Archive | August, 2012

Try This for the Next Five Minutes

20 Aug

You know, the problem these days is that people have become so attached to their iPhones, laptops and millions of other gadgets all day that rarely do they ever see broad daylight.  There are so many things to do on the internet, people wonder if other forms of entertainment even exist.

You know what I think of that?  I think that you should get up, stretch, close your laptop (or perhaps even power off??), open your windows and take a look outside.  In fact, venture so far as to even take a step outdoors (if you dare).  Bask in the sunlight.  Admire the trees.  If you see flowers, bend down and take a whiff.  Nature has so many more details than those pixels on your computer screen.  There is more to this world than just a little rectangular box.

Today is a beautiful day.  Try turning off all your electronics and go outside.  You’ll thank me later :)

How to Beat the Summer Heat from Eco Ed

2 Aug

One of the perks to my internship with Eco-Ed Schwartz is that I learn so much about simple green home living solutions.  One of his most recent articles deals with ways to beat the summer heat.  So far, we’ve had four official heat waves this summer, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.  Here are some simple tips I’ve learned from my boss, the Eco-Warrior that you should definitely share with your family:

-        Be sure that your cooling equipment is properly maintained.

-        Get a home energy audit. Research to see if your state has a rebate program.  I know that in NJ, the Clean Energy program allows for rebates up to $5,000 per house, plus interest-free loans of up to another $10,000 for qualified homeowners!  Tell your parents!

-        Use a programmable thermostat to measure temperatures throughout the day.

-        Follow the sun by drawing blinds or curtains to minimize direct sunshine.  And of course, for a longer term solution, plant shade trees and shrubs on your property!  This is the most natural way to cool down your house.

-        Keep lights and other electric appliances off, and switch to compact fluorescent and LED bulbs.  

-        Use solar lights in your yard to minimize electricity used at night.  The selection is becoming greater and quality is improving constantly.  Start small and add lighting features as desired.

-        Do your laundry in cold water and only when you have a full load (this goes for dishes as well!)

-        Check to see if your roof is compatible for solar panels.  If so, this installation can greatly offset electric costs.  I think it is one of the most valuable investments!   If not, consider another option: how about painting your roof a light shade?

Post your comments below! :)