Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How to Greenovate a Home

This article was posted on eHow.com. Hopefully it will inspire homeowners, architects, and designer to follow the suggestions for responsible homebuilding and renovations.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Recycle with Freecycle

I love this idea I just found out from one of the writers at eHow...it is called Freecycle. I was reading through an article entitled "How to Save Money on Your Home Improvement Projects". The article became a front-page feature at http://www.ehow.com/ and, in that article it gives information on where to buy or how to buy materials for home improvements on the cheap. I found the freecycle information not on the body of the article itself, but I give credit to the article writer anyway for writing the article that prompted comments from eHow members. One of the members mentioned about http://www.freecycle.org/. Her last home improvement project yielded boxes of unopened tiles for free which she used.

So, here I am writing about it, and why...you may ask? My curiosity acted up again of course! I am always on a look out for great deals and anything to help improve our environment. I went to the freecycle website and typed in my City and State. After doing so, it gave me a list of nearby cities with existing participants instead of me trying to open up one. I clicked on the link and joined their yahoo group. After I got my approval to join the yahoo group, which took less than 3 minutes, I went to look at their recent postings. Wow! There are a lot of items being offered for FREE!!! I scrolled down and was delighted to find someone offering free wood chips or barks that can be used for mulch! Since moving to our brand new home we have a bare backyard. We had to pay our gardener to remove the overgrown weeds and clear the area of debris. Now it is just plain dirt.

Freecycle can give homeowners like me an option to get items to be used for home improvement for free. This saves money and saves our landfills which is good for the environment.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Associated Content Green Articles

I have written several "Green" articles online and would like to share a few of them with you. Since, most of my published articles on some sites have been submitted exclusively, I cannot copy them due to anti-plagiarism contract I have signed with these sites.
I have received numerous hits on the web with the articles I have written and got some excellent feed backs. Most companies and individuals who have read my articles either commented on my articles or have emailed me with great interests on the topics. So, I am sharing the links of the said articles here for you to read and hopefully I can impart some of the wisdom that you can apply anywhere. After reading don't forget to comment and come back on this site for more blog updates!
1. How to Promote Sustainability in a Community: Published 12/3/2007 ; Associated Content

2. How to Properly Dispose of Fluorescent Bulbs: Published 11/28/2007; Associated Content

3. How to Organize "Green" Meetings for Your Company: Published 11/24/2007; Associated Content

Green Living

Long before I watched the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" more than 3 years ago, starring former Vice President Al Gore, I had already started speaking of such awareness to my husband and daughter. Sure we recycle like almost everybody else, we have a recycle bin which we fill with recyclable materials that would have otherwise gone to the garbage can if we did not know any better. But is stacking up magazines, old newspapers, junk mails, and soda cans and bottles enough? It is a good start, however, a lot of things should be considered. Don't get me wrong, I do think that if every person makes that as a habit, although they are just baby steps, it can lead to an enormous impact, considering how much we throw into our landfills each day. The point I would like to try to instill though is how to strike the problem right at its core. Our way of living, our mentality towards things, and how we use our resources.

A lot of us use the recycle bins, but that doesn't stop most of us from buying or subscribing to those items that fill those recycle bins daily. I talk about green living to my family and friends. I do the same thing at my workplace. Hence, here I am now writing a blog "Greener Horizon" to talk about global warming and how we can help stop it. So, how can we, as individuals, contribute to fight global warming? I'd like to share about some of a few things I have done personally and maybe this can inspire you to do the same. Together we can help stop global warming for a greener horizon.

Start by implementing a green lifestyle. Start by checking each room of your house and make a list of what you have observed. List the things you can do without or that you can replace with a more bio-degradable material and greener methods. In your kitchen, for example, do you use cleansers and detergents that have harmful chemicals? You can settle for a more environmentally friendly choice that are now available in the market. Even the food you buy- do you buy too much processed foods? You know you can opt for a better choice grown organically. Check your pantry for foods and supplies. Do you have more canned foods than fresh ones? Do you buy soda in cans more than in bottles? Do you always buy bottled water instead of using tap water? When you buy chips and crackers, do you tend to buy in small packages or in big ones? Speaking of groceries, do you have a big stash of plastic grocery bags. Sure you can choose paper which is better than plastic, but you can also opt for a reusable grocery bag made of canvas cloth that you can reuse each time and can be washed should it get dirty. If your family has two cars, but at least four reusable grocery bags, place two of each in each car. Just make sure after unloading to put them back in each car's trunk.

When buying groceries do you do frequent trips when you need something or do you plan ahead and schedule your grocery shopping day once or, at most, twice a week to save on gasoline? Do you do your errands one at a time or do you plan errands and routes along the way to be more efficient on fuel?

Do you serve food on paper plates during a gathering or do you use reusable plastics or dishes that you can wash and reuse later? When you wash dishes by hand do you let the water run or do you turn it off while until you are about to rinse everything? When using the dishwasher, do you use it every single time or do you wait until you have a lot to wash? Do you always use the heated drying mechanism or open the dishwasher door overnight to air-dry your dishes, utensils, and pans?

How about replacing all your regular incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient ones like fluorescent? Do you lave the lights on in rooms that are empty? How about installing motion detector light switches to help with forgetfulness?

On a hot summer day how about opening your windows and doors to let the breeze in instead of using your air conditioner? Where I live, summer nights can be very hot, what we do to conserve energy is that all day the windows are shut and the shades are down to keep the sun's ray and hot air from coming in. As it gets darker and the air gets cooler at night, we open the windows to let the breeze in. If the heat is bearable, we leave the windows open and have a fan on. If it is not bearable, we close the windows again right before going to bed, then we turn on the AC, turn the alarm clock on after 2 or 3 hours the most, then one of us gets up to turn it off. The cold air trapped in the bedroom will be enough to keep us cool for the rest of the night. One more thing, a cold shower before going to bed really helps!

Speaking of taking showers, do you take more than twice a day? Do you let the water run when you soap your body or do you turn the shower off then run it back on for a total body rinse? Do you take 15 minutes to take a shower or do you do a quick 5-minute ones? As for brushing your teeth, don't let the water run while brushing, turn it off and then brush your teeth then when ready to rinse, turn it back on. You will be amazed at how much water you will save by doing so.

When you do your laundry do you do them in numerous small loads or do you pile up your family's laundry and schedule at least once a week for clothes that must be washed? Speaking of laundry, do you do yours during the time of day that your energy consumption is at its peak or you do it late in the afternoon or at night when your energy consumption is at its lowest? Do you tend to wash clothes even if they are just slightly soiled or do you reuse these clothes (except under garments) until they start to get really dirty and smelly before throwing them into the washer? Do you always use the dryer or do you use the laundry line to air-dry your clothes? Are you still using your old washer and dryer that are not energy efficient when you can buy new ones that are energy-efficient and get rebates from your utility company?

Does your family watch TV at separate rooms instead of spending quality time together and planning on a movie night where everyone can watch a show that everyone can enjoy at the same time enjoy a moment of togetherness?

After using your computer and other electronic gadgets, do you leave them on or do you turn them off? Do you know that if you leave most electronic devices plugged in even when they are not in use, they are still consuming energy? Do you buy digital alarm clocks or winding ones? If you use the latter, not only will you save on energy, you will also learn to get up on time because it doesn't have a snooze button. It will be less likely of you to miss an important appointment, school, or work!

About those subscriptions. Do you subscribe to magazines and newspapers or do you get your up-to-the-minute news from the Internet? Another way to cut down on paper is by doing online bill pay instead of sending payment via mail. Not only will you save money on stamps but you will lessen the paper trash that comes with your monthly bill statement.

I can go on and on...and the list will get a mile long! However, if you think about it, green living doesn't only help the environment but our wallets as well. Green living equates to green environment as well as green money! So, are you on board?