Green Home Giveaway

Reduce Carbon Footprint BP Recycling Program Business Go Greener Smart Choices Greener Home Go Green Stamps Going Green Gormet Coffee Recycling Batteries

Green Home Hints And Giveaways

(NAPSI)--Dressing up your home with eco-conscious style is now easier than ever.

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 charm.

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® Terrain®.

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 America.

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 sulfur diesel.

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," adds Catapano.

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 power plants.

"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 American consumers."

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 states.


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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 destruction.

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.

More Information

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 tree-shaded areas.

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 waste.

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 electronics.

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 parts store.

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 U.S., recycling more than 850 million pounds of batteries last year alone. Automobile and alkaline batteries can be recycled at Interstate All Battery Centers and Interstate Batteries dealers. For a location, visit www.interstatebatteries.com.


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