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Thursday, January 31, 2013

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energy saving lighting solution: dimmable satechi smart LED desk lamp


energy saving LED lamp

If you’re on the prowl for energy-saving lighting solutions this Satechi LED Desk Lamp is a very nice combination of style, functionality and cost savings. The lamp features easy-to-use touch screen controls as well as a variety of light-intensity modes and brightness levels.

The desk lamp’s modern, minimalist design has a nice clean look and consumes only 1/8th of the power of an incandescent lamp and less than half of the power of a comparable fluorescent lamp. The lamp’s LED has a led lamp usblifespan of over 40,000 hours with a color rendering index (CRI) of 90. And, unlike CFLs, it contains no mercury or other environmentally harmful substances.

The design features several flexible pivots to ensure it fits into any desk space or position. Additional features include an energy-saving timer function that can turn the lamp off after a period of inactivity and a USB port that enables you to charge various USB-chargeable devices by plugging them into the lamp. In black or white — $99 @ amazon.com

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

eco news roundup


elephants at sunset

elephants at sunset photo via shutterstock.com

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ecobuild: A Green Gala for Sustainable Construction


green building graphic

March is a good month for green; St. Patrick’s Day aside, this year March 5-7 are the dates for Ecobuild, an international green gala celebrating sustainable building and construction. It’s going down at the ExCel exhibition and conference centre in London and if you wanna get in on the action–it’s free to attend.

Every year the Ecobuild event brings together thousands of professionals to mix, mingle, and collaborate in shaping the future of sustainable building design. During the course of the three day conference, a number of talks, free seminars, cutting edge product demonstrations, and panels provide a platform for the exploration of innovation in eco-architecture.

Here’s a taste of what the 2013 event will offer:

  • The Ecobuild Arena - a forum for discussion and debate, where ministers, government officials, and experts from eco orgs and universities gather to discuss current environmental issues.
  • The Solar Hub – dedicated to explaining and demonstrating the latest practices and technologies in solar power.Visitors stopping by this center will be able to gather practical information that will help them make choices about installing a solar system of their own.
  • Working With Nature – an interactive center concerned with sustainable design solutions and infrastructure utilizing natural materials.
  • Green Deal Terrace – a series of programs, seminars, and clinics demystifying recent government environmental policy.

These are just a few highlights of Ecobuild; over 1500 exhibitors were featured in 2012, and 2013 has attracted even more of-the-moment exhibitions. And hey, in case you missed it here, the remarkable KREOD pavilion will serve as the media and visitor center.

 Image from loopconstruction.com

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

forest koan table from reclaimed douglas fir


forest koan coffee table

Furniture designer J Libby has created the modern-rustic form of this sustainable table by simply cutting a two-foot chunk out of beam recovered from an old defunct Seattle warehouse – revealing the colorful geometry of age rings of the old-growth Douglas fir from which it’s made.

reclaimed douglas fir coffee table

The table’s 65 pound weight attests to the robust nature of the raw material. Finished with locally produced tung oil and beeswax, the piece rests atop legs made of matte-finished recycled steel.  $300 @ birdloft

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a mixed bag of green news


business men on plains

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Monday, January 28, 2013

seat or storage – flex – alternative home decor


flex chair

Here’s a simple home decorating solution. Flex is a supple piece of hardened steel featuring a silky – ‘fabric effect’ finish. The piece can lie flat for storage, or be filled with wood, books, magazines or what-not – configured as an upright seat or horizontally as a stool, ottoman or storage unit.

flex chair

flex with books

flex chair
flex verticalflex empty

Designed and created by AK47 design

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10 Questions You Should Ask a Solar Installation Company


solar panel installation

The beauty of solar power is once the system is installed, it delivers completely free power. It emits no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. Better yet, it’s cheaper today than ever before. Unfortunately, many homeowners rush into a decision without getting all the facts. If you’re thinking about a new photovoltaic system, ask your potential solar provider these 10 questions:

1. How many years has your company been around?
Lower manufacturing costs have increased solar panel popularity. However, most installers are relatively new companies with only a few years of experience, and they probably lack the financial stability of older businesses. If they go bankrupt, who will provide service for your system?

2. How reputable is the solar panel manufacturer?
Equally important is the solar panel manufacturer’s reputation. Some manufacturers produce inexpensive but unreliable panels, and the absolute cheapest system is not always the best choice. Many solar companies are also going out of business because of the sluggish economy.

3. Does your provider offer a free consultation and estimate?
Ask for a free quote with no obligation. Legitimate companies will be more than happy to provide this service.

4. What is the power tolerance of the solar panels you recommend?
Solar panels don’t produce 100 percent of their rated electricity all of the time. A 100 watt module with 50 percent efficiency will only generate 50 watts of power. Power tolerance is slightly different from overall efficiency. A 100 watt module with a 5 percent positive tolerance will generate 100 to 105 watts of power. A negative 5 percent tolerance means the panel will only generate 95 to 100 watts.

5. Should I use a micro-inverter?
There are still questions about whether micro-inverters are up to scratch for hot climates like Australia. Most micro-inverters are only rated to 65 degrees Celsius, roofs in many parts of Australia get much hotter than this. This means the inverter won’t perform at optimum efficiency and there’s a good chance it won’t see out its estimated life span of 15 years.

6. Does the installer contact the power company to connect to the grid?
Most installers will contact the power company to let them know that you have a new solar system feeding power back into the grid.

7. How will the solar panels be mounted?
Mounting determines not only how well the system will perform but how it will look on top of your roof.

8. What kind of maintenance will my system require?
Solar panels shouldn’t require significant maintenance. Most are rated to last at least 20 years. At most, you’ll have to climb up onto your roof to wash any debris off of the panels. The installer will be able to provide any special instructions to keep your system operating at peak efficiency.

9. How can I see how much energy I’m producing?
Make sure your system has a meter that records how much power you’ve produced. Newer meters hook up to your home’s wireless network, and you can view the results on your home computer. Meters are important to ensure that your system isn’t malfunctioning.

10. When will this solar system pay for itself?
This is the big question that most homeowners are dying to ask. Although solar power systems are much cheaper than they used to be, they are still significant investments that will require several years to pay off. Even modest systems can cost $10,000 or more. Fortunately, most systems will pay for themselves within a decade, but your installer can provide a more accurate estimate.

This article was written by the team at Infinite Energy, a Perth based solar power company.

solar panel installation photo via shutterstock.com

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Friday, January 25, 2013

eco-fashion friday finds – 5 shades of grey


eco_designer_wear.png

What can I say? I love grey, especially in winter…today’s little collection of favorite pieces were inspired by New York City’s cold winter sky. Time to bundle up and chill outside.

(above L to R)

  • Maxi by Eairth, 50% off now $120 @ Juno and Jove
  • Falls Blouse by The Podolls now $175 @ Juno and Jove

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(above L to R) Wrap yourself in fabulous Indigenous woolies – loop scarf & button cuff gloves now on sale ($64 & $40) @ ecolissa

grey_boot.png

…Grey suede earth-friendly knee high boots by Greenbees at Planet Shoes ($360)

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