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Make Your Yard Beautiful the Ecofriendly Way

Having a beautiful yard does not mean that you have to sacrifice the environment. There are many ways to keep up your yard and garden without resorting to pesticides and fertilizers that can harm the Earth. Here are a few tips for ecofriendly gardening:

  1. Choose Native Plants – Choosing native plants for your yard is good in many respects. For one it reduces your need to water as those plants are already familiar with the natural weather systems in your area. It also helps to encourage wildlife like birds and butterflies to visit your yard. Native plants provide an important part of the ecology in your area and do not take over like artificially introduced plants can.... read more

Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Home with a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit can be used to identify any potential weaknesses with your homes energy efficiency. You can pinpoint the most wasteful parts of your home and set your energy saving priorities and with the right upgrades you could save somewhere in the region of 5% - 30% each year on your energy bill.

Air Leaks

You can begin by checking for gaps between the baseboard or edge of the flooring and at junctures of the walls and ceiling, pipes and wires, electrical outlets, door and window frames and any external areas where two different building materials meet.

Although this manual method of searching for drafts is effective, the best means of detecting air leaks is to use a blower door test which assesses how air tight a home is. The blower door test uses a powerful fan to depressurise the home by removing the air from inside and lowering the internal air pressure. Any unsealed cracks are then exposed as the higher external air pressure filters back into the home.... read more

5 Ways to Travel Greener

Traveling the world is a passion that most have and few are lucky to actually get to experience. Traveling is a wonderful way to learn and see new things but it can’t always be good for the environment. There are some tricks and tips that you can do to lower your negative impact when traveling:

Transportation: Trains, planes and cars all emit carbon and you pretty much can’t get around that. However, you can lessen your carbon footprint by making a few tweaks and changes while traveling. Opt for flights that are non-stop because they use less fuel and fill ups at these stops. If it’s a road trip and you are driving, take a smaller car and carpool.

Digital: Everything is done online for the most part so when buying tickets and booking activities and what not, opt to have everything emailed and not printed. Also when needing travel maps and books download on your smartphone. Once you have arrived to your dictation you can also take photos of maps and what not to zoom in and use for later.... read more

Energy In The UK - How We’re Trying Use Less

As a regular English reader of Keen For Green I’m able to keep up to date with the latest energy news from the US – and I thought it might be interesting for my friends “over the pond” to hear about the situation here in the UK.

The issue of energy is clearly one of the biggest challenges faced by humankind, and in the UK we’re acutely aware of the need to address the issues of overconsumption, and high carbon emissions. The European Union has set out a “practical guide to a prosperous low carbon Europe” known as the Roadmap 2050 project, whilst the British government has also implemented a range of policies designed to increase energy efficiency - including the introduction of smart meters, the Green Deal, the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and Climate Change Agreements.... read more

Reducing your family’s carbon footprint

In an age where we understand more than ever just how important it is to be green you might be thinking about the things that you can do to make sure that you are not contributing to the global problem anymore than is necessary. With this in mind, there are a number of things that you can do to make sure that this is the case, and here we will explore some of them in more detail. 

One of the biggest problems with carbon emissions actually comes from the cars that we drive. You can find out a lot of information about emissions quite easily, and this means that you have the chance to make an informed decision. Generally, if you try to get as small of an engine as your family can cope with, you will be lowering your emissions. Newer cars are being developed to be more environmentally friendly, so try to consider the latest vehicles if you can afford them. In addition, the amount that you use your car is very important. If you are finding that you are using it for every journey, start to consider cutting back. Walking to the shops if you can is a great way to get exercise and lower your carbon footprint at the same time. You may also want to look into carpools for both your work and your children’s school (if applicable).... read more

Energy Efficient Mortgages: Why We Need It

Admittedly, home financing previously has been one of my fears in life. To live in a home with the pressures of paying month after month is just a dreadful idea for me. But I am very lucky to have worked in a company where I am learning to be financially literate about my home expenses. It's funny, but as I realized that mortgage loans considered to be a very important factor for any homeowner to pursue a home, I have never been more aware of Energy Efficient Mortgages than I do now. With my long-time interest in living a sustainable life, after learning more about EEMs I never hesitated to bring about the idea of sharing it with my fellow homeowners who opt for a green home. 

With all the tips and tricks from every site that we see online, they always give out some pointers on how to make your homes greener, whether you are building a new house, or simply making a few changes to make your home energy efficient to have more savings. With that in mind, after knowing everything, what steps to do, contractors and companies to approach, and probably in which locations to I have buy energy efficient home upgrades, the most important part is always comes down to one thing: money. And what better way than to let you in on one of the hottest financing options to date, the EEM.... read more

All About Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM)

What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?

Energy efficient mortgages or EEM’s are a type of loan that credits a home based on its current energy efficiency.  In order to be considered energy efficient, a tool, appliance, heating, or cooling system needs to simply use less energy than its basic, and less efficient, counterpart. An EEM gives lenders the power to extend the borrower’s debt-to-income qualifying ratio, which means that they may be able to take out a larger loan for their home. 

Insuring EEM’s

A Federal Housing Association (FHA) EEM provides mortgage insurance to the borrower who is looking to purchase or refinance their home and incorporate the costs of energy efficient improvements into their mortgage. The borrower does not have to qualify for additional money, and is not required to make a down payment on the EEM loan. 

The limitations put on the FHA EEM loan totals can change based on the cost of energy effective improvements a person makes to their home. The maximum amount that can fluctuate is whichever of these options is smallest. The lesser of 5% of: property value, 115% of the average single family home in the area, and Veterans Administration (VA) EEM’s.  The only limitations with VA EEM’s is that they are only available to veterans and qualified military personnel, and the loan cut offs are between $3-6000. ... read more

Create an Energy Efficient Home with the Proper HVAC System

Heating and cooling your home accounts for almost half of the energy your household uses. So it’s no surprise that an energy efficient home remodel can go a long way toward both enhancing your comfort and helping the environment. In addition to conducting an energy audit to learn about the inefficiencies in your home, installing the right HVAC system can help regulate the environmental factors inside your home, like air quality, humidity and temperature. 

Is Your HVAC System Using Too Much Energy? 

When undergoing an energy efficient home remodel, you may wonder about the efficiency of your HVAC unit. If any of the following is true for your home or HVAC unit, the system is probably using too much energy:... read more

Plastic bags contaminating recycling

Plastic bags still seem to be one of the hardest materials to recycle. Although they are made of very easily recyclable materials they can many times be a contaminant in regular recycling. Problems with trying to properly recycle plastic bags is nothing new. Plastic bags have always been one of those commodities that have posed a challenge to collect and recycle. It’s no wonder why so many people would like to see them banned from being used.

 Plastic bags are typically made from one of three basic types: high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), or linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). The thicker glossier shopping bags from the mall or retail stores are LLDPE, while grocery bags are usually HDPE.

 Today most recycling haulers are seeing plastic bags mixed in with recycling. This is occurring in both single stream and multi stream recycling programs. Plastic bags are being found mixed in both municipal and commercial recycling.... read more

Window Tinting In The Age Of Climate Change

Heads are always likely to turn when a luxury market automobile sporting tinted windows glides silently down the high road. Yet, many of the owners of these vehicles have turned to window tinting not just as a vanity project but for very real and practical reasons – to protect themselves from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV light. 

Climate change has become a key issue around the world. The extremes of weather at different times of the year have also begun to exert an influence upon how we now think about protecting our own homes. 

Properties with a southern exposure can be particularly intolerable during the summer months and yet can also be far too cold in the winter, especially at night. It is often mistakenly assumed that window tinting decreases available light levels but the reality is that window tinting is designed to reduce glare and there are endless different darkness levels that can be customised to personal preference. ... read more

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