Harness the power of the sun with solar powered lighting. There is free electricity readily available in your own backyard. Outdoor solar lights are easy to install and are virtually maintenance free. Solar lighting makes the perfect complement to your energy-efficient landscape.
Solar Lighting Benefits:
• Low energy costs. After equipment purchase, the sun provides all of the necessary power.
• Minimal maintenance. Solar products typically have a limited number of moving parts, which eliminates the need to replace parts due to breakage and wear.
• Zero emissions. Solar products use the power resource without any resulting waste material.
• Off grid power needs. Solar lights continue working even if there has been a power outage. Because the energy isn’t coming off of an electrical grid, power outages make no difference.
• Portability. You can use solar lighting to light homes, cabins, campsites, backyards or RVs in remote locations. With no power lines to run, using solar power may be a cheaper.
• Easy installation. The majority of outdoor solar lighting has no confusing wires that must be connected to your main electrical system. Setting up your lights can be as simple as hanging them on a tree or staking them into the ground.
These advantages extend to both the wallet and the environment. In addition to all of this, the benefits of solar lighting are only destined to increase as solar technology advances.
Solar Lighting Placement
• Place lights in areas that will receive direct sunlight. Placement in shaded areas will result in poor lighting performance.
• Consider installing a variety of products for the various applications, including walkway, festive, security and standard lighting applications.
On average, US homes waste $100 a year on vampire power losses. These losses occur when many rechargeable products, such as cell phone, camera, mp3 and navigation device chargers and other home electronics continue to draw electric power after fully charging. You can take the following steps to reduce the cost of vampire energy loss:
- Unplug devices when not in use
- Unplug video game consoles
- Power off your monitor when you are not using it instead of using screen savers
- Turn off all printers and peripherals unless you are using them consider using an ink-jet printer
- Use Smart Surge Protectors
It seems more and more people these days know to go ‘organic’ when it comes to their fruit. Many of us understand some basic reasons for why organic is better, but there are also some fundamental differences between organic and non-organic fruit. The USDA’s National Organic Program defines organics as, ” A production system this is managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
The problem with non-organic fruit is the high concentration of pesticides. There are about 12 fruits and vegetables to avoid unless you are buying organic. The Environmental Working Group, a exposure of 90% by avoiding the “dirty dozen.” The following are ranked in order of highest toxicity: peaches, apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, nectarines, strawberries, potatoes, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears and spinach.
The good news is that there are several fruits and vegetables that are very clean. The “cleanest dozen” are ranked in order of lowest pesticide load to highest and are as follows: avocado, onions, sweet corn (frozen), pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas (frozen), kiwi, bananas, cabbage and broccoli. You will note that these fruits and vegetables have a thick outer skin, that keeps the pesticide concentration low.
Even though these foods a tad bit more expensive, people who are conscious of the environment don’t mind the extra buck they need to pay as long as they feel they are doing something constructive for the environment and for themselves.
This Smart Faucet eliminates water waste by providing water only exactly when it’s needed (in the beginning and end of the hand-washing event), and automatically shuts off the water while you’re lathering up, which saves water and heat. No more constant adjustment with the hot and cold temperature setting trying to get the right temperature, as it is set at the desired heat setting. The best feature of this product is that it’s made to retrofit directly on to your existing hardware.
The Smart Faucet is a 1.5gpm (gallons per minute) aerator with an antimicrobial handle that controls water flow from the faucet. Water only flows when the handle is depressed, although there is a locking disk for continuous flow when needed.
The Smart Faucet requires no batteries or electricity to control consumption and is produced and packaged in the United States. The Smart Faucet can save up to 15,000 gallons when compared with the use of a standard 2.5gpm aerator. The Smart Faucet is an example of a low-tech solution that can save lots of resources and educate at the same time.
Why should you seek to reduce the carbon footprint of your car? Every year the average vehicle puts out between 9,000 – 11,000 pounds of CO2 emissions. Collectively, these emissions are a leading cause of global warming.
Here are a few tips of how you can reduce your car carbon footprint:
- Drive reasonable speeds. You’ll get a lot better mileage on most cars if you stay under 65 mph.
- Make your next vehicle a fuel-efficient one.
- Keep your car properly tuned up and keep the fuel and air filters clean. Replace according to schedule.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Improperly inflated tires can result in a loss of 1 – 2 mpg
The Benefits of Residential Solar Panels
The environmental impact of installing solar panels are evident. The installation of residential solar panels will reduce the size of your carbon footprint and your share of greenhouse gases that are produced annually. As you go through the decision-making process of determining the feasibility of installing residential solar panels, here are a few key points to consider:
- Start-up Costs - You can reduce the substantial initial outlay by taking advantage of incentives and tax rebates.
- Self sufficiency and independence -The ability to get of the grid can be liberating. You can also remove a bit of market volatility that can be caused by terrorism, natural disasters and market forces.
- Return on Investment - The initial purchase of solar panels is obviously a substantial investment, but energy genera
- tion starts immediately, resulting in immediate savings on electrical costs. After the initial outlay is covered, in 10 – 15 years, the system will provide pure profit.
- Remote Installation - Cabins, sailboats, RV’s, these are great places to see the advantages of solar energy. Solar power is often much more cost effective to establish in remote areas than conventional power infrastructure.
- Environmental Impact - The use of solar energy produces no emissions or noise pollution.
- Home equity - Passive solar layout & landscaping concepts increase the value of a home.
- System Longevity - Solar panels have the capability of collecting energy for 40 plus years and manufacturers typically warranty the systems for 20 to 25 years.
Save money and energy this winter with these garage winterization tips:
- Install a weather seal between the bottom of the garage door and the garage floor.
- If time to replace your garage door, replace with an insulated door.
- Check the door leading from your garage to the house for leaks and replace seals, if necessary.
- Properly insulate rooms that share walls with the garage.
- Insulate your hot water heater.
- Install energy efficient lighting.
- Insulate all exposed pipes.