Mexico City Goes Green

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Trades | 0 comments

Mexico City Goes Green

In the past, Mexico City has always been viewed as a great place to visit and terrible place to live. Too many people with too many cars physically trapped in a small space are never a pleasant situation. Take this situation; put it in a valley and the problem just gets worse. The results are overcrowded city streets covered in a thick coat of smog day after day.

Until recently, a citizen of Mexico City could go their entire life without knowing the smell and taste of good quality air. On average, Mexico City would have about eight good quality air days a year. All the exhaust and waste produced on a daily basis would just collect and hover over the city. Surrounded by mountains, the city’s population would literally sleep, work and live breathing in waste.

Two billion dollars later, Mexico City has proven the impossible to be possible. The city’s good air days now outnumber its bad ones by a hundred. City money purchased various forms of public transportation that decrease emissions and continually improve the City’s air quality each year they are used. Metro-buses and bike-shares were purchased and placed throughout the city.

Then something wonderful happened. The people used them and are continuing to use them. They believe in improving their situation. If not for themselves, they do it to sit an example for their children. Mexico City also added a nine-mile metro line to their system. Giving travelers more space and making them more comfortable, the city is doing its best to make public transportation an attractive option.

Focusing on air-quality, Mexico City has banned the use of older vehicles with poor emissions. Getting these vehicles off the roads not only improves traffic conditions, but makes sure the City has not spent their money for nothing. Its efforts could easily be undone and the people know it. They have tasted clean air and are in no hurry to give it up.

 

Learn more about green energy.

The Founding Father of Tradesmen

Posted by on Feb 18, 2013 in Trades | 0 comments

The Founding Father of Tradesmen

President’s Day is the perfect time to recognize the ultimate craftsman of American history, the founding father Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was an adept politician and a slave to science. So much so, money was meaningless compared to his search to learn and create. Below are some of his most common inventions.

 

 

 

Moldboard Plow

As Secretary of State, Jefferson transformed the industry of agriculture. He invented a plow moldboard at a right angle. This simple action made plows easier to use and more effective. Jefferson’s invention was easy to duplicate and was. The inventor never chose to patent the product. He developed it for the good of everyone and viewed it as a product of common law.

Wheel Cipher

To protect the transfer of delicate messages, Jefferson developed one of the oldest ways to send an encrypted message.  The wheel cipher contains every letter of the alphabet, which turn and spin on a spindle. Safely guarding messages against prying eyes, the invention jumbled messages until someone with the code could unscramble them.

Automatic Double Doors

America’s first set of automatic doors existed in Jefferson’s Monticello, a home he designed and used as an experiment for many of his inventions. He designed his automatic doors to open when triggered by a hidden operating switch under floor. The pair of glass doors was quite a sensation when originally installed in 1804.

Revolving Bookstands & Chairs

Libraries and book stores everywhere owe Jefferson for this invention. He was the first to build a revolving stand uniquely for books. He was also the first to design the revolving chairs now so commonly found in these buildings and everywhere else. Between the two, Jefferson put his mark on the furniture industry for years to come.

 

 

See more of Jefferson’s inventions.

3 Tips for Attracting Pollinators

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Trades | 0 comments

3 Tips for Attracting Pollinators

It’s a fact that pollinators are necessary for a garden’s longevity and productivity. It’s also a fact that different flowers attract different types of pollinators. A garden’s main sources of pollination are from bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. However, moths and flies also act as natural pollinators. The most common and desired pollinator is the honey bee. This busy, busy insect means no harm and is sure to return year after year to a good spot, bringing the whole family with him.

 

1. Timing

Planting a garden is like planning a marriage. You have to get the timing right. If a garden’s main source of pollination is available during the late summer months, spring blooming flowers will not stand a chance. Bees are most active during the summer months, appearing in the spring and dying off with beginning of winter weather. It’s best to plant flowers that will bloom during when bees are most active for your area. Supplementing your garden with fall blooming plants is a great way to make sure it will continue to get the attention it needs late into the year.

2. Plants

The best way to ensure swarms of bees is by planting trees that bloom all summer long. However, not everyone has the space. Smaller trees, perennials and annuals will create a unique and attractive space for an assortment of pollinators. There are thousands of spring flowers and bulbs to pick from, but selecting native plants will give your garden the best chance. Miniature variations of the sunflower, Brown-eyed Susans bloom all summer and are great for attracting bees. Milkweed variations are another popular addition to gardens. These plants attract butterflies and are a food source for caterpillars.

3. Color & Smell

Except for hummingbirds and flies, all pollinators are attracted to the same smells that we are. Hummingbirds have no sense of smell and flies tend to be attracted to the smells we don’t like, such as Queen Ann’s Lace. Bees are attracted to every color imaginable, except for red. Ironically or by natural development, butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to red and reddish toned flowers.

 

Learn more tips for a productive summer garden.

Guns & President Threatened with Impeachment

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Trades | 0 comments

Guns & President Threatened with Impeachment

It is no surprise that President Obama and Vice President Biden are on a war path. The president is currently weighing up to 19 different gun control proposals and could have a detailed plan for action announced as soon as Wednesday.

In Congress, Biden continues to lead the gun violence task force. The vice president hopes to have congressional approval in renewing the assault weapons ban, limiting high-capacity magazines and enforcing background checks on anyone showing interest in a firearm.

No president has ever gotten something done without stepping on somebody’s toes. The administration’s advances on more restrictive gun control have met with some very strong opposition and even threats.

The loudest voices of disapproval are coming from the Republican Party and National Association. Some republicans claim the president is guilty of attacking the very beliefs that founded this nation. Such a crime is worthy of impeachment. Republicans have vowed to do just that if Obama acts without approval from the other branches, which he is not required to have.

Agreeing with the White House to an extent, the NRA voices an opinion with a different perspective. Exonerating the president and gun owners, the NRA puts a new villain on trial, the entertainment industry and highly graphic video games. The NRA agrees with the president that gun control and background checks should be enforced. However, from the NRA’s perspective, new laws do not need to be made to see it happen. The laws are already in place and should be put to practice before new regulations are made.

 

Nation’s most restrictive gun law is on New York’s table.

Top 3 2013 Green Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Trades | 0 comments

Top 3 2013 Green Resolutions

New Year’s through the month of January is the perfect time to reevaluate the toll your household takes on the environment every year. Household carbon emissions, pollution and energy consumption add up every year in more ways than one. They show up on your monthly utility bills, in landfills and in medical expenses. Below are the top three ways to save on more than just waste this upcoming year.

 

 

1. Use the Tap

Cutting bottled water from your shopping list can save over a thousand dollars per year spent on water consumption. Not to mention, you may as well be drinking tap water anyway since you already are. Over 25 percent of all bottled water is nothing more than tap water with a convenient container and fancy label. Along with money, you will also be reducing waste. Up to 41 percent of all discarded plastics originate as water bottles and most plastics take thousands of years to decompose. The best solution is to invest in a BPA-free hard plastic bottle, which will last you for years.

2. Ride a Bike

Transportation is the second largest source of CO2 emissions. These emissions are just as harmful to your health as they are to the environment. Which means, walking or riding a bike to work or for nearby errands will save a lot more than just total household emissions, which could be reduced by four trillion pounds. It could potentially save 1,100 lives and 7 billion dollars in healthcare costs. Using public transportation or eliminating an unnecessary second vehicle will also reduce total household CO2 emissions by up to 30 percent.

3. Use Your Own

In regards to the oil required for their production, it only takes 14 shopping bags to carry a car for a mile and over one million plastic bags are used around the world every single minute. Think about it. Investing in a re-useable canvas shopping bag is a relatively small expense and time commitment that can eliminate thousands of years of damage to the environment and show you care.

 

Learn more about waste and recycling.

3 Easy Remodeling Resolutions

Posted by on Dec 26, 2012 in Trades | 0 comments

3 Easy Remodeling Resolutions

Remodeling projects are at the top of most New Year’s resolution lists. Below are three easy, but commonly forgotten projects.

 

Better Water Pressure

Faucet aerators are cheap, easy to install and one of the most cost effective home improvement projects anyone can tackle. Weak water pressure usually means longer showers and more time spent bent over the sink. Ironically, weaker water pressure generally means that water is left to run longer in order perform its intended job. This can wreak havoc on monthly bills.

Faucet aerators cost about 50 cents. This little, tiny devices fit right in the top of faucets and are as easy to install as it is to unscrew and replace an existing faucet. Aerators distort the water flow, spreading it out and increasing the pressure. They deliver a better performance for a fraction of the water use, making for a more attractive monthly bill.

Improved Security

Another project not at the top of most people’s remodeling lists, replacing a wood door with a steel model will financially return up to 70 percent of its cost in monthly energy savings. Steel doors are much more secure. Not only will your bank account feel the benefits, but your home should feel more protected and safer than ever before.

Less Headache

Everyone has problem areas. It’s funny how easy it is for junk drawers to become junk rooms. These areas are usually avoided. However, acknowledging them and implementing better organization systems can make these areas less frightening, decrease your headache and add to your home’s resale value.

 

The complete article and more information can be found here.

Buying Green Electronics

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Trades | 0 comments

Buying Green Electronics

Electronics are always at the top of everybody’s list during the holiday season. Whether picking up a new family TV or purchasing a computer for work, below is a guide to smart electronics that give a little more than regular models.

Televisions

Your best friend when it comes to buying a new television is a little yellow sticker, the yellow energy guide label. This label is specifically designed to inform consumers how a particular model compares to other models in regards to energy consumption.

Purchasing an energy efficient television could save you as much as 250 dollars a year. Since they use 15 to 20 percent less energy than fluorescent models, it’s best to purchase TVs using a LED backlight. The top makers of these LCD-LED models are Sharp and Samsung. Both of these companies market some of the greenest televisions available, saving families anywhere between 30 and 100 dollars a year.

Computers

The best computers are marked with an EPEAT label, a sticker ensuring that the product, not only, meets energy star requirements, but, also, contains fewer toxic chemicals than other models.

Designed to be as energy efficient as possible, laptops tend to be a better investment than desktops. Notebooks and tablet are engineered to have fewer energy needs and require only a third of the energy used by desktop models.

The complete article and more information can be found here.

Green Holiday Tips

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in Trades | 0 comments

Green Holiday Tips

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the average American household throws away up to 25 percent more trash than during the rest of the year. Below are some helpful tips for keeping your contribution down this holiday season.

The Tree

The average Christmas tree takes up to ten years to fully mature. It basically spends a decade growing in order to serve a one-month-long purpose before being tossed on the curb for collection. Potted plants are a less wasteful alternative to cutting down full grown trees and can look just as pretty covered in decorations. Plastic trees are even a more energy efficient alternative to using real live trees. Appearing identical to the real thing, they reduce waste and water usage.

Decorations

There are thousands of ways to create homemade decorations, which conserve energy just by saving gas. Strings of popcorn and dried fruit are great alternatives to tinsel that can be used both indoors and outside. Painted pine-cones and old light bulbs are also energy friendly alternatives to store bought ornaments. Outside of your home, edible ornaments can be used as a way to feed wildlife and give back to your environment. Apples slices that have been covered with layers of peanut butter and birdseed are a great example of this.

Lights

Conventional Christmas lights use up to 90 percent more energy than the LED alternative strings available. Even the White House is going green this year with LED lights. These bulbs give off very little heat compared to regular bulbs and also have a much longer lifespan. The best part, however, when one LED bulb goes out, the rest stay on.

The complete article and more information can be found here.

This Winter’s Best Snow Removal Tools

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Trades | 0 comments

This Winter’s Best Snow Removal Tools

Today, snow tools are being made stronger and more durable than ever. With innovative designs to help reduce muscle strain and remove snow more effectively, these tools are also easier to use than ever before. Shovels are being designed from better plastics and with metal edges, allowing them to last much longer than just one winter. The best shovels and other tools for removing snow this winter are listed below.

 

SNO Wovel

An innovative snow shovel, the SNO Wovel is literally a shovel on a wheel. Its design alleviates strain from the back, allowing more of your energy to be spent pushing snow instead of lifting it. This shovel makes even the hardest snow removal projects easier and less time consuming. As for convenience, the SNO Wovel is second only to a gas-powered blower.

Toro Power Shovel

At 13 pounds, this snow blower is designed like a weed whacker. Instead of whacking through grass, this shovel can blow through six inches of snow. The Toro Power Shovel is lightweight solution to messy walkways and smaller driveways, clearing them with only a few passes.

Ames True Temper Snow Shovel

This shovel is designed for portable functionality. Its innovative design provides more leverage and lifting power than most other shovels on the market. The Ames True Temper is also small enough to take anywhere. Extending up to 39 inches, this shovel is the perfect snow tool for any problem, anywhere.

SNO Brum

A snow broom especially designed for cars, this broom’s main feature is an oversized foam head. The SNO Brum is 17 inches long and can easily remove large amounts of snow without hurting a vehicle’s finish. This broom is equipped with a telescoping handle for convenient transport. It’s also designed to push snow away from the user instead of toward.

Calcium Chloride

This chemical is a fast and effective way to melt dangerous outdoor ice. A better alternative to Rock Salt, this chemical does not corrode patios and walkways overtime or with misuse. Calcium Chloride is slightly more expensive, but can save a lot of money in the long run. The flakes release heat as they dissolve and are especially ideal for black ice.

More information can be found here.

Green Gifts: Holiday Presents that Keep Giving

Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Trades | 0 comments

Green Gifts: Holiday Presents that Keep Giving

By lowering carbon footprints and supporting local vendors, green gifts are the presents that keep on giving. Below are some eco-friendly suggestions that are sure to be loved by both the environmentally and health conscience.

The Gift of Clean Air

Personalized trees are a great gift for environmentally conscience friends. As the trees continue to grow, they become a warm and lasting reminder of friendships. They also recycle air for as long as they live, giving the gift of cleaner air. A personalized tree or even a small desktop terrarium is the perfect gift that keeps on giving.

The Gift of Lower Local Footprints

Buying local is a great way to support local artists and businesses. It’s also the best way to reduce carbon-footprints and give back to someone’s community. Local art is a great source of unique jewelry, crafts and work that can’t be mimicked by department store brands. Local vineyards and farmer’s markets are other great sources of gifts that give back.

While out shopping, consider picking up an eco-friendly bag from your neighborhood supermarket. They make great stocking stuffers and are a green lifestyle necessity. Usually available for just a few cents, they last longer than plastic or paper bags, reducing their carbon footprint.

The Gift of Recycled Function

Greeting cards, bracelets and even clothes are being made from recycled and all natural materials. Recycled paper is great for the environment and makes for a personalized greeting card that is sure to stand out. Recycled plastic can be turned into a fashionable and eco-friendly bracelet that can be enjoyed by either gender. Organic jeans and recycled gloves are just two more or the endless possibilities.

The Gift of Being Chemical Free

Organic make-ups and soaps are made from natural ingredients. Completely chemical free, they offer a natural look and experience that’s healthy for all skin types. Health conscious and eco-friendly friends alike will enjoy using them in a hot bath or just for daily hand-washing.

The complete article and more information can be found here.