1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

May 15, 2008

:136 Tax Rebate

Filed under: :136 Tax Rebate — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:49 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:136 EcoTip: U.S. Tax Rebates are arriving in the mail. The government would like us to spend our way out of the recession. If your going to spend the money – why not spend it green? If you spend it for many of the energy saving upgrades discussed in these 1:5:10:365 EcoTips you should consider it a money saving investment with a carbon payback as well.

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I am pleased to announce that the third edition of my co-authored book Prescriptions for a Healthy House: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners has just been released!

Modern culture has many benefits but all too frequently convenience and costs are exchanged for health. It’s true for food and it is every bit as true for our shelter. The authors have compiled the most authoritative reference in the field of how to build your home or office to maximize its benefit for your health. I have used this book in the construction of my home and office and highly recommend it. – Dr. Mercola, Founder www.mercola.com world’s most visited natural health site

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January 28, 2008

:028 Compact Fluorescent Lights

Filed under: :028 CFLs — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

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1:5:10:028 Tip: Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) have come a long way. Presently about 20% of households have switched from the standard incandescent bulbs.

You can get about 60 watts of light for 17 watts of power, but not all compact fluorescent bulbs are created equal. I recommend that you try several different brands and styles. You may like the colors from some better than. Another difference is the speed at which they power up. Some start out dim and attain their full light output over several minutes. This helps extend the life of the bulb for situations where they will be switched on and off repeatedly. If you need and want instant light in an area that you will be switching on and off – you probably won’t get the expected eight years of life from a CFL, but it can still be worth the pay back by reducing the light bill by more than a third. The cost of the bulbs was only $1 each at our local dollar store. I’ve seen them for about the same price at Lowe’s and Home Depot. That means they should pay for themselves with savings in 4 to 6 weeks.

The big downside for all fluorescent is they contain mercury. Tomorrow I will talk about proper disposal of fluorescent and the next day mercury clean-up if a bulb breaks.

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Additional Information –

GE has posted additional facts and benefits for CFLs at: http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/faq_compact.htm

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January 26, 2008

:026 Replacement Payback

Suggested Review – :022, :023 :025

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

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1:5:10:026 Tip: When you decide to replace your refrigerator – the energy guide will help you determine the amount of money you are likely to save.

You’ve already determined your annual cost to operate your current refrigerator in :022, and :023. Simply compare that to the annual estimated energy use guide (the yellow sticker) posted on the appliance.

Now the bonus: Many public utilities are offering rebates, credits or discount coupons as a bounty to get rid of old energy wasting refrigerators and freezers. Make sure you check with your utility to see if they have one of these programs. They may have limits on what you must buy. 

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Additional Information

EPA has a refrigerator replacement cost calculator at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=refrig.calculator

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January 25, 2008

:025 EnergyStar Appliances

Suggested Review – none

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

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1:5:10:025 Tip: Today’s action is to check your energy use meter to see how much energy you saved by cleaning the refrigerator coils. Record this in your journal.

The tip is about the Environmental Protection Agencies EnergyStar Program.

According to EPA “ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.” Whenever you purchase a new major appliance – this program can help you choose one that will use less energy.

When you make a new appliance purchase, there are two costs:

1.) the initial purchase price

2.) the ongoing electricity use

Both should be considered – and the EnergyStar Program can help. One important savings that is provided by EnergyStar approved products is a very low trickle current use when in standby mode.

Tomorrow I will talk about calculating the payback period for replacing your refrigerator. This same calculation can be used for any appliance.

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Additional Information

The EnergyStar website http://www.energystar.gov/ is the starting place for researching which appliance models are the most efficient. It also serves as a good reference for tax credit information and other energy saving programs.

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