Category Archives: Vintage

Why Extinction Rebellion is occupying an NYC park

Hundreds of climate protesters around the world were arrested Monday, kicking off Extinction Rebellion’s “International Rebellion,” two weeks of direct action and civil disobedience protests in 60 countries. In London, protesters blocked all major roads around the Houses of Parliament, including Westminster Bridge, while hundreds more occupied Trafalgar Square. In Argentina, activists in hazmat suits and blood-red cloaks with white face paint called the “red brigade” occupied a Bayer-Monsanto office in Buenos Aires. And in the Netherlands, more than 100 people were arrested for trying to set up a tent city in a major tourism area.

In New York City, protesters staged a “die-in” in the middle of Wall Street in downtown Manhattan on Monday morning as part of what they called a “funeral procession for the earth.” Two famous statues, Charging Bull and Fearless Girl, dripped with fake blood that the activists had splattered all over their fellow protesters and the cobblestone streets. (The group cleaned up all the blood after the action ended.) Around 60 people were arrested.

Extinction Rebellion, a decentralized, non-hierarchical environmental action group born in the U.K., is different from Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future movement in a few notable ways. For one thing, the group is made up of people of all ages, not just youth. For another, the group’s main strategies are civil disobedience and other non-violent disruption techniques. The youth climate strikes, by contrast, are generally cleared with local governments and permitted ahead of time. This means Extinction Rebellion protesters are more likely to get arrested for things like trespassing and marching without a permit.

After the die-in on Monday, the NYC Extinction Rebellion group set up more than half a dozen tables and booths in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park, where they’re planning a weeklong occupation dubbed “RebelFest.” Pro-environment musicians and guerilla theater troupes performed and activists delivered speeches. The group’s camp included a food pantry, an art table, and a wellness area, though they didn’t have the city’s permission to table in the park.

Christina See, an Extinction Rebellion NYC organizer, is a film producer who has been dedicating all of her free time to Extinction Rebellion over the last 10 months. Grist / Molly Enking

Christina See, an NYC-based organizer for Extinction Rebellion, said RebelFest is as much about education as it is disruption. There is a “massive difference in consciousness around the climate and ecological emergency” between the U.S. and Europe, See said. “You can see in Europe, there is mass mobilization happening, with people on the streets demanding their governments take action to protect their citizens.” In America, she said, it’s harder to get people mobilized in the same way because the country is so spread out.

RebelFest, See told Grist, “is about having a place for people to come, meet, and see that these are everyday people, not ‘radical activists,’ who are doing this.” See pointed out that she’d only been active with Extinction Rebellion for 10 months. “But we all see what’s happening, and we have a moral obligation to not just us, but future generations and all of the species on this planet,” she said.

Pratt Institute students (from left) Megan Shoheili, Alex Ellerkamp, and Sydney Jones came by to learn about Extinction Rebellion after reading about the morning’s “die-in” on Wall Street. Grist / Molly Enking

Sydney Jones, Alex Ellerkamp, and Megan Shoheili, students at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, came by the park after hearing about the morning’s protests on Wall Street. The students were a fan of RebelFest because, they said, it provides a platform for education, conversation, and building community. They said they approved of Extinction Rebellion’s tactics because more disruptive action can make a bigger difference. “Visually offensive stuff like the fake blood can make more of an impact,” Shoheili said.

All three also agreed that both the permitted marches of the youth climate movement and the civil disobedience of Extinction Rebellion are needed, because not everyone feels comfortable potentially getting arrested, “it sends a stronger message to march without a permit,” Jones said. “Why should we follow the rules, when lawmakers are ignoring the climate crisis?”

Continue reading:  

Why Extinction Rebellion is occupying an NYC park

Posted in Accent, alo, Citizen, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Oster, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Extinction Rebellion is occupying an NYC park

Q&A: How Can I Monitor My Solar Power System?

Share this idea!



In the early days of solar-powered electricity, solar system owners installed panels but received little information on how the system was performing. The system’s solar inverter might have a read-out of real-time system production, but it was hard to get any details. If you were away from the system during the day, it was tough to know how it performed.

It is helpful to have answers to some basic questions about the performance of your solar power system. Are all of the solar panels producing the same amount of power? How much energy is the system producing over a month or year? Are any issues hindering power production? It used to be very difficult to know, and lack of information also made the warranties less valuable.

If your panels weren’t producing as much power as expected, how would you know?

Welcome to Solar System Monitoring

Now, many solar systems come with monitoring capabilities. This allows home and business owners to analyze solar panel output, with both real-time and historical data.

In many cases, information on each solar panel’s output is available, making it easy to pinpoint and troubleshoot problems. Monitoring helps determine if the equipment is running properly, allowing solar technicians to identify and troubleshoot issues.

There are a variety of solar monitoring systems, and most are associated with solar inverters. Common brands of solar inverters include Fronius, SolarEdge, SMA America, Enphase Energy, and Tigo Energy. Each of these companies typically offers proprietary monitoring software that integrates with their inverters.

Another option is a plug-in that adds monitoring capabilities to your existing solar system. Sense, for example, makes a solar monitoring tool that plugs into a Wi-Fi network to track solar power production and your energy use.

Doesn’t my power bill show how my solar system performed?

No, utility bills are not an accurate way to calculate total solar energy production.

Most electric utilities do compensate their customers for surplus solar energy. This means that there will be a credit line on your bill for solar energy that is fed to the power grid. This number quantifies surplus power from your solar system, not total energy production.

For example, if your refrigerator and air conditioner are running in your home, the solar electricity will power these devices first. Then, the surplus electricity goes to the grid. The utility bill only shows the surplus and won’t reveal how much electricity the appliances were using. This is why monitoring your solar system is crucial. It calculates total solar system production and not merely what is fed to the power grid.

How can I access solar monitoring data?

Data access varies a bit by the platform, but most have apps and online portals to access the data. This means that you can view real-time and historical data with just a few clicks.

Most solar systems that are installed today have monitoring capabilities. Some portals also allow you to sign up to receive alerts if the solar system isn’t performing correctly.

Solar monitoring is a great way to identify production issues early on, such as faulty wires or solar panel issues. Real-time data makes it easier to identify problems quickly before they cause a significant decrease in solar energy production.

You Might Also Like…

Can Growth in Sustainable Energy Reduce Natural Resources Overspend?

Globally, we are consuming resources faster than the Earth can …Sarah LozanovaSeptember 30, 2019

How to Compare Solar Energy Bids & Select a Solar Installer

More home and business owners are installing solar panels than …Sarah LozanovaSeptember 2, 2019

Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels

Technological advances have transformed the solar energy industry in recent …Sarah LozanovaMay 14, 2019



Q&A: How Can I Monitor My Solar Power System?

Posted in ALPHA, eco-friendly, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, Landmark, LG, ONA, PUR, Radius, solar, solar panels, solar power, sustainable energy, Uncategorized, Venta, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Q&A: How Can I Monitor My Solar Power System?

14 Plastics to Cut from Your Life that You won’t Even Miss

Link to article:  

14 Plastics to Cut from Your Life that You won’t Even Miss

Posted in alo, bamboo, bigo, eco-friendly, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 14 Plastics to Cut from Your Life that You won’t Even Miss

This casino’s microgrid might be the future of energy

This story was originally published by Wired and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

As the Fukushima disaster unfolded in Japan, the Blue Lake Rancheria, in Northern California, was dealing with its own crisis. Several miles inland and uphill from the Pacific Ocean, the 100 acres of tribal land had turned into a haven for roughly 3,000 coastal dwellers who were fleeing a feared tsunami from that same earthquake. A huge line of cars assembled at the Rancheria’s gas station; one young woman ran in circles, holding her baby and weeping.

Local inundation ended up being relatively minor. But the Blue Lake Rancheria was shaken. “That was an eye-opener,” says Jana Ganion, sustainability and government affairs director at the Rancheria. “We need to prepare for the disasters that are reasonably foreseeable here.”

Tsunamis for one. But also the massive earthquake that’s going to devastate the Northwest. And California’s annual wildfires, made ever more vicious by climate change. These disasters all have one thing in common: They threaten to cut the Blue Lake Rancheria off from the grid for days, maybe weeks. Tucked behind the state’s “Redwood Curtain,” the Rancheria’s rural placement affords it few access points, and roads may be inaccessible in the aftermath of a disaster.

The answer was to help pioneer what could be the future of energy in California and beyond. Working with scientists at the Schatz Energy Research Center at nearby Humboldt State University, and the local utility PG&E, the Rancheria developed its own solar-powered microgrid, allowing it to disconnect from the main grid and run off Tesla battery power. The setup powers six buildings, including a 55,000-square-foot casino and 102 hotel rooms — over 140,000 square feet of total building space.

The tribe — which tallies just 49 members — is under constant threat from wildfire, along with many other communities in California. In autumn, seasonal winds rustle electric equipment, showering sparks onto dry brush below. State officials have blamed PG&E for starting 17 of California’s 21 major fires in 2017 alone, as well as for last year’s devastating Camp Fire, which virtually destroyed the town of Paradise, leveling almost 20,000 buildings and killing 85. If the utility had cut power when winds near Paradise became particularly intense, that deadly blaze might never have ignited. But concerns about local hospitals and other emergency facilities tend to prevent utilities from taking such preemptive actions. Switching to microgrids during especially dangerous wind storms could keep the state’s mountain towns much safer.

But take it from the Blue Lake Rancheria: Building a microgrid isn’t so easy as throwing up a bunch of solar panels, bolting batteries to the ground, and saying au revoir to the grid at large. It takes a whole lot of time and expertise and money, about $6.3 million for the Rancheria so far — $5 million in R&D money granted by the California Energy Commission in 2015, and the rest coming from the Rancheria itself. But that research money is an investment that communities throughout California could soon benefit from.

Construction of the Rancheria’s microgrid began in May 2016, and a little over a year later, PG&E gave its blessing to begin operation. In an ideal world where the sun always shines, the Rancheria could power itself indefinitely, recharging its batteries using more than 1,500 solar panels during the day and depleting them in the evening. But on a gloomy day, such as the one on which I toured the grounds, the panels struggle to collect photons—they’re generating 120 kilowatts, compared to 420 kilowatts when the sun is cranking full-blast. On a typical day the Rancheria still draws a small amount of power from PG&E’s grid to stabilize the system. But if they lose that connection for whatever reason, those six core buildings could theoretically last for months on solar power, with backup generators kicking in at night or during periods of cloudiness.

At the entrance to the Rancheria’s offices, Dave Carter, managing research engineer at Schatz Energy Research Center, shows me a pair of flat screens. One displays a family-tree-looking diagram, with lines connecting the utility and microgrid to buildings like the hotel and casino and offices. The other screen displays a graph of energy pricing throughout the day. Noon to 6 p.m. is when electricity costs the most, so the system charges the batteries in the morning, so it can be discharged in the afternoon when the utility has its peak pricing.

The Rancheria is building out its system even further. It just added 167 panels above the pumps at its gas station, which it will switch on this summer. Behind the station, electricians are installing another Tesla battery pack to store that extra energy. And so long as they have the money, the tribe can add still more panels and batteries to boost its capacity and hedge against cloudy days.

Building out a microgrid, however, is no easy task for any community. “All of those buildings are going to be in various states of repair, they’re going to have various vintages of electrical systems and diesel backup generators,” says Ganion, who oversaw the project for the Rancheria. “So what we learned very quickly is that the controller on the diesel generator wasn’t smart enough to talk to the microgrid system. We had to do a bunch of work in the middle.”

Ganion hopes to turn the Rancheria’s hard-fought lessons into “a one-stop shop for communities who want to develop microgrids.” Think of it like the evolution of the personal computer: The Rancheria is basically operating as if it’s the 1980s, having to assemble a PC on its own, while one day other communities may be able to buy a microgrid that works more or less right out of the box, like a sleek modern laptop.

That might sound like something that utilities like PG&E would try to prevent. (PG&E declined to comment for this story.) Their business, after all, is in keeping customers dependent on their services. But as the world slowly moves away from fossil fuel energy plants, the utilities of the future will start to look less like energy producers and distributors, and more like just distributors. “It’s the future of the grid in California,” says Peter Lehman, founding director of the Schatz Energy Research Center.

Utilities won’t just operate power lines and other infrastructure for ferrying around electricity. Helping to develop microgrids could become part of their core business. The Rancheria’s microgrid is still in constant communication with the grid at large. “You have to work really closely with the utility on that,” says Carter, of Schatz Energy Research Center.

That interdependence means that utilities have a natural role to play in a microgrid world. The alternative is business as usual: a labyrinthine statewide network of power lines that utilities are loath to disconnect, even during high-wind events that cause and fuel wildfires, because of the liability involved in losing power to critical services.

The challenge for small, isolated communities, though, is the cost — Tesla recommends installing two of its Powerwall batteries to ensure even a small home can go a week off the grid, a system that will set you back $14,500 just in equipment costs. “What would it cost to do this, and who should be paying for it?” asks Richard Tabors, president of Tabors Caramanis Rudkevich, an energy consulting firm. “Initially, to be absolutely honest, the state of California should be paying for it.” The state is, after all, suffering an unprecedented wildfire crisis. It’s a matter of saving lives, but also of smart investing: Last November’s Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive in state history, caused over $16 billion in damages.

The Rancheria describes its experience with PG&E in positive terms, but others hoping to install home solar have not been so fortunate, says Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association. “The sad thing is the utilities just have a stranglehold on policymaking and regulation making,” she says. “They absolutely are giant barriers to people being able to even just do the simple self-generation.”

Yet as California moves toward powering itself with 100 percent clean energy by 2045, making solar installations easier will become paramount. The challenge will be largely one of management, such as determining who’s responsible for maintaining different parts of the grid. Because maintenance comes with liability — you don’t want to be the one whose mismanaged equipment sparks the next deadly wildfire.

Meanwhile, the Schatz Energy Research Center is helping design a microgrid for Humboldt County’s regional airport down the road from the Blue Lake Rancheria, which will include a nine-acre solar array. And the Rancheria will keep iterating on its own microgrid, adding capacity and streamlining the overall process.

Ganion walks me through the parking lot and says the Rancheria is planning to add car shelters with solar panels. Behind the hotel and casino we find the two-acre solar farm — panel after panel soaking up photons through the cloud cover. In its next experiment with the future of energy, she says the Rancheria might start toying with a simple form of carbon sequestration, encouraging the growth of plants underneath the panels to suck carbon dioxide out of the air.

“When you come back, we might have an herb garden growing under there,” says Ganion. “It would beat the weeds, for sure.”

Source article:

This casino’s microgrid might be the future of energy

Posted in Accent, alo, ALPHA, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Paradise, Safer, solar, solar panels, solar power, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on This casino’s microgrid might be the future of energy

Everything in Its Place – Oliver Sacks


Everything in Its Place

First Loves and Last Tales

Oliver Sacks

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $13.99

Publish Date: April 23, 2019

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC

From the best-selling author of  Gratitude  and  On the Move,  a final volume of essays that showcase Sacks's broad range of interests–from his passion for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, scientist and storyteller, is beloved by readers for his neurological case histories and his fascination and familiarity with human behavior at its most unexpected and unfamiliar.  Everything in Its Place  is a celebration of Sacks's myriad interests, told with his characteristic compassion and erudition, and in his luminous prose.

Originally from:

Everything in Its Place – Oliver Sacks

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, Knopf, LAI, LG, ONA, oven, PUR, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Everything in Its Place – Oliver Sacks

8 Eco Products That Make Dish Duty Look Dreamy

For most of us, doing the dishes is pretty far down the list of tolerable chores. It’s such a slog ? and?something you need to keep up with every day, week by week, till the end of time. A good time? I think not.

Lucky for us, there are a lot of brands out there who are working hard creating clever products that make dish duty a lot more fun. Here are some of my favorites!

This Dish Soap

Not all dish soaps are created equal. Lots of them contain numerous chemicals, including foaming agents like sodium laureth sulfate, carcinogenic antibacterial agents and synthetic fragrances. Fortunately, there are a number of delicious, non-toxic variations out there: a favorite is this?safe and effective formula?by Eco-Me.

This Swedish?Dishcloth

You may have seen these cute little?dishcloths?slowly popping up in boutiques and specialty kitchen stores in recent years. Made from earth-friendly cellulose, cotton fibers and water-based inks, these reusable sponge cloths last about a year and compost at the end of their life. Cool right!? To clean, simply toss in the washing machine or microwave when damp to kill bacteria.

These?Bar Mops

These hand towels do what you wish every paper towel could. Made from 100% cotton, these lightweight,?absorbent towels are durable and efficient, plus they dry quickly so you won’t have to worry about mildew. Once you’re done with the task at hand, send them to the laundry. The earth will thank you!

These Copper Pot Scrubbers

Who knew a pot scrubber could be so elegant??These scrubbers are made from copper threads, so they’re tough enough to remove even the most stubborn food residue, but gentle enough to keep from scratching your beautiful cookware. And, bonus: they can be recycled at the end of their useful life.

These?Dish Towels

Renewable hemp woven in a honeycomb pattern makes this beautiful dish towel both strong and beautiful.?Because hemp is especially durable, you can expect these eco-conscious towels to last for years to come.

This Wooden Dish Brush

B?rstenhaus Redecker has been handcrafting brushes in Germany for over 75 years, and their commitment to high quality craftsmanship certainly shows! Use this brush to clean everything from coffee mugs to pots and pans. The hard bristles will hold up to just about anything.


Vintage?knick knacks always come in handy. A quick Etsy search of vintage dish trays yields a vast selection of darling secondhand trays eager to prove their worth at your kitchen sink. This one is a?personal favorite (it will match your Swedish dishcloths)?? this one too!

This Bamboo Drying Rack

Perfect for all those hand wash-only items or kitchens without the luxury of a dishwasher, this bamboo dish rack is an attractive addition to the countertop. This particular one is made from eco-friendly bamboo and has two individual racks for large plates and glassware. Plus, it folds up neatly for easy storage!

Related Stories:

3 Ways Becoming a Minimalist Will Improve Your Life
Minimalism is a Debt-Demolishing Lifestyle (Here’s Why)
How to Lead a Nearly Zero-Waste Life

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


8 Eco Products That Make Dish Duty Look Dreamy

Posted in alo, ATTRA, bamboo, bigo, eco-friendly, FF, GE, LAI, LG, Mop, ONA, organic, oven, PUR, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 8 Eco Products That Make Dish Duty Look Dreamy

Arctic Dreams – Barry Lopez


Arctic Dreams

Barry Lopez

Genre: Nature

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: June 25, 2013

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC

This New York Times –bestselling exploration of the Arctic, a National Book Award winner, is “one of the finest books ever written about the far North” ( Publishers Weekly ).   “The nation’s premier nature writer” travels to a landscape at once barren and beautiful, perilous and alluring, austere yet teeming with vibrant life, and shot through with human history ( San Francisco Chronicle ). The Arctic has for centuries been a destination for the most ambitious explorers—a place of dreams, fears, and awe-inspiring spectacle. This “dazzling” account by the author of Of Wolves and Men takes readers on a breathtaking journey into the heart of one of the world’s last frontiers ( The New York Times ).   Based on Barry Lopez’s years spent traveling the Arctic regions in the company of Eskimo hunting parties and scientific expeditions alike, Arctic Dreams investigates the unique terrain of the human mind, thrown into relief against the vastness of the tundra and the frozen ocean. Eye-opening and profoundly moving, it is a magnificent appreciation of how wilderness challenges and inspires us.   Renowned environmentalist and author of Desert Solitaire Edward Abbey has called Arctic Dreams “a splendid book . . . by a man who is both a first-rate writer and an uncompromising defender of the wild country and its native inhabitants”—and the New Yorker hails it as a “landmark” work of travel writing. A vivid, thoughtful, and atmospheric read, it has earned multiple prizes, including the National Book Award, the Christopher Medal, the Oregon Book Award, and a nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award.   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barry Lopez including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.  “Jubilant. . . . Barry Lopez lavishes his discoveries into a portfolio of delights.” — The New York Times Book Review “Rich, abundant, vigorously composed. . . . A meditation on the land and the art of existence.” — The Boston Globe “A powerful storyteller. . . . Here is a book full of resonance.” —Margaret Atwood Barry Lopez (b. 1945) is the author of thirteen books of essays, short stories, and nonfiction. He is a recipient of the National Book Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other literary and cultural honors and awards. His highly acclaimed books include Arctic Dreams , Winter Count , and Of Wolves and Men, for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals. He lives in western Oregon. 


Arctic Dreams – Barry Lopez

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, Landmark, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Arctic Dreams – Barry Lopez

4 Ways Smart Home Tech Can Maximize Your Energy Use

In today?s technology-centric environment, many energy-conscious types are looking for new ways to become more responsible power consumers. In fact, a whopping 70 percent of people say energy conservation is an important factor in their daily lives and purchases.

But even if you remember to unplug your phone charger, turn your heat down, close the blinds and turn off the lights before you leave the house in the morning, there?s still a chance you could forget something.

That?s where recent innovations in connected home technology come in. Thanks to groundbreaking smart home devices, we can now use the same connected technology that powers our daily lives to reduce our carbon footprints. Here are four smart home innovations that can help you maximize your energy efficiency. (As a bonus, they could also lower your energy bills.)

Smart Thermostat

Wi-Fi-connected thermostats are becoming more common ? and for good reason. Many run-of-the-mill thermostats offer the ability to program your heat or air conditioning schedule, but high-tech smart thermostats allow you to control your home temps via your smartphone or tablet ? from anywhere in the world. So if that mid-day blizzard doesn?t come through as expected, you can turn your heat down from the office (or hopefully the beach).

In fact, if everyone in the U.S. switched to an Energy Star-certified smart thermostat, we could save an average of $740 million per year and curb greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 13 billion pounds annually.

Smart Lighting

Connected light bulbs can change color on demand and can even pulse to the beat of your favorite playlist. But parties and mood lighting aside, they?re typically LED bulbs, which means they only use 20 to25 percent of the energy that incandescent bulbs consume. Plus, they last between eight and 25 times longer than halogen incandescent bulbs.

You can also operate these smart bulbs from any connected device. Even if you have light fixtures that don?t take standard A-shaped bulbs, you can replace your dimmer switch with a connected one to gain the same energy and cost savings from every light in your home.

Smart Outlets

One of the best ways to rein in your electricity usage is to cut off power-hogs right at the source: the outlet. Similar to the devices above, smart outlets are Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing you to control them from your mobile devices.

These handy outlets come in many forms. While some require installation in the wall, others simply plug into your existing outlets. The purpose, however, is the same. Plug in your TV, desk lamp, vintage pinball machine ? anything really ? and control it from anywhere you may be.

This gives you the ability to switch off your coffee pot from your train to work or turn the slow cooker on at noon from your desk. Most importantly, it provides the peace of mind that comes with knowing none of your appliances are consuming power unbeknownst to you.

Smart Energy Monitors

If you?re really serious about improving your energy consumption, a smart energy monitor can help you take your home?s energy efficiency to the next level. These devices attach directly to your circuit breaker and allow you to view the energy output of every appliance in your home. If you spot an energy hoarder, you can adjust your usage accordingly and even get a prediction of how much that appliance will affect your next energy bill.

This puts the power in your hands, so to speak, by giving you total control of your household energy usage and spending. As with anything that requires electrical work, you should have a professional install your device. But given how much money you could save on your power bill, the installation cost is likely just a drop in the bucket.

Of course, if you want to go all-in on a connected home, there are many more options on the market to choose from. But these four devices are some of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce your energy consumption and get a quick bang for your buck.
Jon Snyder is a Product Manager at Esurance overseeing countrywide design of property insurance products. Jon has over 25 years of industry experience in product management, design and management roles as well as claims roles at Esurance and other major industry carriers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


4 Ways Smart Home Tech Can Maximize Your Energy Use

Posted in alo, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Thermos, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 4 Ways Smart Home Tech Can Maximize Your Energy Use

10 Ways to Get Plastic Out of Your Kitchen

Plastics seem to invade every aspect of our lives, and the kitchen is no exception. From cooking to storage to packing food for on the go, there are places that we can ditch the plastic in favor of safer, more Earth-friendly materials. Take some time to inventory the plastic in your kitchen and see if your kitchen can go plastic-free. It’s easier than you think!

Plastic is no good for the planet, and it’s no good for people, either. Plastic pollution is a serious environmental problem. It pollutes our waterways, causing ocean dead zones and killing countless numbers of aquatic life. You don’t want plastic coming in contact with your food, either, especially hot or acidic foods. Plastic cooking utensils and food storage containers can leach toxins into the food that it touches. No, thank you!

10 Ways to Get Plastic Out of Your Kitchen

Luckily, there are lots of simple ways to get plastic out of your cooking processes. One word of caution: if you’re getting rid of plastic that you already have, like ladels or tupperware, see if you can come up with crafty or creative ways to reuse them elsewhere, rather than sending them to the landfill. That plastic still exists, even if it’s not in your home!

Ready to ditch the plastic in your kitchen? Here are 10 tips to get you going!

1. Store your food in glass or metal. Instead of plastic Tupperware containers, chose metal or glass food storage. Glass Mason jars are great for storing bulk items like beans, grains and nuts. You can also check retailers like The Container Store. I’ve seen some great glass and metal food storage options there.

2. No more baggies! When you’re packing lunch, choose reusable glass or metal containers instead of plastic baggies or plastic Tupperware containers.

3. Choose reusable. You don’t need plastic forks and spoons in your lunchbox! Grab metal utensils from your own utensil drawer instead. If you want something that’s just for lunch, check out these cute, reusable wooden utensils!

4. Get rid of plastic cooking utensils. Ditch the plastic tools like spatulas and serving spoons in favor of metal ones.

5. Skip the processed food and produce in plastic bags. Processed food almost always means disposable plastic packaging, so choose whole foods wherever you can. When you’re hitting the produce section, don’t buy fruits and veggies in plastic wrap or those plastic mesh bags.

6. Forget bottled water. Chances are you already don’t buy bottled water, but just in case there are any hold outs out there, this is a no-brainer. Bottled water is expensive and the plastic bottles are unhealthy. Choose filtered tap water in a reusable glass or BPA free metal bottle instead.

7. Bring your own bag to the grocery store. You probably also already have reusable grocery bags, but what about when you’re in the bulk or produce aisle? Skip the single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable produce bags instead.

8. Buy dishwasher detergent that comes in a cardboard box. Dishwasher detergent often comes in a plastic container. Skip the plastic and opt for the powdered stuff in a cardboard box. Even better? Make your own dishwasher detergent!

9. Make your own dish soap. No need to buy dish soap in a plastic bottle, either. You can make your own dish soap at home! I know, the Dr. Bronner’s in this recipe comes in a plastic bottle, but many co-ops offer bulk refills of Dr. Bronner’s, so at least you only have to buy the one bottle. If anyone has suggestions for getting around this one, I’d love to hear them!

10. Skip the nonstick. Did you know that the nonstick coating on pots and pans is actually plastic? Instead of nonstick, choose cast iron or stainless steel so you can cook plastic free!

How do you keep the plastic out of your kitchen?

Cast Iron 101: Cooking, Cleaning and Seasoning
13 Natural Ingredients to Clean Almost Anything
Your Kitchen Sponge is Gross. Here’s How to Change That.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Read original article:  

10 Ways to Get Plastic Out of Your Kitchen

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Safer, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 10 Ways to Get Plastic Out of Your Kitchen

It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate


Chances are, you have a clothing item (or 10) in your closet that you don’t wear, haven’t worn since the previous solar eclipse and have no plans to wear here or in a parallel universe. But, before you purge your closet and launch your lightly worn items to a landfill to join the 13 million tons of textiles disposed of each year, consider this: National Secondhand Wardrobe Day is today, and you’re invited!

Swap, Don’t Shop

Disposing of clothing that you don’t wear isn’t just wasteful, it’s extremely unsustainable and oh so unfashionable. Even today, with all the convenient ways to sell your clothes for cash, a staggering 85 percent of discarded textiles are sent to landfills annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet, the majority of people are not extending the life cycle of their gently worn clothes while cashing in or greening them forward.

Today, global waste in the fashion industry is a real issue. In fact, it takes 2,700 liters of water just to create one cotton T-shirt. National Secondhand Wardrobe Day is breathing new life into old clothes, allowing consumers to offset their carbon footprint by exchanging or recycling their used garments.

What if I told you that you could recycle, donate or upcycle those tatty threads just by visiting a clothing swap pop-up location near you? Element Hotels, an eco-conscious, extended-stay brand, is hosting Element Exchange today across the country for hotel guests and community members. Some events will even offer sustainable sips of organic wine and tasty treats while you “shop.”

With the coveted LEED certification, Element Hotels doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. All of their hotels are built sustainably using eco-friendly practices from the ground up and supporting local communities. The hotel chain features bright interiors with natural light, eco-friendly fixtures and recycling bins in every guest room, recycled materials in the carpeting, low-VOC interior paints, saltwater swimming pools, bikes to borrow, workout bikes in the fitness center that charge your cell phone while you pedal, and electric vehicle charging stations outdoors.

6 Ways to Participate in National Secondhand Wardrobe Day

While orange may be the new black, vintage is the new rack. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of buying items that just don’t live up to their impulse-purchase hype. Here’s how else you can swap and save.

  1. Host Your Own Clothing Swap
  2. Sell Your Clothes Online with thredUP or Poshmark.
  3. Donate Your Clothes to Goodwill, Dress for Success, the Salvation Army or the Vietnam Veterans of America. The latter two will even pick up the items from your front door.
  4. Rent the Runway for your next soiree or event.
  5. Sell Your Wedding Garments Online with Preowned Wedding Dresses.
  6. Donate Your Wedding Dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer.

One man’s or woman’s trash truly is another’s treasure. Making sustainable choices in your clothing selections just makes sense. This year, get involved to help those less privileged by giving your time or, literally, the clothes off your back. Remember, on National Secondhand Wardrobe Day, don’t shop — swap till you drop!

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

Read More:
Rags to Riches: 5 Ways to Earn Cash from Your Closet
Swapping Is Sexy: How to Host a Clothing Swap Party
How to Shop for Clothes with the Earth in Mind

Latest Posts

Follow Me

Lisa Beres

Lisa Beres is a healthy home expert, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award-winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of

The Healthy Home Dream Team

and the 30-day online program

Change Your Home. Change Your Health

. She is the author of the children’s book

My Body My House

and co-author of

Just Green It!: Simple Swaps to Save Your Health and the Planet


Learn to Create a Healthy Home! Green Nest Creating Healthy Homes


The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office

. Lisa’s TV appearances include “The Rachael Ray Show,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “TODAY,” “The Doctors,” “Fox & Friends,” “Chelsea Lately” and “The Suzanne Somers Show.”

Follow Me

Latest posts by Lisa Beres (see all)

It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate – August 25, 2017
Perk Up Your Workout with a Recycled Coffee Grounds Sports Bra – July 24, 2017
The 4 Things You MUST Test for in Your Home Right Now – July 14, 2017


See more here – 

It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate

Posted in eco-friendly, FF, G & F, GE, LG, Natural Light, ONA, organic, PUR, solar, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate