Austin Water is serious about rain barrels and catchment systems — so much so that the utility’s customers could qualify for hundreds, even thousands in rebates by looking to Mother Nature for their irrigation needs.>> Read More
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.>> Read More
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.
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.>> Read More
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.>> Read More
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 .>> Read More