Are you using a wood burning stove or fireplace to keep warm this winter? Here’s a great way to conserve energy by converting your household waste into recycled heating fuel. The Logmaker is a plastic gizmo for making tightly rolled, compressed logs out of burnable lawn waste, or even junk mail.
Using the Logmaker begins with creating an outer shell made from newspaper. Then you can fill the outer shell with any burnable household waste, and tightly compress it with the Logmaker’s plunger. Finish by tucking in the edges, and your log is complete. It’s the tightly compressed, and rolled composition of the homemade logs that allows them to burn much longer than the same materials would if burned loosely.
This would also be handy for using with outdoor fire pots, chimineas, and camping gear.
The Logmaker is made in the U.K., and it is available in a recycled plastic model. For complete instructions, and more info, visit the Logmaker website.
November 12, 2008 No Comments
So, you’re headed out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, but not sure if you should completely shut down all your appliances and electronics while you’re gone? Leaving everything on for the duration of your trip would be a real waste of energy, but on the other hand, a dark home can be an easy target for thieves or vandals. Appliance timers are handy and affordable little gadgets that can help you conserve energy and play it safe when you are not home, and even when you are.
Here’s how it works. Begin by plugging an appliance timer into any standard outlet. Then plug your table lamps, television, or any other appliance into the timer, and set the times you want the appliance to turn on and off. Now the appliance will come on and shut off on it’s own.
Even if when you’re home, appliance timers can help you avoid wasting energy by shutting things off when you leave for work, or right around bedtime. I found the appliance timer above at Westside Wholesale. Gotta love an $8 green living upgrade.
November 2, 2008 No Comments
Are there vampires sucking the energy right out of your home? There probably are, and the problem is not one that can be fixed with a handful of garlic. Vampire power refers to the energy your home appliances, computers, and other gadgets consume when you aren’t even using them. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75% of the power consumed in the U.S. is used when electronics and appliances are turned off.
Here are some likely spots to look for wasted, ‘vampire’ power:
- Rechargeable power tools
- Coffee pots
- Rechargeable vacuum cleaners
- Cordless phones
- Baby monitors
- Stereo systems
If you want to rid your home of vampires, conserve energy, and save a buck, simply unplug anything you aren’t actively using. If this seems like an inconvenience, plug as many of your home electronics as possible into power strips. Then you can cut the power to multiple items with just one switch. Source: What’s Wasting Energy in Your Home Right Now.
If all this talk about vampires has you thinking about Halloween costumes, the vampire costume above is available at Webhats.
October 21, 2008 No Comments
I think it’s important to remember that don’t have to do an entire green remodel to bring a little green into your life- especially in the bathroom. Organic bath towels are a cozy and earth-friendly addition to any green lifestyle.
The towels above are made from 100% combed organic cotton, which is Skal-certified. According to Brookstone, organic bath towels maintain their fluffiness and absorbency longer than non-organic towels, because the fibers are subjected to the harshness of pesticides and chemicals. More info on these organic bath towels.
Don’t forget a new towel rack for air-drying your bath towels. This bamboo towel ladder is a great way to save energy and conserve water because it will help you get more than one use from each bath towel in between washings. And, it’s made from my favorite sustainable resource!
October 19, 2008 1 Comment
A study mentioned on the U.K.’s Money News website this week provides evidence that some folks are turning to green living measures purely for financial reasons. According to the British study by Norwich and Peterborough, 69% of people are more likely to install energy-efficient devices such as kitchen appliances and turn to alternative energy sources than they were one year ago.
What about you? Are the constant pressures of high gas prices, and soaring energy bills causing you to adopt greener habits and look for energy-saving home products? Whether it’s for economic reasons or otherwise, going green is always a good idea.
Here are a few quick energy saving tips for saving money and living green:
- Set your washing machine to cold water wash.
- Buy an insulated blanket for your water heater.
- Avoid running your dishwasher until it’s full.
- Change your furnace filter monthly.
- Buy a reduced-flow shower head.
- Shut the water off when you brush your teeth.
- Stick to weekly or bi-weekly shopping trips to avoid wasting fuel on multiple trips to the store.
October 17, 2008 No Comments
When you just need to heat a single room in your home, or even just the area around your desk, space heaters are an excellent way to conserve energy and save money. Why run the furnace and unnecessarily heat your entire home?
This space heater, the Vornado Digital Vortex heater, is an energy-efficient choice because it eliminates those alternating periods of frigid cold and blazing heat that you get with many space heaters by continuously maintaining the set temperature. The space heater features a digital thermostat, remote control, and heat output ranges between 750-1500 watts. Safety features include automatic shut-off if tipped, cool exterior, and overheat prevention. The Vornado DVTH Vortex space heater is available at Comfort House for $101.49.
Take care to select a safe, up to date space heater, and use it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Here are some helpful tips on space heater safety.
October 6, 2008 No Comments
People in many parts of the country are just starting to feel the first cool breezes of Fall, and have begun waking up to chilly mornings. Before you turn on your home’s furnace for the first time this year, make sure you’re starting with a clean furnace filter. Whether you have a gas furnace, or an electric furnace, a clean furnace filter will help you conserve energy, save money, and live greener. Consider the following:
Conserve Energy: A dirty filter makes your furnace work harder, and consume more energy. If you want to save energy, replace your furnace filter once a month, or perhaps even more often if you have pets.
Furnace Life Span: Regularly changing your furnace filter will help prevent the need for early replacement of your furnace. This will save you money, and reduce the amount of waste in landfills.
Clean Air: Clean furnace filters promote clean air in your home by capturing the dust, mold, pet hair, and other particulates circulating in the air. Circulating air through a dirty filter just adds more dust and contaminates to the air you breathe.
Permanent Filters: If you’re concerned about the waste generated by disposable furnace filters, you may want to consider a reusable furnace filter. This permanent furnace filter, available at Never Buy Another Filter.Com, can be used for years. When it gets dirty, simply hose off, dry, and reuse.
Here’s some helpful information on how to change a furnace filter.
October 5, 2008 1 Comment
While we seem to focus so much attention on searching for and purchasing the most energy-efficient refrigerator and freezer, it turns out that how much food you store in your fridge or freezer has a significant impact on how energy-efficient they are. According to these green shopping tips at Ideal Bite, your fridge and freezer will function more efficiently when they are full, but not overstuffed.
So, here’s a thought: Next time you head out to do some grocery shopping, make it worth your while. Running in for just a few things multiple times a week ends up costing much more in the long run due to impulse purchases and wasted fuel. By planning meals, and shopping from a grocery list, you’ll conserve fuel, save money on groceries, and conserve energy. I guess the express lane isn’t the “easy out” I thought it was.
October 2, 2008 1 Comment
Although we generally think of ceiling fans as a way to ward off summer heat, don’t overlook them as a way to conserve energy in the winter. Here’s how ceiling fans can help you reduce winter heating bills:
Since hot air rises, much of the heat we pay for ends up near the ceilings in our home, with cold air near the floor. In the winter, flip the switch on your ceiling fans to reverse, so that the blades will spin in the opposite direction. This simple action will break up the layers of hot and cold air by forcing the warm air near the ceiling downward, allowing you to stay warmer without cranking up the thermostat on your furnace. The low setting on your ceiling fans should be enough to keep the warm air down where you need it.
Here’s a tutorial on how to install a ceiling fan.
September 20, 2008 1 Comment
Sometimes energy savings can be found in seemingly insignificant places. The lint trap on your clothes dryer is one of them. A dirty lint trap wastes energy because it diminishes airflow within your dryer and causes it to work harder and longer to dry your clothes. Although few of us like to take the time, it’s an easy fix: simply clean out your lint trap every time you use the dryer and you’ll conserve energy with every load of laundry.
Here’s another scoundrel when it comes to home energy savings- your dryer hose. This one isn’t quite as easy as the lint trap, but it only needs to be done once a year. Disconnect the hose on your dryer,clean it out with a brush or vacuum cleaner, and reconnect.
If you want a handy tool made just for cleaning your dryer, try a lint trap brush. You can get a dryer brush for less than $10 at Bed Bath Home.
September 8, 2008 2 Comments