They’re many simple ways to go green without spending a lot of money in the slow economy. You can lower the impact of consumption with a few helpful tips that will help save the environment and also save money on your energy bill.
• Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs Compact ﬂuorescent light bulbs can be a huge energy saver by replacing all of your incandes- cent bulbs with ﬂuorescents and save on reductions in heat production, energy use and your electric bills.
• Program your thermostat When you are at home, keep the thermostat at 78˚F or higher in the summer and 62˚F or lower in the winter. Programmable thermostats allow you to program the systems to reduce output when they are not needed.
• Plug air leaks This simple step can go a long way toward keep- ing your home at the temperature you desire, saving money on heating and air conditioning bills.
• Tune up your heating and cooling system Have a checkup for your HVAC system every 2 years to make sure it is running efﬁciently. Be sure to clean the ﬁlter monthly during times of peak usage; a dirty ﬁlter can signiﬁcantly reduce the efficiency of your system.
• Switch to green power Green Power is an optional utility service for custom- ers who want to help expand the production and distribution of renewable energy technologies. With green power, you do not have to change your elec- tricity provider. Instead, customers choose to pay a premium on their electricity bill to cover the extra cost of purchasing clean, sustainable energy. More info on green power can be found at: http://www.eere.energy.\gov/greenpower/markets/index.shtml.com
• Choose ENERGY STAR appliances Energy Star products meet a high level of energy efficiency, which can translate into savings on electric bills. When considering the price of a new appliance, take into account not only the purchase price, but also the long-term savings associated with an energy-efﬁcient appliance.
• Reduce water use
• Indoor: Use less water by adding aerators to your sink faucets and changing to low- ﬂow showerheads • Check leaky faucets •Limit showers and take less baths •Using dishwasher over hand wash
The dishwasher uses only half the energy, one-sixth of the water, and less soap. But there is a lot more to it than just faucet and sink and the appliance under your counter. Be aware of what hand washing habits you are using. How do you heat the water in your home? And how often do you do the dishes? How much water do you need to use doing the dishes? Do you fill the dishwater full and use only when needed?
• Outdoor: Incorporate native plants in your land- scape plan and minimize high-maintenance landscaping such as rock, cement or turf grass to conserve water. • Sprinkler system/ check for time controlled system
• Plant trees to provide shade and wind protection for your house
This simple step can help you save money on heat- ing and air conditioning bills while providing beautiful views around your home.
• Use native plantings
Native plants have been growing and evolving in your area for thousands of years and, as a result, have adapted to the local soils and climate. As a result they are more likely to thrive with minimal care, unlike exotic plants. That can mean less need for water, fertilizer and pesticides. Additional info on green landscaping techniques can be found at http://www.epa.gov/re-g3esd1/garden/.com
• Use nontoxic gardening techniques Many gardeners over-apply or improperly apply pesticides, putting themselves, their families, and pets at increased health risk. Nearly half of all households have pesticides stored within reach of children.
• Carpool, use public transportation, walk or bike when possible Green transportation means can greatly reduce your energy expenditures and carbon emissions from your daily routine
• Buy a high-efﬁciency car
The U.S. Department of Energy’s list offers the most fuel efﬁcient cars at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/best- worst.shtml • Use reusable trash bags • Reusable and recyclable shopping bags for grocery shopping • Rethink your refrigriater
Buy an Energy Star fridge and you're likely to be dealing with numbers that are roughly half the energy used in older versions depending on size desired. Old fridges are really inefficient compared to their new contemporaries and you don't have to work that hard to cut back the amount a new fridge uses.
• Unplug appliances when not in use • Line dry laundry
There are so many ways to help save the environment such as reducing waste, saving on plastic and making small changes that can have a big impact over time.
Choosing to use products that are organic made without toxic chemicals and use sustainable or easily replenished raw materials are also positive measures for supporting the green movement and being eco-friendly. Catherine Waltrip, who is a member of the Sierra Club, an environmental organization on saving the environment, said that everyone should take the necessary steps in moving forward toward living more green.
“One major change that people should make in becoming more environmentally friendly is switching to biodegradable trash bags and avoid using plastic whenever possible,” Waltrip said.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, in 2007 the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics containers in landfills, almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods and about 10 million tons as durable goods.
In the study, the largest category of plastics found are containers and packaging such as soft drink bottles, lids and shampoo bottles. The second largest category is diapers, trash bags, cups and utensils and medical devices.
“Everyone needs to make better choices such as ordering drinks with no lids and no straws. If a store only offers plastic containers for drinks, do not order a drink,” Waltrip said. “For takeout, I carry biodegradable clamshells in my car. I always forego a bag at stores, either bringing my own or, if I've forgotten them, carrying my items into my house in armfuls.”
According to the American Plastics Council, more than 1,800 U.S. businesses handle or reclaim post-consumer plastics. In 1997, APC estimated that roughly one-half of all U.S. communities of about 19,400 collected plastics for recycling, primarily such as soda bottles.
“Every piece of plastic I have not used is a piece of plastic that is not in a landfill or a lake or a forest or an ocean,” Waltrip said.
Other alternatives to plastic are choosing products that are in recycled reusable glass or metal. Also, choosing biodegradable, unbleached wax bags are better than even recyclable plastic that still have chemicals in them. These are available in Whole Foods stores and are compostable. Plants can even be planted in them.
Another step in becoming green is to start learning how to recycle, what items can be recycled and where to go to recycle.
All kinds of paper may be recycled such as envelopes with plastic windows, magazines, newspaper, and cereal boxes. Other items such as eyeglasses and hearing aids can be recycled.
The Salvation Army or the Goodwill is a good source geared towards helping those who need items they do not have and for others to re-use it.
Other items are phone books, cell phones and smoke detectors. Ink cartridges, batteries, magazines, packing foam and foam peanuts can be recycled.
Dell and Apple Products will also recycle old PC’s and computers and they both offer programs to help you earn money for them. “Recycling is important for many reasons because many items get lost into the storm drains everywhere with gushing bags, cans, bottles, cups and fast food containers and go out to the sea and fed into the ocean releasing toxins into the water,” Waltrip said.
Companies like eco-trash bin rentals is a good source for recycling items or calling your city to make sure you have a bin for recycling is always a good choice in helping recycle.
International Environmental Solution is a company that will turn your waste into energy with their new advanced pyrolyctic system that break down waste materials without using direct heat or oxygen.
Unplugging power tools or chargers is a good way to save on energy. Figure out which cordless tools get the most use, and then unplug the chargers on all the rest. Most cordless tools have nickel cadmium batteries, which will hold some charge for up to a year.
Try consolidating incandescent bulbs with dimmers or three-ways on multiple fixtures in a room. One 100-watt incandescent emits more light than two 60-watt bulbs combined but requires 17 percent less power. The 100-watter also uses the same energy as four 25-watt bulbs, but pumps out twice as much light.
Another tip to saving on energy is slipping a dollar bill between the rubber gasket on your freezer and fridge doors between the frames. Then close the door and tug on it to see if the dollar slips easily back. This trick will test the seal and if it is tight enough. If is not, cold air is probably leaking out, making your fridge work harder to stay cool. Try this on all four sides of the door.
Check your house for any leaky faucets. One drip per second from a leaky faucet or pipe can waste up to 5 gallons of water a day and 1,800 gallons a year.
Use the dishwater instead of washing dishes by hand. Doing a full load in your machine is far more efficient than washing the same number of dishes by hand.
Becoming more environmentally responsible can become easier as tools become more readily available and business become greener in helping save the environment.
In making greener choices there are many websites to help you find an organization, new technology or another alternative to help you live more green and help you find ways to renew it, reuse it, donate it or just completely eliminate it.
Much health conscious Angelinos have discovered a hot spot
for fresh organic Vietnamese food hidden away in a strip mall located in Eagle Rock.
The Blue Hen has been discovered to be one of the most tastiest organic Vietnamese food in Los Angeles and popular for it’s reasonable prices.
Chef-owner Que Dang, who runs the restaurant with her mother, is aware that more restaurants like the Blue Hen are in demand but remain content with their small business, concentrating on being one of the only restaurants in the neighborhood to be organic and unique for their recipes. “Dang is loyal to making sure that the menu features select dishes with ingredients that are of both organic and purchased from local farmers,” Blue Hen associate, Leona Marrs says. “I think that it is important to have home made recipes for people who want them, even if they have to wait a little longer for them.”
Marrs says that the difference between the Blue Hen and its competitors that the Blue Hen offers not only unique recipes but food is clean and freshly made everyday.”
“We support local farmers and sustainable farming principals which I think is important in a time where clean, organic food is becoming harder to find in restaurants due to contamination and bad work ethics, “ Marrs says.
As you walk into the Blue Hen, a sign with a grade A is in the front window, which proves that this Vietnamese kitchen has superb work ethics and cleanliness. Although, the Blue Hen does not serve meat, there are many other delicious dishes that are offered such as fresh vegetables, tofu and organic chicken.
The restaurant is also known for it’s huge bowls of tofu and tasty beverages like pulpy orange and lime tonics that consist of freshly squeezed juice, Vietnamese coffee and carbonated water. You will also find more of an assortment of specials on the colored chalkboard with a list of more desserts and other dishes. Many favorites are the delicious, salty hand cut turmeric fries, caramelized ginger chicken and tofu entrée and specialty soups. They also offer unique grandpas porridge on Friday and Saturday nights. The porridge may be different each week and very popular among the regulars.
Among its hip, modern decor that compares to the small Toi Vietnamese restaurant located in Hollywood, shares the same interior design and understatedly hip décor. But much more peaceful. The artsy dining area has it’s own character, from the deep red and orange high ceiling paper mache lighting fixtures to the odd paintings on the walls.
The walls are covered with face art drawn on numerous book receipt paper, napkins and plain paper that customers have brought in with them to draw on, which makes the artsy vibe even more appealing.
“Many people do not know about the revolving art show that we like everyone who comes in to participate in,” Marr says. “ Every week we try to make it a different theme from face drawings to people drawing whatever they prefer.”
The Blue Hen provides crayons and paper for children while they wait for their food but many grown-ups and high school students found it just as fun to doodle while they wait and even better when it gets posted on the wall for everyone to see.
Among the artwork on the wall, the service is friendly and warm. Marr says that even though it is calmer during the week with the normal local lunch crowds, she says that weekends can become quite busy.
“Sometimes people will have to wait to be seated on the weekends because we only have 12 tables and many seat only two,” Marr says.
If you are looking for great fresh organic Vietnamese food, fun ambience on the weekends, and love artsy crowds, it is definitely worth checking out and worth the wait.
Just make sure your bring enough paper to draw on, just in case.
Greenopiais a new style guide for environmental and organic services on where you can eat shop and live green.
Gay Browne who created the book and list of services when she started building a green home in 1994 and found it difficult to find a list of green eco-friendly services on building materials that were eco-friendly.
Browne decided to hire a consultant to help her with locating theses business and later became more interested in finding other businesses that were available to others in foods, clothes and other businesses that were green. Ten years later she created the guide to help people make more eco-friendly choices in choosing that they do business with.
The first guide she created is for Los Angeles and then later created a guide for San Francisco and New York. There are over 52 categories of businesses to pet stores, nail salons, restaurants even burial services.
It is an easy-to-understand consumer guide filled with local listings for green retailers, service providers and organizations.
Greenopia contains everything from organic restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners, organic pest control services, to sustainable building suppliers, landscapers, interior designers and anything a consumer needs for every day green living.
A Greenopia field assessor assesses the green criteria for the businesses and they research every business to make sure that they are environmentally friendly and up to standards depending on what category they are in. For example if they are a retailer for produce, the field assessor will make sure that the produce is organic, where it is farmed and are chemically free. .
Many times the researchers will depend on Zagats, known to do reviews on restaurants and depend on comments from the public in developing their decision on weather or not the business has a good sustainability practices before they are added into the listing.
Greenopia also has a leaf rating system on how green the company is by giving them one to five leafs.
For example, in reviewing the company Apple, the company for computer technology and software, Greenopia gave them one leaf. Greenopia also explains why and how Apple could improve by being more free of toxic chemicals such as LED lit monitors and RoHs compliant computers and has several products that are EPEAT Gold certified.
Apple also has a take-back program for its products, but in order not to be charged for it you must buy a new Apple product.
Greenopia’s review also said that Apple has come under fire from numerous environmental groups for its products’ toxicity and lack of environmental reporting. While it seems to have most of the toxicity concerns addressed, it still does not publish any sort of environmental report.
Even though Apple does not compare to companies like Dell and Sony who are much more forthcoming with their information and Sony even publishes some life cycles so users can see the magnitude of their environmental impact across all areas of the product. Apple also needs to adopt a better take-back program.
Forcing people to buy a new Apple product is ridiculous. Companies should be responsible for the end of life management of their product if it contains hazardous materials and is not easy to recycle.
The Greenopia verdict for Apple was not the most-eco-friendly business and only received one leaf. Sony received 2 leafs and Dell received 3 leafs being more environmentally friendly.
The rating system is not only for name brands but restaurants, beverages, Auto manufacturer, retailers and one to be especially helpful is fast food.
Between the three largest fast food chains among McDonalds, Burger King and and Taco Bell, Mc Donald’s received one leaf.
According to Greenopia the most environmentally green auto manufactures were between mini cooper, the smart car, Honda and Toyota. All of these manufacturers have taken great steps to improve the environmental impact of its packaging and designs in its vehicles from mileage to environmental indicators such as emissions, resource usage, waste and chemicals.
Greenopia is not a paid directory so companies cannot pay to be included. All of the listing must meet strict standards of eco-friendliness.
There are many other resources that Greenopia offers such has suggestion on books on how to green your home, green products, eco kitchen ware and many other suggestions on how to live green.
Everyone should have this guide at their fingertips in making greener choices and providing consumers with the means to make daily decisions that reduce their impact on the environment and ore sustainable life styles.
Your medicine cabinet may contain toxic, harmful, poisonous and even carcinogenic, cancer-causing ingredients that may be harmful to you.
Jennifer Palmer, founder of Osea International, a marine based luxury line said that people don’t think about the products they use on their bodies.
“It is important to be aware of what goes on your body because it is the same as what goes in to your body. It is not just what you breathe and eat but what is in your personal care products that matter,” Palmer said. Many personal care products contain potentially harmful ingredients, which are made up of very small molecules that may penetrate the skin, enter the blood stream, and build up in the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and tissues. Palmer said choosing more natural ingredients can be healing such as a natural lipstick that will hold the color for your lips but also contain natural oils and botanicals that are healing.
According to Palmer many of the cosmetics even simple as a lipstick in which some woman cannot live without contain some of the most harmful ingredients. “The campaign for safe cosmetics tested 33 lipsticks randomly and they discovered that 61 percent of those lipsticks contained lead. Suddenly, the phrase “dying to be beautiful” had a new twisted meaning,” Palmer said.
Which are According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website, the Food and Drug Administration used similar delay tactics to bury information about phthalates which are substances added to plastics to add flexibility in personal care products. In July 2002, an independent analysis by members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that 72 percent of personal care products tested contained phthalates, a set of industrial chemicals linked to reproductive harm.
The website also said that the FDA conducted its own study of phthalates in personal care products in 2003, but did not release the data to the public. The FDA study was finally published three years later in a scientific journal but remained not available for free to the public.
Many Body care products such as skin lotion, face creams and soaps contain ingredients such as parabens, polypropylene and polyethylene glycols, sodium laurel and laureth sulfates. All of these ingredients have been shown in rigorous tests to likely be harmful to humans.
Most products are packaged in plastic and can release some of the most harmful toxins into the product and then transferred onto your skin.
“ Our products are packaged in glass, which requires less preservatives, is recyclable and has no polycarbons that are released after packaging,” Palmer said.Many labels on products are not obvious and even after asking several sales people about the labeling; it is common that they don’t even know what is in the products.
Most of us assume that when we buy something from Whole foods where other organic products are sold it has passed a threshold of environmental or health inspection by the retailer. But this may not be so. Gina Costa, sales representative for Planet Blue, a small retailer that specializes in beauty products said that customers are always looking for natural personal care products without all of the added chemicals.
“I think people are definitely paying more attention in choosing to buy more natural and safer personal care products,” They no longer want all of the chemicals in their products and have become allergic to certain creams because of the ingredients that they contain and sometimes do not know what they are or contain. I think we should know what we are putting on our skin.”
The Food and Drug Administration classifies cosmetics and personal care products, but does not regulate them. In 1938, the FDA granted self-regulation to the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrance Association CTFA, the self-appointed industry organization.
According to the FDA the exception of color additives and a few prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.
What this means is that the industry does not have to account to anyone, not even the FDA. The direct result of industry self-regulation is that many products on the market today that we use constantly are products that we unknowingly use on our children and even babies in the womb are toxic.
The cosmetic manufacturers are not required to submit safety data to the FDA, so we don't really know what sorts of tests they run.
If you have products that contain these ingredients, you may want to look for alternatives. There are safe products available and products that have been tested by third party scientists and are guaranteed as being free from potentially harmful ingredients.
Here are some things that everyone should be cautious of when buying products:
• Check ingredients for any parabans, methleparabens and chemicals. • Read the labels on your personal care products. You may find ingredients that are harmful or toxic. You may find ingredients that react with others to produce a harmful toxic substance and may become allergic.
• Avoid Phthalates: Phthalates are usually found in synthetic fragrances. Try finding products with essential oil fragrances or unscented products to keep away from phthalates. Products that contain phthalates should be thrown away from your current stash of products because studies have shown that this chemical can cause liver damage, damage to the lungs and even ones kidneys.
• Safe Preservatives: All products must contain a certain amount of preservatives to allow the product to keep its shelf life. In addition, a product without preservatives will prevent bacteria, fungi and most types of yeasts from forming in the products. A healthy alternative to preservatives is sodium benzoate which is a natural preservative found in cinnamon, apples, cranberries and so on.
• Use Cleansing Alternatives: Many products can irritate or cause SLS (a health risk) even for those skin types that are not usually sensitive. There are gentle forms of cleansing and foaming agents so why not take advantage of them. Look for sodium myreth sulfate for body washes, soaps and hair products; sodium lauryl sarcosinate, decyl glucoside, or cocamido propyl hydroxysultaine in shampoos; and sodium cocoyl glutamate in dental products for safe usage.
• Choose glass packaging rather than plastic
There are also some reference guides that are helpful in researching ingrediatnts such as Milady's Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary that explains what ingredients contain harmful ingredients and what they do. If you are looking for more natural alternatives n your personal care products, Recipes for Natural Beauty, 100 Homemade Treatments for Natural Beauty by Katie Spiers, gives you ideas on how you can make your own personal care products from ingredients such as avocados, cucumbers, lemons, honey, and oatmeal. Some of the recipes call for tinctures and flowers, which can be found in your local health food store.
Many times choosing more natural personal care products that are made with botanicals and essential oils are the only way in having control on what we use on our bodies because we can never be too sure on what is being offered on the shelf.
A trendy new eco-friendly clothing line created by sound engineer rock ’n‘ roll mom Claudia Night and activist Tracy Hoare is taking their Bamboo line to the next level.
Night, looking for work that would allow her to spend more time with her daughter Lydia, became interested in Bamboo products when she brought home a towel made of Bamboo fabric.
“Lydia used it, she loved it and used nothing else,” Night said.
Night noticed Lydia's sensitive skin was not as irritated as usual and was curious to find more about how it was made. In her research, she discovered all of the benefits of bamboo and was sold.
Although, the products she found had dull colors and she wanted to create something more stylish.
“I just couldn’t get over all the beige in our linen closet,“ Night said. “When I turned 30, I was ready to start a business. The more research I did on bamboo, the more intrigued I became.”
One of the major reasons to wear bamboo clothing is that it can be more ecologically friendly than any cotton except that which is organically grown. Bamboo is grown without the intense use of pesticides that characterizes most cotton cultivation. Even organic cotton demands a lot of water.
Hoare, who is Lydia’s godmother, was intrigued by Night’s idea to create her own bamboo line of clothing and started looking into bamboo herself.
Hoare said that one of the biggest discoveries was learning about cotton and was disgusted on how many chemicals it took to grow cotton, while organic cotton prohibits such pesticides and insecticides.
Altogether, Bamboo is considered still to be environmentally friendly. It’s one of the fastest growing plants on earth, shooting up as much as a yard a day sucking up the planet’s carbon dioxide, turning it into a useful crop. Bamboo matures quickly and can be harvested in as little as four years.
“It was clear that by using bamboo and organic cotton in our bath blankets, that we were making a differencein the environment,” Hoare said
For Night, it was all about style and comfort, and for Hoare, it was about sustainability and safety.
Hoare said it was the perfect combination, the rock and roller and the activist and the yin and yang of bamboo.
A new journey began for the both of them and they came of with a plan to create their own clothing line called Bamboo Hugs in April of 2008. By August, they had received their very first order, with their official debut in January 2009.
Even though, bamboo towels are more expensive than traditional cotton towels, both Hoare and Night said it is not that much of a difference and more about making a difference in the earth.
“You do have to be aware of who you’re getting your fabric from because there can be a big difference among manufacturers and the quality you get,” Hoare said.
Both anticipate that prices will go down as the public is educated and demands more bamboo.
Even though Bamboo has an extensive root network it doesn’t require replanting. It doesn’t need a lot of pesticides, or require a lot of fertilizer or cutting, which usually relies on gas guzzling farm equipment.
Hoare said that the benefit of bamboo is that it is naturally antibacterial because of an agent in the plant called "bamboo Kun." According to BambroTex.com, scientists say that bamboo owns a unique anti-bacteria and bacteriostatic bio-agent called "bamboo kun". This substance is combined with bamboo cellulose during the process of being manufactured into bamboo fiber. It is a known fact that bamboo can thrive naturally without using any pesticide. It is seldom eaten by pests or infected by pathogens.
“With Bamboos Hugs blend of 70 percent, it can maximize the antibacterial benefit, along with the cashmere-like softness, high absorbency and breathability of the fabric adding 30 percent organic cotton for strength and durability,” Hoare said.
Hoare said that Bamboo is a delicate fabric and a 100 percent can pull easily. The organic cotton mixed with bamboo gives you a superior long lasting product.
Bamboo Hugs feature a double layer, which makes each side of the bath blankets very soft.
Night said that Bamboo absorbs water 3-4 times more than cotton. It also contains the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial agent that it prevents pathogenic infection Because of this, bamboo can help reduce the transmittal of bacteria and other germs that can be found in car seats, childrens toys and other even the parks.
“Moms have been using our Hugs as liners for strollers and car seats for all those sweaty bums.” Night said. “Bamboo Hugs are also anti-static, hypoallergenic, and easy to wash.”
The bamboo fiber used in all of Bamboo Hugs products is manufactured using a process that is substantially healthier and more eco-friendly, using chemicals that are non-toxic to humans and the chemical manufacturing processes are closed-loop so 99.5 percent of the chemicals used during the processing are captured and recycled to be used again.
“The future of clothing needs to be utilizing sustainable resources and responsibility in production of textiles,” Hoare said. “It is time to stop relying on resources that are not only depleting our earth but cause injury and devastation. There are other options that are better for the environment, for health and are superior in quality and comfort.” Customers from all over the world have been so happy with Bamboo Hugs and say that the quality, fine details are amazing.
A Los Angeles client said her mother gave her a Bamboo Hugs bath blanket that can be used in the bath and had the hardest time getting her kids out of the the tub with it because it was so soft to wash with.
Hoare and Night said that they did not expect to have so much support from their customers who buy their products.
“We didn't expect this at all,” Hoare said. “The difference is that we are all in this for a greater cause and to improve the earth.”
The support that they have received has them even more motivated to help change the way people buy.
“Bringing style and quality into the green market will also attract more buyers and expand this market”, Hoare said.
"Everyone can use a hug, we just make them out of bamboo," Night said. "Our lines consist of the ‘Smart Hearts,’ giving an ode to love for humanity and the environment; ‘Skulls Don’t Cry,’ which give a shout out to rock ‘n roll; ‘Boo Pets’ give little ones a chance to dress up; and the 'Sweet and Simple' sets compliment any minimalist home."
Bamboo Hugs is continuing to create hip bath blankets, as well as additional products made from organic bamboo and other sustainable resources. They are creating a new unique toddler line of bath friends and a venture called MoMstrosity, which is a line of products using bamboo, recycled polyester, and organic cotton, will be available for expected mother’s.
They are also developing a bamboo line of toiletries that will also be on the market soon.
“We have been handing out samples of bamboo toilet paper at our events such as the Golden Globes gifting suite, Green for Grammy's room, Eco- Fest & Go Green Expo,” Hoare’s said.
The toiletries are just an added bonus to the Bamboo Hugs line in keeping the environment clean especially when it’s obvious it will go into landfill. Especially, toilet paper.
Bamboo Hugs shares a portion of each purchase with charitable organizations supporting children, animals, and the planet. Bamboo Hugs is now available throughout North America and offered worldwide. Bamboo Hugs is expanding everyday and can be purchased on www.BamBooHugs.com, www.GreenAndMore.com and www.OneTinyStep.com
Some homeowners searching for ways to save energy are looking for alternative ways without the extra cost.
Douglas Crowe, a homebuilder in California has been researching solar paneling in the last two years to help with the environment and electrical costs.
“ I am still not convinced to install the solar paneling because I think the costs are still too high,” Crowe said.
Last year, the Department for Trade and Industry refused grants for the installation of household renewable power, making the industry angry, saying that solar panels were unaffordable to all but the wealthy.
Fred Moore, who is an independent roofing contractor in Apple Valley, said that solar paneling might be more expensive but a smart future investment for homeowners to save money on energy costs and on the environment.
Moore said that the upfront costs for installing solar panels can range from $20,000 to $30,000, which is still a big chunk of money to invest.
“Even though the costs to install solar paneling are still high, it is proven to save you money in the long run, especially on your electrical bill,” Moore said. When you decide to install solar paneling he suggests that you choose a company like SolarCity that specializes in paneling and installation.
“It is important to choose a company that understands the importance of the technology that it provides.” Moore said.
The SolarCity Web site shows how the solar panels are installed on your roof or adjacent structure. Each job that is set up by SolarCity is composed of solar panels, mounting hardware and associated structural elements and is custom created for each customer.
When you decide to install solar panelling many companies will come to your business to determine the best size, mounting arrangement and present you with a detailed design and installation plan.
The panels that are installed are made up of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into converter called a direct current. The direct current from the photovoltaic cells is sent to an inverter, where it is converted into an alternating current, or standard household electricity.
The alternating current travels from the inverter to the electrical panel or breaker box. This power is then available to service all of your electrical needs. The utility meter continually measures your electrical supply; when your solar system produces more power than you need, the meter spins backwards, racking up your credits with the utility company?
Most solar companies do give refunds or will sell the power back to you at a rate lower than the utility. Owners can also sell any excess power they generate back to the local utility. But you must go back to those that you bought your solar paneling from. After your system is installed, you can log in to the SolarCity secured Web site to check your system performance, as reported by the solar guard monitor and find out how much power your system is generating.
SolarCity’s offers a more affordable way to save energy by leasing panels in with no upfront fee. The company still owns the panels when you lease them and you pay a leasing fee, which is usually $100 per month. The plan is to help cut monthly electricity costs by 10 to 15 percent.
Crowe said that the lease option would only apply to those who have really hefty electric bills and suitable for those who are still wealthy.
“It does not make sense for those who pay little to nothing for electric bills,”
Crowe said.” But if your electric bill is more steep then solar may be a good option or other alternative to saving energy.”
According to Crowe when purchasing solar most companies require up-front investments.
“Even after tax rebates, it takes years for that investment to pay itself back to the homeowner in locally generated electricity,” Crowe said.
– Although, Solar City’s leasing plan is making it possible for homeowners who have larger electric bills to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity.
“I would like my next home to have solar panels because I am looking to cut costs effectively, especially if it will cut my electrical bill in half,” Crowe said. “ I am especially interested in increasing the value of my homes with installing solar but hope that a better affordable plan arises so that everyone can afford to install them and not just the wealthy.”
Reviewing businesses that are revamping their products old and new with better ideas in saving the planet. Eco- friendly retailers, services and organizations from clothing, real-estate to personal care products are making alternative solutions in conserving the environment. The Green Gatsby reviews the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who have come together in making their business green.