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    Archive for the ‘Conservation’ Category

    Happy Earth Day from Greener Thinking
    Around The HomeConservationPress Releases

    Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

    Hello everyone and welcome to Earth Day 2010!

    We are very excited about the MI Earth Day Fest in Rochester. It will begin Friday April 23rd and end on Sunday April 25th. We will be selling our new book Larry the Litterbug. If you came to the show last year and were unable to see the book, don’t miss out this year!

    Larry the Litterbug is a children’s book telling the story of Larry who learns to keep his home clean so his friends will stay and play. This book contains puzzles that allow children to use their imaginations and find items in the book.

    At the MI Earth Day Fest we will also be demonstrating games for children that can be made from household recyclables. We will also have prizes for playing the recyclable games.

    For more information about how to get to the MI Earth Day Fest, check out the website: http://www.miearthday.com/

    Happy Earth Day

    Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

    Welcome to Earth Day. Can you feel it, like some thing new just happened? Is your thumb tingling and turning green?

    Yeah, it’s not something you can feel and it’s not something you usually look forward to. It’s not a day about you but a day about saving the planet. “Earth” does so much for us, we would not even exist if there was no Earth to support us.

    So lets give Earth a Day. Don’t just do something good today but make it a day of reflection. Use today to see what you could be doing better throughout your life.

    Try to cut back on the amount of garbage you use in a year. Its not too hard. Look at getting a reusable bag for your favorite grocery store. These bags usually cost about 99 cents, they are much stronger than plastic bags, and they stay the proper shape and don’t dump all of your groceries in your trunk when driving home. Also, if you do collect plastic bags, many grocery stores have plastic bag collection bins so that they can be recycled.

    As with the reusable bags there are many different things that you can do to save the earth that will also benefit you! Look for things to do that will save you time and money because it will be much easier to continue.

    What do you plan on doing for Earth Day?

    To Go Green You Must Start With The Grass Part 2

    Thursday, May 29th, 2008

    As stated in my previous article To Go Green You Must Start With The Grass I had decided to purchase a new Craftsman 48 Volt Battery Powered Mower to put my own “Green Credentials” to the test. This was a bid to unchain myself from the Energy Mafia. Now lets “Cut” to the chase (Yes, lame). 

    When I first started this experiment I did not really think too much of the the lawn mower. I just figured it would be my first large step toward green. I started looking for the mower in retail stores because I needed one as soon as possible. Looking around Sears I saw a sign that said you should only get a battery powered mower if your yard is under 900 square feet and lucky for me my yard is around 700 square feet. The Craftsman mower looked like the best choice I had, it was fully loaded, a 19″ cutting deck, bag attachment, mulching capability,side shooting, single lever height adjuster… and the only battery powered mower there. Yep, it cuts grass and has a battery, that is why I chose it. 

    The first thing I noticed was how much this battery powered mower weighs. On the Sears site it says the mower weighs 80 lbs. Now grant it when pushing it around your yard it is well balanced enough that it is hard to notice but, it feels as though it has power assist… without the actual help of power assist. I was pretty excited about my first large green purchase and the weight of the mower was probably due to the lead acid batteries. No biggie. 

    Next, I un-boxed the beast. Pulling the mower out of the box I noticed that the handle already had been screwed together, all I needed to do was fold out the handle and tighten the large wing nuts. Finally, my brand new mower was un-boxed and ready to tear through the grass. 

    To start the mower you need to place a “Key” into the mower. When this key is not present the mower will not start which is helpful if you need to do some cleaning or anything around the blade. Once the key is in the mower you must push an orange button with your thumb while you pull the standard safety handle and the mower starts right up. It was one of the coolest feelings to have this mower in your hands. The mower is so quiet that it sounded like a large fan. Still not whisper quiet but you could hold a casual conversation with someone across the yard while mowing. Another cool thing is that you can actually hear the blades of grass being cut which gives you a bigger sense of power over the grass. 

    But all good stories must come to an end some day. The sad part is that the beginning of my good experience and the end of my good experience occurred on the same day. The first problem was required 18 hour charge before use!!! Still, I was not swayed, I told myself, “It doesn’t matter, I will just plug it in and leave it there, I only need to mow once a week, that should give it plenty of time…” So I charged the mower as instructed. 

    The next day, I pulled out my new mower freshly charged and ready to go! Man was I ready for this! I put the mower on the grass and started mowing. Man the sound of the grass being cut just felt cool. Then I noticed of the four power LED’s I only had two more left! “Eh,” I said, “The battery light probably doesn’t indicate the real power left. The last two LEDs should work longer than the first two,” I was wrong. The charge is lost quicker on the last two LEDs. I got to the last square foot patch of grass in my back yard and the mower kicked and screamed and tried its darnedest to die before the grass was cut and I still needed to cut the front yard. 

    Nothing to fear. I figured the batteries probably needed to be conditioned to handle the full charge and complete my yard. I plugged the mower in again and went to bed to finish the front the next day. 

    When I woke up, I felt great, I was ready to mow my front yard! Pulled out the mower and got the front yard done without a hiccup. I ended the front yard with barely three green LED’s out of four. When that was done I plugged the mower back in for next weeks mow. 

    Well, my third and final mow the next week was a mirror image of my first, barely making it through the entire back yard before the mowers battery died. As far as recommendations go… purchase the Craftsman 19″ battery powered mower at your own risk. I have to say that this idea has much promise, possibly if the mower used Lithium Ion batteries instead of the led acid ones it currently comes with. I recommend holding off unless you are just going to mow around your porch or would like to trim your banzi grass. 

    Craftsman 19in 48 Volt Battery Powered Mower 4 out of 10 

    On a more positive note, I looked around for a different and better mower and found the Neuton, These mowers seem to be much more suited for this situation, plus they have removable batteries, so even if you ran out you could just pop in a newly charged one and finish the job. 


    Craftsman 48 Volt Battery Powered Mower
    Neuton Battery Powered Mowers

    To Go Green You Must Start With The Grass

    Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

    While on my way to work, pausing at every red light, I came to a point of frustration rarely seen. Yes, some of that frustration had to do with people who get in a car and try to drive somewhere automatically lose 78% of their brain. OK, its not really true… it just seems that way. The real frustration came at every stop as the gas station prices kept increasing. My problem, how do I become independent of the energy Mafia. 

    I came up with a solution, the only problem is that many critics will not agree with my solution. My new plan is to become energy independent. “Wow…” you say, “This is what I come here for!? I figured that is what you were trying to do all along!!!” Well the truth is, you are correct but, until now I have not really thought about it in a realistic way. I must switch everything that I possibly can to electric driven. Electricity is a universal energy and can be created in many ways including solar, wind and even good old dirty coal power plants. My plan is to convert exclusively to electricity and gradually ween myself off of the power grid. The beauty of this plan is the ability to take individual steps to achieve this goal. I do not have to go out and spend millions right away and with each step of the process I will be making myself less dependent on gasoline and other fuels. My new “Fuel” will be electricity, not Coal, not gasoline, not bio-diesel, just plain electricity. 

    My first purchase into this new plan is a battery powered lawn mower. My current mower has had its fair share of issues starting with the unfortunate “Stump Incident.” The “Stump Incident” left the poor lawn mower trembling in fear each time I would try to cut the grass. In layman terms it bent the shaft and made the blade off center so that it beat the crap out of my hands. This spring when I decided to mow and found that the old beat up mower won’t even start. So I figured, I talk about Greener Thinking all the time, why not try to put my money where my mouth is. 

    With my grass being rather tall I decided to make the purchase quickly. I began looking at Sears and found a Craftsman 19″ battery powered mower. These battery powered mowers are not really the most cost effective mowers, this one started at $479 but, because they were having a sale I was able to walk away with it for $399. I have a rather small yard so I think this lawn mower should work rather well. I was only able to use the mower once so far and due to the length of the grass, I do not think that it lasted as long as it should. I will be using this lawn mower over the next couple of months and submitting my full review on Greener Thinking so stay tuned. 


    Sears Battery Powered Mowers

    Earth Day 2008

    Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

    Happy Earth Day everyone… and what a perfect day for it too! The leaves on the trees just began to appear today and it seemed something was growing everywhere you looked. 

    I’m not sure if it’s just me, but Earth Day seemed to be a little different this year. It seems like it really meant something more than in past years. Most years, I think Earth Day just kind of comes and goes without much discussion or mention of it. In fact, it seems like in the past, most people I’m around don’t even know Earth Day is even upon us. Today, I heard various conversations going on about it. I saw things on TV about it. I heard mentions of it on the radio. And of course, saw plenty of things about it on the Internet. In case you want to learn more about the Earth Day and events having to do with it, check out EarthDay.net. I hope everyone had a great Earth Day and did their part to help their planet. 


    Earth Day 

    Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama and the Environment

    Sunday, April 20th, 2008
    Obama says to reduce carbon emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 he will create a “Cap-and-Trade” system that means that you will be able to purchase credits to offset your carbon footprint. The money made off of these credits will be used to invest in creating green alternatives. These new alternatives will need skilled workers to pull them off and some of the money will also go to job training to help support this task. Part of this proposal is to give incentives to people who actively plant and support forests. 

    Obama also wants to invest in clean energy, he proposes investing $150 billion over the next 10 years. He says this will speed up the creation of plug-in hybrids and make renewable energy cheaper to generate and distribute. He would also like to require 25% of the energy we use by 2025 to be renewable. 

    One of the biggest points that Obama has pointed out is oil independence. He would like us to reduce our oil consumption 35% by 2030 which he says should remove the need to import oil from OPEC nations. To do this he says that we will double fuel economy standards by creating tax credits for domestic auto manufacturers to also increase the domestic job market in the United States. 

    Obama has clearly laid out his energy efficiency and environmental plans. Above is a summary of some of the main points, but on his website there is a comprehensive layout of his ideas along with links to his related speech’s. 


    Barack Obama’s Energy/Environment Page
    Barack Obama’s Energy Plan Details
    Barack Obama’s Environment Plan Details

    Give A Tree For Arbor Day, Or Any Other Day!

    Sunday, April 6th, 2008
    This past Christmas, my girlfriend received a card from one of her friends. This was no ordinary card though. This card was from The National Arbor Day Foundation. It is called a “Give-A-Tree” card and it’s a very green card. They are printed on recycled paper and can be recycled. The card is also printed with soy ink and as the name states the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree for you in a National Forest. 

    As far as cards go this card is very familiar, they have a picture on the front and give you a nice little statement relating to the occasion. On the inside of the card there is another statement wrapping up the idea stated on the front and adds “In celebration of _______ a tree has been planted in a National Forest.” As I said very similar to every other card out there but, this card makes the world a better place and also makes someone happy that you remembered them. On the back of the card there is a little story to explain how this will help all of the little woodland creatures and tells the recipient how they can pass around the green love.

    With Arbor Day coming up on April 25, 2008 this may be a good way to pass the word along. These cards come for every occasion, from “Birthday” to “Wedding” to “Any Occasion,” so you have every reason to look. The cards are priced at $5.95 which is a tad bit more than a normal card. I mean you can almost buy one gallon of gas for that price! For this price, you need to ask yourself a question. Do I think I can get one of my friends to buy a sapling, dig a hole, plant the sapling, and feel like they are part of something good if I just give him/her $5.95? Yeah, I didn’t think so. 


    The National Arbor Day Foundation

    Green Collar Jobs

    Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

    As stated plenty of times before, Greener Thinking has been designed to help people save the environment while also making money. It finally looks as though a city is putting the pieces together to make a concept that will change how people think. Boston is taking on two challenges, waste management and energy production, and it is hoping to come out on top financially. 

    Many people know that compost can create heat through the decomposition of the organic materials. Many people also know that this same process gives off methane. Few people have ever tried to harness these unique characteristics and also make money with it. Boston is developing the idea to use this energy to their advantage, creating electricity and heating buildings. They will also be able to sell the resulting fertilizer for a profit. Another great advantage to this plan is the new job market it will create. Boston says that this will create new jobs that include microbiologists and soil chemists. 

    This new business of turning garbage into green gold will bring jobs, produce electricity, and make money. Once Boston embarks on this new adventure and others cities start to see the results I am sure they will find that its actually very easy being green. 


    National Public Radio

    The Grow Box
    Around The HomeConservationNature

    Friday, February 29th, 2008
    Have you ever thought about having your own garden? Maybe you don’t have enough space. This is a problem that many people face, especially when living in urban communities. There is, however, a great way to still own your garden and still fit in to these criteria. You can simply use an Earth Box

    The Earth Box is a growing system for plants and vegetables which controls the conditions of soil to more than double the average yield of a garden! It also uses much less fertilizer and water; making it virtually maintenance-free. 

    Many people sustain gardens right from their patios and balconies with such a product. I could go on and on about all the particulars, but if you’d like to know some more details, you can read the FAQ

    If you are interested in purchasing an Earth Box, or just interested on whether a location exists near you, you can find out by clicking here


    Earth Box 

    Greener Nike

    Monday, February 18th, 2008

    As we like to remind you, Greener Thinking is a dual meaning, to save the environment while making money. Nike has finally taken this to heart and created a new “Environmentally Friendly” shoe. 

    This shoe was made from scraps of other shoes, recycled rubber bits and a more environmentally friendly rubber sole. There is rumor that Nike will save millions of dollars while using this new design process. One problem I can see is that it does not look like this savings are going to be passed down to the consumer. The new line of shoes costs about $230. I don’t know about you but my theory is that if you can buy five tanks of gas at today’s prices for the price of a pair of shoes, you should go for what can get you the most miles. I know, I know, I like jogging too but there are really good shoes that are about a third of the price of these new shoes.

    Hopefully this new idea of manufacturing with leftovers instead of throwing them in the garbage catches on. In the long run this will help shoe manufacturers make more money and also help people like you and me purchase some quality shoes without loosing our entire wallet. 


    Wall Street Journal