environment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2398/all en-US 5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_recycling_000013114340.jpg" alt="Woman happy because she made environmentally friendly investment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We'd all love to invest our money in a way that benefits our finances while helping to build a better world. If that sounds like a pipe dream to you, it's not. Impact investing is a growing trend, and there are plenty of ways to do well and do good with your money. Here are five classes of green investments that are kind to the Earth:</p> <h2>1. Green Bonds</h2> <p><a href="http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/gmtl/3382260/Green-Bonds-Planting-Seeds-for-Eco-Friendly-Investment.html#.VRmawpPF-l0">Green bonds</a> are a perfect entry point for someone interested in making a social investment. Like other bonds, you pay a certain amount of money for the bond now to get a larger amount of money at a specific future date. With green bonds, your up-front investment is used to finance environmentally friendly projects. They're relatively low-risk and provide critical funds that are urgently needed in the short-term for these green initiatives.</p> <h2>2. Green Mutual Funds</h2> <p>Chances are that if you have any type of retirement account, at least a portion of it is invested in mutual funds. If you'd like to use that money to support green projects, choose green funds when allocating your investments. Broadly speaking, these investments are also included under the umbrella of socially responsible investments.</p> <h2>3. Green Stocks</h2> <p>As an investor, you also have the option to invest directly in companies that have a green mission, product, or service. This means you can buy stock in a publicly traded company that produces renewable energy products such as solar panels, or any other &quot;green&quot; mission of your choice.</p> <h2>4. Green Startups</h2> <p>One of the riskiest (but perhaps one of the most potentially lucrative) green investments you can make is in a green startup. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who are founding companies in the environmentally-friendly space. They range from new composting techniques, to energy-saving products, to innovative concepts such as carbon credits that are bought and traded to compensate for energy consumption.</p> <h2>5. Sustainable Product Stocks</h2> <p>Many companies are taking up the green mantle by transforming their products and using renewable resources. Some also pledge a portion of their earnings to environmental nonprofits, and support green efforts in the communities where they operate. These companies can contribute enormously to protecting the environment, and supporting their efforts with your investment dollars and purchases can help encourage them to continue and enhance these practices.</p> <p>As always, it's important to make informed investment decisions. It's best to educate yourself about these options by reading about the ins and outs of green investing. I also suggest seeking the advice of a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Together, we can build a bright future for ourselves and for the planet as a whole through our investment dollars.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-shouldnt-invest-in-stocks">10 Times You Shouldn&#039;t Invest in Stocks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-invest-in-the-stock-market">Why invest in the stock market?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-crucial-things-you-should-know-about-bonds">5 Crucial Things You Should Know About Bonds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/socially-responsible-investing-goes-green">Socially Responsible Investing Goes Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-reasons-to-start-investing-in-bonds-now">The 5 Best Reasons to Start Investing in Bonds Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Investment bonds eco-friendly environment mutual funds startups stocks sustainability Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Christa Avampato 1380916 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things Most People Don't Realize Are Holding Them Back http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-most-people-dont-realize-are-holding-them-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-most-people-dont-realize-are-holding-them-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teenager-distracted-tv-99234771-small.jpg" alt="teenager distracted tv" title="teenager distracted tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The fact of the matter is that sometimes there are obstacles working against us that we're simply unaware of. Rather than beat yourself up, it's time to start looking at how various aspects of your life might be thwarting your goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-youre-not-reaching-your-goals-and-how-to-change-that?ref=seealso">10 Reasons You Aren't Reaching Your Goals</a>)</p> <p>Here are four common obstacles, and how to fix them.</p> <h2>1. Your Environment</h2> <p>Raise your hand if you ever argued with your parents about studying or doing homework in front of the television.</p> <p>The bad news is that Mom and Dad were right. Studies show that having the television on while studying &mdash; even as background noise &mdash; <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/data-shows-kids-shouldnt-multi.html">leads to lower-quality work</a>. (The better news is that the studies are inconclusive about the distracting nature of music &mdash; so keep your favorite tunes going in the background if you feel like it helps.)</p> <p>Whether you are surrounded by distracting noise, distracting clutter, or distracting comfort (imagine trying to write an essay in your pajamas on your bed), you might find yourself wasting the day away if your environment is not outfitted for your optimal productivity.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Work spaces &mdash; from home offices to cube farms &mdash; tend to be set up either how you think they should look, or according to someone else's vision. We often end up forcing ourselves to work in a space that doesn't work for us.</p> <p>In order to optimize your space, take into account your &quot;desire path.&quot; This term, named for the footpaths created as shortcuts when pedestrians repeatedly ignore paved paths, describes how you <em>actually use</em> your space, rather than how you are <em>supposed to use</em> it.</p> <p>For instance, if you set up a very organized office but generally end up doing your work on the kitchen table, take the time to figure out what it is about your desire path that causes you to forgo the office. Following your desire path can help you to determine what you need in order to do your best work.</p> <h2>2. Your Language</h2> <p>A recent UCLA study discovered that differences in <a href="http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/keith.chen/papers/LanguageWorkingPaper.pdf">how languages refer to events</a> in the future can affect our behavior.</p> <p>For instance, English has a very distinct future tense. If we want to talk about tomorrow's weather, we say, &quot;It will rain tomorrow.&quot; In languages with a less distinct future tense (like German, for example), speakers say, &quot;It rains tomorrow.&quot; That difference means that English speakers' brains encode the future as a distinct time from now, while German speakers do not.</p> <p>Where this gets interesting is in the fact that speakers of languages with less distinction between the present and the future &quot;save more, retire with more wealth, smoke less, practice safer sex, and are less obese.&quot;</p> <p>That means we English speakers are at a distinct disadvantage. We already tend to see the future as somebody else's problem because of a cognitive bias known as <a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/how-hyperbolic-discounting-in-behavioral-economics-explains-your-irrational-money-choices/">hyperbolic discounting</a>. Add in a language that codifies the difference between the present and future, and we are very likely to continue to push today's consequences onto our future selves.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p><a href="http://youtu.be/W-Cz-LK16g4">Jerry Seinfeld has a very funny take</a> on this particular problem. He talks about how when he's Night Guy, he simply doesn't care that Morning Guy has to get up early to go to work.</p> <p>In that humorous observation lies a solution to the problem of English's future tense. Start thinking about what your Morning Guy would most like to wake up to. That might mean you do the dishes tonight, or that you pay yourself first, or that you choose the apple slices rather than the donuts. If you take the time to think about what you will want and how you will feel in the future, it's much easier to act in accordance to that now.</p> <h2>3. Your Smartphone</h2> <p>How long can you go without checking your smartphone for updates? According to a Mobile Mindset study conducted by the security app company Lookout, <a href="https://www.lookout.com/resources/reports/mobile-mindset">60% of respondents check their phone at least once an hour</a>.</p> <p>This kind of addictive behavior is problematic, since it can get in the way of your productivity.</p> <p>And addictive is the operative word. Technology offers us <a href="http://outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/IntermittentReinforcement.html">intermittent reinforcement</a>: We cannot predict how often we will get an interesting comment, a like, an email, a tweet, or other technological interaction, which makes us crave those interactions even more. Intermittent reinforcement is the reason why gambling is addictive, and it is why smartphones are so tough to quit.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>It's possible to lose days at a time to noodling away on your phone, so cut off the intermittent reinforcement. First, turn off your notifications. Every time your phone pings to let you know something interesting has happened, you get another little reinforcement. The news will wait, so let it.</p> <p>In addition, you will need to plan ahead when and for how long you will use your phone. When you do play on your phone, set a timer and keep to it. If you train yourself to only use your phone at set times, that habit will replace the check-all-the-time habit you currently have.</p> <h2>4. Your Sleep Schedule</h2> <p>No matter how good your intentions are in the evening, it can seem impossible to get up with the alarm when it goes off at Zero Dark-Thirty. You hit the snooze button two or seven times, stumble out of bed in search of coffee, and barely make it to work on time. You'd love to take advantage of all of the benefits of being an early riser &mdash; like time to exercise and plan your day &mdash; but even when you go to bed earlier, you simply cannot get yourself out of bed early.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Part of the reason why it is so difficult to retrain your body to accept early wake-up times has to do with our biology. If you simply go to bed eight hours before you need to be up (which is often how switching to an earlier wake-up time goes), you might find yourself staring at the ceiling, completely awake, until your normal bedtime. You are not listening to your body's sleepiness cues in the evening, which is both frustrating and unproductive.</p> <p>It's for this reason that the <a href="http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/05/how-to-become-an-early-riser/">best strategy for changing your sleep pattern</a> combines biology with a schedule. Instead of simply making your bedtime earlier, wait to go to bed until you are sleepy enough to drift off quickly. (A good sleepiness test is if you can't read more than a page or two of a book without drifting off.)</p> <p>Doing this will mean that you go to bed when you are sleepy and get up at a fixed time. Although you might be dragging the first few days, you'll quickly find that your sleep patterns will realign so that you will feel sleepy at the optimal time for a good night's sleep before your alarm the next morning.</p> <h2>Be the Master of Your Fate</h2> <p>The obstacles to your best self may be physical, cultural, biological, or technological. But you ultimately have control over your life. The best way to take that control is to listen to your own desires and needs while planning ahead. This one-two punch should be enough to tame all those obstacles trying thwart you.</p> <p><em>What's working against you? How will you fix it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-most-people-dont-realize-are-holding-them-back">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-bad-habits-that-are-actually-good-for-you">13 &quot;Bad&quot; Habits That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life">The Surprisingly Easy Way to Change Your Habits and Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development addiction bad habits distraction environment habits obstacles Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1207020 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Environment Can Impact Health Insurance Costs http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-environment-can-impact-health-insurance-costs <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/5-ways-environment-can-impact-health-insurance-costs-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/5-ways-environment-can-im...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-environment-can-impact-health-insurance-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009624228XSmall.jpg" alt="sneezing" title="sneezing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you offer health insurance, the costs can be high. Taking steps to keep those costs down &mdash; along with the costs associated with employees needing to make use of their health insurance, like missed work days &mdash; simply makes sense. It's hard to drop those costs by a lot, but making some changes in your business may be able to improve your employees' environment and reduce costs.</p> <p>The settings that employees work in can have significant impacts on their health and their need for health insurance. It goes beyond the differences between working at a construction site and in an office, as well: No matter what type of business you run, there may be opportunities to improve the environment. Because health insurance providers set costs based on how much they expect your employees to need health insurance, taking steps to improve your situation and bringing them to the attention of your health insurance provider can be worth the effort. Here are some environmental issues to consider:</p> <p><strong>Sedentary Positions Can Lead to Health Problems</strong></p> <p>If an employee doesn't get out from behind his desk much, the likelihood that he will have health problems goes up as a direct result. Research published in <em>Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise</em> shows that even if an individual exercises regularly, simply sitting for long periods of time can increase his or her risk of cardiovascular disease. The first step to reduce the impact of sitting for long periods of time is to encourage regular exercise, but offices can also be designed to get employees to move around regularly. Something as simple as holding meetings while standing can help.</p> <p><strong>Cleaner Air Makes for Healthier Employees</strong></p> <p>Any employee with dust allergies will do better in an environment with cleaner air, and the same is often true for employees with pollen allergies. Both are relatively common allergies and, while they may be minor when compared to other health concerns, there can be cumulative effects. You may even get better productivity out of employees who can breathe easier. You can switch out filters in your ventilation system for a quick fix or bring in an air purifier if your air quality needs to be improved.</p> <p><strong>Good Eating Habits Are Harder in the Office</strong></p> <p>It's very easy to run out and get fast food over the lunch break. Packing a brown bag or seeking out a healthy restaurant is harder. Making good decisions gets that much more difficult when there's a vending machine in the break room or the boss brings in pizza when everyone's working late. While you can't be the food police in your office, there are steps you can take to make it easier for employees to take advantage of healthy options. These can include some careful thought about what food is available at the office, as well as making sure that employees have opportunities to get to healthy restaurants or bring in food from home regularly.</p> <p><strong>OSHA Guidelines Are Minimums</strong></p> <p>In some ways, the regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can be considered minimums. There are almost always opportunities to make a work environment safer. For example, regulations regarding floors and passageways state that they have to be clean, dry, and in good repair. But good repair can be interpreted in different ways. Uneven floors can pass OSHA guidelines (when a building settles and in other circumstances), but even a small change in the evenness of a floor can make for a tripping hazard. Little fixes can make employees less accident-prone. Depending on the work your employees do, taking steps like offering additional safety gear can be helpful.</p> <p><strong>Less-Healthy Behaviors Are Contagious</strong></p> <p>In a tight-knit company, it's easy for employees to share habits and hobbies. Not all habits are good, though, making it likely that if a few members of your team run the risk of health problems, all of them do. Consider smoking: In some groups, it's a social habit. Even if only one or two members of a group smoke, smoke breaks can be a group activity, ensuring that everyone involved gets a dose of second-hand smoke. Luckily, good habits are also contagious and can be encouraged through setting a good example as well as giving incentives to establish better routines.</p> <p><strong>The Impact on Your Health Insurance</strong></p> <p>Some health insurance providers offer incentives for both employers and employees if the employees improve their health overall by joining a gym, quitting smoking, and taking similar steps. It's a good decision, both in terms of finances and health, to find out what opportunities your health insurance provider offers. Even if direct incentives aren't available, it's worth talking to your agent. In some cases, if you can demonstrate that your employees' use of their health insurance has dropped, you can get your rates reduced.</p> <p>On many of these workplace environment issues, you will need to get your employees' help to move forward. Buy-in is necessary if you want your employees to change their habits, at the very least. While you can easily set policies about healthy behaviors, it can be hard to enforce such policies without causing problems with your staff. Furthermore, in some cases, you need your employees to agree to these changes even when they're out of the office. Take smoking for example: Many businesses now have policies against employees smoking at work. That won't ever stop employees from actually smoking, though &mdash; it just means that they aren't smoking in the office. It's worth reminding them that not only would taking some of these steps help them with their overall health, but they could bring down their costs as well, both in terms of what they contribute to their health insurance plan and their out-of-pocket expenses.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-environment-can-impact-health-insurance-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center employee benefits environment health insurance small business Wed, 10 Nov 2010 23:48:44 +0000 Thursday Bram 281093 at http://www.wisebread.com Save the Planet: Work at Home http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-planet-work-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-the-planet-work-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009596496.jpg" alt="Telecommute" title="Telecommute" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If every person in the U.S. with a telecommuting-compatible job worked at home on Earth Day, collectively it would:</p> <ul> <li>Save 900 Million vehicle miles<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 45 Million gallons of gas &mdash; $188 Million in consumer savings<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 2.3 Million barrels of oil &mdash; valued at $185 Million<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Eliminate 423,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases &mdash; the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road for a year<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 28 million kWh in net electricity &mdash; enough to power 2,600 homes for a year<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 775 people from traffic injury and deaths</li> </ul> <p>Less than 2% of U.S. employees work from home the majority of the time (not including the self-employed), but 40% could. If they did so just half of the time (roughly the national average for those who do), as a nation we would save over a half a trillion dollars a year and much more.</p> <p>Telecommuting &mdash; specifically, home based work &mdash; offers a relatively simple, inexpensive solution to some of the world&rsquo;s most vexing problems:</p> <ul> <li>Environmentalists applaud telecommuting because it significantly reduces greenhouse gases and energy usage.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Astute company owners support telecommuting because of the cost savings and increased productivity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Work-life experts endorse telecommuting because it addresses the needs of families, parents, and senior caregivers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Workforce planners see telecommuting as away to avoid the &lsquo;brain drain&rsquo; effect of retiring boomers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Human resource professionals see telecommuting as a way to recruit and retain the best people.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Employees see telecommuting as a way to save time and money, and improve the quality of their lives.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Baby Boomers find telecommuting offers a flexible alternative to full retirement.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gen Y&rsquo;ers see telecommuting as a way to work on their own terms.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Disabled workers, rural residents, and military families find home-based work an answer to their special needs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Urban planners realize telecommuting can reduce traffic and revitalize cities.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Governments see telecommuting as a way to reduce highway wear and tear and alleviate the strain on our crumbling transportation infrastructure.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organizations rely on telecommuting to ensure continuity of operations in the event of a disaster or pandemic &mdash; all federal workers are required to telecommute to the maximum extent possible for just this reason.</li> </ul> <p>It's time we made the road less traveled the way to work. Let's start with Earth Day.</p> <p><em>Editor's note: Kate Lister was the principal researcher at <a href="http://teleworkresearchnetwork.com/">TeleworkResearchNetwork.com</a></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-lister">Kate Lister</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-planet-work-at-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-worst-work-from-home-jobs">The 5 Worst Work From Home Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success">10 Tips to Make Working From Home a Success</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Green Living Earth day environment telecommute work at home Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:00:02 +0000 Kate Lister 38832 at http://www.wisebread.com Only Celebrate A Few Select Birthdays http://www.wisebread.com/only-celebrate-a-few-select-birthdays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/only-celebrate-a-few-select-birthdays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/61nH0aYNyOL._SS500_.jpg" alt="Patton Oswalt" title="Patton Oswalt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What if we suddenly stopped celebrating every single birthday in our lives, and instead concentrated on just the important ones? Would you care? Would you support it? I&rsquo;ll tell you one thing&hellip;we&rsquo;d all save a bunch of money.</p> <p>The idea comes from one of my favorite comedians, Patton Oswalt. If you don&rsquo;t know the name, you&rsquo;ll certainly know the voice; he played Remy in <em>Ratatouille</em>. He was also Spence Olchrin in <em>The King Of Queens</em>, and he&rsquo;s an exceptional comedian.</p> <p>On his CD <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RGSOM8?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RGSOM8"><em>Werewolves And Lollipops</em></a> he outlines a plan to stop the celebration of most birthdays, saying that there&rsquo;s nothing special about most of them. And, he&rsquo;s right. What&rsquo;s so special about hitting 36 (my next birthday)? Or 42? Or even 14? They&rsquo;re not landmark dates in your existence. They&rsquo;re just another year.</p> <p>The full list is printed below, and you can also <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJnCHy0p6n4">listen to Patton</a> (be warned, Patton uses language that is NSFW).</p> <p><strong>Birthdays you can and cannot celebrate.</strong></p> <p>1 thru 9 &mdash; YES. You&rsquo;re a little kid, and kids should get to celebrate birthdays.</p> <p>10 &mdash; YES. You&rsquo;ve entered the double digits. Something different has happened, you get a birthday.</p> <p>11-12 &mdash; NO. Nothing special about those years.</p> <p>13 &mdash; YES. Now you&rsquo;re a teenager, and that&rsquo;s worth celebrating.</p> <p>14-15 &mdash; NO. Again, nothing special here.</p> <p>16 &mdash; YES. The laws have changed. Now you can drive, that&rsquo;s worth celebrating.</p> <p>17 &mdash; NO. What&rsquo;s special about being 17? Exactly.</p> <p>18 &mdash; YES. Awesome birthday. You can vote and own a gun. This is all worth celebrating (and if you&rsquo;re in other countries including England, you can drink alcohol). Now that is worth a party.</p> <p>19 &mdash; YES. It&rsquo;s your last year as a teenager.</p> <p>20 &mdash; YES. You&rsquo;ve entered your twenties.</p> <p>21 &mdash; YES. Awesome birthday, you&rsquo;re as adult as you can get. Hit the bars.</p> <p>And then&hellip;only one birthday every 10 years (30, 40, 50, 60 and so on) until you hit 90. After 90, you get a birthday every year because one law no longer applies to you!</p> <p>Now, as 90 is a rare age for most of us to reach, I&rsquo;d say most of us are in for 22-23 birthday celebrations in our lifetime. That&rsquo;s a lot less than 70-80. And think of all the money that we wouldn&rsquo;t have to spend. At Hallmark, they&rsquo;d see their profits go down the toilet, but personally I wouldn&rsquo;t shed a tear. Charging an average of $5 for a piece of card you read once and throw away is something of an extravagance anyway. And think of all the trees and resources we&rsquo;d save!</p> <p>Not only that, but once you reach the adult years, you usually don&rsquo;t want for that much anyway. As a kid, you have no income. Your birthdays are what you rely on for toys, clothes, games, and candy. But as a 36 year old, I&rsquo;ll be getting stuff for my birthday that I could afford anyway. I usually have to search my brain for days to come with ideas for people. And they&rsquo;re the same. My dad&rsquo;s birthday is in a few weeks. He had no idea what he wanted, so I bought him some DVDs. He&rsquo;s probably seen them, he may even have them, and who knows if he even wants them.</p> <p>Now I&rsquo;m not saying we should treat the day like any other. By all means, go have a few drinks after work or take a trip to the movies. Have a good meal. But do we really need to continue spending all of this money on each other, buying junk we don&rsquo;t need for people who don&rsquo;t want anything, just because we&rsquo;ve reached the grand old age of 27 or 43? Many people in this world would be thankful for a healthy meal and sanitary water every day, and the money we throw at each other on gifts, cards, and endless wrapping could more than pay for that.</p> <p>This idea may have started as a joke, but I think it&rsquo;s far from just a bit of comic relief. Think it over.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/only-celebrate-a-few-select-birthdays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-energizer-bunny-six-products-that-dont-need-batteries">The end of the Energizer bunny: SIX products that don&#039;t need batteries.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-water-heater-costs">7 Ways To Lower Water Heater Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">Life Without Toiletpaper - Bum Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle birthdays conserve environment funny jokes Mon, 08 Feb 2010 14:00:02 +0000 Paul Michael 5112 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Buy Personal Carbon Credits That Count http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-personal-carbon-credits-that-count <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-personal-carbon-credits-that-count" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6982028631_2ea89088f4_z.jpg" alt="wind farm" title="wind farm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The notion behind carbon offsets, or credits, is simple. You're living your life, and if you're living in the developed world, you're probably producing more greenhouse gases than you're consuming. While you're driving to work, or <a title="8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding" href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">planning your wedding</a>, someone else is working to design alternative energy technology or replanting a tropical forest. The carbon exchange market lets people and businesses invest money into those green projects based on how much carbon they're producing. People are using this system to offset the &quot;carbon cost&quot; of everything from weddings to international travel to political campaigns. (See also: <a title="25 Eco-Friendly Changes You Can Make Today" href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-eco-friendly-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Eco-Friendly Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>There is a carbon market, like the stock market, called the <a href="http://www.chicagoclimatex.com/">Chicago Climate Exchange</a>, where carbon credits are bought and sold. Each credit represents a financial investment equal to the cost of removing one metric ton of C02 from the atmosphere. The notion of carbon marketing first got traction with the <a href="http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php">Kyoto Protocol</a> in the late 90s, which requires large businesses and governments to cap carbon production and trade carbon credits to balance out their carbon emissions. The U.S. still does not participate in Kyoto, so for now all our carbon trading is strictly voluntary. The Chicago Climate Exchange is a legally binding system, though, in which participating companies are required to do what they say they'll do to offset climate change.</p> <p>Several rock stars and politicians, our current president among them, have made their commitment to carbon neutrality the stuff of headlines. Buying carbon offsets is part of how they do it.</p> <p>But carbon offsets are not just for celebrities and big business. There are dozens of companies that broker these carbon credits in small numbers for green-minded individuals and families. I recently bought a new-to-me car after a brief assay into the world of car-free living. I'm sure there are mamas out there who can cheerfully tote two car seats and two little kids four blocks down a busy street in the rain to a <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11220075">Zipcar</a> lot, but I am not that woman. I am the kind of Mama who wants to put her money where her mouth is on climate change, though, so I started looking into buying carbon offsets for the driving I'll be doing.</p> <p>Let me tell you, it's a jungle out there. There are dozens of companies offering &quot;carbon credits&quot; to individuals, and numerous, competing third-party systems to &ldquo;verify&rdquo; their work. There is no single accepted standard for verifying that these companies actually carry out the projects they claim to be investing in. Determining the benefit of these projects can be even trickier. To make matters worse, a project might technically meet the standards for getting greenhouse gases out of the air, but do so at a high cost to the local economy or indigenous culture.</p> <p>There is a <a href="http://www.cdmgoldstandard.org/">Gold Standard</a> endorsed by the United Nations and the World Wildlife Federation. This standard takes into account not only the efficacy of the projects being funded, but also the accuracy of the carbon exchange accounting and the impact these projects have on other factors like local cultures and economies.</p> <p>Like any marketplace, there are good carbon offset deals and bad ones. One company charges less than $3 for a carbon credit, while another charges over $20. What's the difference? The cost difference is not closely tied to the benefits the project grants. Remember, each carbon credit is supposed to be good for 1 ton of CO2 removal, whether it costs to $3 or $20 to get the job done.</p> <p>How can you sort this out and know your carbon credits really count? Start with the United Nations excellent, free e-book on the topic, <a href="http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/kick-the-habit/Default.aspx?bid=ID0ESF">Kick the Habit</a>. This quick read will bring you up to speed on the basics of carbon offsetting, and help you understand the emerging standards for this market. It also gives some great resources for choosing an offset company to work with.</p> <p>Based on their findings and recommendations, we opted for <a href="https://climatefriendly.com/">Climate Friendly</a> to buy our new-car carbon offsets. An Australian-based company, Climate Friendly won high marks for accuracy and efficiency. They also have one of the lowest overhead budgets, so more dollars go directly into the projects they fund. The one downside: unlike some of their competitors, they won't be sending us a cute sticker to put on our windshield. I bet stickers aren't the most sustainable thing on the planet.</p> <p>The good news: after radically changing our lives to reduce our driving, we only had to pay about $50 a year to offset the driving we still do. A very worthwhile investment, in my book.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sierra-black">Sierra Black</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-personal-carbon-credits-that-count">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/urban-composting-it-can-be-done">Urban Composting - It CAN be done!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living carbon credits carbon offsets environment Thu, 12 Nov 2009 16:00:42 +0000 Sierra Black 3821 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Most Businesses Going Green Just to Save Some Green? http://www.wisebread.com/are-most-businesses-just-going-green-to-save-some-green <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-most-businesses-just-going-green-to-save-some-green" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/335844468_8938ff60cd.jpg" alt="green green" title="green green" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I heard an interesting story the other day. A radio DJ was annoyed because when he went to pick up his boarding passes from the check in counter, he was handed them without any kind of ticket wallet to keep them together. The reason: <em>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s our effort to save the environment sir.</em>&rdquo; But was it really just an effort to save money?</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">When you think about it, airlines are hardly the greenest of companies. When you get to you gate, you are presented with your jet plane complete with thousands of gallons of fuel. The haze of fumes rising from the fuel is enough to make you think you&rsquo;re witnessing an oasis in the desert.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But still, every little helps. And yet when the DJ was informed of the disappearing wallets for boarding passes and ticket stubs, he was more than a little cynical. <em>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t buy it. Are they being green, or just saving some green?&rdquo;</em> he asked his audience.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s a legitimate question. Is it fair for businesses to hide cost-cutting exercises under the guise of environmentally friendly intentions? It seems more than a little sneaky to me. After all, if they&rsquo;re making these cuts for the planet, and not for profit, then shouldn&rsquo;t we see some of that money coming back to us in the form of lower prices?<span style=""> Most likely, any cuts that are made benefit the corporations and their shareholders, not the general public.</span></p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">When I started looking for other examples of &ldquo;green initiatives&rdquo; I did start to wonder if the planet really was the cause for the change, or was it simply done as a way to increase the health of the corporation&rsquo;s bottom line.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">From cheaper, recycled toilet papers, to decreased services in hotels and restaurants, I noticed the influence of the environment everywhere. On a flight recently, I was asked to re-use the same plastic cup. In a hotel, the towels were only washed if I specifcally requested it. At a New York pizzeria, napkins were limited to THREE per customer. (I only needed one by the way, but if you've ever eaten out with young children, those three napkins would have been stretched thin.) Ironically, in that same pizza place I saw that the prices had actually gone up, with makeshift stickers being placed over cheaper prices. The economy is certainly taking its toll, and yet the environment is supposedly the cause of the cutbacks.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Now I, for one, like that we&rsquo;re saving the planet in any way that we can. And I love that our corporations are embracing it. But it does make me wonder what the real reason for change is.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Have you noticed these changes around you? Have you been charged MORE for green products and services that actually cost less to produce and maintain than the non-green versions? Have you ever felt a nagging doubt that profit was the real reason for change, not the environment?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">At the end of the day, I suppose it shouldn&rsquo;t matter too much. After all, if the business saves money and helps the environment in the process, regardless of their intention, then that&rsquo;s a good thing, right? But when you see no added benefit in the form of a price reduction, or you even see a price hike for going green, well that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.</p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-most-businesses-just-going-green-to-save-some-green">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-energizer-bunny-six-products-that-dont-need-batteries">The end of the Energizer bunny: SIX products that don&#039;t need batteries.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community">Super-Cheap Building Supplies and a Way to Help Your Community!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy">Our Obsession to Clean is Making Us Trashy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Green Living cutbacks environment green prices Wed, 02 Sep 2009 14:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 3564 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways To Lower Water Heater Costs http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-water-heater-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-lower-water-heater-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shower_0.jpg" alt="water shower" title="water shower" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="175" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your water heater can account for <a href="http://www.fypower.org/res/changing-habits.html">13% of home energy costs</a>.&nbsp; The good news is that there are small, easy tweaks you can make to lower those costs and conserve energy at the same time.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Use less</strong><br /> Nora has a bunch of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-the-planet-one-drop-at-a-time">great suggestions to reducing water use</a>, but when it comes to hot water specifically, it's the shower that keeps most people raising the dial on their water heaters. Use low-flow showerheads, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-shower-in-sixty-seconds-or-less">take quicker showers</a>, turn off the water when you are soaping up, and stick with mild, lukewarm water. It's really not so bad -- trying to change your shower habits.&nbsp; Try <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-hot-water-now-what">going without a water heater at all</a>, and you'll realize you need a lot less hot water than you think.</p> <p>Also consider using cold water to wash your clothes. About <a href="http://www.fypower.org/res/changing-habits.html">90% of the energy use</a> in a clothes washer goes to water heating. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">Cold water washing</a> also helps clothes last longer!</p> <p><strong>Turn it down</strong><br /> Your water heater maintains its temperature 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.&nbsp; That takes a lot of energy.&nbsp; The standard setting is 140&ordm;F but most households should get by comfortably at <a href="http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwiprint.php?article=6503">120&ordm;F</a>.&nbsp; For every 10&ordm;F you turn down on your water heater, you save <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13090">3%-5% in energy costs</a>. Turning it down to 120&ordm;F could cut your costs by 6%-10%.&nbsp; As long as you are reducing your use with the tips above, you won't even notice.&nbsp; Make sure to consult your manual for proper instructions on adjusting the thermostat. For example, the <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13090">electricity should be turned off</a> before adjusting electric water heaters.</p> <p><strong>Turn it off</strong><br /> If you're going off on vacation, turn the temperature way down, or completely off. When you get home, you'll just need to wait about <a href="http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwiprint.php?article=6503">an hour to reheat</a> before the hot water gets back in service. If you have a gas heater, make sure you know how to <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13090">relight the pilot light</a> before turning it off (or just turn it down without completely turning it off).</p> <p><strong>Insulate</strong><br /> Adding insulation is inexpensive and can reduce standby heat losses by 25%-45%, saving you <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13070">4%-9% in water heating costs</a>. Check to see if your heater has a R-value of at least 24 (if your water heater is less than ten years old, it&rsquo;s likely it&rsquo;s already <a href="http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwiprint.php?article=6503">optimally insulated</a>). You can also do a touch test &ndash; if it&rsquo;s <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13070">warm to the touch</a>, it needs additional insulation. Make sure to check your manual for insulation instructions.</p> <p><strong>Set a timer</strong><br /> Again, a lot of energy is used to keep the water hot 24 hours a day. And really, you only need it a few times a day. If you have an electric water heater, a timer can be installed to turn it off during off peak hours (at night after you go to bed). This can save <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13110">5%-12% of energy</a>. For gas heaters, you can keep it turned down most of the time, and then manually turn it up about a half hour before you need it. Timers cost about $60 and should <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13110">pay for themselves in about a year</a>.</p> <p><strong>Reuse </strong><br /> Hot water that goes down the drain carries away energy with it. That can be <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13040">80%&ndash;90% of the energy</a> used to heat water in a home. Drain-water (or greywater) heat recovery systems capture this energy to preheat cold water entering the water heater or going to other water fixtures. Heat can be recovered from hot water used in showers, sinks, dishwashers, and clothes washers. Prices for drain-water heat recovery systems range from $300 to $500 (and you&rsquo;ll need a qualified plumbing and heating contractor to install the system). It can take <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13040">2.5 to 7 years</a> to recover that cost in savings, depending on how often the system is used.</p> <p><strong>Buy a more efficient one</strong><br /> If your water heater is old, it might be good to look into getting a new one. New water heaters today are considerably <a href="http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwiprint.php?article=6503">more energy efficient</a> than those of 20 years ago. In addition, Energy Star models can be <a href="http://www.fypower.org/res/tools/energy_tips.html">15% more efficient</a> than standard models. Look for one with heat traps, which <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13100">prevents convective heat losses</a> through the inlet and outlet pipes. Find the <a href="http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=12770">best type of water heater</a> for your home and look for <a href="http://www.fypower.org/res/tools/rgl.html">rebates and incentives</a> for energy-efficient appliances and equipment.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-water-heater-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hold-off-on-heating-with-these-10-warming-ways-0">Hold Off On Heating with These 10 Warming Ways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/as-the-wood-burns-the-top-3-biomass-heating-sources-revealed">As the Wood Burns: The Top 3 BioMass Heating Sources Revealed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks bills conserve energy environment green heating water heater Mon, 12 Jan 2009 01:24:22 +0000 Lynn Truong 2730 at http://www.wisebread.com Is the courtesy flush dead? http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2433639188_d0b4823567.jpg" alt="Toilet graveyard" title="Toilet graveyard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="rteindent1">Nora&rsquo;s recent article &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-the-planet-one-drop-at-a-time">Saving the planet - one drop at a time&rdquo;</a> rang a bell with me as I was sat in the men&rsquo;s bathroom at work yesterday. All the stalls were occupied and every minute I heard flushing. It was constant. This once kind act of &ldquo;courtesy flushing&rdquo; may now be offensive considering the state of the planet&hellip;and the price of the water bill. </p> <p><a href="http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-courtesy-flush.htm">WiseGeek </a>describes the act of courtesy flushing in some detail:</p> <blockquote><p class="rteindent1">A courtesy flush can occur during or after the act of defecation, particularly when using public facilities. A courtesy flush is meant to be just that, a courtesy for others. If you know ahead of time you are about to pay the price for last night's overindulgences, you may want to consider flushing the toilet several times during your visit in order to minimize unpleasant odors. The common belief is that most unpleasant odors are generated between delivery and reception, if you get my drift. This type of courtesy flush is supposed to take the offenders out of the game as soon as possible, thus reducing the total exposure time for others.</p> <p>There are others who suggest a courtesy flush should be coordinated with emanations of unknown origin. Trapped gases or explosive diarrhea can create embarrassing sounds, along with a vapor cloud banned as inhumane after World War I. A well-timed courtesy flush should cover up any unexpected developments both tangible and intangible. Arguments against a courtesy flush of this type generally involve the principles of flowing water and suction. Finally, and I for one cannot use that word quickly enough, there is the post-ceremonial courtesy flush. No one likes to leave a bad impression, and few things qualify as well as an unflushed or underflushed toilet. For some users, the paperwork may not be completely finished, which should prompt a courtesy flush in order to leave a clean bowl behind. Others may find a second or even third courtesy flush may be in order to deal with things which cannot seem to accept their fate with dignity.</p> </blockquote> <p class="rteindent1">I think that covers it. But look at the number of uses contained in that long write-up of the humble courtesy flush. There&rsquo;s pre-flushing, mid-flushing, post-flushing, stubborn-stain flushing and strategic flushing to cover embarrassing sounds. </p> <p>In the perfect storm of a bad stomach upset and a particularly embarrassed toilet user, there could be as many as six or seven flushes in one sitting. It could even get into double figures. Even with today&rsquo;s low-flow toilets that use only 1.6 gallons per flush (toilets in the 50&rsquo;s used SEVEN gallons), you&rsquo;re looking at over 10 gallons of water for one toilet visit. </p> <p>Even if you only do one courtesy flush, you&rsquo;re still doubling the number of gallons that should be used in a &ldquo;number two&rdquo; scenario. Now consider that the <a href="http://www.waterinfo.org/resources/water-facts">average African family</a> uses just five gallons of water per day, compared to the astonishing 176 gallons of the average American (not American family, just one American). </p> <p>A courtesy flush here or there may seem like nothing, but you&rsquo;re literally flushing away one of the most valuable commodities on the planet. We use it with reckless abandon while in third world countries, people are traveling for hours in the baking sun for water that we wouldn&rsquo;t wash our dogs with. This is messed up. </p> <p>I say the courtesy flush should be no more. Banish it. Forget it. I don&rsquo;t care if you&rsquo;re producing noxious aromas that would shame a flatulent elephant, it&rsquo;s just not worth it. And as for the embarrassment factor, are you serious? Show me one person who doesn&rsquo;t make sounds in the bathroom and I&rsquo;ll show you a liar. We all do it. So what?</p> <p>If the smells are really troubling to you, there are other solutions. You can invest in odor reduction toilets which release small amounts of deodorant during your toilet stay. You can also buy sprays like <a href="http://www.courtesyflush.com/shoppingcart/">Courtesy Flush </a>which banish odors with a simple squirt.</p> <p><img src="http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t81/pmsuggett/2037335070_4d57b0c66d.jpg" style="width: 339px; height: 254px;" alt="" /></p> <p>Some toilets in Europe have been fitted with two flushes, one heavy and one light, to deal with number one and number two. Makes sense, although some customers have been using the light flush as the courtesy flush. Not good enough. </p> <p>Bottom line; the planet can&rsquo;t afford the courtesy flush any more. If we&rsquo;re down to saving the planet one drop at a time, we can certainly make a difference by eliminating the millions of gallons wasted every year due to politeness or shame. Do your part folks.&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-energizer-bunny-six-products-that-dont-need-batteries">The end of the Energizer bunny: SIX products that don&#039;t need batteries.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-most-businesses-just-going-green-to-save-some-green">Are Most Businesses Going Green Just to Save Some Green?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy">Our Obsession to Clean is Making Us Trashy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Green Living Lifestyle bathroom environment flushing green toilet Thu, 11 Dec 2008 18:49:29 +0000 Paul Michael 2641 at http://www.wisebread.com There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/green burial.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">The web is full of ways to live green, but have you ever thought about being Earth-friendly in your death?<span> </span>While it’s not always pleasant to think about, maybe we should.<span> </span>If you want to be sure that you have a full and ecologically responsible life, maybe “greener” burial products are for you. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The <a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/">Green Burial Council</a>, founded in 2005, has a unique perspective on death and burial services.<span> </span>In an attempt to reduce the “waste” that is caused by traditional American practices, it has created a host of sustainable deathcare options.<span> </span>Yes, I said “deathcare.”<span> </span>Whether you are looking to be buried or cremated, there are better choices, and many of them are far cheaper than the norm.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Before my look at the Green Burial Council, I was unaware of the dangers that come with the continuation of our current burial practices, which include: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Embalming</strong> – This traditional process uses fluids containing formaldehyde, which has the potential to seep into groundwater.<span> </span>While the EPA acknowledges its role as a possible carcinogen, the World Health Organization goes a step further, labeling it as dangerous. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Vaults</strong> – These large concrete “tombs” make up 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete, which end up below ground.<span> </span>They are not required by law, but are often a basic requirement by traditional home funerals and burials. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cremation</strong> – While it leaves far less behind to deal with, cremation has started to cause concern with the amount of fossil fuels required to perform the procedure.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As an increasing number of Baby Boomers make plans for their departure, this has never been a more relevant time for change.<span> </span>With the Council working to <a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/standards.htm">standardized requirements</a> to become a “<a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/conservationburialground.htm">Conservation</a>,” “<a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/naturalburialground.htm">Natural</a>,” or “<a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/hybridburialground.htm">Hybrid</a>” Burial Ground, there may be hope in our lifetime for more responsible practices. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">It may take some adjusting to accept the Best Practices of the GBC, which include home funerals, dry ice preservation for open viewings, and bio-degradable paper shrouds.<span> </span>But if the cost of these uniquely old-fashioned methods is any less than what funeral homes currently require, I think people will become more open to it.<span> </span>For a complete list of green funeral providers, cemeteries, and products near you, see the Council’s <a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/providers.htm">approved list</a>. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><em>Want to see the most fabulously comprehensive piece on green funerals?<span> </span><a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/how-to-green-your-funeral.php">This article at TreeHugger</a> has everything you need to know about green funerals, how to make your wishes known, and where to begin the journey for planning out the end of your journey.</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/times-are-tough-would-you-consider-a-diy-funeral">Times Are Tough; Would You Consider A DIY Funeral?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-most-businesses-just-going-green-to-save-some-green">Are Most Businesses Going Green Just to Save Some Green?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy">Our Obsession to Clean is Making Us Trashy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Green Living burial cremation environment funeral green Wed, 14 May 2008 03:46:32 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2090 at http://www.wisebread.com Our Obsession to Clean is Making Us Trashy http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garbage.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Many people that consider themselves good stewards of their money are careful not to indulge in too many designer shoes, coffee house drinks, or take-out dinners.<span> </span>How often have you considered that your cleaning routine may be the most wasteful habit of them all? </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.greenhome.com/info/news/125.shtml">An article by the Chicago Tribune</a> gives facts that are shocking: </p> <p class="MsoNormal">&quot;If someone were to load all of the disposable wipes purchased by consumers in North America last year onto 18-wheel semis, the caravan would number 9,000 trucks and stretch for 68 miles. And it would be carrying 83,000 tons of these seemingly ephemeral cloths, which are anything but fleeting.&quot; </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The article goes on to mention that 30% of these disposable wipes are used for home cleaning: dusting, mopping, window-washing, and counter-wiping. The popularity of these handy new cleaning options have turned them into a $800 million dollar a year industry. So why is it that we continue to buy these wasteful products?  </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Germ Warfare</strong> – Many of the new “clean n’ toss” products on the market were developed out of a fear of touching dirt.<span> </span>While it was simple for my mother to use the same pair of rubber cleaning gloves all day long, our current culture seems to think that anything that will become dirty must be thrown away!<span> </span>I realize that my toilet bowl scrubber touches my nasty toilet, and therefore, must be stored somewhere safe where the kids won’t use it for a weapon. Does this really mean that I am somehow inferior or “filthy” because I refuse to succumb to the world of using a disposable toilet scrubber on the end of a plastic stick <em>every time</em> I clean? </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The Money Machine</strong> – Many cleaning product companies wouldn’t be in businesses if everyone followed the old cleaning methods of my grandmother’s generation.<span> </span>A dab of baking soda, a little vinegar, and some good old elbow grease are a whole lot cheaper than the aisles and aisles of cleaning gadgets being sold in today’s retail stores.<span> </span>While it is tempting to submit to the instant-gratification of the fresh-smelling, disposable wipe or the single-use dusting cloth, it’s not extra time that I am buying with my extra $3.<span> </span>I’m buying excessive packaging, expensive ad-campaigns, and a whole lot of landfill space. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The Fun Factor</strong> – It may not be as sexy to scrub a spot with my wet washrag.<span> </span>I may not feel as accomplished or “with-it” when I use hot water and vinegar to scrub my floors. While shopping for the next best cleaning gadget may be fun, using it seldom makes any difference in the excitement of my cleaning routine.<span> </span>My trash becomes fuller, however, and my wallet a little lighter.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">What does this mean for you?<span> </span>Take a moment to consider your ideals.<span> </span>If being wasteful is not one of them, maybe it is time to return to a simpler way of cleaning.<span> </span>While the cleaning industry continues to entice us with flushable wipes, we seldom consider the full consequence of this new trend.<span> </span>Cleaner is not always <em>cleaner</em>. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/times-are-tough-would-you-consider-a-diy-funeral">Times Are Tough; Would You Consider A DIY Funeral?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Are we too clean for our own good?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">&quot;Can you spare a square?&quot; 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Green Living clean environment Wed, 09 Jan 2008 06:28:10 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1605 at http://www.wisebread.com Super-Cheap Building Supplies and a Way to Help Your Community! http://www.wisebread.com/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/building supplies.jpg" alt="shelter" title="shelter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I’ll admit that my family is the “cobbling” kind of people.<span> </span>Our depression-era farm house was slapped together in a sturdy, but irregular fashion.<span> </span>So when it comes time to replace windows, doors, or other basic components, we try to do it as cheaply as possible.<span> </span>Last week I discovered ReStore (a project of <a href="http://www.habitat.org/default.aspx">Habitat for Humanity</a>), and I will never shop for home improvements supplies the same way again! </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx">Habitat ReStores</a> are retail outlets where building supply and home improvement companies can donate their quality leftovers for resale to the public.<span> </span>Think “Goodwill” for the DIY’er – these stores have it all!<span> </span>While a little jumbled (you will need to dig around a bit to find what you really want), they have aisles for bathroom fixtures, appliances, tile, windows, doors, décor, lighting, paint, hardware, and more! </p> <p class="MsoNormal">In addition to providing extra funds for the Habitat for Humanity buildings – some Restores generate enough money to build an additional 10 homes per year – the outlets promote environmental responsibility by allowing quality building materials to be recycled. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">While they have a large assortment of used materials, here are some of the brand-new finds we saw at our local <a href="http://www.habitatomaha.org/restore/index.html">Omaha ReStore</a>:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li class="MsoNormal">Pella brand Double-Hung Windows and Doors (originally $1800 – marked down to $500)</li> <li class="MsoNormal">5 Gallons of Exterior Paint for $20</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Boxes of Laminate flooring for $22</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Chandeliers starting at $60</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Boxes of Tile for $10</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Spa tubs for $500</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Did I mention that our family of six FINALLY owns a dishwasher?<span> </span>After many years of begging and pleading with my husband, we brought home a nice pre-owned dishwasher from our Omaha ReStore for $60! </p> <p class="MsoNormal">For the ReStore near you, and an opportunity to get some great deals on those last-minute storm windows or insulation for your home, visit your <a href="http://www.habitat.org/cd/local/">local Habitat for Humanity website</a> and look for the ReStore link.<span> </span>(And for a taste of what ReStore has to offer, check <a href="http://www.habitatstl.org/restore/virtualtour/">out this online tour</a> of the <a href="http://www.habitatstl.org/">St. Louis ReStore</a>!)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-self-tanning-lotion-and-5-other-fabulous-diy-tips-from-the-web">Make Your Own Self-tanning Lotion and 5 Other Fabulous DIY Tips from the Web</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diys-for-a-sparkling-clean-bathroom">8 DIYs For a Sparkling Clean Bathroom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living community DIY environment frugal green Habitat for Humanity home improvement Wed, 31 Oct 2007 20:30:34 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1343 at http://www.wisebread.com Urban Composting - It CAN be done! http://www.wisebread.com/urban-composting-it-can-be-done <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/urban-composting-it-can-be-done" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_7704.JPG" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="248" height="364" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I always thought of composting as something that could only be accomplished by people who have vast back yards, or farms. My mother used to compost our yard and food waste, and it seemed like SUCH a chore. We owned this large, plastic polyhedron where we put all of the waste, and you had to rotate it every few days. It produced some great composting soil, but I figured that in order to achieve such a task, one would need somewhere to stash a big pile of grass clippings, raked leaves, and kitchen waste.</p> <p> Turns out that I was wrong. Almost anyone can compost their food waste. It&#39;s easy, it&#39;s cheap, and it&#39;s SO much better for the environment than just throwing all your organic waste into a landfill. </p> <p>A couple of months ago, I purchased a small ceramic canister for my kitchen counter. I throw all of my food scraps in there - coffee grounds and filters, egg shells, vegetarian meals that have gone bad, apple cores, and soiled paper towels. Once every few days, I throw the contents of the canister into my neighbor&#39;s yard waste container (we have an agreement). If I order pizza, the soiled boxes go in there, too, as do the leaves that I sweep off of my parking spot and front stairs. The City of Seattle <a href="http://www.metrokc.gov/dnrp/swd/garbage-recycling/documents/Food_scrap_recycling-FAQs.pdf">hauls yard waste</a> to a local company for mass composting. </p> <p>That&#39;s about it. It takes no more than 5 minutes of every week to do this, costs me $5 a month (since I pay my neighbor for the use of his yard waste bin), and yet I&#39;ve reduced the amount of normal garbage that I throw away by nearly 1/3. I can live happier knowing that my impact on the planet has been lessened a bit. But for some reason, I can&#39;t convince most of my friends to do the same. </p> <p>It seems that the urban or semi-urban lifestyle leads a lot of people to believe that &quot;messy&quot; things like composting just aren&#39;t possible. But it&#39;s not only possible, it&#39;s really easy! Oh, I&#39;m sure that there are some cities in which the city doesn&#39;t pick up yard waste for composting, and that&#39;s too bad. And some apartment and condo complexes don&#39;t have yard waste bins - but they should! If you&#39;re considering composting, but you live in a building with no yard waste or compost bins, consider checking around the neighborhood and seeing if you can split the cost of yard waste pick-up with a neighbor, like I do. Or, pressure your building management to start providing yard waste receptacles. </p> <p>You don&#39;t even need a ceramic container at all - some people just use a milk jug with the top cut off (I like the ceramic container because the top contains a carbon filter to absorb odors - plus, it keeps the fruit flies inside). Some people even do their composting indoors, using <a href="http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/2007/07/slimy-pets-to-e.html">worm bins</a> or other methods. If you have a balcony, porch, or garage (hell, even the back corner of an parking spot will do), you can compost your food scraps in a small wooden or plastic bin with a little dirt and some earthworms. There are many <a href="http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Easywormbin.htm">online resources </a> that can help you <a href="http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/wormbins.htm">learn how to do this</a>. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/urban-composting-it-can-be-done">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-ways-to-reuse-paper">22 Ways to Reuse Paper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-mulch-a-beginners-guide-for-the-lazy-composter">How to Make Your Own Mulch: A Beginner&#039;s Guide for the Lazy Composter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living compost environment food waste organic waste paper towels recycle urban living Sun, 14 Oct 2007 22:05:52 +0000 Andrea Karim 1287 at http://www.wisebread.com 2 Free Tickets to DiCaprio's New Eco-documentary: The 11th Hour http://www.wisebread.com/2-free-tickets-to-dicaprios-new-eco-documentary-the-11th-hour <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/2-free-tickets-to-dicaprios-new-eco-documentary-the-11th-hour" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/11th_hour.jpg" alt="11th hour" title="11th hour" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="241" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This movie&#39;s promoter is offering one lucky Wise Bread reader <strong>two free tickets to an advanced screening</strong>. <em>Editor&#39;s note: contest is closed, Zot is our winner!</em> </p> <center><p><table width="300" height="325" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr valign="bottom" align="center"><td><a href="http://search.spotxchange.com/imu/69235?cookie_me=true&use=link&nores_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.11thhouraction.com%2F" target="_blank"><img style="border: 0; margin: 0; padding: 0;" src="http://search.spotxchange.com/static_call/imu/channel_id=69235|cookie_me=true|req_id=NEW|ad_type=postroll|use=redirect|iab_imu=five_one_rectangle|media_format=FlashVideo|media_transcoding=high|nores_url=http://www.guerillapr.com/11thhour/11thhouraction.gif/ad.gif" width="300" height="60" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr valign="top" align="center"><td><object width="300px" height="265px" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.popsmack.net/adserve/~aid~138.SWF" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /><param name="FlashVars" value="cfgXml=http://www.guerillapr.com/11thHour/11th_hour_config.xml" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" src="http://www.popsmack.net/adserve/~aid~138.SWF" width="300px" height="265px" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" allowFullScreen="true" FlashVars="cfgXml=http://www.guerillapr.com/11thHour/11th_hour_config.xml" ></embed></object></td></tr></table></p></center> <p><a href="http://wip.warnerbros.com/11thhour/">The 11th Hour</a> is a documentary that unflinchingly examines our devastating impact on the ecosystem. Narrated and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film features <a href="http://www.11thhouraction.com/people">commentary from experts</a> such as Stephen Hawking, Mikhail Gorbachev, Wangari Maathai, Ray Anderson, Betsy Taylor, Thom Harmann, and Bill McKibben. The film</p> <blockquote><p>takes us through a quick remedial history of humankind, from the birth of life through our evolutionary history to the current moment, when our impact on the ecosystem is threatening our own survival. While Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros plays mournful melodies, <em>The 11th Hour</em> parades shots of natural beauty and horrible abuses before us. <a href="http://jurgenfauth.com/">Jürgen Fauth</a> for <a href="http://worldfilm.about.com/od/documentaryfilms/fr/11thHour.htm">About.com</a> . </p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.ecorazzi.com/?p=3326">Ecorazzi</a> describes the movie as</p> <blockquote><p>heavy, but promising. Walk in with an open mind (and maybe a notebook, as Thomas notes in his review) and be prepared to feel helpless and sometimes downright terrified before you feel enabled and inspired. </p></blockquote> <p>I haven&#39;t seen the movie yet, but I do know that <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmJgZxTMQMM">Sigur Ros and planet earth make an awesome combo</a>. By the way, I took a shot and requested an interview with Leo and <a href="http://www.11thhouraction.com/node/76">Betsy Taylor</a>, so if you guys have any ideas for questions I can ask please feel free to leave a suggestion. </p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-free-tickets-to-dicaprios-new-eco-documentary-the-11th-hour">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/urban-composting-it-can-be-done">Urban Composting - It CAN be done!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community">Super-Cheap Building Supplies and a Way to Help Your Community!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living 11th hour DiCaprio documentary environment Wed, 15 Aug 2007 15:53:26 +0000 Will Chen 1005 at http://www.wisebread.com The end of the Energizer bunny: SIX products that don't need batteries. http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-energizer-bunny-six-products-that-dont-need-batteries <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/701590_rusty_battery.jpg" alt="battery" title="battery" width="300" height="224" /></p> <p>Since I became a father, my household&#39;s battery consumption has quadrupled. It seems like we&#39;re always running out of batteries, or batteries go &quot;missing&quot; from my tools, flashlights and other household items to make their way inside one of a dozen Fisher Price toys. I swear, Duracell and Energizer have some kind of secret deal going with the big toy companies.</p> <p>Anyway, I decided to take a look at a few products that have replaced batteries with something else. Be it a dynamo or kinetic energy or solar power, these are my top SIX picks of the battery-free products out there. Let&#39;s all raise our glasses to lower proft margins for the drum-banging bunny this year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/41YJ6BEG16L__AA280_.jpg" alt="Dynamo Light" title="Dynamo Light" width="198" height="198" /></p> <p><strong>1:</strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009H50OA?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0009H50OA">Dynamo Illuminator Wind-up LED Flashlight</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B0009H50OA" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p>Simply turn the handle for just one minute and get one hour of continuous light. Ideal for the car or the emergency flashlight in your home, and it&#39;s cheap at less than $12.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/41ZRN1Z13EL__SS400_.jpg" alt="red radio" title="red radio" width="304" height="304" /></p> <p><strong>2: </strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KELFAA?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000KELFAA">Grundig FR200 Emergency Radio (Red)</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000KELFAA" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p>This one&#39;s a little harder work, giving you just 10 minutes of radio time for 1 minute of cranking. However, after reading over 100 reviews it seems as though people don&#39;t mind this fact because the thing is built like a bomb shelter. And if you consider when you need to use a gadget like this, maybe in something like a Katrina situation, I&#39;ll take some cranking work in exchange for a functioning connection to the outside world. Less than $40. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/41oAkG1vwJL__SS400_.jpg" alt="tent" title="tent" width="317" height="317" /></p> <p><strong>3:</strong> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PER2A2?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000PER2A2">Eureka! Solar Intent Large 6-person Tent with Interior Lighting</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000PER2A2" width="1" height="1" /><strong><br /></strong></p> <p>I&#39;m still impressed by this piece of equipment. A six-person solar-powered tent that gives you beautiful light at night and also charges batteries for you. It&#39;s 11ft x 11ft, 6ft 6&quot; tall and also has a window and 3 vents. It&#39;s also not much more expensive than regualr tents of the same size, coming in at $230. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/313E6JKAHJL__AA280_.jpg" alt="Shower" title="Shower" width="217" height="217" /></p> <p><strong>4:</strong> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FI6SE4?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000FI6SE4">Reliance Solar Spray Shower</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000FI6SE4" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p>As we&#39;re on the subject of camping, say goodbye to cold showers. This handy 5-gallon shower comes with solar panels to heat the water. Just hang it in the sun for around 2.5 hours and then enjoy a nice hot shower in less than favorable weather. At just $10, it&#39;s an affordable luxury away from home.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/31fjlubXWML__AA280_.jpg" alt="Charger" title="Charger" width="266" height="266" /></p> <p><strong>5:</strong> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000S869KO?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000S869KO">Rustek Athena Mobile Phone Charger</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000S869KO" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p>How many times has your phone gone dead on you? Well, if you&#39;re out and about this could be a handy thing to keep around. Using a dynamo it allows you to basically &quot;wind up&quot; your cell phone and start talking again. This one comes with adaptors for most phones and is under $25. I found others that also have lights and radios built in, but I say get something that is made for the job at hand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/41ZSXF13JBL__AA280_.jpg" alt="watch" title="watch" width="280" height="280" /></p> <p><strong>6: </strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000275SHG?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000275SHG">Men&#39;s Seiko Kinetic Bilingual calendar SKJ262</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000275SHG" width="1" height="1" /> </p> <p>I&#39;ve never liked wind-up watches because my memory sucks. If I forget to wind, I could have a dead watch on me. And I hate that. Of course, batteries are more reliable but they die aswell. So for me, Kinetic watches are the way to go and Seiko is a great name to rely on. Most come in at around the $300 mark, but I found this beauty for $120 brand new. Fossil supposedly make a Kinetic line, too. </p> <p>On my travel I also discovered items like the wireless battery-free optical mouse and even a clockwork vibrator, but alas I could find no-one who stocked either. But watch this space.</p> <p> <em>Main photo (yes, I know it&#39;s not an Energizer battery) by <a href="http://www.sxc.hu/photo/701590">The Stock Exchange</a> </em></p> <p><em>All product links go to Amazon, a trusted site. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-energizer-bunny-six-products-that-dont-need-batteries">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make">The 7 Dumbest Big Purchases People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/convert-your-crap-into-cash-without-a-garage-sale">Convert Your Crap Into Cash Without a Garage Sale</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-disappearance-of-real-america-my-guest-post-at-zen-habits">The disappearance of real America - my guest post at Zen Habits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Lifestyle Shopping batteries charge dynamo environment green power wind up Mon, 23 Jul 2007 20:00:54 +0000 Paul Michael 891 at http://www.wisebread.com