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More Energy-Saving Tips for Staying Cool This Summer July 15, 2009

Posted by Tom in Energy costs, energy savings, Green Decisions, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized.
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splashA couple months ago I posted about a guest blog I did on Lyved.com on how to stay cool this summer without wasting energy. I included some tips such as using fans instead of air conditioning, planting shade-providing trees around your home, and using energy-efficient window treatments. However, there are lots of ways to keep yourself cool this summer without putting a strain on your wallet. Sometimes it takes some creativity, but the money you’ll save will be worth it! Here are some more easy, no-cost ways to save energy and keep cool!

1. Ever notice how hot it gets in your laundry room, especially with the door closed? Washers and dryers emit a ton of heat, so wash only full loads to cut down on run times. Also, try to eliminate using the dryer altogether by hang-drying on a clothesline. This way you won’t have to use your AC as much, and you’ll be saving money on water and electric bills from less dryer use.

2. Time your showers to help you cool off throughout the day. There’s a reason why pigs and elephants roll around in the mud when it’s hot out. I’m not saying to take a mud bath, but you can take a cue from these animals and use shower time as cool-off time; taking cool showers at the hottest times in the day will help you stay cool when you want to use your AC the most.

3. To go along with #2, don’t blow dry your hair. Not only does the blow dryer heat up your hair and head, which can make your whole body feel warmer, it blows hot air into your home.  Better yet, get a cool, shorter haircut!

4. Watch what you wear. Synthetic materials like polyester can trap heat, while natural materials like cotton and linen breath more easily. Try to wear clothes that aren’t too tight and allow air circulation between your skin and the fabric.

5. This is an interesting method, but it works! Wet your pulse points, like your wrists, with cold water, and keep them cool by applying ice or cold compresses wrapped in cloth. This could cool you down as much as three degrees!

And of course, if you absolutely must use the air conditioner, do so sparingly, and be sure to turn it off when you leave the house and at night. Also look for Energy Star products when purchasing an air conditioning unit.

What could you live without? July 1, 2009

Posted by Tom in Green Decisions, Research, Studies, Uncategorized.
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512141_ipod_nano_1This post on CleanTechnica.com brought up a lot of very interesting issues. The results of a recent survey have been released in which more than 1,000 people answered questions about green choices, and what they would be willing to give up for the sake of the environment. When faced with a choice between comfort, convenience or the environment, 38% choice convenience, 36% chose comfort and the minority, 26%, chose the environment. The survey’s subjects were also given a list of items and asked which they would be willing to give up if they were harming the environment. The list included an iPod, dishwasher, TV, car and other items that many people use on a daily basis. Only 6% of those surveyed said they would give up all of the items, and 21% said they would not give up any of them.

The results don’t completely surprise me, because the survey asked if people were willing to give up items “if [they] thought these things were harming the environment.” Well, many people continue to excessively use many things even though they know they are harming the environment, such as automobiles. However, I do think that the survey brings to attention current society’s collective mentality when it comes to environmental issues and taking action. While many people are buying green products and claim to be concerned about the declining state of the environment and the rise of global warming, most consumers are more concerned with their own personal comfort and will be “green” as long as it isn’t an inconvenience, which isn’t very green at all, in my opinion. So what do we do with this information? Does it mean that companies need to create greener products with less of a carbon footprint? Do we need to work to change the collective mindset to pick the environment over comfort and convenience? Or is a combination of many things?

What do you think? And what would you give up for the environment?

Stay Cool this Summer Without Wasting Energy May 18, 2009

Posted by Tom in Energy costs, energy savings, Green Decisions, Tips and Tricks.
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You may have noticed the temperature going up in the past month or so, but that doesn’t mean you have to see the numbers on your electricity bill go up with it. I recently wrote a guest post for Lyved.com on ways you can beat the heat without having to crank up the AC and watch your bill skyrocket. Take a look here, and while you’re there, be sure to read the rest of the great content that Lyved.com has to offer!

Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2009

Posted by Tom in energy savings, Equity Thru Energy, Green Decisions, Technology, Tips and Tricks.
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1158745_gaia_with_plant_3I’m sure this is just one small part of a barrage of Earth Day messages you are going to see today, but who says that’s a bad thing? Today marks the 39th Earth Day ever officially celebrated. The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970 and originated as a “teach-in” about the environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson and is now celebrated in countries throughout the world.

As someone who has been in the business of energy efficiency for some time now, I think Earth Day is great for bringing awareness to environmental issues, but don’t make the common mistake of thinking that Earth Day is the only day you should do something great for the planet. Take the tools, tips and tricks that you learn today along with the knowledge you gain about the Earth and apply it to your everyday life! And don’t freak out about having to be green head to toe; make the effort to make small changes each day, week and month, and before you know it, you will be greener than you ever thought you could be.

There are a lot of Earth Day promotions going on right now, and I have picked out a few of my favorites that I thought that you should know about, particularly if you live in California or Arizona.

-At Sears, you can get a home energy audit for only $99 between April 20 and April 26. An energy audit is the best way to find out how you can save energy in your home. They will send someone to do a walk-through in your house and find out where you can save energy by insulating, replacing/fixing appliances and many other factors that improve energy efficiency.

-Solar City is offering a “Think Half” promotion, where they will install solar panels at your home for half price, which includes services, monitoring, installation and guarantee. This offer is good for those who live in California and Arizona, and you could potentially save even more if you factor in utility rebates. I did a post awhile back on this company and they are doing some really great things with making solar energy options available to a wider population.

-This offer isn’t necessarily restricted to today, this week or this month, but I had to throw in a plug for my company, Equity Thru Energy, which has special energy saving programs for commercial properties, specifically restaurants, hotels/motels and mutli-family properties with pools and spas.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Earth Day can really be every day, if you make the effort!

Orange County “How I Went Green” Contest April 2, 2009

Posted by Tom in Green Decisions, Interesting stories.
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ocrcontestFor everyone living in Orange County, there’s a cool contest going on through the OC Register for people who have converted to a greener lifestyle. Send in your photo demonstrating your “green” living along with a blurb on what you did and how it benefits the environment. There are some good entries so far, including someone who makes bags, sweaters and other products out of old hotel towels and linens, and some Girl Scouts from Mission Viejo who started a recycling program at their high school that has really taken off. These are great sources of inspiration and show that it’s not that hard to green your life just a little bit. And every little bit counts. Check out the entries here, and to learn more about the contest and how to enter your own story visit the contest page.