Category Archives: Recycling

Wash water + a simple valve = happy plants

From on Monday, June 8, 2009:

Susan Carpenter breaks California state plumbing code three times a week. Her accomplice is her washing machine. Rinse water from washing machines usually goes into the sewer — so what if you could recycle it? That’s what Carpenter does, using it to water plants at her Southern California home.

“The washing machine is filling up with water, and it is going through its normal process of washing clothes,” she says. “And after about eight minutes, you’ll start to hear it spin and we will run outside and see it squirting through the tubes.”

The “it” is gray water, which looks like its name — a bit gray, a bit cloudy. After all, it’s the wastewater from bathtubs, sinks and washers.

The gray water lapping up Carpenter’s dirty clothes will soon be lapped up by her passion fruit trees — and no, the fruit won’t taste like Tide. She uses a special type of detergent that doesn’t contain salt or boron, compounds which dehydrate plants.

Click here to read (or listen to) the whole story.

First Ever Recycle Roundup: Recycle Now!

BY Adam Wasch, Energy Outreach Consultant for CCHRC and UAF CES
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner May 14th, 2009, Section A3

It’s not easy recycling in Fairbanks. Just as soon as you load your vehicle full of cans, bottles, and plastics to drop off at the last place you took them, it turns out that whoever accepted recycling before has since stopped, disappeared, or is serving time. In all fairness, it’s not easy being a recycler, either. Unlike other places where recycling options are plentiful and profitable, Fairbanks is remote enough to make recycling a costly business. After all, it takes labor and fuel to process and transport recycling. Continue reading

The biggest energy source? Efficiency!

From Yale University’s environment360, posted on 11/26/08, retrieved on Friday, February 27, 2009:

Yale Environment 360: You have called energy efficiency “the largest, cheapest, safest, cleanest, fastest way to provide energy services.” How do you quantify that claim? For example, how large, how cheap, how fast?

Amory Lovins: Oh, for example, in the United States we could save at least half the oil and gas and three-quarters of the electricity we use, and that efficiency investment would cost only about an eighth [of] what we’re now paying for those forms of energy. …

Click here to read the whole article, or listen to the podcast of the interview.

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A "green" green lawn

From the New York Times, published on April 1, 2009:

In honor of spring and the ongoing quest for the perfect lawn, the Green Home asked Bill Duesing, an educator with the Northeast Organic Farming Association, a nonprofit group devoted to sustainable farming and gardening, for tips on achieving an attractive yard without wreaking environmental havoc.

Click here to read the whole article.

"To sleep, perchance more green"

From, Tuesday, May 5, 2009:

It’s unsurprising, if a little odd, that green marketing has come to the world of mattresses. A mattress may be a big-ticket consumer item—in 2006, the median price for a queen-size mattress was $650—but unlike refrigerators or cars, its carbon footprint is negligible. Still, eco-sales pitches are prevalent in the mattress market, with just about every major manufacturer having rolled out some kind of “green” product in the last few years.

Click here to read the whole article.

The fundamental problem — too many people or too much stuff?

From Yale’s environment360 website:

It’s the great taboo, I hear many environmentalists say. Population growth is the driving force behind our wrecking of the planet, but we are afraid to discuss it.

It sounds like a no-brainer. More people must inevitably be bad for the environment, taking more resources and causing more pollution, driving the planet ever farther beyond its carrying capacity. But hold on. This is a terribly convenient argument — “over-consumers” in rich countries can blame “over-breeders” in distant lands for the state of the planet. But what are the facts?

Click here to read the whole opinion piece.

Green tax tips

From the New York Times on Wednesday, April 8, 2009:

Still looking for ways to lower your taxes? Greening your home means you can get more greenbacks in return. The stimulus plan approved by Congress in February offers tax credits for making your home more energy efficient. For tax tips, the Green Home turned to Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit group that advocated some of these credits.

Click here to read the whole article.

Recycling Old TVs Critical to Health, Environment

BY Adam Wasch, Energy Outreach Consultant for CCHRC and UAF CES
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner March 26th, 2009, Section A3

For a moment in time, the innards of an old-fashioned television and a flower bouquet look similar when blown up. This odd fact occurred to me when looking at the artwork of a contemporary artist named Ori Gersht, who meticulously arranged bouquets based upon a series of 19th Century French paintings, froze them in liquid nitrogen, and photographed them in the act of blowing up. I blew up a television once, so I know how the two compare. Continue reading

Five small steps to your green home

From the New York Times on Wednesday, March 11, 2009:

A recent search for “green home” pulled up more than 15,000 book titles. Who has time to read them all? So this week, The Green Home tracked down Eric Corey Freed, the author of “Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies,” and asked him to distill this growing cottage industry of green advice into five must-do steps.

Click here to read the whole article.