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What is Rope Caulk?

September 3rd, 2013 | Posted by EnergyEarth in Ask the Expert | Green Tips - (0 Comments)

Rope caulk is a putty-like substance that is used primarily for sealing drafts in windows or around door frames. The caulk is sold in long rope-like rolls which can be cut or torn off to the desired length. The caulk is pressed into a gap in the window pane or frame and seals the void, preventing air from passing through and increasing efficiency. Rope caulk is often easier to use than a conventional caulking gun and tube of caulk due to its ability to be pressed into tight spaces where it may be difficult to operate a caulking gun.

What is Rope Caulk? {The Dirt on Green}

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Liz West.

When applying rope caulk to a window or door, clean the surfaces of the window first where the caulking will be applied. A dirty surface can create a poor seal between the caulk and the window pane. Dirt and debris hinder the rope caulking from adhering, and the material may peel off after a short time, meaning the caulking will need to be re-applied to the window. After cleaning the surfaces, allow them to thoroughly dry before the caulk is applied.

What is Rope Caulk? {The Dirt on Green}

An installation trick is to dip the rope caulk into a container of lukewarm water for a few seconds prior to pressing it into place. This creates a more pliable caulk, which is easier to press into small gaps. The caulk should not be left in the water for any prolonged period of time as the water will soon dissolve the caulk and render it useless. When using the water-dip application method, a pair of disposable rubber gloves will keep the sticky caulk from attaching itself to any exposed skin.

What is Rope Caulk? {The Dirt on Green}

Temperature is the key to a successful rope caulk installation. The window should be no colder on its exterior surface than it is on its interior. Applying rope caulk to a window that is cold outside and warm inside will usually result in a failed adhesion of the caulk and an air draft. Rope caulk should be applied in the early fall months in most areas. This will allow the seal to set prior to cold weather setting in.

What is Rope Caulk? {The Dirt on Green}

Available in either grey or brown, rope caulk looks great, is easy to apply and cleans up well with water. The caulking compound creates a durable seal against most types of weather when installed correctly, and will reduce wasted energy from drafty windows and door frames. Before applying, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying this product and store or dispose of any unused materials according to the package and local specifications.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Via WiseGEEK (edited).

Our Top 5 LED Light Bulb Picks

August 29th, 2013 | Posted by EnergyEarth in Green Tips - (1 Comments)

Thinking of making the switch to LED light bulbs? Now is a great time! Not only will you save hundreds over the lifetime of these bulbs, you won’t be hassled with frequent burn outs or changing light bulbs. Make your life a little easier and your wallet a little fatter with these great energy efficient lighting choices today!

Our Top 5 LED Light Bulb Picks {The Dirt on Green}

Feit LED 7.5 Watt (40 watt replacement) Dimmable A19 in Warm White (3000 Kelvins)

This dimmable FEIT LED bulb features an A shape and a standard medium base. Replace your 40 watt incandescent light bulb and use just 7.5 watts. Only $9.95 and estimated to save you more than $100 over its 25,000 hour rated lifetime. If you use this bulb for an average of 3 hours every day, this bulb could last over 20 years! And even after 20 years it still has our 4ever Limited Lifetime Warranty. It’s quite the energy efficient steal!

Our Top 5 LED Light Bulb Picks {The Dirt on Green}

Greenlite LED 8 Watt (40 watt replacement) Dimmable A19 in Warm White (3000 Kelvins)

Greenlite’s 8 watt dimmable A19 LED lamp uses approximately 80% less electricity than a traditional 40 watt incandescent light bulb, making it a great replacement. On top of that, its 25,000 hour rated life makes it an ideal solution for hard to reach areas where a medium amount of light is needed and its medium base means it will fit in nearly any of your existing sockets!

Our Top 5 LED Light Bulb Picks {The Dirt on Green}

TCP LED 8 Watt (40 watt replacement) Dimmable A19 in Warm White (2700 Kelvins)

This dimmable TCP LED bulb features a traditional A shape and a universal medium base. Replace your inefficient 40 watt incandescent light bulbs with this 8 watt LED with an outstanding 35,000 hour rated life today for unmistakable savings and convenience!

Our Top 5 LED Light Bulb Picks {The Dirt on Green}

TCP LED 12 Watt (60 watt replacement) A19 in Warm White (2700 Kelvins)

This 12 watt TCP LED bulb features a classic A shape, a medium base and a comfortable, warm white color just like the incandescent light bulbs you’re used to. Makes a great, energy efficient replacement for a 60 watt incandescent light bulb while using just 12 watts and features an exceptional 35,000 hour rated life – that’s 35 times a regular incandescent bulb!

Our Top 5 LED Light Bulb Picks {The Dirt on Green}

TCP LED 14 Watt (85 watt replacement) Dimmable PAR38 in Warm White (2700 Kelvins)

This dimmable PAR38 TCP LED bulb has a medium base, making it perfect for recessed lighting throughout your home or office. Replaces an 85 watt incandescent light bulb while using just 14 watts and features an unmatched 50,000 hour rated life.

Don’t see the bulb you need here? Check out the rest of our wide selection of energy efficient LED lighting!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

6 Green Back-to-School Tips

August 1st, 2013 | Posted by EnergyEarth in Green Tips - (0 Comments)

1. Take Inventory of Your Supplies. Before heading out to the store, check last year’s supplies for nearly-empty notebooks or extra pencils and erasers. Rip out used notebook pages and reuse it for a different class, redecorate old pencil boxes and refill old mechanical pencils with new lead rather than buying new ones!

2. Green Your Electronics. Computers, graphing calculators, printers, e-readers and many other school supplies these days plug in or run on batteries. Purchase rechargeable batteries and invest in a couple of smart power strips. They might be a bit pricier up front, but they are completely worth it. Rechargeable batteries can be used hundreds of times, while green power strips stop drawing electricity from electronics and appliances when not in use without any effort on your part – you’ll save money and have one less thing to think about!

3. Opt for Used Books. Save money and greatly reduce your impact by buying used, opting for ebooks or renting this year’s textbooks – some schools are even experimenting with online textbooks, reducing both your costs and strain on your backpack! Check with your school or university for easy used and rental options.

6 Green Back-to-School Tips {The Dirt on Green}

Photo courtesy of Flickr user bsabarnowl.

4. Green Your Commute. According to the EPA, school buses drive 25 million students about 4 billion miles every year in America – that’s a lot of fuel! To help make your daily trip to and from school more sustainable, join the EPA’s Clean School Bus Campaign and check to see if your child’s bus is a newer model that already meets higher emissions standards or an older bus that needs to follow stricter green standards.

5. Get a Reusable Lunch Box. Bringing a brown paper bag filled with baggies or pre-packaged snacks to school every day can add up to a lot of trash quickly. Invest in a lunchbox, reusable plastic containers, cloth napkins and a thermos to save money and eliminate nearly 70 pounds of trash each year (US EPA) – and don’t forget to lead by example and start bringing your own lunchbox to work, too!

6 Green Back-to-School Tips {The Dirt on Green}

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mr Moss.

6. Sell and Swap Last Year’s Uniforms and Outfits. Every school year requires new clothes, but that doesn’t have to mean a shopping spree at the mall. Organize a clothing swap among your friends or pay a visit to local consignment shops and thrift stores you can pass on those too small tops and shorts to another grateful parent and your child could end up with a new favorite tee or hoodie. Even if your school requires uniforms, everyone will be just as happy to trade in their too small shirts, pants and skirts for “new” ones that fit!

—The EnergyEarth Team

Everyone loves a good shower. To help you save money, water and energy without compromising comfort, we picked three of our favorite water saving shower heads! (But really, who could choose? They’re all so great!)

Our Top 3 Low Flow Shower Head Picks {The Dirt on Green}

AM Conservation White Spoiler Shower Head

This eye-catching white and chrome water saving 2.0 gallons per minute (GPM) shower head features an adjustable spray selection between a conventional spray and a more focused massage stream, a pressure compensator to deliver a consistent spray velocity over a wide range of water pressures, a non-aerating spray to reduce heat loss and increase comfort and an anti-sediment screen to prevent line debris from clogging.

Our Top 3 Low Flow Shower Head Picks {The Dirt on Green}

Niagara Earth Massage Handheld

This beautiful chrome water saving hand held shower head uses a non-removable flow-compensator to guarantee a feeling of great force while using a maximum of 1.5 GPM. The non-aerated 9-jet turbo massage is adjustable, ranging from a gentle needle spray to a forceful jet. It delivers a consistent flow rate regardless of the water pressure and features a handy 72″ hose!

Our Top 3 Low Flow Shower Head Picks {The Dirt on Green}

AM Conservation Chrome Handheld Shower Head

This striking chrome water saving 2.0 GPM hand held shower head features an adjustable spray selection between a conventional spray and a more focused massage stream. A pressure compensator delivers a consistent spray velocity over a wide range of water pressures, a non-aerating spray to reduce heat loss and increase comfort and an anti-sediment screen to prevent line debris from clogging. The 4’ foot hose makes it easy to use and versatile for washing kids and pets!

Didn’t find the low flow shower head that was right for you? Check out the rest of our wide selection of water efficient shower heads and start saving every drop today!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We know this is what recycling feels like sometimes…

7 Tips to Make Recycling Easy! {The Dirt on Green}

via Doghouse Diaries

…but it doesn’t have to be that way! Trust us, we used to be overwhelmed by the daunting world of #647 plastic, recyclable paper products (what exactly is this mixed paper?) and steel vs. aluminum cans. Here are a few of our favorite tips to help you help the planet and your wallet.

  1. Curbside pickup or drop-off location? This handy recycling center locator helps you find where to drop off your recyclables and what kinds of materials each location accepts – just put in your zip code all the locations in your area. They even have an app for iPhone and Android!
  2. Plastic bottle caps are usually recyclable along with the bottle, and don’t worry about rinsing plastic or glass bottles before recycling.
  3. Although you can’t recycle the whole pizza box, tear off and recycle the top half, as long as it’s grease-free.
  4. Many recycling programs don’t accept paper cups because of the waxy lining, but don’t forget to recycle the cardboard sleeve.
  5. In addition to grocery bags, recycle dry cleaning, newspaper bags, plastic film on products like paper towels and bread bags.
  6. Keep bags for both trash and recycling in your car. Pre-sorting makes it easier to recycle on the go!
  7. Buy products made from recycled material. Recycling is the first step, the material is processed and the final step is up to you – keep recycled content products in demand!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Let Light Bulbs Dream

July 4th, 2013 | Posted by EnergyEarth in Green Tips - (0 Comments)

Let Light Bulbs Dream {The Dirt on Green}

 

Design company Hudson-Powell created this endearing poster, encouraging us to show light bulbs a bit of compassion and turn them off when not in use.

Simply can’t seem to remember to flip that switch off? Check out these energy saving lighting controls that will help you save money and energy without a second thought.

Love the poster? Buy it here. All proceeds go to Do the Green Thing, a non-profit organization that aims to inspire people to lead a greener life.

—The EnergyEarth Team

Via Do the Green Thing.

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ditch the Disposables - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

1. Ditch the disposables. Reusable tableware will save you money and lower your impact on the environment. Worried about an enormous pile of dishes after your get-together? Try asking your guests to bring their own plates or pitch in with cleaning duties.

Skip the Fireworks - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

2. Skip the fireworks. Stay safe and avoid the toxic fumes this year with fun alternatives like biodegradable confetti, a bonfire, attending a parade or light show and other fun activities. If you simply have to get your fireworks fix, try attending your city or community’s display instead or setting off your own at home.

Choose Real Food - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

3. Choose real food. It’s no secret that real, homemade food tastes better, but did you know that it can also help lower your impact? Highly processed snacks and ingredients often travel farther and have a larger carbon footprint than their simpler, often regionally-sourced alternatives. And did we mention that it tastes better?

Cool Down with Homemade Treats - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

4. Cool down with homemade treats. Turn off the air conditioner and step outside with a delicious fruity (or creamy!) popsicle. You can even make some for your furry guests!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Planey Earth

1. EnergyEarth’s own Home Energy Audit. Just answer a few questions about your home; we’ll help you figure out problem areas and give you personalized product suggestions to help you save money, water and energy. We don’t want to brag (okay, maybe we do), but we haven’t seen another online audit quite as helpful for figuring out how to make realistic, practical changes as this one.

2. Global Footprint Network’s fun and interactive Footprint Calculator helps you determine approximately how much of the Earth’s natural resources you use each year, along with tips on how to reduce your impact based on your answers. We actually had a lot of fun figuring out our global footprint, even if the results weren’t as stellar as we hoped they would be.

Calculator

3. World Wildlife Federation’s EcoGuru calculator is a quick and fairly simple footprint calculator that provides simple overall footprint results (no breakdown, unfortunately) and compares it to world averages, which is pretty interesting to note. They also offer a handy to-do list full of helpful tips to green your lifestyle.

4. The EPA’s Emissions Calculator is aimed at kids, encouraging them to think about their actions and how they affect the environment. It is set up sort of like a quiz and suggests actions that kids can take by themselves or with the help of parents and other family members, showing the results of their actions in pounds of CO2 they can reduce from entering the atmosphere.

Footprints in the Sand

5. Conservation International has two handy tools: one to measure your eco-footprint and one to calculate your carbon footprint (yes, those can be two different things!). One is more about how you choose to recycle, the items you purchase, etc., while the other is more your home, your car and your travel habits. Both are integral to your usage of natural resources and are very interesting to see broken down separately. Like the others, they provide unique conservations tips that can make a big difference without meaning living entirely off the grid or never leaving your house.

So that’s our round-up for now, but we know there many more out there that can help you calculate your impact and guide you to greening your lifestyle. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shop smarter, eat more healthily and save money while you’re at it. Who said being healthy had to be difficult or expensive?

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

1. Bring your own bags. A lot of stores will give you a discount for bringing them! Pick up a few on your next trip or upcycle your own to save money. Make sure to wash them regularly for safety, especially when buying produce and meat.

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

2. Buy in bulk whenever possible. Bulk foods use less packaging and often cost less. If your local store allows, you can even bring your own bulk food containers.

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

3. Bring your coupons! Look for coupons for your favorite brands – including organics, produce, eco-friendly cleaners and more in your local newspaper and online on retailers’ websites.

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

4. Regrow your veggies. For stalk vegetables and leafy greens, keep the base intact while you’re chopping the rest, then place the base in water (leaving the top uncovered) near a window and wait for leaves to sprout!

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

5. If you can, walk to the store! You’ll burn a few calories and reduce CO2 emissions while getting your errands done.

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

6. Choose local products and shop seasonably whenever possible to reduce your dinner plate’s carbon footprint. And don’t forget to buy organic when it’s available! Not sure how it’s grown? The code on the little sticker will actually help you choose your produce:

Four-digit code – conventional

Five-digit code starting with 8 – genetically modified (GMO)

Five-digit code starting with 9 – organic

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

7. Consider healthier meat choices such as grass-fed beef, all-natural poultry, and line caught fish. It’s better for you and the planet.

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

8. Make a list! Buying things you don’t need and may not eat can mean that food will spoil before it’s used, wasting money and resources.

Go Green at the Grocery Store – 9 Ways to Shop and Eat Eco-Friendly {The Dirt on Green}

9. Shopping during off hours when you can, especially during the summer. Fewer cars are on the road and people in the store means less headache for you, less peak CO2 emissions added to the atmosphere and less air conditioning needed to cool the store!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen

June 11th, 2013 | Posted by EnergyEarth in Green Tips - (0 Comments)

1. Install a low flow faucet aerator. Faucet aerators not only reduce water consumption, they’ll save you around $50 each year in related energy costs.

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}

2. Check your refrigerator and freezer’s temperatures with a refrigerator thermometer or an eco-friendly temperature card. Setting your refrigerator and freezer at the best temperature is essential – a fridge that is 10°F (5°C) degrees colder than necessary uses 25% more energy. Refrigerators should be kept between 35°F (1°C) and 38F (3°C), freezers at 0°F (-17°C).

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green} 7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}

3. Go natural with dish soaps and kitchen cleaners. Many dish soaps and detergents are harmful, water-polluting aren’t biodegradable. Instead, choose plant-based, biodegradable soaps cleaners to wash dishes and clean counters or make your own.

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}

4. Change out your overhead lighting for LED lights and CFL bulbs. Highly efficient lighting goes beyond selecting the right light bulb. A wide range of energy saving light bulbs, fixtures and accessories can make any space beautiful and efficient.

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}

5. Keep a water pitcher in your fridge. Kick the water bottle and for cool, clean tap water (if the water in your area is safe to drink) without having to run the sink to let the water run cold. You’ll save plastic and money. Fancy it up with a few citrus wedges or cucumber slices.

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}

6. Monitor your appliances. Energy monitoring devices provide clear data on where electricity goes, how efficiently it’s used and what the costs are. A monitor isn’t a substitute for your electricity bill; however, it can provide a good indication of how much a particular appliance is costing you. 

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}

7. Invest in quality reusable food storage containers. You’ll save by keeping food fresher longer and using less disposable packaging like plastic wrap and tin foil! 

7 Tips to Green Your Kitchen {The Dirt on Green}

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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