savewater

10 Tips for Saving Water Around the House

How much water do you think Americans use in the average month? If you guessed 3.9 trillion gallons, you’d be correct. Trillions of gallons is a staggering amount of water, and what’s more, a large percentage of it is completely wasted. If you don’t want to become part of this statistic, here are just 10 tips for saving water around the house.

    1. Take Shorter ShowersYou don’t have to jump out of the shower with your hair still bubbly from shampoo. Just cutting a minute or two off your morning routine can save anywhere from 5-15 gallons of water.
    2. Save Up Your LaundryInstead of running the washing machine for a single pair of pants, wait until you have a full load to do your laundry. This goes for your dryer as well. Not only will you save water, but you’ll reduce your energy consumption.
    3. Turn Off the TapDon’t leave the water running when you brush your teeth or wash your dishes. You waste up to two gallons a minute when you leave the tap on for no reason, and that translates to more than 100 gallons for a full hour.
    4. Customize Your ToiletDid you know that your toilet wastes water with every flush? You don’t need that much for your business. Install a cistern displacement device inside your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water cycling through your sewage system.
    5. Keep Bottled Water in the FridgeYou waste a lot of water when you’re waiting for the tap to get cold enough. Keep a few bottles in the fridge so that you’ll always have clean, chilled water when you need it.
    6. Say No to the HoseIf you’re serious about reducing your water consumption, the hose should become an off-limits object. It wastes an average of 20 gallons a minute, so the next time you need to wash your car or water your plants, use a jug instead.
    7. Fix Your LeaksLeaky pipes are more than just a nuisance. They’re also hurting the environment with their waste! Somewhere around 20 gallons a day will go right down the drain when you allow a leaky faucet to remain unfixed.
    8. Collect Your RainwaterThere are many products that you can buy to collect and store your rainwater. While you might not want to drink it, you can use it for things like rinsing off the driveway or filling up the bird fountain in your backyard.
    9. Buy a New Shower HeadThere are eco-friendly shower heads that will reduce the amount of water you use during your daily scrubbing. You won’t even notice a difference in pressure or temperature; the magic is in the way they construct their aerators.
    10. Buy a Water MeterWater meters will tell you exactly how much water you’re using on a daily basis. Once you see the numbers in black and white, you’ll be much more likely to cut back. Every extra drop is another penny out of your pocket.

These are just a few tips for reducing your water consumption. Whether you want to go green or just learn to save money on your monthly bills, these tips should be enough to make a difference in the environment and your wallet.


environment issues

3 Environmental Issues Nobody Talks About

Global warming, natural resource depletion, high fossil fuel consumption, the degradation of the ozone layer – these are major issues causing real problems for our planet, and they demand real and immediate action and attention. They’re not the only issues, though, and that means that there are some pretty big planetary concerns out there that aren’t getting the voice they need. Here are three major environmental issues no one is talking about.

 

Lack Of Freshwater Resources

 

Lack of freshwater resources in the face of a growing global population is a ready topic for humanitarian discussion, but far less attention is being paid to it as an environmental issue. Stress that human use places on freshwater sources such as rivers and lakes diverts the water from its natural destinations into homes and industry, disrupting animal and plant life and in extreme cases leading to issues like desertification. As water scarcity becomes a larger problem, both people and the environment become increasingly adversely affected. The issue is compounded when sanitation is brought into the mix, making potable water even more scarce and rapidly depleted, and sending water with potential pathogens like cholera and typhoid fever into the environment, where they may both do further harm to biodiversity and enter back into the social sphere through interaction with contaminated aqueous environments. The greatest challenge facing us now is developing a plan that meets the needs of a growing population as well as the environment.

 

Ocean Acidification

 

The oceans are responsible for absorbing around a third of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, which is why it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that increased CO2 emissions are having a major impact them. When carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, the CO2 reacts with the H2O to produce carbonic acid, which in turn dissociates to bicarbonate ions, and then carbonate ions, producing H+ protons and gradually lowering the pH levels of the ocean. This, on its own, is a naturally occurring process, but the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are thought to accelerate the change by up to 10 times faster than it has been in Earth’s history. Long term studies on ocean acidity are only starting to be completed and published, but is thought to impede calcification, a necessity for sea creatures like lobsters, crabs, clams, and snails, which in turn could harm the populations of animals that feed on or interact with these animals.

 

Overpopulation

 

Overpopulation isn’t an unknown issue, but it’s one that often doesn’t get talked about in serious terms because of the social and political heft that accompanies it. The fact is, the global population is on the rise, and with that comes the need for more food, water, and land resources that are also necessary to sustain biodiversity and a healthy environment. Accompanying that, the only way to curb population growth is for humanity, as a whole, to have fewer children. Social mandates like those tried with China’s one-child policy had horrifying humanitarian implications, and discussion of population control must necessarily be accompanied by conversations about education, economic development, resource allocation, access to medical treatment and facilities, and much more. It’s a complicated issue that can’t stand on its own, but it’s also one that’s not going away unless we as a global society start focusing on positive, long-lasting ways to gradually lessen the human population and the stress it puts on the enviroment.


smoothie

Significant Ways to Encourage Green Living

If you don’t know what green living is, then you must live on a different planet or not in tune with your environment. It is not the end of the world, though, because the fact that you are reading this indicates that you probably want to learn more. If you are really interested to adapt to green living, then there are certain actions to take. Green living is essentially a way to impact and encourage others around you to build a safer surrounding that is chemical free and energy efficient. You can go green by initiating some instrumental steps that require little or no money. However, there are other ways to implement green living that will take time and will take more of your finances. Are you up for the challenge? Let’s see.

Junk Mail

You don’t have to take this on all at once or you may feel overwhelmed. You can start first by stopping junk mail from invading your mailbox. Most people receive junk mail that they never asked for and it only clogs up your trash since most people will usually throw them out the same day. This first way to encourage green living is free. It could only take a minute of your time, but saves you from receiving almost seventy pounds of junk mail each year. Try to get yourself off of the mailing lists of companies that send you junk mail.

Bottled Water

Many health enthusiasts think that bottled water is the way to go. Yes, while water is good for you, the bottled water only serves to pollute the environment and you may be one of the contributors. Almost thirty billion plastic bottles of water are sold each year in America and while nothing is wrong with that, only less than twenty percent of this number goes into a recycling bin. Many of the companies that sell these products fill their plastic bottles with tap water. Did you know that? So, if you are going to buy water in the bottle, be sure that it is alkaline water or purified spring water, which means that you should buy from a reputable company. If you can afford the one-time fee to install a water filtration system in your home, by all means do so. More importantly, separate your trash and put plastic bottles in the recycle bin.

Waste is Not Good

It is important to lessen the amount of waste that you bring into your home because this will only add to the trash going to the landfill. It is not only about putting your trash in a garbage bag or recycling your plastic bottles. It is about limiting some of the canned and processed goods that you buy and reusing items that will not only save you money, but save the environment.

Energy Conservation

Energy is not easy to produce and as the year go by; it gets more expensive to produce oil and natural gas. You can assume responsibility by conserving energy and saving money. Turn lights off when you are not using them. Don’t have the television on all day. Turn your thermostat to room temperature when you leave the house. If you don’t have to use the A/C or heat, don’t do so.

Water Conservation

A half of the household in the United States will waste water. Don’t run the tap water while you are soaping the dishes. Soap them first and then rinse. When you are taking a shower, soap first and then rinse. If you don’t have to use hot water to bathe, try to take a cold shower.


electric car

Things to Know Before Purchasing an Electric Vehicle

Before you talk about purchasing an electric vehicle, you may want to know more about it so you could get an idea of what you are getting yourself into. So, what is it that you need to know before putting the horse before the cart? Glad you asked.

Going the Distance

First of all, electric vehicles have a shorter travel range and unable to go as far as vehicles that use gasoline. However, it seems to be improving as the years go by. If your electric vehicle does not have a warranty, you are going to have a hefty bill. Why? Well, battery replacement could run you up to $7500. So, before you go running out to buy one, make sure that this cost is factored into the purchase of the vehicle. Many of the manufacturers are ahead of the game and understand that this cost could prevent the purchase. Therefore, many of these manufacturers will offer some type of warranty so that your batteries can be protected for up to ten years after the initial purchase. Once you receive a dead battery alert, you should be able to contact the vendor for a replacement – as long as you bought it from a respectable and honorable vendor.

Long Term Savings

Yes, you can save money, but how much money electric cars can save you? It depends on a wide range of variables, which includes the location in which you reside and the way that you drive the vehicle. It is not easy to find just one answer to this question, but if you reside in an area that sells affordable gas, but the electricity is expensive, you will enjoy different kinds of savings than someone with a conflicting set of circumstances.

Type of Vehicle

To know if you save money with an electric car will mean that you have to consider the type of vehicle. The hybrid electric vehicle that plugs into a built-in generator has similar features, but some features are different. These kinds of electric cars do everything else, but once the battery is depleted, the power from the gas-operated internal generator kicks in.

The Plug In Hybrid

The plug-in hybrid is not the same as the standard hybrid. The standard hybrid is operated by a gas engine that provides power to the electric battery. Once the vehicle comes to a slow speed of under 25 miles per hour, it starts to run on electricity. Conversely, plug in hybrids depend entirely on the battery for driving and for locking the car doors. So, the plug-in hybrid may save you time and money because of its versatility to change from gas to electric so you don’t feel as if you will be stranded on the road.

The Bottom Line

It is safe to come to the conclusion that if you worked 25 miles from your home and you have a 60 mile minimum on your battery range, the electric car would be the best fit. If you live in wintry weather and power is essential, you may have to opt for the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.


go green

Top Benefits of Going Green

Every person living on the planet has control over the choices that they make. For that reason, your choices can create the atmosphere around which you live. What you eat, purchase and use in your home will dictate the extent to which you support the environment. This can subsequently affect the entire world and not just where you live. Therefore, when you embrace a green lifestyle, it also is significantly effective to the environment, but in a positive way. It helps to preserve the rain forests, improves your health and quality of life. Choosing a green lifestyle will also positively impact the animal kingdom and the planet.

The Green Mantra for Health

When you eat green, it is a catalyst for good health. Yes, some of your green foods will be seasonal in the local area, but there are many health food stores that carry organic foods year round. While these foods may be more expensive than the foods carried in the traditional grocery stores, it will improve your health in the long run and worth every cent. For example, when you choose organic milk over the traditional milk, you get sixty eight percent more Omega-3 fatty acids. When you buy local green foods, you support the local economy and foster the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that is usually needed to transport food from its location to your home. It is best to buy green foods since they are fresher with less packaging and processing.

The Skin

Most women use cosmetics and skin products such as shampoos, soaps and sunscreens. The fact that the average woman uses approximately ten beauty products on a daily basis, it can add up to the need to dispose empty cans of chemical products. This will eventually hurt the environment because of the toxic nature. Why not use green products that are more plant based. It is best for your skin’s health to choose green products.  

Household Goods

Everything that you purchase to put in your home has an impact on the environment – your clothes, your furniture, water bottles and beer cans; just to name a few. So, choose your household products wisely to mitigate the carbon footprint affecting your surroundings and the entire world. Your choices will impact and aid in protecting the forests, biodiversity, habitat and water. With your choices, sustainable practices will be ensured and so will the reduction of waste in landfills.

Renewable Energy

Electricity is the power of choice to put on lights, operate computers and other devices in the home. Once you flip that switch, you initiate energy in the home. Electricity is originated from somewhere and in the United States; it is usually from power plants that utilize the coal burning process. This type of energy is the main cause of air pollution. You can generate your own energy from solar and wind sources. It might seem expensive at first, but it is a one-time purchase, which will save you thousands of dollars for years to come. Invest in your future to prevent pollution in the environment.


business green

Why Business Owners Should Consider Going Green

Every business owner should think about going green, not only for the environment’s sake, but for other reasons. In fact, the advantages outweigh any related costs. In fact, society and government favor companies that are conscious about the environment. In any case, it is just the appropriate thing to do in the grand scheme of things. It will help the image and brand of the company. If that is the case, why aren’t all companies jumping on board. Going green has a major effect on a company’s bottom line. Overall, it is a positive move toward progress. How do you become part of the green phenomenon? Let’s take a closer look.

Too Much Waste

Even if you were to change the settings on your computer or power off prior to closing shop at the end of the day, it can be instrumental in the drive for eco-friendliness. It will save you money on your electric bill, but it will also help to conserve energy. It is time to be mindful about your surroundings such as turning off lights when not in use. This can be a major benefit in the office and employees should be aware of this. Energy waste is just as bad as paper waste. In addition, employers should ask their employees to bring in their own reusable lunch containers to save on waste and lessen the garbage created by what is eaten for lunch. On the other hand, waste can be also controlled outside of the office in order to go green. The employer can introduce car pool programs for employees so they can save on fuel and reduce emissions.

The Savings

Ink and paper for the printer can run up thousands of dollars a year for companies. This can be avoided. To save even more, employers should consider reducing the use of paper and instead, send documents electronically. If employers have to use paper, then use a shredding system to dispose of unwanted paper.

The Government

The government offers several tax breaks to companies that show their environmental consciousness. It is important to find out more about these because they offer large sums of money and savings. For new business owners, the government offers grants to companies going green. In fact, if you invest in solar panels, you can write off as much as thirty percent for the cost. On top of that, it will save you money on your electric bill each month. Solar panels are considered renewable source of energy and come with their own tax perks.

Public Relations

When your company is making efforts to reduce waste and tackling an energy efficient program, it sheds a positive light in the public’s eyes. If you marketed your company as eco-friendly, it gives you an edge over your competition. If you are involved in any kind of green initiative, it is best to make it public knowledge. Potential customers will gravitate towards your business, especially those customers who care about the environment as you do.

 


save green

Top Ways to Enjoy Savings by Going Green

Many American families have gone through some tough times and for that reason, any way that they can save money is going to be an instant attraction. Carbon footprint is associated with the way Americans consume energy or use products. Whether you want to believe it or not, when you cut back on energy, it helps the environment substantially. Wouldn’t you like to live on a planet that is safe and healthy? Most people would answer yes.

A Green Lifestyle

Many Americans, though, are not so much interested in going green completely as they are in just saving a few bucks here and there. For Americans to embrace a green lifestyle, they may have to see the savings come to fruition in their daily lives. There are many ways to accomplish this. Below are a few of the ways to enjoy savings by going green, minimizing your spending and your carbon footprint.

Driving Green

You don’t have to be the owner of a hybrid motor vehicle to drive green. You can use any vehicle to improve the efficiency of fuel and save on your gas. How? You can regularly maintain your vehicle by taking it to the auto shop for tune ups. You also need to properly inflate your tires and avoid idling. To prevent carbon emission, you also could consider driving less by sharing ride with a coworker and reciprocating the favor. Or you could take the bus, ride a bicycle or walk short distances.

Cook at Home

Instead of going out to eat all the time, prepare your food at home. Avoid processed foods that are loaded with preservatives and salt. Eat whole foods that are fresh and nutritious. Pack lunch for work using leftovers and you could end up saving more than a hundred dollars every month.

Eat Your Vegetables

Cut down on eating meat and eat more vegetables and fruits. Meat production utilizes more resources and that is why most climate scientist will recommend a plant based diet over a meat based diet. When you consume too much processed food and meat, you only contribute to the harming the planet that we all live on.

Manage Electricity Use

Try not to use electricity when it is not needed. Some families will have their television turned on all day and have lights on without actually using it. When you pay attention to how you heat and cool your home, it will greatly reduce your energy and you will see the savings in your utility bill each month. Opening the refrigerator too often will only increase your energy use. During the summer months, gauge your thermostat a few degrees up, especially when you are not at home. Do the opposite in colder months.

Working from Home

To embrace a green business, employers can consider having their employees work from home instead of commuting long distances to work. Not only will you save on fuel, but you will also reduce carbon emission and be more productive.


eco furniture

How To Get Eco-Friendly Furniture For Your Home

When it comes to making your home environmentally friendly, the furniture you choose is just as important as important as the lights you put in or the appliances you pick out. Green design has come a long way, but there are some tips and tricks to look out for to help you get the best deal anywhere, whether it’s at the thrift shop or the boutique. Follow this advice to get eco-friendly furniture for your home.

 

Buy Used

 

It’s the same logic with furniture as it is with clothes. If you’re buying a used product, you’re not paying for the manufacturing, environmentally speaking. Buying a flat pack piece straight off the factory line comes with the carbon impact of having that piece produced. Getting a piece that’s already been made, though, means that no new emissions are going into the atmosphere and no new waste is being created for the sake of your furnishings. Plus, buying used from specialty shops allows you to get one of a kind statement pieces that can add a lot of color, charm, and/or personality to your decor.

 

Reclaim and Recycle

 

If straight up used pieces aren’t your thing, then look for pieces made from reclaimed or recycled materials. Reclaimed wood is a huge statement in design right now, and is as multifunctional as it is fashionable. To that end, recycled metals and plastics often look like new once treated properly, and is becoming increasingly easy to find. Recycled materials require less overall resources to produce a functional end product, and for that reason they’re great pieces to add to your home.

 

Look At The Materials

 

It doesn’t have to be on its second life to be eco-friendly. Simply paying attention to materials can provide you with a more environmentally sound space. Certified sustainable wood is wood that has been harvested sustainably from monitored forests or tree farms. The Forest Stewardship Council does a great job certifying practices that control clear cutting.

 

Bamboo is another great material because it’s incredibly fast growing and super multi-functional. It can be used as flooring, window treatments, wallpaper, or in furniture. You may still want to keep an eye out for the other materials used in holding the bamboo pieces together, though. Some of the glues used contain formaldehyde.

 

Keep An Eye Out For Toxins

 

Furniture traditionally contains a lot of potentially toxic substances, but manufacturers are wising up these days. Today, companies are starting to produce non-toxic or low-toxin pieces that eliminate some or all of the more potentially harmful materials. Organic materials are one way to spot those with a mission to weed out toxins in their productions, but a close look at either the product description or the company’s mission statement can also tell you if what you’re looking at is really as green as it seems. Fire retardants are big time offenders, here, so finding pieces that aren’t treated with such is a good place to start.


Child custody battle as a family law concept during a legal separation or divorce dispute as a father mother icon holding a child with a judge gavel or mallet coming down as a justice symbol for parenting rights.

Kids In Oregon Suing Energy Companies

A brave group of twenty one youths in Eugene, Oregon take on a federal lawsuit against the U.S. government and groups representing some of the biggest energy companies in the world. The youths range in age from eight years old to nineteen have decided to take a stand and help the environment. They are seeking a court order to make the government to reduce emissions which are contributing to climate change. These brave young environmentalists hope to change the laws regarding releases of emissions and very well could.

 

These kids have the support of two large Catholic organizations and the have already advised the court. It is clear that this could be detrimental to these corporations like BP, Exxonmobil, and Chevron if indeed these kids win their case.

 

The trade groups representing the large fuel companies and the U.S. government have already asked the judge to dismiss this case. Wonder why, they must be scared by the fact that their companies could greatly be impacted by these kids. What’s interesting is that President Obama is all for standing up to climate change so why is the government trying to dismiss the case? They are concerned that since this case is being held by the U.S. District Court that it has “substantial separation of powers concerns”. The case would affect national laws and district court does not have that kind of power. However the youth believes that the government has violated their rights of life, liberty, and property when they have knowly let these companies are continually polluting the air with carbon dioxide and contributing greatly to climate change.

 

The hearing is scheduled for March 9. It will be interesting to see what will happen in this case. All these plaintiffs are trying to do is get the government to create a plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Something that they should have been doing a long time ago.  These motivated kids are stopping at nothing to be able to create a better world you their generation and future generations. The plaintiffs want a judge to order the government to create a plan that works to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions released in the burning of fossil fuels. Big changes are needed, they say, to protect the environment for today’s youth as well as future generations. With the help of the Leadership Council of Women’s Religious and The Global Catholic Climate Movement it might just be enough to give them the standing they need. One of the plaintiffs filing in this case is James Hansen who is a lead climate scientist aiming to make this planet a long lasting habitable one. These Catholic groups understand that legal reform has often been influenced by their moral and religious viewpoints. Pope Francis gave a speech at the White House that made remarks that we needed to take action against the pollution. This case may be the next largest case in the U.S.  Hopefully these kids with the help they have will be able to make the change that our world needs to survive.

 


clean water footprint on green leaf very close

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2016

A person’s “carbon footprint” is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.

 

However, there are simple steps that you can take to help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases that you and your family produce. By reducing your own carbon footprint, it’s just a drop in the proverbial bucket, it’s true. But it’s a start. And more importantly, you may inspire others to reduce their own carbon footprints and start a chain reaction towards more environmentally-conscious living.

 

It’s an easy New Year’s Resolution to make to yourself, and you’re more likely to stick to it than your diet! Here are a few simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint throughout the year:

 

Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

 

Many electric companies will actually come out to your home for a free energy inspection. Sometimes they’ll even switch your light bulbs to more energy efficient versions for you. No matter what, switching to low energy compact fluorescent bulbs will shave a few bucks off your energy bill, and is one of the easiest ways to cut down on excessive energy usage in the home. If you’re thinking about new appliances, check out the energy efficient ones. You’ll save a massive amount on those bills.

 

Eat Less Meat

 

For some people this is a tougher commitment than others. You don’t have to go full-blown vegan or vegetarian, but if you can restrict your meat consumption to one meal a day or adopt Meatless Mondays, you’ll save money on your grocery bill as well as significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Most factory farming techniques require an enormous amount of water and land resources, and animal agriculture is one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Eating too much meat has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other health problems.

 

Drive Less

 

If you live in an area with decent weather, you have zero excuse not to bike or walk whenever you can. Even in winter, consider carpooling if no public transit is available. Carpooling or ridesharing will also cut down on your fuel costs, auto maintenance bills, and you won’t have to worry about scraping ice off of your car every single morning. It’s cheaper and it’s one of the most effective ways to reduce your whole family’s carbon footprint this year. Just stick to it, and save the car for only when you really need it!

 

Reduce Waste

 

You’ve heard it before, but it always bears repeating: reduce, reuse, recycle. If your city has a recycling system you have no reason not to use it. There are other ways to help cut down your carbon emissions and waste, though. Make a vow that in 2016 you’ll steer clear of plastic water bottles, plastic bags at stores, and coffee cups. Those are three insanely common and absurdly wasteful things that we’ve become blind to. They’re too easy to fix not to do so! Simply buy a reusable water bottle and a water filter, a handful of reusable bags to stuff in your purse or car, and a travel coffee mug. Now keep those nearby at all times, and think of all the trash you’re no longer creating with those simple switches.