Environment

Recycle & Be Rewarded

Protecting Ash Trees Help You Go Green Efficient Cooling & Heating Ethanoll Good for America Is Fracking Dangerous? Geothermal Systems Get Septic Smart

Recycle And Be Rewarded

(NAPSI)—Here’s a look at a rare chance to use rare earth to help both the Earth and your skin.

Kiehl’s Since 1851, the venerable purveyor of fine-quality skin and hair care, will donate 100 percent of net profits, up to $50,000, from its sixth annual Limited Edition Label Art Series for Earth Day to the not-for-profit Recycle Across America to create 65,000 standardized recycling labels for schools. Studies show these labels can raise recycling rates by nearly 50 percent.

The limited edition labels, with Earth-inspired designs, adorn the Limited Edition Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque and were designed by socially conscious actors Ashley Judd and Anthony Mackie. Celebrity photographer Laurie Lynn Stark captures each personality in her unique style.

The masque’s key ingredient, fair-trade Amazonian white clay, can remove dirt, toxins, excess oil, and dead cells, leaving skin more refined with minimized pores.

Once you use the masque, you can return the container to Kiehl’s stores as part of its Recycle and Be Rewarded! program. Customers can return empty bottles, tubes and jars for recycling at Kiehl’s retail stores, and with every tenth empty, choose a free item.

Find Kiehl’s stores and learn more about Kiehl’s Limited Edition Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masques at www.kiehls.com/earthdaymasques and www.kiehls.com. Products are also at (800) KIEHLS-2 and specialty retailers.

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Protecting Ash Trees From An Invasive Pest

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for homeowners who have ash trees on their property. There is a simple way to protect this valuable tree.

In addition to creating a beautiful landscape, the benefit from a mature, healthy ash tree is about $217 a year in increased property value, air quality, cooling in summer, reduced heating costs and more, according to the National Tree Benefit Calculator.

However, they can be vulnerable to what some consider the most devastating of all invasive insect tree pests of the last 20 years—the emerald ash borer (EAB), a beetle native to Asia that was introduced to North America in 2002. EAB larvae live under the bark of the ash tree and feed on the tree’s transport tissue, starving the tree of nutrients.

EAB has already destroyed tens of millions of trees. In fact, most trees with EAB die in a few short years after the onset of symptoms.

Fortunately, one particular trunk injection treatment from Arborjet, administered by a professional applicator, will protect ash trees against EAB for up to two years, in many cases even if the trees are currently under attack.

Professionally applied trunk injection treatments cost a fraction of what tree removal and replacement does, which can be as much as $1,000 per tree.

Homeowners can look for a number of signs to identify EAB in ash trees, including a thinning canopy (upper layers of leaves), branches sprouting low on the trunk, bark that peels easily with lines appearing underneath, small D-shaped holes in the bark, and increased woodpecker damage.

For more information, visit www.arborjet.com.

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Tips To Help You “Go Green”

(NAPSI)—A growing number of consumers are learning that “going green”-taking steps to conserve energy and resources—can be very rewarding. Not only are they saving money, but they are also helping to cut back on waste in their home and in their community.

They’re also finding that getting started is easier than they expected. To help you “go green,” here are some tips:

• The next time you boil water, use any that’s left over to water your plants—just make sure to let the water cool down first.

• In lieu of sending old rugs to the landfill, check with local animal shelters to see if they can use them. Old towels, blankets and sheets are also welcome as they make great items for pet bedding.

• Instead of keeping leftover wall paint in old, rusty cans, use a funnel to transfer paint into a clean plastic bottle.

• Help your food dollar to go further by dropping fruits and veggies into lightly salted water to prevent them from turning brown.

• Using high-efficiency appliances in your home, such as the Energy Star Qualified Front Load Washer and the Electric Dryer with Efficiency Monitor from Amana, can help you save some green while going green.

This high-efficiency Amana laundry pair has simple and eco-efficient features, helping you save $3,300 in lifetime water and energy costs. This comes from comparing the average use of pre-2004 traditional top-load pairs with 11-year washer life and 12-year dryer life. The combined savings apply only to the electricity costs.

• According to Real Simple, about 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water. Unless you’re washing clothes that have oily stains, the warm or cold setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. GoodHousekeeping.com says you can save up to 25 cents for every laundry load you wash in cold water compared to using hot water.

• According to Amana.com, by using two six-month, 200-gallon water filters a year, a refrigerator system can filter the equivalent of 3,000 bottles of water, saving over $600 a year, based on buying the water in 24-pack units of 16-oz. bottles.

• An act as simple as putting green plants in your home/office can really pay dividends. Plants can make a space look cheery and improve air quality.

For additional tips and information, visit the website at www.amana.com.

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A More Efficient Approach To Cooling And Heating

(NAPSI)—According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50 percent of an average U.S. home’s energy bill can be linked directly to cooling and heating costs, which amounts to approximately $1,100 per year, depending on location.

Installing an energy-efficient cooling and heating system can be one of the most significant upgrades a homeowner can make to save on these utility costs.

A new development in home cooling and heating systems offers that chance. This new line of ductless cooling and heating systems is described as the most energy efficient available.

The Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) MSZ-FH Models from Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling & Heating Division (Mitsubishi Electric) have the highest efficiency ratings for cooling and heating systems at 30.5 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). H2i MSZ-FH Models are the best way to cool and heat a home, using up to 40 percent less energy per room than a traditional central air system.

No Ductwork

One characteristic of the system is that it operates without ductwork. Cooling and heating systems without ductwork have been commonplace in homes throughout Europe and Asia for decades. A ductless system offers greater energy efficiency than a traditional central cooling and heating system as well as lower operating costs.

“More homeowners now realize how much money can be saved by investing in energy-efficient cooling and heating. Because of this trend, energy efficiency is no longer a fringe product benefit. Homeowners expect it from the products we choose for our homes, and we should,” says Mike Smith, Mitsubishi Electric.

Additional Benefits

Other benefits of installing the system include:

• The ability to control each room independently: Rooms (or zones) can be cooled or heated to a specific temperature and turned off when unoccupied. “We’ve been trained from childhood to turn off the lights when we leave a room to save energy; ductless zoning systems allow us to do this with cooling and heating as well,” says Smith.

• Minimal sound disruption: The system provides the quietest possible operation for both indoor and outdoor environments.

• A cleaner environment: The system’s triple-action filtration system is designed to reduce allergens, viruses and bacteria circulating in the home’s air.

• Green certifications and tax credits: The H2i MSZ-FH Models are ENERGY STAR® qualified. Plus, the systems may also be eligible for local, state and federal tax credits or utility rebates in many states. This can help homeowners gain a return on their investment.

To learn more, you can visit www.mitsubishicomfort.com.

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Ethanol Is Good For America

(NAPSI)—How much you pay at the pump, how much we can avoid pollution and combat climate change, and how effectively we can stand up to other countries can all depend on whether the government continues a policy that’s been called an unmitigated success.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has reduced the United States dependence on imported petroleum, lowered gasoline prices, created jobs and economic opportunity across America, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

A Stronger, More Energy Independent Nation

A recent surge in ethanol production has reduced gasoline imports from 600,000 barrels per day a decade ago to near zero today. Looked at another way, the ethanol produced in 2013 displaced an amount of gasoline refined from 462 million barrels of imported crude oil. That’s roughly equivalent to the amount of crude oil imported annually from Venezuela and Iraq combined.

Lower Gas Prices

Ethanol is the lowest cost transportation fuel in the world. Today, it is selling for approximately 90 cents less than gasoline wholesale. At the national level, that not only means ethanol is bringing down the cost of gas per gallon, it is stretching our national fuel supply. Philip K. Verleger, a renowned energy economist, found ethanol saved consumers $0.50 to $1.50 per gallon in 2012-2013. A savings of $1.00 on average which adds up to an annual savings of approximately $1,200 per family.

Helping the Economy

The Renewable Fuels Standard encourages investment and innovation in the biofuels industry. As the next generation of ethanol refineries is built, the industry will bring its job-creating, revenue-generating benefits to states across this nation, not just the traditional Midwestern Corn Belt. The ethanol industry currently supports:

• 86,504 direct jobs

• 300,277 indirect and induced jobs

• $44 billion contribution to GDP

• $30.7 billion in household income.

Cleaner Air

The use of ethanol in gasoline in 2013 reduced CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 37.9 million metric tons—equivalent to removing 7.9 million cars from the road for an entire year.

What Others Are Doing

Many Americans are writing or calling their members of Congress to voice their support of the Renewable Fuels Standard.

How to Learn More

To learn about the many benefits of ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Standard, visit www.EthanolRFA.org.

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Is Fracking Dangerous For Our Health?

(NAPSI)—Concerns surrounding the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) on public health and our environment have policymakers, industrialists and scientists looking to address critical questions about safety.

Toxicologists—scientists who study the adverse effects of chemicals on human, animal and environmental health—can provide some of the answers and have identified a number of areas of potential concern regarding fracking. Water and air pollution, as well as worker health, associated with hydraulic fracturing need to be investigated further, according to the Society of Toxicology (SOT).

SOT, which represents more than 7,700 toxicologists, says that determining what risks hydraulic fracturing may pose to workers, nearby communities and the environment is challenging. The geologic composition of the fracking site, types of chemicals used, storage and handling of produced and flowback water, machinery employed and other factors can work individually or together to produce ill effects. Toxicologists are trained to characterize the potential health effects of specific chemicals and complex mixtures of chemicals by investigating how they interact with each other and how their effects may be altered by other factors.

Many studies are under way to better understand how hydraulic fracturing may contribute to the contamination of water and air supplies. SOT members and other toxicologists are currently part of these efforts and will continue to stage new studies and develop predictive models to understand if there is potential for harm to public or environmental health.

To learn more, visit the Society of Toxicology website at www.toxicology.org.

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Geothermal Systems: A Cold Weather Alternative

(NAPSI)—In many parts of the country, last winter’s low temperatures broke long-standing records. In fact, it was so cold that, nearly a year later, some people are still paying off their fuel bills.

As a result, a growing number of homeowners are looking for a more economical way to heat their home and many are considering geothermal systems for a number of good reasons.

• Savings And Efficiency

Geothermal systems, which draw on the stored energy in the earth, are much more efficient than propane and offer savings in the range of 70 to 80 percent on a yearly basis. Plus, consumers are not left vulnerable to volatility in the fossil fuel market or delivery prices.

• More Convenience

Unlike other renewable technologies, such as solar or wind, geothermal heat pumps provide constant benefits regardless of outdoor conditions. And there’s no waiting for fuel deliveries or running out of fuel at an inconvenient time.

• Equipment That Lasts

Geothermal systems tend to have a longer life span than propane-fueled heating systems. Furnaces that run off of propane have an estimated life span of 15 to 20 years. On the other hand, geothermal heat pumps have been found to have a life span of roughly 25 years, while the underground piping system that accesses the underground energy can last more than 100 years before needing to be replaced.

• Tax Credits Available

While the price and installation costs of a geothermal system are higher than those of a propane system, the yearly energy savings experienced with a geothermal system can allow a homeowner to recoup the additional installation costs spent within five to 10 years, on average.

Plus, a 30 percent federal tax credit is available to homeowners who install a geothermal heating and cooling system.

• A Variety Of Uses

Another advantage that geothermal offers over propane fuel is that a single geothermal system can provide a homeowner both heating and cooling.

Some geothermal systems even have an option that provides homes with hot water. With this combination, homeowners can enjoy even more savings. In some cases, that means up to 70 percent savings on their monthly utility bills.

To learn more, visit the website at www.waterfurnace.com/switch.

 

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Get SepticSmart About Your System—Protect Water And Save Money

(NAPSI)—Did you know that one in four homes in the U.S. rely on septic (on-site) systems to treat wastewater? Homeowners are responsible for making sure that their system works properly. If you aren’t, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repair or replacement costs.

During SepticSmart Week, September 22-26, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reminding homeowners and communities that regular care and maintenance will prevent failure of septic systems.

Failing septic systems can contribute excess nutrients to our water sources—lakes, rivers and groundwater. This can affect the safety of your drinking water if you get water from a private well or from a lake, as we saw in Lake Erie this summer.

With winter approaching, now is the perfect time to get your system inspected to ensure it is operating as designed. The added use that comes from summertime parties can put stress on your system; better to have it inspected now than wait until the holidays arrive and find that your system is not ready to handle the next family gathering!

Inspecting your system is not a do-it-yourself project and putting an additive into your system will not do the job, so go with a pro! The EPA recommends a professional, licensed inspection every three to five years, or annually for advanced systems.

As kids head back to school this fall, you can do your own homework by taking a look at daily activities that can affect the functioning of your septic system. Here are a few SepticSmart tips that are easy to remember:

Think at the Sink! What goes down your drain can have a major impact on how well your septic system works. If you have a septic system, you should not pour grease down the drain or use a garbage disposal.

Don’t Strain Your Drain! Efficient use of water and staggered use of water-based appliances can improve the operation of your septic system and reduce the risk of failure.

Shield Your Field! Trees, cars, livestock or other heavy things on your septic’s drainfield can cause damage.

Don’t Overload Your Commode! Your toilet is not a trash can. The only product you should flush is toilet paper. Anything else can clog and damage septic systems, even if it says “flushable.”

For a full list of the Dos and Don’ts and other helpful information, go to www.epa.gov/septicsmart and get SepticSmart!

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Note to Editors: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsors SepticSmart Week every year to remind Americans to take care of their septic systems. This year, SepticSmart Week is planned for September 22 through 26, 2014, but this story can run anytime before winter without the reference to SepticSmart Week. The EPA has a graphic available to post on websites during SepticSmart Week; contact Maureen Tooke at 208-378-5626 for artwork.

 

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