Category Archives: Got Energy?

Sometimes, I’m a Big Green Hypocrite!

I am, by no means, perfect when it comes to green living.

There are many, many things I know I can easily replace in my home that consume energy. I can easily do more.

So why don’t I? Because I’m used to convenience. I like my food processor and my coffee maker. I love my vacuum and my lawnmower. I had once made a vow to begin replacing items in my home with green equivalents, if or when they broke down or got used up. Old habits die hard. My first instinct is to head to Walmart and pick up a replacement at a very low, low price.

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Save Energy & Win Green With The Home Depot

The Home Depot is running a “Save Money. Save Energy. Win Big!” video contest until midnight PST on Sunday, November 9th. The contest winner will receive a $5,000 Home Depot gift card and up to $2,000 for installed insulation or radiant barrier products from The Home Depot Home Services.

How to win these awesome eco-prizes?

Just shoot a short video to show how you are saving money and helping the environment by making your home more energy efficient, and enter it at That’s it!

The videos should focus on conserving energy in your home and addressing issues to prevent high energy bills – such as the use of dimmer switches, ceiling fans, water conservation and/or insulation.

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Fall Cleanup With A Little Elbow Grease And Manpower

Leaves blowing around the yard may be a discouraging sight to the tidy landscaper, but with the right lens, leaves covering the ground can be seen as ample opportunities.

Many outdoorsy folks look forward to the fall as an opportunity to work in their yards during comfortable weather and to get outside and play. Last week, Amy, also known as the Crunchy Domestic Goddess, shared a few tips on how gardeners and composters may make use of fallen brown leaves to create a nutrient-rich compost throughout the year.

When it comes to managing fall leaves, you may also wonder how to remove leaves from your yard in an environmentally friendly way, and whether or not it makes sense to remove leaves at all.

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Seeing Green In November: The Energy Crisis On All Ballots This Year

It’s the middle of October and election day is fast   approaching. With November 4th comes one of the most highly anticipated and unprecedented presidential elections this country has ever seen. This year perhaps more than any other year before it, environmental issues–the idea of a nation learning daily how to go green and greener still–will play a significant role in choosing candidacy, as no doubt our nation’s leadership will help propel or hinder our forward motion in the areas of eco-friendly living and preservation on a global scale.

Feeling strongly that you should make the decision for yourself–and hopefully you already have–I am not here to sway you to one candidate’s side or the other; nor am I here to debate along partisan lines.

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It’s Getting Cool: 5 Easy Ways To Warm Up

With the temperatures dropping and fuel prices soaring, you may be wondering how to stay warm this winter without going broke. According to one statistic, the average American household will spend $1900 each year on energy bills and release double the amount of greenhouse gases than does the average car. Luckily, there are several ways to live green, stay warm, and save money all at the same time. Below are 5 easy ways to warm up:

1. Tame Your Thermostat. The Energy Information Administration, which provides official energy statistics from the U.S. Government, in a 1997 report states that households that lowered their home temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit during the winter saved between $15 and $40 on average; mind you, this report was done over 10 years ago.

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5 Minute Green Miracles

Making miracles happen may seem a bit daunting for a Tuesday morning, but with 5 minutes to spare, you can take it upon yourself to make something wonderful happen for our earth. Here’s a few quick ways to make a miracle when the phone is ringing, the kids are making a ruckus, and you’re feeling like green living is impossible:

1. Unplug it. That’s right. Walk over to your laptop and computer, your counter top appliances, your television, hair dryer, vacuum, alarm clock, cell phone and lamps, and pull the plugs. Even when electronics are turned off and plugged in, they continue to draw power.

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Slowing Down Is Good For The Soul-And The Earth

clothes_pins.jpgI’ve found there are several aspects of my journey towards going green that require me to slow down my usual crazy, hectic pace, and, I admit, this isn’t always easy. When you decide to do things like prepare your meals from scratch, grow a garden, make your own yogurt or dry your clothes outside on a clothesline, you have to A) plan ahead and B) allow yourself the time to accomplish these things. This doesn’t always make for an easy transition in a world where time is money and we often over-schedule our lives.

When I first started drying our laundry (everything from cloth napkins to clothes, linens to cloth diapers) on a clothesline this summer, I was frustrated with how much time it took, specifically to hang everything up.

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Save Your Energy!

I never knew raising kids required so much energy! And I’m not just talking about the energy that I expend chasing my kids around all day. I’m talking about the energy I use in my home to feed, wash, entertain, and clean up after them. Americans use nearly a million dollars worth of energy every minute…EVERY MINUTE! The good news is that it’s much easier than you think to reduce your contribution to that figure, trimming your monthly energy bill while helping you protect the planet. Here are some easy ideas for reducing energy consumption in your home:

Control Your Temperature: About 2/3 of the money you spend on energy is used to control your home’s temperature.

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A/C Free in Chicago

What started as a joke with our neighbor has grown into a tiny obsession in our home. Months ago on a warm spring day our neighbor chatted with my husband Andy and I about the surrounding homes running their AC full tilt so early in the season. Since our windows were open, we could hear the incessant humming of the machines. Who wouldn’t long for the cool, refreshing breeze wafting into their home after a long winter we wondered.

Once the conversation turned to greening our lives, I made a wager with my neighbor that he would turn on his AC before us. 

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Keeping Your Cool When it’s HOT, the Green Way

1032896_sun.jpgSummer is upon us and as the temperatures rise, so does our need to stay cool. Is it possible to beat the heat without (gasp) air conditioning? As someone who has been living in an A/C-free house for most of her life, I can tell you that it’s not always easy or pleasant, but I have picked up many techniques along the way to keep myself and my family as cool and comfortable as possible. Going without air conditioning might take a little getting used to and some creativity, but with my tips below, you will soon be on the path to living a cooler, greener summer.

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