Dialing In Home Comfort: Which Smart Thermostat Is Right For You?

Nest thermostatAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household spends over $2,200 a year on energy bills. Nearly half that goes to heating and cooling costs. Utilizing a programmable “smart” thermostat can take a bite out of that.

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NRDC sues EPA over toxic chemicals in flea collars

flea collarsMany pet lovers know the annoyance of getting rid of flea infestations. There are a number of natural remedies that can help alleviate this situation.

Flea collars are popular because they take away the worry and hassle of having to deal with the issue. But these handy items contain toxic chemicals that could be putting us and our pets at risk.

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Kohl’s & Sierra Nevada Brewery the latest winners of EPA’s WasteWise award

WasteWise award logoRecycling is great but the real idea is to create as little waste as possible. That’s the idea behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program, which helps organizations reduce or prevent waste headed to landfills, and practice sustainable materials management. This year’s winners aren’t the biggest corporations but are definitely companies making a big difference.

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Composting is great, but not if it has a toxic herbicide in it

Using grass clipping in your compost could pose a danger to evergreens if you're not careful

As the green movement continues to expand throughout the minds and practices of consumers, more people are aware of the advantages of composting. It cuts down on the amount of garbage we toss and it’s a great amendment for trees and home gardens.

But a darker side of composting has reared its ugly head.

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EPA expands on clean-up rules for broken CFL

CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs) contain what the Environmental Protection Agency and major retailers consider a “small amount” of powdered mercury in them.

Today, the EPA has updated their policy on how to safely deal with a broken compact fluorescent light bulb, a backhanded way of telling consumers that “small” is still toxic and dangerous.

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EPA to designate BPA as "chemical of concern"

nature-wildlifeWith an apparent backtrack, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will intensify its investigation into how BPA affects our nation’s wildlife and water supply and will now designate the compound as a “chemical of concern.”

This is a turnaround since their announcement last December of their list of “chemicals of concern” which didn’t include BPA, even after the EPA’s top administrator Lisa Jackson had said that her agency would take a more aggressive approach to regulating chemicals of concern, specifically mentioning BPA as one of these.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates the chemical’s effects in food contact items, reversed its position on BPA, declaring it had some concern for the chemical’s effects on the brain, behavior and prostates of fetuses, infants and young children. To date, 5 states have banned the chemical’s use in baby bottles.

BPA is found in a variety of familiar consumer products

BPA is found in a variety of familiar consumer products

Trace amounts of the chemical have been found in 93% of Americans tested.

The EPA’s announcement is definitely a move in the right direction and paves the way for the potential mandatory removal or BPA from consumer products.

How soon that could come, however, is anyone’s guess.

Activeion taps water to clean



Activeion Pro uses tap water to clean and sanitize hard surfaces

Activeion Pro uses tap water to clean and sanitize hard surfaces

Water. We drink it, bathe in it, swim in it. We even fight over it. But use it to clean?

Activeion Pro (as in active ion) is a hand-held sprayer. With its ec-H2O (electronic converted water) technology, its electrical charge “activates” tap water, converting it into a multi-purpose general cleaner. Acting like a magnet, the activated water attracts and loosens dirt from a variety of surfaces for easy cleaning, leaving no residue.

Introduced last February and verified by the Environmental Protection Agency and an independent laboratory, this chemical-free cleaning system eliminates 99 percent of bacteria and organisms including e-coli, salmonella and the MRSA virus from hard non-porous surfaces. It cleans stains, dirt and oils from carpet (including pet stains), floors, glass, countertops and marble. It even sanitizes dishes.

Trying it on my car, I was stunned how well it worked! And I loved that it saved gallons of water!

“(This is) like the iPod of clean,” says Todd Schaeffer, Vice President and General Manager of Minnesota-based Activeion Cleaning Solutions LLC.

Before using, plug the charger into the bottle. Initial charging takes two to three hours (second time was under an hour). When the light turns green, unplug and clean!

The bottle holds its charge for two to three weeks, Schaeffer says. That translates to two to three days for commercial use in airports, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and convention centers.

Every bottle holds a surprise. When sprayed, the inside flashes bright green!

That tells you the water’s ionized, said Schaeffer. The technology constantly measures the water’s bacteria level, controlling it to give you a good clean product.

Water has the ability to conduct electricity, given enough energy to activate it. For the first time Activeion’s patented technology combines positive and negative water streams to work together, creating an effective general cleaner.

Spray surfaces thoroughly with Activeion Pro, then wipe with a clean cloth, preferably a microfiber cloth. Wipe down within 45 seconds or the water reverts back to its natural state. Accidentally spray yourself? No worries. It’s just water.

Activeion has many benefits, particularly environmental ones. It easily replaces some standard household cleaners, particularly for glass, windows and stainless steel, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the production, packaging, transportation, use, fumes and disposal of harsh household chemicals. A study showed that switching to just one Activeion Pro for general commercial cleaning is equivalent to saving 93 gallons of gasoline and two barrels of oil!

Activeion isn’t a heavy de-greaser. While I found it doesn’t clean everything, it cleans many things well, meaning fewer chemicals in the house and money savings at the grocery store. It’s also one of the only cleaners without a chemical-related health warning label.

Beware using filtered or distilled water. A home RO system could also interfere with this. The Activeion needs minerals to work well.

But, says Schaeffer, “if the green light is on, it’s working!”

At $299, Activeion Pro isn’t inexpensive. But it’s easy and it works. It’s available online or at 866 950-4667.