Green Home Hints And Giveaways
(NAPSI)--Dressing up your home with eco-conscious style is now easier than
To help, here are five simple tips from Linda Woodrum, designer of this
year's HGTV Green Home. Woodrum's tips combine the practical with aesthetic
appeal by providing advice for energy efficiency as well as fashionable
1. Warm welcome—Make sure your
exterior relates to the interior for a welcoming feel. For example, the
yellow front door on the modern, contemporary HGTV Green Home 2011 is a
surprise, but the bright door is a clue to what is happening inside.
2. Capture a color—It's
important to pick a color palette and stay true to it. In this year's HGTV
Green Home, yellow is used prominently. It is easy to re-create the look with
low-VOC paint and environmentally friendly fabrics.
3. Create an ambience—Keep it
clean and natural with organic and recycled materials. Pole pine paneling in
the master bedroom gives a contemporary look while using wood that is
indigenous to the area.
4. Recycle, refurbish, repurpose—Green
decorating is about using everyday items in unexpected ways. For example, the
carpeting in the home is recycled and recyclable and a chair made from an old
radiator is a unique showpiece.
5. Use durable materials—High-traffic
areas are subject to a lot of wear and tear. The "do room" in the home is a
multipurpose room for crafts, laundry, homework and home office that features
stylish yet practical and easily replaceable carpet tiles.
The fourth annual HGTV Green Home Giveaway is open for entries through
June 2, 2011, at 5 p.m. ET. One randomly selected winner can look forward to
living in a modern prairie-style, single-family home located in the Stapleton
community of Denver, Colorado, an eco-progressive community on
the site of the city's former airport. The 2,400-square-foot, custom-built
home—with open spaces that flow together to create an interactive environment—is
part of a grand-prize package that includes $100,000 and a 2011 GMC®
Fans may enter once per day on HGTV.com
as well as once per day on HGTV's FrontDoor.com,
or as often as they wish by regular mail.
Online users can take a 360-degree tour of this year's HGTV Green Home at www.HGTV.com/greenhome and visit Facebook.com/HGTV or follow Twitter.com/HGTV for up-to-the-minute
details on the giveaway.
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To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Ride The Bus
(NAPSI)—To put yourself on the road to preserving the ecology and
your own economy, it may pay to take the bus.
Public transit and school buses replace a significant number of cars on
the road, making them an environmentally sound transportation option. Using
public transportation saves the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline
annually. Research shows that by using public transit, the typical automobile
driver can reduce individual daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds or more than
4,800 pounds per year. A single school bus can eliminate approximately 36
cars. With more than 480,000 school buses on the road each day, that's
nearly 17.3 million fewer vehicles on the streets, saving an estimated 2.3
billion gallons of fuel each year as well as reducing congestion, emissions
and road wear and tear.
"Today's buses are more environmentally friendly than ever
before, thanks to cleaner-burning engines, specialized particulate filters
and alternative fuels," notes Gary Catapano, senior vice president for
Safety at FirstGroup America,
the largest provider of ground transportation services in North
New fuel standards require the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel, which
improves emissions and runs significantly cleaner. Emissions have been
reduced from more than 500 parts per million to less than 15 with ultra-low
Most of his company's buses "use ultra-low sulfur diesel and
750 run on compressed natural gas, an even cleaner-running fuel than diesel,"
Typical school bus engines burn about half a gallon of fuel per hour of
idling. Cutting back on idling not only reduces emissions; it saves
significantly on fuel costs. The school bus division strictly enforces an
anti-idling policy, stating that no bus will idle in excess of three minutes
while not in transit unless certain exceptions exist.
Transportation companies are taking other steps to reduce their carbon
footprint through waste recycling programs. For example, Catapano's
company's program recycles more than 250,000 pounds of used oil filters
annually throughout North America and will
recycle enough used oil to eliminate 5,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases a
year. The company recycles 7 percent of all waste including cardboard and
glass, which represents more than 20,000 cubic yards per year of material
that's not going into landfills.
You can learn more about how green a bus can be online at www.firstgroupamerica.com.
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BP-Sponsored Recycling Programs Convert Key Spill Cleanup Material To Auto Parts And Energy
(NAPSI)—The recent completion of recycling programs has proven the
viability of converting some of the key equipment used in the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill cleanup into some unique and beneficial new uses.
About 10,000 new American cars made this year contain plastic parts made
partially from recycled "sorbent boom" that was deployed in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, much of the so-called "hard
boom" used in the cleanup has been converted to electricity at several
"There are new cars cruising the highway today with recycled sorbent
boom under the hood, and the hard boom that has been converted to energy was
sufficient to power more than 400 average-sized homes for 20 days,"
said Dave Rainey, vice president for Science, Technology, Environment and
Regulatory Affairs for BP's Gulf Coast Restoration Organization. "As
it appears now, more cars produced next year will also contain recycled boom
materials, and we have sufficient recyclable hard boom available to generate
as much if not more electricity."
In all, BP provided 340 miles of sorbent boom for auto parts and is on tap
to provide more than 1,000 miles' worth of hard boom for recycling,
including for use in the waste-to-energy program.
"Our mandate was to minimize as much as possible the amount of solid
waste material from the Gulf cleanup that was sent to landfills,"
Rainey said. "We are not only accomplishing that task but we're
doing so in a manner that is good for the environment and beneficial to
Sorbent boom, which is often referred to as "soft" or "sausage"
boom, is made from polypropylene, a plastic polymer used in everything from
ropes and carpeting to thermal underwear. The product is designed to float on
water and soak up oil. Hard boom, which is also called "containment
boom," is made from polyethylene foam flotations, vinyl-coated
polyester skirt, metal chains and connectors and is deployed to contain
spilled oil on water, which is then removed using skimmers and other devices.
"We are very pleased that these concepts proved to be not only
technologically viable, but also viable from an environmental and economic
point of view," Rainey said.
This recycling effort stems from BP's agreement with the United
States Coast Guard, in its incident response plan, to reuse and recycle
materials from the Deepwater Horizon cleanup. BP continues to seek additional
opportunities for the reuse or recycling of materials where feasible and when
those opportunities fit within the regulatory framework of the Gulf Coast
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Businesses Go Greener To Protect The Planet
(NAPSI)—Growing a greener business can offer many benefits—saving
money, engaging employees and helping to attract new customers.
Here are a few environmentally friendly tips to help:
• Power down. Turn
computers and other electrical equipment off at night and on the weekends.
• Monitor your thermostat.
Reduce cooling bills by raising the temperature 1 degree and heating bills by
lowering it a degree.
• Recycle. Use recycled
paper whenever possible.
• Motivate employees to use
less fossil fuel. Encourage your staff to take public transportation, to
walk or cycle to work.
• Limit travel. Reduce
work-related travel by teleconferencing.
• Refill rather than restock.
Refill printer cartridges rather than buying new ones.
• Use green contractors.
If you use an interior landscaping company at work, be sure the company has
been certified as Planet Positive.
For example, Ambius, a leading provider of interior landscaping solutions,
recently became a certified business in recognition of the company's
commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its operation. This gained
an international environmental mark that recognizes a company's
commitment to creating a better way of living.
The Planet Positive status certifies that Ambius has measured and actively
reduced its carbon footprint and developed a long-term strategy to become a
sustainably green company. In fact, it succeeded in reducing its carbon
footprint by approximately 10 percent.
To achieve the certification, it followed a four-step process, including
the measurement of the company's carbon footprint and a commitment to
reducing emissions on an annual basis. In addition, a report explaining the
carbon footprint and outlining actions, targets and reductions has been made
available in the public domain. The company has also made a contribution to
the Cool Earth climate project that protects vulnerable rain forests from
This certification signifies a high standard of environmental achievement
that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take a more positive
attitude toward climate change.
As part of Ambius' ongoing strategy, it plans to reduce its vehicle
fleet fuel consumption and building energy usage up to 10 percent this year.
This is being done through innovative programs to change behavior, designed
by Planet Positive.
Ambius businesses across North America and Europe
are now Planet Positive-certified businesses.
Learn more at www.ambius.com.
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Smart Choices For A Greener Home
(NAPSI)—Why settle for celebrating Earth Day once a year? The
choices you make when building, remodeling or repairing your home can help
protect your wallet, your home and the planet every day of the year.
Here are a few environmentally smart choices for your home:
• Need new flooring?
Consider using environmentally sensitive building materials for your
flooring. Elegant bamboo, forgiving cork and practical linoleum floorings are
a few eco-friendly alternatives.
• Look for the label.
When buying new appliances, look for the Energy Star label. These
energy-efficient products can save you money.
• Improve your view.
Energy-efficient windows not only help seal in heat that might otherwise be
lost; they are easier to clean and help freshen a home's exterior.
• Save water. Put a rain
barrel in your garden. Collecting rain means you can water the garden without
adding to your water bill.
• Start at the top. Opt
for roofing materials and products that are eco friendly. It makes
environmental sense to look for durable, high-quality materials that will
last and are at least partially made from recycled or recyclable materials.
Investing in a long-lasting roof can be the easiest and least expensive way
to be environmentally friendly. For example, all of GAF's laminated
shingle products, including the popular Timberline shingle, carry a lifetime
limited warranty that is even transferable to a second owner. That means less
shingles being torn off and shipped to landfills. The shingles are also
manufactured using Advanced Protection technology, resulting in a lighter but
more powerful shingle that uses fewer natural resources.
To really make an impact and potentially reduce a significant amount of
energy use, use a highly reflective shingle, such as the Timberline Cool Series,
which reflects sunlight to help reduce attic heat buildup and save energy.
Further reduce energy use by improving attic ventilation. An attic vent
allows unwanted heat and moisture to escape from your attic—which helps
to reduce energy costs.
Vents such as the company's Cobra attic exhaust reduce the load on
your AC by moving superheated air out of your attic before it builds up and
causes damage. To be even more eco friendly and further reduce energy costs,
opt for MasterFlow Green Machine attic and ridge vents.
For more ideas on green roofing, visit www.GAF.com.
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Go Green To Save Your Greenbacks
(NAPSI)—A few simple tips can save you money and save the Earth.
Consider these tips from the U.S. Postal Service, which is celebrating its
green leadership with 16 Go Green Forever stamps that are valid to post a
First-Class Mail letter, now or in the future, even if postage rates go up.
1. Plant a tree. Carefully
positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of the energy a typical household
uses. In summer, daytime temperatures can be 3° to 6° cooler in
2. Turn off lights. An average
household spends 11 percent of its energy budget on lighting.
3. Use efficient lightbulbs. New lighting technologies such as CFL
bulbs can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50 to 75 percent.
Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs
and last about six to 12 times longer.
4. Maintain tire pressure. Keep
tires properly inflated and aligned to improve your gasoline mileage by
around 3.3 percent. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
The other tips depicted on the stamps include: Buy local produce, reuse
bags, fix water leaks, share rides, choose to walk, compost, let nature do
the work, recycle more, ride a bike, insulate the home, use public
transportation, and adjust the thermostat.
For more information and to order Go Green Forever stamps, visit www.usps.com/green.
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By Going Green, A Gourmet Coffee Company Honors The Spirit Of A Musical Legend
(NAPSI)—Bob Marley always said he would one day return to Jamaica to
farm. Now that his son Rohan Marley has fulfilled that dream—by co-founding
and serving as chairman of private family company Marley Coffee and its
publicly traded entity Jammin Java—the Bob Marley legend lives on. Rohan
Marley is committed to honoring his father's legend and philosophy of life.
What began in 1999 as an effort to develop a small organic coffee farm
with sustainable farming practices has turned into an expanding and environmentally
conscious business venture. Consider, for example, Marley Coffee's Jamaica
Blue Mountain® beans. They are shade-grown under a canopy of rain forest-preserving
trees without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or
other additives. Biodiversity and organic farming methods make for healthier
soil, prevent water contamination, provide habitat for migratory bird
species, and form a critical component of coffee flavor. The natural beauty
of the Marley Coffee farm in Jamaica
combines with the harmonious vision fueled by the Rastafari standards of
Ital, standing for all things pure, true and vital-a socially aware
philosophy guiding the Marley family.
Additionally, bags of Marley Coffee and Jammin Java bear the seals of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Organic Crop Improvement Association,
as well as the Fair Trade Certified logo. The latter is an assurance that the
farmers who source the companies' beans are receiving a fair living wage. In
fact, farmers on the Marley Coffee farm in Jamaica earn twice the average
national wage. When farmers become impoverished, they are often left with no
choice but to increase yield by using inexpensive, low-quality chemical
fertilizers and pesticides. By investing in their farmers' well-being, the
companies are also investing in the well-being of their farms and trees.
"We are excited to be pioneering one of the first certified organic,
sustainable coffee farms under the Jamaica Organic Agriculture Movement in
the Blue Mountains," says Mr. Marley. "My
father had a deep respect for nature and humanity that helped guide his life.
Accordingly, we strive to support communities and the environment through
organic, sustainable and ethical practices. It is our hope that the Marley
Coffee farm will inspire other Jamaican farmers to join the organic movement,
by showing them that sustainable farming can be not only profitable but more
affordable than conventional farming."
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Ten Everyday Items To Include In Your Recycling
(NAPSI)—According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States
recycles 30 percent of solid waste—such as food scraps, package
wrapping, grass clippings and bigger items like old microwaves, sofas and
refrigerators. Increasing that recycling frequency to just 60 percent could
save the equivalent of 315 million barrels of oil annually, the EPA suggests.
Here are 10 recycling tips for individuals looking to make a difference
locally and globally:
1. Newspapers should be saved in their own bin, as this material goes
directly back into newsprint recycling. Recycling a 4-foot stack of
newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree.
2. Glass is recycled according to color: clear, green and brown. Recycling
centers prefer when glass is separated this way.
3. Paint cans and aerosol cans are recyclable but considered hazardous
waste and need to be kept separate from other metals. Leave labels on these
cans so recyclers know what was in them.
4. Plastic does not break down in landfill and, because it can be reused
for many diverse products, efforts should be made to recycle all plastic
5. Aluminum cans should always be recycled. Many recycling centers request
they not be crushed flat. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to
run your TV for three hours.
6. Electronic devices—such as radios, televisions, cell phones and
computers—can be dropped off at recycling centers that accept used
7. Roof shingles are being recycled to make new roads.
8. Refrigerators can be given to their manufacturing companies or to
recycling centers. Make sure the chlorofluorocarbon, also known as CFC or
Freon, has been drained and recycled.
9. Motor oil should never be dumped into storm drains, even if it's
only a small amount. Instead, recycle the oil at a quick lube shop or auto
10. Batteries should be disposed of properly. An automobile battery, also
referred to as a lead-acid battery, contains about 21 pounds of lead, three
pounds of plastic and one gallon of sulfuric acid, which can be toxic if
handled improperly. Interstate Batteries is the No. 1 battery recycler in the
recycling more than 850 million pounds of batteries last year alone.
Automobile and alkaline batteries can be recycled at Interstate All
and Interstate Batteries dealers. For a location, visit www.interstatebatteries.com.
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