Monthly Archives: August 2013

Steps to “Beat the Peak” Energy Usage

There is two peak periods for energy use, winter and summer.  “Summer peak times generally occur May through October between the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Winter peak times are between November and April from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.”

For all intensive purposes, power users should note the highest strains on the electric grid occur when consumers are getting ready for their day in the morning and when they get home from work during the evening. “Peak” energy hours are the time of day during which the most electricity is used – typically daytime. During peak energy hours additional power plants, “peak-hour plants”, are needed, which is typically is the most dirty and costly sources. Energy produced from these sources significantly impacts the cost of your electricity as well as generates more green-house gas emissions during the worst period possible.

Here are a few tips to “Beat the Peak”:

  1. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. Greater peak-shaving can occur by increasing (during the summer) or lowering (during the winter) the setting by two to three degrees during the peak time.
  2. Delay use of major home appliances ie. dryers, dishwashers, ovens and washing machines.
  3. Postpone using hot water so that the demand for the water heater is reduced during the peak times, particularly if the source of heat is an electric tankless water heater, which significantly increases demand.

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Filed under Energy Conservation

Green Product Review: Looflighter Electric Barbecue Lighter

This was one of our most anticipated product tests. We decided to test the Looflighter during a tailgate event to light the charcoal and flavor kindling for a smoker grill. Following loading of the charcoal, the Looflighter was plugged into a nearby Imagepower source. By holding the end of the Looflighter within a few inches of the charcoal for around 4:30 minutes, we began to see the whitening of the edges of the charcoal. Within minutes several briquettes were lit and the smoker was up and going, without the us of any lighter fluid or and other accelerant. Severa


l hours into the process, it was noted that several coals were not lit and the strength of the fire was decreasing. We were able to point the Looflighter at the unlit charcoal. This would traditionally be an issue once a fire is in progress, but with the Looflight

er this posed no problem and the test was a complete success.

Please note that that the Looflighter comes with a 10″ cord, so the need for an extension cord may be necessary depending upon distance from a power source. The Looflighter would also be a great tool for lighting fireplace or chiminea fire.


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Filed under Healthy Living, Product Review

Advantages of Solar Chargers

There are several advantages to using portable solar chargers and solar panels. First of all, they are eco and environmentally friendly. They do not emit harmful waste, and can be used anytime and anywhere as long as there is access to sunlight.

Freeloader Solar Charger

A solar battery charger is a device used to power electronics batteries without the use of a power outlet. They are easy to make use of and do not require a great deal of attention. You simply connect the battery to a charger that has solar panels and allow the sun do the rest. The solar panel will collect power from the sun and translate it to electricity. That is accomplished by use of small solar cells within the charger that translates the sunlight into electricity.

Solar Chargers are a convenient source of power in remote areas, on field trips, or when hiking and camping out. They can recharge batteries, cell phones, or other gadgets in any location. In addition to being convenient, solar chargers are a clean energy source and do not cause pollution or other harmful emissions while creating electricity. They also reduce the need for disposable batteries, and thus reduce the overall volume of harmful chemicals and toxic waste that ends up in landfills.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Solar, Technology

Styrofoam (Polystrene) Facts

The term “Styrofoam” is actually a Dow Chemical Co. trademarked form of polystyrene foam insulation. Also known as Expanded Polystrene (EPS) foam, Styrofoam is basically one form of polystyrene plastic. In turn, polystyrene plastic is usually coded as #6 plastic. recycle styrofoam

Styrofoam is widely used all over the world for various purposes including packing, coffee cups, plates, food trays, fabrication of car parts etc.


Facts about Styrofoam or Polystrene

Styrofoam has many benefits, including insulating quality that helps keep food warm. It is also of light weight, has high durability and strength, making it an excellent packaging material.

Polystyrene is made from petroleum and during the production process benzene is used, which is a carcinogenic chemical. Due to the presence of benzene in Styrofoam, it is inevitable that food in direct contact with the Styrofoam food packaging would be affected. This has been one of the main reasons why over 20 cities in the United States have banned the use of Styrofoam.

  • Polystyrene/Styrofoam contains toxic chemicals that leach into hot foods and beverages.
  • Styrofoam is often space-consuming. It is estimated that by volume, it takes much as much as thirty percent of landfills worldwide.
  • In most cities and counties, Styrofoam cannot be recycled.
  • Styrofoam is never compostable.
  • Styrofoam never fully biodegrades and thus easily become litter.
  • When ingested by animals, it often blocks their digestive tracts, causes starvation, and ultimately death.
  • Bans on Styrofoam containers reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and prevent plastic pollution.
  • Alternatives made from recycled content cardboard and compostable/biodegradable materials are readily available.

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Filed under Recycling