LEED certification for your green home

LEED platinum building

Sota Construction Corporate Headquarters in Pittsburgh earned LEED Platinum in 2012

No building is as important to you as your own home. If you’re planning on building a new house, why not seek LEED certification?

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) sponsors LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) to promote sustainable building and provide the tools and guidelines to achieve it.

Building professionals must pass rigorous tests become LEED green associates.

Living in a LEED-certified house has a number of advantages over a less energy efficient and healthy conventionally built house. Continue reading

How to Be More Sustainable on Valentine’s Day

red rose -- sustainable valentine's dayContributed by Megan Wild.

Nothing says love like cute paper valentines and candy hearts, right? Not exactly.

If you’re looking to be more eco-friendly this Valentine’s Day, chances are strong that the traditional options of expressing your love won’t do the trick.

Fortunately, deciding to see green along with of red this year won’t leave you without romantic options. In fact, the environmentally friendly alternatives for your loved ones listed below are sure to be more unique and memorable than a run-of-the-mill bouquet of roses. Continue reading

An orange light for GMOs?

Traffic light, orangeControversy has been swirling around GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) for years now.

Genetic engineering promises to boost crop yields, enhance the nutritional value of foods, provide new medicines and many other benefits. It also entails potential risks that have attracted opposition on numerous fronts.

Some of the opposition, unfortunately, takes the form of ideological rants, innuendo, or scare tactics. Separating responsible from irresponsible criticism can be difficult.

About a year ago, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the sale of two genetically engineered varieties of apple for human food. Continue reading

New Technologies Bringing Changes in HVAC

Renewable energy, palm of handContributed by Dan McKee

The world is gradually embracing the use of renewable energy with countries such as the United States, European, and other countries advocating for reliance on it.

Green energy presents multiple benefits, among them the ability to reduce environmental footprint, eliminate greenhouse gasses, reduce the amount spent on energy bills, and lessen energy security issues while stimulating economic growth.

Presently, 56% of energy use at home accounts for heating and cooling according the U.S Department of Energy. New developments in renewable energy have led to remarkable changes in HVAC technologies as more companies have moved towards the creation of traditional systems that are energy efficient as well as new kinds of systems that run on alternative/green energies like solar and geothermal. Continue reading

Energy Efficient Countries – An Infographic

Contributed by Tane Clark

With the signing of the recent COP21 agreement in Paris, the environment and climate change are firmly at the top of the world agenda and rightly so. Without action, our world will continue to have problems with world temperatures and climates.

Every country in the world and even every individual have a responsibility to take action when it comes to the environment. It’s for the sake of our futures and with every small change, a movement of attitude can be formulated too which will help to educate the planet’s future population. Continue reading

37 easy tips for a sustainable Christmas

green ChristmasDid you know that the American economy has depended on wastefulness since the Eisenhower administration? Half a century of rampant waste has wreaked havoc on the environment.

Our wastefulness is even worse between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In that one month, for example, we generate more trash than any other three months. We also waste more energy and food than during the rest of the year.

As we plan to celebrate this season of giving, let’s also give back to the earth by reducing our waste. We easily can make small but significant changes toward a more sustainable Christmas celebration. Continue reading

Progressive blindness about progress in sustainability

Carbon offsets. Corporate sustainabilityDo you think big business really cares about the environment? What you find in newspapers, mass market magazines, and on the air doesn’t provide much of an answer.

If you look online for any of the obvious keywords, you’ll find a lot of corporate websites crowing about their environmental initiatives.

You’ll also find plenty of writers who consider corporations in general to be obstacles on the road to sustainability.

In a recent Huffington Post article, Shane Ferro, an author with a dim view of the automobile industry, reported on an award the US EPA bestowed on Chevrolet. The company has partnered with eleven colleges to purchase carbon offsets from their renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Continue reading

Shipping Container Homes

Used shipping containers

Used shipping containers

Recycling shipping containers to make homes solves two problems—the plethora of containers piling up at every port in the world and the shortage of affordable housing.

Shipping containers represent one of the greatest innovations in shipping in recent years. Before, it was necessary to load various products on a ship at one port, unload them at another port, and transfer the contents to trains or trucks. Continue reading

Rooftop solar and utilities don’t have to be enemies

rooftop solar panels

Photographer’s caption: The rails that will hold the solar panels in place are up, and we are wrapping up at the end of Day 1 of installing the panels on a low-income house in Oakland, California.

Probably very few advocates of sustainability identify themselves as conservative, but I do.

Conservative think tanks allied with electric service providers vigorously advocate ending “special treatment” for renewable energy. How any position opposed to energy conservation can seriously be considered conservative is beyond me.

Too many advocates of renewable energy are content to paint electric utilities (and large corporations in general) as evil.

I want to make a conservative case for renewable energy in general and rooftop solar in particular. But before countering the arguments of the utilities and utility-friendly think tanks, it is first necessary to understand them. Continue reading