Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ask Bill Tauber: Dishwashing neighbor wants to save energy, water and time - Living Green - Bradenton.com

Ask Bill Tauber: Dishwashing neighbor wants to save energy, water and time - Living Green - Bradenton.com

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Green Your Groceries, Don't Buy Eggs in Styrofoam

One simple way to help the environment is to stop buying eggs that are packaged in styrofoam. Styrofoam takes up as much as thirty percent of our landfill volume and is a substance that takes a long time to decompose. If your favorite brand of eggs packages their product in styrofoam, consider writing a letter to the company telling them that you will take your business elsewhere until they start packaging in cardboard.

You could take this one step further and stop buying eggs at the grocery store. Many cities have farmer's markets where you can purchase locally grown eggs, lowering the energy used to get the eggs from the hen to your home.

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Venture Capitalists Have Fewer Dollars For Green Business Startups

According to a news article I just read, venture capital companies are seeing decrease in the funds individuals willing to invest in green business start ups. Several venture capital firms have cited the recession as well as a drop in oil prices. They say everyone is being tight with their money but the green business ventures are feeling it even more because fuel prices are down. Low fuel prices causes less griping about fuel costs, which in turn causes a lower demand for products like alternative and renewable energy. The demand is still here, but not as high as a year ago.

Was going green just a passing fad for businesses, or will the demand be back? What will bring the demand back?

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Green Your Laundry By Not Using Dryer Softner Sheets

Clothes dryer fabric softener sheets are commonly used to help prevent wrinkles in clothing. These sheets work well but they contain chemicals that are not great for your skin or the environment. Here's a tip that will save the environment and your laundry budget: DON'T USE THEM!!!

Clean tennis balls work great for softening up clothes in the dryer without the harmful chemicals. Toss a couple in with your clothes and you will get the same softening effect. This will also save you money!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nasdaq Updates Clean Edge Green Energy Index Green Businesses

Nasdaq (NDAQ) has added five green companies and removed two from it's Clean Edge Green Energy Index. Nasdaq updates the index twice a year.

Broadwind Energy Inc. (BWEN), Comverge Inc. (COMV), Capstone Turbine Corp. (CPST), Esco Technologies Inc. (ESE) and National Semiconductor Corp. (NSM) were added.

Orion Energy Systems Inc. (OESX) and GrafTech International Ltd. (GTI)were removed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Q: How can I recycle old tennis shoes or sneakers?

A: There are several ways you can reuse or recycle them. Here they are:

  1. Take them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or another thrift store is they aren't too worn out for someone else to wear. You could also donate them to a local homeless shelter.
  2. Donate them to Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program. They will recycle the rubber in the shoes to be used to build tennis courts, running tracks, and other sports complexes that use rubber material.
  3. Use it as an alternative to buying a new dog toy. Dogs love old shoes.
  4. Save them to wear when doing dirty work like painting or staining, mowing the lawn, or other dirty jobs. You don't want to ruin your nice pair!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Not All Environmentalists Are Tree-Hugging Hippies

In response to several emails I have received I have decided to write about what motivated me to start this blog. I've been called a "treehugger" and "hippie" many times and also receive emails lecturing me about why global warming is a myth. In reality I am far from being a hippie. I grew up playing basketball and football and I don't care for Bob Marley. My reasons for living green have actually have nothing to do with global warming. As weird as it sounds, the thing that drove me to live a greener life was 9/11. I know this sounds strange, but please allow me a chance to explain.

Ten of the hijackers involved in the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were Saudi nationals. Street vendors in Saudi Arabia sell anti-US t-shirts to tourists. Saudi Arabia earns billions of dollars every year in money spent on oil by US citizens. We are pouring money into the hands of people who hate us! What a slap in the face? It's like giving the school bully your lunch money before he even asks for it.

Then there is recycling. I clearly remember the moment I decided recycling is important. I was in my last year of college and as a favor to my favorite professor I was giving a tour of the College of Business to a new assistant professor from India. He had such a puzzled look on his face as we walked past a coffee shop. I asked him if something was wrong. He replied, "No, nothing is wrong. I am just so confused at this country's drinking habits. I just saw over 30 empty bottles of water in the trash can. Where I come from we would keep the bottle because it would have so many other uses. So many people buy these waters for two dollars and then discard the bottles while there is a drinking fountain right there. You guys are so lucky to have such clean water available on demand and don't even realize it. It is foolish to pay for something that is free."

I had no idea how to respond to that. He had such a good point. That comment stuck in my mind for weeks for some reason and I found myself looking at my life and how much money I spend on things I don't really need. Luckily I didn't have to worry about tuition due to good grades, but I still had to come up with rent, food, and entertainment expenses while only working 30 hours a week at a part-time job. I cut so much waste out of my budget by becoming more conscious about my environmental footprint and I've used this blog to share some of things I did. Living green saves you green($).

There are a large number of people living green because they are hippies or 'treehuggers'. However it's important to realize that this is only a portion of the total population of eco-friendly citizens. There are many more reasons people choose to live green.

Great Video on Making Your Bathroom Eco-Friendly

Check out this great video I found on YouTube about creating a greener bathroom. Some of these tips can be used to green other rooms in your home too. Feel free to add any other green tips in the comments!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Photos of MidAmerican Energy Windmill At Iowa State Fair

I was looking through old photos on my camera today and came across a couple I thought I would share. A couple weeks ago I went to the Iowa State Fair. MidAmerican Energy is a power company that has a few windfarms across the state and one of their windmills was donated to the fair. I read that the Iowa State Fair gets a donation of $100,000 of free power every year for the next ten years. It is about half the size of the windmills that you can find at their windfarms and is about 200 feet tall. Due to the crowds and landscape it was tough to get a good shot but here are a couple photos:mid american energy windmill ISFiowa state fair windmill

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How To Recycle and Reuse Golf Balls

Hundreds of millions of rounds of golf are played each year and I just heard a statistic that made me cringe. The average golfer loses 4 balls each round. I find this statistic fairly hard to believe but it still reminds you of how many golf balls are lost, broken, or discarded throughout a single year. Here are some ways to reuse and recycle your golf balls:

  • Search the internet for wanted ads. Sometimes they are used for crafts or construction.
  • Resell them to a secondhand sporting goods store, at a garage sale, Craig's List, or come up with your own unique way to sell them.
  • I've been told that Raven Golf Club Company recycles them and pays you for it. There isn't a retailer near me so I don't know for sure. I've been told that they give you $1 for a ball with their name on it, or 50 cents for other brands. Again, I don't know this for sure but you may want to see if there is a retailer near you to try this.
**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons