31 Aug
2018

Fall Energy Saving Tips and Fall Preparation

Posted by Norman F, August 31st, 2018

fall leaves, autumn colors, tree with orange and yellow leaves

Fall coming and a chill is in the air.  It is time to get prepared for colder and wetter weather. Not only can we make our  home more comfortable, we can save on our energy bill.

  1. Conduct an energy assessment or energy audit
  2. Get your heater or furnace serviced or upgraded. Replace air filters on heaters and air conditioners.
  3. Setup your programmable thermostat
  4. Check Your smoke detectors and change their batteries. Install carbon monoxide detectors if you don’t have any. They are now required in certain states.
  5. Seal air leaks, add insulation, fix leaky air ducts. Also insulate any exposed outdoor plumbing
  6. Clean your gutters and drain pipe
  7. Tune your sprinkler system or install a Smart controller
  8. Take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency for wind, geothermal, solar, and more.
  9. Cut back any tree branches or foliage that is in danger of falling
  10. Check and fix your deck for leaks, cracks, and nails in need of repair
  11. If you live in the North and have a lawn, it may be time to fertilize your lawn

Going green makes the cold season more bearable and easier on the wallet.

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19 Jul
2018

Healthy Food Options to Avoid Harmful Chemicals and Risks

Posted by Norman F, July 19th, 2018

Last Update: 9/4/2018

organic oranges

Is this Okay to Eat?

Every year it seems that a new study comes up telling us that another popular food is unhealthy or causes cancer. The latest controversy in 2015 was over processed meats and the WHO declaring that bacon, hot dogs, etc cause colorectal cancer. It seems what is good this year, is bad the next.  Is Kale next?

Everyone knows about the major food groups, eating a balanced diet, and following USDA’s My Plate. Here are some healthy  food options that we have read about that help people avoid harmful chemicals.

Food Labeling

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1 Jul
2018

Eco Friendly, Green and Safe Sunscreen

Posted by Norman F, July 1st, 2018

The sun is finally out again. I did not realize that finding an eco friendly or green sunscreen was a difficult task, especially when one is on vacation.  EWG reports that UV filtering ingredients in sunscreen have been proven to cause bleaching in the algae that lives on coral, thus killing the entire structure. EWG only recommended 8% of the sunscreens they tested.

The Food and Drug Administration revamped sunscreen rules in June 2011. The new rules should help demystify the sun blocking properties of sunscreens.

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22 May
2018

Green Summer Preparation Tips and Season Home Preparation Tips

Posted by Norman F, May 22nd, 2018

swimming pool, inground swimming pool, Polaris pool sweep

Summer is rapidly approaching, it is time to clean up your place. EWG Has a nice list of tips to help you clean your house the green more eco-friendly way.

  • When traveling on vacation, try to carpool, take public transportation, or walk as much as possible
  • Check the exterior of your home and repair any cracked or flaking paint
  • Check and clean gutters again
  • It is time to work on your garden, sprinkler system, and rejuvenate your lawn
  • Check and clean chimney if necessary
  • Check your water heater for leaks and sediment, turn down its temperature if possible
  • Look for termites, ants, and other pests
  • The heater will get a rest, so it’s time to check your air conditioner and its filters
  • Check your roof and patch or replace any damaged areas
  • Consider a solar electric system
  • If you live in a windy area, consider a wind turbine
  • If you your car needs replacement, consider purchasing a hybrid or all electric car

Some other useful tips include:

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24 Apr
2018

10 Green Spring Cleaning Tips and Season Home Preparation Tips

Posted by Norman F, April 24th, 2018

plum blossoms, spring, flowers on tree

Spring is rapidly approaching, it is time to clean up your place. EWG Has a nice list of tips to help you clean your house the green more eco-friendly way.

  • Check the exterior of your home and repair any cracked or flaking paint
  • Check and clean gutters again
  • It is time to work on your garden and rejuvenate your lawn
  • Inspect and test your sprinkler system. It will be needed soon
  • Clean out your garage and closets. The holiday season is over and it is time to donate useless items and recycle other things
  • Bad weather is over. Your car needs some TLC. Change its oil if necessary, get an inspection, clean and wax its exterior
  • Check and clean chimney if necessary
  • The heater will get a rest, so it’s time to check your air conditioner and its filters
  • Check your roof and patch or replace any damaged areas

Some other useful tips

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22 Apr
2018

Picking Solar Panels – Finding the Best Solar Panels

Posted by Norman F, April 22nd, 2018

Last Update: August 23, 2018

solar panels

The Earth receives more energy from the Sun in one hour than the whole World uses in a whole year.  Time to tap into that. Solar power is used to power everything from calculators to Coast Guard buoys to highway signs to the International Space Station.

You have read Are Solar Panels for me? and Solar Panel Installation – Planning and are ready for more details. Photovoltaic Solar panels were invented at Bell Labs in 1953. They have evolved over the years and several different types of solar panels exist, and choosing between then is confusing.  No one vendor will have access to all products, so you will have to do some shopping around to find the best solar panels.

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22 Apr
2018

Earth Day 2018 – Become more Eco-Friendly and Green

Posted by Norman F, April 22nd, 2018

Earth, Reuse, Hands Holding Earth

Happy Earth Day, Sunday April 22, 2018. 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.

  • Eat leftovers, do not go out to eat
  • Use a refillable water bottle
  • Change all your lightbulbs to CFLs or LEDs
  • 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
  • Switch to an Electric Car like a Chevy Bolt or Tesla Model S
  • Put solar panels on your roof

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22 Mar
2018

2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Review

Posted by Norman F, March 22nd, 2018

Last Update: 8/2/2018

Tesla Delivery Center – Fremont, CA

We recently received our Tesla Model 3 Long Range 2018 after a long wait.  We also own a Model S 70D, allowing us to get the 3 much earlier compared to the general public. Much has been written about this excellent electric car—instead of providing a more technical review, we will provide insight gleaned from daily driving this car in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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12 Mar
2018

Costco Inkjet Cartridge Refill Service – Discount Ink Cartridges

Posted by Norman F, March 12th, 2018

Inkjet Cartridges Get more Expensive

In September 2016, HP issued a software update to various printers that PREVENTS them from using non HP Ink! Do not install this.  They reversed course in October 2016 to update the software again and remove this restriction.

The printers affected by the firmware upgrade are HP Officejet Pro 8610, HP Officejet Pro 8615, HP Officejet Pro 8620, HP Officejet Pro 8625, HP Officejet Pro 8630, and HP Officejet Pro 6230 ePrinter, HP Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One Printer, HP Officejet Pro 6835 e-All-in-One Printer, HP Officejet 6812 e-All-in-One Printer, HP Officejet 6815 e-All-in-One Printer

Costco inkjet cartridge refill service, inkjet cartridge, cheap inkjet cartridge

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15 Feb
2018

Winter Green Pest Control Tips – Ants, Organic Pesticides

Posted by Norman F, February 15th, 2018

Green pest control with orange guard

Winter time brings on the bugs, seemingly at the same time every year. The ants in our area seem to love to visit our kitchen when the first heavy rains hit. Almost everyone has to deal with pests.  Whether indoor or outdoors, we need to think about eco friendly, green alternatives to toxic pesticides. Here are some Winter Pest Control Tips that we have found from trial and error.

Access control – Finding Where Ants are Coming From

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