Archive for the 'Green Appliances' Category

Toilet Lid Sink

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

This is a great water saving idea – so simple and ingenious that you wonder nobody invented it before. When you flush the toilet, fresh water from the clean water pipe comes out of the spigot tap automatically for you to wash your hands. The hand-washing water fills the tank as you wash, ready to be recycled for the next flush. This is a plastic molded fitting that will fit onto a standard tank instead of the lid.

Not only is it a great water saving idea, but it also works well as a space saving feature, when there isn’t room for a full size basin in a small toilet or bathroom. I can see it taking off as a feature in public toilets in eco-friendly resorts too. Perhaps the only possible drawback is the danger of the soap slipping into the toilet itself!

It’s not cheap but it is much more affordable than buying and installing a separate sink. There is also a deluxe version for $20 more that aerates the water as it flows, using even less water.

Costs $99 direct from TierraPath

Recycling in Style

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Turn this recycling clutter into top of the line stylish recycle center

Mode™ Premium Home Recycling Center $299.95 from williams-sonoma.com
Perfect for the affluent neat-nick who needs to reduce clutter at any cost by home recycling in orderly and luxuriant style.

This Mode home recycle center has a built-in compactor to crush cans and plastic bottles to help save energy on reducing the frequency of walking to your outdoor recycle container or pickup. No electricity – just the power of the foot pedal – so you will need to expend some energy. The extra time you will spend neatly arranging your newspapers, magazines and junk mail to fit into the small area for paper will allow you opportunity to slow down from a busy, hectic day and perhaps reflect on why did you every buy this thing!

The Switch From Analog to Digital TV Shouldn’t Make New Energy Hogs

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Plasma TV is an energy hog

It is now only a little more than a month away until analog TV broadcasting will end and be switched over to digital broadcasting. With the economy crashing there has been some talk about postponing it but right now this conversion remains on schedule.

The 15.5 million people in the US who still only watch TV with antenna reception will have make the change by either getting a digital TV converter box or signing up with a digital cable or satellite service if they want to continue watching TV. However, this change is confusing to many people who think they also will need to go out and buy a new TV (if they haven’t already) Many will be tempted to buy the giant 40″ – 60″ Plasma TV’s with their insanely cheap pricing but what they might not realize is how amount of energy they consume. A 42″ Plasma screens can use up to 600 kilowatt-hours per year – add another 250 kWh from the cable box and you are talking massive energy consumption, a 42-inch plasma TV set can draw more power than a large refrigerator, even if the TV is only used a few hours a day.

If millions of people start adding this additional new energy drain on our electrical grid it starts to become a significant percentage of energy use. Televisions now consume about 4 percent of household electricity nationally we can expect this percentage to grow as more people opt for the big screens.

Most of which is not only wasted by the vast emptiness and mindlessness of network TV programming but also from the fact that much of this power is used when the TV isn’t even being watched or turned on. This is all happening at exactly the wrong time, when we should be figuring out how to reduce energy use, reuse and recycle – millions of TVs will now be headed for the dump and millions more brand new energy hogs will soon be let loose to forage our electric grid.

If you want find the best green options for the your TV, the best solution is to simply keep whatever TV you currently have and hook it up to a convertor box – and unplug it except for the rare occasion you need to actually watch it. Or just use your computer to watch many programs. But if you are like me and want to watch the Colbert Report and the Daily Show, Lost, Sundance and HBO in high-def then a newer and smaller LCD (32″ or less) is your best option in terms of saving energy. Here is a good Scientific American article on choosing an energy efficient TV.

Sony recently announced its new 32-inch Bravia KDL-32JE1 LCD model as “the world’s most energy efficient television.” It went on sale in Japan in August 2008 but I couldn’t find any information on when it would be available elsewhere. Sharp has some more energy-efficient models and also showed a prototype of a solar-powered energy efficient TV, which seems a bit strange – but there you have it. Treehugger recommends the Sharp Aquos LC-20B8U-S 20 inch set as being the least power hungry of high def TV’s.

For some excellent information on everything you would need to know about reducing energy use from your TV check out the GreenNav’s Open Blog article here.

Heat and Cool your Home with Geothermal Power

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

geothermal heating

With the ever increasing prices of heating oil and natural gas some people are starting to look into the feasibility of geothermal heating to heat their homes. In the US this technology isn’t as advanced and popular as in Iceland or parts of Europe but as energy prices go through the roof maybe its time we start thinking about what’s under the basement.

Once you start to get below 6 feet in the ground the temperature —stays between 50˚F and 60˚F year round so it is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter in most areas. The basics of Geothermal heating and cooling is very simple; just circulate fluids through the ground to cool the fluids and then that cool fluid will then cool the air that circulates through your house via some type of ducts. The same principal is used for heating in the winter, the fluids and then the air is warmed in a similar manner. However, the heat generated is often not as warm as what most people prefer so a compressor is used that increases the temperature somewhat. Here is an excellent link, The Case for Geothermal, that goes into this explanation in far greater detail.

Here is a European based site, Geothermie.net which has some good information on how you might or might not be able to use it for your home.

However, in many parts of the US, like New England, the cost is steep upfront, like up to 15-30 Grand. However, overtime it may be cost effective and certainly will add to your home value.

Here is a link to the Geocomfort site that can get you hooked up with even more info as well as a local dealer.

Kitchen Compost Crock

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Ceramic Kitchen Compost Crock
Kitchen Compost Crock $42.00 (white ceramic model) $75.00 (stainless steel model) at RealGoods.com

Maybe you compost in your yard, but what about your kitchen? An utterly depressing and amazing amount of useful nutrients are thrown out by most people everyday. Your banana peels, veggie peelings, etc could be put to far better uses than simply making more methane gas somewhere in some humongous landfill.

Consider the compost crock as one solution, the Kitchen Compost Crock looks great on your counter and is ideal for holding scraps of food that can eventually make compost for your garden plants. As food prices continue to grow through the roof, a home veggie garden is making more and more sense.

The crock’s interior is glazed so it won’t stain and the filtered lid leaves odors trapped inside. You will need to change the filters every few months, replacement filters are $10.00 for a set of 6. Some users complain of a loose handle on this ceramic model. For a bit more money you can spring for the stainless steel model. Speaking of money, The composting stainless steel crock we reviewed last year seems perhaps a better deal at only 39.00. Check out our previous Great Green Gadgets article here on kitchen composting.

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