House

Three Reasons Solar Systems Are Worth the Cost in the US

Pile of solar panels ready to be installed on a roof

Many homeowners in the US are interested in solar power systems for their homes but are unsure if they are worth the upfront investment. The rising cost of electricity has sent a lot of people looking for alternative solutions, and solar energy is usually among the top alternatives that are considered. One problem people have…

China the world leader in renewables; wind most mature renewable energy: UN report

Wind turbines expanding along a ridge in Galicia, Spain

In 2010 China was the world leader in investment in renewable energy technology according to the UN’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011. Globally investment was up almost one third in 2010 over 2009, at a record US$211 billion, and for the first time developing economies put more into ”financial new investment” than developed ones. Global increase…

UK’s Greenest Community to be Carbon Negative by 2015

The Welsh village of Llangattock in the Brecon Beacons National Park has been named the UK’s greenest community and won $100,000, in a challenge that encourages neighbourhoods to save and generate as much energy as possible. To win the prize the community team undertook an audit of the energy efficiency of the whole community, explains…

The Benefits and Limitations of Modern Wind Turbines

Power From the Wind: Achieving Energy Independence by Dan Chiras

We’ve recently had articles on a ground source heat pump and on other alternative energy sources. Now here’s a guest post of the benefits of wind power. Wind energy is the process where wind turbines are converting kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy, which again is converted into electricity by a generator. Many…

Are CFL Bulbs Bad For Your Health?

Many sensationalist news reports have been published over the years claiming some new fangled gadget – be it a vaccine, a microwave, a mobile phone or now, an energy saving light – is really evil incarnate or at least a little questionable. But often these reports are so extreme that they seem ridiculous and indeed…

$15 Million for Energy-Efficient LED Lighting: US

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced almost US$15 million for eight new research and development projects into high-efficiency solid-state lighting technologies like light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). LEDs and OLEDs can last 25 times as long as incandescent light bulbs and be as much as 10 times more efficient than such…

Sustainable Home Design

tiny house, side view, wood with metal roof

As we become more aware of the need to reduce our impact on the earth’s environment, it becomes more and more apparent just how much needs to change if we are to provide future generations with a sustainable future. One of the major areas in which people can make changes towards reducing their carbon footprint…

GuestPost: Recycled Cork Flooring

Environmental protection and conservation is among the top concerns in the world today.  It seems that in all facets of living, eco-friendly actions are a priority.  It is natural, then, to expect this importance to drift into the home.  While many homeowners consider solar panels, heat conservation, and earth friendly paints, another great avenue to…

GuestPost: Reusing Hardwood for Flooring

Hardwoods come in a great many varieties. Humans have an affinity with trees; they have been our friends and one of our earliest sources of fuel, shelter and food. Trees play a major role in religious stories and most countries have a tree as their symbol. The most recent twist in the tale of trees…

Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power

Solar Panels reflect the sunlight

(This article updated March 2012) There are not too many people who really want to go back to with living without our modern appliances like stoves, fridges or air conditioners. The problem is that we need to figure out a way for powering our homes without destroying our world around us. Many are considering solar…

Sustainable Interiors and the Future

Sustainable interior design is concerned with the present health of people and the planet and also with the future health of the world and its inhabitants. The two are inextricably bound: only by ensuring the health of the environment at the moment can we hope to ensure a good quality of life for future generations.…

Eighty Percent Global Energy Supply Could Be Renewables: UN

A new UN report shows that nearly 80% of our global energy needs could be supplied by renewablesby 2050  if backed by the necessary government policies. The report, released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on May 9, reviewed six renewable energy technologies: bioenergy, solar, power, geothermal power, hydropower, ocean energy, and wind…

Solar Protest Action in Australia

Members of the solar sector in Australia have pronounced the 2011 Federal Budget, released last week, as “disappointing”. But Australian’s aren’t taking disappointment lying down. The Solar Last Chance Rally today is a response to the NSW Government permanently closing down their Solar Bonus Scheme (notably started by the previous government), and announcing last Friday…

Solar Power Boosts Home Values

A recent study in California found that having a rooftop solar power system installed significantly increased the value of homes. No surprise right? But the interesting thing was that the sale value of the homes with solar power increased by about the cost of installing the system – even though the original home owner had…