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 »

Filed under: Green | Tags: |

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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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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MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet

Do you worry about what is in that detergent or cleaning product?  How green is it really? What do I do if it gets on my skin? Is it dangerous?

We have often cited Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDS in our analysis of cleaning and construction products. What are they?

Newer SDS’s have a structured format and required information that MSDS’s were not required to have.

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Last Update: 2/2/2017

The weed killer Roundup is facing lawsuits over claims that it gave people cancer, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I saw a newspaper article with lawyers looking for more victims.

The lawyers base their cancer lawsuit claims on a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on cancer, IARC – a division of the WHO. It found Roundup aka glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic.” The report says glyphosate caused cancer in lab tests on animals and found that the chemical damaged DNA in human cells.

The Scotts Company sells the popular line of pesticides Ortho Home Defense MAX as well as Roundup. They produce everything from bug killers to rodent control products to Scotts Miracle Grow.

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30 Jan
2017

Living with a Tesla Model S 70D Electric Car Review in the Real World

Posted by Norman F, January 30th, 2017

Last Update: 8/28/2018

Tesla-Factory Super Charger Model S

Tesla Factory

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.

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30 Jan
2017

PSE&G Energy Efficiency Rebates

Posted by Norman F, January 30th, 2017

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

Utility Company PSE&G or Public Service Electric and Gas has a bunch of programs and incentives to help save energy, go green, and save money.

Questions, call 1-800-854-4444.

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