Monday, November 5, 2012

Personal Power Generator on the Cheap

So you could use some emergency portable power for that eventual power outage. You just need enough power to keep your personal conveniences available.

All you need is a 12 Volt Battery and a 400 Watt power inverter to create a personal emergency power source. Both can be had for under $100. With that you can power your laptop and cell phone for several hours before having to recharge the battery.(depending on the battery size)  You can even plug in a low watt fluorescent light bulb to keep you out of the dark.

I have two car batteries I had changed out (but kept) that are perfect to use in this manner. I keep them rotated on a battery tender to keep them charged in the winter. In the summer I have a 20 watt solar panel I can use to keep them charged. I did add a charge controller to keep the batteries from getting over charged and losing charge. Still my total outlay is well under my budget.

Now the nice part is that I can use the power safely inside with just a little noise from the fan on the inverter and no pollution.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School Recycler

Going back to school can be a challenging time for being green especially when you get a big list from your kids' teachers indicating what supplies they need to start back up in class.

I don't like to buy new unless I know that we can reuse the old stuff first.  Are you re-using those folders you purchased last year? Any left over pens, pencils and crayons?

Remember to recycle as much as you can.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recycle more!

More of the plastics you usually throw away is now recyclable. Look closely and the packaging around that toy is recyclable.

More organizations hold electronic recycling events. More recycling businesses are also collecting old batteries and electronics. One of our  local can and bottle redemption centers just started taking electronics. There is no more waiting for that spring or fall drop off with the town. Go there any time!

Many grocery stores are now collecting their plastic bags for recycling. This includes bread bags and produce bags.  How many loaves of bread do you buy per week? How much produce do you buy?

Recycling still does not cost you anything except for time and effort. Still too much stuff ends up in the landfill. Stuff that can be recycled easily. If we would only take the time to do it we would not be wasting our precious land for garbage.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Clean Green Check List

Here are some things you can do to help Green your Spring.  This time of year is always a good time to refresh and renew the environmental pledge: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This should get you started in the right direction.
  • Before installing the air conditioner or before turning on the central air make sure the air conditioner unit is clear of any debris and that the filters are replaced or cleaned.
  • Inspect caulking around windows and doors. Then fix any caulking that has split or cracked.
  •  Remember where the wall felt really cold in the winter. Now is the time to see if insulation can be added.
  •  Inspect your roof to make sure there are no loose shingles and that the seams around the chimney and vents don't show any signs of rot.
  •  Empty and clean your gutters. Also make any repairs to loose down spouts.
  •  Go through your junk drawers and storage and get rid of old electronics. That old monitor is better off being recycled. How many old cell phones do you keep?
  • Properly dispose of old paints and stains using your town's hazardous waste disposal services. If you do need to use a paint or stain to do some touch ups, purchase no or low VOC paints and stains.
  • Reduce the load in your closets: send any clothes you no longer wear to Good Will. While you are at it look at how else you can reduce the contents of you house or apartment. Nothing like a good spring clean out to keep the load to a minimum.

Man, I better get started on this list myself...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Green Family Values

Are you the only one in the family sorting the recycling bin. Do you often see items in the garbage that are recyclable and you are not the one that threw it away?
Teaching your family the values of reduce, reuse and recycling is at the core of being a green family. For the most part kids are taught in school to recycle so to enforce this at home makes perfect sense.
When I catch items in the trash that could be recycled I have to remind everyone that those pieces do not belong in the garbage.
As a scouting family, there are also many opportunities to participate in community service events to teach our kids how to give back to people who are in need or just need a helping hand. This also give us an opportunity to teach other kids the values of being green. I try not to be "preachy", but when a moment arises where I can plug a recycle moment I will.
Performing regular conservation projects with the family and in scouting also reinforces the sustainability aspects of being green. Caring for nature and the land around us is just as important as reducing reusing and recycling.
Showing kids to be green at an early age enforces these values in the long run.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Being green at no cost

Our list of things you can do at home to be green and at no additional cost:

  • Compost your organic waste.
  • Turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth and/or shaving your face.
  • Unplug the vampire electric appliances after each use.
  • Reduce what you buy...Do you really need that bag of potato chips or chocolate chips?
  • Watch one day less TV.
  • Reduce the thermostat by 2 degrees in winter.
  • Are you recycling all that you can: Paper, plastic and glass?
  • Take your bicycle instead of the car.
  • Recycle your electronics.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  • Donate furniture to a local shelter.
Wow... the little things we can do that can impact not only our environment, but also our community and personal well being. That is what makes it easy to be green on a budget.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Keep it Green...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More recycling in 2012.

Don't throw away your old electronics! 20 states have new laws that have made it impossible for you to just throw away those old computers and cell phones. Check with local laws or the waste hauler in your neck of the woods and you'll find that electronics are no longer accepted at landfills.

This is a good thing. Only ten percent of all electronics made are recycled. That still makes a lot of junk that gets land filled. Not just bulk waste , but also chemicals.

Many local companies have stepped up local e-Waste programs. There are also many national companies that will help you recycle your computers and other old electronics.
Look for companies that recycle on the Ultimate Green List: