HOW TO USE LESS PLASTIC IN YOUR HOME...

Nov 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] FIX.COM   Simple tricks to reduce plastic pollution There’s no question there are excellent plastic products that have done a lot to improve human lives. Items such as car seats, helmets, and medical plastics (just to name a few) are important items that not only enhance, but save lives. These are not the plastics that have people concerned. The plastics I refer to in this article are the superfluous plastics. Those that are created for convenience and financial sake only. In fact, products such as plastic utensils are often created to be used once and then tossed into the garbage. These are what I call “daily plastics,” which are completely unnecessary otherwise. Isn’t Recycling Plastic the Solution? What exactly does it mean to throw something “away”? First of all, “away” isn’t in a...

read more

4 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR HOME’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT...

Jun 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Reducing your home’s environmental impact begins with reducing its carbon footprint. Your home’s carbon emissions as a result of your activities, or its carbon footprint, can be reduced by making environmentally sounder decisions, upgrading appliances and using less energy while taking advantage of what nature has to offer. Here are four way to reduce your home’s environmental impact. Take Advantage of Nature To avoid turning on lamps and lights around your house during the daytime, take advantage of natural light. To do this, avoid crowding furniture around your windows or glass doors to allow natural light into your home. Do keep your refrigerator out of the sun so it doesn’t have to use as much energy to keep itself cool. In regards to your home’s outdoor landscape, trees are great for protection from...

read more

THESE SIMPLE STEPS WILL MAKE YOUR REFRIGERATOR WORK BETTER...

Jun 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Ask Umbra®  GRIST My refrigerator died suddenly at the tender age of 25. I bought an energy-saving one and found out that these new fridges last only seven to eight years. First of all, I was disappointed that I had to add to the waste management with my old one (although I hope some of it will be recycled in some way). Second of all, I am disappointed that my current one, in seven to eight years, will require the resources and energy-intensive production of a replacement. I cannot believe that the energy I am saving now for the next seven to eight years will be sufficient to offset a new one. Joanne H. East Aurora, N.Y. A. Dearest Joanne, Strictly speaking, you haven’t asked me a question. Perhaps you don’t want...

read more

5 MYTHS ABOUT COOLING YOUR HOME...

Jun 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] 5 myths about cooling your home By SolarCity Chances are, your home’s air conditioner is getting a workout this time of year—and driving your home’s energy use. It pays to cool your home efficiently, whether you enjoy the money-saving benefit of rooftop solar, or rely solely on a traditional utility. So, avoid falling prey to these myths.   MYTH 1: Cranking the thermostat way down cools the house faster FACT: Your thermostat doesn’t work that way. All it does is set a “target” temperature for your air conditioner to cool to. Take this example. Say two of your neighbors have identical homes with identical, well-maintained central air conditioning systems. Both homes are at 88 degrees Fahrenheit one afternoon. One of the homeowners sets her thermostat to 78. The other sets his to 65,...

read more

DON’T LOOK NOW, BUT YOU EMIT TOO MUCH — HERE’S HOW TO STOP...

May 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Grist / Shutterstock Living By Ask Umbra on May 9, 2016 Q. Dear Umbra, It’s common knowledge that Americans consume significantly more than our fair share of the Earth’s natural resources. I realize that this is a complex question that does not have a precise answer, but what kind of steps would I need to take in order to bring my consumption more in line with the worldwide average? For instance, would one cross-country airline trip put my consumption of oil above that of the worldwide yearly per capita average? Pete M. San Leandro, Calif. A. Dearest Pete, I love the spin you’re putting on “keeping up with the Joneses.” Rather than trying to match the conspicuous consumption of your local compatriots, here you are hoping to bring your lifestyle more in line...

read more

YOUR STUFF OR YOUR LIFE

Apr 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander   LIFE EDITED There are millions of reasons to stop over-consuming. It’s simpler, it’s greener, there’s less to dust. But as former Uruguayan president José Mujica–aka “the world’s poorest president”–reminds us, stuff costs money. For those of us not independently wealthy, our money has a pretty direct correlation with our labors. And unless your name is Tim Ferriss, our labors have a direct correlation with time. So each time we spend money, we are spending time. And once our time is spent, it’s gone. No refunds, no exchanges. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t buy stuff. We might decide that the things that are used, loved and add value to our lives are worth our time. This doesn’t mean that time spent working is bad either. If you love your work, knock yourself out....

read more

THIS IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT...

Apr 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Behavior A reader recently sent us this letter and we think it pretty special: Thanks LifeEdited! You are helping fuel our resolve to continue on our journey simplicity. Our story began the summer of 2014.  My husband and I found ourselves empty nesters, in a huge house, with a huge yard, and a huge to-do list of chores and have-to’s. Our bank account non-existent, our paychecks going out the window faster than we could deposit the paychecks.  All the stuff in the world hadn’t made us happy, only miserably in-debt. So we decided to break out of the box we’d climbed into and regain financial freedom and our joy. We spent five months purging and preparing our home to put on the market to sell.  We must have done...

read more

The 3 Most Environmentally Damaging Habits You Might Be Able to Change...

Apr 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment If going green seems complicated, here are a few key choices that can have a big impact on the planet we call home. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet A Climate Change Concept Image. Landscape of a green grass and drought land. Woman in green dress walking through an opened field Photo Credit: pathdoc/Shutterstock Homo sapiens means “wise person.” But considering our behaviors that are putting the Earth’s ecosystems at risk, we haven’t been very wise at all. Every single day, many of our personal choices and individual actions negatively impact the environment in myriad ways. From turning on a light switch to throwing away a plastic bottle to having a hamburger, even the most mundane actions have a cumulative negative effect on the Big Blue Marble—the home we share with countless other...

read more

SHTF Ready Housing Collective Pretty Sweet...

Apr 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Architecture Techno-urban utopianists predict a future where people will live in plant-covered high rises that spring up like natural organisms. All transportation will be on demand. Everything will be powered by completely clean fusion power. Goods will be shared and instantaneously accessed through sophisticated technology. All of these systems will cut down our workload, leading to a happier, healthier civilization. This is definitely a direction our planet could be heading in. Then there’s the other direction. In this future our infrastructures, financial systems and climatic balances will collapse, leading to massive energy and food shortages, mass migrations and so on. Should this latter scenario come to pass, we imagine there will be a long line to join The Long Spoon Collective. Located in Saugerties, NY, LSC is a small collective that grows its own...

read more

14 Easy Steps You Can Take Today To Go Green With Your Dog!...

Apr 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] http://ultimatehomelife.com/ways-you-can-go-green-with-your-dog-and-save-while-at-it/ULTIMATE HOME LIFE<span data-mce-bogus=”1″ class=”mceItemHidden”><span></span><p><strong>Please include attribution to Ultimatehomelife.com with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p><a href=’http://ultimatehomelife.com/ways-you-can-go-green-with-your-dog-and-save-while-at-it/’><<span data-mce-bogus=”1″ class=”mceItemHidden”><span class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”” data-mce-bogus=”1″>img</span></span> <span class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”img ” data-mce-bogus=”1″>src</span>=’http://ultimatehomelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Go-Green-With-Your-Dog-Infographic-Ultimatehomelife.com_.jpg’ alt=’The Green Dog Owner’ width=’540px’ border=’0′ /> </p><br /><br /><br />...

read more

PSST, DO YOU KNOW MICROFIBER’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET?...

Mar 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dust to Dust Psst, do you know microfiber’s dirty little secret? By Ask Umbra  GRIST Q. Dear Umbra, I want to know the greenest and zero-wastiest way to clean my bathroom and my dishes! I’m about to jump on the microfiber bandwagon because my current green goal is to become a zero-waste household, and I’m enamored of the ability to have no more paper towels to throw away OR cleaning supply bottles to recycle OR soap to wash down drains, but I’m reading some things about tiny bits breaking off and ending up in the ocean, plus the fact that the cloths themselves require petrol to make. Michaelann B. Provo, Utah A. Dearest Michaelann, Call me crazy, but I don’t hate cleaning. There’s something so satisfying about putting one’s home in shiny, grime-free...

read more

Why Going Paperless is a Good Idea: How to Make it Happen...

Oct 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] If you think that going paperless in the workplace is a great idea whose time has not quite come, think again: many major companies around the world are taking tangible steps to reduce their carbon footprint and paper usage. Some companies are taking this goal to an extreme: Idea Rebel, a Canadian digital agency, has banned paper completely — employees are not even allowed to drink coffee from paper cups. Other companies that have drastically reduced their use of paper include the Virginia Cancer Institute, which now uses an electronic document management system to handle their scads of medical and financial records, as well as the Cleveland Department of Public Health. Embracing the Paperless Work Style In addition to saving big bucks on reams of copy paper and keeping several dozen trees standing...

read more

A VERY BRIGHT IDEA IN PORTABLE LIGHTING...

Sep 11, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]    LIFE EDITED A couple years ago, we featured a prototype lighting system made by Voltaic Systems that was installed in the LifeEdited apartment. The light featured a CNC machined aluminum body and a bright, adjustable LED bulb. Since Voltaic’s main business is portable solar charging systems, the dangling light was connected to a ceiling receptacle that was connected to battery packs stored in a cabinet. Those batteries were connected to a small array of photovoltaic panels installed right outside one of the apartment’s windows (the batteries could also charge portable devices). While making a nifty and functional light for the apartment, the lighting system was ultimately designed to be a versatile light source that could be used and charged in any conditions. For the last few years Voltaic Systems has been tweaking...

read more

RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES: WHICH ARE THE MOST ECO-FRIENDLY?...

Sep 9, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By Ask Umbra GRIST Q. I recently moved to a remote area where electricity delivery is sometimes unreliable, so I have battery-powered backup devices. I want to get in a big supply of rechargeable batteries. There are many kinds. Are some brands better (greener and more efficient) than others? And do the solar-powered chargers really work? Geraldine C. A. Dearest Geraldine, Let’s call this Disaster Preparedness week at Ask Umbra. Earlier, we tackled green survival in a zombie apocalypse-level emergency; today, we’ll look at your less dire (but certainly more likely) scenario of a power outage. Getting ready for a blackout with a supply of batteries is a smart move, and making them rechargeables is even smarter. I’m confident you’ll still be enjoying soft mood lighting and Netflix the next time the juice runs dry at...

read more

216 MIND-BLOWING WAYS TO USE VINEGAR...

Jun 16, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] a passion for cleaning Vinegar – it’s that stuff that you can buy from the store. Maybe you occasionally use it on your cabbage and roast beef dinner. You’ve probably used it to dye eggs with the kids for Easter, but did you know that vinegar is an incredibly useful product that can be used HUNDREDS of different ways. In fact, some of the ways that you can use vinegar will downright shock you; others might make you storm out of the house to the grocery store, so you can buy your own gallon to get started. Due to its chemical makeup, many of the uses for vinegar involve cleaning, and who wouldn’t want 201 cool ways to clean with a product that cost a few dollars per gallon? We scoured the web,...

read more

YES YOU CAN GROW AN EDIBLE GARDEN ON A HOT, DRY SITE...

Jun 14, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Difficult garden spots don’t need to deter you from planting trees, herbs and other delicious food plants Brian Barth Houzz Contributor Conventional wisdom about food gardens is to locate them in a sheltered position with deep, moist topsoil. But what if your only available gardening space is a windy, sun-baked hillside? There are still edible options for developing that sort of landscape, but it takes careful planning to do it successfully. There are two main approaches to this common challenge, which are best used in combination: using the toughest food plants available and designing the landscape in a way that moderates the extreme conditions. Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture Look to Hot, Dry Climates for Inspiration People have been growing food in arid landscapes for millennia. Take the Mediterranean region, for example, where...

read more

Eco-Friendly Lighting Tips

May 19, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Sara @ WE GOT LITES There are increasing amounts of opportunities to undertake environmentally-conscious practices, from the car you drive to where you shop and the type of food you buy. The small choices you make in your everyday life can really add up over time to help benefit the planet. An extraordinarily easy way you can practice being green is to use green lighting in your home. Once you install your fixtures or bulbs, there’s not much else to do except enjoy your new lighting knowing you’ve done something good for the environment. Not sure where to start? Shop for lights with the ‘Energy Star’ stamp of approval on them – these are tested and proven to be energy efficient, and will therefore save you money on monthly electric bills while also...

read more

Many ways to Green Your Life

May 14, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Casey Coates Danson   Please check out these important resources for ways to green you life. Recycling Basics http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics Home Energy http://www.improvenet.com/g/home-energy Conserving Water http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ConserveWater.htm Easy Energy-Saving Tips for Your Pool and Hot Tub http://blog.poolcenter.com/article.aspx?articleid=6330 Greening Advisor: Transportation and Accommodation http://www.nrdc.org/enterprise/greeningadvisor/ta-transportation.asp Reduce Waste and Save Money At Home http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Reduce-Waste-and-Save-Money-at-Home.17328.html 40 Tips To Go Green At Home...

read more

7 Easy Tips to Save Water in Your Home...

May 12, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Yuka Yoneda, INHABITAT Did you know that your daily five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country uses for an entire day*? In the U.S. we have such easy access to clean water that it can feel like we have an unlimited supply, and a few gallons wasted here and there may not seem like a big deal. But places like California are already feeling the effects of the global water crisis, and awareness about the need to save water is getting out there slowly but surely. The good news is that doing your part to conserve water is easy. Read on for our top tips on how to save water (it will only take you 5 minutes), and get ahead of the game today. * United...

read more

What’s the cheapest new car to drive? Hint: It’s an EV...

May 11, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] By Bentham Paulos GRIST There is a common perception that electric cars are really expensive. It isn’t helped by media fawning over the high-end Tesla Model S, which has a base price of $71,000. But most EVs cost much less than that, and measured over a five-year span, the total cost of owning and operating the more affordable EVs can actually be lower than the cheapest gas-swilling econo-boxes. Edmunds.com, the “car buying platform” that tracks auto sales with obsessive detail, calculates the “True Cost to Own” or TCO for hundreds of models. “In many cases,” it writes, “TCO points buyers toward an unexpected conclusion: Sometimes the cars that are cheaper to buy are more expensive to own.” According to Edmunds data for my zip code, here’s how popular electric cars compare with a...

read more

ADVENTURES IN EXTREME MINIMALISM...

Feb 4, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Behavior A couple weeks ago, hospital we revisited Peter Lawrence, a man who lives with what would charitably be called a paucity of possessions. In certain ways, Rob Greenfield makes Lawrence look like a hoarder. Greenfield lives in a 50 sq ft “house” and what few possessions he has can stuffed on a bike trailer. On his website, Greenfield says he “is an American adventurer, environmental activist, and entrepreneur on a mission to entertain, educate, inspire, and give back to the world. He is teaching others about the issues associated with food, energy, water, waste, transportation, and health by displaying his style of living to the world. He is leading them towards a greater sense of happiness and freedom.” Sound good to us. Like many who have fairly extreme-lifestyles,...

read more

50 WAYS YOUR HOME COULD HELP SAVE THE EARTH...

Jan 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Let’s face it: Reducing your home’s negative impact on the planet will likely require a huge amount of work. But solar panels and temperature-regulating walls aren’t the only ways to help your household adopt more eco-friendly practices. There are a ton of easy — and fun — ways to conserve energy. Luckily for us, UK-based magazine Good To Be Home has some clever ideas on other ways to do...

read more

USE THESE GREEN GADGETS TO HELP SAVE WATER, ENERGY AND MONEY IN YOUR HOME...

Jan 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] The Huffington Post  |  By Katherine Boehrer Saving energy and water can be difficult, but now there are plenty of gadgets on the market that aim to make the process easier for you. From smart light bulbs to thermostats that learn your habits to motion-sensing power strips, being green has become part of the home automation craze sweeping the nation. Here are some of the cool options available, including budget options that will help conserve without breaking the bank. Lightbulbs There’s a lot of room for improvement over the traditional light bulb, but by far the best energy-saving innovations are in LED light bulbs. Not only do LED bulbs use up to 80 percent less energy compared to traditional incandescents, they last up to 25 times longer, according to the U.S. Department of...

read more

Kristine Lofgren Egloo heats your room without electricity for 10 cents a day...

Jan 4, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Kristine Lofgren, physician inhabitat Can you heat your room for just 10 cents a day? Egloo can. Egloo is a clever little heater that harnesses candle power to heat a room without wasting electricity. Egloo works by concentrating the heat from the flame of a few candles inside a terracotta dome, radiating warmth into a room even after the candles are blown out. The concept was developed by Marco Zagaria, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, and right now, he is looking for funding for the brilliant little heater. The project is being funded through Indiegogo where you can get in on the project and start heating your office, dorm or bedroom without using electricity. + Egloo at Indiegogo The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat?...

read more

10 Lessons from Living Life Off the Grid...

Jan 4, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] By Phillip Vannini and Jonathan Taggert / The Tyee  VIA ALTERNET     It was in 2011 that I first understood what off-grid living really meant. Before then I had heard people claim they were off-grid if they switched their cell phone off for a day or two. Other people thought anyone who lived in remote places was off-grid. None of that made any sense. It was when I first visited British Columbia’s Lasqueti Island and later the floating home community of Clayoquot Sound that I got a real taste of the off-grid life: life, that is, in a place disconnected from large natural gas and electricity networks. For the next two years, photographer/videographer Jonathan Taggart and I travelled close to 105,000 kilometres together across Canada to find people who live off-the-grid and...

read more

A college isn’t green if it’s not safe for women...

Dec 7, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Christopher Smith By Eve Andrews GRIST Vassar College is probably the most beautiful place I will ever live in my life — and that’s fine, because it set the bar impossibly high. The whole campus is a meticulously cared-for arboretum, and the grounds are covered in over 200 species of trees and countless more native plants. It also has an ecological preserve and a quaint organic farm on its expansive, lovely grounds. To see October at Vassar, if you’re not already jaded by it, is to have your jaw dangling for more or less 31 days straight. Great care and unimaginable funds, surely, are poured into the campus’ upkeep. As freshmen, a friend and I tried to cut some forsythia branches from outside the dining hall to decorate my tiny dorm room, and almost...

read more

11 Foods That Double As Cleaning Products...

Oct 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The Huffington Post  | By Renee Jacques Ketchup is delicious, sure, but did you know that it’s also effective at polishing copper? Yea, bet you find it a little less appetizing now. But ketchup isn’t the only condiment or food that has dual purposes. In fact, many of the things you eat all the time have uses other than just keeping you satiated. Here are 11 foods that do double-duty as cleaning products. You should always remember these, if for no other reason than they will save you money. 1. Banana peels can polish silver Don’t throw away that banana peel just yet. If your prized silverware collection is starting to get a bit tarnished, just rub the inside of a banana peel along the tarnished parts on your silver and it will help...

read more