Sun And Wind Alter Global Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind

September 15, 2014

in Green Living,Lennar

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One recent day, under a brilliant California sun, saws buzzed as workers put the finishing touches on spacious new homes. They looked like many others going up in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, but with an extra feature: Lennar Corporation was putting solar panels on every house it built. The prices of the panels have plunged 70 percent in the past five years. That huge decline means solar power is starting to make more economic sense, especially in parts of the United States with high electricity prices. At about 100 Lennar subdivisions in California, buyers who move into a new home automatically get solar panels on the roof. Lennar, the nation’s second-largest homebuilder, recently decided to expand that policy to several more states, starting with Colorado. The company typically retains ownership of the panels and signs 20-year deals to sell homeowners the power from their own roofs, at a 20 percent discount from the local utility’s prices. “It’s so simple when we tell a customer, ‘You’re guaranteed to save money,’ ” said David J. Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures, the division overseeing the solar plan. [Read this article]

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Use Houseplants To Create A Healthy Home

September 9, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Placing plants around your home does more than beautify your space – according to NASA, houseplants are actually good for your health. Here are a few tips to help you decide what plants are best for your house. For example, eucalyptus is great for congestion. It opens bronchial passages and clears mucus during colds, flu or bronchitis and is also a natural antiseptic. And if you have insomnia, plants can also help improve your night’s sleep. Gerbera daisies release oxygen at night. Place them by your bed for optimal oxygen intake while you sleep. Gerbera daisies are also great at removing benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. [Read this article]

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Shopping For Energy Efficient Lighting? Don’t Forget These Considerations

September 6, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Lightning is one of the most critical elements in home installations and, not surprisingly, it has a significant impact on household’s energy consumption as well. A well-lit room can reap a bevy of advantages, affecting the mood, health, comfort, and productivity of its occupants. New lights offering a lifespan of 2 decades might save you hundreds of dollars in utility bills, but how do you shop for the right one? CFLs (compact fluorescent) lighting is now so affordable that this option can pay itself off the investment with savings in just months of using CFL lightning. However, they aren’t great for homeowners looking for an instant, cooler or dimming light. LED lightning is gradually overcoming these problems. When it comes to saving with energy efficient lighting, converting to LEDs is an excellent way to bring down your carbon footprint and show respect to Mother Nature. [Read this article]

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6 Ways To Beat The Heat Without Making Your Wallet Sweat

July 25, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Now that the high temperatures have really kicked in, it’s only natural to want to stay as cool as possible. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the money to spend blasting the air conditioning all summer long. You can quickly cool off – and stay refreshed all day and night - without spending a bundle, or even anything at all. Although appliances help you run your household, they also warm it up fast.Run clothes dryers and dishwashers at night to avoid peak energy rates and the humid heat they generate. Prolonged baking or stovetop cooking also makes the AC work overtime. Take advantage of summer weather, and cook outdoors when possible. Try unplugging small appliances whenever you can, and especially before you leave on vacation or for extended periods of time. Computers, cellphone chargers and other electronics often continue to use power - and radiate heat - even when turned off. With a little bit of planning, you can easily reduce energy consumption and save money at the same time. It’s a win-win for you and the environment. [Read this article]

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How To Clean Windows Naturally

July 25, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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These days, harsh chemical cleaners are so passé. A natural, eco-friendly cleaner exists for almost everything under the sun, and your windows are no exception. The secret to cleaning windows is in the cloth you use to wipe them dry. A regular paper towel or cotton cloth will often leave lint and residue on the glass, even after you’ve wiped off all the fingerprints. A lint-free microfiber cloth or a chamois cloth will ensure that your sparkling windows stay sparkling after you clean them. The chamois cloth works really well when windows are dusty but not actually dirty. Gently dampen the cloth and wipe the dust off, no harsh chemicals necessary. A chamois (pronounced sham-wa, but often called a shammy) is actually a leatherlike cloth used to dry cars and is a great tool for the windows in your home, as well as your car. [Read this article]

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What Temperature Should You Keep Your Home In The Summer?

June 30, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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There are no hard and fast rules for how hot or cool a home should actually be. Energy and comfort experts agree that the ideal cost-saving temperature for most thermostats is about 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Your willingness to dress for the weather and personal comfort threshold do play a part in where your thermostat ultimately lands, but these are great places to start when you’re hunting for a setting that saves you money and keeps your indoor temperature just right. Depending on who you ask, moving your thermostat as little as one degree higher for air conditioning or one degree lower for heating can save about two percent on your energy costs in an eight-hour period. It might not sound like much, but if you raise your home from a frosty 72 degrees to a still-cool 76 degrees every night for one summer, you’ll save eight percent off your summer energy bills. [Read this article]

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How To Clean A Carpet Naturally

June 30, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Many experts say that carpeting is the worst type of flooring you can have in your house because it can harbor all sorts of germs and bacteria that hardwood floors or ceramic tiles don’t. But on a cold winter’s morning, there is nothing like stepping onto a warm, fuzzy carpet instead of a chilly, hard floor. It’s important to clean your carpet regularly, but how do you clean your carpet without using harsh chemicals? It’s important to vacuum all areas of your carpet at least once a week with a good-quality HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) vacuum cleaner. A “HEPA” filter removes 99.97 percent of particulates 0.3 micrometers or larger in size. Then, once a year, have your carpets steam cleaned. Make sure the pros you call in use just hot water (no chemicals). If you want to do it yourself, you can rent a steam cleaner from a home improvement warehouse store. [Read this article]

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Home Buyers Consider Sustainable Features To Be “Very Important”

April 11, 2014

in Green Living

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When home buyers are shopping around for a new home, are they looking for sustainable features? Yes, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors that identifies the who, what, when, where, and why of home buyer and seller behavior, and breaks downs the trends by each respondents respective generation. The report highlights the environmentally friendly features that home buyers consider “very important” when looking to purchase a home. This chart shows which characteristics top buyers’ list of criteria for a new home. [Read this article]

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How To Grow Your Dream Garden In A Window

February 24, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Forget a few pots of herbs on a windowsill. The modern window garden is a work of art and genius, a masterpiece that allows you to grow an amazing amount of food even if you don’t have a lot of room. You don’t need a deep bay window, or a porch, or a spacious fire escape to grow tons of food and culinary herbs right in your window, as long as you’ve got a South-facing window and a love of plants. People have been producing things to eat in their windows for centuries, and with good reason. Window gardens are perfect for people with limited room or fragile plants that won’t do well outdoors. You can set up individual pots or long planters in windows for flowers, herbs, and veggies, maintaining them with your own kitchen compost to keep up the cycle of life in your very own house. But an increasing number of gardeners are starting to go vertical with their window gardens, which takes things to a whole new level (literally). [Read this article]

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8 Simple Ways To Reduce Household Waste

February 24, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Is your recycling taking over your kitchen? Why not just reduce your waste. Here are eight ways to reduce your household waste that may benefit your lifestyle in other ways too. First: stop buying bottled water. It’s so easy to just pick up a case of water to lug around to sports games, family gatherings, or to ease up the pile of dishes in the sink. However, all of those plastic bottles can fill your recycling bin rather quickly. Instead of buying case after case of water, invest in some reusable travel bottles for you and your family. They can be personalized and dishwasher safe. And we all fall victim to the high price utility bills after a month of freezing winter nights or burning hot summer days. If you just can’t stand the heat or maybe need to cool off, there are a few ways to cut down your energy use and utility bills. [Read this article]

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