Keeping it green, there are some new companies that are utilizing up to 100% post-consumer paper and petroleum free resin to make counter tops. This is something that I really want to try myself. I love the idea of recycling into something that will take a beating as I cook on it. One super neat feature was the dish drain, carved right into the counter top. Re-Nest.com has the counter top post with a description of the industry and a sample of current manufacturers as below:
Spring is Here! ~ Don’t forget to “Green-Up” your home!
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that made some significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits.
If you want to make your home more energy efficient:
The 10 percent tax credit for energy-saving home improvements climbs to 30 percent and is extended through 2010. Many improvements may qualify for the credit, including energy-efficient windows, outer doors, water heaters and central air conditioners. (SummitCreditUnion.com)
Head to: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_tax_credits for further information.
In the last post we discussed some tips on how to be a greener Madison homeowner. A good resource to help you out with the greening of your home is www.energystar.gov. Energy Star is a government-backed joint effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that helps Americans save money and protect the environment by practicing energy efficiency. The results have been impressive: In 2007 alone, with the help of Energy Star, Americans saved enough energy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 27 million cars. At the same time, we were able to save a collective $16 billion on our utility bills!
…Remember: being environmentally conscious doesn’t mean that you have to turn your lifestyle around. You don’t have to sacrifice features, style, or comfort. Making a few small changes can make a huge difference to the environment. As a homeowner, do your part to keep up Madison’s reputation as a green destination!
With all the alarming publicity regarding the climate crisis and global warming, we should all be proud to live in and around the “green” city of Madison. Over the years, Madison has gained a reputation as a green destination, much of which is due to its population’s dedication to the maintenance and protection of the green space throughout the area. Within the City of Madison alone, you can find over 6,000 acres of parkland in almost 300 different parks! The 150+ miles of bike trails also add to the “greenness” of the city, as you can find easy ways to travel without leaving a carbon footprint.
However, are you personally doing enough for the environment? Here are some tips on how to be a greener homeowner:
- Madison offered the nation’s first curbside recycling program in 1968. USE IT! Recycle paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, glass, and more.
- Consider using solar energy. Madison is one of 13 U.S. cities that will share $2.5 million in new federal money to advance solar power projects. The city’s goal is to double solar use by 2009… and you can help!
- Replace your old, energy-guzzling incandescent light bulbs with new, energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs. This will even help to decrease your electric bill!
- Reduce your energy intake! Turn off lights when you’re not in the room, unplug appliances after use, bundle up instead of turning up the heat in the winter, and dress for the summer warmth as opposed to using wasteful air conditioning.
Summer is here and it is hot! I can hear the screams of joy by some and the sighs of disgust by others. For many this is the time of year that their electricity bills soar as they run their air conditioner units almost 24/7 in an attempt to keep their Madison homes cool. Unfortunately, as the fuel prices rise so does the electricity costs, making it even more costly to stay cool. Between the oil, gas and electricity expense, many Madison homeowners are feeling a bit pinched financially. I therefore wanted to share some ways to keep your home cooler while saving some money and minimizing your impact on the earth’s atmosphere. (Yeah a chance to be green!)
Some passive cooling techniques for your Madison home:
1. Try to prevent the heat from entering your home. On very sunny days, keep the blinds closed. You can also plant bushes and trees in strategic places so they provide extra shade for your home and direct breezes towards your Madison home and windows.
2. Look into some heat reflective film for your windows where the sun shines the strongest. This will help keep the temperature down in a big way.
3. Keep in mind that the accent pieces on your home should be lighter in color so they will reflect the sun rays. Examples of this are shutters and roof shingles for the next time they need to be replaced.
4. Utilize fans to circulate incoming breezes. This is much less expensive than running an AC. (Also when done in conjunction with an AC for those days that an AC is a must for you, it can minimize the amount of time it has to run.
5. If the heat is really getting you down, just remember you own a home in Madison. Chances are it will be snowing again before you know it!