Monday, July 28, 2008

More News on VOC

Remember that VOC post that we published a while back? Well it seems like The Daily Green will support those facts in this article. Potentially hazardous and cancerous compounds have been found in everything from dryer sheets to candles and room sprays. Instead of lots of aromatic chemicals, try opting for the windows next time. It's a lot healthier.

Photo Courtesy of Picturepost

Friday, July 18, 2008

How Walkable is your City?

If you're a city dweller then you know the advantages locally of walking vs. driving in many instances...often everything you need is only a mile or less away anywhere in the city. The Daily Green has written an article about the walkability of the top US cities, and no surprise, San Francisco tops the list. If you've ever been to the city, you would know that nearly everything is within walking distance, and you could totally forego owning a car. Public transportation is everywhere, from trolleys to buses, it's the preferred form of transportation.

Next on the list was Manhattan. Taking a car out of the equation alleviates some of the stresses of living in Manhattan, where driving becomes a form of artwork. NYC has a great walkability rating, with everything at an armlength's reach.

See the rest of the top ten cities according to walkability here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Worst Hybrid Cars

Everyone wishes they had a hybrid, some people already have don't hear too many people complaining about their hybrid cars. US News has released an article on the worst and best hybrid cars according to mileage, performance, exterior, safety, and reliability. Bottoming out the list was the Saturn VUE 2008 Hybrid. "The hybrid VUE commands a $2,000 premium over the gasoline-powered model, but it should make up for the extra cost in increased gas mileage." If this is the worst model on the list, then you should consider taking a look at this list before purchasing your next car.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pesticide Use on Produce

There has been a lot of publicity and concern that has risen about pesticide use on fruits and vegatables, both imported and domestic. One of the biggest preventatives to avoid ingesting pesticide covered fruit is to make sure it is thoroughly washed. All fruit should be washed before consumed, but grapes should be washed before storage. Simply washing thoroughly in water will reduce most risks significantly. Besides being able to purchase food-safe fruit and vegetable washes, you can make your own homemade veggie wash easily. Just because the label reads "organic," don't assume it's safe to eat right away. Organic fruit and vegetables still need to be washed before consumption.

The Organic Center has released a helpful reference on the subject here:
"The pocket guide presents pesticide risk rankings for several key fruits and vegetables and is based on The Organic Center's March 2008 report, Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The Organic Option. The following fruits and vegetables present the highest risk:"
High Risk Foods

Fair Trade Coffee & Migratory Songbirds

EcoGreenBags bag of the month: $5 from each bag of the month purchase benefits the Songbird Foundation!You may or may not have noticed some of the larger coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts carrying some fair trade coffee and espresso products. While the benefits of Fair Trade Coffee have been greatly publicized, there are other benefits to songbirds as well. In Latin America, sustainable coffee farms are being promoted to protect migratory songbirds by the Songbird Foundation. Besides the benefits to the community and birds, shade grown coffee has a much more rich, full taste. This month, EcoGreenBags will be donating $5 from the purchase of every bag of the month to the Songbird Foundation. Proceeds will help educate the American public about Fair Trade Coffee, and will promote awareness of the decimation of migratory and native songbirds from non-sustainable coffee farming.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saving Energy by Turning Down your Refrigerator Temperature

The colder, the better, right? Especially in the heat of the summer, it keeps things fresher...right? Well, if you're fruit is freezing in the bottom drawer and your orange juice has icicles that might mean that you can turn down the temperature. You can save significant energy by finding the right temperature in your fridge and not cranking the dial to "9."

Cold air has other ways of escaping your fridge and increasing your energy costs. The door seals can often tear easily, and are one of the more fragile and heavily used parts of the fridge. Small tears and open gaps can leak cold air. You can easily replace your fridge door seals, or it might just need a good cleaning.

Another useful tip: a full freezer actually helps make your freezer more efficient! The frozen food helps keep everything colder, and your freezer doesn't have to work as hard. Just be sure to not block the fan when you pack it up.

As far as colors go, stainless steel and white make the most sense, as they partially reflect any sunlight. Heat absorbing black would be the worst choice. Consider buying a higher efficiency model if you're in the market for a new refrigerator to save the most energy and money.