If you have a home swimming pool or are thinking of getting one, solar powered swimming pool cleaners are an excellent option for making pool maintenance both cheaper and more efficient. Your pool is probably positioned in the sunniest part of your yard so it would be silly not to harness the power of the sun for natural and efficient cleaning.
The thought of saving money and energy are likely not the first thing you think about when you’re cooking some fantastic dish like “Boeuf Bourguignon“, a French beef stew, or paella. You could be saving money every single time you cook your favorite recipes if only you had an energy-saving range.
You may have done some comparison shopping for the most reasonable priced range at your local hardware or appliance store. However, looking at the prices in these places won’t tell you a lot as far as how much you will wind up paying in the long run. Continue reading
The International Builders Show (IBS) went down on January 10th-12th 2016 in Orlando, FL and it attracted participants from all over the world. Innovation, good designs, builders/consumer friendly and functionality were the parameters used by the judges to determine winners in various categories.
The following is the list of the finalists and the winner of best green technology & green building products category. Continue reading
In January 2016, the residents of Flint, Michigan, came to the damning realization that the tap water they were consuming had abnormal levels of lead as well as heightened levels of iron which subsequently made the water brown in color. The effects of drinking this water were seen in some of their children who began experiencing abnormal rashes and even hair loss. What’s more, most residents were now experiencing lead-poisoning which has been known to have long term effects on overall health including reduced IQ levels.
The situation in Flint is a reflection of just how dangerous drinking tap water can be to one’s health and well-being. After all, it is quite common to find tap water that has harmful levels of impurities like E.coli bacteria, radon, lead and chloroform among others.
While buying bottled water is a viable alternative to drinking tap water, it comes at a huge financial cost. Buying bottled water is also associated with increased degradation of the environment due to increased plastic waste as well as indirect factors such as the petroleum consumed in the production and transport of bottled water. It is also a well known fact that some people simply fill up bottles with tap water and market them as ‘pure’ and ‘natural’.
The best alternative is to use a water filtration system. Not only are these systems easy to install, use and easy to maintain, but they also improve the quality and taste of water. In addition to that, they are an environmental friendly option. Continue reading
When it comes to green living, not many people consider the kind of mattress they are sleeping on.
They will change most other things in the house to be more eco-friendly and forget the one place where they spend most of their time, the bed.
But there are environmental hazards and personal health dangers lurking in traditional mattresses. These dangers are also in some of the extremely popular home-delivery mattresses like the recently-famous Casper mattress, Saatva, and Tuft & Needle.
The primary culprit is that many mattresses today are made from synthetic foam or fibers. Even if they are made from wool or cotton, then they most likely are full of pesticides and other chemicals added during processing.
Some of these chemicals are potentially carcinogenic.
A good example of a dangerous artificial bedding material is the polyurethane foam used in most mattresses. Made from petroleum, polyurethane foam tends to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are linked to a range of health problems.
Another common culprit is in the flame-retardants used by manufacturers. To keep mattresses safe from fire, most manufacturers use polybrominated diphenyl ether better known as PBDE. This chemical, banned in some countries, is associated with health problems such as brain damage, low sperm quality, cancer and thyroid levels.
Fortunately, a new breed of mattresses promises better and healthier sleep. They are called “organic mattresses” in the industry, and they are made in a completely different manner than traditional bedding made by more popular manufacturers like Serta.
About Organic Mattresses
For several years now, advocates of the use of drones have cited precision agriculture—the management of crops that uses big data and GPS —as a method of boosting profits and crop yields while resolving food and water crises.
There are drones for sale today being used for agriculture in a wide variety of countries including Brazil, Canada, Australia and Japan.
Ag drones save farmers money by preventing the unnecessarily overuse of resources such as herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides and at the same time reduce the amount of runoff that flows into the streams and rivers that are close to their farms.
Unfortunately, all the hype that has been surrounding the use of drones has not had a substantial effect on the agriculture business in United States, at least, until recently.
American agriculture is incredibly resource intensive, particularly dependent on petroleum products that are processed into nitrogen rich fertilizer. Water use is also incredibly intensive. Continue reading
Ethanol made from corn starch sources requires a sizable amount of farmland resources as close to two-thirds of the total corn cultivated is dedicated to produce ethanol for biofuel and animal distillers grains [refer to National Corn Growers Association].
In other words it requires close to 60 million acres of farmland dedicated mainly for ethanol production in order to manufacture around 15 billion gallons of ethanol per year, which is about the amount needed to fulfill ethanol as a 10 % by volume fuel additive to gasoline. It is claimed that ethanol is needed as an oxygenated fuel additive in order to raise the octane number of the fuel and reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
In addition, world wide organizations have asserted that corn production in the United Stated for the main purpose of providing it as a fuel additive to gasoline has caused world food prices to rise dramatically and has also contributed to world food shortages. It is asserted then that the US should come up with alternative renewable fuel production methods that would not compete with the food supply but also be energy efficient in method too.
This essay is dedicated to show that there are alternative alcohol production methods available not only for ethanol but also for higher molecular weight alcohols.
It is amazing to see how the internet, computers and software are entering every aspect of our lives, automating and simplifying daily tasks like never before.
For more than 100 years, technology has been marching steadily into home appliances at every level, from information processing to electronics and production.
However, recently the use of on-board intelligent software capable of analyzing, scheduling and triggering tasks autonomously has been taking off in home electronics and appliances. From automatic vacuum cleaners to robotic pool cleaners, coffee makers and bread makers, artificial intelligence (AI) is being applied to almost every household chore.
One of the greatest side-benefits of the AI appliance revolution is in energy efficiency.
Are you ready for the intelligent, energy-efficient home?
Here are examples of modern high-end home appliances that have recently been incorporating on-board AI software to produce energy efficiency advantages.
Washers and Dryers
Unlike traditional washers and dryers that need you to constantly keep your ear out for task-completed alarms, today’s washer-dryer combos are mostly self-guided.
Today’s cleaning machines have intelligent systems that can perform rinsing, washing and drying without being monitored. They also have delay features that can be used to schedule tasks so that cleaning is completed just in time.
The advantage of these appliances is that tasks are performed even in your absence without any problems.
There are several intelligent dryers produced by manufacturers today. A good example is the Bosch WKD28350GB automatic washer/dryer, which features foam detection, safeguard monitoring, Aquatronic washing and begin-wash delay among other things. Such dryers are excellent at conserving energy because they let the clothes tell them when to finish – rather than a timer.
Also known as “internet refrigerators”, these units are designed with state of the art technology to replenish themselves with food products.
A smart fridge uses a barcode recognition system (or RFID scanner) that scans and keeps records of items being stored in it. The fridge also keeps track of restocking patterns and notifies users whenever there is an item that needs replenishing.
Some examples include Samsung’s RH2777AT HomePAD and Zipel e-Diary, LG’s Digital DIOS, GR-D267DTU and ThinQ LFX31995ST.
There are several automated grills and smart concept grills on the market today. These new designs feature software systems that access internet databases to identify correct recipes including cooking methods and timing.
Intelligent connected grills have preprogrammed systems that eliminate guesswork and use fine recipes to produce the best meal at the lowest possible energy use.
For instance, the Lynx concept grill allows activation via voice instruction and has many other incredible capabilities.
Robotic pool cleaners
Swimming pool owners no longer need to pay pool cleaning wages. Robotic pool cleaners like Dolphin Nautilus and Aquabot Pool Rover are designed to effectively clean swimming pool floor, walls and cloves.
The smart thing about the latest models is that cleaning is totally automated and can be scheduled to happen after specified periods of time to ensure your pool is ever clean. The newest systems literally read their environment and eliminate redundant cleaning paths, lowering the time it takes to clean your pool and saving a ton on energy.
Robotic vacuum cleaners
Like robotic pool cleaners, robotic home vacuums are programmed to utilize a combination of cleaning procedures and special cleaning features such as spinning brushes.
They can be set to perform cleaning at given time intervals in the absence of anyone. Robovacs sometimes also incorporate data from other systems such as security cameras and intercoms. The iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner is a good example.
The incorporation of smart applications and on-board software has resulted in convenience, higher energy efficiency and improved productivity/performance.
It is however important to purchase such appliances from reputable dealers because the added complexity comes with a support cost. Intelligent appliances are definitely here to stay, and promise to simplify our work and eliminate energy waste on every home task.
There is nothing better in winter and autumn in relation to heat, smell, and the crackle of a wood-burning fire in your home. It is an ancient, enviable and intimate family ritual for many.
The Problem With Burning Wood
Unfortunately, while wood-burning fireplaces are charming, they’re not all that great on the budget, your lungs or the environment! They can also be dangerous.
Conventional hearth chimneys waste about 90% of the heat a fire creates and siphons off some of the heated atmosphere of your house, as stated by the EPA. Not efficient.
Inhaling burning wood smoke is also as dangerous as smoking cigarettes; wood smoke is loaded with carcinogens like benzene.
Burning wood fuels global warming, too. Worse, the leftover soot is a heat-trapping pollutant.
Wood-burning hearths need a lot of maintenance, including a professional cleaning every other year along with regular ash clean-ups.
Three Energy-Efficient Alternatives
There are three popular alternatives to burning wood: gas fireplace inserts, alcohol fireplace inserts and electric fireplace inserts. All are great alternatives whether or not you are in possession of a working chimney and hearth. Continue reading
The number of people acquiring solar panels for the home has been increasing gradually.
This is being driven by the desire to have green or cleaner energy. Solar energy is also renewable and does not pollute the environment. However, the uptake of solar panels especially in the home is still quite low. This is being experienced despite the mass campaigns.
The following are some reasons why investing in a solar panel is beneficial:
Great strides have been made in solar panel technology. A few years back, the photovoltaic panels were not very strong. Actually, many would rarely last for more than 10 years. However, modern panels are quite sturdy. They feature stronger material and designs. Most of the solar panels found today can easily last for 40 to 50 years.