Category Archives: Green Living

10 Green Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

coverFor more tips, click HERE

Water can freeze and break pipes, causing significant damage to walls, ceilings, floors and personal possessions stored in the basement or crawl spaces. By disconnecting hoses, shutting off valves and insulating you pipes, you can avoid this costly damage.

✔ Drain and disconnect your hoses – Be sure to drain all garden hoses and disconnect them from your home. If hoses are left connected, water can freeze in them and bust your outdoor pipes.

✔ If you leave your home, set your thermostat to 55 F – If you are leaving your home for more than a couple of days, make sure that your thermostat is set to no lower than F 55. This will insure that your pipes, will have adequate heat to keep from freezing.

✔ Avoid frozen pipes – Exposed pipes represent the largest water threat to your home during the winter months. When water freezes it expands and can bust or crack your pipes, sending thousands of gallons of water into your home. Walls, ceilings, floors and personal possessions stored in the basement or crawl spaces can all be ruined.

Be sure to first identify, and then properly insulate any exposed pipes that may be in crawl spaces, basements, garages or on the exterior of your house. You can insulate your pipes with foam-rubber pipe insulation to protect exposed pipes from cold. The insulation process is straightforward. Simply slip foam-rubber insulation over pipe, peel away backing strips, then press the adhesive surfaces together.

Another option is to wrap your exposed pipes with electrical heating tape. These tapes are specifically designed to wrap around water pipes and act like a little electric blanket preventing the pipes from freezing. Be sure any heating tapes you buy have been approved by Underwriters Laboratories and have the UL symbol on them.

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Free Webinar: Managing Food Waste

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center is hosting the Best Practices and Solutions for Addressing Food Waste Webinar, in partnership with The Dow Chemical Company, City of Phoenix, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Houston Advanced Research Center. Attendees will learn more about the food waste challenge, and explore how cities, government, and businesses are leveraging partnerships, technology, innovation and other strategies to eliminate food waste.

Food waste is a huge issue. Around one-third of edible food produced globally each year – 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted. In the U.S. alone approximately 40% of food, or 36 million tons worth $162 billion, goes to waste annually. Every time food is wasted the embedded water, energy, and other resources that went into making that food is also wasted. The main causes of food waste are numerous – including overproduction, packaging and product damage, inadequate storage, and excess portions prepared – and occurs throughout the entire food chain, from farmers to the food industry to retailers to end consumers. Given that the world will need to increase food production by 70% to keep pace with population growth, 870 million people are starving, and industry cannot afford to lose up to 40% of production, we need new and innovative approaches to address food waste going forward. This includes recognizing food waste as a recoverable and valuable resource that can save money, create new lines of business, stimulate the economy, improve community health and well-being, and reduce negative environmental impacts.

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Tetra Pak Launches Industry’s First Package Made Entirely From Plant Based, Renewable Packaging Materials

Tetra-PakLAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 16, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Tetra Pak, the world leader in food processing and packaging solutions, today announces the launch of the industry’s first carton made entirely from plant based, renewable packaging materials. The new Tetra Rex® carton will be the first in the market to have bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE) films and bio-based high-density polyethylene (HDPE) caps, both derived from sugar cane, in addition to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC ™) certified paperboard.

“Environment excellence is one of Tetra Pak’s strategic priorities and a driver of our product development activities,” said Charles Brand, VP Marketing & Product Management at Tetra Pak. “Together with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders, we are leading the industry towards 100% renewable packaging. We believe that increasing the renewable content of our packages is not only good for the environment, but also offers our customers a competitive advantage in the overall environmental profile of their products.”

Developed in partnership with Braskem, one of the world’s leading biopolymers producers, the new Tetra Rex package will be commercially available in early 2015. Tetra Pak customers using the standard 1 litre Tetra Rex with TwistCap OSO 34 can easily transfer to the new version without the need for any additional investment or modification to their existing filling machines.

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How to measure your home’s environmental impact

cover_small__88218This is an excerpt from “Greening your Home” by Anthony Gilbreath.  To purchase an electronic version of this book, click HERE.  The paper version can be purchased at Amazon.

Two popular methods of measuring your home’s ecological impact are the Ecological Footprint (EF) and the Household Carbon Footprint (HCF).

Ecological Footprint (EF) – The EF has emerged as a leading measure of humanity’s (and your personal) demand on nature. It measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes, using prevailing technology. Your EF is broken into Consumption Categories and Biomes.

• Consumption Categories – Consumption Categories show where you consume resources and generate waste. The categories include Carbon Footprint, Food Footprint, Housing Footprint and Goods & Services Footprint. This is usually represented in a percentage breakdown, all categories together adding up to 100%.

• Biomes – Biomes describe how many ‘global acres’ are required to support your lifestyle. Biomes include energy land, crop land, grazing land, forest land, built-up land and fishing grounds.

There are many EF assessment tools available online that can help you determine the EF of your home.

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