Archive for Energy conservation

Cruise Control: helpful for the environment and your pocket.

– Cindy Medrano

Did you know by using cruise control while driving you are not only saving gas but the mileage in your car as well? When you use cruise control, you vehicle could get up to 15% better mileage. You are reducing your gasoline intake and maximizing your mileage. Especially when you are driving on a highway, using cruise control helps you maintain a constant speed.

How is this possible you may ask? Cruise control helps adjust the speed of your car by controlling the throttle position. It basically means it provides a constant feed of fuel to your car compared to supplying gas by simply pressing the gas pedal. It is the consistent provision of fuel is what really improves your fuel economy.

However, it is best to use cruise control when driving up hilly areas, whether it is going up or down large hills. If that is the case, cruise control can use more gas.

With high gas prices, using cruise control is not only good for the environment but for your budget as well!

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Why Organic

– Cindy Medrano

Growing up we are always told to eat our fruits and vegetables. However, did you know some fruits and vegetables have high amounts of pesticides? You as a consumer can lower the amount of pesticides you intake by avoiding the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables and consuming the least contaminated produce. You will find fruits and vegetables that are least contaminated from those produce that were organically grown. Eating conventially grown (organic) produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

Did you know that apples are the number one fruits with the most pesticides? 98% of conventional apples have pesticides. The second highest contaminated produce is celery, which tested positive for 57 different pesticides followed by bell peppers as the third highest with 15 different pesticides.

The produce with the least amount of pesticides are onions, sweet corn and pineapple. It is encouraged that consumers but produce from the “Clean 15” list. Although, organically grown produce might be a bit more expensive it is worth the extra dollar.

Organic foods do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic food are also not processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, and chemical food additives. Organic farms use less energy and produce less water. When you purchase organic food, you are helping the environment! Not only are you eating healthier but giving back to mother nature as well.

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How can you help climate control?

As a society, we have a moral obligation to protect our planet. We only have one earth to live on, and unless the government plans on letting us in on how to survive on Mars, we better start making some serious changes. There are some basic changes that we can make as individuals that can help stop climate change. If we all made these simple changes, we could get off to a great start to healing our planet. Here are 10 easy changes we can all get accustomed to,

1. Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs.

2. Don’t drive when it isn’t necessary.

3.Recycle your own waste, and buy recycled items when possible.

4. Check the air pressure in your tires regularly.

5. Use less hot water.

6. Avoid buying products with excess packaging.

7. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter and 78 in the summer.

8. Plant a tree. Add more oxygen and absorb more carbon dioxide.

9.Turn off electric devices when not in use.

10.STAY INFORMED!

These changes will not change our everyday lives, they are simple and if practiced and normalized, can be easily internalized by our society.

Learn what these changes actually do for the environment HERE

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Energy Conserving Search Engines

Many of us are used to typing google or yahoo into our search bar when we are in need of looking something up. However, we never realize how much energy we are wasting by clicking those search engines.

Did you know that there are a handful of sites out in the internet that perform the same task as Google or Yahoo while conserving energy?

More examples of green search engines:

Darkoogle
Jabago
ecosearch.org

Each site resembles google, with a few tweaks added to each individual site to differentiate them.
Instead of having white backgrounds sites such as Blackle.com or Earthle.com have a black background with white text. Computer screens do not use as much energy to display color when using the black background.

It is a combination of the small amount of energy used by the computer and the search engine servers. By having a black background on a search engine site you can save the amount of watts used per hour which adds up every year. Each search uses a small amount, but when you have millions of user usage, it’s substantial. Not to mention the how it creates larger amounts of CO2 being produced with the consumption of energy.

So try something new! Use one of the eco-friendly search engine and make a small difference a day.

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Methods of Transportation that Benefits Your Pockets and the Environment

-By Luisa Fabiola Gonzalez

The high gas prices in California are really frustrating to many people who commute from far away. Most Californians travel long distances from their homes to their schools or jobs. Looking at alternative ways to save money on gas, would be essential for todays long distance commuters. This is why the United States Department of Energy recommends drivers to drive more efficiently in order to save money.

Some of the tips suggested were: avoid aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking), using cruise control, or simply using other methods of transportation that could also benefit the environment because it will also help in diminish the high levels of pollution.  In order to learn more, you could check out Spare the Air to learn about other tips regarding saving money on gas and using other methods of transportation that could benefit the environment.

Feel free to share your methods?

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Arctic Ice: Thinner than ever

Global warming strikes again. This is a long alleviated issue that we must get control of. Arctic Ice has melted to an all-time low as of  9/16/12, shattering the previous record set in 2007. The worst part is that in 2007, the all-time low record was shattered. The ice has shrunk from covering 1.61 million miles to 1.32 million miles. This means that the burning of fossil fuels is penetrating our protective ozone layer and our oceans are heating up. Sea levels could rise as much as 20 feet. At the rate we are headed, the ice could be melted completely by 2050. It is imperative that we mandate clean energy and save our planet.

Below you can see the state of the Arctic ice is a fraction of what is used to be. The yellow line outlines the size of the ice recorded from 1979-2000.

Source

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Eco-Friendly Ireland Hostel

Spaceship-looking hostel/Photo: Cheap-Hostels Website

Located in the North-West Irish countryside of Sligo County near Castlebaldwin, the eco-friendly Gyreum Ecolodge Hostel is designed to lower the carbon footprint by reducing the impact of human activities on the planet.

Derived from the Greek root ‘GYR’ that means ’round’ and ‘EUM’ implies ‘building,’ the innovative 100 ft. wide structure overlooks Lough Arrow and has a 360 degree view of Sligo’s cairned mountains and lakes spanning five counties.

On the cutting edge of energy saving technology, the iconic structure uses solar and wind power that aligns to dawn and dusk of the winter and summer solstices.

Renewable resources include solar panels that generate hot water, flagstone floors that are geothermally heated and wall insulation made of sheep’s wool. The water recycling system involves the collection of rain water in a 1500 litre tank that is pumped back for use in showers and toilets.

With its indoor-like camping features, the hostel-style accomodations include: capsule-tents, a glass domed library, a central hall with an open fireplace, a large movie screen and an organic vegetable garden.

The Gyreum Hostel is Ireland’s first ecolodge to be awarded the EU Flower for enviornmental and ecological standards and was one of four national finalists in 2007 for Best Ecological Building of the year.

For more information, visit the hostel’s website at: http://www.gyreum.com/

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