Monday, November 30, 2009

Reconsider Whether Or Not You Need A Fireplace!

Most fireplaces are a money hole. Yes, they create heat, but when a fireplace is in use, it generally pulls in as much cold air as the amount of hot air it creates. Additionally, when the fireplace is not in use, it lets in much more cold air than a wall would. It's nearly impossible to create an energy efficient fireplace without causing a fire hazard.

There are ways to help reduce the drafts caused by fireplaces, but many are dangerous. If you want to make your fireplace more efficient, call a professional. They would know how to safely work on your fireplace. A large number of house fires are caused by fireplace mishaps.

If you are in the process of buying a home, consider buying one without a fireplace. It will save you green!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Switch Your Ceiling Fans To Clockwise In The Winter To Save Energy

Ceiling fans help keep us cool in the winter by pushing the cool air down. In the winter you want to push the hot air back down into your living space, not up into the attic. Most ceiling fans have a switch on them that controls whether the fan will spin clockwise or counterclockwise. Check to make sure your ceiling fan is turning clockwise in the winter and your hot air will linger longer!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Green Christmas Video From Sierra Club

I was surfing YouTube and found a great video for this time of year. It confirms what I stated in the last post about green Christmas tree options. Check out the video:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Green Christmas Tree Suggestions

green christmas treesObviously, having no Christmas tree is the greenest option for Christmas but for those of you who can't go without a tree, do it the green way!

I've heard of some people purchasing small, potted evergreen trees. They decorate them, and then after Christmas they plant them on their property. This is not an option for everyone, but it's definitely something to consider.

Some people will say that buying a fake tree is more eco-friendly than cutting down a real tree. I don't agree with this. Fake trees are made out of PVC, and this takes forever to decompose. Buying a tree from a tree farm is greener. These businesses plan years ahead and are replanting trees, most of the time at a higher rate, than trees are being cut down.

Call your local tree farms ahead of Christmas and try to find an organically-grown tree. There's no point bringing extra chemicals into your home if you don't need to. This also makes for a greener disposal.



**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

List Of Green Christmas Gift Ideas For 2009

Here's a list of greener gifts you can give for Christmas this year:

  1. Plant, flower, fruit, or vegetable seeds to be planted in the spring
  2. Donate time and/or money in the recipient's name
  3. Baked goods
  4. Music downloads
  5. Ebooks
  6. Books or movies about green living
  7. Carbon offsets
  8. National Park pass
  9. Wooden board game set
  10. Bike or rollerblades
  11. Solar powered cell phone charger
  12. Tickets to an event or concert
  13. Services like car washing or babysitting
  14. Museum pass
  15. Herb garden
  16. Reusable shopping bags
  17. Reusable water bottles
  18. Playing cards

Related Posts

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why Can't We Opt Out of Receiving Phone Books?

Every year I received almost a half dozen phone books, all from different companies but with the same exact information. I can't remember the last time I used one. It's been at least five years. Directory assistance and the internet work better for me. I'm not saying that nobody uses them, and I'm sure they are used heavily by some people. But there are a large number of people who never use them and sadly don't recycle them.

Delivering phone books to every door is a complete waste. So many of them go right into the landfill or recycle bin. Telephone books should be distributed, for free, at local grocery stores or at the post office or other public places. This way people who actually use them could still access them, but the majority of people who don't need one don't get forced to accept them.

I understand why this doesn't happen, however. Phone books make their money by selling advertisements. The number of copies handed out are referred to as the 'reach' of the advertisement. A larger reach allows phone books to sell ads for higher prices. Therefore, by giving out a phone book to every single person they can claim that their ads reach a larger audience, making them more money. They are ripping off people who advertise with them because there are so many millions of phone books that are never even opened.

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

How To Recycle Old House and Car Keys

How To Recycle Old House and Car Keys
Most recycling programs will take old keys. Make sure you remove any rubber around the key. There are also other ways to recycle or reuse old house or car keys. My three year old son loves to play with my keys. There have been times where he has grabbed them off the counter and hid them from me! Old keys make great toys, but be careful and put a large keychain on it.

There is also a charity that will take old keys called Keys for Kindness. They take old keys and recycle them, and then donate proceeds to the M.S. Society.

You can mail your old keys to:
Keys For Kindness
PO Box 201
Pearl River, NY 10965

 I love all my readers.  Thank you to all of you who share my passion!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How To Recycle Wine Bottle Corks

Do you enjoy wine? If so it's probably common for you to have old wine bottle corks laying around. Here are a few ways to recycle them:

  1. Wood corks can be put into compost piles
  2. Some people have collected corks and used them to create mulch.
  3. Find a crafty person who can use them.
  4. Send them to Yemm & Hart, who turn them into cork tiles. You pay for your own shipping. Their address is listed below. It wouldn't hurt to check their website to be sure they are still accepting them.

Wine Cork Recycling
Yemm & Hart Ltd
425 North Chamber Dr.
Fredericktown, MO 63645

How To Recycle Microwave Ovens

There are several ways you can recycle your old microwave. Repairing may be an option. Contact a local small appliance repair shop and get a quote. If you aren't interested in fixing it and want to recycle it, there are several options. If you are handy with tools you can take apart the microwave and separate the materials and recycle them accordingly. You can also contact your local recycling center to ask if they accept them. If they don't, they should be able to point you in the direction of someone locally who does.

If you have a working microwave that you are trying to dispose of you can donate it to thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, churches, charities, or local shelters. Craig's List is a great place to list it if you are interested in trying to get some money for it.

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 I love all my readers.  Thank you to all of you who share my passion!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Great Green Site: 365 Ways To Go Green

I recently discovered a great website,, where a guy named Mike is doing something green every day for a year. Check it out and follow him on Twitter!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Breaking Through To My Not-So-Green Boss

Today my boss went to get himself a new chair for his office. His old one broke. He came back with a chair made of eco friendly materials and advertised as the greenest desk chair. Him and I have never really seen eye to eye on environmental issues so this was a huge breakthrough for me. He even paid an extra five dollars to get the ecofriendly one! Here's a photo I snapped with my cell phone.
I know this probably does not seem like a huge deal to most people but if you knew how hard I've tried to get him to allow me to green our business you would understand!