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At Low Impact Living, we want to help you lower the environmental impact of your home and your daily life. To do that, we help you find the best green products, practices and service providers to help you achieve your environmental goals. And we will also help you understand the environmental benefits and economic trade-offs of your choices. In short, we want to be your One Stop Green Shop.
Ford Cars Getting Greener On The Inside
May 26, 2009 09:44 AM - Jason Pelletier, Low Impact Living, Low Impact Living
Numerous studies have shown that 75%+ of the energy used by a car over its lifetime is consumed in the operation of the vehicle. But we shouldn’t forget about the other 25% of energy use or the environmental impacts that come with it - hazardous chemicals that off-gas when our cars sit in the sun, components that are difficult to recycle, and loads of plastics made from petrochemicals among them.
Thinking About a Home Wind Turbine? Not So Fast!
May 13, 2009 10:18 AM - Jason Pelletier, Low Impact Living
Residential wind turbines are an appealing option for renewable energy at home. Per rated unit of output they seem to be cost-effective, somewhat less than solar PV panels. But before you put one at the top of your green dream list, make sure you read this article by Alex Wilson of Building Green. Mr. Wilson is one of the true giants in the green building field, and he’s literally written the book on how to design and build a functional green home.
Warren Buffett Company Debuts Line of Green Prefab Homes
May 8, 2009 10:17 AM - Jason Pelletier, Low Impact Living
A Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary called Clayton Homes has just launched a line of green prefab homes (called the i-house) that start at under $75,000 (or about $105 / square foot) excluding site costs and shipping.
How to Recycle Tetra Pak Containers
April 28, 2009 06:18 PM - Bridgette Steffen, Low Impact Living
Shelf stable milk and juice is a genius idea — buy in bulk to always have at the ready, less food waste, and it is fresher than canned goods. But with all the benefits of shelf stable packaging like Tetra Pak, they’re difficult to recycle due to their multi-layer construction. Curbside pickup often won’t take them and even some of the best recycling centers can’t take them. In April though, the Carton Council and the 4 leading carton manufacturers have banded together to improve the carton recycling infrastructure in the US. Europe has been recycling Tetra Pak for years, so it’s high time that we got on the bandwagon as well.
Cities Leading the Way to Sustainability
April 7, 2009 09:42 AM - Cassie Walker, Low Impact Living
Until recently, the federal government wasn't what we would consider a friend of the environment. Fortunately, some cities have spent the last few years (or decades!) looking forward, and have worked hard to implement sustainable practices and policies.
Eco-Friendly Wood for the Greater Good
December 19, 2008 09:37 AM - , Low Impact Living
If you are planning a home improvement project, chances are you’ve spent some time thinking about how to make that project a green one. You’ve probably starting thinking about countertops or tile made from recycled material, no-VOC paints, and Energy Star lighting, appliances and windows. But have you thought much about one of most basic but critical parts of your project, the wood you use?
Dear GM: Melt Down Your Hummers and Give Us Electric Cars
December 13, 2008 09:41 AM - , Low Impact Living
In between a heavy rotation of aspirin, Tylenol, and Motrin, washed down with the cheapest scotch I could find, I took a few minutes to stop focusing on the ever-imploding economy and my prospects for having a job in six months, to do some problem solving for the world. According to what anyone of any authority in the United States would have you believe, the collapse of the Big Three automakers (as if they are inextricably linked) would send our economy from the thin patch of ice that it is currently skating on, into the frigid depths to drown.
America's Addiction Fuels Desire For Coffee Ground Biodiesel
December 9, 2008 09:03 AM - , Low Impact Living
Researchers are reporting they have successfully made a high quality biodiesel from spent coffee grounds. They estimate that the coffee ground biodiesel industry could generate as much as $8,000,000 in profits annually using waste from US Starbucks stores alone.
Get Solar Panels Without Dealing with Extra Bills
December 8, 2008 09:25 AM - , Low Impact Living
Going solar seems to get easier by the day — both logistically and financially. Before, homeowners had to save up to pay the huge upfront cost of buying and installing solar panels. Now, would-be solar energy users don’t need to put up startup funds — nor do they even have to deal with an extra repayment bill!
Is Recycling Worth It? Popular Mechanics Investigation
December 2, 2008 09:21 AM - , Low Impact Living
The modern era of recycling began in the meandering wake of the Mobro 4000. The infamous garbage barge spent much of 1987 traveling up and down the eastern seaboard looking for a place to dump its 3000-ton load of New York trash. It was refused at every port. By the time the spurned vessel returned to Long Island, still ferrying its fetid cargo, it had become the poster child for what was trumpeted as a national crisis: dwindling landfill space. Faced with the scale of their own refuse, Americans took action.