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Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui {The Dirt on Green}

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui {The Dirt on Green}

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui {The Dirt on Green}

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui {The Dirt on Green}

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui {The Dirt on Green}

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui {The Dirt on Green}

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui {The Dirt on Green}

Globally-renowned contemporary artist El Anatsui’s solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum features twelve monumental wall and floor sculptures made from recycled metal and wood. According to the museum’s website, Anatsui converts found materials into original sculptures combining aesthetic traditions from his birthplace in Ghana, his home in Nigeria and global abstraction.

The metal wall works are largely comprised of bottle caps from a distillery in Nsukka, Nigeria, pieced together to form colorful textured hangings in experimental new shapes. The materials’ nomadic history reflects the artist’s own background combined with African, European and American cultural influences through a new, yet distinctly African, medium.

See it now through August 4th only at the Brooklyn Museum. Admission is free to the public, but a donation is suggested to keep great art like this on display.

—The EnergyEarth Team

Photos ©Eva Blue (used with permission); everything else ©2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We all know rechargeable batteries are better for the environment. But most of the time, it’s so much easier just to pick up a pack of the least expensive single-use batteries at the corner store when we need them. Did you know that rechargeable batteries cost significantly less overall and have a much lower environmental impact than disposable batteries? While they may cost a bit more initially, these energy saving accessories can be recharged and used hundreds of times, saving you money and helping you stay green with ease.

Why Use Rechargeable Batteries? {The Dirt on Green}

How do rechargeable batteries work?

Rechargeable batteries come in many sizes and types. Since we carry only rechargeable NiMH batteries, we’ll take a look at how they work specifically.

Rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries, or NiMH batteries, work in very much the same way its more common disposable counterpart does. However, NiMH batteries use a combination of nickel oxyhydroxide positive electrodes (NiOOH) and hydrogen-absorbing negative electrodes instead of cadmium or other, more harmful materials. A NiMH battery can have 2-3 times the capacity of cheaper batteries of the same capacity.

Why Use Rechargeable Batteries? {The Dirt on Green}

Rayovac Platinum AA Batteries

Why should you use them?

–          You’ll save money. Like we said, rechargeable batteries may cost more initially, but they can be reused hundreds of times and last for years, costing you significantly less overall.

–          You’ll help protect the environment. All batteries contain corrosive materials and heavy metals, even rechargeable ones. The fewer batteries produced and used, the fewer that get tossed.

–          You’ll conserve natural resources. Because rechargeable batteries can be used over and over, far fewer need to be manufactured.

–          You’ll reduce waste. Since you won’t be throwing away all those single-use batteries, they won’t end up in landfills or fill up your recycle bin nearly as quickly.

—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.

The unmistakable flavor of cool creamy ranch – homemade with only natural, wholesome ingredients at a fraction of the price of those little packets you can buy at the store. Go on, indulge a little while you eat your vegetables.

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

Here’s what you’ll need for the mix:

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

Combine all of the spices in a small container and mix. Store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

To make dressing, combine 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon spice mix and salt, to taste.

To make dip, simply combine 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 tablespoon mix.

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

Whip some up any time you need it. Serve with salad, fresh veggies, whole wheat pretzels or pita chips or anything else you like! Refrigerate for up to 3 days; makes about 4 tablespoons of mix.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What is ENERGY STAR®?

June 4th, 2013 | Posted by EnergyEarth in Ask the Expert - (1 Comments)

What is ENERGY STAR®?

Established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 as part of the Clean Air Act, ENERGY STAR® is a voluntary program that can help you save money and protect our environment through superior energy efficiency.

ENERGY STAR® makes it easy for you to find and buy quality energy efficient products. Any time you see this label, you can rest assured you’ll be doing your part for both your wallet and the environment.

What is ENERGY STAR?

How do products receive ENERGY STAR® qualification?

Products that meet the EPA’s energy efficiency standards can earn the ENERGY STAR® label. These standards include:

–          Product must significantly save energy across the US.

–          Qualified products must offer the features and level of performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.

–          Energy efficient products that cost more than comparable conventional products must provide enough savings that you will earn back the extra money spent through savings on your utility bills within a reasonable period of time.

–          The type of energy efficient product is offered by more than one manufacturer.

–          The product’s performance and overall energy consumption is tested and verified.

What is ENERGY STAR? What is ENERGY STAR? What is ENERGY STAR?

Why does EnergyEarth carry some products that aren’t ENERGY STAR® qualified?

Seeking ENERGY STAR® qualification is optional; many products that meet or exceed the EPA’s standards don’t necessarily bear the label. The ENERGY STAR® label is meant to help make your job of finding energy saving products easier, but it isn’t exclusive.

For products that don’t bear the ENERGY STAR® label, and even those that do, we offer customizable product calculations so you can know exactly how much you’ll save by switching. It’s that easy.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

6 Ways to Make Your Pets More Eco-Friendly

1. Upcycle old towels and clothes for potty training, lining the crate, wiping off dirty feet, drying off, cuddling and cleaning. You’ll be surprised how many new uses those old threads can have.

2. Keep your home airtight with an energy efficient pet door. Pick the right size for your pets and let them come and go as they please while minimizing outside air coming in. All the benefits without the hassle!

3. Make your own accident cleaner with hot water, vinegar, baking soda and rosemary. Sprinkle baking soda over the area before spraying a 1:1 vinegar and water mixture with a few drops of rosemary essential oil to prevent any stains and discourage any re-staining from occurring.

4. Go thrifting! Score some deals for you and you and your furry friends at your local thrift store or resale shop. You’ll save money and help a worthy cause.

6 Ways to Make Your Pets More Eco-Friendly

5. Feed your pet high quality food from a sustainable manufacturer. While there’s a lot of debate on what’s the best option, the bottom line is that the food should be made of simple, healthy ingredients (just like your food!).

6. Scoop poop with biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags from the grocery store. Yes, you read that right – biodegradable bags allow poop to fertilize the landfill instead of immortalizing it in a plastic bag forever. Fill the litter box with an eco-friendly cat litter, avoiding brands with mined minerals.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Earthmate’s T2 Spiral CFL is a miniature compact fluorescent lamp equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent bulb while using just 13 watts of electricity. It’s ENERGY STAR® qualified, so you can rest easy knowing that is meets or exceeds the highest level energy efficiency standards.

Product Review – Earthmate™ 13 Watt T2 Spiral Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

The reduced size allows makes it incredibly versatile. See? This compact little bulb is less than 4” tall – smaller than a Sharpie highlighter. Plus, it’s only $3.95! That’s quite a steal for a bulb that we estimate will save you around $58 during its lifetime. Can’t beat that for value and savings!

Product Review – Earthmate™ 13 Watt T2 Spiral Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

Because of its size and medium base, this energy saving CFL fits perfectly in pretty much any fixture you currently use a regular incandescent bulb. It’s a super handy bulb to stock up on and have on hand for quick replacements that won’t break the bank.

Product Review – Earthmate™ 13 Watt T2 Spiral Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

This Earthmate CFL provides comfortable, warm white light just like the incandescent bulbs you’re using now, making the switch effortless. You won’t even notice you switched – except on your electricity bill!

Product Review – Earthmate™ 13 Watt T2 Spiral Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

Overall, we loved this bulb. It fit anywhere we tried it and the light didn’t hurt our eyes while reading, watching TV or doing any other daily tasks.

Not the right bulb for you? Browse our wide selection and find the energy efficient lighting that’s right for every fixture in your home.

—The EnergyEarth Team

Soft, warm homemade banana bread straight out of the oven reminds us of childhood mornings waking up at grandma’s house. Whip up this healthy spin on an old classic in just about 5 minutes prep time with ingredients you already have on hand.

Healthy Banana Bread Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

–          3 or 4 ripe bananas

–          5 tablespoons butter, melted

–          ½ cup raw sugar

–          1-2 tablespoons honey

–          1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

–          1 egg or ¼ cup applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder or EnerG Egg Replacer

–          1 teaspoon baking soda

–          Dash of sea salt

–          1½ cups whole wheat flour

–          Extra virgin olive oil (for greasing the loaf pan)

Overripe Bananas

Peel and mash your bananas in a mixing bowl. Overripe bananas work best, as they are sweeter and softer. We like to use a potato masher because it leaves sweet little chunks in the bread without being too large.

Mashed Bananas

Add melted butter, raw sugar, egg (or egg substitute), honey and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Banana Bread Ingredients

Gradually add baking soda, salt and flour and mix.

Banana Bread Ingredients with Flour

Lightly grease a loaf pan with the olive oil before pouring the batter into it.

Banana Bread Batter in Loaf Pan

Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about an hour or until a fork inserted into the top comes out cleanly.

Warm Banana Bread Fresh From the Oven

Voilà! Simple, delicious comfort food that you can feel good about eating. Adjust the ingredients as needed the number of bananas you need to use. Enjoy on its own or with a little butter, cream cheese or honey. It’ll take you right back to your childhood with each healthy bite.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Chattanooga's Renaissance Park

Chattanooga’s Renaissance Park reminds us of greener days gone by while leading us into a more sustainable future.  The 28 acre park was designed with ecological recovery in mind. Two large berms cap topsoil that was removed from the former Roper manufacturing site and a system of native plants and natural filters remove toxins from urban stormwater runoff.

View From Renaissance Park

Renaissance Park has been many things over the years:  a key area to many parts of the Civil War, a location along the Trail of Tears, home what would be the end of the steamboat era and a manufacturing plant for more than 75 years.

Renaissance Park Hill

Located on the north shore of the Tennessee River, Renaissance Park is now home to many unique recreational, ecological and educational features.  The outdoor pavilion’s beautiful green roof helps to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases while improving local water quality and stormwater management.

Renaissance Park Outdoor Pavilion Green Roof

The 1.5 acre constructed wetland collects, improves and releases water from two sources of urban pollution: built up water from the contaminated ground beneath the park from the industrial park to which the area was once home and urban runoff from the North Chattanooga urban watershed.

Renaissance Park Urban Wetland

13 acres of the park sit within the Tennessee River’s flood plains and are regularly inundated. Through education and restoration efforts, the park will return native flooded woodland ecologies to this area, providing both an ideal and beautiful habitat for native plants and wildlife to reemerge and thrive.

Renaissance Park Tiered Seating

On top of all these important green aspects, Renaissance Park connects to the Tennessee Riverpark, an 8 mile greenway along the river beginning at John Ross Landing on the south shore and ending at the Chickamauga Dam upstream. The park features winding walking trails, picnic areas, a small amphitheater, tiered seating along the wetland, historic markers and several public art installations.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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