Solar water heating – what’s in it for you?

Solar heated water has been around for a long time – remember the sun-warmed swimming pool in your back yard; waiting for the sea to warm up in spring before taking that first dip; or the good old camp shower – a plastic bag full of water hung in the sun to heat up for your daily wash? The earliest record of an Australian solar water heating system was at Meringa Station (near Cairns) in 1941. … [Read more...]

Are you ready to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge?

Team ENERGY STAR launched this week.  Have you joined the team?   Team ENERGY STAR is a very cool initiative conceived by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  It was brought to my attention by Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse, so I knew it was worth it's weight in green.  I joined up immediately and here's why you should too... You've probably heard of the ENERGY STAR program, which … [Read more...]

Energy saving tips for the laundry room

  Today's Meter Reading: 89691 OK, almost half of the month is over, so I wanted to take a minute to reevaluate how the month of energy savings is going.  Thus far, I am pleased.  I have consistently used less energy each day than I have at this same time of year in 2010 and 2009.  But I want to just do more than use "a little less" I want to see what it takes to really crank down … [Read more...]

Meter Reading: 89204

This morning's meter reading (89204 KWH) shows that we used 43 KWH of energy yesterday, which is not too shabby but not too great . If we keep up that rate, we'll use 1333 KWH for the month of March, which is more than we used in March, 2009; but less than we used in March 2010. Today, I'm making an effort to crank down the energy use by turning off the heat pump (it's 30 degrees right now but … [Read more...]

March Eco-Challenge: Energy

My meter reading this morning: 89161 Can you guess what this month's eco-challenge is?  That's right, I'm cranking down the energy use in my home.  I've done this before.  But this month, I'm going to do it smarter.   Like most green bloggers, I've written tons of articles of the years on saving energy.  Heck, I have a whole site category devoted to it.  And when I was writing The Green … [Read more...]

How to Build a Solar Pizza Box Oven

This past weekend was out local town's Earth Day celebration.  As part of the festivities, I built this solar oven from a pizza box and handed out yummy smores made from solar energy.  My girls (ages 6 and 3) were easily able to help with this project and after assembling the materials, we had it together in under 15 minutes!  I highly recommend this project for your next school festival, science … [Read more...]

Extra Credit: A Look At Carbon Offsets

So, you're turning off lights, teaching your kids to recycle, walking to the store, and buying organic produce. Now what? Well, if you really want to go the extra green mile, you might try purchasing carbon offsets, or credits, that literally "offset" the energy you use at work, while traveling, or around the house. Ideally, the money you spend on your carbon credit will be used to support clean … [Read more...]

Give Your Car a Gas-Saving Tune-Up

Feeling the sting at the pump lately? You can alleviate some of this misery by making sure your car is properly tuned. Your car should receive a professional tune-up every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first, in order to run at its maximum fuel efficiency. But there are a number of things you could do in between those tune-ups to make sure you’re squeezing the most efficiency out … [Read more...]