Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Ok, so it's a bad pun-I just wanted to mention that one of the problems with Compact Florescent Light bulbs is what do you do with them when they "burn out"? Don't throw them out! They contain mercury. This can wreak havoc to our water environment. For those in the Grand Traverse region they can be taken to The Lighting Center on Hall St. in Traverse City. This according to a Grand Traverse County brochure on waste recycling. As an aside, batteries (cell phone, digital camera, etc.,but not car batteries) can be taken to the county's offices on Lafranier.
I'm hopeful that LED lighting will take off so that CFL's can be a transitional bulb choice. (Unless a mercury-free CFL is developed) The price needs to come down and the bulb designs need to be broadened. With time, I'm sure this will happen. LED's last longer and use even less energy.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Because of the predominance of granite as a countertop material in up-scale kitchens, I've been interested in alternative materials. Granite poses a few problems for the Green Builder. The actual mining process is rough on Mother Earth and the embodied energy of mining, manufacturing and transport really doesn't fit in the Green kitchen. Some great options are:
- squak mountain stone (http://tmi-online.com/). These tops are made from recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly ash and cement. Based in Washington state this would be great for western homes.
- ShetkaSTONE (http://www.shetkastone.com/). From their website- "
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
This is an interesting energy-saving alternative to the standard Google search page. Use Blackle by Google (www.blackle.com ) and save energy. It's a little harder to read but you do get used to it. It has the choice of a Blackle or web search. It also has a green search that is small in hits but the more people that use it, I think it will grow.