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Monday, November 24, 2014

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a tasty new gluten-free snack


quinoa cluster Sometimes I just crave crunchiness. My mouth needs to chomp on something tasty but my mind won’t accept something as bad for you as say, Cheetohs. As I made my way around Fresh Market the other day, this item said buy me. I’m so glad I did.

These little squares are totally yummy … a little salty and nutty with a swirl of chocolate. Here’s what’s in ‘em: organic quinoa, almonds, organic tapioca syrup, organic brown rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic dark chocolate, organic brown rice crisps, baking soda, salt, almond oil.

iheartkeewah

They’re vegan and non-GMO. Quinoa never tasted so good! If you use a little self control and get 4 portions from the package, that’s 130 calories with 3 grams of protein of snackiness. very satisfying. crunch on.

There are 4 other varieties ($4.99/each) – you can check it all out @ iheartkeewah.com

related: more healthy food related on alternativeconsumer.com

 

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Martifer PV Projects: Integrated Solutions for Fulfilling Solar Power Needs


martifer portugal solar field

Martifer Solar is more than merely a company that focuses on solar energy.  This Portugal based company employs teams of engineers and people who fabricate and design required engineering solutions for various types of solar energy related projects. As per Greentech Media Research’s statistics, Martifer Solar ranks third amongst similar companies in Europe. IHS lists the company in 5th position within Europe and 16th in the world.

martifer solar install rooftop

EPC Services from Martifer Solar
One of the drawbacks that have prevented PV solar technologies from taking off has been the cost versus returns in comparison to the fossil fuels. Martifer can offer PV solutions on 360° turnkey basis, which would include all engineering, purchases and procurement, project management, construction and commissioning related to the PV solar system installation and operations.

Photovoltaic Projects or PV projects from Martifer include EPC or engineering, procurement, and construction services. This means the company can offer customized solutions based on the needs of the people so that each such project becomes viable and offers optimal energy cost savings. It is because of its high standards of reliability today it boasts of having implemented more than 500 projects. The company is also maintaining and operating solar power generators with a capacity of 560 MW across the world.

integrated solar window panels

Variety of PV Projects offered by Martifer Solar
Martifer Solar offers all types of solar power generation solutions under one roof. Therefore, its portfolio of PV projects includes:

  • Ground mounted solar power generating systems
  • Rooftop solar power generating systems
  • Building integrated Photovoltaic projects (BIPV). Martifer’s Torre De Cristal in Madrid still qualifies as the tallest BIPV project, even though the project was completed in 2008.
  • Off-Grid solar power generating systems for people and businesses in remote locations
  • Small solar power generating systems for residential accommodations

Effectively, Martifer undertakes projects suiting the needs of small as well big customers.  This adaptability is one of the reasons for Martifer Solar’s larger market share.

One of the reasons many well-known companies opt for Martifer Solar is because it does more than supply the instrumentation and materials. Its personnel ensure that the project is commissioned and functioning to the satisfaction of the client.

Global Presence
Though Martifer is originally from Portugal, it has spread its activities across the globe. There are collaborations and joint ventures with various companies in different nations. For example, Martifer Solar entered into a joint venture with Hirschfeld Industries in the US. Likewise, it became Maisis’ partner, for technology.

The company has implemented PV projects for well-known businesses such as Hertz. Westfield Group is another famous business that has availed the services of Martifer Solar. In Latin America, the company recently installed a 30 MW project for Gauss Energia.

Martifer Solar has recently received a new contract from Italy. It is a 90 MW project. The company is implementing a project for well known private Equity Fund Company, i.e., Eland, and Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

eco fashion friday finds – the fab four


Today’s little collection of eco-fashion faves …

track handbag

(above) The Track Handbag features exterior pattern made from recycled plastic and interior a nice soft cotton; from socially conscious fiveaccessories.com ($58)

eco sweater

(above) A blend of innovative eco threads, the lightweight Cardamon Cardigan short, choice of 3 cool colors from hornytoad.com ($99)

recycled material

(above) Made in Italy, the Raglan sweater is ecofashioned from 100 percent recycled fabric; @ rightasrain.com €46.00
eco yoga wear

(above) Made in the USA and created from recycled plastic bottles, Teeki Yoga Wear’s Wild and Free Sun Shorts ($45) @ palmbeachathleticwear.com

There you have it – remember to love what you already have and be sure to pass along your pre-loved items so they don’t wind up in the landfill.

related: more eco fashion finds from The Alternative Consumer

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The BEHA Eco Aircraft Seeks Crowdfunding


beha overheadA British company, Faradair Aerospace Limited, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a new eco aircraft the company has christened, BEHA, or Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft. The company has created a concept for a lightweight aircraft with extremely efficient and economical power. The intention is to create “the most environmentally friendly aircraft in the world”. The project is about to enter a year of R&D to fine tune the design for maximum efficiency, with the company hoping to have the first prototype aircraft built within two years.

de havilland dragon

Much of the inspiration for the plane came from an early passenger aircraft called the De Havilland Dragon Rapide. This 1930′s airliner had graceful lines and innovative power recovery systems, many of which will be incorporated into the design of the BEHA.

beha front

Another source of inspiration for the project is an unmanned aircraft created in 1990 by the father of the company’s Managing Director. The new design combines a bio-diesel engine with two electric motors, and is envisioned as an innovative six seat Hybrid Aircraft. The BEHA group is currently building a list of partners to help deliver the key technologies to make the prototype aircraft a reality. (more…)

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Investors Turning to the Top Environmentally Friendly Companies


invest

In today’s world, green means more than just cash. Shoppers want to know that the products they buy do little to damage the environment, and investors want to work with the top environmentally friendly companies. These companies give investors the chance to make back money on their initial investments and feel proud that they chose the right companies. As interest in environmentally friendly products and companies grows, investors will continue seeing their shares in some companies rise.

Allergan
Allergan ranks as one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world, but it also ranks as one of the most green friendly ones as well. Headquartered in the United States, the company has thousands of researchers looking into new medicines and improving existing medications. The company has a solid and positive reputation around the world. Allergan is a good investment because the company wastes less electricity and water and produces less waste and pollution that many other companies.

Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard, better known as HP, is one of the top environmentally friendly companies in the United States. Though the company made headlines in the past when a number of its battery packs became a potential fire hazard, the company bounced back and managed to keep its customer base loyal. It was one of the first companies in the world that released a recycling program back in the 1980s. This program let the company recycle many of its older and outdated components and turn those components into new and functional parts for its customers.

Johnson & Johnson
Best known for its line of personal care, health and beauty products, Johnson & Johnson also remains dedicated to protecting and preserving the world for future generations. It launched a nursing program that provides nursing students with scholarships, grants and other programs that help them better afford their educational needs. The company also started a program in 2011 that will train and educate citizens about what they can do to protect the environment. Johnson & Johnson also plans to go over its product line and find ways to reduce the waste produced during the manufacturing and use of those products.

Patagonia
Patagonia records an impressive number of sales every year that total more than $500 million. Known for producing luxury clothing and equipment designed for various sports, the company now ranks as one of the top retail chains in the world. Over the last three decades the company donated millions of dollars to environmental charities and organizations, and it continues to donate a small portion of its profits every year to those groups. Investment expert Rick Schaden also rates Patagonia high for its dedication to sustainability. The company works with a group of farmers in South America to ensure that the wool it purchases and uses comes from sheep treated ethically.

Investing in specific companies can come with some special perks. Coffee shops will often award shareholders with free drinks, restaurants hand out free food and clothing or jewelry stores may give shareholders discounts on future purchases. Those who invest in environmentally friendly companies get an additional perk in the form of good will. They know that when they select the right companies to invest in that they can help preserve the world for future generations to come.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

eco bark engineered siding for your home


smartclad home

We’re all familiar with engineered wood flooring, but siding for your home?

I love the rustic look of a home whose exterior features wood. My first home in the Catskills was constructed of Cedar siding. It looked gorgeous but the maintenance could be a bear. So when I heard about eco-friendly engineered bark siding, I had to take a peek.

backstory: BarkClad is an FSC-certified company and member of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council. Rather than cut down trees for wood siding, BarkClad works with loggers to re-purpose the bark from trees that are already cut for use in the furniture and plywood industries.

bark clad install

today: BarkClad also offers a line of engineered bark siding called SmartBark. Earlier this year they released their eco version of Poplar and today they’re introducing Sourwood and Walnut finishes. Here’s why we like these engineered bark siding options:

  • weather-resistant: won’t fade, darken, rot, mold, crack or curl
  • don’t require cutting down Poplar, Sourwood and American Chestnut
  • easy to install
  • estimated installed savings of $2/square foot compared to natural bark siding
  • don’t require bug treatment or a special moisture barrier
  • washable, paintable and flame resistant
  • R-value of 4.7 per inch, so you save on energy costs year after year
  • 30-year limited warranty

Let’s face it, there will always be new home construction, but we don’t have to use up all our natural resources in their design. From roofs, foundations and floors to siding, plumbing and windows – every day there are better, more sustainable ways to get the job done without sacrificing style.

related: more green building on alternativeconsumer.com

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How to make a house a home this winter


The weather outside is frightful and these cold, dark nights are drawing in, so it’s the perfect time to make sure your house is at its coziest. Transform your home into a warm retreat so you can nest through winter in style. Here are some simple steps to make your house a warm and inviting home this winter:

  • Soft touches
  • Rugs, quilts, blankets, cushions, throws – whatever soft touches you have put away over summer, now is the time to retrieve them. A night in front of the fire isn’t complete without something to snuggle up with. Tartan patterns are on trend and mono prints are back this season. Play around with different textures, winter allows for velvets, cashmere, faux fur and wool – things that you might not get away with during the summer.

    christmas floral arrangement

  • Floral
  • Plants, flowers and trees may be bare and frosty outside but this doesn’t mean you can’t fill your home with them instead. Winter flowers evoke warmth and make any room look inviting. When it comes to Christmas decor avoid tacky and dated tinsel and baubles, instead replace them with flower arrangements. Pearly whites, flaming reds and glowing oranges will make any home look Christmassy and classy. Serenataflowers.com has a great selection of Christmas flower arrangements, wreaths and plants. Including a number of table arrangements can take away the attention from even the biggest Christmas turkey.

    christmas flowers

  • Candles
  • The power of scent is underestimated and plays a major part in creating a cozy atmosphere. If you haven’t got the smell of comfort food coming from the kitchen, light a woody candle for the ultimate winter ambiance.

  • Lighting
  • Not only do candles smell good, they also provide great lighting. Lighting is key at any time of year but is also a great way to change your home from summer to winter. Winter is a dark time of year so rather than turning on all the lights and in turn raising your electricity bill, embrace the darkness and light some candles, light a fire, even the glow from a TV can deliver all the brightness you need. As a final touch, you could also bring in all the fire logs from outside and stack them up in a pyramid by the fireplace.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY Easy Centerpieces for Thanksgiving


Now that you’ve figured out your menu, are you trying to decide what to use as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table? You can always take some simple on-hand items to make a statement piece sure to turn heads.

Showcased on Better Homes and Gardens, I thought I’d pass along a few fun ideas that caught my eye … they look easy to duplicate or maybe you’ll be so inspired …

diy Centerpiece 1

  • (above) Have an old globe around the house or see one in a garage sale, swap meet, or thrift shop? You can cut it in half and use it as a bowl on a pedestal. Fill it with some seasonal items like pine cones, small pumpkins, acorns, berries, twigs or fall leaves. No need for fussiness, just mix all your items together, put them in the bowl and display. Double-duty: you can also use the other half to hold fall-scented potpourri. Don’t forget you’ll need to rest it upon a pedestal.

diy bird seed centerpiece

  • (above) For the birds … You can use some narrow glass cylinder vases, and fill them with wild flower seed or bird seed. Insert some sturdy branches to make yourself a tree-like arrangement that you can leave as is or hang small pumpkins from, taking advantage of the post Halloween pumpkin sales. Glass is always a green and sustainable product that can be reused and recycled. Feed those fine feathered friends when you’re done. And if you opted for wild flower seeds just spread them all over your flower bed to enjoy colorful blooms come spring time.

statement centerpiece

  • (above) Let’s say you literally want to make a statement, and you want something a little more handmade. You can reuse glass bottles to create a fun and personalized centerpiece. Just (more…)
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