Posted by Norman Fong, November 19th, 2013
Many of us spend a lot of water, mowing, and hence money, keeping their grass green. We decided to see if moving to artificial grass would be a cheaper proposition. Some of the newer ones look pretty good.
Costco even sells artificial turf. 15′ x 25′ costs $1399. Not exactly cheap but a lot cheaper than before. It comes with upto an 8 year warranty and is pet friendly. Many are made of recycled tires or water bottles. No more weeding, watering, or mowing. Costco surprisingly has a link to a MSDS sheet that shows it is Heavy Metal free (lead free) and is primarily made of polypropylene.
Dupont has added Forever lawn that has a 12-15 year lifetime, 8yr warranty.
Posted by Norman Fong, November 11th, 2013
Dog waste is a public health issue. Keeping parks and streets clean is an important problem that needs to be addressed daily. Our dog needs to use these bags one to two times each day. Over the lifetime of the average dog, we will uses 5,000 of these. Multiply that by the number of dogs in the US and you have a ton of dog waste.
Dog Waste Bags
Saw man’s best friend doing his business the other day, and the owner responsibly picking up the waste with a reused plastic bag. Petroleum based plastic bags take forever to decay. Biodegrabable dog waste bags made of starch are available that degrade in only 90 days to 18 months. If these bags reach the landfill, they will take even longer decompose. Landfills are designed to protect the environment and prevent leakage, so it is hard for air and liquids to circulate, which help facilitate biodegradation. When organic matter decays in a landfill, it usually creates the greenhouse gas methane. Make sure dog droppings are not put into the compost bin.
Posted by Norman Fong, November 4th, 2013
Winter is the time of the year to help protect the value of your home and save energy by making several adjustments. Now is not the time to remodel or repaint your home, but a time to fine tune the operation of your home. You’re basically dialing in any changes you may for Fall, and should move major fixes to springtime.
In October/November when the daylight savings time change occurs, it is time to work on your Smoke Detectors – Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
Carbon Monoxide Detector – Smoke Alarms
Posted by Norman Fong, October 21st, 2013
Swimming pools are major resource sinks. If you are gifted (or cursed) with a swimming pool or spa, a pool cover is an essential item. It helps improve the safety of the pool by preventing small kids from falling in and it helps reduce electrical, heating, and chemical costs.
Pool covers are not substitutes for fences. Every pool should be fenced and locked. Many localities including ours require a perimeter fence around the pool.
Posted by Norman Fong, October 14th, 2013
Chicken in California from Foster Farms is getting people sick right now. (Oct 2013) They are not even recalling it! Foster Farms claims there factory has made changes so that it can reserve then.
Ground turkey from Cargill was being recalled. (August 2011) The meat maybe contaminated with salmonella bacteria. A reminder that we need to thoroughly cook meat products to kill any bacteria. These outbreaks of contamination revive the debate over whether too many antibiotics are used in livestock. Antibiotic resistant bacteria can be promoted. The FDA is investigating the area.
Consumerreports.org has investigated Chicken Safety by purchasing fresh, whole broilers at various stores and analyzing them. They found 2/3 contained Salmonella and/or Campylobacter bacteria. This is an improvement from their last test 3 years ago.
Posted by Norman Fong, October 7th, 2013
California and many other regions are having droughts. Water bills are sky high. Time to save water and money.
1) Replace older toilets with water saving dual flush toilets or stick a displacement bag in your old toilet. Fix or replace leaky toilets.
2) Install low flow water saving shower heads with aerators. Average 10 minute shower uses 40 gallons of water. A bath can use 30 to 50 gallons of water. Look for shower heads with aerators that use 2.5 gallons a minute or less rather than the usual 5 gallons per minute. They can cost $5 or less.
Recycle Cell Phones, Recycle Electronics, Recycle Computer Equipment Responsibly – Canon and Sony Electronics Trade-in program
Posted by Norman Fong, September 9th, 2013
New smartphones and gadgets like the iPhone 5S, 5C are popping up daily. Time to recycle cell phones and recycle mobile phones. The digital TV transition caused many new TVs to be sold. Time to recycle your TV. Computer are getting faster and cheaper every year. Recycle computer equipment responsibly! Repairing is even greener.
Don’t forget to Secure your iPhone
Posted by Norman Fong, August 13th, 2013
Going Green. Over the past few years you’ve seen this expression pop up more and more. People, products, and businesses are continuously declaring that they’re “going green”. Even our government is offering tax breaks and incentives for eco-friendly products and businesses. As small business owner, you want to contribute to the eco-movement. But you have hesitations. Maybe you think it’s too time consuming to go green. Maybe it’s on your list of things to do, but you’re not sure exactly where to start or what you can do. And more importantly, you want to turn a profit quickly and you don’t want to risk financial loss. Well in this article you will see that not only is it easier than you think to go green, but it’s also beneficial on your bottom line as well.
Here are ten easy tips to make your business more eco friendly:
- Recycle bins
Posted by Norman Fong, August 7th, 2013
Granite counter tops are desirable upgrades for many remodeling their kitchen. We investigated green, eco friendly alternatives like Icestone, Cambria, Vetrazzo, Richlite, Paperstone but did not find any finishes to our liking. Also the price for the granite we liked was less that all these. We could buy granite and donate the extra money to charity or carbon offsets. We tried to buy granite that was from more responsible countries, so we excluded China, India, Iran. We tried to buy ‘local’ American but only a salt and pepper color was available.
Cambria is one of a select few countertops manufactured in the United States. Most others are made overseas, which significantly reduces the greenness of the material due to transportation costs and petroleum use.
Stainless Steel Countertops
Posted by Norman Fong, July 22nd, 2013
Consumerreports.org reports that some Protein Drinks like Muscle milk are contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. They recently investigated 15 drinks and found that most people already had enough protein. Some of the drinks even posed a health risk, due to the presence of possibly harmful heavy metals.
Federal regulations do not generally require that these protein drinks and other dietary supplements be tested to ensure that they are safe and free of contaminants.