Friday, October 17, 2008

Wind Power for Cargo Ships? Go Fly a Kite!

This was most interesting. I had to add this.
If every cargo ship used this method it could reduce their fuel usage by 30%.



This is great ingenuity the planet can use over and over.
We will have to follow this to see where it goes and how far it will be taken.
The company is SkySails out of Germany.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cleaning Indoor Air With Plants

Now that fall is upon us, it is already starting to get cooler. Windows will be closed more often, especially when the frost starts to hit. Indoor air quality will be lowered as we get less fresh air from the outside.

There are ways to improve the air you breath inside the house. We use air filters. We have a large one in our master bedroom. Two of the three kids have their own smaller air filters.

As I walk up the stairs at night, I can hear the swooshing of competing airfilters. Each making its own distinct level of "white" noise.

You should also change the filter on your forced air heater as this is probably one of the larger dust polluters in your house.

This is all fine and well, but twice a year I have to change the filters at a cost of about $90. Not to mention the cost of electricity to run them and the environmental impact of the filters.
So what else can you do?

...Plants!

So how does that work?

Plants take in CO2 and release Oxygen into the air. Some do this more efficient than others. There are even some that pull additional toxins from the air, but I won't get into that chemical reaction. I like the release of oxygen.

Here is a list of indoor plants that can significantly improve indoor air quality according to NASA:
Bamboo Palm
Chinese Evergreen
English Ivy
Gerber Daisy
Janet Craig
Marginata
Mass cane/Corn Plant
Mother-in-law's Tongue
Pot Mum
Peace Lily
Warneckii

I guess I'll have to slowly start my indoor plant collection. Especially since they don't make any swishing noises like my air purifyers. They also don't use any electricity. And the biggest plus: You don't have to change filters. That's about as eco friendly as you can get.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time To Go Indoors

Yes, it is starting to get chilly out there.
Cleaned out my gas insert in the fireplace and got it running.
Tightened up the gas lines to my gas stove in the family room, and fired it up.
I've had that stove now for one full season going into its second season and we like it.

The nicest thing about our gas stove vs my old wood stove is that it is easier on my back. When it gets too cold I just need to flip a switch. No more cutting wood. No more stacking wood. No dirt tracking in the house. You know it also has reduced the indoor allergens. The wood stove was very neat to have, but it was inefficient and created too much of a mess.

Of course I'm saving some trees by not burning all that wood. (about 8 face chords per season)
And I am also no longer polluting with all the smoke from the chimney. I'm sure my neighbors appreciate it also.

This Quadra-Fire model gas stove is 85% efficient. The gas burns more environmentally friendly. Above all this saves us money over the whole heating season. I just hope the heating season will not last as long as it did last year. The money we saved ended up going into a longer season. Mother nature does not always cooperate there.

As long as we are doing our part to increase efficiencies in our house and reduce our carbon foot print. That makes it worth it.