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Alternative Energy for Tomorrow, Today?

geothermal, an alternative energy resource for heating & cooling homes

There are a few houses being built across the US that are “off grid” where they produce all of the energy they need for electricity, heating, cooling and hot water. These passive houses combine super insulation building techniques with one or more alternative energy technologies.

This article provides an overview of these emerging energy sources, the ones covered by the 2013 Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, to motivate more homeowners to invest in energy sources that are considered renewable, meaning they are continually replenished – water, wind, the sun, the earth (geothermal) and biomass energy from energy crops like... 

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Homeowner Tips for Saving Water

fix water leaks right away to save water & problems with mold and wood rot

There are billions of people living under severe water stress conditions, meaning they have difficulty getting enough fresh water for drinking, bathing and growing food. For those of us living in the US with easy access to fresh water unless there’s a drought, we don’t realize some of our communities are focusing on how to protect and expand local water supplies.

The reality is less than 1% of the water on Earth can be used by people! That’s why there’s a new WaterSense program similar to EnergyStar, to help us use our water wisely and not waste it.

When looking at water use... 

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Green Building is Gaining Popularity

green building, with LEED for homes certification

Unless you’re involved in green building, you’re probably not sure what is required to be a green building. That’s not unusual today as the LEED standards that define green building are new and only standardized by the US Green Building Council in February 2008. There are lots of stories, lots of products and too often more marketing hype than facts, so we’re providing this overview of green building to give you a framework within which to learn more about green building.

Green building isn’t easy, and we certainly can’t explain all of it in a single article. In fact, the US Green Building... 

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Deconstruction Saves Money

You can save money & help save the environment by making more conscious buying decisions

We’ve all heard about the green movement. There’s earth day, ride your bike to work day and more. We all thought going green at home would start slowly because it costs more. Amazingly we’re seeing more stories that show “thinking green” saves you money.

Thinking green means changing how we approach things. When buying something, we’re finding more recycled and sustainable products like bamboo and cork. There’s also more emphasis on using wood from local forests to avoid the cost/impact of transporting bamboo from Asia.

My inspiration for this newsletter came from the REX Project, for Reuse Everything Experiment (click for video... 

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