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43 shopping guide submissions by the Green Options community.

Fathers Day Green Gift Guide

It’s about that time of year.  School is getting out.  It’s almost summer.  So don’t let father’s day slip by you!  For 2008 (in the US, UK, and a few other countries), it’s on June 15th.  Maybe this year instead of getting your dad, grandfather, husband, uncle, son, or other male in your life a pair of glow in the dark boxers or golf tees, try something with an eco-spin.    If he's a gadget-y guy, solar accessories are pretty sweet.  There's the Solio, the Soldius, foldable solar chargers from PowerFilm...the list goes on. If your dad needs some new duds,... read more

Reading Green Style

 Love to read books?  Try to get your fix through the library or a second hand shop.  If you finish a bought book, don’t let it sit collecting dust- donate it to a worthy cause, or pass it on to a friend with similar literary taste.  And when you buy, try to look for recycled paper content and natural inks.   Here’s the deal with the publishing industry-   One of every four books produced is returned unsold from the bookstore to the publisher, who then pays to have it burned or recycled.  In 2006, 3.09 billion books were sold in the US, out of 4.15 billion... read more

Green Jewelry

Jewelry may be a pretty and precious gift, but it can also carry a very big environmental cost.  Mining for diamonds and gold leads to deforestation, contaminated rivers, large open pit scars on the Earth's surface, and pollution from mercury and cyanide.  In addition to the environmental problems, human rights violations are a serious concern- many miners work in poor conditions, sometimes even in slavery, and diamonds are often exchanged for weapons in developing countries.   So if you want to buy green jewelry, what are your options?   You may have heard of... read more

Mothers Day Green Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day coming up, how are you going to show your mom/grandmother/favorite aunt/etc. that you love her?  Why not do something that shows you care about her and the environment?    DIY Mother's Day Gifts If cleaning house isn't your mom's favorite activity, try doing it for her with some eco-friendly cleaning products! You could also make her a great set of homemade cleaners.  Check out these recipes! Make her homemade soap from natural ingredients or fill her home spa kit up with homemade face masks, lotion, and face scrubs. Making... read more

Buyers Guide To Home Tissue Products

Toilet Paper If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees.     Good? Or Avoid? Percent Recycled Percent Post-Consumer Bleaching Process 365 (Whole Foods) Good 100 >80 PCF Ambiance... read more

Green Thrift Store Shopping Tips

Instead of spending your paycheck on an expensive new outfit or gadget, how about saving some cash and helping out the environment by shopping at a thrift store.   Thrift store shopping is just another form of recycling and regulating CO2 emissions. Not only do you get to reuse a unique or vintage item, but you also stop factories from making more items and creating pollution, and that greatly reduces your carbon footprint.   Make the Most of Your Experience   If you’ve never been to a thrift store, then you may not know what you’re getting yourself into.... read more

Selecting And Installing A Geothermal Heat Pump

Heating and Cooling Efficiency of Geothermal Heat Pumps The heating efficiency of ground-source and water-source heat pumps is indicated by their coefficient of performance (COP), which is the ratio of heat provided in Btu per Btu of energy input. Their cooling efficiency is indicated by the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), which is the ratio of the heat removed (in Btu per hour) to the electricity required (in watts) to run the unit. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label, which indicates a heating COP of 2.8 or greater and an EER of 13 or greater.   Manufacturers of... read more

Picking Color Temperature For Your Light Bulbs

A lot of light bulb packaging comes with a color measurement (this is reported in Kelvins - K) and a description of the color (warm white, soft white, cool white, etc).  According to Wikipedia, most incandescent bulbs fall within the  range of 2800 and 3300K.  So when you're looking for a CFL that has a similar light, pick a bulb in that range.    Here is a guide from 1000bulbs.com to help you choose a color temperature.   Kelvin Temperature K - What is the perfect color temperature for you? 2700k - Homes, restaurants, hotel lobbies, boutiques 3000k -... read more

Choosing The Right Pv System For Your Home

PV is about finding (i) the right product and (ii) the right installer for your home.  Since PV is still a relatively new industry, it's important to ensure that your PV product and installing contractor have a stable track record, adequate resources and personnel, so that you can be sure they'll be around for you as time passes.    Last year our company contracted with PowerLight, in Berkeley, California, to install PV on 93 homes we were building in Southern California's Coachella Valley.  An incredibly well resourced and well run organization, they manufacture... read more

Renewable Energy Credits And Carbon Offsets

I’m Neutral, Are You? If you're reading this, you're using electricity. In fact, you are probably one of the three hundred million Americans who draws electricity from a grid primarily powered by fossil fuels. According to CARMA, Carbon Monitoring for Action, the United States currently produces almost 2.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually through electricity generation, more than any other country (although China's hot on the trail, coming in with just under 2.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide). That's more than 9 tons per person per year! And as many of us... read more

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