How to Be Green While Traveling

Everyone loves a great vacation. Time to relax and unwind and escape for a while. Or maybe you’re traveling on business and are going to be away for a couple of days. Sometimes this can be a very stressful situation. But in the midst of all that paradise and stress filled minds, we sometimes may forget our responsibilities to conserve as much energy as possible. Well get ready, because we are about to dive into ten great ways to save the maximum amount of energy while you’re away. Continue reading “How to Be Green While Traveling”

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Happy Earth Day!

Well, the day is finally here. Earth Day has kicked off and we hope you taking steps to participate! If you’re a bit lost and don’t know exactly what you can do you can check out our Maximize Your Earth Day article. It’ll get you started and motivate you to implement some of these things into your day so you can get the most out of April 22!

As mentioned in Maximize your Earth Day, this could also be your chance to start implementing these steps into your everyday life. Only you can make the decision to start making a change that’ll beautifully impact your life and the future generation’s experience on our planet. Tell someone! Spread the word! Earth Day has expanded a lot over the last 50 years but everyone needs to participate to fully optimize this idea and strengthen the movement.

What are you doing to maximize your day today? Jump down to the comments and let us know what you’ve came up with to get the most out of today!

How You Can Maximize Earth Day

Its been almost 50 years now since John McConnell spoke at the UNESCO Conference in San Francisco and first proposed the idea of Earth Day. It’s been through many stages since then and has immensely expanded. But now we are in a present where the Earth is arguably at it’s most vulnerable. Here we are going to go over numerous ways to contribute to saving the Earth that will ultimately maximize your Earth Day. First let’s go over a bit of the importance and history of Earth Day.

 

History

 

In 1969, John McConnell, a luminary with a passion for peace, religion, and science, spoke at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco and proposed a day to honor the Earth. The first day was to be on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, where many predictions about the future were made by various speakers to try to expand awareness. It also took place in 2,000 colleges and universities all over the United States. The date was changed and founded a month later by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson to April 22 and was held that year.

While the April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 140+ nations, inflating the expansion of the awareness across our globe. Senator Nelson chose the date of April 22 to maximize the participation of younger people, because of the date not occurring simultaneously with spring break or exams, it doesn’t fall on religious holidays and for the overall enjoyable weather of that time of year.

Today more than 190 countries celebrate Earth Day. In 2017 The March for Science will even be held on the same day, hopefully expanding the mission evermore to the entire world. While we are aware of it however, we must participate in some way and do our part to help your home (the Earth) survive and sustain. So lets get started!

Maximize Your Earth Day!

  • Plant a garden outside. What better way to celebrate than to work with the Earth to provide you food for the future.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle. This is a great way to tone down on the plastic consumption that ends up on the ground in one way or another.
  •  Collect rain in rain barrels to water your garden or even to purify and drink! (Check the legality in your state/country)
  • Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  • Make your own household cleaners. There are many simple recipes available at your fingertips.
  • Use a clothes line outside to dry your laundry.
  • Substitute all paper products like napkins and plates for better solutions, such as a cloth napkin and a washable glass plate.
  • Support your local restaraunts and stores in your community, especially if they get their product from less than 100 miles away from their location.
  • Pay any bills you have online, it’s actually greener!
  • Turn your computer completely off when you aren’t using it.
  • Replace all (or what you can) of your light bulbs in your home to CFLs or LEDs.

These are all perfect ways to enhance your experience on Earth day and at the same time create opportunities for a for a healthier life in the long run. Maybe think of Earth Day as your starting point, a starting point to actually make a change. If you think you have any great ideas to compliment out list,  get in the comments and tell us about it!

 

Kick Off Your Preparation for Earth Day!

Earth day is just over the hill folks. But it doesn’t HAVE  to start there for you. This could be one of many opportunities presented to you to get started and making the planet a little easier to manage, and maybe even get a little healthier at the same time! So in the spirit of Earth Day month, we wanted to highlight a few products that can maybe get you started! So without further delay….

The COLDEST Water Bottle

This interesting little bottle promises to keep your beverage cold for up to 36 hours or more. It’s also vacuum sealed and is built with stainless steel. This way, you can not only have stylish little
bottle to carry around, but also hopefully be encouraged to drink more water and have the benefit of simultaneously cutting down on the use of plastic in the production of water bottles!

 

Rain Wizard Rain Barrel

This classic, whiskey style of this barrel is a cool looking addition to sport in your rain collection
system. It has a capacity of 50 gallons, is made of Polyethylene and has a flat back to also minimize space! This particular barrel is rotationally molded to hold up against cracking and splitting, so be sure to pick this one up or one similar to it if you’re serious about reusing all that water.

LED/CFL Light Bulb

This may seem like a bit of a no brainer. But sometimes we may fall out of the habit of staying
green just like we fall out of exercising. People also sometimes underestimate just how much energy can be saved just by replacing all of the light bulbs at home to energy efficient ones. Online, these come in just about however number of bulbs in a pack that you can think of. Just order enough to supply your entire house and set a reminder when to stock back up!

WindyNation Solar Panel Kit

 

Out with the old, in with the new. Solar panel are on the rise and are only going to get bigger in
the near future. This is one of the best ways to efficiently power what you need and the systems can be as big as you want them. However, everyone has to start somewhere. The WindyNation 200 watt solar panel kit comes with everything you need to get your start in the solar community. This specific kit is designed for RVs, cabins, boats and so forth but can ultimately just be your starting line to even bigger projects in the future.

What are some of your favorite energy conserving products that you use day to day? Make sure to jump down to the comments and let us know!

 

You’ll Never Take the Elevator Again Once You Read This

Do you work in a tall building everyday? If you do, there’s a large chance that you encounter and use elevators on a daily basis. Do you live in an apartment building between say maybe, 3 and 20 stories? If so, This is probably the case for you as well. Even people not in these situations still manage to come across instances where taking the elevator is feasible very commonly. But what about all of the energy being consumed throughout this daily process? How much energy is actually being used and would it be better to just take the stairs?

Now this can be a bit of a complicated question. Elevators today have a large number of variables that could change the outcome of their energy output. Some examples would be: How many people are riding the elevator? What type of lighting is in the car? Is the elevator geared, gearless, hydraulic, or traction applied? Does the system have the most recent braking technology, which recaptures energy that would otherwise have been lost as heat, funneling it back to the grid? Does it use software that plots out the most efficient route possible for each car?

These are all important questions (but not all) that come into play when calculating if you specifically should take the stairs. Let’s jump in and look at some basic details.

The differences in elevators and their consumption can be very wide. According to the elevator calculator from Thyssenkrupp, a typical hydraulic applied elevator that uses LED lighting in a 3 story office building uses about 4,725 kilowatt-hours per year. That’s around how much the average American house uses in a little over 5 months. Traction elevators are used for taller buildings and a traction applied elevator in a 40 story apartment building uses about 14,130kilowatt-hours per year. That’s more than three times as much as the smaller building and as more than an American home uses in an entire year!

Another variable to consider is, not all elevator rides are equal. For example, a hydraulic elevator needs more energy to go up than it does to come down. These types of systems are typically used in buildings that are 7 stories or shorter. But the ride down isn’t totally free. When the elevator needs to come down, as it passes through the shaft at a controlled speed, the friction caused by oil passing through the hydraulic valves generates heat, which then has to be dissipated by the building’s cooling system.

In traction systems used in taller buildings, it is operated by counterweighted pulleys that help raise and lower the cars. The counterweight usually weighs about as much as the car when it is at around 40% capacity. So when it is loaded at full capacity, it needs a significant burst of energy to actually make it lift up. A full car traveling downward, on the other hand, is significantly much heavier than the counterweight so it can move without much help. So what does this mean? Essentially a full car going up uses more energy than a full car going down, and an empty car going down uses more energy than an empty car going up. The system turns out to be most efficient when the car is 40 percent full or when it’s perfectly balanced with the counterweight.

Elevators are even going to burn energy when not running. Some systems have automatic lights and fans that shut off while not in use, some don’t. The average standby power rating is between 0.8 and 2 kilowatts, which can eventually add up. 

So, how does this apply to you? Would you consider taking the stairs if it was more energy efficient in your specific situation? Basically, if you have to navigate through tall buildings, it is more beneficial to try to minimize trips altogether and carpool with your co workers and neighbors if you HAVE to take the elevator to your floor. However, If you live in a small apartment building or work in a low rise office, or even if you don’t need to go that many floors up, it would be immensely more beneficial to the environment and your overall health to just take the stairs.

If you were to simply walk up and down 3 flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator, you would save about 15 kwh a day or 450 kwh a month. That’s enough to power an air conditioning system for a little over 4 hours, or even a 55″ tv for 78 hours! Now can you honestly say that you can’t abstain from taking a 20 second ride to save all of that energy? Try to do your part, when you can.

If you have any insightful information on this topic or other great ways to save power and energy, get the discussions started and comment to let us know!