Earth Friendly

Our Earth Friendly Page

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Welcome to our Green Page. We are stewards ot the earth and need to see what we can to help take care of it. Some people do it because they are enviornmentalists, some do it because they want to be independent, and there are many people that are in between. I want to have a house some day that will make all of it's own energy. Not because I am an enviornmentalist but because I am one of those people that like the idea of being independent. When there is a power failure, I want to be one of the people that will still have the lights on in my house. I like the idea of not having an electric, gas, or water bill. I would even like to produce so much energy that I would receive a monthly check from the power company. It is a bonus for me that it helps the enviornment. Here are some notes I have been taking about building a green house some day. One of my main goals for this page is to give you information and to have many links for sites that can help you to build green if you want to. This page will be small to start out with but I have a lot of information for it and will keep adding to it as I have time.

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Here is a good link to a general information page put out by the U.S. Government about How much power we use and how it is divided up among the different resources from the Energy Information Administration. This page has a slide show and sound.
If you would like to see this information and you are unable to view this page Click here to see this information on a regular web page.
Here they have a page that explains all about renewable energy and the different types availible to us.

My wife needed more room in her shed so we added on a 4X10 section to it using pallets. I put pictures of this on bottom of this page for people interested in using a good sourse of building material that is free.

When it comes to being earth friendly there are 3 R's that you will hear them talk about. They are

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycle - donate used items so that the material can be used to make new products. Examples of things that are often recycled are glass, plastic, newspapers, aluminum cans, used motor oil, and batteries.
Reduce - the amount of items or resources that are consumed, using only the amount that is needed, and looking for alternatives that will lessen our use. You can look at the packages to see which companies use less.
Reuse - When you are finished with an item rather than discarding or throwing it away see if anyone else may be able to use it or donate it so that it can be sold to someone else that may need it.

At this time it can be much more expensive to go green. It depends on what you are doing with your house. Somethings that you do will pay for themselves in 5 or 10 years. After that time you start to save money from having them. An example of this is solar panels that make electricity. Something else to consider is that many things such as solar panels for your house will get you a refund from the state or Federal Government and a tax credit at the end of the year making it well worth the price.

Two major areas that most people loose energy.

1. - Heating and cooling
2. - Lighting

Remember that to make your own electricity you will need something to make power with sunlight, wind, water or what ever other sourse that you can find. these systems will normally make DC electricity. You will need to have it converted to AC electricity if you want to use it with your standard household appliances. If you don't need to convert it but want to just use a 12 volt system for your house there are many products on the market that you can buy. You can check out bussinesses that sell appliances for RV's to see what they sell. You can go to departments stores and check out their auto department or camping section for things like a 12 volt refriderator or other appliances.

To lower the amount of electricity you use at your home you can now buy things like compact floricent bulbs which use about 20% of the conventional light bulbs. Or even better yet, try the new LED bulbs which use about 5% of the electricity of an traditional light bulb. Remember that the less electricity that you use, the less power that you will need to make with your solar or wind converters.

There are many places to learn about going green. One of my favorites is "Planet Green", the green channel. As far as I know, this is the only channel that is completely dedicated to helping people to go green. They have many informative shows like Renovation-Nation that will give you all kinds of information and ideas of how you can be a little greener. They also give you the names of companies that may have just what you are looking for.

There are many other shows on the Planet Green channel that can help you out. Here are a few.



Worlds Greenes Homes

If you like things like purses and wallets made from recycled kool-aid and other packages you might try this site.
They even make tote bags and diaper bags for people that are interested.

If you are a do it yourself person, you may want to take a look at Ambigrid. They tell you how to make solar panels, wind turbines, solar water heaters and other things for about 1/2 to 1/3 of the price of the systems you can buy that are already made. If you are handy this may be the way to go for you. You can get a lot more for your money this way and help the enviornment even more. I understand that the instructions are pretty easy to understand and that they have a great support department so if you get in a bind they can help you out.

Here is our index to help you find the things that you are interested in on our Green Page.

Constructin of House / Solar / Wind / Water / Lighting / Power / Heating/Air Conditioning / Outside / Earthships / Composting / Alternatives in Transportation / Drop-off Recycling Centers / Facts about power / Green Glossery /

Constructin of House

A shingle roof will last about 15 years. A metal roof will last 60 or more years.
If you are interested, you can hire an eco broker - They look for houses that are potentially green and help with building green.

Leed certification - By the US green building Council. There are 4 levels of certification. They go by a point system. There are 69 possible points that you can get. The levels are -
Certified - 26-32 points
Silver - 33-38 points
Gold - 39-51 points
Platinum - 52-69 points
There are 6 catagories to get certification - renewable energy, made of recycled materal %, solar light, Recycling water. 52 points will get you a platnium rating

If you are interested in walls that are really strong and will last for many generations, try ICF ( Insulated Concrere Forms). You fill it up with concrete for walls Concrete/styrofoam walls can last 500 years. They can resist hurricains, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Foam Fabricators Inc have information and products for you.

Wind Lock is another company for you to check out. is the home of the ICF Builders Network

If you are interested in a great insulation you may want to think about a foam based insulation.
Here is a link that tells you about different types of foam based spray insulation. Fomo Products Inc

You might consider a Biowall. A Biowall is made up of plants on a wall in your house. The one I have seen is about 5 feet wide and about 7 feet high. It will clean the air in your house, absorb voc's and can cool it by 2-3 degrees. You can have an auto system to water the wall to save you time. 14-18 plants can take care of a 1800 sq ft house. If you have natural light like from a skylight, this would work out great. Otherwise you can use lights for the plants.
Hubpage Biowall Information

Dodge Foundation's 'bio-wall'

They make roof shingles made of recycled tires that look like slate shingles. They last many years and are fire resistant. This is espically good if you live in an area where they have a lot of fires.

Roofing Childs Play and Linkroll have articles about recycled roofs on these pages.

The Roofery is one company to check out if you are interested in this.

You can now buy drywall made out of recycled material for about the same price as regular drywall.

Dome home - Bear Creek Dome Home 33 feet home. Can withstand 200 MPH winds. It uses 60% less building material than conventional building. Dome kits are for sale. No supporting walls needed. Tons of snow on the roof actually make it stronger. Dennis Odin Johnson (sells dome building kits) walls are 18" thick with 16" of insulation. It has a natural air flow in the dome. A fireplace in the middle of the dome with ductwork will heat it up nicely. It's made up of pentigons.

EPS has decking made out of recycled milk jugs. It takes 100,000 jugs to make one deck and doesn't require staining or power wash. It is maintenance free. It cost $3.60 per foot at this time April 2009. They also make picnic tables, childrens furniture and other things.

You may be interested in having electric hand dryers for your house or bussiness. You see them everywhere in stores and restraunts but I have also heard of people using them in their bathrooms in their houses. Using electric hand dryers saves trees so many people use them for that reason. Check out Electric Hand Dryers by American Dryer, SanifLow Corp., Word Dryer, Bradley Corp, abd Bobrick.



A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell (PV), is a device that converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect. The first solar cell was constructed by Charles Fritts in the 1880s

The typical main components of a solar home system are the solar module, an inverter, a battery, a charge controller (sometimes known as a regulator), wiring and support structure.

Most people don't know this but our sun puts out enough solar energy by shinning on the earth for one hour to power the entire planet for a whole year. Today less than 0.1% of our heating, transportation and power energy comes from direct sunlight.

A one kilowatt PV system* each month:
prevents 150 lbs. of coal from being mined
prevents 300 lbs. of CO2 from entering the atmosphere
keeps 105 gallons of water from being consumed
keeps NO and SO2 from being released into the environment

Wholesale Solar - If you are interested in seeing how much sunlight you can expect to have for solar energy, this is a great site. It has a map of the United States for you to look at.

If you like to do it yourself, try out Build it Solar - They have plans, tools and information to do renewable energy and conservation projects. They have hundreds of projects -- from changing a light bulb to building a solar home. They don't sell anything. They just have lots of things you might find interesting. They even have a page that tells you how to build a solar heater for your house for $350.

If you are interested in finding a solar professional, here is a site that will tell you if you have a solar installer in your area. They don't list any in my area so I am guessing that solar professionals have to contact them to be put on the list. They also have a lot of other informatin on their site.

If you want to be able to take solar power with you when you go hiking or camping, or perhaps you have a camp site where you would like to have electricity from a solar source check out goalzerol, They sell kits that will fit in a backpack. There are many different sizes of kits depending on what your needs are.

Solar Energy International (SEI) is a USA non-profit organization whose mission is to help others use renewable energy and environmental building technologies through education. SEI teaches individuals from all walks of life how to design, install and maintain renewable energy systems, and how to design and build efficient, sustainable homes. SEI offers trainings online and in 22 locations around the world.

Solatron Technologies is a good site if you want information about Solar Power. They explain the different kinds of solar systems that there are so you can see which one will work best for you. They also sell the equipment you may need to get set up for solar.

The Solar Electric Power Association is comprised of over 560 electric utilities, solar companies, and other industry stakeholders. From research projects and national events, to one-on-one counseling and peer matching services.

Aurora Energy explains how Photovoltaic systems work.

Bright Sourse Energy's mission is to make solar energy cost competitive with fossil fuels by developing, building, owning and operating the world’s most cost-effective and reliable large-scale solar energy projects.

A sunny location (i.e. Los Angeles, USA) receives approximately 5.5 hours of sunlight on average throughout the year.

A cloudy location (i.e. Hamburg, Germany) receives approximately 2.5 hours of sunlight on average throughout the year.

If you are interested in solar boats check out this site.

The Electric Boat Association has some good information about solar boats.

Here is a page to highlight the best in ruggedized solar panels for marine use , along with the lightest power storage & battery charger options available



Wind power is the fastest-growing energy source in the world.

Wind power has the potential to supply at least 20% of U.S. electricity demand.

Wind can be a great way to make your own electricity if you live in an area where it is windy enough. They now make windmills that can be used for residential homes. Most windmills make DC current. If it does it must have an inverter to convert it to AC electricity.

Here is a Wind Map if you want to see how fast the wind blows in your area. You can look at the map of the USA or click on a map for your state.

The American Wind Energy Association answers many of your questions about wind power. AWEA is a national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, services providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry - one of the world's fastest growing energy industries. In addition, AWEA represents hundreds of wind energy advocates from around the world.

There are many companies out there that sell personal windmills for the home or larger ones in case you want to set one up for a bussiness.

Sky Stream makes a residential wind generator.

Endurance Wind Power makes a windmill that makes AC electricity.

I met a guy that uses some of Wind Blue Power products and he highly recomends this company.



It takes about 3" of water per week to water a grass lawn.

Grey Water and rain water.
You may be surprised to know that as much as 40% of your water usage is for your yard. By recycling your water and using rain barrels you can cut down on how much you use. You can recycle rain water. There are 55 gallon drums that you can buy. You can connect them together to store more water or you can invest in 1,000 - 3,000 gallon tanks to use to water lawn or flush toilets.

You can save water from your house from your washing machine and dishwasher or from your kitchen and bathroom sinks. This is known as grey water You can buy a grey water system to pump your grey water.
Here is a good page with information about rain barrels. A Spouse's Guide to Building the Perfect Rain Barrel System

Here is a good video on Youtube that will show you how to build rain barrels.

Or here is an idea from a guy that made a rain barrel that holds 350 gallons. It is made out of a maple syrup container.

I really like this instructinal video about making rain barrells

If you just want to buy rain barrels, there are companies that sell them. Green Culture sells rain barrels that are already made. They even have rain barrels that look like rocks.

If you want to save on heating your water for showers, dishwashers, washing machines... get a tankless water heater. A tankless water heater only heats the water when you turn on the hot water. You waste a lot of power by keeping water hot in a conventional water heater that stores the water in a tank.
We bought a Bosch Aquastar tankless water heater about 4 years ago and love it. Our natural gas bill dropped a great deal after getting this installed. We did most of the instalation ourselves but had to have some help. The best part for us when we bought our water heater was that we didn't run out of hot water so everybody could take showers and then we could run the dishwasher or wash clothes.
Bosch Water Heaters have great tankless water heaters. You can buy them for propane, electric, or natural gas.

We bought our tankless water heater on ebay. Check around town and check out the internet so you can get the best deal. Remember that you will have to buy some other parts to hook it up to your pipes that you now have.

Solar water heaters offered the largest potential savings, with solar water-heater owners saving as much as 50% to 85% annually on their utility bills over the cost of electric water heating.

Thermo Technologies have products and information for heating your water and other things you may be interested in.

Fuel from the Sun has a good article about using solar energy to heat your water.
Hot Solar Water Make hot water using the sun's power

SunEarth Inc.manufactures industry standard solar water heating collectors and systems for residential and commercial applications.

My Grandfather had a great green idea for watering his cows. He had a bathtub for the water for the cows. To make sure that his cows always had water to drink he took the fill system that you would have in the back of a toilet and put it in the tub. As the cows would drink the water and the level in the tub would go down, it would automatically refil on its own. This also meant that he didn't have so spend his time checking on the water all of the time so he could concentrate on other things on the farm.



Have living room, dining room, and kitchen all open area to share lights...
Sky lights - remote with moisture sensor
Plenty of windows - passive lighting
Passive (solar) lighting helps to light and heat the house in the winter by placing windows, or other openings, and reflective surfaces so that, during the day, natural light provides effective internal light. Your windows face south. Energy savings can be achieved either from the reduced use of artificial lighting, or from passive solar heating or cooling.
Solar light tubes (tunnels) No elecricity used but they can put out enough light to equal a 300 watt light.
Use lighter rooms to light darker rooms - the way you set up windows.
Floor to ceiling windows with a cement banister to keep people from seeing in on the second floor.

Wasco Skylights offers a full line of quality plastic and glass structural skylights, both commercial and residential with a wide range of glazing, finishing and limitless design.

Buy Skylights is another company for you to check out. They say you can buy wholesale from them. They also have many links to other sites that may interest you.

Skylights Direct state that skylights can transform any room into the best room in the house. Their skylights are available in a variety of sizes that will easily integrate into your ceiling and roof construction.



Peak time for use is 7am - 10am and 6pm - 10pm

One kilowatt-hour (kWh) equals the amount of electricity needed to burn a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours.

Green switch .- You turn off the power you don't need at night or when you are away from the house. Many of your appliances can be hooked up to this switch. Even when you turn off your TV or cable box it still uses power. This is known as Vamire power.
Solar electric and water panels. - solar water panels with antifreeze in it that uses a hot water heater like most people use in their houses.
Solar audit - To see if solar panels will pay off year round - solar panels need to be southern facing.
switch that turns off all non essential electricity when you leave the house. Energystar appliances
Tankless water heater We have one of these and love it. Since it doesn't store water in a tank that has to waste power to keep the water hot all of the time it saves you a lot of money. It only heats up the water when you are using it. It is great with a family that takes a lot of showers because you don't have to wait for the hot water heater to heat up the water again so you can take your shower. You can buy these in the electric, gas, or propane models.
Solar heating for your pool We have solar heater to heat our pool. How about a solar powered pump? That might be a good idea.
Highest electricity consuming equipment in the US in order of usage: electric ovens, microwaves, central air conditioning. Electric oven kilowatt hour consumption is twice that of air conditioning. Fastest growing consumer product: computers.


Heating/Air Conditioning

Solar wall - A south facing wall in the inside if the house. I've seen them in a hallway. They soak up the heat during the day and at night after the sun goes down it releases heat. It can provide 20% of the heat for the house.
Have a fireplace in the middle of house so heat doesn't go outside.
Use AC to heat swimming pool through heat exchange system radient floor heat.
Can have cement floors that will catch heat for radient floor heat and share it with the rest of the house.
retractable sky light also helps to ac the house
Fireplace heat exchangers
Blown in cellulose insulation. They now make insulation out of soy products which are very enviornementally friendly and better insulate your building.
Use cross ventelation to heat and cool house
solar attic fan
If you cover outside ac unit with a mister and it will save about 30% power. It creates a cool zone around the ac unit.



Use low water plants.
Newspaper under mulch to act as a weed barrier.
control panel to controll water sprinkler system by computer, it calls the weather channel. $48 per year

If you are interested in battery powered lawnmowers check out NEUTON® Battery-Powered Lawn Mowers


Do you know about Earthships? Check out these websites for houses that support themselves. They are made out of natural and recycled materials such as earth filled tires. They don't use any outside electricity, water or any other utilities. They will naturally regulate their indoor temperature.

green Building Earthships Earthships

Wikipedia info about Earthships info about Earthships

C net info about Earthships



Composting is one of the best ways to get fertilizer for your garden. It is recycling old food after you eat, leaves, grass from mowing your lawn, egg shells after you cook your breakfast and many other things that you can think of. You can compost by using a pile in your back yard to throw everything on, you can make your own bin or buy one from one of many companies out there. If you make one yourself you can use old scrap wood,chicken wire, pallets or just about anything else you can think of to make a bin out of.

The way that it works basically is that you pile up all of this organic material and micro organisms, fungus, worms and bacteria break this material down (decompose) and make rich soil for you to put in your garden.

If you want to know more about How to compost this is an excellent site to go to.

Here is a little of what they can tell you.
Composting is the transformation of organic material (plant matter) through decomposition into a soil-like material called compost. Invertebrates (insects and earthworms), and microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) help in transforming the material into compost. Composting is a natural form of recycling, which continually occurs in nature.

The art of composting has been part of our global culture since ancient times. The basic principles are quite simple, and adhering to them will result in an efficient and successful outcome. Studies have shown that home composting can divert an average of 700 lbs. of material per household per year from the waste stream. Municipal composting carries a greater environmental cost, but not nearly as high as if leaf and yard waste are disposed of by conventional means. Composting is an excellent way to avoid both wasting useful, natural resources and creating environmental problems, while at the same time producing a high quality and inexpensive soil amendment.

They have a lot of other stuff to tell you about.

You can also try these sites
Even if you don't want to buy anything from any of these companies listed on this page, it should give many good ideas for the do it yourself person. is a Vegan site (No animals allowed in diet or anything else they use) which has a lot of great of information for you. has a lot of things to sell from compost bins to rain barrels.

The California Integrated Waste Management Boardsite has a lot of information.


Alternatives in Transportation

There are alternatives to using gasoline to take you places.

Greasecar site has information about using cooking grease for fuel in your car.

Worksman Cycles has great side by side tricycles. Unlike conventional tandems, the Team Dual Trike lets you sit next to your partner, so you can really share the riding experience together. It allows two riders of different size and ability to ride together at their own pace. How? With twin independent transmissions and a split rear axle, each rider turns their own pedals and wheel! One rider can rest and the other can still pedal and go!

The Company has recently completed the construction of a 72 Solar Panel 15KW energy delivery system on the roof of the warehouse that generates nearly 25% of the electrical requirements to run the factory. Worksman Cycles is one of the first New York City Manufacturers to "go Solar"! Every day that the sun shines on their panels, they produce electricity.

BlackBird Bikes by BlackBird Designs Inc. has Side-By-Side Recumbent Bicycles for Two People.

Angletech has Recumbent tricycle Tandome and Side-By-Side Recumbent Bicycles that will seat four people.

Vectris Electronics has information about electric motercycles. has all kinds of information about electric bicycles and other vehicles. It you are interested in electic bicycles or small electric cars built for 1 or 2 people, this is a great site.

Are you interested in seeing a vehicle that is dog powered? Here are 2 sites that have just the thing for you. and Dog powered Scooters both have information about dog powered scooters. They have information and sell everything you will need so that you and your dogs can have fun and have a lot of great exercise together.

East Coast Bikes sell electric bikes.

Leaning cars that are green
They now make small 2 passenger cars that lean as you take turns. These cars may even get 100 miles to the gallon.
The NARO concept is a compact four-wheeler vehicle that combines a motorcycle-like free leaning concept with an eco-friendly powertrain. The exterior design was created by Coventry University.

Plug in America has information about plug in vehicles. Electric cars are very reliable. No oil changes, no tune ups. EVs have fewer than 1/10th as many parts as a gas car. There's no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler or catalytic converter.


Drop-off Recycling Centers

You may want to do what my family does. Our community does not pick up recyclable materials at our curb like some communities do. We take our things over to a drop off recycling center at one of the local malls or department stores in that area that have them. Perhaps you have seen them in your area already. They have a lot of bins sitting together with signs on them telling you what to put in that bin. The local University even has a drop-off center for the students to use.

Materials accepted at drop-off centers:

Clear glass
Brown glass
Green glass
Aluminum cans
Office paper
Mixed paper
Press board (cereal and food boxes)
Corrugated cardboard
Plastics #1 & #2
Toner and inkjet cartridges

Please note that not all drop-off centers take all of these items. We have one that doesn't take brown glass but a few miles down the road there is another one that does. Some of the drop-off centers will take some items on the list and another will take some of the others. I haven't seen a single one that takes all of the items around my area.


Facts about power

Germany is #1 user of solar energy

France gets 70% of energy from necular

The United States imports more than seven million barrels of oil per day.

The wind in North Dakota alone could produce a third of America's electricity.

Solar water heaters do not pollute. By investing in one, you will be avoiding carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and the other air pollution and wastes created when your utility generates power or you burn fuel to heat your household water. When a solar water heater replaces an electric water heater, the electricity displaced over 20 years represents more than 50 tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions alone.

Though accounting for only 5 percent of the world's population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world's energy.

World energy consumption is expected to increase 40% to 50% by the year 2010, and the global mix of fuels--renewables (18%), nuclear (4%), and fossil (78%)--is projected to remain substantially the same as today; thus global carbon dioxide emissions would also increase 50% to 60%.

Residential appliances, including heating and cooling equipment and water heaters, consume 90% of all energy used in the U.S. residential sector.

Among industrialized and developing countries, Canada consumes per capita the most energy in the world, the United Sates ranks second, and Italy consumes the least among industrialized countries.

While the world's population doubled between 1950 and 1996, the number of cars increased tenfold. Automobile congestion in the United States alone accounts for $100 billion in wasted fuel, lost productivity, and rising health costs. Still, analysts project that the world's fleet of cars will double in a mere 25 years.

Only 7.5 percent of total U.S. energy consumption came from renewable sources in 1998. Of that total, 94 percent was from hydropower and biomass (trash and wood incinerators).

For the 2 billion people without access to electricity, it would be cheaper to install solar panels than to extend the electrical grid.

Providing power for villages in developing countries is a fast-growing market for photovoltaics. The United Nations estimates that more than 2 million villages worldwide are without electric power for water supply, refrigeration, lighting, and other basic needs, and the cost of extending the utility grids is prohibitive, $23,000 to $46,000 per kilometer in 1988.

Here is a chart of Various Popular Electronic Devices that you will find in many homes.
Electronic Device Estimated Typical Wattage Avg Op. Usage
Hours per month
Air Conditioner
(5,000 BTUH room unit)
900 200 $16.20
Air Conditioner
(12,000BTUH room unit)
1,500 200 $27.00
Clothes Dryer
(24-32 loads)
5,000 24 $10.80
Clothes Washer
(24-32 loads)

16 $0.79
Computer (Desktop) 250 120 $2.70
Computer (Laptop) 75 90 $0.61
Dishwasher 1,200 20 $2.16
Freezer 400 120 $4.32
Microwave 875 10 $0.79
Range 12,000 10 $10.80
Refrigerator 500 120 $5.40
(Conventional 32)
130 120 $1.40
LCD (42) 216 120 $2.33
Plasma (42) 286 120 $3.09
Toaster 12,000 3 $0.32
Vacume Cleaner 1,050 5 $0.47
Calculations are based on a rate of $0.9 per kilowatt-hour. Your rate may be different.
* These appiances do not run continously. The monthly costs are based on an average time the appliances are fully operational. These times may be different depending on your monthly usage.


Green Glossery

Alternative energy - Clean and environmentally sound energy that isn't derived from traditional, nonrenewable resources such as coal, oil and natural gas.

Biodegradable - The ability of a material to be broken down by natural processes (such as microorganisms) and then absorbed by the ecosystem. The material typically originating from plant or animal sources.

Biodiesel - A fuel made from vegetable oil that can be used in diesel engines.

Compact Florescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) - Energy-saving lightbulbs that use florescent light instead of incandescent. CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescents and last up to 10 times longer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program. (CFLs contain mercury, so be careful when disposing)

Cap-and-Trade Program - An administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. A “cap,” usually set by a government or international body, sets the limit on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or other groups are issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits) under the cap limit. If they wish to exceed this limit, they must buy credits from those who pollute less. This transfer of allowances is referred to as a trade.

Carbon Footprint - A measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

Carbon neutral - The fact that no extra carbon dioxide is released as a result of a particular manufacturing process, service or lifestyle. This is brought about by balancing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere with an equal amount of carbon dioxide that has been sequestered or offset. Examples include planting trees or using renewable energies that don't emit any carbon dioxide.

Energy Star - A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes the use of energy-efficient products and services. Energy Star-marked appliances and electronics, which meet the program's strict energy-efficiency guidelines, saved Americans $16 billion on their utility bills in 2007 alone — or greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars.

Fly ash - is generally captured from the chimneys of coal-fired power plants. You can use it under a parking lot to make it stronger and last longer. Green Brick Company makes bricks out of fly ash instead of clay. Uses 1/10th of the energy to make the bricks and they are much stronger than regular bricks.

Global warming Like "climate change," refers to a change in global temperatures and weather patterns over time, which can be due to either natural variability or human activity.

Gray water - Residential wastewater — from household processes such as dish washing, bathing, and laundry — that does not contain serious pollutants and can be recycled to water plants or wash cars.

Hybrid - A vehicle with an internal combustion engine that uses two or more distinct power sources for propulsion. For example, an electric motor.

Off the grid - Not connected to any? utility company.

OMG - Abbreviation for a recovered paper grade including old magazines, catalogs and similar materials.

Organic - Refers to foods and fibers that are grown and processed without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic livestock is reared without the use of antibiotics or hormones.

Phantom power - Also known as "vampire power" or "phantom load"; refers to the power drawn by appliances and electronics even when they're switched off or not in use. By one estimate, U.S. residents spend $1 billion per year on it.

Photovoltaic cells - A technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity.

Renewable Energy - Power created by the use of natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished.

Solar power - Energy that is generated by the sun. Can take varying forms, from solar panels on a home to giant, regional solar towers to solar power collected in space and beamed to Earth.

Vampire Energy - Also known as "phantom power" or "phantom load"; refers to the power drawn by appliances and electronics even when they're switched off or not in use. By one estimate, U.S. residents spend $1 billion per year on it.

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) - Harmful compounds that easily vaporize into the atmosphere and contribute to greenhouse gases, sick building syndrome and contaminated groundwater. VOCs are commonly found in paints, carpet backing, plastics, cosmetics and polishes.

Wind power - Energy that is generated by the wind. Ideas range from large turbines already in use to storing wind as compressed air for a more consistent supply of power.


Here you will see the addition I made to one of our sheds. We needed more storage room so we picked up a few pallets and added a 10 X 4 section to it. It turned out great and it cost me $4o. The reason it cost that much is because I bought some plexiglass and made a sky light for it wich really works well. The rest of the money was spent on cauking and some expanding foam for it. We also bought some paint for it which we should be using soon. We went to construction sites and they gave us scrap wood which we used for the floor, walls, and braces for the floor. See what you think about it. Millions of pallets get thrown away each year. This is one way we can keep them out of the landfills. We are very pleased with the way it turned out. It is as solid as you could wish for. I would guess that this stronger than the original part of the shed.

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