The Energy Bill – Part 2: Summary in Laymen's Terms

My focus for today’s blog is to clearly lay out the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. I think, before we talk about the pros and cons of this act, any reader should understand what this bill is exactly.

There are four titles (or sections) to the bill. I will address each one individually. I will only be able to give you a brief summary because the bill is a thousand page document that I could go into great depth about. That will probably bore most readers, so I’m going to give you what you need to know and leave out all the rest. (more…)

The Energy Bill – Part 1: An Introduction

America has entered a new era in history. For the past one hundred plus years you could say we were partaking in the Industrial Revolution. This was a time of great economic growth and urban development. For the past couple decades and coinciding with the Industrial Revolution was (and quite arguably still is) the Technology era. We have experienced the greatest advancements in technology all the way from transportation down to MP3 players and phones. Well, it seems we are now entering what could be considered the Green Revolution.

I guess it could be argued we have been in this revolution since the late 60’s early 70’s when hippies were all for saving the environment, but I believe the greatest turning point would be the amount of influence the government is now having on the environment. The House just passed a bill on June 26th called the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) that is the first of its kind. It is the first lawful step that has ever been taken to stop greenhouse emissions. (more…)

Water Collection in Colorado

Colorado is very strict about its water. Because of the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains, water for the country can very well be traced back to Colorado. This was the cause for water rights and has now caused any precipitation that comes into Colorado ownership of the state. Water collection is out of the question because of these tight water laws. The only people who could collect water were those who had old water rights or occasionally when there is a surplus of water in the rivers.

My last post discusses this issue and I promised to address the law today. Well, to my surprise, the law has now changed. I read in my local newspaper that effective July 1st, rainwater and snowmelt collection will be permissible. I found the news a little ironic due to the post I had written the day before, but it couldn’t have come at a better time because of the blog I had promised the readers. Sadly, the law is too good to be true. (more…)

Rain, Rain (Don't) Go Away

I’m sitting here, inside, listening to the rain fall. I can hear it distinctly on the roof. It’s a soothing sound. Rather pleasant to just close your eyes and listen. It never really rains here in Colorado. We have had a very wet late spring and early summer. It has rained every afternoon for the last few weeks. I can’t complain really. We need the moisture, but I feel like something can be done with all this water.

A great idea is to have a rain water collection system that can be used to water plants and can even be used in toilettes. This is a great way to conserve water and money. You can easily make your own collection system, or you can buy one. Both of these methods can be found online by doing a simple Google or Yahoo search. I believe that it’s a great idea for water plants, but you must not drink or consume this water in any way. There can be some toxic run off, either from roofs or any other surface that uses chemicals to create it (so quite a few). Now, this is not bad for your plants, because they were getting soaked by the same water anyways. (more…)

The Wonderful World of Wool

I bought a sweater a while back that was made from a super soft material. I didn’t really care about what it was made from I just bought it because it was soft. After buying the garment I looked at the materials and found that it was made from Angora rabbit fur. This unnerved me. All I could think about is how a rabbit (if not several) were killed in order to make this sweater. I was not happy about my purchase after that. It wasn’t until later that I came to realize no rabbit was killed in order to produce the fibers of my sweater. (more…)

Recycle Everything

When we hear the word recycle the first thing that pops into most heads are those bins we put out on the curb full of bottles, paper, and glass. It’s refreshing to see those bins. It’s always good to know that there are people out there who care enough to recycle, but that is just a fraction of what we use and throw out.

I don’t have a solution to ever piece of junk that you may want to throw out, but let me give you some tips on some things that aren’t your typical everyday pieces of junk. (more…)

Energy on the Rise

People use tons of energy each day. It’s scary to think about. The amount of fossil fuels we burn amounts to more than just the emissions of our vehicles. Whenever you flip a switch, turn on a television, or use a computer, you are using electricity and where does electricity come from? Well, most of us know that our electricity comes from an electrical plant. Most of those plants burn fossil fuels which release more extreme emissions than vehicles. How can this be fixed? The answer is alternatives.

It can’t be emphasized enough that going green is the newest trend. One of the biggest fads for this trend is energy. The concept is using plentiful and eco-friendly ways to generate energy. Two ways that I see as being successful are solar panels and wind turbines. (more…)

The Challenge with Hydrogen Powered Cars

Cars, they are a major adversary to the environment. Cars emissions are one of the leading causes to pollution in the air. The majority of us use them and for some it is very difficult not to use them. Sometimes mass transportation is not available to get you where you need to go. Sometimes it is too far for you to ride your bike or walk. These are all understandable issues and they are fairly good excuses for using a car, but they don’t take away from the fact that cars emit vile carbon gases into the air.

A solution to this problem has been in the formulating stages for a long time. Electric cars were the first to really be pushed out the door and into the market. All you have to do is plug your car in and let it charge for a while. Too bad those vehicles don’t hold a charge for very long. Now, there are electric cars run by hydrogen fuel. They are very eco-friendly because they do not let off any emissions, but they certainly aren’t economically friendly. (more…)

Get A Job

One of the most difficult things to do in today’s economy is find a job. People are being laid off left and right because companies need to downsize their businesses. What is a person to do? My answer – go green! It’s no denying that global warming is having an impact on the environment, but it’s also having an impact on industries. The biggest trend of today is going green. There are some people out there who will spend an arm and a leg just to make their life as eco-friendly as possible. Now, strides are being taken to make the green industry one that is attainable by the middle class as well.

With all this progress in the environmental industry, it is no wonder that some of the top jobs out there are green collar jobs. I recently came across an article that described the top ten green jobs of 2009. Though the article was published in January, I think it is extremely relevant right now, especially for those college graduates who are getting ready for their careers, as well as high school graduates who are searching for their dream job or a way to make a good buck.

1.    Farmers are needed in today’s market because the uses of machines are being reduced due to carbon emissions. More people will be needed to maintain the industry.
2.    Foresters are sometimes given a bad rap because all we think are they cut down trees, but their main job is to conserve the forests.
3.    With energy costs on the rise, new, innovative technologies are needed to make energy. The solar power industry is one that is about to take flight and will need many people onboard.
4.    Along with solar power, wind power is also going to take off and is another industry that will need the utilization of many workers.
5.    Energy efficiency builders are key roles in the global eco-renovation taking place. There are more than just builders though; there are also designers, contractors, laborers, and everything else you can imagine that goes into building.
6.    One huge career that has been made very demanding these days due to global warming is conservation biologists. These scientists are extremely important to preserving precious ecosystems.
7.    Green MBA and entrepreneurs are a crucial part to the green collar jobs. Where would any business be without financial advisors and business executives to market and build a company?
8.    Recycling is going strong and the industry needs more people to help. New laws are being formed that could make this market boom, requiring more people to help it grow.
9.    We won’t be able to get anywhere without designers and engineers who can give us the ideas and tools needed for sustainability.
10.    Finally, urban planners are a key to reducing the carbon footprint people are making.

These are just ten of many jobs in the green industry. Figure out what is right for you and go make a difference for the environment. For more information about these top ten follow this link

What is Your Impact?

I was watching a show on the “green” channel that was very inspiring. It showed one family in each episode their environmental impact. Their impact was based on the amount of trash they disposed annually, their use of electricity in their house, use of the appliances they own, and other miscellaneous habits. It was a very eye opening show to watch. It made me wonder about the impact my household is having. There are many things that we have been doing lately to help decrease our environmental impact, but there is always more that can be done.

One thing that is very resourceful is a compost pile/bucket. Instead of throwing away food and some biodegradable products you can place them in a pile or bucket (I believe trash cans can work) of dirt and worms and reduce your waste. This is a great way to recycle leftovers and even paper towels. The compost is great for gardens. It becomes a perfect fertilizer, but be weary of using a compost that has any sort of manure in it for your gardens. Make sure that it is well aged (a year or more) because E. coli can live in the manure of some animals and if you use fertilizer with ripe manure that bacteria can grow in your plants. This is especially bad for vegetable gardens.

Appliances can be big inhibitor to eco-renovations. Energy star certified appliances are all more energy efficient than others and will save you money in terms of electricity and water. It’s important to know whether you have these certifications on your appliances. If you don’t you could be wasting water and energy let alone money.

Something that is not stressed enough and is something that makes a big impact is recycling. Just recycling bottles and cans alone saves the environment. Now take it a step further and figure out what other things you can put in the recycling bins. Paper is another huge product that pays to be recycled. Call the company that you recycle with and figure out what all you can put in the pins. It really pays off in the long run.

These are just simple, but cost effective ways to renovate your home for a more cost efficient and environmentally friendly atmosphere. These are important but one of the most important things to do and sometimes the hardest is to reduce. Reduce the amount of food you eat, reduce the amount of water you use, reduce the amount of paper you throw out. Reducing is a huge money saver! Remember these tips and please keep adding more! Comment on this article and add your own thoughts on how you can be more ecolonomic in your home.