Sep 23, 2016

Quick Green Update: National Drive Electric(autos) Week 2016

National Drive Electric Week: September 10-18 2016

National Drive Electric Week is a nationwide celebration to raise awareness about the availability and variations in plug-in and hybrids vehicles. Electric vehicle options have been on the rise over the last ten years but many have not made the change due to personal reasons or the education about driving such vehicles not being readily available. National Drive Electric Week gears to educate and provide first hand experience for those who are on the edge of commitment. 

NDE week has been held for the past five years, giving event goers a chance to drive electric and even purchase electric vehicles in some cases. The event has been returning by popular demand and such large turn outs of supporters of the movement. The movement is aiming to provide more drivers with the advantages of driving a plug-in or electric vehicle versus non-electric vehicles. Most local electric dealers and advocates host, set up informational booths, press conference events, giveaways, and even offer test drive sessions during the week long event. 

During the event here in Satellite, Florida, we had the chance to meet one of the local Tesla Automotive Dealer owners who advocates for the change over to all electric vehicles. Though many new variations have not came out this year, we can be on the look out for 2018 when most dealers plan to reveal these new vehicles to the public. Tesla; one the all electric vehicles on the rise; came to show off at the event. Many on lookers were impressed by the sleek design and simplistic ease of access to the charger the Tesla provides. Of course there were other competitors who came to shake a tail feather but these are the top 5 to keep an eye out for:

5. Hyundai Electric SUV 
                  If SUVs and crossovers remain as dominant as they have in the last 10-15 years, the next step is to make electric options in the future. Hyundai, on the other hand, is reportedly planning to make an all electric SUV, premiering itself as the first of the company's. Company officals have confirmed of the SUVs arrival by last 2018.

4. Volkswagen e-Golf
                  While Volkswagen does not have a volume selling electric vehicle, this will change pretty soon with the arrival of the e-Golf in the US. This model will be a crucial part of the the manufacturers rebound into the electric vehicle industry. The highlight that makes this vehicle a great competitor: 186 miles in driving range! 2018 will be the year of electric vehicles.

3. Tesla Model 3
                  The Model 3 Tesla, already a game changer for the industry, began their 200 mile concept years ago. The Model 3 has captured the eyes of consumers around the world since. The rear-wheeled drive sedan is already at an 215-mile range and pre-orders are making the vehicle even harder to get your hands on.

2. Nissan Leaf 2.0
                  No specifics have been given by Nissan producers but the prototype of the Leaf 2.0 was presented at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. There is a model in production that is said to do a 200 mile range. The automaker did say that a 60 kWh car in coming years with an Intelligent Driving System. Again look out for 2018, this is when the date has been set for.

2016 Chevy Bolt EV
1. Chevy Bolt EV
                  Though some speak of the issues with the Bolt's styling, whats under the hood is the most impressive. A 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque to grab a drivers' attention, I think the style can be overlooked. Not only whats under the hood, but also the impressive spacious interior has many EV drivers content. Fast, spacious, and a 60 mph stop in 60 seconds is giving these EV cars on the market a run for its' money.

Becoming an Electric Vehicle owner is an important part of being green and saving our Mother Earth. If you have never considered driving an electric vehicle we strongly encourage you to take the time to educate yourself on the benefits of driving an EV versus an non-EV. You will truly be surprised and impressed by the changes and improvements made in the options for EVs. With the highs and lows of gas prices, the future wave is in owning an electric car; safe for the environment and cost effective on the consumer's pocket.

Are you ready to become a green driver?

travel Original

Becoming a Green Traveler

We all love to travel. Traveling to unknown places to explore the unknown or maybe just an escape from the everyday 9-5 workday; we all need a break every once in a while. But when you travel do you think of how your water use during your stay can make an impact? Well we have thought about it for you! Here, we want to give you ways to stay green even when traveling. Even for someone who is not a usual Pro-Green individual, these things are beneficial! Follow these simple steps and you can save water, energy, and money. (enough money for the next vacation!)

1. “Pack your Eco habits with you! Just as you would at home, try and remain aware of your water usage and take steps to minimize it where possible.”

2. “Ask questions of your hotel or tour operators. Do they measure their water usage? Do they set reduction targets? Do they have dual flush toilets? Are they harvesting rainwater? Do they have a water butt?”

3. “Take shorter showers and less baths.”

4. “Think about your ‘virtual’ water use whilst on holidays too - vast amounts of water are used to produce food stuffs as well as textiles such as cotton.”

5. “Golf courses can be serious water guzzlers. The average amount of water used by one golf course in Thailand is enough for 60,000 Thai villagers for one day. If you want to play golf, check with the club as to what steps they are taking to minimize their water usage.”

6. “Swimming pools are another water drainer - natural or salt water pools are better. Hotels should also be covering their pool at night to reduce evaporation.”

7. “Does your tour operator or hotel work with local communities to ensure access to clean water and sanitation facilities?”

8. “Ensure your hotel only washes your towels and bed linen when absolutely necessary. This is just one step among many that they should be taking to reduce water usage.”

9. “Fill up a reusable bottle with drinkable water in your hotel or guesthouse if you can - not only will you save money by buying less bottled water but you’ll also help with the problem of plastic bottle waste. It can be even harder to recycle these in developing countries in particular.”

10. “If you come across leaky pipes and dripping taps, report them to hotel staff and keep badgering them until you see it fixed!”

We are always interested in how you travel green so comment, blog, post, etc your ideas to us and we'll be sure to post them to help others! 

Courtesy of Traveling The Green Way

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Sep 16, 2016

Quick Green Update: 21st Annual National Solar Tour

 Solar Powered Conference:
 The Showcase of the Best Solar Energy Homes and Practices

                                                               NST logo_2014 no date

  The 21st annual National Solar Tour is in  October of 2016. This solar powered focused event will showcase the best homes and green houses utilizing solar power. The event will also offer new and innovative technologies that are made to better local and national environments and communities. With a total population of attendees at around 150,000, this eco-friendly tour is the place to be if you are interested in making a life change, for the betterment of the Earth, in your home and wallet.

The 21st annual National Solar Tour is being organized by the American Solar Energy Society and sponsored by their platinum member, Enphase. This society brings together homeowners and businesses all across the nation in over 5000 different communities to reflect on their carbon footprints. This solar tour is every year in October in reverence to the National Energy Awareness Month.

The purpose of this event is to:
·      Inspire people to make sustainable choices
·      Support energy efficiency
·      Educate participants on power outages and easy prevention skills
·      Provide simple steps to reduce carbon emissions

As an online store focused on “green living”, Conserv-A-Store supports companies and organizations that promote environmental sustainability, the demolition of carbon emissions, biodegradability, energy efficiently and other fundamentals like.

We took the tour in Orlando a few years ago and really enjoyed. The homeowners are proud of their systems and willing to let you into their home and show you how it works. With the price of rooftop solar continuing to fall(even as Electric Utilities try to fight the growth of solar) solar could be for you and this is a good time to "Kick the tires" as is said

If you are interested in sponsoring the 2017 National Solar tour, finding the closest tour stop for the 2016 National Solar Tour, or just learning about solar energy, please visit the American Solar Energy Society at

Jul 28, 2016

Green Kids Toys Tips

1. Look for PVC-free
PVC (aka polyvinyl chloride) seems to be everywhere we look. Some beach toys, teethers, dolls, and even (gasp!) rubber duckies are cheaply manufactured with the environmentally dubious material. A dioxin-producing powerhouse, PVC releases toxins into the environment all the way through its lifecycle from manufacturing to disposal. Many PVC toys also contain phthalates, chemical compounds that make the PVC plastic more flexible, which initial studies have linked to both cancer and hormonal disruption. Although the long-term effects of phalates on youngsters is not fully known, we fully subscribe to the idea of an ounce of prevention now over a potential pound of cure later.
2. Wood is good
Look for FSC-certified wood to find sustainable toys that will last generations longer than the cheap plastic stuff. For the little ones, untreated, unpainted wood is safe to chew unlike plastics that contain PVC. When your child is done, wooden toys can be passed on to a relative, friend, or even sold on eBay or Craigslist to give it a second life. The FSC certification is important, it ensures that the wood you buy has been forested responsibly, allowing for sustainable growth.
3. Power down
Batteries have become second nature in most toys today. Not only is this a terrible problem when these toys get disposed of, who wants to give their child the opportunity to chew on a battery? For the young ones, decide if all the battery-powered noise is worth it. Could your child stay just as entertained with a simpler toy, one that might even let you keep your sanity. For the older ones that absolutely must have the newest electronics, look into rechargeable batteries to eliminate waste. For more, see How to Green Your Electronics.
4. The great outdoors
The most rewarding toy might not be a toy at all. It might be the act of planting a tree or a vegetable garden. Want a truly carbon neutral activity for your kids? Play tag or hide and seek. Getting your wee ones outside provides them with abundant opportunities to run around, have fun, get exercise, and learn about the urban and natural environments around them. You probably remember time spent outside with family and friends in your youth...your kids will too.
5. Second-hand magic
Just because a toy has been used once doesn't mean that it can't be just as much fun the second time around. Check out eBay, Craigslist, Freecycle, yard sales, or your local classifieds for perfectly good toys than have simply been outgrown. And, don't forget that you can always give that same toy a third life (and recoup some of the cost) by putting it up for sale right where you found it.
6. Get organic
There are more pesticides and fertilizers sprayed onto conventional fibers than you might care to know about. Not only does the thought of chemically treated fabric probably raise a red flag when you think of your child, it raises a huge red flag for the environment as well. The chemicals we use to "improve" our crops often contaminate the soil they grow in and the air and water systems around it. Look for organic and naturally-dyed cotton, bamboo, tencel, and wool for toys such as stuffed animals. For more, see How to Green Your Baby.
7. Sometimes it's not what's in the box...
It is the box. Sometimes it is the stuff you already have that can prove the most fun to imaginative children. So, next time you think about throwing the box from that new toy away, think of it as a potential arts and crafts project instead.
8. Non-toxic paints
It's not just the paint on your walls that you should think about. The paint on your child's toys may also have VOCs (volatile organic compounds). There are a slew of new toys that use water-based and low-VOC or no-VOC paints (and nearly all of them will advertise this fact). This way a non-toxic toy gets the non-toxic paint job it deserves.
9. Lasting toys
When purchasing new toys, keep the toy's potential longevity on your mind. A long-lasting toy not only means that you won't have to buy another one in a matter of months, it also means that when the toy is no longer in use, you can always pass it along. More money for you + keeping materials out of the landfill = easy decision.
10. The color purple
Subtitled: Everything on this list can't have a cheesy "green" pun. But seriously, what better way to go green than with the color itself. Craft projects give your kids an opportunity to use their imagination. Find non-toxic paints and crayons and let the kids loose on all sorts of recycled material from cardboard boxes to junk mail to items they find in the woods. Pet rock, here we come.
Source: Planet Green

How to Green your Workspace

Greener homes are in the spotlight these days, but what about the other places where many of us spend huge chunks of our time--our offices? Some simple changes of habit can save energy and resources at work, and these small steps can be multiplied by persuading the powers-that-be at your workplace to adopt environmentally friendly (and often cost-effective) policies.
1. Be bright about light
Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity use in office buildings.
Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you're leaving any room for 15 minutes or more and utilize natural light when you can.
Make it a policy to buy Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures, which use at least two-thirds less energy than regular lighting, and install timers or motion sensors that automatically shut off lights when they're not needed.
2. Maximize computer efficiency
Computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year.
Make it a habit to turn off your computer—and the power strip it's plugged into—when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you're still burning energy even if you're not burning the midnight oil. (Check with your IT department to make sure the computer doesn't need to be on to run backups or other maintenance.) During the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, screen savers don't save energy.
Make it a policy to invest in energy-saving computers, monitors, and printers and make sure that old equipment is properly recycled. Look for a recycler that has pledged not to export hazardous e-waste and to follow other safety guidelines. Old computers that still work, and are less than five years old, can be donated to organizations that will refurbish them and find them new homes. (You may even get a tax deduction.)
3. Print smarter
The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year.
Make it a habit to print on both sides or use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode whenever feasible.
Make it a policy to buy chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Also consider switching to a lighter stock of paper or alternatives made from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, or kenaf. Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. According to Office Depot, each remanufactured toner cartridge "keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills...and conserves about a half gallon of oil."
4. Go paperless when possible
Make it a habit to think before you print: could this be read or stored online instead? When you receive unwanted catalogs, newsletters, magazines, or junk mail, request to be removed from the mailing list before you recycle the item.
Make it a policy to post employee manuals and similar materials online, rather than distribute print copies. They're easier to update that way too.
5. Ramp up your recycling
Make it a habit to recycle everything your company collects. Just about any kind of paper you would encounter in an office, including fax paper, envelopes, and junk mail, can be recycled. So can your old cell phone, PDA, or pager.
Make it a policy to place recycling bins in accessible, high-traffic areas and provide clear information about what can and can not be recycled.
6. Close the loop
Make it a policy to purchase office supplies and furniture made from recycled materials.
7. Watch what (and how) you eat
Make it a habit to bring your own mug and dishware for those meals you eat at the office.
Make it a policy to provide reusable dishes, silverware, and glasses. Switch to Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea, and buy as much organic and local food as possible for parties and other events. Provide filtered drinking water to reduce bottled-water waste.
8. Rethink your travel
Make it a habit to take the train, bus, or subway when feasible instead of a rental car when traveling on business. If you have to rent a car, some rental agencies now offer hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles.
Make it a policy to invest in videoconferencing and other technological solutions that can reduce the amount of employee travel.
9. Reconsider your commute
Make it a habit to carpool, bike, or take transit to work, and/or telecommute when possible. If you need to drive occasionally, consider joining a car-sharing service like Zipcar and Flexcar instead of owning your own wheels.
Make it a policy to encourage telecommuting (a nice perk that's also good for the planet!) and make it easy for employees to take alternative modes of transportation by subsidizing commuter checks, offering bike parking, or organizing a carpool board.
10. Create a healthy office environment
Make it a habit to use nontoxic cleaning products. Brighten up your cubicle with plants, which absorb indoor pollution.
Make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won't off-gas toxic chemicals.
Source – Sierra Club