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Showing posts from 2011

Eiffel Tower Goes GREEN?

Someone has a lofty horticultural vision for Paris!

It was announced recently that there are plans to cover the Eiffel Tower in 600,000 plants for 2012.  Can you imagine?  The $96 million plan is the work of Ginger (an engineering group) Vinci (a construction company) and architect Claude Bucher, who say they have built a prototype several meters high.

The plants would be attached to the tower in bags and would be irrigated by a series of watering tubes.  The plan calls to allow the plants to grow until being removed in 2016.

French newspaper Le Figaro is calling the carbon-neutral project the "lungs of Paris." Other newspapers referred to it as the "largest tree."

The City of Paris immediately denied the project will happen.  They said they get "crazy" ideas all the time.  So we won't see a "living" Eiffel Tower, but it is an interesting idea.

Check out this link to Chemicallygreen.com which shows examples of fantastic "living" …

Clarifying The American Clean Energy and Security Act

This post is in response to a letter written in my local paper recently, in which the writer wrongly stated that thanks to the passing of H.R. 2454 homeowners would no longer be able to sell their homes without meeting energy & water efficiency standards.  The writer must have misunderstood or not read the entire bill, because that's NOT what was approved.

As a Realtor member of the National Association of Realtors, I know that this is not true.  It may be true in other countries, as energy audits are common in some European nations, but it is not the case here.

Following is NAR's Myths and Facts about The American Clean Energy and Security Act as found on NAR's website.


NAR Myths and Facts The American Clean Energy and Security Act National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20001
On June 26, the House of Representative approved H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Since then, there have been…

Little Green Things Adding Up!

Do you ever wonder if all the little things you're doing to be GREENER add up?  I know they do, but recently I've been feeling like I can actually SEE the difference, and it's pretty uplifting!

Reusable Bags was the trigger.  I've been using reusable shopping bags for a long time.  I've always liked how CVS Pharmacy rewards me for doing so through the green bag tag program.  For $1 I bought a green tag and bring my own shopping bag with me.  Each time I remember to have the cashier scan my tag adds up, and for every 4 times they give me back a $1 coupon.  I looked down at my receipt the other day to find I'd used my tag something like 44 times this year.  That was pretty nice to see that I'd saved that many plastic shopping bags AND that I'd earned $11 back for doing what I would have done anyway.  As a side note on the reusable bags, I recently organized my pantry and found I had twice as many bags as I'll ever need.  (I have some canvas bags that …

Day 365 Totals on our Solar Panels

Here it is - Day 365
How many kWh we generated on 5 November, 2011 by 4pm that day:





How many pounds of carbon dioxide we've saved in 365 days:


Nice.

Happy 1st Anniversary to my Solar Panels!

In just 2 days we mark the anniversary of turning on the power to the solar panels!  


It may be a little premature to announce what the costs were, as well as how many hours we used, etc., and I can't give you a full year's analysis yet, but I can compare recent months to the same months the year before, and talk about how much of a difference I can see in the first 10 months.  


January-October of 2010 we used 7,751 kWh. 
January-October of 2011 we used 125 kWh.  Yes, 125.  Since March 2011 we've generated more power than we've used, resulting in 0 usage for every month since then!  As I once stated, our utility company, Connecticut Light & Power, charges us 
$16/month just to be connected, so that has been our monthly electric bill since March.  Of course, we are paying our monthly solar lease payments as well.  It will be interesting to be able to compare the winter months as well as the full year.


One of the months, February, is completely off, and I wish I'd loo…

Do These Jeans Make my Butt Look GREEN?

Time for a little GREEN recap of happenings of late!

We're back from the DisneyWorld trip to celebrate the little guy's birthday, but I'm still feeling kind of guilty over how much waste there was on the trip.  I suppose most of that was beyond our control, and at least we did the following to keep things on the GREEN side:

bought reusable mugs (cutting down the number of cups we would have tossed)
took public transportation (cutting down on emissions)
reused towels & sheets (cutting down on water usage)
ate at as many table service restaurants as we could (cutting down on disposable plates & flatware)
recycled our glassware, plastic bottles & newspapers

There is consolation in knowing that Disney does a lot of work in conservation.  (I had to tell myself that as I cringed at throwing away things I normally would have recycled at home, but also kept in mind all the good things I discovered about how GREEN the Disney Company is in a previous post.)  On a side n…

More GREEN Reads

It's the Autumnal Equinox!  Happy 1st Day of Autumn Everyone!

I'm celebrating by making a pumpkin angel food cake for a friend.  (I may have to make a few more because it's so good I think we need one for us as well!)

I've been working my way through 2 very different books recently.  One is a quick, easy read that I can read with my 7 year old that has a lot of information I already know but it's the kind of stuff I want to share with my little guy.  The other is the kind of book that I want to get through, but I'm struggling because it's a bit more complex reading and by the end of the night I'm thinking I should just watch the PBS documentary that goes along with the book.


This is the book I'm flying through.  Author Scott Meyer is a former editor-in-chief of Organic Gardening magazine.  The chapters are organized as such:

Growing Your Own
Going Wild for Food
Save it for Later
Working with Animals
Caring for the Home
Then there's an appendix (…

My Blog Turns 3 Today!

Looking back 3 years ago, I never would have guessed that I would have readers from around the globe, or what an amazing experience this would be.  I've connected with other bloggers out there and made friends & connections I never would have otherwise.  The other main benefit is that it's been a constant reminder to live GREEN, to keep reading up on related topics, to research and seek out information.  I've found really informative websites, all kinds of vendors, and talked to so many people who are GREEN in their own ways and inspire me to keep it up.

Funniest or most unexpected things on the blog?  This photo of tennis star Monica Seles helping me promote my real estate listing at Knowles Landing is THE most widely downloaded photo!  I get heaps of international visitors looking at it!


Then there was the surprise of the author of a book I discussed on my blog actually visiting my blog and writing to me about it!  Thanks, Wendy Brown!  I was kind of awed by that.

Lessons I Learned from Irene

We sat in the dark for 5 long days...no running water.  We lost all the food in our refrigerator & freezer.  Trees and wires down everywhere.  No cell service for 24 hrs.  Then, as we were going to bed last night, the lights came back on.  Cheers erupted throughout my neighborhood.  Still no cable, phone or Internet (sorry no photos because I'm writing this on a computer which is not my own) but having running water makes all the difference in the world.  It could be so much worse, really.  So many of our friends are still without power and no hope of getting it before Tuesday.  Also, my thoughts go out to the flood victims in Vermont and other areas.

So I thought I'd take a sec to share what I've learned from this experience.

*  Hubby was brilliant when he insisted that we have a propane cooking stove 8 years ago.  Brilliant I tell you.
*  If you have to fill your tub with water because of the threat of power outage, use duct or electrical tape to cover the drain firs…

Day 5 No Power

We've been out of power for 5 days now after the hurricane.  No running water and limited access to Internet or cell phone signals (a cell tower is down in our area.)  I'll put up a proper post when I can get to a computer. 

Best to all of you.  Hope everyone is safe.

Preparing for a Hurricane (& Stocking the Cocktail Cabinet)

With all the buzz about Hurricane Irene coming up the coast and SLAMMING us on Sunday, I've decided to get a jump start on preparing for it.  The news reports this morning are predicting we could be out of power for days.  (Wait...could this be the Apocalypse in the Suburbs I mentioned in a recent post?)



The National Hurricane Center says I should have certain items in my Disaster Supply Kit.


Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices— foods for infants or the elderly— snack foods— non-electric can opener— cooking tools / fuel— paper plates / plastic utensils
Blankets / Pillows, etc.
Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
Special Items - for babies and the elderly
Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
Flashlight / Batteries
Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery …

CBS Connecticut's Most Valuable Blogger!

It is such an honor to be named a FINALIST for CBS Connecticut's Most Valuable Blogger Award!  Little bit exciting, right?  Ah, it's the little things that make me happy, n'est pas?


(Please vote for my blog!  A big thanks for doing so!)
Know what else makes me happy these days?  My carriage house project is FINALLY starting to take shape!  This was the progress as of yesterday (only the 2nd day of framing!)

Today they put down the floor for the 2nd fl.  Slowly, slowly the work continues...I can't wait for it to be closer to finished so we can talk about all the ways we're going to try to make it GREEN!
It's been a while since I shared an update on our 40 panel photovoltaic array.  The solar panels have been cranking out the electricity all summer!  Each month my electric bill has been all of $16 (even with the air conditioning & TV going in our in-law apartment several hours per day!)  We've been generating around 35 kWh per day of electricity, and it appea…

GREEN Summer Finds :)

Hi Blog Friends! It's been a while - we've been busy having our "Not Bummer Summer" (thanks Judy Moody for inspiring that!) and taking vacations and such.  Thought I'd catch up for a moment and share some of the great GREEN finds I've made in my travels.


Found this great little shop in Ogunquit, Maine last month that does personalizing, where they carried all these funny magnets and this one made me smile :)  I also picked one up that says YAY!  BEES! for one of my real estate clients (and friends!)  Speaking of real estate - man, it's been a hard summer.  Contracts that had previously going along swimmingly are drowning left and right over circumstances beyond my control.  It's really frustrating.  Even more frustrating is how difficult it has become for so many buyers to become homeowners.  I've said it before, but really it's creating a large demand for rentals in my market and they're so hard to come by.

On my way home from the Greater H…