Save Money & Energy: Get Ready for the Fall!

Photo by wolfgangstaudt on Flickr
Photo by wolfgangstaudt on Flickr
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With Labor Day comes the fall! While leaving the warm weather and longer days behind isn’t the most exciting news, the fall has its own charm. It’s a wonderful time to take in the cooler temperatures and enjoy the beautiful changing landscapes. It can also be a great time to do some preparation in and around the home for the winter.

While chores aren’t the most exciting things to do in the cooler weather, they really pay off when it’s cold outside and your heating bill’s going up. The average American home spends almost $1000 on heating costs per year, so it’s worth spending a little bit of time to get your home ready for the fall and help cut those costs.

Plus, with a change of seasons comes the need for a change in clothing and accessories. By taking inventory of our winter suplies, we’ll know what we have instead of needing to run out to the store.

Grab your to-do list and make sure you’re doing everything you can to lower costs (and also help the environment).

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10 Fun & Eco-Friendly Ways to Spruce Up Your Garden

Photo by *Susie* on Flickr
Photo by *Susie* on Flickr
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Gardening can be a lot of work, but it can also be fun and fulfilling. Gardens provide you with a hobby, a beautiful yard, and often times some food. Seeing a seed grow into a meal on your table is when I especially love it.

However, gardening can be a lot of hard work, which is why I’ve compiled a list of 10 fun and eco-friendly ways to spruce up your garden. Reinvigorate your love for all things gardening while tipping your hat to the environment, too!

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7 Serious Benefits That Will Make You Want to Ride a Bicycle

bikebasket[sniplet tweetright]When I was a kid, I longed for a bike. I had dreams of getting one for Christmas, and when I finally got one, you couldn’t stop me from going all around the yard in zig zags and circles until it was dark and my parents called me in.

Just a couple years ago, I again felt the urge to have a new bike. This time was different though. The ability to get places quickly and without using gas seemed extraordinary to me. Even though commuting to work by bike wasn’t feasible, any trips I could take by bike instead of car would make a difference — to my health, the environment, and my wallet.

In this post I want to outline some of the benefits I’ve gotten from my new-found love of bicycles — some real benefits to bicycling that might make you long to buy a new bike:

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Save Money and Kittens with a Greener Kitchen

greenkitchenThe kitchen is where most people spend a lot of time. Some kitchens are small, some kitchens are large. Some have gas stoves where as others have electric. And some kitchens are more environmentally friendly than others.

In addition to being more environmentally friendly, making a few changes in your kitchen can have other serious benefits, too. You might spend less money on your water and energy bills, get a few rich nutrients from your garden, have your kitchen smell better, and make it non-toxic for your kids and pets. The benefits of going green and organic can be significant.

Here are a few ways to make your kitchen greener, healthier, cheaper, and generally better:

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6 Fantastic Web-Based Tools for Going Green

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[sniplet tweetright]Most of us share a common desire to go green, especially after reading these 12 reasons that everyone should care about the environment. The problem, though, is that wanting to go green and actually going green aren’t even close to the same thing.

Sure, you’ve probably read lots of tips and ideas for making your life more eco-friendly and sustainable — but what is the best way to start? How can you track your progress? How will you know if your making any difference? These are all very good questions to ask…

Thankfully, the internet is here to help. In this post we’ve compiled a list of several online tracking and measuring tools that can help you keep track of what you’re doing without getting into any complicated Excel charts or tracking systems. Plus, many of these tools will help you find new ideas, compare results with friends, and generally have a very good time. Here are our favorites for you to check out:

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5 Green-Tech Innovations for the Home Office

Image by An-tonio from Flickr[sniplet tweetright]The green movement has really picked up a lot of speed over the past couple of years, and along with the increased attention has come a number of really cool technological innovations for the office. Sure, technology shoulders a lot of the blame for the current ecological situation we face, but in some cases it can also provide a way out too.

In this post we’ve compiled a list of some of the most useful — and eco-friendly — technological innovations for the office. Each of these technologies improves upon older versions in function and eco-friendliness, and in some cases these gadgets provide entirely new ways to save energy. Take a look at the list and see if you might make your workplace a little greener.

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Save Yourself: Protect The Planet

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmaciejewski/[sniplet tweetright]We often look at being eco-friendly as altruistic — recycle to save the planet, or conserve energy so that our children have the same beautiful world that we do. But perhaps we should think a little more selfishly, and see how being eco-friendly effects things closer to you– like your own personal health. As humans, being selfish comes naturally, so let’s harness that natural tendency and take a look at why being eco-friendly will help me (I mean… you).

Being eco-friendly actually goes hand-in-hand with improving your health. The World Health Organization states that 13 million deaths annually are caused by preventable environmental factors. There are a ton of scientific ways to describe this, but in this post we’ll give you a few really simple reasons why protecting the planet is critical for your health, reasons that are understandable even to people who didn’t major in bio-med.

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Top 10 Gorgeous Green Buildings That Actually Exist

[sniplet tweetright] [sniplet diggright] We all know that high-tech green buildings can be stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately, though, many of these buildings won’t be built for years, if ever. Creating these impressive structures is a very difficult and expensive process, so it makes sense that many of the concepts don’t yet exist.

But, some of these beautiful buildings have been built. In this list, we’ve found a collection of incredible green buildings that actually exist right now, as in, you could walk into them and take a look around. Additionally, each of these buildings is LEED Platinum certified, which is the highest green rating available to a modern structure.

With that in mind, here is a list of the top 10 beautiful green buildings that actually exist. Check them out if they happen to be nearby, or just get excited about the fact that such beautiful eco-friendly architecture is actually a reality.

1. Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, IL

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Guilty Pleasures: Admit and Conquer Your Eco-Hating Secrets

Photo by cogdogblog on Flickr / CC BY 2.0[sniplet tweetright]It’s true. We all have habits that we probably shouldn’t have, and luxuries that we probably shouldn’t enjoy. Often these guilty-pleasures produce so much waste, or are so bad for the environment, that they are hard to ignore.

But we can’t help ourselves!

We’ve gotten in the habit of it and there’s no going back — we’ll just have to live with our sinful selves, right?

Wrong. Just because we’re not ready to give up all of our favorite pleasures doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do about them. Let’s talk about what some of those guilty pleasures are first, and then we’ll talk about how to make amends.

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Lights Off! 8 Fun Things to Do in the Dark

The Moon / Photo by gumayunov on Flickr  / CC BY 2.0[sniplet tweetright]For most of us, we stay up long after the sun goes down. We watch television, stay up on our computers, listen to music, read or whatever else we do with the lights on. What’s wrong with that? Well, we’re using more energy than we used to back when people didn’t have artificial lighting, but we’re also missing out on all of the fun things to do in the dark!

If you’re interested in saving some money on your electric bill, why not try a “night in the dark.” About 9% of the energy spent in an average American’s home is used on lighting. If we decrease the amount of light we use, we can decrease the amount of energy we use. While this may not seem like a lot of energy savings, this adds up.

If you don’t care how much energy you’re using, why not try a “night in the dark” just for fun. When the lights are out, our other senses kick in more intensely and we can experience some new and interesting things. Try a night “in the dark” and you might find you want to make a habit of it.

Without further ado, here are 8 ways to make your “night in the dark” exciting and fun.

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