Football Fans Energy Innovation

Shower Better A Meaningful Funeral Greener, Cleaner Bathroom Foaming Your Home Students help Recycling Taking Care of Business Cold Weather Home Efficiency

Football Fans Get Bright New Look At Energy Innovation

(NAPSI)—The next time you catch a football game, while you’re admiring the energy expended on the field, you might give a thought to how the sport is helping America save energy.

Bright Ideas

Take, for example, the towering symbol that’s the 30-foot-tall “Solar Man” at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. Designed to mimic a quarterback sending an epic spiral pass down the field, Solar Man is actually lined with a flexible solar film that draws energy from the sun, and he serves as a unique expression of how professional football stadiums are embracing alternative energy sources and introducing them to the gridiron audience.

Solar Man is unique, but he isn’t alone. The trend toward adopting smart energy technologies, such as solar and wind, is growing, and leading professional football teams, with their acute sense of responsibility to both their fans and their local community, are working with companies like NRG Energy to integrate sustainable solutions into their iconic home stadiums.

This trend is no doubt top of mind for fans at San Francisco’s brand-new Levi’s Stadium. As each fan enters the stadium, he or she traverses one of three pedestrian bridges covered in solar panels. These, along with solar panels atop the stadium’s Solar Terrace, help generate enough energy in a year to power a season of home games.

The trend reaches far beyond solar installations, as fans at Houston’s NRG Stadium will discover. The stadium will soon become the first professional football venue to have energy-efficient LED lights shining on its field—they use 60 percent less energy than the previous system—and that’s in addition to its new eVgo parking lot, where electric cars can charge up during the game.

Expert Opinion

“Americans are growing tremendously more aware of the limitations of our current energy system and are open to new solutions that are economic, resilient and good for the environment,” said NRG CEO David Crane. “Professional football, and particularly the football teams with whom we partner, touch almost every segment of our society and act as role models of what smart energy use looks like for individual homeowners and businesses alike.”

Combine all these energy innovations with the micro-wind turbines atop Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, and the Solar Ring that colors the top of East Rutherford, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium blue or green, depending on the home team, and fans can quickly start to see that no matter their favorite team’s colors—clean and green are the way stadiums are going.

Learn More

For further facts on meeting energy needs, go to www.nrg.com.

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Shower Better and Save with Satisfaction

(NAPSI)—October is Energy Action Month, a time to take action to save energy. Did you know that your heating and cooling systems and appliances aren’t the only things in your home that use energy? It takes a great deal of energy to treat and deliver water to your home, as well as heat that water to shower, shave, and launder shirts.

If you want to save energy—as well as water and money—start with your shower. Showering is one of the leading ways we use water at home, accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use. For the average family, that adds up to 40 gallons of water per day—or nearly 1.2 trillion gallons of water used each year nationwide just for showering!

That’s why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also declared October to be Shower Better Month. By swapping out your showerhead with a model that has earned the EPA’s WaterSense® label, your family can save the amount of energy it takes to power your home for 13 days, enough water to wash 70 loads of laundry, and more than $70 in energy and water costs every year.

WaterSense labeled showerheads are available in a wide variety of styles and prices. Most importantly, all models that earn the label must be independently certified for both efficiency and performance. So you can enjoy a satisfying spray while saving water, energy, and money-in other words, you will shower better!

Make the “drops to watts” connection and stop sending water, energy and money down the drain. Swap out just one showerhead in your home with a WaterSense labeled model this Energy Action Month and start saving. For more information about WaterSense labeled showerheads and the energy-water connection, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.


Note to Editors: October is Energy Action Month, as well as EPA’s Shower Better Month, a time when consumers can save energy and water while ensuring shower satisfaction by looking for a WaterSense labeled showerhead. With a few small edits, however, this story can run anytime of year.

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A Meaningful Funeral

(NAPSI)—The number of cremations has grown across the country over the past 20 years. In fact, the Cremation Association of North America estimates some 1.5 million Americans are cremated every year.

While this can be a way to deal with the end of life that’s both comforting and affordable for the mourners, many families believe attending a funeral service is one of the most important ways for them to begin the grieving and healing process. Traditional services give families and friends the opportunity to come together to celebrate and remember the life that has been lived.

People leaning toward cremation may be relieved to know that doesn’t mean they have to miss an important opportunity to provide their family and friends the closure that often comes with a funeral service.

Funeral homes throughout the country offer affordable caskets that can be used for both viewing and cremation. These caskets are made entirely from engineered wood, a material that is formed from recycled material to produce an affordable, attractive and environmentally friendly cremation casket. Unlike a rented casket, the cremation casket also serves as the cremation container.

A traditional funeral service will provide comfort and closure for friends and loved ones.

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Seven Steps Toward A Greener, Cleaner Bathroom

(NAPSI)—When people think of ways to live green and save energy in their homes, the bathroom may not be the first place that comes to mind. However, Carter Oosterhouse, home and design expert, proves there are several simple ways you can make a big difference in one of the most trafficked rooms in your home.

1. Save Water with Every Flush. Put a small plastic juice bottle or laundry soap bottle in your toilet tank. First, soak off the label, fill the bottle with water, replace the cap and place it in the tank. Because the bottle is in the toilet tank, less water is needed to fill the tank and therefore less water will be flushed. Be careful that the bottle doesn’t interfere with the flushing mechanism, and with five minutes work, you can save on or two gallons per flush.

2. Purchase Green Products. You can swap your traditional toilet paper for Scott Naturals® Tube-Free bath tissue and toss the tube. There’s no cardboard core so it has major potential to reduce a portion of the 17 billion toilet paper tubes thrown away each year in the U.S., enough to fill the Empire State Building twice.

3. Reduce Waste. Use bathroom necessities with less packaging such as bar soaps, which are friendlier to the environment (and your budget). The carbon footprint of liquid soaps is about 25 percent larger than that of bar soaps. Liquid soaps also require more energy for packaging production and disposal.

4. Clean the Air. Bathrooms are one of the most humid rooms in the house. Excess humidity can cause mold, which can spur allergies, asthma and other breathing troubles. Use nontoxic cleaning solutions to remove mold, such as household ingredients (baking soda and vinegar) or other natural cleaners. Help prevent mold by better ventilating the bathroom which removes the moisture that mold needs to grow.

5. Install a Tankless Water Heater. With a tankless water heater, you only heat the water that you use, which saves energy and money. Gas water heaters give off an average of 58 percent fewer carbon emissions than electric ones.

6. Save Energy. Compact fluorescent bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 10 to 25 times longer. Energy-efficient bulbs can also save you money on electricity.

7. Conserve Water. Aerators on faucets and showerheads use half the water with twice the power. If everyone used one, aerators could save 250 million gallons of water a year.

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Foaming Your Home Can Help You Save

(NAPSI)—The use of energy-efficient and environmentally responsible building materials is an important consideration for homeowners, developers, architects and contractors. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a wise choice for insulating homes and structures as it can help lower energy use and bills. Lower energy use means that less greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are being produced in the generation of electricity or other fuels that power our buildings.

In California, which ranks among the most expensive states in terms of energy prices, SPF insulation can help homeowners save about $900 annually on their heating and cooling costs. Additionally, these energy savings mean homes insulated with SPF can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the state’s air by 800,000 metric tons, the equivalent of removing 2,700 cars from the roads there each year.

And these savings aren’t limited to California. In Minneapolis, with its cold and long winters, a home with SPF insulation can save the equivalent of 2,400 barrels of oil over a 60-year period. A home in Houston, with its hot and long summers, can save the equivalent of 500 barrels of oil during that same period. And all these savings translate to less greenhouse gases being pumped into the environment.

SPF produces these energy-efficiency benefits through its high R-value, which is the measure of the insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. SPF can also act as an air barrier and sealant for cracks and gaps. This is important, as air leaks in a home can waste up to 40 percent of the energy used to heat and cool it.

Whether your goals are energy efficiency, environmental stewardship or both, SPF offers a versatile product that can meet all your needs

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Students Helping Communities By Recycling

(NAPSI)—What do 500,000 students at 900 schools across the U.S. have in common?

Together, they have recycled approximately 45 million bottles and cans as part of a program designed to inspire K-12 students to become environmental leaders at school, at home and in their communities.

Now, to make this even better news, schools everywhere can join PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally and connect with other students recycling around the nation.

Any school can now sign up for the chance to earn rewards and gain access to exciting educational tools available to Recycle Rally participants by applying online at PepsiCoRecycling.com.

At the heart of the initiative, Recycle Rally teaches students how to live more sustainably and inspires communities to increase recycling in their hometowns.

When schools recycle bottles and cans, they aren’t just helping improve the environment, but they are also helping post-9/11 war veterans get business and entrepreneurship training through an organization called Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.

Schools in the program also recycle their bottles and cans to help PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy protect clean drinking water in America’s iconic waterways.

Inspiring Students

Recycle Rally inspires students to become proud and frequent recyclers and motivates others to follow suit. Through what’s been described as a little creativity and a whole lot of fun, students at schools across the country have helped bolster recycling rates through holding schoolwide raffles, creating dedicated recycling hubs, making commercials, distributing flyers and forming “green teams” dedicated to the cause.

Recycling For Life

“One of the best aspects of participating in PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally is knowing that this helps hook students on recycling for life,” said Rodney Howe, head custodian at Progress Elementary School in Ogallala, Neb. “Recycle Rally motivates students to do good for the environment and their local community.”

Howe and his team of 116 students placed first in the Recycle Rally after collecting a total of 15,000 pounds of aluminum cans and PET plastic during the 2013-2014 school year.

To learn more, visit www.pepsicorecycling.com/Programs/RecycleRally.

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Taking Care Of Business—Literally

(NAPSI)—Here’s a job you more than likely would not want: storing, pumping, handling, transporting and applying livestock manure to farm fields. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of thousands of farmers, ranchers and custom applicators who perform this important and essential task every year across the U.S.

Dairy, swine, beef and poultry producers must manage millions of tons of manure every year. This by-product of livestock production is actually a very rich resource. Manure serves as a natural fertilizer source packed with phosphorus and nitrogen—two elements essential to plant life. Put simply, without these elements to nourish crops, human civilization would cease to exist.

Dave Eisentraut makes a living managing livestock manure. His company, Eisentraut Ag Services in Waldo, Wisconsin, handled 4 million gallons of manure a year when he first started the business 16 years ago. Today, the firm handles 200 million gallons of mostly dairy manure and some municipal sludge every year. This is a growth trajectory that any business would envy.

Professional manure handling requires a huge investment in equipment, including drag hose systems, dredge trucks, pump and agitators, liquid flow meters and major-league, large tractors. Eisentraut often has several jobs simultaneously under way, with each project miles apart, pumping out and emptying dairy manure lagoons in one location while transporting and applying manure to fields in others. As lagoons fill up, it is a race against time to get rid of the manure in a full lagoon in order to increase capacity for future filling.

“This past spring in Wisconsin, it literally rained for six or eight straight weeks,” Eisentraut says. “When it finally dried out, we had to hit the ground running, and we were still playing catch-up in late summer.”

One technology that Eisentraut uses to keep things moving is More Than Manure® (MTM®) Nutrient Manager. When added to in-ground manure pits and lagoons, MTM helps break up crusts and solids, making the manure easier to pump, transport and apply. The product also significantly reduces ammonia levels in the manure, taking some of the “stink” out of the job.

“Manure must be agitated before it is pumped, and using MTM allows us to cut that agitation time by 50 percent to 70 percent, which saves operating expenses on fuel and equipment depreciation,” Eisentraut observes.

Sam McKnight operates a 3,000-head hog facility and also custom applies more than 16 million gallons of manure annually to corn, soybeans, alfalfa and pastures in Afton, Iowa. He also uses MTM to make manure handling easier. “At some of our older hog facilities, you’ll have two or three feet of manure sludge at the bottom of the pits, which is thick, hard to agitate and lessens your pit capacity,” McKnight explains. “After the MTM treatment, the manure agitates better, and we’re able to stir it up so the pits can be drawn down completely.”

Besides making the manure easier to agitate and pump, More Than Manure also provides some significant agronomic benefits when treated manure is applied to fields. MTM protects against phosphorus fixation and reduces nitrogen loss to the environment. “There are more of these nutrients available for plant uptake, and we’re able to get the best possible nutrient value out of the manure,” the hog producer and custom applicator says. “Compared to those fields where we used untreated manure, we’ve had some fields of corn that yielded 30 bushels per acre more where MTM-treated manure was applied.”

More Than Manure and MTM are registered trademarks of Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP), LLC.© 2014 SFP. All rights reserved.


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Top Cold Weather Home Efficiency Tips

(NAPSI)—Homeowners can prepare for cold weather by taking simple energy efficiency measures that will reduce energy consumption and heating bills.

What You Can Do

• Install and set a programmable thermostat. Homeowners can save an estimated 10 percent per year on heating costs by using a programmable thermostat and setting the heat to run only when they’re home.

• Use sunlight to your advantage. During winter months, take advantage of sunlight by opening curtains during the day to allow the sun to naturally heat your home.

• Reduce energy for water heating. Water heating accounts for roughly 14 to 18 percent of most home utility bills. Reduce costs by making sure your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit and wrapping a water heater jacket around it if it’s more than five years old.

• Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

• Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.

• When using the oven, resist the temptation to open the door to check on a dish’s progress. Every time you do, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, forcing it to work even harder (and use more energy) to get back to the proper cooking temperature.

• Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open; it lets warm air go right up the chimney.

• Have a technician inspect and confirm that your appliances are running as efficiently as possible, so you can conserve fuel and save money.

• Hire a professional to maintain your heating system. Arrange for annual maintenance with a qualified technician. This includes checking the airflow over the coil, checking that the combustion process and heat exchanger are operating safely, and ensuring proper airflow to each room.

• Clean the air filters once a month and replace them regularly.

• Consider purchasing a propane generator. When other power sources fail, a propane generator can keep your house operating without interruption. Propane is an approved clean alternative fuel under the Clean Air Act. It’s a nontoxic, American-made fuel that doesn’t contaminate groundwater or soil and a low-carbon alternative fuel that produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than most other energy sources.

• Call your propane provider to discuss contracts, delivery options and payment plans that fit your budget and needs, advise the experts at the Propane Education & Research Council.

“By planning ahead and taking steps to reduce energy consumption, homeowners can help make sure everyone has a comfortable and safe winter,” says Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO.

Learn More

Further tips and other resources can be found at www.PropaneComfort.com.


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