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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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We love summer. I mean, who doesn’t? Longer days, backyard pool parties and delicious barbecues with loved ones are just a few of our favorites. But the warmer months can also mean a higher water bill; save money while helping reduce your water use without compromising summer fun or a luscious, green lawn with these five easy tips.

Water Saving Rain Barrel

1. Get a rain barrel. These easy to use and virtually maintenance free rain water storage systems come in a variety of colors and styles to make your backyard look pretty while keeping it green. Plus, rainwater is better for lawns and gardens because it isn’t fluoridated or chlorinated!

Washing Fruits and Veggies

2. Wash fruits and veggies in a bowl of water instead of letting the water run from the tap, then reuse it to water houseplants.

Water Saving Hose Nozzle

3. Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation and add a water saving nozzle to your hose to prevent over watering. Skip watering on windy days when most of the water just blows away into your neighbor’s yard.

Eco-Friendly Landscaping

4. Next time you do some landscaping, choose plants with lower watering needs for longer color with less headache and more savings. Be sure to only them water when necessary. More plants die from overwatering than from underwatering!

Leaky Water Spigot

5. Check your outdoor faucets for leaks. You could be losing gallons of water without even realizing it! While you wait for the repairman or find time to fix it yourself, put a bucket underneath to catch the drips for your garden!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Cherry Tree Branch

Allergy season is upon us. Whether or not it has hit your area yet, one thing is certain: it’s coming, and if you have allergies, it’s coming for you.

Soon, the dreaded yellow particles will be coating every available surface, making it impossible to avoid! Here are some great tips to help you get through allergy season without sneezing from dawn ‘til dusk.

Pollen on Car Roof

1. Take an antihistamine at least 30 minutes before going outside.

2. Minimize outdoor activity when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen times are usually between 10am and 4pm. You can even check out your area’s pollen count for the day and plan accordingly!

3. Keep windows closed and seal any air leaks you may have around windows or doors. You’ll keep pollen out and save on your utility bills!

4. Thoroughly clean you home – you’d be surprised how much pollen and dust can collect on surfaces in no time.

5. Wash bedding regularly.

6. Invest in an energy efficient air purifier to keep your home’s air clean and refreshing.

7. Take a shower before bed – you’ll sleep better without pollen on you!

8. Bathe your pets frequently and keep them off of furniture, if possible. Pollen can cling to your dog or cat’s fur and get tracked indoors.

Tissues and Box

We hope these tips help you and loved ones have a happy and healthy spring season, no matter the pollen count!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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