Sunday, October 18, 2009


Fall is here and it seems like Winter is on the back seat...
It's cold in Michigan but the colors of the Fall season are just amazing.
Keep warm and enjoy the beauty of the season.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Recycling Symbol

Did you know???

The well-known RECYCLING SYMBOL was a college student's winning contest entry in 1970, the same year as the first Earth Day!

The COLOR that most often symbolizes recycling is Green. However, there are many Graphic SYMBOLS for RECYCLING.

The recycling symbol you see today with three arrows in the triangle shape was designed in 1970 as part of a contest sponsored by the Container Corporation of America (CCA) (now Jefferson Smurfit Corporation). As a special event for the original Earth Day in 1970 (started by John Mc Connell), CCA conducted a contest for graphic art students to design a symbol representing paper recycling. The winning entry was submitted by Gary Dean Anderson, a 5-year architecture student at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. Later that year, William Lloyd, modified the contest winning recycling symbol to create the present-day image.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summer is almost over!

Hello everyone,

Hope you are all well and that everyone had a good "school calendar year" start.
We are all busy, busy, but I hope you all don't forget to keep your environment clean and to recycle as much as possible.
We have noticed at our house how much we actually get to recycle, which means that we have very little to put in the garbage per se.
If we all do our part.... the earth will be thankful.

What are your plans for this semester? Any projects?? what are you all up to?
Share them with us, we would love to hear from you.
Have a great end of Summer! Fall is at the door already.

There is always a project going on at our end.

Some pics to confirm, hehe

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's Summer !!

It's Summer time and as you may have noticed, this blog has not been updated!
Upsss, everybody seems to be on vacation, although we haven't really, but I truly hope you are enjoying your Summer and having fun outdoors!
Enjoy the beautiful weather, watch the birds, play outside, ride your bike, plant some flowers, or just enjoy looking at them - I know I have.. a lot.
Check out some pics of our Summer!
Let us know how your Summer has been.

Take care and enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cool websites where you can buy anything and everything recicled

1-WORLD CLASSROOM FURNISHING Selection Includes Classroom Furniture Made from 100% Recycled Materials. Made in the USA.
ALMOST EXCLUSIVE Home Decor and Personal Accessories from Recycled Items, Majority of Which are Recycled in USA
BEYOND WASTE We Manufacture Flooring, Wainscotting and Tables from Salvaged Lumber BLUEDANGO Shop Innovative Home Accent Collections Made from Reclaimed Metal, Reclaimed Wood, and Recycled Materials
CASTLE INK CARTRIDGES Buy Remanufactured Ink Cartridges and Laser Toner - Saves You Money and Reduces Waste
CHECK GALLERY CHECKS Are Printed with Soy-Based Ink on Recycled Paper. Check Gallery is America’s Leading Environmentally-Friendly Bank Check Printer.
CHECK CRAFTERS BUSINESS CHECKS are Printed on 24lb Recycled MICR Paper with 20% Post Consumer Fiber
CLASSIC CHECKS Feature Causes You Care About & Are Printed on Recycled Paper COMMERCIAL PAVING AND RECYCLING Providing Recycling Services, and Recycled Products for the Road Construction Industry
CONSERVASTORE Can Crushers, Recycling Bins & Many Other Recycling Based Products
DAX STORES 100% Recycled Plastic Lumber Patio Furniture, Adirondack and Traditional Styles
DISCOVERY PACKAGING Green Share Recycled and Compostable Film Based Packaging. Bags/Pouches, Tubing/Roll Stock, Printed/Plain.
EARTH FLAG Authentic Earth Flag: Made from Heavy Weight, 100% Recycled Materials EARTHLOVER SHOPPING Handbags to House wares, Babies, Teens and Gift Giving, All from Recycled Materials. Fair Trade Items.
ECO-ARTWARE.COM Gifts from Recycled, Reused and Natural Materials for All Occasions and Pocketbooks
ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING CLOTHS Transform Traditional Cleaning for Greener Homes, Schools and Businesses with Recycled Cotton Cloths and Towels
ECOPAPER.COM Ecopaper Sells the Finest in Tree-Free Papers Which are Made with Sustainable and Organic Material
ENGINEERED PLASTIC SYSTEMS Recycled Plastic Lumber in Many Sizes and Colors, Recycled Plastic Pallets - Custom Sizes, Colors,Recycled Plastic Outdoor Furniture
ENGLISH RETREADS Stylish, Eco-Fashion for a Stylish Life. Handcrafted Handbags and Accessories Made from Recycled Rubber Innertubes.
ENVIROGLAS PRODUCTS INC. Elegant, Sustainable 100% Recycled Glass Terrazzo Surfaces and Landscaping Materials
FROM EUROPE TO YOU Antiques for Your Home, Office, or Private Collection, Furniture, Fountains, Gazabos, Statues, and Much More
GREENBAGPROMOS.COM Imprint Eco Friendly Bags. Put Your Logo on a Green Bag Today. GREENEDGE KIDS Designer Eco-Fashion Boutique for Kids, Sizes 2-12 - Huge Selection of Recycled Fabric Styles
GREENER COUNTRY Our Office Supplies Make Sure You're Using Recycled Paper and Sorting Your Trash Properly
GREENFEET.COM Frames, Bowls, Dinnerware, Candle Holders, Vases, Bean Bags, Glassware GREEN FIELD PAPER COMPANY Handmade Grow-A-Note Seed Embedded Paper Using 100% PCW,
Hemp Heritage Paper GREEN PACKAGING Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials that Protect Your Product and the Environment
GREEN PROMOTIONAL ITEMS Pens, Pencils, Note Pads, Post-Its, Bags, Totes, Mugs, Rulers, Sports and Bike Bottles...and Much More
GREEN THREADS Stylish Men and Women's Clothing & Accessories Made of Organic, Hemp, Recycled, & Eco Friendly Materials
GRETCHEN & GRACE GREENWEAR Find Handbags, Totes, Jewelry, Home Decor, and Stationary Made from Recycled Materials
JESSE REIMER Stone Back Benches, Peace Poles and Sculpture, Outdoor Furniture with a Prehistoric Like Design
JUTE AND JACKFRUIT Eco-Chic Handbags and Jewelry Made from Recycled Glass, Aluminum and Tin. One-of-a-Kind Pieces.
KENCODE COMPUTING Save $$, Reduce Waste. Have Your Inkjet Cartridges Professionally Refilled.
KWYTZA CHOPSTICK ART Innovative Products Made With Recycled Bamboo Chopsticks: Folding Baskets, Soap Dishes, Bags, Necklaces and More
MARATHON EQUIPMENT COMPACTORS The Leading Manufacturer of High Quality Waste Handling and Recycling Equipment
MATSMATSMATS.COM Recycled Rubber Floor Mats, Interlocking Rubber Flooring, Pet Beds, Body Pillows & More
MESSAGE PRODUCTS PERSONAL CHECKS Help the Environment While Supporting the Causes That Mean the Most to You
NASHVILLE WRAPS The Leader in Eco-Friendly Gift & Gourmet Packaging Including 100% Recycled Bags, Gift Wrap and More
ORGANIC COMPOST TUMBLER A Compost Tumbler Made in the USA from 100% Recycled Materials. Free Shipping.
PAPER PAPER-NOLA Handmade Special Occasion Invitations and Eco-Friendly Gifts made from Reused, Recycled, and Natural Materials
POSPAPER.COM Recycled Paper Rolls for POS Systems, Cash Registers, ATMs and More PRESERVE BY RECYCLINE Preserve Razor and Preserve Toothbrush, Made from 100% Recycled Plastics, Recyclable After Use
RECYCLEDPRODUCTS.COM WEISENBACH Pens, Pencils, Hand Fans, Plaques, Vases, Funnels, Coasters, and Tons More Recycled Products
RESOURCE REVIVAL Fun Products Made from Recycled Bicycle Parts: Clocks, Candle Holders, Photo Frames, Promotional Items,
More REUSENIKS The Original 100% Cotton Reusable Garment Bag that Eliminates Dry Cleaner's Plastic Bags
THE RIBBON FACTORY Computer Printer Ribbons, Laser Cartridges, Ink Jet Cartridges TWISTED LIMB PAPERWORKS Handmade 100% Recycled Seed & Grass Papers, Invitations, Accessories SERENDIPITY BOOKS Used & Rare Books, Specializing in Environmental Science & Ecology SEVENTH GENERATION, INC. 100% Recycled Paper Products and Trash Bags Made from 80% Recycled Plastic SUSTAINABLE GROUP Recycled Corrugated Cardboard 3 Ring Binders & Other Earth-Friendly Office Supplies TIRECRAFTING Over 50 Attractive, Fun, Functional, Durable, Easy-to-Make Projects TREES FOR A CHANGE We Plant Trees as Gifts for All Occasions, and Offer Recycled Wood Frames UNITY FAIR TRADE MARKETPLACE Recycled Purses & Handbags for Every Occasion URBAN WOODS Sustainable Furniture Made from Reclaimed Wood Rescued from Old Buildings in Los Angeles VERMONT WOODS STUDIOS Old Wood-New Life: Recycled and Reclaimed Historic Barnwood, Handcrafted into Fine Contemporary Rustic Furniture VICKEREY.COM Recycled Paper Stationery, Photo Albums, Journals, Sketchbooks, and More WAY BASICS Revolutionary Eco-Friendly Furniture. Amazing Possibilities. Perfect for Home, Office, Children’s Room, Closet. Best Customer Service Guaranteed. WE ADD UP "Reuse" Sports Water Bottle Made of 100% Recycled Plastic WORLD HABITAT ONLINE Rainwear with Graphics, Backpacks from Rubber (Coming Soon), Art XEKO Xeko is the Award-Winning Eco-Adventure Sustainably Made from Recycled and Recyclable Materials ZANISA Stylish Collection of Gifts, Home and Personal Accessories Created with Recycled Materials

Friday, June 26, 2009

Golden Green Earth Club pin!

For those of you who have participated and done your share, please do let us know so we can send you a Green Earth Pin (see picture).
The Earth will certainly smile back at your smallest gestures.

Happy Summer to you all.
Enjoy the beautiful weather.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nikhita and Bryce have been real serious about their roles for a better future.
Here is Nikhita's comment:

Bryce and I went to the soccer field in my backyard and picked up trash, we found a soccer ball that we want to send to Brazil. After that we went by some picnic tables and found a lot of trash we even found a cell phone and a pipe.

That's awesome girls.
We are really proud of you. Thanks for sharing.


Big Congratulations to Nikhita and Bryce for doing their share in helping to maintain the grounds clean and who recently won a recognition for their "SUPER GOOD POSTER" at school that reflects their compromise with a Greener Earth!
Congratulations girls! The poster is awesome! See the pics.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Golden Green Earth members!!!!!!!!

Hello everyone!

Hope you are all having a great day and that you are enjoying the outdoors.

We try to share with you some of the ideas and projects some of our "members" are doing.

One of our first members is LILA and she started her own project with some friends cleaning up her school surroundings. Her action certainly triggered the curiosity of other kids that realized they can do more for the place they use everyday.

So big THANKS to Lila for her great action taken.

She certainly well deserves her Golden Green Earth pin ! Congratulations and thank YOU!

PS: The picture shows Lila presenting her project to her classmates!

We want to hear from you too. Send us your story, your project, your ACTION and pictures too so we can share it here.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Interview & Book Review

We have been receiving many nice book reviews, which makes us really happy!

Just placing a link for you to check out an interview and book review done this week.

check it out:

Hope you like it!

Oh, and NO, Pedro is NOT getting the puppy yet.... maybe in the near future.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ideas with Recycled materials

To create new things one just needs to put ideas into practice.
I have seen many awesome things developed from recycled materials and thought that you may be interested and or have developed something really cool that you would like to share. So, if you have done anything that you like to share, send it to us so we can post it and let others know. Here is a cool idea I saw on the net. I love Wind Chimes. Hope you will like it too.
The dog picture is also from an idea developed from recycled materials.

Use up your old scrap pieces of wood and clay pots to create this summer wind chime to enjoy. I used a Sailboat theme with an old scrap piece of wood, little clay pots, white nylon cording for strings and added big washers for the chimes. Hand paint a theme of your choice. Drill a few holes in the wood for hanging at the top. Add your clay pots and washers and you're all set to enjoy both the visual beauty and sounds this wind chime will make.

Approximate Time: 1 hour or less (drying time of paint)


  • piece of wood, any length (this one is 12 inches)
  • Drill with smaller drill bit to drill your holes in the wood to hang it and to add your clay pots
  • amount of clay pots you desire (get the ones with holes in the bottoms already)
  • nylon cording to hang your pots
  • acrylic paints of your choice to paint your theme
  • paint brushes various sizes
  • washers to add to the bottoms to create the chimes sound (clay pots will also create a separate sound as well when they hit)
  • clear spray paint to protect your finished piece after your done with your design and it has dried)
  • Sailboat theme paint colors are: 2 tones of blue sky blue for sky /slate blue for the ocean water level line/flesh for the sand/white for the waves break around the sailboats bottom and on the shoreline/gray and white for the seagulls flying/ any color for sailboat but I used gray for the boat and mask pole then white for the sails/red and white for the washers to look like life preservers
  • water to thin out your paints to give a muted hazy effect
  • old newspapers to lay your items on to paint and use as a paint pallet for your paints colors to easily reach


So simple to make and both pretty to see when it's done as well as the lovely sounds both the pots and washers will make.

  1. Start by drilling two holes in the top of your wood piece about 1/4 way in on each side so you can attach your string here for hanging. For my sailboat theme I let my knots be tied on the front side to be revealed giving it more of a sea fairing look.
  2. Drill your holes desired in the bottom side of the wood going by the number of pots you will use. Here I used 3 so my holes were spaced out in the center.
  3. Paint your scene on the wood and clay pots turned upside down then let dry. Anyone can paint this sailboat scene, the next few directions discuss how to do it.
  4. Using a medium sized soft paintbrush wet it first then wipe off with old rag then put out a quarter size or less amount of each color paints on a piece of newspaper. Starting at the top of the wood first use the lightest blue just a bit in your brush and just paint across the first top 1/4 of your wood in a wave motion until you have your sky
  5. Then rinse your brush and wipe it almost dry on your rag and do the same thing using your 2nd darker blue color which will create your ocean water line on the 1/2 of your wood across which creates your deepest water.
  6. Take the gray color for your sailboat paint on a smile like shape on the darkest water line and paint on a line up the center of the boat for your mast.
  7. Paint your sail doing the same smile shape on one side of the mast pole but paint it on vertically. Take the white of your paint brushes end just tab on in a light punching method some white paint around the bottom edges of the boat and across the darkest water line horizontally which will create your water break on the ocean.
  8. For painting on seagulls, use a thin liner brush and paint on v shapes in 2 or 3 tiny sizes far apart then go over again just lightly on the edges with white paint still using your liner brush and this will create the wings color of your seagulls.
  9. If you desire to carry the same theme onto your clay pots you do the same thing but next to the last bottom edge of the pot will be flesh color paint for the sand beach line then I added the blue below it as water rushing up into the sand.
  10. The washer for life preservers will be painted white then just paint on red every other area in a curved on way. Let all dry then spray with 2 coats clear spray paint to seal it.
  11. The nylon string will be different lengths that you decide. You just want your clay pots and washers to barely over lap while hanging beside each other so when the wind hits them they will touch and create sounds.
  12. Put your nylon string through the clay pots after you get the distance you desire and tie off knots underneath them. That way they stay in place.
  13. Then extend your string on down and tie on your washers. Usually I would of used fishing line in most of my projects but this being a sea theme the white nylon string look best and the more knots you tie in the strings the better they fit into this particular theme.

Hang and enjoy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The importance of Recycling

Recycling conserves both raw materials and energy and reduces the amount of waste we produce. That's why shopping for products made from recycled materials makes such good sense.
Recycling all of your home’s waste newsprint, cardboard, glass, and metal can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 850 pounds a year.
Good Reasons to Recycle
1 - It takes 75,000 trees each week to produce the Sunday edition of the New York Times.
2 - If Americans recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save 25 million trees a year.
3 - Recycling and reusing the material in "tin" cans reduces energy use by 74%, air pollution by 85%, solid waste by 95%, and water pollution by 76%.
4 - It takes 95% less energy to make aluminum by recycling it than by producing it from its natural ore, bauxite. It costs less too.
5 - The average American uses 580 pounds of paper each year. As a nation we consume 850 million trees annually.
6 - In 1991, the Great Wall of China became the second largest man-made structure in the world. The largest was Fresh Kills Landfill, serving New York City. It is now the highest point on the east coast.
7 - Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour!
9 - Every year, Americans throw away enough office and writing paper to build a wall 12 feet high from New York to Los Angeles.
10 - In one year, American steel recycling saves enough energy to heat and light 18 million homes. One pound of steel saves enough energy to light a 60 watt bulb for 24 hours.

Tips for Recycling
Precycling is the step before recycling. This is the process of making a conscious choice to purchase or use products and services which will have a less harmful effect on the Environment.
Know what is recycled in your community. Some items may have special collections and recycling locations (oil & antifreeze at gas stations; plastic bags at grocery stores; six-pack rings and house batteries at schools; grass and leaves at garden centers; etc....). If the product is packaged in material that is NOT recycled in your community, it becomes GARBAGE and is wasted!
Buy products that use less packaging. Product packaging accounts for about 33% of all household garbage. If we refuse to buy products that are overpackaged, the manufacturers will by force to change their packaging to be more environmentally responsive.
Close the loop " Buy Recycled". Choose to buy products that are made from recycled material. Its only recycling if you buy recycled products.
Buy recyclable products. Choose products that are made of or packaged in recyclable material. Paper bags, cardboard boxes, glass bottles, aluminum and tin cans, and some plastics are easily recycled.
Avoid reliance on the word "degradable". A degrade product must be exposed to the element to breakdown. In a land fill these items do not breakdown because they are protected by tons of debris and dirt.
Avoid disposable and one-time use products. These are a waste of resources and energy to produce. In most cases their are reusable alternatives.
Buy in bulk or concentrated forms when ever possible. This usually saves money and reduces the amount of waste that is thrown away.
Reuse items. Try to reuse items as many times as possible. If you do not have a use for items that are still good or operational, donate them to a local charity or environmental organization. Ask to see their wish list, you may have something they need. Many items can also be used for other things than what they were first purchase for. Be creative!
A plastic bottle can be made into a/
Funnel by cutting off the bottom.
Liner for a planter or flower pot.
Bird feeder.
Container for storing nails, screws, washers and nuts.
If you are not happy about the packaging you see, speak up. Let manufactures and store managers know that you are not happy with the way a product is packaged.
Producing 1 ton of paper from recycled pulp saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 7000 gallons of water. It also reduces air pollutants by 60 pounds, saves 390 gallons of oil, and conserves 4200 kilowatt hours of energy -- enough to heat a home for half a year. Estimates show that 9 jobs are created for every 15,000 tons of solid waste recycled into new products.
Recycling reduces our reliance on landfills and incinerators. Recycling protects our health and environment when harmful substances are removed from the waste stream. Recycling conserves our natural resources because it reduces the need for raw materials.
Business Guide to Buying Recycled Products
Recycling is more than just placing certain materials in a special bin. The recycling loop is complete only when materials that you have separated for recycling are processed and remanufactured into new products, which are then sold. Recycling works only when consumers, businesses and organizations buy products made with recycled material.
Advances in manufacturing technology have enabled most recycled products to compete - both in price and quality - with products made from virgin materials.
Always look at the level of post-consumer recycled content in a product: this is the material that has been collected from consumers and reprocessed. Manufacturers often include pre-consumer material in their total recycled content calculation: this material includes manufacturing scraps, and other by-products that were never used in the consumer market.
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Hello everyone,

Hope you all had a great GREEN week and weekend. Weather was certainly a gift on Sunday.
Let's talk about ideas. We all have ideas, some big, some small, but ideas are always helpful and welcomed.
What kind of ideas do you have that can have an impact on your daily living ?

David send us a nice note of what he is doing. Check it out:

Hi Coach Pedro. This is my idea for the green earth club: Last weekend, instead of taking the car to the park, my mom and I ran and Lila rode her bike. I suggested that once every week, we walk, run, or ride bikes instead of driving. For example, my mom and I ran to WWS for practice. I think the club is really cool, and I like the book too. David
Send us your ideas! We would love to hear what you are doing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The good we all can do!

We woke up this morning to the visit of some great guests... although they were in a hurry, so I only got to take a quick picture of them. Enjoy!

We recently received an email from Coach Bob where he is sharing the things he is doing that can have an impact on the environment.
What are you doing?
Let us know. Send us an email and share it.
Thanks coach Bob for your great work!

By Coach Bob
My first endeavor to this cause was two fold. I work at a Fitness Club
where bottles of water are available for member consumption. Seen how many
bottles are disposed-of on a weekly basis. I approached the Gen Manager of
the Club and asked if we can provide recycling bins for placement of these
bottles...this he agreed to and is working out great!.

My second motivating factor happen three days ago. While working, a woman
walked into the Club and asked if she could place a large plastic jar on the
counter and have our members remove the cap from the water bottles and place
them in the jar before inserting them in the recycling bin. Her request was
granted... The reason behind this activity was to help her child who has
cancer accomplish his commitment to GREEN EARTH.... You see he is bed
ridden. My commitment to his cause is to get to the club every day
,sometimes twice a day and go through the recycling bins and remove the caps
from bottles that have not been removed...I just wanted to share this with

Coach Bob :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Hello everyone,

Today is April 22nd, the day chosen to celebrate the EARTH, although we should celebrate the earth every single day.
What are you going to do today?
Help us on our campaign:

YOU ARE INVITED TO turn OFF your home lights, computer, TVs, Radio, etc, for 30 minutes.

Please invite all your friends to do the same for this noble cause. A simple gesture like this can make a huge difference. Lets act together NOW.

The more people we get into this noble cause, the more our EARTH will smile back at us.

There are many more ideas and things you can do. So take action!

Help us make this day a VERY SPECIAL one.

Have an awesome EARTH DAY!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Book Signing!

Check out some pics from the event.
More to come.

Have an enjoyable week. This is EARTH week.
Do something really special to thank our EARTH for all it gives to us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

TIP OF THE DAY: How to watch what you eat

Celebrate the earth, eat environmentally friendly!
What better way to honor Earth Day than to prepare a dish that's easy on the environment? Peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes typically have the highest pesticide levels, according to the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C., while onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, frozen peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papayas have the lowest. Choosing the latter and avoiding the former - unless organic - could slash your family's pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent. Look for spring gems like asparagus, blueberries, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms and peas at your nearest farmer's market. Eating local supports your economy and involves fewer miles traveled - and fewer pollutants emitted - to get dinner on your plate.

Check out our local Farmer's Market:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Book Signing!

We would like to invite YOU and your FAMILY to join us in Ann Arbor on April 18th for our book signings and story reading time.

At Barnes & Nobles
Book Signing at Barnes & Nobles (at Washtenaw Avenue)
on April 18 @ 11:00AM

We will be happy to see you there.

Sunday, April 5, 2009



Please help us with our GREEN EARTH Campaign where on April 22nd (Earth Day) at 8:00PM

YOU ARE INVITED TO turn OFF your home lights, computer, TVs, Radio, etc, for 30 minutes.

Please invite all your friends to do the same for this noble cause. A simple gesture like this can make a huge difference. Lets act together NOW.

The more people we get into this noble cause, the more our EARTH will smile back at us.

Please join us !

Check out:

TIP OF THE DAY: How to save and reduce heating costs and HELP THE ENVIRONMENT

For those of us who live in colder climates, there are good options to reduce costs while staying warm.

Check out the suggestions bellow:

How to stay warm while reducing your heating costs

Much of the energy used for heating our homes is wasted, and yet the prevention is, in many cases, simple and inexpensive.

By Greg Seaman Posted Jan 30, 2009

For people living in the colder climes, the cost of heating our homes through the winter months is a significant household expense. And there is an environmental cost as well. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling systems in the U.S. emit over a half billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Much of the energy used for heating our homes is wasted, and yet the prevention is, in many cases, simple and inexpensive.

Here are six easy ways you can stay warm while reducing your home heating costs:

1. Adjust temperatures.

You can save as much as 20% a year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 7 - 10 degrees for 8 hours each day. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat lets you preset the times your home is heated, so heat can be lowered while you are asleep or out of the house. The cost, between $30 - $50, is offset by the long-term energy savings. Installation is easy for the average home handyman - you don’t need to hire a serviceman.

2. Replace or clean furnace filters.

It’s recommended that furnace filters be replaced at least every three months of furnace use. If your home is heated by a central furnace, check the filters every month during winter. Clogged filters reduce air flow and cause the furnace to work harder, using more energy. Severely clogged filters can even lead to premature compressor damage.

To check the filter, hold it up to a light and see if the light shines through. New filters cost about 50 cents each, and are simple to replace. Measure your old air filter before shopping - they range in size from 12″ x 12″ to 30″ x 30″. Turn off electric power to furnace while inspecting filter.

3. Pay attention to your windows.

Most heat loss in the average home is through and around the windows. Two simple strategies are the most effective means of minimizing heat loss:

Work the drapes

By leaving blinds and curtains on your west- and south-facing windows open during the day and closing them in the evening, you can retain that warmed air overnight. Drawing the drapes at night is an effective block, making it harder for your warm air to escape. Lined drapes are best. Drapes will also help reduce window condensation because the space between the drapes and the window is cooler than the room air. Drapes can be lined with less expensive material or re-used bed sheets. The cost of the material is recouped by the savings in energy.

Seal drafty windows

For single-pane or drafty windows, adding inexpensive window insulating kits made of plastic or vinyl sheeting is an effective way to seal in heat. These kits contain sheets of plastic film, which looks like cling-film, but slightly thicker. Double-sided tape is applied to the window frame, then the plastic is cut to size and fixed to the tape. Finally, a hair dryer is used to shrink the plastic sheeting tight. The fitted plastic creates an air-tight gap which prevents drafts and condensation.

They cannot be used on most aluminum-framed windows and doors, as there is not enough of a gap between the window frame and the glass to work effectively.

4. Add insulation to your attic.

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the simplest and most effective ways of conserving heat in your home, and can help save up to $30/month in heating costs. Insulation should also be applied to ductwork, pipes and the hot water storage tank. Start with the top of the home and work your way down. You may need professional help when selecting and installing insulation.

5. Get rid of drafts.

A simple way to locate outside air coming into your home is with a stick of incense. Light the incense and inspect your home, from the inside, for air leaks. Choose a breezy day, and go around windows, areas where plumbing and wiring go through walls, attic doors, entry doors and fireplace dampers. How much the smoke drifts horizontally from the incense will reveal how serious the leak is.

Most leaks can be quickly plugged with exterior silicone caulk - be sure to caulk the leaks from the outside of the house, or moisture will build up inside the walls. Weather-stripping and door sweeps will fix the door leaks quickly and easily. For larger voids use easy to apply insulating foam.

6. Close off unused rooms.

Spare bedrooms and unused space in your home will drain some of your home’s heat. This can be remedied by lowering the heat settings in the rooms (if the rooms have individual thermostats) and closing the doors. For added draft prevention, you can slip a draft guard beneath the doors leading to these rooms.

These simple measures are often overlooked in homes today. Before taking on expensive renovations such as replacing windows or installing a new heater, it’s wise to thoroughly review the simplest and least expensive options for saving heat and energy in your home. And as you conserve energy, you’ll also be helping the environment.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Green Earth

Welcome everyone to GREEN EARTH!
This blog was designed exclusively to talk about little and daily things each of us can do to help save our Earth!
I invite everyone to join us in this venture and share your ideas and comments.
This blog started from our latest book called: 20 EASY WAYS TO HELP SAVE THE EARTH!
What is YOUR way?

Let us know.

Check out our books at :