energy efficiency

Going Geothermal with Ground Source Heat

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | March 29th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: carbon emissions, clean energy, climate change, Department of Energy, electricity, energy efficiency, energy efficiency rebates, environment, fossil fuels, geoexchange system, geothermal, geothermal system, global-warming, green energy, green home, green incentives, ground source heat pump, GSHP, HVAC, renewable-energy, solar-power, sustainability, tax incentives, the grid, wind power

geothermal heat

Sure, you’ve thought about adding solar panels to your roof as a way of reducing your home’s carbon footprint. Maybe you’ve even given wind power a gander. But what about ground source heat pumps?

Computing with a Side of Green

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | February 21st, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: computer takeback program, computers, electronics, energy efficiency, EPEAT, green computers, green computing, green technology, how to recycle, laptops, phamtom load, phantom energy, phantom load, power strips, recycling, Smart Power Strip, technology

Green ComputersBy now, most greenies know that computers and their accessories are some of the biggest energy hogs in the home — and that improperly recycled electronics can easily end up in toxic dumps in developing countries.

Want to make sure you’re doing right by Mother Earth when it comes to computers? Follow these three steps to green computing:

My Latest Eco-Dilemma: Fix What’s Old or Buy New?

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | January 25th, 2012 | 5 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: appliances, dryer, energy efficiency, energy savings, energy-efficient appliances, green, home energy use, planet, refrigerator

DryerApparently I have upset the appliance gods. Right before the holidays, the dryer stopped drying anything. And then right after the holidays, the refrigerator started freezing everything.

December turned into one costly month budget-wise. And what about Earth-wise? You’d think that fixing something old would be automatically better than buying something new. But, actually, when it comes to the life cycle analysis of most appliances — or their cradle-to-grave environmental impact — it turns out it’s the use of an appliance that has the biggest impact. Which means if your refrigerator is a shade of ‘70s avocado, you’ll step lighter on the planet if you embrace the energy efficiency of the 21st Century.

While there are a lot of variables to consider, here are some tips to help you decide whether to repair a broken appliance or replace it:

Going Green with Others

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | August 19th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: carbon emissions, energy efficiency, Green Living, home energy consumption, neighbors, pollution, social greening, utilities, utility bills

A couple of years ago, a friend invited me to join a citywide competition to try to reduce residents’ gas and electricity usage. We teamed up in groups of five households or more, and for a month, did whatever we could to cut back on our in-home energy consumption. At the end of the month, we submitted our utility bills both for that month and for the same month from the previous year. The teams that had the most year-to-year reductions won.

I’m Stimulated … How About You?

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | February 25th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: energy efficiency, energy savings, insulation, renewable-energy, tankless water heater, weatherize

istock_000006691668xsmallSince I’m currently living as an expatriate in Sweden, I have been watching the stimulus package action from afar — with envy! Details are now emerging on how U.S. homeowners can take advantage of tax credits for energy-efficient improvements: a 30 percent rebate, up to a max of $1,500 for most projects. (The old federal tax credit was 10 percent up to a max of $500.)

Where the Jobs Are

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | February 12th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: alternative fuel vehicles, building retrofitting,, energy efficiency, environmental careers, Fortune, green sector, green-jobs, President Obama, solar-power, sustainable industries, wind energy

Raise your hand if you’ve been sitting at your soul-deadening, eye-ball-glazing, brain-frying cubicle job, preparing your latest round of TPS reports and saying to yourself, “I just wish there was a job out there where I could both enjoy myself and do good for the planet. And, you know, not starve.”

What’s So Smart About a Smart Grid?

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | February 5th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: electricity, energy efficiency, energy efficient, GE, power, President Obama, renewable-energy, smart grid, solar-power, Super Bowl Ads, T. Boone Pickens, wind energy

Smart grids. Everyone’s talking about them. President Obama wants to include the beginnings of a new smart grid in the economic recovery package. Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens started calling for an overhaul of the power grid last year as he touted his wind energy plan. And GE even laid down a serious chunk of change to run ads during the Super Bowl (featuring the Wizard of Oz’s hapless scarecrow) simply to convince folks a smart grid might be quite a nice thing to have — and perchance also that GE would be a dandy company to help build it. (See the ad on Earth2Tech.)

Go Tankless?

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | January 28th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: energy efficiency, energy efficient, green home, tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters are getting a lot of buzz these days. After all, they can reduce a household’s water-heating energy use by 20-50 percent. And that’s no chump change: Water heating counts for about a third of a house’s total energy usage.

The Top 4 Ways Homes Lose Heat, and How to Fix Them

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | January 12th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: energy efficiency, energy savings, home heating

The long dark days of winter are here, bringing us cheery snowmen, cozy nights by the fire, and… sky-high heating bills. There’s nothing to be done, you think. You’ve got to heat the house, right? Well yes, but there might be a way to reduce the amount of energy you use — without resorting to three layers of sweaters and goofy wool hats.

Creative Ways to Give Back on Thanksgiving and More

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | November 21st, 2008 | No Comments
topic: Conscious Living News, Inspirational Media | tags: diabetes, energy efficiency, green building, health, kids, Personal Growth, teenagers, thanksgiving, vegetarianism, volunteering, wellness, Yoga, yoga poses

Every week we highlight the best articles, blogs, news, videos and interesting Web tidbits to help you live green, be healthy, and connect with your sense of spirituality. Read our roundup for info that just helps you live better.

Green Living

Girl Scouts Perform Energy Audits, Prove Their Future Value