Green Tips That Make Good Common Sense
Hi! Welcome to Our Green Life Biz website. The intent of this site is to provide information about Green Technologies and simple ways that all of us can help to improve the environment and save money.
My name is Jay Mueller. Since my wife Lynne and I started Our Green Life Biz, we have learned a lot and are still learning about renewable energy through our research. From the information we’ve gathered we made a decision to put many of the things we learned into practice. This is not hard to do. As we need something we are replacing it with the best green technology available (within our budget). So instead of going out and buying the first thing we see, we investigate the possibilities of green technology. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to do common sense things that can help to improve the environment. We call them our “Green Tips.”
Common Sense Green Tips We Use – Do the simple stuff. We realized that a lot of our habits are damaging to the environment and so we decided to change our habits. We have already accomplished things that will help us and the environment. We replaced most of our incandescent light bulbs with florescent bulbs (saving $10 per month). We turned our heat down for the winter (saving $20 per month), put a timer on the water heater (saving $45 per month). We put multi-outlet surge protectors on our electronic devices and start to turn them off at night and when we are away. This also makes sense from a safety point of view. Many electrical fires are started from defective electronic devices that are left plugged in.
Common Sense Green Tips We Use – At our retirement home we are fixing up, we are installing LED security lights powered by solar. Even our dog house (shed) has a solar powered attack fan installed. The fan was actually cheaper than one powered by AC power. Much easier to install too.
Green Tips We Use – The next things we have decided to do is invest in an electric tankless water heater. This investment will cost roughly $1000 installed, but will quickly pay for itself in the amount of money we save on our electric bill (estimated power reduction of 50%). In addition we have decided to start purchasing Green Energy Certificates from our electric company. These certificates certify that the energy comes from renewable sources. The source of the green energy certificates in Virginia is biomass (clean wood). A portion of the cost of the certificate goes towards renewable/sustainable energy.
Green Tips We Use- We have decided to invest in the Green DIY Energy Solar/Wind Energy DIY Guide eBook and Videos and will build our own solar and wind generators. The cost for the eBook is roughly $50 and it costs approximately $200 to build one solar panel. Although we do not know the savings cost we know this investment will help us reduce our energy bill.
I am retired and my wife plans to retire 4 May 2013. So in mid-year 2011 we began to look seriously on what was available for best fuel and that would fit what we use the vehicles for. We investigated and test drove various hybrid vehicles.
Did you know that the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid gets 41 mpg in the city? This is not a little car; it is a mid-size sedan with everything on it for around $31K (we drove and loved it). We also drove the Ford Escape Hybrid which was about the same price, got less mpg, but fits how we use a vehicle.
My wife decided on a 2012 Honda Civic that just came out in June 2011. At this writing she has driven the Honda Civic Hybrid over 40K miles and averaged 49.5 mpg. This is really good considering it is rated at 40 city/40 highway.
In the fall of 2012 I decided to by a mini-van. It is large enough to haul stuff around, has a bunch of bells and whistles (that I really don’t need) and I got a good price. It is the 2012 Chrysler, Town and Country. It was rated at 20 city/25 highway but in reality I average around 22 mpg in the city and around 28 mpg on the highway. I got up to 33 mpg on some trips.
Green Tips Basics with Travel – Some things we are doing don’t cost us one penny more. We keep the air pressure in all of our tires up to the appropriate levels (I add and extra pound to help it roll better), keep the engine tuned and air cleaner clean, use synthetic motor oil vice regular oil (don’t forget to recycle) and the big one which people forget about their cars is keep it washed and waxed. I learned that clean, waxed cars flow through the air better when I was racing (about 1/10th of second faster per lap). Around town it may not be a big deal, but if you’re traveling across the country on a vacation it can save you a lot of cash (on average about 1 mpg better fuel economy).
We believe applying these few “Green Tips” will have a positive impact on the environment and will significantly reduce our carbon footprint. I firmly believe that it is up to every one of us to try to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint and help the Earth any way we can.
Below are some changes that anyone can incorporate into their everyday lives. They save you money, they are easy to do, and they make the world a better place.
Green Tips #1
• Replace your incandescent light bulbs with florescent or Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs.
How: This is really quite simple. Just buy some florescent light bulbs to have on hand and when the incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with the new florescent bulbs.
Benefit: First you are using much less electricity which saves you money. Second you are lowering your carbon footprint and lowering the total power consumption in your area. The reason is that a normal 60 watt incandescent bulb uses 60 watts of power for as long as it is turned on. But the florescent bulb which puts out 60 watts of light only uses about 14 watts of power. The LED light even use less electricity and last 10 times longer than fluorescent. That is a savings of 46 watts of power for just one bulb. Then multiply that by how many bulbs you have in your home…WOW…what a cost savings.
Option: Replace outside lighting with LED Solar lights and use no grid power
Green Tips #2
• Replace your water heater
How: When your water heater is near or at the end of its life cycle, replace it with a more energy efficient model. The most bang for the buck model is a Tank-less Water Heater.
Benefit: While the cost of a tankless water heater is about twice as much as a standard water heater, within a year you’ll save at least the difference. The advantage of having a tankless vice standard water heater is the design. The standard water heater heats a whole tank of water and maintains a certain temperature all the time whether or not you use any hot water. The tankless water heater heats only the water you use as you use it. Great savings! As a matter of fact water heaters use the largest amount of energy consistently. So buying a tankless water heater is the biggest improvement to your home you can make.
Option: Make your own DIY Solar Water Heater.
Green Tips #3
• Turn off the power to all of your appliances when you are not using them.
How: When you’re not in a room, turn off the lights. If you have a media center (Television, DVD Player, CD Player, Audio Surround Sound, Computer, Printer Fax Machine, etc.) don’t just turn them off at the unit. All of these products use electricity even when they are off. Purchase multi-outlet surge suppressors for all of your “toys” and turn them fully off at the suppressor.
Benefit: The less energy you use the more money you save. Plus you are reducing your carbon footprint which is excellent for the environment. By plugging them into a multi-outlet surge suppressor you can turn them off at the flip of a switch and protect the equipment from power surges. All this is pretty simple, right?
Option: Consider downsizing the amount of your toys. Do you really need a TV and cable box in every room?
Green Tips #4
• Car Pool
How: I know it sounds so easy, but for people in the United States it takes away what is considered to be a big freedom. Being able to go somewhere whenever we wish is a pretty big deal now that we are used to it. But remember that it has not been that long ago that very few of us had cars, and we got along just fine. Sure you remember having to get your parents to take you to the movies, or having to catch a ride with a friend to check things out at the mall. Make a change where it makes sense and ride with others when possible.
Benefit: Save money from buying so much gasoline. Any trip is more enjoyable with company in the car. You can become closer friends. Many urban areas have car pool lanes that improve your trip time.
Option: Public transportation is even cheaper. Trains and buses are a good alternative in almost every city.
On 14 August 2009 we began to compile a list of green products we think you could use. We have now added a page to our site called “Green Products“ for your convenience. The page lists products to help you go green, how to book, green hardware and kits, and other helpful products we think you should know about. Each product has a paragraph description so you can determine if you would like to know more about the product. Of Course each product also has a hot link to the product sales page. So be sure to check it out and to see if there is something you can use.