Last Updates: 10/9/2017

recycle cell phones, buy iphone

China Doesn’t Want our Trash Anymore!

In July 2017, China filed notice with the TWO that it plans to limit entry of foreign waste.  This means that scrap and other recycling will be imported far less in the future.  As the top producer of waste, the US will have to find a new place to unload our recycling. The US exported $16.5 billion in scrap during 2016 with over 2/3 of that going to China.

China is setting up a rule that used plastics and paper scrap would have to meet a 0.3% benchmark for carried waste. (staples, glue, other residue)  This level is very difficult to achieve. In the future, other countries including India, Vietnam, will have to pickup the load.

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21 Sep
2017

Eco Friendly Compostable Dog Waste Disposal – Natural Pet Food

Posted by Norman F, September 21st, 2017

dog waste bag, dog poop

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. Even if they are made from recycled plastic, it is still plastic. If these bags reach the landfill, they will take even longer decompose.

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7 Sep
2017

How to Build a Natural Swimming Pool

Posted by Norman F, September 7th, 2017

Natural swimming pools have been popular in Europe for years, but are now starting to make a splash in the United States and grow in popularity quickly. They are a fantastic nature-based sustainable and chemical-free alternative to traditional and mass manufactured pools.

Literally ‘green’ pools are kept healthy by developing their own plant-based ecosystem while creating a beautiful landscape feature for your garden at the same time. The plants and their careful aeration process bad bacteria and keep the pool looking clear, clean and healthy. Various plant habitats are planted in different zones of the pool. These plants typically include; rushes, water lilies, and sedges.

In this article, we break down the steps of building your own natural pool from digging the hole, lining, zoning different habitats, planting and considering different pool deck ideas to get the most out of your natural pool. Read the rest of this entry »

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26 Aug
2017

Green Eco Friendly Pest Control

Posted by Norman F, August 26th, 2017

eco-friendly, green and killer or insecticide pesticides

Almost everyone has to deal with pests.  Whether indoor or outdoors, we need to think about eco friendly pest control or green alternatives to toxic pesticides and insecticides.

The Bugman had a great list of things to do to help prevent pests. Some of the best tips:

  • Check your outside doors. If you can see light coming in from under the door or you can slide a piece of paper under the door, a bug can crawl in. You may want to install door sweeps or thresholds to keep them out.
  • Check for openings around pipes and cables that penetrate an outside wall and seal any you find. These are excellent places for ants and wasps to enter.
  • Make sure all of your screens are in good repair and that the doors and windows close properly.
  • Install hardware cloth on all attic, roof and crawl space vents in order to prevent rodents and insects from entering. If you have a chimney, make sure you have a chimney cap.
  • Keep debris away from the building as this will attract all sorts of insects, spiders, centipedes and rodents.
  • Go around the building periodically with a broom and knock down any spider webs. Spiders will not stay in an area where they are continually harassed.
  • If you have playground equipment, make sure you plug up the ends of the pipes on the equipment to prevent wasps from setting up housekeeping in them.
  • Do not leave outside lights on any longer than necessary. Lights attract a number of bugs and all sorts of things that eat bugs.
  • Cut back any branches on trees or shrubs that touch the facility. Ants will often use the limbs of trees and shrubs to gain access to buildings.
  • Keep flies away by hanging a zipped block bag half filled with water on your doors or windows that get sunlight. This will confuse the flies.
  • Keep rabbits and other small animals away by hanging CDs. This will confuse the animals.
  • Yellow Corn Meal spread around the base of plants will control cut-worms.

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21 Jul
2017

Stop Junk Mail, Stop Direct Marketing, Stop Robocalls Today

Posted by Norman F, July 21st, 2017

Annoying and wasteful.

Junk e-mail wastes natural resources, everything from paper to plastic to fuel to get the mail into your mailbox.  It is critical to limit the amount of junk mail you receive.

The Direct Marketing Association allows you to opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail and e-mail.

Stop Junk Mail.org has an easy to use printable form to stop junk mail. It has postcards to send in, places to write to, and 800 numbers to call to get you off many direct marketing lists.

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23 Jun
2017

PPL Electric Energy Efficiency Rebates to Save Money

Posted by Norman F, June 23rd, 2017

Air purifier, Gas Furnace
New rebates have been added for 2017.

Utility Company PPL Electric has a bunch of programs and incentives to help save energy and money.

  • $150 Energy Star Central Air Conditioning rebate
  • New Refrigerator Energy Star rebate $35
  • $300 Heating and Cooling Rebate for Heat pumps
  • Up to $400 rebate on water heaters
  • Up to 75% on Insulating your home’s attic
  • Up to $350 back for switching to a variable speed pool pump
  • Low income: Home Assessment, weatherization, and appliances
  • Appliance Recycling Program $35 rebate and haul your old appliance away for free through the Appliance Recycling program. Pick up your old room air conditioner and dehumidifier at the same time to qualify for a $25 rebate

New Home using PPL

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28 Apr
2017

Recycle Drugs, Recycle Medicine – Disposing of Medicine Properly

Posted by Norman F, April 28th, 2017

dual flush toilet from Toto

April 29, 20187 10am – 2pm local time, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The DEA is promoting this day for people to turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal. They have a local collection site locator on their website. Over 5600 sites will take back items. Several cities near me are participating with most drop of locations at police stations. Last year 324 tons was taken back and recycled.

Pennsylvania and Delaware had their events early in September 2015.

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22 Apr
2017

Earth Day 2017 – Become more Eco-Friendly and Green

Posted by Norman F, April 22nd, 2017

Earth, Reuse, Hands Holding Earth

Happy Earth Day, Monday April 22, 2017. 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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12 Apr
2017

California Ban on Toxic Flame Retardants (PBDEs)

Posted by Norman F, April 12th, 2017

organic mattress, green mattress

California has a Ban on Toxic Flame Retardants (PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ethers) that took effect in 2011. These commonly found chemicals are toxic and accumulate in breast milk, harming kids development. Several other states have followed California. If you live in other states, you may want to verify this. House dust gets mixed in with PBDE’s, causing this chemical to spread.

Since 1975, manufacturers of furniture have treated their products with inexpensive flame retardant chemicals. Tobacco firms have even pushed for this treatment, preventing them from having to create a fire safe cigarette. These chemicals don’t really cut down on flammability. They cause toxic gasses and smoke to occur, which causes most fire deaths and injuries.

In 2005, some fire retardant chemicals were banned. A study in 2012 that appeared in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology by UC Berkeley and Duke University, found that toxic and untested flame retardants were present on most couches that they examined. These chemicals are linked to cancer and other health problems. It is literally almost impossible to buy furniture without flame retardants. Additionally, furniture with flame retardants are not required to be labeled.

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22 Mar
2017

2017 Solar Tax Credit – Solar Rebate

Posted by Norman F, March 22nd, 2017

Last Update: April 2017

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

2016 – 2017 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, 2021 The Solar Federal Tax Credit 2016 – 2017 works especially well when coupled with a state rebate program. (CA, CT, NJ, NY)

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