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Green Light
Lighting is a major source of energy consumption in a residence. There are a few simple things that can reduce your dependency on the light bulb. Windows in the right places. It's best to put more windows facing south to absorb as much sunlight as possible. Windows on the other sides of the house help as well, but not as much. Make sure you get well insulated windows. The more efficient, the more expensive, but only up front. Light shelves on all south facing windows. A light shelf is a reflective surface located near the top of the window that bounces the light toward your ceiling and farther into the house. There are both exterior and interior light shelves, and it works best if you install both systems. Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
1890 Views
Consequences: Why Green Building Makes Sense Now
You know, I've been thinking a lot lately on the impact our lifestyle choice has on the rest of the world. This is probably, or at least should be, a pretty well covered topic out there, but it's been on my mind lately. I'm currently in an Architectural Systems class at my University and our professor was sharing some stories about building techniques and lifestyle in the 70's. Apparently, and I know this because of my parents house, they didn't really worry too much about insulating homes. Gas was so cheap that the necessity to worry about our energy sources just wasn't there. No wonder environmentalists were considered hippies; not that I want to take the hippie title away from any proud hippies out there. But, now Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
2405 Views
 
Green Resources
I just know that there are several of you out there who will run into my humble green blog and wonder (as cliché as this approach may be) "How can I go green?" or "How can I find green products?" The answer is kind of hard unless you know where to go. So here are a few sources that I've found useful. Building Green: these guys are truly a neutral party. They don't accept advertising, so they're unbiased in their reports. Go to www.buildinggreen.com United States Green Build Council: or the USGBC. They are the nationally accepted authority on green buildings. They have a certification program that is the benchmark for ecologically friendly building. Their resources are invaluable. Go to www.usgbc.org Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
2045 Views
The Green Roof
Urban areas create several environmental problems. A major problem discussed widely now is the urban heat bubble. Asphalt on roads, parking lots, and roofs reflect heat into the air. This causes a heat problem. Other issues involve water. The asphalt and concrete that make up our urban areas do not absorb the water, so we get flash flood effects in our storm drains and sewer systems. Another problem is air pollution. Not only do we clear land full of oxygen producing plants, but we put carbon dioxides in the air. These are all issues that green roofs can help solve: reduce ambient air temperature, energy use, and utility costs help cleanse the air and water utilize local and recycled materials extend the life of t Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
3188 Views
Insulation
One of the most fundamental ways to green up your home and save on energy bills is properly insulating your home. This in turn is great for the total environment, because most heat comes from fossil fuels. Traditionally, insulation has struggled with three main obstacles: formaldehyde, low r-value, and air gaps. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound or a VOC that stinks. Remember dissecting the frog in high school? VOCs create poor indoor air quality over a long period of time and are known to cause a number of diseases. R-Value speaks of insulations ability to control temperature. Just remember, the higher the better. Lastly, air gaps greatly reduce a products ability to perform. Air gaps must be filled in to receive the full benefit Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
3620 Views
The Global Warming Deadline
I just read an interesting article by Ross Gelbspan at gristmill.grist.org. He warns that we have passed the deadline to turn our carbon emitting habits around and that dangerous climate change is now inevitable. According to Ross, "The IPCC, which reflects the findings of more than 2,000 scientists from over 100 countries, recently stated that it is 'very unlikely' that we will avoid the coming era of 'dangerous climate change.'" He continues "As one prominent climate scientist said recently, 'We are seeing impacts today that we did not expect to see until 2085.'" So how do we react to this hard notion? How valid is the argument and how frantic should we become? Some say that this whole thing is a hoax. As a good friend of mine pointed ou Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
2361 Views
Greenwashing Debates are Heating Up
I've heard a lot of talk about greenwashing lately. It's been a topic of discussion for quite some time, but it's getting more attention. Greenwashing is a term used to describe overstating a products "greenness", or, as some have appropriately put it, a products "shade of green". There are two main arguments. The first is that greenwashing is an evil practice used to deceive consumers and slow down the green movement. The second is that accusing companies of greenwashing is unnecessary slander that punishes them for taking small steps in the right direction. What do you think? Since it's obvious that some companies will want to overstate a products green characteristics to save money, I believe that it's important to c Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
2049 Views
Go Green with home plan DDI105-202
  The Plan #119-1232 (DDI105-202) has some major green advantages and opportunities. To start off with, its basically a three story home, which is not only less expensive to build than something spread out, but disturbs less ground. Its many windows and outdoor decks allow natural cooling and ventilation. Perhaps most important, it fits a lot of house into a small square footage. The size of homes has basically doubled in recent years, so a small house that works extra hard for you is a great start!   What can you do to make it green? Well to start off with, think insulation. This plan has a lot of windows and they're spread throughout the house. Passive solar is not an option and windows represent a weak point in Read more
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Published On : 05-15-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
4445 Views

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