19 Aug

Orange Oil Termite Pest Control – XT-2000 Orange Oil

Posted by Norman F, August 19th, 2015

termite, orange oil, termites

Termites are a  terrible problem to have. We recently found some dead swarmers near our windows and were reminded of the toxic chemicals used to eradicate termites. Additionally, a house in our neighborhood became tented with a truck labeled with a poison logo – Inhalation hazard # Two.

Figuring out termite control can be equally confusing.  Traditional house tenting and using poisonous chemicals like sulfuryl fluoride – Vikane is now competing with using Orange Oil (XT-2000) which does not require tenting and moving out.  There are tradeoffs with each.

Identifying Type of Termite

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17 Aug

Living with a Tesla Model S 70D Electric Car

Posted by Norman F, August 17th, 2015

Tesla-Factory Super Charger Model S

We recently purchased a Tesla Model S 70D. Much has been written about this excellent electric car—instead of providing a more technical review, we will provide insight gleaned from day to day use of this car in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our original goal with this purchase was to become more green by eliminating our usage of gas. Moreover, we are supporting our local economy as this car was produced right across the Bay. Being a hard core gadget head, it is hard not to appreciate the way this vehicle is loaded with a beautiful touch screen and tons of options for tweaking and staying up to date. (It does become a distraction.) Compared to a similarly priced sedan from Mercedes or BMW, this car seems to be light years ahead. Especially when you factor in the $7500 Federal and $2500 California rebates.

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3 Aug

Wireless Network (Wi-Fi) Health Effects and Safety

Posted by Norman F, August 3rd, 2015

Wi-Fi Wireless Network Health and Safety

When we mention Wi-Fi Safety, we are not talking about getting your credit card or personal information stolen, instead we are concerned about the radiation from Wireless networking and its effects on the human body.

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) is everywhere

  • Wi-Fi
  • Microwave ovens
  • Radios
  • Televisions
  • Cell Phones, Cell Phone Towers
  • Cordless Phones
  • Power lines
  • X-rays

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26 Jul

2015 Solar Tax Credit – Solar Rebate

Posted by Norman F, July 26th, 2015

solar panel, solar energy
Get a Free Solar Power Estimate from a local vendor by clicking the link to the right.

2014 – 2015 continues the very popular residential Solar Federal Tax Credit first enacted in 2009.  The previous solar tax credit program was capped at $2,000.  With the new credit, you can claim up to 30% of solar power costs for a new solar electric system off your Federal taxes. Existing homes & new construction qualify. Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rental properties do not qualify. Tax Rebate Expires: December 31, 2016 The Solar Federal Tax Credit 2013 – 2014 works especially well when coupled with a state rebate program. (CA, CT, NJ, NY)

Also look for city solar incentive programs, that can also save you money on your solar panels. Read the rest of this entry »



Coming out over the last couple years, home energy monitoring systems show a computerized display of home electricity consumption. The only way to really know how to save electricity is by understanding how much power products actually use.  Being able to see how much you are spending at any moment is a powerful and motivational tool to save energy!

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green eco-friendly notebook computer

Computers use a lot of power. We have covered how to save energy on computers in the past. Here are additional tips on saving energy.

Software Tools to save Power

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26 May

Inkjet and Toner Saving Software and Solutions

Posted by Norman F, May 26th, 2015

We have covered the costs, non eco friendliness, and inconvenient inkjet printer cartridge area in several articles including refilling inkjet cartridges.  We recently ran across several software programs that claim to help reduce the amount of ink you use while maintaining high resolution quality prints.

Ecofont is a free typeface that looks like Arial but has lots of little holes punched in it, so it will require up to 20% less ink to print. At sizes of 12 point or larger, the holes are very visible. Selecting the font Century Gothic will also reduce the amount of ink that is needed.

inkgard costs $9.99 a year and claims to have upto 75% ink & toner savings. It works on your PC in the background and uses ‘intelligent image processing’ to prevent wasteful overlapping of droplets and toner particles.  They also sell replacement ink.

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variable Speed Pool Pumps, multi speed pool pump

Swimming pool pumps use a ton of electricity. It is estimated that they use up a shockingly high percentage of all residential power and use almost 1500 kWh of power each year. Spa pumps and heaters use up to 2250 kWh of energy every year. The pool pump uses most of the power, so finding energy efficient pool pumps is very important. It pushes water through filtration units and has not changed in many years. New variable speed pool pumps are now available. They are energy efficient and are quieter by running motors slower, but run for longer periods of time.

Pool Pump Power Usage

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27 Apr

Eco Friendly or Green Remodelling – Kitchen Cabinets, Construction

Posted by Norman F, April 27th, 2015

green kitchen, eco-friendly kitchen

It is spring and many people including us are interested in remodeling. Our last project was in our kitchen, here are some lessons we learned.

Green Construction

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22 Apr

Earth Day – Become more Eco-Friendly and Green

Posted by Norman F, April 22nd, 2015

Earth, Reuse, Hands Holding Earth

Happy Earth Day, Monday April 22, 2015. It’s great that more attention is being paid to eco friendly, green causes. Earth Day started slow, but has gained momentum every year. We celebrate it everyday as do many of our readers. Look for local events in your community.

Take time to help educate friends, neighbors, family members, and strangers about ways to lead a more eco friendly or green lifestyle. Only through extended enlightenment, can the cause succeed.

  • Change all your lightbulbs to CFLs
  • Walk or take public transportation instead of driving your car today.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Recycle everything you can today. Learn new ways to recycle items.
  • Plant a new tree in your garden
  • Stick to organic, sustainable, and local products today.
  • Eliminate your junk mail
  • Start using a reusable bag

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