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Disable your computer screen savers to reduce energy use. Studies show that a monitor in screen saving mode uses significantly more energy than one in standby mode. Also, adjust your computer’s data backup schedule to run during the workday so you don’t have to leave your computer on at night.
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How to reduce water use in the United States

March 18th, 2013

Americans consume a lot of water as a result of their food and lawn choices. Read Danielle Nierenberg’s blog about how we can lower the stress we’re placing on dwindling water supplies. Ms. Nierenberg, co-founder of Food Tank, has traveled the world, studying food and water scarcity, and can tell you how many Kenyans survive on the same amount of water consumed by one American.

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Bag ban to reduce waste in landfill

March 17th, 2013

Starting Friday, disposable plastic and paper bags are banned at all retailers in the city. Exceptions include thicker bags with handles, laundry, newspapers, dry cleaners and waste bags.

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How to pick an energy efficient washer and dryer — our 2013 update

March 5th, 2013

So many options, so little time. At least the choices for washers (though not dryers) have become ever more energy and water efficient. Here’s our advisory for 2013.

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Save nature and free time — install a Pocket Prairie

February 28th, 2013

Are you weary of mowing, weeding and fertilizing that yawning stretch of lawn? Consider installing a patch of native prairie. A Pocket Prairie can reduce your thirsty conventional turf, replacing it with native grasses and flowers. You’ll be feeding butterflies and birds, and cut down your grass mowing obligations, perhaps to zero.

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Keep trees healthy, prune them now; they’ll thank you later

February 22nd, 2013

Yes, it’s cold for you, the tree trimmer. But pruning in the winter is kinder to plants. It discourages sap flow from the cuts, inhibits the spread of disease (like oak wilt) and gives deciduous and blooming trees time to recover before the spring growth period.

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Texas lawmakers propose protection for xeriscaped lawns

February 1st, 2013

In an effort to address Texas’ ongoing drought, two state lawmakers have proposed legislation that would free thousands of homeowners from having to water and maintain conventional sod lawns.

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One cancer risk you can easily remove from your life

January 23rd, 2013

It’s a little like a storyline from those nuclear-age science-fiction movies from the 1950s. An invisible, insidious gas invades your home, poised to undermine your family’s health.
But this is no fiction. It’s radon, a gas that exists naturally in the earth, but can concentrate in homes raising the cancer risk for those who are exposed long term.

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Save money and stay cozy by winterizing

November 6th, 2012

Summer is little more than a memory, and those outrageous air conditioning bills that came with it are, at least for the moment, a thing of the past. Even if temperatures shouldn’t be approaching three figures again anytime soon, making your home as energy efficient as possible during the winter months should be on everyone’s agenda, too.

Before you know it, it could actually be cold outside. And when winter blows into town, you don’t want it to be cold inside, too.

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Smart meters may need to be a little smarter, and safer

October 31st, 2012

Here’s a scary thought just released on Halloween, what if your smart meter were leaking information about you to the world?

Automatic Meter Reading systems may need better security, according to a USC team.

With millions of so-called “smart meters” being installed in the U.S. annually, utility companies are getting closer to creating a smart grid that can target energy delivery where it’s needed and thus avoid having to run extra capacity at power plants. It’s a potential win-win that could help keep energy prices affordable.

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Want to save energy? Yup, there’s an app for that

October 17th, 2012

It’s getting easier to track your home or business energy use and find ways to reduce your energy consumption and costs.
Yes, there’s an app for this.

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Worried about toxic ingredients in cleaners? See our new improved list of the greenest products

October 3rd, 2012

When the Environmental Working Group released their scorecard on green cleaners last month, I sprang from my chair to check the label on the case of Ecover Limescale Remover that UPS had just delivered.

I don’t usually buy by the case, but this was the only way I could get this cleaner, which I adore because it transforms my shower door from an icky, opaque bacteria-generator into a sheet of glistening glass, without using toxic ingredients. Or so I believed.
Fortunately, my limescale remover skated by with a solid “B” on the EWG 2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning. Whew!

But some of the other products I’m using did not make the grade, despite being sold as “green” or “natural” products.

That’s right. Amazingly, many green cleaners contain endocrine disrupters, suspected carcinogens, toxic ingredients with unknown effects and needlessly harsh ingredients, like sodium laurel sulfate, according to the EWG review of more than 2,000 cleaners .

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EWG’s Guide to Green Cleaning dishes the dirt about scores of ‘natural’ green cleaners

September 11th, 2012

Green cleaners exploded onto store shelves over the last five years, offering to detoxify our homes, laundry, dishes and countertops with a dazzling line-up of herb-y, botanically scented, natural and biodegradable formulas.

These products promised to replace the old guard of harsh, caustic and unhealthful less-than-green products, solving those perennial problems of tub rings, toilet bowl stains and kitchen sink germs but without killing aquatic life, risking anyone’s fertility or triggering asthma episodes.

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