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Archive for July, 2009

Green Building Materials Should be Selected with Care

Green building materials are widely available in today’s market place.  But when there are booms in building some materials become in short supply. During the last few years of the home building boom there was a shortage of drywall. Many companies and contractor’s in America then imported millions of pounds of cheap Chinese drywall.

This decision has now plagued the homes that were built with it with many problems. The wallboard has been the source of fumes that have corroded copper pipes, blackened silver jewelry and silverware and sent some homeowners to the hospital with allergies.

After a review of shipping records by the Associated Press, the amount of imports of this potentially harmful Chinese building material is over 500 million pounds in a four year time period. This translates to more than 100,000 homes were built with this Chinese drywall.

A U.S. Representative has introduced a bill before the House that calls for a temporary ban on Chinese-made imports so that the chemical compounds used in their production can be identified and assessed for possible harmful effects on people.

The suspect drywall emits a rotten egg or sulfur odor that increases with heat and humidity, the possible suspect components are possibly the fumigants that the drywall was sprayed with or the fly ash that it is composed of. American drywall uses a better more refined fly ash in their product.

Home owners are now being left with this contaminant in their homes and are usually left to deal with it on their own since a good number of the contractors that used this material are now out of business.

The Chinese government has not responded to inquires of the suspect material.  But the good news is that the Chinese news has reported that there is an ongoing investigation into these complaints by the Chinese ministry of commerce.

We at Way to Go Green suggest that this is just another reason to buy American made green building materials for your home.

Home Solar Panels Will Save You Money

Home solar panels are the anchor by which every residential solar power system generates energy. We at waytogogreen.org have been discussing this process of alternate energy many times.  They will save you money.  For maximum efficiency of a solar unit in the United States and Europe, the solar panels must be facing south. For Australia the solar panels should be facing north. If your home is situated with the roofing trusses running north and south, then a deflector may be used to maximize their solar efficiency.  This is necessary to produce the proper amount of solar energy from your solar panels. If alignment with the sun is not maximized then more solar panels will be needed to generate the necessary power for your needs.

Solar power is a renewable energy source that the U.S. government has recognized as a way to not only help the environment but also reduce this country’s dependence on foreign oil imports. With that in mind the great legislative bodies of this nation finally reapproved the residential tax credits after nine previous attempts. The extension of this bill not only allows homeowners to apply for a 30% tax credit but the $2000 limit was removed.   This is on all newly installed residential solar power units and any upgrades necessary to existing solar units previously installed but not working at maximum efficiency.

There are also local tax incentives depending on where you reside in the United States. For the fullest possible governmental assistance with your residential solar power system each level of government should be checked.  This includes state, county and city offices to maximize available assistance.

Don’t be the last homeowner on your block to invest in home solar panels. Their installation will save you money and the environment.

Alternate Energy Funds

Way to Go Green discusses green investing but we do not recommend any particular type.  Alternate energy funds can go by several different names including alternative energy fund and renewable energy funds. In the financial world these three terms are equivalent. But no matter which one you are referring to or calling it by they are all about the same thing, investments in Green technologies that are helping to save the environment.

With this in mind one would not be surprised to find that the mutual funds that invest in alternate energy are companies that supply the world with solar power units for residential and commercial uses. In addition companies that produce wind turbines, either for home use or for large wind farms are also included.  The Alternate energy source that most people forget about is the thermal power.

Thermal power is a fast growing field that in many countries are utilizing more than the United States. Two of these countries are Iceland and the Philippines. The best thing about thermal energy is that it is always there.  Power generated by wind turbines is at the mercy of the wind.  At times there is too much and other time there is too little.  With solar energy, power can only be generated during the day. With thermal energy the source is constant and always there. This is a growing field that will never run out of is energy source unless the earth cools, but if that happens then there will be no need of power since the planet will no longer be able to sustain life.

So invest wisely and investigate alternate energy funds, money is being made in that financial area of mutual funds.

The Best Automobile Mileage

Automobile mileage

Well the best automobile mileage is settled. Honda’s FCX Clarity has won the 2009 World Green Car of the year with a vehicle that gets automobile mileage of equivalent to 72 mpg. This is not a hybrid car nor an electric car but a fuel cell car. Honda introduced this car as a concept vehicle back in 2007 at the Los Angeles car show.

Unlike other high fuel mileage cars that are usually small this is a luxury sedan. It has some similarities to an Accord until you become seated in the passenger cabin. This model is equipped with seat heaters and coolers, satellite radio, voice activated navigation and an adaptive cruise control. The futuristic display has a color changing energy ball that increases in size with the more energy the car is consuming.

This fuel cell car starts with the touch of a button and makes a whoosh sound from the air compressor. The top speed is 100 mph, which is set by a governor to prevent excessive speeds, but it is capable of more.

The automobile fuel mileage of a hydrogen fuel cell is rated the same as a gasoline engine since the density a kilo of hydrogen is approximately the same as gasoline. With this in mind this car has a fuel mileage of 65 mpg on the highway and 70 in the city with a range of 280 miles. One of the major draw backs is the cost of hydrogen is presently at the equivalent to $10 a gallon. But on the reverse side the major plus is all of the emissions are just water.

There are a number of these cars being leased for $600 a month in California and it will be available soon to the public. The big stumbling blocks are hydrogen fueling stations and the cost of hydrogen. The future is here for Americans and you can have an automobile mileage vehicle with plus 70-mpg and zero emissions if you want.

All Natural Cleaning Products

In my search for all natural cleaning products I have found many companies that make this claim and to approach it in many different and natural ways. Solay is a company that advertises simple natural cleaning products. They have many different products all being safe for the environment and non-toxic.

I looked at the different products to see what I could find. A good general example is the dish soap that contains purified water, coconut derived surfactant blend and Himalayan salts. It is free of fragrances, phosphates, animal byproducts, dyes and any petroleum based ingredients. All natural and by the many testimonials it does work quite well.

The secret and specialty to the Solay line of products are the natural salt crystals. They use Himalayan, Polish and Persian salt crystals. The main product line of this company is a salt crystal lamp that helps ionize the air and is natural. The natural cleaning products are just a part of this natural way of cleaning.

The salt crystal lamps ionize naturally. The same way Mother Nature uses the oceans to purify the earth; these salt crystals can purify your home. Salts are bonded together with an ionic charge like most metals. This is unlike other chemicals that are molecularly bonded. Upon heating the crystals, the molecules become positive and negative ions that attract the moisture and pollutants in the air. This is done by the negative charges chloride anions. Since there are more chloride ions than sodium cations the crystal will remain intact. For the moisture that is collected, when the crystal dries the salts is reformed in a crystalline structure and it remains the same as if never being melted or dissolved. This is of courser it does not become to saturate. These crystals are for inside use only.

This is an all natural cleaning product for the air and it does work.

Solar Outdoor Lighting for Safety

Solar outdoor lighting is becoming a popular addition to most new households in today’s market place.  It is also an energy efficient way to increase the security of your home without adding to your electrical bill.

The technology has advanced rapidly in the past few years to make this a convenient easy, do it yourself upgrade to your property. These new devices trap and store the renewable energy of the sun during the day.  Upon the sun setting, the solar lights automatically illuminate. The release of the trapped energy that has been stored is the power source.  There are a variety of fixtures to choose from including ground level lighting fixtures to lamps and even flood lights. Best of all there are no trenches to dig because there are no wires.  Each unit uses a separate power generation system and works independent of each other.

For those that wish to decorate their gardens with glowing balls or globes that utilize solar power, these are also available. These have become so popular that the price of manufacturing has reduced the cost significantly.

Way to Go Green suggests two products that you will just love.  The set of 6 Solar Path Lights which you will see on the left and also a wonderful appliance that will help to keep your family safe, the 80 LED Security floodlight.  Even in a power outage or in a case where someone deliberately cuts off your power, you will still have light flooding out on to the yard.  Nothing deters the bad guys than lots of light.

This is a positive step in the right direction to help keep your home and family safe. This is independent of your local power grid so even when there is a power loss in your neighborhood, your home will be illuminated. So be safe and secure and install solar outdoor lighting at your home today.

Solar Battery Charger

A solar battery charger is a way to recharge you household batteries or your car battery without adding any pollutants to the atmosphere.  They work on the same principle that all other solar powered device work and that is harnessing the renewable energy of the sun to create electricity.

There are many chargers out there in the market place.  Most of them are for your car.  A good number of them offer the trickle charge at 12 volts.  This does not sound too efficient but a long slow charge is the best way to charge a battery.  The battery will also keep this charge longer that a quick charge.  These convenient solar battery chargers are foldable and easy to store when not in use. Most are powerful enough to charge your battery while sitting on the dashboard.  The windshields glass will not hamper the function and this charger and it is safe from theft.

There are also solar battery chargers that provide 24 and 48 volts for charging those larger batteries but they are more expensive.

For those of you that have hybrid cars a thought has come to mind.  On your dash and in the back window would be a perfect place for these inexpensive chargers. With prices as low as $60 this power source offsets the power drain on your battery and will give you extended mileage. This would not only make your hybrid car a gas, electric vehicle but also a solar car.

Most of these charges plug into that seldom used cigarette lighter but they can be hard wired into the cars electrical system for improved looks.

A solar battery charger is more useful than you first thought it would be.  This type of charger may be used year around to keep your car battery at full charge at all times. In the winter you are going to be real glad to have the extra cranking power available that a solar battery charger will provide.

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