Stay Cool & Be Green–Innovations in Air Conditioning Technology

Posted: September 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy Conservation, environmental challenges, Green Home, Green Initiatives, Green Technology | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

This is another in our series of guests posts…this one comes from Audrey Clark and will give you some insights into how to make air conditioning your home and or workplace more environmentally friendly. Please note, we have an open door policy for blogs. If you are interested in posting on our site, email me at and I will send you the submission criteria. 

Here’s Audrey’s post…hope you enjoy it.

High-efficiency is the name of the game in green living, especially when you’re talking air conditioning. Today’s cooling systems are worlds above those old, cantankerous window units of old. Using new, exciting and innovative technology, manufacturers are taking the art of home cooling to the next level.

Remote Programmable Thermostats

If you forgot to turn the air back before you left for the day or the weekend, never fear. A remote, programmable thermostat allows you to complete the task from the convenience of your mobile device. A device like this can save you up to 15 percent on your annual home utility bill, according to the U.S. Energy Department. You can also program your thermostat to automatically cut back on energy usage during certain hours of the day or night.

EverClean Flexible Duct

Higher-quality ductwork translates into better energy efficiency, and according to information provided by Home Depot, the EverClean brand of flexible duct ranks near the top of the list. EverClean duct features the following advantages over plain old ductwork:

  • A layer of insulation between the core and the outer shield–making this ductwork more immune to the growth of mold and mildew
  • Fiberglass composition–making for quieter and more fire-retardant operation
  • The use of low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials
  • Energy-Star certification

Homeowner Contribution

It’s not a new invention, but more emphasis is now falling upon the homeowner when it comes to operating in the green. Speaking with your HVAC installer about upkeep and maintenance of your home cooling system can help save money, and helps you to keep your ventilation system working efficiently, according to Refrigeration School, Inc.

  • Planting shade trees and shrubs around your home and outdoor air conditioning unit helps keep temperatures at bay, making it easier to keep the air inside your home cooler.
  • Keeping windows and blinds these drawn on the hottest days of the year.
  • Keep ceiling fans circulating to help move cool air around your rooms.
  • Keep lamps away from your thermostat. These can fool your cooling system into thinking your home is warmer than it actually is.
  • Using cool roof materials or coatings, as well as white blinds or backing behind your curtains helps to reflect heat back outside your home. So do solar shades at the windows.
  • Installed correctly in your attic space, radiant barriers help keep the heat from your roof from transferring into your attic.


Author Bio:

Audrey Clark is a skilled freelance blogger covering a range of topics from careers and finance to travel and leisure, along with everything in-between. When not writing, she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Connect with Audrey on Twitter and Google+.

10 Eco-Friendly Ways To Clean With Vinegar

Posted: January 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Green Home, Our Green Directory | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Guest post from Christine Maddox.

We have a complete open door policy for guest blogs. If you have an idea for a blog, please email it to me, and if it fits our criteria, I will send you a complete submission guide. We post one blog per week, more or less.


Cleaning in an eco-friendly way can be both easy and inexpensive. One of the best eco-friendly cleaners is plain white vinegar. White vinegar acts as an antibacterial agent, removes bad smells, and helps to shine a variety of surfaces. It is safe to use on almost anything and around children and pets. Here are ten ways you can clean with vinegar:

  1. Get stains off linoleum with vinegar. Apply vinegar directly to the stain and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes. If stain is still there apply the vinegar again and then sprinkle with baking soda. Scrub the stain with a brush or cloth until it is removed and then rinse it clean.
  2. Shine no-wax floors with vinegar. Just add a cup to a gallon of warm water and wash the floors for a clean, fresh smelling shine.
  3. Clean the toilet with vinegar. Pour in a cup or more to the toilet bowl and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Scrub well and then flush for a white and scent free toilet.
  4. Clean and open up a scummy or clogged shower head with vinegar. In a sandwich bag mix half a cup of baking soda with a cup of vinegar. Tie the bubbling bag over the shower head and let it sit for at least an hour after it stops bubbling. Then remove and run the water for a few minutes to clean out any residue.
  5. Clean shower door or sliding door tracks with vinegar. Pour in white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse with hot water and scrub with a toothbrush to remove any lingering build up.
  6. Sanitize a sponge or loofa with vinegar. Let the sponge or loofa sit submerged in undiluted vinegar overnight. Then rinse well and squeeze out the moisture. Let it sit in the sun until dry and it should be germ, mildew, and scent free.
  7. Clean the ring or film from your bathtub with vinegar and baking soda. Rinse out the tub with the vinegar and let it sit several minutes. Then scrub with a baking soda paste and rinse with warm water for a sparkling tub. This also works great on grout and tile!
  8. Keep shower doors clean by spraying them with vinegar each time you get out of the shower. This will help to break down hard water stains and prevent soap build up.
  9. Remove lime, calcium, and soap deposits with vinegar. Tie a bag of undiluted vinegar around lime coated faucets and let it sit for several hours. Then remove and rinse off.
  10. Remove grease wherever it gathers with a vinegar spray. Just spray on and let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe off the grease.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at:



Energy Efficiency Put to the Test: Keeping Green in the Winter

Posted: November 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Energy Conservation, environmental challenges, Green Businesses, Green Home, Green Technology | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

This is a guest post by Ken Myers. Thanks Ken.

Air conditioning in the summer can easily drive the electric bill to high levels. However, winter can easily surpass the energy used to keep yourself warm. Unlike the summer, the cold of winter can be relentless and has fewer ways you can adapt. If you want a method to determine how efficient your energy use is, the winter months are where you could set the bar.

Gas and Electricity Used in Conjunction
In order to produce cold air during the summer, homes and offices will utilize pure electricity to drive appliances. While some homes may rely on a completely electrical heating system for the winter, many more rely on burning gas for heat and then electricity to divert the warm air to various locations around the establishment. In this instance, gas and electricity are used as an energy source to provide that warmth.

Preventing Heat from Escaping
During the winter, the heat can escape the home or office through various means. This could include everything from windows to even the walls themselves. Insulation doesn’t just keep the cold air out, but it’s supposed to help keep the warm air in. What are some items to look at in your home or office?

  • Windows: Having double-paned windows is a good way to keep more of the heat in and cold out. If you’re unable to install such, covering the windows with cardboard or other covering can help keep heat in. When the Sun is shining, open these coverings to allow the sunlight to heat up your home or office.
  • Doors: Not having a proper seal around your door frames can easily cause problems for efficiency. Cold air can enter while warm air exits. Make sure you have a tight seal on your doors using self-adhesive weather stripping and properly fitted door jams and thresholds.
  • Inadequate Insulation: Not having proper insulation can also be detrimental. If you are unable to check how well your insulation covers your walls and ceiling, there are radiant thermal barrier paint additives you can coat them with to add an additional layer of insulation.

Keeping the filters clean on your heating system is another way to increase your efficiency that many people overlook. When dust collects onto the filters, it restricts the flow of air that furnaces use to heat the area of a room or office space. Without this airflow, the heating system will continue to waste resources in an attempt to increase the temperature of the room according to the thermostat. A clean filter will allow the air to pass through allowing the system to work as intended and heat the facility or house quicker.

Winter can be extremely harsh on both you and your pocketbook. By going around your home or office, you can easily tell where weak areas are for heating efficiency from feeling the temperature. For rooms that are not used that often, keep the door closed in order to reduce the need for heat. If these rooms are near your thermostat, they could cause your heater to kick on even if no one is using them.

Author Bio:

Ken holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College.  As president of, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife.

Guest Bloggers Welcome

If you have an idea for a green blog post, email me at and I will send you the submission critieria.


Composting: How to Do It and Why It Matters

Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Composting, Green Communities, Green Home, Green Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

This is a guest blog from writer Chloe Trogden. Thanks Chloe

Image by Chris Breikss via Flickr

Every year, we generate about 250 million tons of trash in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s a lot of waste, and it has to go somewhere. A lot of the chemicals and other toxins in our waste can end up in the ground and the water supply, contaminating our food or drinking sources. In addition, all that waste is contributing to the depletion of natural resources.

Recycling is one way that people have started to reduce the amount of waste produced, but it’s not enough. We need to recycle more, and we need to compost more. The EPA estimates that 87 million tons of material are recycled or composted each year. However, if each household and small business made a commitment to composting, that number could improve dramatically.

How to Compost at Home

Composting is very easy to do at home. You need to set up a compost bin in your yard, which you can either build yourself or buy from a home improvement store. The bin should be enclosed except for an open bottom and a removable top. You can build a pallet out of wood or an old trashcan.

You can put a wide variety of materials into your compost bin, but they should consist of a mix of “greens” and “browns.” Greens include kitchen scraps (except for meat), grass clippings, weeds, and other nitrogen-based materials. Browns include dead leaves, cardboard, newspaper, sticks, branches and other carbon-based materials. Simply put these materials into the bin and leave them to compost.

Keep your compost pile active by adding new materials regularly and turning it with a pitchfork or shovel about once a week. Water it about once a week, as well, to help activate the pile. If you keep the pile fed and activated, you should have a rich, nutrient-dense compost to add to your garden or your lawn in about three to four months.

How to Compost for Your Small Business

No matter what type of small business you have, you can also compost your waste. Traditional office environments will have plenty of paper materials to add to the compost bin, which can be supplemented by scraps from employees’ lunches and clippings from office plants. Businesses that serve food stuffs can supplement their steady supply of scraps with old receipts, waste paper from old files, and cardboard boxes from shipments.

By composting, businesses can help to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve resources. Cafes and restaurants can use the compost to grow a small garden to supplement their supply. Other businesses can donate the compost to local community gardens or farms, helping to give back to the community.

The Benefits of Composting for Everyone

Composting helps to recycle materials that might have otherwise ended up in the landfill, taking up precious land, requiring the use of natural resources and manpower to transport and process the waste, and potentially ending up contaminating the water supply. You can help to reduce your carbon footprint as an individual or as a business by composting what you can to turn that waste into something useful and to reduce your consumption of natural resources.

Individuals can also save money by composting. They can use it in place of fertilizer or garden soil, and they can grow bigger and more nutritious vegetables. Small businesses that are in the food industry can do the same.

Composting is a great way to reduce your waste and maybe to even save a little money. It’s easy to do, and it can make a big impact. Consider composting in your home or even your business to start reaping the benefits.


Chloe Trogden is a seasoned financial aid writer who covers specific opportunities such as grants for minority students. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and volunteer work.


Soma Earth — An Architectural Firm With Its Green Roots Firmly Planted

Posted: February 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Green Communities, Green Home, Green Initiatives, Green Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

One of the green organizations from whom we receive email promotions is called Soma Earth. We really like these guys because they seem to possess a purity of spirit and purpose that really exemplifies what the green movement is really all about.

This is how they describe themselves:

“We are a pioneering architectural firm specializing in deep sustainable living through designing buildings that are energy efficient, with a low carbon footprint and low embodied energy. We specialize in healthy, EMF-Free, non-toxic natural building environments as well as straw bale, straw clay and earth bag building systems. These guidelines paired with natural building materials creates a sustainable eco-architecture for new buildings, additions or renovation projects.”

Their portfolio, which you can view on their site, is filled with fascinating projects that are as innovate in their design as they are organic in their execution.
You can find out more about them at



A Cool Greenhouse For Your Balcony or Deck from Gardenista.

Posted: December 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Green Home, Green Products, Green Technology, Our Green Directory | Tags: , | No Comments »

A lot of people think that just because they live in an apartment that there’s not much they can do to make their personal space a little greener. Well here’s a really cool idea, especially for those of you who like to grow things.

This idea comes from a company called Gardenista, and not only is it a very good looking little greenhouse, it’s also one that has some cool ‘green’ features that you might find interesting.

This unit is very compact, made from high quality materials and is designed in a very practical way. It’s also quite attractive and would make a welcome addition to any size balcony or deck.

This link will take you to an article about it.


Don’t forget to visit our Eco Specialty Store section to find the perfect green gift for everybody on your list.

Buying Local — It’s Good For A Lot of Reasons.

Posted: January 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Green Communities, Green Home, Green Jobs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

While this isn’t what you would call strictly a green post, it is an issue about which we feel strongly. The Green Movement is a community, within that community are a lot of small businesses that are doing their best to act in an environmentally responsible way. We believe that is is the accumulation of a lot of those little things that are achieved by helping out local business that help us all be greener. Shopping locally means, in a lot of cases you are using your car less. It also means you are providing less support to the highly toxic Asian manufacturing world, where the WalMarts of the world get a great many of their products and foods. And you are supporting a strong retail environment in your own neighbourhood, which impacts directly on your own quality of life, among other things.

I found this little poster on Facebook the other day, and thought it might be nice to share with you, as a reminder of the benefits of shopping locally. Please feel free to share it with your on line friends.

It Pays To Be Leeding The Way

Posted: November 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Green Communities, Green Home, Green Initiatives, Green Jobs, Green News Links, Green Products, Green Technology | No Comments »

Building is one of the best web sites I have come across on the subject of Leeds building.

Leeds building has quietly crept into the psyche of builders and developers all over the world. And just recently a study was done demonstrating just how worthwhile the Leeds Building investment can be.

This is the lead paragraph from a very interesting article on Leeds building that Building has one their blog site. If you’re interested in Leed standards or even just mildly curious. this is a good site to bookmark and visit.

“Dutch economist Nils Kok has published the most comprehensive statistical analysis to date on the relative value of green and conventional buildings. The results show that U.S. buildings labeled under the LEED or Energy Star programs charge 3% higher rent, have greater occupancy rates, and sell for 13% more than comparable properties. “Labeled buildings have effective rents [rent multiplied by occupancy rate] that are almost 8% higher than those of otherwise identical nearby non-rated buildings,” the study reports…”

The Answer My Friend Is Blowin’ In The Wind (Bob Dylan)

Posted: October 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Green Books, Green Home, Green Initiatives, Green Products, Green Services, Green Technology | No Comments »

Wind energy today is a booming worldwide industry.

This technology has truly come of age, with higher quality, more reliable machinery and a greater understanding of how and where wind power can be practically applied–from the independent home to a grid-connected utility-wide perspective.

Heightened concerns about our environment mean that this resurgence of interest in wind–a natural and widespread power source–is here to stay.

Wind Power is the completely revised and expanded edition of Paul Gipe’s definitive 1993 book, Wind Power for Home and Business. In addition to expanded sections on gauging wind resources and siting wind turbines, this edition includes new examples and case studies of successful wind systems, international sources for new and used equipment, and hundreds of color photographs and illustrations.

Over the course of his career, Paul Gipe has been a proponent, participant, observer, and critic of the wind industry. His experience with wind power has given rise to two previous books on the subject, Wind Energy Basics and Wind Power for Home and Business, which have sold over 50,000 copies. Wind Power for Home and Business has become a staple for both homeowners and professionals interested in the subject, and now, with energy prices soaring, interest in wind power is hitting an all-time high.

(Adapted from the synopsis, where you can purchase this fine book)

You can find out more about this amazing book at

The Good Human Has Some Good News

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Green Home, Green Initiatives, Green Products, Green Services, Green Technology, Our Green Directory | No Comments »

Some people out there do  really do a good job of helping to save the planet. The Good Human, whose tweets I receive  is one of them. The good human web site (link below), is filled with all kinds of practical advice on doing the right thing by the rock we live on.

This is one of those site you definitely want to keep on your favourites list, and also get tweets from.

Good Human Site:

Good Human Blog Article On The Current State of CO2 Emissions In The World (Good News)

Have a green day everybody.