August 22nd, 2008
Doing your part to counter centuries of harmful habits and preserve the planet for future generations can be a daunting prospect. But reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. Making just a few simple changes can go a long way toward both conserving natural resources and saving you money.
InsiderGreen.com is dedicated to keeping readers up to date on painless ways to go green, starting with new technology and products aimed at reducing consumption and lowering utility bills. InsiderGreen.com focuses on tips and strategies for going green, the latest in environmentally friendly technology and why it’s all good for protecting both the planet and the pocketbook.
Conserving water matters simply because people, plants and animals need water to sustain life. Rainfall and melting snow are sources of fresh water, but casual use and waste can diminish that supply, particularly in dry seasons. In addition, population growth strains limited supplies and an increase in atmospheric temperatures due to global warming threatens to decrease snowfall and impact an important source of clean drinking water.
Thanks to federal mandates issued in 1994, toilets and water fixtures must now be manufactured to meet special energy-efficient guidelines. Simple measures like replacing old toilets, shower heads and water faucets with newer models significantly reduce water consumption and lead to lower monthly utility bills. It also pays to take shorter showers, reserve the use of clothes washers and dishwashers for full loads only and monitor old or damaged toilets and water fixtures for leaks. To go a step further and remodel your bathroom altogether would require more initial cash outlay but would immediately lessen its impact on the environment and quickly recoup costs through increased efficiency.
You can also have an impact on air quality with relatively little effort. Many common cleaning, hygienic and cosmetic products contain harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds. Replacing those products with environmentally friendly alternatives can lower your risk of diseases ranging from asthma to cancer. Since these toxins can also be found in old cabinetry as well as many adhesives, caulks and paints, a bathroom renovation project using green products is one way to reduce your exposure. Improved ventilation also decreases the risk of harm to children and pets.
InsiderGreen.com will keep readers informed on the emergence of green technology and the development of alternative energy sources including biofuel, a renewable source derived from recently living organisms — primarily plant life — and their metabolic byproducts. One such innovation is Algenol Biofuels Inc.’s new sun-powered process for converting algae into ethanol. The company’s trademarked DIRECT TO ETHANOL process, which produces ethanol through the use of algae, sunlight, carbon dioxide and seawater, is scheduled to begin commercial sales in 2009. Ethanol produced from algae emits less carbon dioxide than conventional fossil fuel. Also, the production method developed by Algenol uses no agricultural space and, therefore, won’t drive down the supply or inflate the cost of corn, sugar and other crops.
As an ever-increasing number of Americans accepts responsibility for minimizing environmental harm, demand for green products and technology grows and the marketplace expands to offer more recycled and sustainable options.
Already, shoppers can identify water-efficient fixtures and products by looking for the WaterSense label. WaterSense is a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and an extensive list of manufacturers, retailers and distributors of water-related products and services.
Please feel free to explore the site for other green product recommendations.