Recycle

The Princess Project

“ Pink, Yellow, Peach, Sea Foam oh my!  Not quite colors of the rainbow, but of the pretty bridesmaids dresses... Read

Pink, Yellow, Peach, Sea Foam oh my!  Not quite colors of the rainbow, but of the pretty bridesmaids dresses you still have hanging in your closet from the last 5 years.  So what to do next? RECYCLE of course!

We recently heard about a fantastic organization called The Princess Project that accepts donations of new or gently used gowns in excellent condition in all fabrics, sizes and colors.  The Princess Project provides free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them. All of this is made possible through volunteer, donor and community support (people like you and me).

This organization is for California residents, but if you live elsewhere, please Do A bit Better and contact another organization that does the same in your state (See the Events Near You page)

Have fun cleaning out your closet!”

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Housewares

E&E (Easy & Eco-friendly) Ways to DAbB Your Child’s Birthday Party

“You bring your own bags to the grocery store, wash your clothes on cold and have switched to high efficiency... Read

“You bring your own bags to the grocery store, wash your clothes on cold and have switched to high efficiency light bulbs.  Why is it, when it comes to a kid’s birthday party (and yes we are guilty of it, too) we are far from being “green”.  Here is a “use this” “not that” check list for your next party.  These ideas will make your next party both green and easy to clean up afterwards.

Plates
-Use 100% post-consumer paper plates, bagasse plates, or bamboo plates.  You can throw the recycled plates in your compost and the bamboo plates can be wiped clean with soap and water.
-Don’t use non-recycled plates.  Why would you?  The kids don’t know the difference.  If the kids insist upon plates with Spiderman on them, why not let them decorate their own with non-toxic crayons?

Napkins
-Again, use 100% post-consumer napkins or cloth napkins made from old shirts (kids love these)
-Don’t use your good napkins (for obvious reasons) or non-post-consumer napkins.

Cups
-You can ask the parents to bring their own cup for their child.  Or if that is not possible, many paper cups are made from post-consumer paper.  They are stronger than in years past, and again, can go right into your compost bin when the party is over.

-Clearly do not go out and buy cups.  Four year olds have no idea nor care if the cups they are drinking out of match a color theme.  (Of course, we have had kids color on white cups using eco-friendly crayons.  The kids love it and again the cups can go into the compost).

Companies like Acme Party Box offer great party favors and reusable cups that the kids can take with them.

Wrapping Paper
-Use the Sunday Comics.  We have yet to meet a child that did not love their present being wrapped in the Sunday Comics.  I know this is a bit of a throwback to the 70’s, but honestly, it’s true.  They will just love it.
-Don’t use actual wrapping paper.  Have you ever seen a six year old give great attention to the quality of the wrapping job you’ve done?  In our experience, wrapping paper is ripped from around the present in under a second.”

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Family

Turn Off the Water, Buy Yourself Dinner

“Did you know that according to the California Energy Commission, about 75% of the water used in the average home... Read

“Did you know that according to the California Energy Commission, about 75% of the water used in the average home is in the bathroom?  Leaving the water running while we brush our teeth or wash our faces only increases this number. It can be a tough habit to break, but putting a price-tag may aid you in getting your family to change their habits.

Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at night saves a whopping 8 gallons of water each day, according to the EPA. If each member of a family of four nixed the water-running habit, you’d save about $13.75 per person or $55 each month.

That savings can buy your family dinner at your favorite restaurant.”

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Men

The Honey-do List: The Almighty Oil Change

“We have all been asked to change the oil in our family’s car.  Since this activity is a “normal” part... Read

“We have all been asked to change the oil in our family’s car.  Since this activity is a “normal” part of our husbandly duties, the staff of DAbB wanted to give you some ideas on why/how you should recycle the oil.

The facts:

-In nearly every town in the US, it is against the law to throw used motor oil out in your household garbage.  So just don’t do it.

-One gallon of used oil can contaminate up to 1 million gallons of water.

-Recycling used motor oil keeps the oil out of our ground water, which means you and your kids won’t be drinking what you just dumped out of your car.

How to:

-Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for specific instructions on changing your oil.

-Remove the drain plug underneath the vehicle (again, follow your car makers’ instructions) into a pan large enough to hold the entire contents of the crankcase.  Most cars hold between 5 and 6 quarts of oil.
(Just one other note here.  We recommend changing your oil when the car has had a chance to cool down for a few hours.  The draining oil may be hot otherwise. You can also buy a drain pan specially made for recycling oil.  We really recommend buying these pans.  It makes the entire project really easy.  We like these from Oilfiltersonline.com.)

-Once the oil has completely drained, we recommend changing your oil filter. Your oil filter will have residual oil in it, so be careful not to let any of the oil spill on the ground.  Place the open end of the filter face down over the drain pan.  If possible, let the filter sit in this position for at least 12 hours to ensure all of the oil has drained from the filter.

-Once the used oil has drained, replace the drain plug as directed by the owner’s manual.  Make sure to clean up any drips with rags.

-After the used oil has been drained, the old oil filter removed, and the new filter is installed, add the new oil. Your owner’s manual provides recommendations on the viscosity grade, performance level, and amount of oil required for your vehicle. Most automobile manufacturers recommend that you use an oil meeting the latest International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) specification.
(Oils certified by API as meeting this specification may display the API Certification Mark “”Starburst”” (API’s Engine Oil Program) and API Service Symbol “”Donut.”” Diesel engine manufacturers typically recommend oils meeting a specific API diesel oil service category. Oils certified by API as meeting one or more of these categories may display the API Donut.)

-The owner’s manual will also help you find the oil fill cap. Remove the oil cap and add the amount of oil required by the instructions in the owner’s manual. Do not overfill. Use a funnel to prevent drips and make sure to completely empty each container of oil.

-Carefully remove the oil drain pan from under the vehicle (take care not to burn yourself with hot oil or spill any on the ground). Using a funnel, pour the used oil into a clean container with a lid that screws on tightly (for example, an empty milk or water jug or the empty oil bottles from the oil just added to the engine).   But again, if you use one of the recycled pans this step is very easy as the drain spout is built into the pan.

-Lastly, go to earth911.com to find where to drop off your oil and oil filter!

You’re done.  Now, only 82 more things on your Honey-Do List.”

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Environment

Clean Thinking in Denmark

“ Denmark, the land of Danish pastries, Carlsberg Beer, and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, is about to add an awesome... Read

Denmark, the land of Danish pastries, Carlsberg Beer, and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, is about to add an awesome achievement to its list: being 100% free of fossil fuels by 2050. What’s even more impressive is that Denmark’s 100% renewable energy commitment covers its entire energy supply – including electricity, heating, industry and transport.

So how are the Danes going to achieve such a hefty goal? First, Denmark will make the process a progressive evolution over the next 38 years. As a stepping stone to this ambitious undertaking, Denmark will strive to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Much of the renewable energy will be tapped from wind turbines. They are aiming to add an additional 3300 MW of wind powered energy by 2020. While this may seem like a lofty project for most countries, Denmark is home to the world’s largest wind turbine industry like Vestas and Siemens Wind Power.

The remaining renewable energy supply will be secured from smart grid, biogas, geothermal, wave and other sustainable technologies. These sources, combined with a number of government incentives, investments and building regulations will pave the way for a very green future for Denmark.”

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Garden

A Greener, Easier Saturday

“When Saturday rolls around for many guys across America, there is one thing they can count on: mowing the lawn. ... Read

“When Saturday rolls around for many guys across America, there is one thing they can count on: mowing the lawn.  For some, rolling up the sleeves and gassing up the mower can be a stress-relieving ritual of good ol’ fashioned hard work.  But for many others, it’s just another item on a never-ending list of chores.  But either way you look at it, there’s still a good chance that you’re pouring carbon emissions into the planet with every rip-start of your gas powered lawn mower.  So, we at DAbB decided to do a little digging and found a solution.  What we found is a trick like man-toy to help make your Saturday less busy and more eco friendly.

Introducing, the Husqvarna Automower® Solar Hybrid: the world’s first fully automatic lawn mower that is partly powered by the sun.  Just turn it on, set the cutting schedule and let the Automower do the rest!  Think of it like a Roomba® for your lawn – you just lay down parameter wire and the Automower chomps everything else.

According to Husqvarna, the Automower® Solar Hybrid uses less energy than any conventional mower because, in addition to a charging station, the integrated solar panel extends its cutting periods before it needs recharging.  So you use less power and you do less work – who doesn’t like that?

Aside from being both quiet and good for the earth, it hosts a number of awesome additional features including:

-Remote text message that notifies you of any unscheduled disturbance

-Anti-theft alarm and pin code (which you’ll want with the hefty $3K price tag)

-Safety sensors to shut the mower off if it is lifted or tipped over

-A weather proof design that can handle terrain slopes up to 35 degrees

So if you’ve got a lawn up to ½ acre in size (and an extra three grand burning a hole in your pocket), the Husqvarna Automower® Solar Hybrid mower could be just the tool to make your Saturday a little bit better.”

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Health & Beauty

Gentlemen: Green thy Faces

“Shaving is a regular task that not many of us guys like doing, but need to do anyway.  So, the... Read

“Shaving is a regular task that not many of us guys like doing, but need to do anyway.  So, the least we at DAbB can do is help you feel like you are reducing your footprint while you shave.  Here are three quick tips to help make your shaving routine a bit more green:

Turn off the water – this may seem obvious, but shut off the water while you shave.  The average Joe can save up 3,000 gallons a year!

Go Au Naturale – Next time you go to the drugstore, look for all-natural shaving creams and aftershaves.  Just look for plant based products that are certified organic and/or not tested on animals.  Or, you can enlist a bar of organic soap to make a thick lather suitable for shaving.

Ditch the disposable – Between plastic handles, metal blades, rubber grips and god-knows-what’s-in-those-lubricating-strips, disposable razors create a huge amount of waste.  So look for a more earth friendly solution.  The absolute best choice is a good, old fashioned straight razor – it can be sharpened for great results & used over and over.  But we realize that the thought of putting straight razor to your neck can be a bit intimidating – let’s face it, we’re not all John Wayne.  So why not pop for an electric razor to cut down on your waste?  Many new electric razors on the market are gentle on your skin and offer a close shave.  If you must use disposable, try one of the new eco-friendly razors from Schick!

Go forth and shave!”

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Housewares

Your Easy-access Guide to All-Natural Cleaners

“We all know that green cleaning products are great way to Do A bit Better.  But these products can also... Read

“We all know that green cleaning products are great way to Do A bit Better.  But these products can also be pricey and not readily available at your local supermarket.  But, whether you realize it or not, your kitchen is a virtual cornucopia of terrific all-natural cleaning products!  Here are just a few green cleaners you probably already have on hand:

White Vinegar
White vinegar is your kitchen’s all-purpose cleaner.  Vinegar’s natural slightly acidic properties make it a great choice for disinfecting and deodorizing just about any room in your house.  To create a gentle-but-effective cleaner, simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  For areas that need a little more “oomph”, simply add a little more vinegar and a little less water.  (But don’t go too crazy with the vinegar, as too much can be damaging.  It’s always best to spot treat your solution on a hidden area, and avoid using on any natural stone such as marble, granite, travertine, or limestone.)

Vinegar isn’t just a surface cleaner – it is also a terrific all-natural fabric softener.  Simply add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of store-bought fabric softener.  Not only does vinegar reduce the amount of lint, but it also breaks down laundry detergent effectively, which is great for family members with sensitive skin.

Salt & Club Soda
Not just for popcorn and cocktails, salt & club soda are a highly effective duo for eliminating the dreaded red wine stains.  The key to removing red wine stains is to treat the stain as quickly as possible.  To begin, assess the damage: if the stain is on the carpet or table cloth you can work directly on it, but if the spill hit the drapes or an article of clothing, remove and place the stained item on a flat surface.  Next, liberally pour the club soda cover over the entire stain.  The carbonation in the club soda will help lift the stain.  Once the stain has been lightly soaked, pour ¼ inch of normal table salt directly on the stain– just dump it on.  The salt will begin to lift the red wine out of the area being cleaned.  Dab gently with a damp cloth to remove the remaining salt.  Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great deodorant.  Simply place an open container in the back of your refrigerator, freezer, or by your trash cans to eliminate the smell.  Got teenage boys at home with that not-so-great teenage boy smell?  Simply pour baking soda into old socks and stuff inside their shoes to naturally deodorize while they are not being worn.

Lemons
Lastly, we have nature’s natural cleaner – the lemon!  There is a reason why so many commercial cleaners are citrus based: the pleasing scent and natural acidity make for an unbeatable cleaning combination.  Lemon juice can dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits, or you can use it to clean and shine brass & copper.  Or, mix 1 part lemon juice with 2 parts olive oil to make to make your furniture shine.  For other surfaces, try mixing lemon juice with vinegar or baking soda to make cleaning pastes – just be aware that lemon juice can act like a natural bleach, so be sure to spot test the lemon juice in a hidden area before using.  When you are done squeezing the cleaning power out of the lemons, toss the peels down the drain to help make your disposal smelling fresh & clean.

 “

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Housewares

Eco-Alternatives to a New Headboard

“There’s something about a headboard that just ties a bedroom together – it’s like wearing a belt.  It breaks up... Read

“There’s something about a headboard that just ties a bedroom together – it’s like wearing a belt.  It breaks up the room while adding depth and style to it.  The only problem is that headboards are expensive and can easily run upwards of $400.

Here’s the thing – we live in a time of great (and abundant) design.  There are plenty of alternatives to a traditional headboard out there with minimal waste.

For less than $40, you can achieve the great style of a traditional headboard with the modern style of a silhouette decal.  This particular decal from Dezign with a Z comes in a variety of colors, and they’ll even let you select your wall color to see how it will look.

Not interested in the traditional looking decals?  Try something a little non-traditional, like branches or grass:

 

Wall Flats have traditionally been used for adding some architectural depth and texture to walls in living spaces, dining rooms, and bedrooms – and they’re incredibly eco-friendly (often made from post-consumer material or renewable sources such as bagasse).  But they’re affordable (about $80-90 for a 10-pack from InhabitLiving.com) and will not only add color to your bedroom or guestroom, but depth and texture as well.

When in doubt, do something simple!  A large piece of solid-colored canvas or a canvas-framed photograph will give your bed the frame that you’re looking for, and can be done for cheap.  If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can stretch a patterned fabric over the canvas and staple it on the sides.

There are plenty of ways to do something unexpected and chic without spending a fortune, and all while being green.”

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Family

DIY “UpCycled” Crayons

“Here’s a fun one for the whole family. What do you do with those boxes of old, heavily used (but... Read

“Here’s a fun one for the whole family.

What do you do with those boxes of old, heavily used (but loved) crayons?  You turn them into a DYI project with the kids!  They can be melted down and turned into great recycled, different shaped writers that your young and older children can both enjoy.

Here’s what you need:

  1. Kitchen knife
  2. Old crayons
  3. Mini –cake or muffin tins (cute heart or various shapes are fun!)

Directions:

  1. Parents use the knife to chop crayons in to pea-size pieces. Have the kids help remove any remaining paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 150 degrees
  3. Have children fill tins with crayon pieces, mixing colors to make cool designs.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or just until the wax has melted
  5. Remove the shaped crayons after they have cooled.  If they stick to the tray, place in the freezer for an hour and they will pop out.

Tip:  If you don’t want to devote your tins to the melted wax, line them with tin foil

Now you and your kids can color away!”

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Family

The Fridge Isn’t Enough – What to do with Your Kid’s Artwork

“Not that you don’t love your kid’s artwork, but what should you do with it all?  We all have stacks... Read

“Not that you don’t love your kid’s artwork, but what should you do with it all?  We all have stacks and boxes full of our little artist’s creations. Here are few suggestions on how to reuse and display their little master pieces, so there are no late night runs (you know, when the kids are asleep) to the recycle bin!

Use as gift wrap – kids designs make beautiful wrapping paper for birthday gifts.  Trust me when I say, people will be asking you who made the amazing paper creation.  Your kids will be happy knowing others get to enjoy their work as well!

Laminate- run on down to any printer that has a laminating machine or use the one you have at home.  Take the kid’s art and turn them into beautiful placemats, pet food mats and/or bookmarks.  They are great gift ideas for friends and family.

Frame It – frame and mat the art work.  It’s a great way to decorate the kid’s rooms, your office and more.  They also make great gifts for friends and family.

Make a Book – compile your favorite pieces and make a book the whole family can enjoy.

Lastly, a great way to preserve the work is to scan it all and you can look back at them forever.  Then get your child to agree to recycle the originals without the midnight run to the recycle bin!”

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Environment

More Throttle AND Better MPG? Sold.

“According to your grandparents, the best ways to increase gas-mileage are to keep the windows rolled up, don’t run the... Read

“According to your grandparents, the best ways to increase gas-mileage are to keep the windows rolled up, don’t run the air conditioner, and keep the speedometer below 40.  Thanks, Grandpa – but we have a better idea.  Fuel economy can easily be increased with a new Air Intake System – and there are other benefits, too.  Along with more MPG, you’ll also get higher horsepower, and better throttle response.

It’s simple enough to do and only takes a few minutes.  The friendly people at your local auto parts store will be able to guide you toward the right system for your vehicle.

These systems replace the cheap system your auto-maker included with the vehicle, and increases the efficiency at which your vehicle burns fuel.  The more efficiently your vehicle burns fuel, the less fuel it uses to do the same thing.

These systems can run from $50 – $200, depending on the make and year of your vehicle.  Less gas, more green.”

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Housewares

Green Rim Recycled Pitcher

$14.00

A tale of transformation from trash to sparkling treasure—reclaiming what was once thrown away and giving it stunning new purpose.... Read

A tale of transformation from trash to sparkling treasure—reclaiming what was once thrown away and giving it stunning new purpose. Sparkling with bright, leafy green, evoking summer days and cool drinks with friends.

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Family

The Eco-Friendly Easter Basket – Fact or Fiction?

“Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s on its way!  What better way to Do A bit Better this year, than to prepare an... Read

“Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s on its way!  What better way to Do A bit Better this year, than to prepare an eco-friendly Easter basket for your little ones?  Here’s how:

Start by skipping the fake grass.  It’s usually made out of non-recyclable and non-biodegradable plastics which we just toss out the week after Easter.  And then what?  It sits in the landfill.  Dried grass gives a naturalistic look – or you can make your own paper grass from colored paper with a paper shredder.  It’s bouncy enough to keep Easter-eggs from breaking, and can be recycled afterwards

Speaking of Easter-eggs, consider dying your eggs naturally this year.  Egg shells are surprisingly absorbent when it comes to color, and the dye doesn’t have to last long! Consider boiling the eggs in some of these to color your eggs “au natural” this year: Pomegranate Juice, Blueberries, Spinach Juice, and Yellow Curry.  Boil these things in some white vinegar and you’ll get vibrant, natural colors!

Localize your candy!  Support your local Chocolatier for better chocolate, local economic stability, and less manufacturing / transporting / packaging waste.

Consider a better basket. Pick a basket you’ll like, reuse and keep (for guest towels, décor, gardening) instead of buying a cheap one you’re just going to throw out.  It may not be pastel colors, but a few ribbons will make it all-the-more festive!”

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Garden

UpCycling a Mini-Greenhouse

“Now that April’s here, it’s time to start thinking about gardening again.  If you’re growing anything from seedlings, you’re going... Read

“Now that April’s here, it’s time to start thinking about gardening again.  If you’re growing anything from seedlings, you’re going to want to keep things warm in case the frost hits.

While you could spend a great deal of money on a mini-greenhouse kit, you’d be surprised how easy it is to make one from home from materials you already have!

The easiest and most common way to build a mini-greenhouse is with empty plastic bottles.  Simply peel the label off and cut into a shape that fits over the plant (we like to use the cap-end, so that you can vent the air on particularly sunny days).  Cold beverage cups from coffee shops can work equally as well, and sometimes better if you need a longer, more horizontal area.

If your plants are already a bit bigger, then you’re going to have a hard time finding a large enough Soda Bottle (don’t go rummaging around Costco trying to prove us wrong!).  Cellophane to the rescue!  Four ground-stakes at equal heights wrapped in cellophane will create the perfect greenhouse square.  Finally, wrap the cellophane over the top and watch nature take its course!  Oh, and did we mention that cellophane is eco-friendly?  It’s made from plant materials (regenerated cellulose) and is 100% biodegradable.

Before shelling out the big bucks next time you think about raising a seedling of your own, consider what’s around you and how you can UpCycle it!”

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Housewares

Baja Recycled Wine Glass- Set of 2

$20.00

It’s fiesta time! Our Baja Wine Glass is hand-crafted from 100% recycled glass. Bold lines of blue and green bring... Read

It’s fiesta time! Our Baja Wine Glass is hand-crafted from 100% recycled glass. Bold lines of blue and green bring a simple, elegant style that’s perfect for every day or party time. These are made from thick, durable hand-blown glass that won’t break or tip over as easily as traditional glassware

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Recycle

Monday Tip of the Week – Shut Down, Save Up!

“Turn off your computer & printer every night instead of leaving it in sleep mode, and you can save 40... Read

“Turn off your computer & printer every night instead of leaving it in sleep mode, and you can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to 4 cents a day, or $14 per year. If you don’t want to wait for your computer to start up, set it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you get to work, or boot up while you’re pouring your morning cup ‘o joe.

Don’t forget about those wireless mouses!  Leaving those on could mean replacing your batteries once a month (and we all know how expensive batteries are).”

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Solar

Luminalt’s Response to “10 Questions to Ask Your Solar Installer”

“ Last month, we posted our top 10 questions you should ask your Solar Installer when you start the hunt... Read


Last month, we posted our top 10 questions you should ask your Solar Installer when you start the hunt for quality solar installation in your area.  Luminalt Solar Energy Solutions, a San Francisco based Solar Installer, took the liberty of answering all of our questions with the utmost detail!  Here are their responses:

Q:  How long has your company been installing solar electric systems?
A:  Luminalt was founded in 2004, but co-founder Noel Cotter did his first installation in 1980.

Q:  How many of your employees have solar panels on their homes?
A:  How many of your employees have solar panels on their homes? As a local company, most of us live in San Francisco and rent, meaning that solar won’t work for us (or rather, our landlords). Most of us who do own have a solar system – installed by Luminalt, of course!

Q:  How many NABCEP certified employees work for your company?
A:  A whole bunch of them! More than one-third of our company holds some kind of NABCEP Certification. Our CTO Noel Cotter, widely respected as one of the most knowledgeable solar installers around, serves on NABCEP’s licensing board, helping to devise some of the difficult tests administered each year. The pass rate is typically less than 50%, so only the best of the best receive certification.

Q:  Will everyone working on my system be an employee of your company?
A:  Yes! Beware of companies that will sub-contract to the lowest bidder. At Luminalt, we take care of our customers in-house to ensure that they have the best possible experience.

Q:  Can I see a list of ten clients that you have installed solar electric systems for?
A:  Check out the projects section of our website for a few case studies, or look at the San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Solar Map.

Q:  How do you determine your system output data?
A:  We’re in this with you for the long haul. Call us at anytime with questions about your new PG&E bills, your ideal rate schedule, or just to say hi.

Q:  How long is your warranty on all of my components and your work?
A:  All of our work is warranted for ten years. By using the highest quality materials available, we build systems to last for at least 30 years. The warranty on equipment varies by manufacturer, but is typically 25 years.

Q:  Does your panel manufacturer perform quality control audits on your installations?
A:  Only if you want them to! If you don’t want to be bothered, we’ll let them know.

Q:  What is the efficiency of the panels that you are proposing to install?
A:  Depends on how much space you have on your roof. Luminalt typically uses SunPower panels, the highest efficiency panels on the market. Luminalt is a SunPower Elite Dealer, making us one of only a few companies nationally that meet this designation’s customer satisfaction and quality standards.

Q:  How does your company implement its values?
A:  Luminalt believes in the transformative power of solar and the green economy on communities. As such, we have a Community Solar Grant Program and participate in Workforce Development training for those with barriers to entry into the job market.

 

Your search for Solar should lead you to an Installer like Luminalt! For more information on finding the right Solar Installer in your area, check out our Solar page.”

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Pets

DAbB’s Review of Wood Chuck Dog Toy

While we don’t bring our “other children” (our pets) to the office, we still couldn’t help but be excited when... Read

While we don’t bring our “other children” (our pets) to the office, we still couldn’t help but be excited when our Wood Chuck Dog Toy showed up at the office this week! Made by the fine folks at Planet Dog, this thing packs a SERIOUS wallop! Honestly, it’s a good thing they don’t allow these things in the MLB… I’ve never thrown anything so far in my life.

The entire shaft is made from sustainable bamboo, and with a cork handle which is INCREDIBLY comfortable. Better yet, included in the price was one Recycled Rubber ball which fit perfectly. That recycled rubber is stronger than it looks – I’ll be surprised if any of our pets can get their sharp little teeth through that… (knock on wood).

Best of all, we bought it from Only Natural Pet Store, who shipped the toy in biodegradable packing peanuts (swoon!). Not only do they talk the talk, but walk the walk as well. In fact, we had to make sure so we dropped a few into a glass of water.  They were gone within 20 minutes.

   

We couldn’t be happier with our purchase – If you’ve got a little friend with too much energy, we think you’ll like it too!

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Housewares

DoingABitBetter – More Tweets for your Tuesday

“Since our last post about Green Twitter Accounts, we’ve encountered even more great tweets that we’re sure you’ll love. @acmepartybox... Read

“Since our last post about Green Twitter Accounts, we’ve encountered even more great tweets that we’re sure you’ll love.

@acmepartybox – Green party favors and supplies (because those kids parties mean a LOT of trash!)
@CAGW – “”Crafting a Green World”” for all sorts of neat tips on green DIY & crafts
@AllOrganicGirl – Natural/Organic living news & advice
@BeingContent – ethical & organic beauty news, product recommendations, tips
@AptTherapyGreen – Apartment Therapy’s green team takes on sustainability in small spaces

And as if it needs saying, follow us! @DoingAbitBetter.”

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Recycle

Monday Tip of the Week – Getting Green with your Glass

“We’re lobbing you a softball here, people.  If you’re at home or on the road, there are receptacles and programs... Read

“We’re lobbing you a softball here, people.  If you’re at home or on the road, there are receptacles and programs for recycling glass readily available.

Glass is 100% recyclable! It can be recycled over and over again without losing purity or quality. Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. If it isn’t recycled, it can take a million years to decompose.

Glass can also be UpCycled in many ways. Check out these awesome tumblers made from old soda bottles!”

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Apparel

DO Leave Me Hanging

Get a clothesline and dry your clothes al fresco.  The benefits are clean clothes that smell great, and last longer.... Read

Get a clothesline and dry your clothes al fresco.  The benefits are clean clothes that smell great, and last longer. Did you know that the lint you pull out of the dryer is a sign that your clothes and sheets are wearing down? You save energy, preserve the environment, and reduce pollution by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  You also save some money: an average savings of $80 a year on electricity costs.

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Mom & Baby

Ditching Disposable Diapers

By the time a child is toilet trained, a parent will change between 5,000 and 8,000 diapers, adding up to... Read

By the time a child is toilet trained, a parent will change between 5,000 and 8,000 diapers, adding up to approximately 3.5 million tons of waste in U.S. landfills each year. Whether you choose cloth (like gDiapers) or a more environmentally-friendly disposable, you’re making a choice that has a much gentler impact on our planet.

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Housewares

Quick Home Tip – Let Your Dishwasher do the Work

“And by dishwasher, we don’t mean your husband. Today’s dishwashers aren’t like the avocado green one you grew up with. ... Read

And by dishwasher, we don’t mean your husband.

Today’s dishwashers aren’t like the avocado green one you grew up with.  They are highly powerful, so you can skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher.  In doing so, you can save up to 20 gallons of water each load. You save time, money, and avoid dishpan hands!”

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Solar

Good Karma

“Justin Bieber got one for his birthday.  Leonardo DiCaprio’s got one.  Even Ashton Kutcher’s internet billionaire character on Two and... Read

“Justin Bieber got one for his birthday.  Leonardo DiCaprio’s got one.  Even Ashton Kutcher’s internet billionaire character on Two and Half Men drives one.  Yup, we’re talking about the Fisker Karma.

At first glance there is no denying that it is one sexy ride (just look at those curves!). But we here at DAbB know that beauty is more than skin deep – and are consequently drooling like crazy.

Touted as “the world’s first premium hybrid electric vehicle”, the Fisker Karma employs a ton of awesome green features. Here are some of our favorites:

Reclaimed Wood Trim: From the get-go, buyers get to choose from a trio of certified wood trims that range from wood retrieved from the 2007 firestorm in Orange County, CA, sunken wood sourced from the bottom of Lake Michigan, or certified fallen wood from California storms.

One Hot Roof: The Karma features the world’s largest seamless solar glass roof for a production vehicle, which converts sunlight into stored electric energy to charge the battery, regulate interior climate systems, and increase the car’s electric driving range.

That Eco-Suede: Slip inside the cockpit and experience 100% recycled post-industry virgin polyester Eco-Suede, which reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 80% during the recycling process. What does that mean to you and me? Soft, supple, & eco-friendly

Adios, Gas Pump: To top it all off, the Karma sips gasoline, resulting in an impressive 52 MPG on the highway plus an additional 32 miles on a single electric charge! All those savings should come in handy when you’re making payments on a whopping $102,000 base price tag!

 “

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