors are designed to save lives as areÂ carbon monoxide meters.
One of the 1st things should be educating Â perspective home sellers on any smoke and carbon monoxide detector laws .
Regulations relating to the installation and maintenance of certain smoke detectors should be put in place. Staying up to speed on a change in the law like this is critical for landlords, home owners and Realtors alike.
It goes without saying that it is imperative that home owners ensure that their properties comply with these
laws, both from a public safety and liability stand point.Â In order to know exactly how your property could be impacted it would be prudent to speak with the local fire Marshall or a lawyer that is well versed in these laws.
September 13, 2011 by
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Comments Off on A Beginners Guide to Going Green
With climate change and the consequences of carbon emissions being discussed more and more frequently. Itâ€™s now come to a point when even the most reluctant environmentalists are asking themselves how we can reduce waste and save energy at home, and with energy prices raising this is a greater concern than ever. For someone new to green behaviours, switching to renewable energy and using only local and ethically produced products are daunting first steps, but taking baby steps to reduce our waste and improve our energy efficiency may be the best start to going green. Here are a few tips to help start you off.
1. A lot of heat is lost through windows and doors, so if you donâ€™t have double glazing, place draught excluders or weather stripping to fill around windows and doors. You could also opt for some insulating honeycomb or cellular blinds; their honeycomb structure traps air, and keeps rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These blinds are specifically designed to keep heat in a room, but any heavy window coverings will do the job â€“ just make sure you keep them open while the sun is shining to let it warm the room, and close them before it gets dark so the heat canâ€™t escape!
2. Try and cut your water consumption down by taking baths instead of showers and making them as short as possible. Little things like turning the tap off when brushing teeth or doing dishes can add up and make a difference, too, but the simplest way to save water by far is to put a â€œwater saverâ€ in your toilet cistern. Youâ€™ll use up to half a gallon less water per flush. Water companies will usually provide you with a water saver if you ask, but if not, an unused brick or a plastic container with a lid, filled with stones or gravel, will do the same job.
3. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. Standard light bulbs have just gone out of production (in the EU at least), so this is about to get far easier! They might be slightly more expensive, but they more than pay for themselves over their lifetime in terms of energy costs. Donâ€™t just rely on energy saving light bulbs and energy efficient appliances to cut down on your electricity consumption, though. Basics such as turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use, and not leaving things on standby or unused chargers plugged in can all make a massive difference.
4. Recycle or re-use left-over packaging and containers whenever you can, and try to avoid buying excessively packaged goods in the first place. Use a lunchbox instead of buying pre-packing sandwiches or wrapping everything up in disposable cling-film. And if possible, bring your own mug and coffee to work to avoid endless plastic and paper cups that just end up in the bin- youâ€™ll notice the difference in your wallet as well!
5. Keeping the heating on a low setting (if itâ€™s on at all) can go a long way to saving energy and money, and doing the same with the hot-water thermostat on your boiler is a lesser-known way of reducing your energy consumption. Having the hot water temperature anywhere above 140F is a waste of energy as your boiler has to work harder to keep it hot, and turning it down means your baths and showers will be a far more pleasant temperature.
Thomas Edward Milson is a UK blogger with a keen interest in green issues. Heâ€™s currently blogging on behalf of Hillaryâ€™s Blinds.
August 21, 2011 by
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If you are planning to build your dream house but have shortage of enough cash in your pockets, you may opt for a construction loan. For this, it is very important that you shop around properly and compare the benefits and rates between different companies before you take out a mortgage help loan. You also need to keep in mind that you take out such a mortgage help loan that you will be able to pay off within a specific time period else you will find it difficult to pay off your loan amount.
5 Reasons why you should choose eco building options
Read on to know 5 reasons why you should choose eco building options for your home.
Make yield during daytime There are some windows that allow you to avail natureâ™s light and save more light by avoiding you to use the artificial lights. As such, these windows save the energy of the heating cost that you would otherwise have to pay if you could not avail the benefits of these types of windows. When you need light in your house during the night time, light bulbs such as compact fluorescent bulbs can be used for the purpose.
Enjoy the most suitable comfortÂ â€“ When you build an eco-friendly house by taking out a mortgage help loan, it is essential that you build the house in such a way so that you can enjoy the ecological and natural benefits of the environment for your lifetime. This will also help you enjoy good health and fitness throughout your life. The efficiency of an eco friendly house helps to offer you a sustainable future by decreasing the consumption of energy and raw materials.
Save the consumption of energyÂ â€“ You should build such a house that will provide you sufficient amount of energy and at the same time, save costs for heating, cooling, lighting and other appliances. When you save sufficient amount of money on your utilities, it is said to be a smart move on your household budget. You will find some eco-building concepts that shows high cost in the beginning but they provide good amount of savings throughout the life span of the house.
Use of recycled materialsÂ â€“ When you take out a mortgage help loan for building an eco friendly house, you can use the recycled materials to construct your house. You can use the concrete blocks that are made of recycled concrete, plastic lumber to build fences, porches and outdoor furniture and lumber that are made of recycled wood. Thus, you can say that the recycled materials serve as a great purpose in the construction of eco-friendly houses.
Save water and energy costsÂ â€“ There are some appliances that save the water and energy costs. You can buy things such as dual-flush toilets and low-water usage washing machines in your house. This will help you save the costs of water and energy. The conservation of water safeguards the amount of water that may remain in the natural environment since it is not being used up by the human beings.
Thus, it is very important that before you buy or construct an eco-friendly house, you should have different choices for the well-establishment of your house. This will help you enjoy the most essential comforts that you want to have in your home.
August 8, 2011 by
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These are the things you can do to reduce damage on the environment. Some may contradict each other a little and depends up to what level you want to do.
Pay your invoices on the internet â€”Â as an alternative of going to the centre to pay your bills, pay via internet. It is a less expensive solution, because most banks have to pay a lower price compare with the use of snail mail.
Read latest news online â€” most people prefer the morning newspaper. Frankly, I found it easier and faster to just browse online. In addition, you save a tree or two. It can also help Mother Nature.
Buy stuffs online â€”Â as a substitute of driving a car to the bookstore; for example, buy a few books to buy online. You can reduce the pollutants. And save on gas and books, they are often cheaper online stores.
Stop using TV â€”Â You can stay updated on your favorite TV shows via the net, iTunes or websites of the various activities to send instead. You waste less energy and time to watch the show does not care much anyway.
Read recipes and other self help tips on the internet â€”Â You wonâ€™t throw away as much paper and mess up your bookshelves as when you purchase cookbooks and home magazines online.
Click adverts and contribute funds â€”Â another advantage of donating to charities online apart from the time and effort you has to exert travelling to the charity. This means spending lots of time, especially if the charity organization is located far away from your residence.
If you keep a diary a notepad instead of a notebook â€”Â itâ€™s easier to edit contents and maintain them in order. But do not forget to back it up from time to time.
Email what you can â€”Â ridiculously obvious advice, but you can save a lot of paper by sending an e-mail whenever possible at home, at work and at school.
Download programs and games â€”Â there are many companies that sell games to download online. This reduces packaging gas for use, if you’re used to taking the car or bus to the store, shopping online will save you time and money.
Work from your home â€”Â if possible, try to work online. It could be just one calendar day in a week, but it can save you and the environment from a lot of pollution and stress.
Find the quickest route â€”Â to avoid getting lost and using more gas than necessary, first, look up where you go before you travel. There are sites that offer services such as Google Maps and MapQuest.
About the Author: Marcos Garza is the owner of FindRackSpace.com, a comprehensive data center directory, that allows users to rate and review their web hosting providers.Â Marcos is dedicated to building a complete directory of data centers from around the world.