Tag Archives: green

Karton Group | Bedroom | Furniture | Online | Bedside | Tables | Beds · Karton Cardboard Furniture

12 Dec
I’m in love with this idea of cardboard furniture, one year warranty. What do you think about temporary furniture? Check out these amazing options. Click the link for more pics and info. Enjoy!

Karton Group | Bedroom | Furniture | Online | Bedside | Tables | Beds · Karton Cardboard Furniture

Christmas Lights Recycling & Energy Saving Holiday Lights

6 Nov

‘Tis the time to be green so I wanted to pass the word along…

Christmas Light Trade-in
Bring in your old, broken or used incandescent holiday light strings to your local The Home Depot store for recycling. Get a discount for each recycled string on a single receipt, in-store purchase of LED lights. Limit 5 discounts per customer.

LED Holiday string lights:
  • Use 80% less energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • Can last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent lights
  • Cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire
  • Do not have moving parts, filaments or glass, so they are much more durable and shock-resistant than other lights
  • The amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs- enough to light two 24 foot strings

With those benefits we make it easy to Save Green Live Green.  Also don’t forget that November 15 is “America Recycles Day” so make sure to get out and participate. Take care and Happy Holidays.

Get your glow on with these eco-minded LED, solar, and rechargeable lights. Sunset.com

Click here for slideshow “Energy-saving Christmas lights” – Sunset.com

Swap incandescents for LEDs at Christmas light trade-in – latimes.com 

Trade In Christmas Lights ? Christmas Lights Recycling

A House Built Out of Boulders in Uruguay – A Modern Country House Slide Show – NYTimes.com

17 Sep

San Diego launches new era of food waste composting | SignOnSanDiego.com

17 Sep

Instead of taking up space in the city’s Miramar Landfill, food waste and yard trimmings are deposited in a special area known as The Greenery.

Methyl Bromide Ban Has Almost No Effect On Measured Levels Of The Pesticide

9 Sep

In some of California’s top strawberry-growing counties, levels of banned methyl bromide remain nearly as high as they were a decade ago, despite a mandated phaseout, according to an analysis by New America Media

The fumigant was supposed to have been phased out completely by 2005, under a global pact to halt the thinning of the earth’s protective ozone layer. But in 2009, the latest year for which data is available, more than 5 million pounds of the pesticide were still in use, down just 50 percent from 2000.

A limited amount of methyl bromide is allowed in instances in which no alternative exists, through a “critical use exemption,” determined by treaty members in a three-year process and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Strawberry growers in California are among the groups that can apply for an exemption.

As a result, in a handful of the state’s highest strawberry production areas, methyl bromide is nearly as ubiquitous as it was in 1999, indicating that not all communities in the state are benefiting similarly from the phaseout.

An analysis of state pesticide use data revealed that in Monterey County, the state’s main strawberry production area, methyl bromide use has fallen only 24 percent over the decade, from roughly 1.7 million pounds in 1999 to 1.3 million pounds in 2009.

Adjacent Santa Cruz County, another top strawberry-producing region, saw a similar percentage drop in use, to about 400,000 pounds from 564,000 pounds in 1999. San Luis Obispo County actually saw an uptick, to roughly 125,000 pounds in 2009 from 110,000 pounds a decade earlier.

“While overall the use of methyl bromide has declined in recent years in California, (its) use in certain crops, including strawberries, has declined very little,” said Michael Marsh, a Salinas-based attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, a public interest law firm that advocates on behalf of farm workers. “And when you look at overall use of fumigants, including methyl bromide, chloropicrin and Telone, you find that the amount of dangerous fumigants used is much higher than it was 20 years ago.”

Methyl bromide is on the state’s Proposition 65 list as a chemical known to cause reproductive harm. At high exposure levels, it can cause acute symptoms, including eye and skin irritation, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, dizziness, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Dangerous conditions for farm workers prompted California Rural Legal Assistance and two other legal advocacy groups to file a Title VI civil rights complaint in 1999, charging that the state’s approval of methyl bromide disproportionately affected Latino children in schools near fields that were sprayed. This August, after 12 years of litigation, the EPA finally agreed.

In a settlement [PDF] with California pesticide regulators announced Aug. 26, the EPA stated that it had found a preliminary violation of Title VI “as a result of an unintentional adverse disparate impact upon Latino schoolchildren.” State regulators agreed to add one air monitor in a heavy-use area and step up outreach to the Latino community on pesticide safety.

State pesticide regulators disagree with EPA

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation said it disagrees with the EPA’s “methodology and assumptions in the analysis and disputes there were adverse or disparate effects on Latino children during the time period examined.”

“We agreed to settle without going through the process (a hearing before an EPA law judge) because we have made significant changes to ensure the safety of field workers, the public and environment in the past 12 years,” said department spokeswoman Lea Brooks. “It was not worth the investment in resources to take it to hearings. We agree to continue on the course we have been following for years.”

The agreement between the Department of Pesticide Regulation and the EPA suggests that the phaseout of methyl bromide already is a remedy to the problem.

But in the state’s strawberry bowl, the areas around Salinas (Monterey County) and Watsonville (Santa Cruz County), little has changed. Farm workers, their families and the public are exposed to higher levels of the fumigant than in other parts of the state.

In an e-mail response, the EPA said: “Since 2001, both EPA and the State of California have implemented stringent regulations that address exposure levels. For example, the State of California instituted a cap in 2010 that limits total usage within specified geographic areas in each calendar month.”

The EPA said it also has taken steps, along with the Department of Pesticide Regulation, to increase protections from methyl bromide exposure.

“Overall, EPA has mandated a suite of complementary mitigation measures to protect handlers, re-entry workers, and bystanders from risks resulting from exposure to the soil fumigant pesticides,” the agency said.

In 2000, the Department of Pesticide Regulation set an exposure limit of 210 parts per billion (ppb) for the public for “acute, single full-day exposures” and the “equivalent level for 12-hour exposure for workers,” said Anne Katten, a pesticide and work safety specialist with the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation in Sacramento.

State regulators set a “township cap” in 2004 to keep exposure levels to a “safe” limit of 9 ppb for the public and 16 ppb for workers for peak or monthly exposures. But the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment recommended much tighter exposure limits – 1 ppb for the public and 2 ppb for workers.

California Rural Legal Assistance sued state pesticide regulators over their failure to base rules on the those stricter recommendations and won, Katten said. In 2010, by court order, the Department of Pesticide Regulation lowered the “township cap” to 5 ppb for the public.

“Three townships – one in the Watsonville area, one in Salinas area and one is Siskiyou County, where strawberry nurseries are located – have in some past years reached or exceeded this monthly use level,” she said.

The department also has set a buffer zone around schools and prohibits spraying on properties near these zones.

“The 300-foot buffer zone … is an extra protection around schools,” Katten said, “but it doesn’t do anything for kids in residences or anywhere else.”

Other counties see bigger reductions

In several other high strawberry production areas in California, methyl bromide use has seen bigger reductions. In Santa Barbara County, use of the fumigant fell by roughly 50 percent, to 484,000 pounds in 2009. In San Diego County, methyl bromide use dropped by three-fourths, to 8,300 pounds in 2009.

The most dramatic drop is in Ventura County’s strawberry fields in coastal Oxnard.

Strawberry production has nearly doubled there, while methyl bromide use has dropped to about 131,000 pounds from 1.6 million pounds in 1999. California Rural Legal Assistance’s Marsh said the county has been under added pressure to phase out the fumigant because of tougher state limits on volatile organic compounds to combat smog.

But like Monterey County, Ventura County has seen a big increase in the use of other fumigants, including Telone and chloropicrin. On the state’s Prop. 65 list, Telone is a chemical known to cause cancer. Chloropicrin causes acute symptoms, including irritation to the nose, eyes, throat and upper respiratory track, according to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

With the EPA’s preliminary finding in the California Rural Legal Assistance case behind them, farm worker and pesticide reform advocates have shifted to the fight brewing over a long-awaited alternative to methyl bromide: methyl iodide. As the season to fumigate strawberry fields nears, several groups are challenging last year’s decision by state regulators to OK methyl iodide for use in California.

“We won this (the agreement on methyl bromide),” said Erik Nicholson, United Farm Workers’ national vice president. “In the meantime, the growers have a chemical that is even worse.”
Story comes courtesy of New America Media, via California Watch.

Ngoc Nguyen is an editor and reporter at New America Media, and frequently covers environment/health topics. She completed a 10-month reporting fellowship at the Sacramento Bee through the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. In 2008, she won The California Endowment Health Journalism fellowship. Nguyen was previously editor of NHA Magazine, a national bilingual Vietnamese American publication. She also worked as a healthcare journalist for SavvyHealth.com and About.comameri, and was an assistant producer at Marketplace, the radio program about business and global economics distributed by American Public Media.

Methyl Bromide Ban Has Almost No Effect On Measured Levels Of The Pesticide

Energy-efficient homes seem to sell faster, fetch higher prices – latimes.com

7 Sep

Some research projects in California, Oregon and Washington offer hints that energy efficiency and sustainability certifications for homes may result in easier sales and higher prices.

Window film is applied to a dining room window in Los Angeles. The film will cut down on the heat from outside so less energy is needed to cool the house. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Home energy efficiency and sustainability have been major policy priorities for the Obama administration, but lurking in the background are two consistent questions: Beyond the documentable savings on utility bills, do such steps add to the resale value of a home? And do they make it easier or faster to sell your property?

Housing groups and housing officials say that definitive statistical data covering multiple regions of the country are scarce. But some localized research projects in Oregon, Washington and California offer promising hints.

In a study covering existing and new houses sold from May 2010 through April of this year, the Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit group based in Portland, Ore., found that newly constructed homes with third-party certifications for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 8% more on average than noncertified homes in the six-county Portland metropolitan area. Existing houses with certifications sold for 30% more.

The raw sales data in the study were provided by the Portland Regional Multiple Listing Service. “Certified” houses were defined as those carrying Energy Star or LEED for Homes designations or Earth Advantage home certifications. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.) The latest study was the fourth in an annual series conducted by Earth Advantage, each of which has shown clear price premiums for certified houses.

But officials caution that using average sales prices pulled from MLS data without trying to measure “comparable” homes against one another directly may not be conclusive. For instance, newly constructed certified houses may be more expensive to start, and existing certified homes may be larger and more likely to be in higher-cost neighborhoods where homeowner adoption rates for energy-efficiency measures are higher.

Nonetheless, said Dakota Gale, Earth Advantage’s manager of sustainable finance, looking back at four years of studies, “we can still see a consistent trend that third-party certification continues to result in a higher sales price, even during the past year when home sales were down.”

A study conducted two years ago by the institute in Seattle and Portland identified what may be another plus: Homes marketed with energy-efficiency certifications appear to sell faster on average than those without. The study tried to come up with rough comparability in appraisal terms between certified and noncertified properties, and it found that in Portland, certified homes spent 18 days less time on the market after listing than noncertified counterparts. In both Portland and Seattle, researchers documented price premiums — 9.6% in Seattle, 4.2% in Portland — in a statistical analysis with a 95% confidence level.

A recent study on houses in San Diego and Sacramento published by the National Bureau of Economic Research took a different tack: When you install photovoltaic solar panels on your roof, how much do you get back in market resale terms, beyond monthly energy savings?

Researchers examined a sample of home sales in the $500,000 range in both metropolitan areas between 2003 and 2010 and found that, on average, solar panel installations cost owners $35,967. But with federal and state subsidies, the net average cost came down to $20,892. This net expenditure, in turn, yielded an increase in appraised value by $20,194 — a 97% rate of recovery on the investment.

Though less than 100%, the rate is much higher than most home improvements in the most recent “Cost vs. Value” study conducted by Remodeling magazine — well above major kitchen and bathroom renovations.

Kevin Morrow, senior program manager for green building at the National Assn. of Home Builders, says that although many newly constructed homes come with energy and sustainability certifications, banks don’t necessarily recognize their value when it comes to providing mortgage money.

For example, bank underwriters often do not include reduced monthly utility costs in the household income/household expense ratios that affect the maximum mortgage amounts available to buyers.

“The case needs to be made” to lenders, he said, “that, hey, these houses will cost less to operate, so they should be worth more.”

Morrow added that appraisers are part of the issue as well if they don’t have the training to recognize and credit extra value to houses that have money-saving solar installations, geothermal heating and cooling, Energy Star appliances, water conservation features and other green improvements.

The Appraisal Institute, the largest group representing that industry, says it has sponsored “green” appraisal courses for 2,300 appraisers during the last two years. It says it strongly supports efforts to better incorporate energy and environmental factors into mortgage underwriting and home valuations, including a possible congressional mandate requiring it.


Distributed by Washington Post Writers Group.

Energy-efficient homes seem to sell faster, fetch higher prices – latimes.com

>Modern Dwelling

24 Apr

>Being H’OM CHIC is all about living a modern and fabulous lifestyle. Dwell is a cool website showcasing some of the most groundbreaking innovations in green homes, furniture, and lighting.

One of the coolest links we discovered on Dwell was the Modern Cabana web page. If you enter their site you can see the brilliantly designed green prefabbed spaces. Their designs range from kids play houses to dog houses to studios fully equipped with a bath and kitchenette!

We love the idea of being able to plant one of these beautiful eco-friendly studios in your backyard as a green house, guest house, or whatever else you could need! Check them out and see for yourself how chic these can be.

Have a chic day.