Mortgage applications fall to lowest in a year
December 27, 2007 10:35 AM - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications sank last week to the lowest level since the end of last year despite falling borrowing costs, an industry trade group said on Thursday. The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted mortgage application index fell 7.6 percent in the week ended December 21 to 603.8 -- its lowest reading since falling to 575.6 in the December 29, 2006 week. The MBA's weekly indexes have been exaggerated on the high side much of the year. Borrowers facing stricter loan standards often apply numerous times in search of getting one request approved.
Broken Homes Damage the Environment
December 26, 2007 12:45 PM - Michigan State University Newswire
The data are in. Divorce is bad for the environment. A novel study that links divorce with the environment shows that a global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, that, in turn, take up more space and gobble up more energy and water. The research of Jianguo "Jack" Liu and Eunice Yu at Michigan State University, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Danger of PBDEs
December 25, 2007 10:34 PM - UC Riverside
Riverside, California - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk - a potentially major concern for human health. In addition, these industrial chemicals have been associated with cases of feline hyperthyroidism, a potentially fatal condition in cats.
California Facility Proves That Mattress Recycling Can Work
December 24, 2007 08:29 PM - Glen Hasek, Green Lodging News
NATIONAL REPORT — Discarded mattresses can take up a significant amount of landfill space, do not degrade well, and can create a dangerous “soft spot” in a landfill, according to Terry McDonald, executive director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County (SVDP), located in Eugene, Oregon.
What to Consider when Choosing ”Green’ Carpet
December 24, 2007 08:23 PM - By Bill Gregory, Green Lodging News
Design elements cannot be overvalued in the hospitality industry. Carpet contributes to the signature impression, adding comfort to small spaces and human scale to imposing interiors. When specifying carpet for hospitality, there are three considerations to ensure sustainable selections—design and purpose; maintenance during useful life; and end-of-life options.
Used Cooking Oil Helps Heat Juneau, Alaska's Westmark Baranof Hotel
December 24, 2007 08:18 PM - Glen Hasak, Green Lodging News
Juneau, Alaska — After eating an evening meal of fish and chips, tourists in Juneau who retire for the night at the Westmark Baranof Hotel may find themselves warming their toes in a room partially heated by the oil used to cook their food. The Baranof collects the town’s used vegetable oil to help heat the hotel.
Report: Safety and Security Risks Undercut Nuclear Power's Role in Minimizing Global Warming
December 24, 2007 08:11 PM - , Environmental Health News
WASHINGTON — An expansion of nuclear power capacity in the United States could help reduce global warming pollution, but could also increase threats to public safety and national security, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
HGTV Launches 'Green' Home Giveaway, Spring 2008
December 22, 2007 06:10 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - If your passion for your home is tinted "green," then HGTV, the lifestyle network for all things home has a place for you: a custom built "green home," located near miles of popular beaches and an eco-friendly golf course! HGTV is building its first "green" home in Tradition Hilton Head, a 5,300-acre master-planned community near the popular beach resort of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
German Team Wins Solar Decathlon
December 21, 2007 05:38 PM - Allyson Wendt, BuildingGreen
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon takes place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., with collegiate teams constructing solar-powered houses, demonstrating the homes’ functionality to judges, and giving tours to the public. In 2007, for the first time, first prize has gone to a team from outside the U.S.; the team from Technische UniversitÃ¤t Darmstadt in Germany achieved 1024.85 out of a possible 1200 points.
Dominion to spend $500 mln to cut water usage
December 21, 2007 03:48 PM - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dominion Resources said on Friday its Dominion New England unit would spend $500 million to reduce the amount of cooling water used by its Brayton Point Power Station.