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Ways to Go Green in 2014

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Silhouette head - Healthy Living

Did you make any resolutions for 2014? If so, you’ve just joined the 30 percent of Americans who were planning to do so, according to a CBS News poll. Hopefully, one of the resolutions you made was to have a greener lifestyle. It’s a resolution that will not only benefit you, but also the planet. Fortunately, making your life more green can be done in a myriad of painless ways that will leave a better world for your children and their children.

Eat Less Meat

Did you know that the raising of livestock for meat is a great contributor to global warming? According to a report published by the United Nations Environment Programme, the production of meat — which includes deforestation and emissions related to animal agriculture — is contributing to the greenhouse gas problems of the world. Plus, cutting down on your consumption of meat may also reduce your risk of heart disease. According to a recent study published in Nature Medicine, eating red meat may cause atherosclerosis, which — in turn — could lead to clogged arteries and possibly to heart attacks.

Drive Less

By planning out your day carefully and combining the trips you need to make with your car, you could significantly reduce your automotive emissions. According to the U. S. Department of Energy, vehicles are responsible for releasing approximately 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the air every year. Don’t contribute needlessly to this bleak number by mindlessly hopping into your car any time you need something. Driving less will also help you save money on gas and car maintenance; so overall, it’s a win-win for you.

Make Your House Air Tight

If your home isn’t air tight, according to Energy.gov, you are wasting money and energy by allowing your heating and cooling to escape into the atmosphere. To prevent these types of losses, you should search for areas in which air is leaking in and out of your home and then add caulking and weatherstripping where appropriate. Keep an eye out for unexpected spots where air could be entering your house, such as dog doors. If the one you currently own does not have a weather-resistant seal or a way to close it in inclement weather, then it may be time to install a new pet door that boasts these features, such as the ones available from PetSafe.

In addition to air sealing, you should also check your attic to make sure that your home has adequate insulation. If not, adding insulation can also reduce the amount of energy you use to heat and cool your home.

Go Green Fashion

If you aren’t already doing it, consciously choose items that are good for the environment and the world in general. Look for items that are made from recycled materials or that are Fair Trade certified, like the BagInspiration purses. Fair Trade’s mission is to provide farmers and workers with a fair price for their produce and goods, as FairTradeUSA.org outlines. So these products help workers and companies who have agreed to use sustainable and socially conscious practices that will make the world a better place. By purchasing BagInspiration purses, you are buying a custom, recycled, fair-trade item that looks unique and does some good for the world.

Kill the Vampires

If you thought vampires only existed in movies and books, then you are wrong. Your house is probably full of energy-sucking vampires. What are these vampires? They are items like the phone charger you left plugged into the wall. According to Energy.gov, that charger is using .26 watts of energy even when not in use. Other devices that could be sucking you dry include that computer or game console you left on or that DVD player in the basement that you never use. Take the time to turn them off and you’ll be helping the planet and your wallet.

Save Gas and the Earth: Switch to a Motorcycle for a Greener Commute

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

bike travel

Florida is a beautiful state, but an insidious threat lurks beneath our sunny skies: greenhouse gases. The biggest source of these gases is the combustion of fossil fuels, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Combustion from cars and other vehicles makes up a vast portion of this amount.

If you think you need to drive a car or truck to commute to work, think again. In warm states like Florida, motorcycles are a viable and eco-friendly alternative. They’re more fuel-efficient than cars, which saves you money on gas and reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. This makes them ideal for people who are looking for a green and affordable way to get to work, especially if public transit isn’t good in your area.

Things to Consider

  • To begin with, what type of bike should you get? While the big Harleys are alluring, the large models aren’t that more efficient than a compact automobile. According to The Dollar Stretcher, those looking for a fuel-efficient motorcycle should be prepared to give up some power and weight in exchange for its eco- and budget-friendly values.
  • The upfront costs are another aspect of getting started. Along with the machine itself, you’ll need the proper clothing, insurance and possibly a motorcycle training course. While the cost of these things can add up, they are generally cheaper than buying a car, if you choose a modest bike.
  • The South Florida rains are another consideration. Sudden, daily torrential cloudbursts are a signature feature in South Florida, especially from late spring to early fall. You’ll want to invest in excellent rain gear and good tires. Make sure your helmet protects your eyes from the rain and apply Rain-X to the visor to maintain good visibility.

Is a Motorcycle Practical for Commuting?

Yes. Motorcycle fans have devised ways to handle every practical consideration of using a bike for getting to work and back. You can use a backpack or but specialized motorcycle accessories from BikeBandit that make it easy to carry laptops, briefcases, lunches and other work-related items. If you’re worried about ruining your work clothes, take a tip from experienced city commuters and bring your fancy clothes with you in your bike’s luggage, and wear a weatherproof outfit for the actual ride.

To pack clothes so they don’t wrinkle, the travel experts at Fodor’s suggest you roll your T-shirts and use a square-fold for dress shirts. If you put your clothing into plastic dry-cleaning bags inside your luggage, you’ll reduce friction and, therefore, wrinkles.

What About the Radio?

You don’t have to give up this pleasure when you hop on a motorcycle. Some models have excellent entertainment systems, and you can purchase a helmet that comes with a radio built in.

With all of the benefits of motorcycles, there’s really no reason to stick to an emission-spewing automobile. 

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