Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) is the grandfather of alternative, natural fuels in the eyes of many. Before biofuels were seriously coming under public scrutiny, thousands of individuals were converting their VW bugs and vans to run off this excess cooking material. Enthusiastic and environmentally conscientious motorists were making their way across the country, stopping to fuel up at whatever diner there was off the edge of the highway. Vegetable oil works well in diesel engines when the viscosity is correct, but it can serve as an alternative fuel for heaters and other machinery as well.
WVOs are extremely friendly to the environment because, unlike fossil fuels, they do not release hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the substance is burned. This method of powering engines is also green in nature because it (Read More....)
LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an invaluable asset to any new construction project. This building rating system standardizes the characteristics of buildings that ensure it is efficient, environmentally friendly, and provides a safe atmosphere for employees or residents. This independently applied certification was developed by United States Green Building Council but is now being put into practice across the entire globe. Buildings that score well within this system use green products and technology from the roof down to the individual nails. High ratings increase property value, lessen the total costs of construction, and reduce the amount of energy necessary to regulate the internal environment.
What Can Roofing Do?
Green roof designs can vary widely from building to building. However, the LEED certification standards have been designed around allowing buildings to earn credits based on the most critical aspects of efficiency that are related to typical green roofing projects. Many green roofing systems will take advantage of vegetative (Read More....)
Have you ever thought about the impact you have on the environment by just eating? After all, that food you eat has to be shipped over hundreds or even thousands of miles to your local market. Eating locally is a good idea, but an even better idea is to grow your own food. Here are some reasons:
1. Control the quality – The first reason why you should grow your own food is to control the quality of what you put into your body. If you grow your food you can avoid pesticides and unnatural fertilizers. Instead you can plant according to your area and use natural pesticides to keep your veggies growing strong. You can also grow heirloom plants that are naturally pest resistant and offer better nutrition. They also taste better!
2. Cut your bills –We spend a lot of money at the grocery store. Every month we go and but the things we need. But what if you only had to buy a handful of things? Growing your own food allows you to eat good food without having to pay for it. Seeds and starter plants are cheap, as cheap as dirt, and they grow fast (Read More....)
There was a time when we were told alcohol based fuels (i.e. ethanol, methanol, etc.) was going to replace oil as our primary source of gasoline. The allure was great. Imagine a fuel source that can be grown over and over again. It was the definition of renewable. Unfortunately, the reality is that alcohol based fuel come with some pretty big strings attached and it looks a lot less attractive when viewed up close.
Food or Fuel?
A primary source of alcohol fuel comes from corn. Because of government requirements for ethanol inclusion in gasoline, farmers are making the decision to dedicate more and more acreage to growing corn (moving away from soybean and wheat) for fuel and less for food. This reduction in food acreage and the growing demand for corn for fuel has contributed to increased food prices. Add in drought conditions in the major food growing areas and, according to the USDA, prices are going to rise three to four percent in 2013 (http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/summary-findings.aspx).
Farmers might counter that the corn produced is used for (Read More....)
Living in an apartment may give you limited ways to improve its appearance. A renovation may be possible but only minor changes can be made. Another way to spruce up the look of an apartment is by rearranging things and adding decorations. Unlike doing major renovation, this strategy is cost effective and less time-consuming.
There are so many decorations you can think of to make your apartment looking pleasant. Take for instance the potted plants which are very practical and easy to find. Most apartments have small areas so adding big and several decorative items may not do the job. Plants add life to any environment. So if you want to integrate plants in your home decor, here are simple tips to achieve it properly.
Decide the theme
– Decide what look you want to achieve in your apartment. Do you want to create a contemporary ambiance or an old time themed space? Always take into consideration your style in deciding how you want your place to appear. And of course, whether you want a modest or a lavish (Read More....)
We all want to play a part in helping to protect the planet and the natural resources that it provides us with. So, we recycle, we re-use, we shop locally and leave the car in the driveway so as not to add to the pollution in the atmosphere. At home we do our bit by turning down the central heating a degree or two and not using the tumble dryer unless in a dire emergency. You know the drill.
There’s one area where it’s not always so easy to be green though, and that’s when you buy new things for your home like furniture and electrical items. Of course, you can choose to buy the most efficient washing machines and dishwashers, but they still require new parts to be manufactured in the first place. And most furniture, of course, requires use of our natural resources to be produced.
However, there are more and more eco-friendly furniture options out there these days, and if you have the time and inclination to search for green furniture, it can be found. It’s becoming more mainstream with big furniture retailers offering reclaimed wood collections. For instance, environmentally conscious shoppers for (Read More....)
Going green when it comes to your garden is much easier than you might think, and the fact that green gardening is kinder to your budget only sweetens the pot. Eco-friendly gardens help conserve resources, eliminate waste, prevent harsh and often dangerous chemicals from contaminating our air and food, and produce a beautiful and natural art gallery for passersby to admire. If your green thumb has got the itch to go even greener, keep reading. Here are several suggestions to help you create a greener garden space.
Build Your Own Compost Pile
One way to create a greener garden is to use compose to enrich the soil. Building your own compost pile is an easy, inexpensive way to add nutrients to the soil that will make your garden flourish--and it can be done in your backyard or even in a small bin if space is an issue. A convenient alternative is to purchase compost at your local garden center.
Use Organic Gardening Products
Instead of using harsh chemicals in your garden to eliminate pests and weeds, go for the organic ones that are just as effective and much (Read More....)
Now, when some people go about saving the Earth, they go in all the way. No little steps here, they recycle ad reuse everything. They go green in every way they can, with all the knowledge and effort they can muster. One of those people is architect Michael Reynolds, who builds Earthships.
What is an Earthship? Well, think of it as the ultimate recycled housing. Fully autonomous and created using what the rest of the world would deem to be garbage, Mr. Reynolds’ Earthships are home that the environmentally conscious can enjoy without a qualm.
An Earthship is a radically sustainable home made of recycled materials. They make their own electricity using solar and wind power. Even geothermal power if it is available. They heat and cool themselves naturally using solar and thermal dynamics. They harvest their own water from rain and snow melt and use it at least four times. They use and reuse all household sewage (greywater and blackwater) in indoor and outdoor botanical cells. The produce a significant amount of food, usually enough to sustain a small family.
Earthships are constructed using the byproducts of modern society like cans, (Read More....)