Five hopeful signs that we could save our planet if we really want to

Other than the 2012 Olympics, it’s been a discouraging hot, drought-y month this July. Greenland ice sheets are melting ominously. India plunged into darkness and panic amid two days of massive electrical outages. Cargill recalled about 15 tons of tainted hamburger in the Mid-Atlantic and the New England states. And there are disheartening reports about crop failures in the mighty U.S. “bread basket”.

Furniture Row finds cost savings with Cree LED lighting

Who says it too expensive to change out the bulbs?
Not the Furniture Row Companies, a large family-owned retailer with 330 stores across the U.S., which is switching its showroom lighting to Cree Inc. LED lights
So far, Furniture Row has installed about 13,000 Cree LRP-38 LED spotlights, out of more than 80,000 planned, at its stores, which include the Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions® and Denver Mattress Company®.

Get your ducts in a row

You can hear them rattle in the winter, and rumble in the summer. Whether they’re underfoot or overhead in the attic, these unseen monsters can really make a difference in your home’s heating and cooling bills. Yes, we’re talking about your ducts or duct work, and we don’t mean to be personal when we say, you’d better have your ducts in order when it comes to saving on cooling costs.

Money from trees — save on utility bills and heal the atmosphere

By Diane Porter
Green Right Now

Wouldn’t you just love to pick your house up, turn it this way and that way on the lot, and figure out where it really makes the most sense? The spot where it catches the prevailing breeze, has shade in the summer, sun in the winter, and energy savings year-round?

That’s how houses were placed before air-conditioning, when a family’s comfort inside depended on how well the house functioned. But today, we live in tidy rows on uniform blocks that line up in a way that makes more sense for real estate than anything else. The decision as to which way our doors and windows face was most likely made by a developer putting down dozens of homes at once; the placement of our driveways and patios followed suit.

And if the sun bakes us in the summer, or if our living room is freezing in the winter, we tend to focus on things we can do inside the house to mitigate the problem. We turn the thermostat up or down; we dig out the blankets in winter or the fans in summer.

And we pay for all of it, in comfort and utility bills.