Greenwashing

Everywhere we go recently it seems as though there is a brand new eco-friendly “green” versions of old products.  I have mentioned a few of these silly things like the 57 watt light bulb as a new energy efficient version of the 60 watt.

I have been coming across even more ludicrous examples, many of them outright lies.  Often you can see the absurdity just by looking at the contradictions in the advertising.  Phrases like “eco-friendly” and “contains mercury and lead” should not be on the same product.

I came across a good example the other day with a can of lithium grease.  The can is green of course and is pitched as a bio-based biodegradable lubricant.  If the warnings about calling poison control if ingested aren’t enough there is always the fact that Lithium is a metal and thus can not bio-degrade…ever.

This trend is a problem because in addition to claiming dangerous products are safe, overall the public believes things are changing for the better when in reality the packaging is just different. Consumers look around and things look like companies are being less wasteful but in the end it is just a marketing illusion.

Clean water is good for your health

As you may or may not know a contributing factor to the fall of the Roman Empire was the widespread use of lead water pipes and eating utensils…

Reverse osmosis Water Filter by Blue Gold for Life

5092010

We sell a water filtration system that is amazing. It is a three stage reverse osmosis system that does a great job of taking out the poisons and minerals out of the water.  We actually tested the water against bottled water and found the filtered water to be cleaner in several cases.

This system is of great benefit particularly here in southern California because we live in a desert and have our water pumped in from far far away and it is infused with chemicals along the way to kill any serious bacteria.  The water is also very hard, causing mineral deposits to build up very quickly in water systems and also in our body’s own waste filtration systems.

Also bottled water is not a reliable or cost effective alternative.  According to the NRDC “An estimated 25% of bottled water is just tap water–sometimes further treated sometimes not”.  Plus think of the millions of tons of plastic used and discarded every year in bottling water.  We tend to also think that plastic bottles are inert and harmless when in fact water bottles release VOCs and other chemical as the soft plastic deteriorates.

How to install the system yoursel

Tech Companies Make Push For Home Energy Efficiency

Microsoft Hohm is an online service that makes it possible for consumers to see how much electrical power and gas they use in a given month along with suggestions on how to reduce their consumption.

This application was recently updated with some new features including two dozen behavior recommendations for those who take the time to create a Hohm energy profile and information pages covering every zip code in the United States. Additionally, Hohm now features an energy breakdown dashboard that gives more thorough information about where your household is using the most energy.

Microsoft is not alone in their home energy efficiency efforts. A group of appliance and energy companies that includes Best Buy, Direct Energy, Lennox International, OpenPeak and Whirlpool are working on what they call the Home Energy Management Center. What makes this effort distinctive is that it focuses on homes of all income levels rather than the middle or upper class approach that most other companies are taking.

The Home Energy Management Center is being described as a “command center” for the smart home. It will allow them to manage their energy consumption according to certain predetermined budget levels or operating limits as well as provide access to news, weather, social networking, music and movie applications. It is projected that consumers will be able to save up to 25% on their energy bill every month.

Another company taking a very unique approach to home energy efficiency is EcoFactor. Their system will merge your home energy consumption with information about environmental conditions. The thought behind this system is that the consumer does not necessarily want the temperature of their house set to the same level everyday. The temperature outside may not change very much day to day, but the same temperature can feel different depending on how much moisture is in the air.

These are just a few of the companies that are working hard to cut down home energy consumption. The hope is that in the coming years a wide variety of systems will make it possible for everyone to watch their energy usage regardless of whether or not they can meet the expense of home automation.

This was a guest post from Richard Moyle

For more about monitoring home energy usage visit www.measurementsystems.co.uk

The Benefit of ceiling fans

Hugger style ceiling fans can save you a lot of money normally spent on air conditioning.

It is not just about have air blowing on you to keep cool, it is also very helpful when used in conjunction with an air conditioner to quickly and efficiently cool your house.

Keep cool and save money this summer with great deals!

click here to find fans in Hollywood, CA

Geothermal energy waste into lithium batteries

Most geothermal energy plants inject water deep into the ground where the earth’s heat energy turns it into steam used to generate electricity.

The wastewater from this process is full of elements that are not abundant on the surface and that includes lithium.  Without going too far into battery technology lithium batteries last four times as long as conventional ones and can deliver a lot of energy quickly.  The latter feature is extremely useful for electronics and hybrid cars.  The 150 MPG cars you hear about are made with lithium-ion batteries.

This is a great example of a change needed at the demand level.  Energizer makes them but  the cost makes them a rare purchase despite the advantages.  A synergistic relationship between battery makers and geothermal energy producers is very important. The educated consumer will buy them but needs to realize that you get what you pay for and 99 cent batteries last only hours.

General Electric doesn’t have a very high opinion of the consumer

GE,

I’m disappointed.

I work in a hardware store and we have three basic types of lightbulbs for general use,

Incandescent:  The original Thomas Edison invention, they use 3% of the electricity to produce light and the rest of the electricity produces heat.  Essentially it is a very small fire.

Compact Flourescent (the spiral bulbs) :   A smaller version of the long straight flourescent lights most frequently used in supermarkets, they use about half the electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent. Unfortunately they contain mercury and in a perfect world would be thrown out at a hazardous waste dump.

L.E.D (Light emitting Diode):  An old technology redone is our modern age, they can use 4 watts of electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent 60 watt.  They also last five times as long as anything else.  They cost way too much right now.

So to come up with an “energy efficient” bulb, GE reduced Edison’s 60 watt bulbs to 57  to respond to California’s demand that they waste less electricity.

light-bulb ge 75 watt

bravo

Green Gadgets part two

Here are some good examples of green design done right vs. completely misguided.

A computer made from light weight reusable and recyclable materials.  Also if you are tech savvy at all you can just buy new components instead of a whole new system.

The Takeup:

takeup

A computer made out of cardboard.  It’s true cardboard is easily recyclable but how long can a cardboard computer last?  I certainly wouldn’t buy a computer that can be turned into mush by water.

Cardboardcase:

cardboard-case

Blight the lighting shades

Today was the annual Green Gadgets Design competition.  I think it’s fantastic that people are excited about being innovative for a positive purpose.  Many of these products will contribute to a better world and others will simply waste time and money.  We should be skeptical of these new inventions because while they all have good motives, some may do more harm than good.

Blight.  I’m not behind the idea. 

Taking the sunlight that shines on high tech venetian blinds and turning the shades into lamps at night seems like a great idea until we consider the cost of producing these complicated machines.  Motors, circuitry, mini solar panels, paper thin lights are just a few of the things that go into the design.

I can also tell you based on long experience selling and owning Venetian blinds that they break easily, particularly when rolled up and down every day (yes even the high quality blinds).

These would do well marketed to the wealthy chic as an interesting lamp and conversation piece.  I don’t think it should be widely implemented because the construction would be a waste of resources for incomparable gain.

Imprimer

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