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Got a junk drawer? We do, too. Before you just dump everything in the trash can, turn those forgotten treasures into something new and useful!

Floppy Disk Planters | 5 Green Junk Drawer DIY Projects {The Dirt on Green]

Floppy Disk Planters – Brit + Co.

Turn old floppy disks into a fun and funky desk or table planter. These are fun to make, a great gift for your nerdy friends and 90s fanatics and add a cool burst of retro color.

Hanging K-Cup Planters | 5 Green Junk Drawer DIY Projects {The Dirt on Green]

Hanging K-Cup Planters – Earth911

Great for small spaces, this recycled vertical garden is a unique way to hang plants almost anywhere. Use empty K-Cups (or yogurt cups?) to decorate with plants in an office, kitchen or apartment window using minimal components to create a big visual impact.

Old T-Shirt Braided Rug | 5 Green Junk Drawer DIY Projects {The Dirt on Green]

Old T-Shirt Braided Rug – A Beautiful Mess

Super durable and recycled, this braided rug can be customized in any color scheme. While this may be one of the more time consuming projects we’ve seen, the end result is totally worth the effort.

Wine Cork Garden Labels | 5 Green Junk Drawer DIY Projects {The Dirt on Green]

Wine Cork Garden Labels – My Chic Life

Don’t waste money on expensive plant markers, make them from wine corks and bamboo skewers instead.  No more trying to remember which seeds are planted where; these are functional and keep the garden looking great.

Tin Table Numbers | 5 Green Junk Drawer DIY Projects {The Dirt on Green]

Tin Can Table Numbers – 100 Layer Cake

An excellent way to make cute, inexpensive decorations for your table, these recycled cans can be customized with numbers or other beautiful designs. Simply pop in an old tea light candle or a Dot-it light for gorgeous illumination.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Belkin Conserve Socket is a handy little device that eliminates wasted energy by shutting off power to plugged devices when you don’t need it.

Product Review – Belkin Conserve Switch {The Dirt on Green}

Measuring only about 2” square and a little over an inch thick, the Conserve Socket is perfect for use with cell phone chargers, cordless drill chargers and battery chargers, as well as blow dryers, hair straighteners, fans, space heaters and more.

To turn the connected device on, simply press the button on the top of the Conserve Socket. The Power Timer will then automatically shut off power after a designated time interval, saving you energy and money.

Product Review – Belkin Conserve Switch {The Dirt on Green}

The off-time can be set to automatically disconnect power to your devices after 30 minutes, 3 or 6 hours with an easy toggle switch on the side of the socket.

Product Review – Belkin Conserve Switch {The Dirt on Green}

Overall, we love this product! It’s sturdily built, simply designed and fairly small, so it’s attractive, travels well and isn’t intrusive. It’s a great for saving money and ensuring you don’t accidentally leave on the iron or other appliances all day when you leave the house.

Not what you need? Check out our wide selection of energy conservation products.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

BMW's New i8 Hybrid Will be the First Production Car to Use Gorilla Glass {The Dirt on Green}

BMW is going to unveil the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, but in the meantime the automaker has released the first batch of specs for the i8, the flagship of its new i sub-brand. In addition to featuring a plug-in hybrid powertrain wrapped in a sports car body, the i8 will be the first production vehicle to be equipped with Gorilla’s chemically-hardened glass.

BMW's New i8 Hybrid Will be the First Production Car to Use Gorilla Glass {The Dirt on Green}

Until now, technology for the chemically-hardened glass has been used primarily for smartphones, as it is very strong and scratch-resistant. For the BMW i8, the partition between the passenger compartment and trunk of the BMW i8 consists of 2 layers of chemically hardened glass, each of which is just 0.7 millimeters thick and weighs about 50% less than conventional laminated glass.

BMW's New i8 Hybrid Will be the First Production Car to Use Gorilla Glass {The Dirt on Green}

Thanks to the i8′s carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell and the addition of technology like the Gorilla Glass, the BMW i8 weighs less than 3,285 lbs. The BMW i8 is powered by a 231 horsepower turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine that is mated to a 131 horsepower electric motor. The four-cylinder engine powers the rear wheels, while the electric motor sends its power to the front. The i8 can travel up to 22 miles in full electric mode, reaches 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds and can be recharged in 1.5 hours using a 220-volt outlet.

BMW's New i8 Hybrid Will be the First Production Car to Use Gorilla Glass {The Dirt on Green}

So, what do you think? Would you buy it?

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Via Inhabitat, photos by BMW.

Knock on Wood – Driftwood Art by Jeffro Uitto {The Dirt on Green}

Knock on Wood – Driftwood Art by Jeffro Uitto {The Dirt on Green}

Knock on Wood – Driftwood Art by Jeffro Uitto {The Dirt on Green}

Knock on Wood – Driftwood Art by Jeffro Uitto {The Dirt on Green}

Knock on Wood – Driftwood Art by Jeffro Uitto {The Dirt on Green}

Knock on Wood – Driftwood Art by Jeffro Uitto {The Dirt on Green}

We think upcycled and recycled art is always awesome, but sometimes it’s truly amazing what can be done with one man’s trash. This is one of those times.

Located on the Washington coast, Jeffro Uitto’s Tokeland, Washington, studio, Knock on Wood is a place where nature’s leftovers are given a grand new life.

Uitto has been creating with wood, his favorite medium, since high school. Most of Uitto’s tools are hand made by the artist himself and are works of art in their own rite. Uitto doesn’t work with the perfectly cut, smooth wood from a lumber mill or a hardware store, though – each piece is found and rescued from the shores of Tokeland, WA, the banks of Smith Creek or the valleys between the Willapa Hills. The varied and unique sticks, slabs and roots are cured and crafted into beautiful works of art.

Every project is given the same meticulous construction, be it a tiny rose bud made from cedar shavings or a imposing, commissioned sculpture. Not everything is built right in the shop – Uitto has often worked on location to build creations in places like Alaska, Hawaii and more.

Undoubtedly, Uitto has a creative fire that burns hot, fueling his brilliant sculptures and figures that is clearly translated to the viewer through his work. For more information about purchasing or commissioning a project, contact the artist directly.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Blob-Shaped Austrian Art Museum Kunsthaus Graz Generates its Own Solar Power {The Dirt on Green} Blob-Shaped Austrian Art Museum Kunsthaus Graz Generates its Own Solar Power {The Dirt on Green} Blob-Shaped Austrian Art Museum Kunsthaus Graz Generates its Own Solar Power {The Dirt on Green} Blob-Shaped Austrian Art Museum Kunsthaus Graz Generates its Own Solar Power {The Dirt on Green} Blob-Shaped Austrian Art Museum Kunsthaus Graz Generates its Own Solar Power {The Dirt on Green} Blob-Shaped Austrian Art Museum Kunsthaus Graz Generates its Own Solar Power {The Dirt on Green} Blob-Shaped Austrian Art Museum Kunsthaus Graz Generates its Own Solar Power {The Dirt on Green}

We love solar lights, so naturally, we love this solar powered art museum in Austria!

Located on the west bank of the River Mur in the historic center, the Graz Art Museum opened its doors back in 2003. Created as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations, the one-of-a-kind building rapidly became a city landmark. Measuring 27,000 square feet, this massive building was designed for showcasing contemporary art exhibitions, new media displays and hosting events.

Far from your average art gallery, the Kunsthaus Graz is covered by thousands of semitransparent acrylic glass panels that form a “BIX Façade” (a combination of the words “big” and “pixels”). Designed by Berlin design firm realities:united, this oversize urban screen features light sources under its skin which are computer controlled and are used for massive displays communicating with its environment. While the glazed outer skin takes an important mediating role, it also generates power through integrated photovoltaic units.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Via Inhabitat, photos by Eduardo Martinez, Nicolas Lackner, Christian Plach.

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.

Need a Creative Boost? Hit the Dimmer Switch and Purchase CFL Lights.

 

One more reason to add a light dimmer switch to your home or office – a recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology finds dark rooms may improve creativity.

When someone enters a room, he or she receives visual cues as to how to behave and appear. In turn, they must decide whether to behave as if in an open and welcoming environment or a confining one.

According to findings, dark rooms promote a more global perspective, which can enhance creativity.

That’s not surprising since previous research has shown soft light is often relaxing (that’s why you love to work from the coffee shop down the street) and makes people feel safe. Such environments can also make them more apt to take risks – from writing harsh reviews online to hugging a stranger – because they don’t feel they are being watched or under pressure to act a certain way.

Two researchers based in Germany, Anna Steidle and Lioba Werth, used six experiments to observe different aspects of creativity. The first three studies primed participants by having them describe a dark or bright environment or do a word search where the words were related to one of two illuminations. From there, creativity was measured by an imagination task, an alternative-use game or a speed-accuracy test.

LED Lights - Need a Creative Boost? Hit the Dimmer Switch.

Priming dark conditions induces a risky, more explorative behavior, leading to creativity, Steidle concluded. But to generalize it, she and her partner had to use actual lighting variations.

In the fourth study, subjects were placed in one of three types of rooms: dim, bright, or a control room, where the light was at the level recommended level for offices. Participants sat in the room for fifteen minutes before beginning a creative logic task, which was then followed by a self-evaluation of how comfortable they had felt.

Turns out the dimmer rooms promoted more insight problem-solving, as well as higher levels of comfort among the participants.

There was one caveat: The researchers noted dim light didn’t promote creativity if the participants felt inhibited. And dimmer light might hinder analytical, logical tasks.

If you want to design a creative workspace, consider grabbing a dimmer light switch or two, CFL lights and dimmable bulbs, and adding plants and windows. Also, don’t forget to check in with everyone in the office to make sure they feel comfortable as well.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Via Inc.com

The Belkin Conserve Valet Smart USB Charging Station is an extremely handy, all-in-one charger with four different USB ports so you can easily charge pretty much any device whenever you need. It senses when new devices are added so you always get a full charge, no matter what and once every plugged in device is fully charged, it automatically cuts all power to save money and energy.

Energy Saving Products Review – Belkin Conserve Valet Charging Station {The Dirt on Green}

Simply plug in devices that charge using a USB cable, push the start button and power will flow until devices are fully charged, then automatically shut off. The valet is only compatible with power cables with a standard USB plug on one end (but that shouldn’t really be an issue in this technology age). It includes short charge-only cables for a variety of devices.

Energy Saving Products Review – Belkin Conserve Valet Charging Station {The Dirt on Green}

The handy cord keeper just below the no-slip shelf on top keeps cords neat, concealed and safe from kinks, making charging easy.

Energy Saving Products Review – Belkin Conserve Valet Charging Station {The Dirt on Green}

Personally, we love the Belkin Conserve Valet. It keeps all of our charging cables from ending up in a tangled mess on the table, frees up outlet space and saves energy all at the same time. Not your style? Check out the rest of our energy saving products!

—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.

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