by firespin on Friday June 06, 2014

Fans of skiing generally state that one of their favorite things about the sport is that they can enjoy nature and the beautiful scenery around them. Unfortunately, ski resorts have often existed at odds with nature, with little notice of destroyed wildlife habitats, soil erosion, watershed maintenance, or sustainable tourist practices. This attitude is beginning to change, however, as ski addicts become more conscious of the environment and resorts are being forced to change their ways or lose business. Here are a few of the most eco-conscious resorts:
1. Aravis Lodge, France

The century-old Aravis Lodge in La Clusaz, France manages to have almost no ecological impact, yet remains breathtakingly gorgeous and quaint. On-site solar panels provide the building’s hot water and heating, some of which are used to fuel the indulgent sauna. Vegetarian meals are readily available and delicious. Most of the food served here is sourced locally and organic, and food from afar is fair-trade. The Lodge recycles or composts all of its waste, and regularly pays to offset its carbon emissions. Aravis Lodge also encourages guests to take part in snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, both of which have significantly less impact on the environment than traditional skiing. Ski deals in France have been getting very accessible and not just for the better off amongst so check out this great green destination if you would like to check out some more guides to this region check out ski guides from GoSki.

2. Hotel Terra, USA

Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole, Wyoming does quite a bit to protect the natural world, but guests might never notice it from the luxury that abounds there. This chic hotel is constructed entirely from recycled or sustainable materials, and the energy to run the hot tub and infinity pool comes exclusively from the property’s wind, solar, and hydro-power technologies. Skiing and snowboarding suitable for every level is available at the nearby Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

3. Mountain Living Hotel, Italy

The Mountain Living Residence Hotel Lagaci√≥ in San Cassiano, Italy ranks high on the list. They have two dozen sophisticated apartments for rent in a sustainably-built structure, and not only do they make an effort to conserve water, but the resort owns it’s own spring and the food is organic and produced locally.

4. Aspen Mountain, USA

Aspen Mountain Ski Resort in Pitkin, Colorado ranked as the second most eco-friendly resort in an American study, with significant water conservation efforts and prevention of habitat loss. Though their sustainability policies regarding guest waste and purchasing leave much to be desired, their attempts to preserve the environment around them are admirable, and Aspen Mountain is great choice for those searching for a ski destination in the United States.

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by Sarah on Tuesday May 27, 2014

home energy conservationYou shut off lights when you leave a room, take ten minute showers, and only use the air conditioning when you are melting and it’s absolutely necessary; so why are your energy bills still sky-rocketing month after month? Even the most diligent energy savers experience energy losses at home in the least obvious of places. Here are some tips to help you uncover energy hogs that are likely hiding in your home to improve energy efficiency, help the environment, and save you money on your monthly energy bills!

First, make sure that you home doesn’t have any leaks. Leaks can be found in a variety of places. The most common locations to find leaks, gaps, holes and cracks are your home’s exterior facing windows and doors. As the weather changes, these materials will expand and contract, causing drafts. Instead of letting comfortable air escape and letting uncomfortable air in, seal up these leaks. You can use an indoor caulk around the edges of these windows and doors for a tight seal. This will improve insulation so that your HVAC system can save energy and stop working so hard, improving its longevity and quality too! Also, old windows and doors may need to be replaced with energy efficiency, double paned glass options. Leaks can be found around electrical outlets, in chimneys and other areas too, so be on the lookout!

Make sure your heating and cooling system is functional and well maintained. Each year this should be inspected and serviced by a professional. In the meantime, you can improve energy efficiency by changing out furnace filters regularly or cleaning them in between replacements. This is simple and super affordable too. When filters are clean, air can pass through steadily, helping to keep your home comfortable and reducing waste.

Think about the lights in your home. Check the wattage of each bulb. In areas where you don’t need too much light, you may want to go down a few watts. This can reduce how much energy is used while still providing enough light for your space. Also, look into switching to energy efficient bulbs which use a fraction of the energy that normal lights use. These are typically more expensive to purchase up front, but your long term energy bill savings will be worth the initial investment. Energy efficient bulbs also last more that twice the amount of time as a regular bulb, so you won’t need to spend time replacing bulbs as often and you also won’t need to head to the store as frequently either.

These tips will help you to find the “hogs” in your home that are sucking up energy and wasting your money without you even realizing! These changes are small, simple but seriously effective! Seal up leaks throughout your home, maintain your heating and cooling system by changing filters, and change over to energy efficient light bulbs for great results that you will notice right away. If you need more help or advice, be sure to contact a professional who specializes in energy efficiency, plumbing services, and/or HVAC maintenance for more tips and suggestions.

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by Sarah on Thursday April 24, 2014

recycle houseWe live in a consumer-centered society. We often take for granted the resources and energy available to us in our day-to-day lives. When it comes to consumption, we especially consume lots of energy in order to power our homes, electronics, devices cars, and appliances. While these are wonderful tools, and energy is necessary to our daily lives, it is essential that we all become more mindful of our energy use in an effort to reduce and conserve. Consider this information about the importance of reducing your home energy consumption.

Energy consumption is essential to helping reduce damage inflicted on the environment. We use energy to power our cars, cook our food, light up our homes, and so much more. While we need these things, many of us become wasteful and actually use much more that we truly need. This excess can cause unnecessary, avoidable pollution. Pollution harms the air quality that we inhale outside. It also negatively impacts wildlife such as plants, trees, and animals. In our homes, much of the energy we use is non-renewable and comes from fossil fuels. Some homeowners and businesses are choosing to use renewable energy sources such as solar power in and effort to reduce the damage and the impact caused by traditional energy sources like gas and electricity. While you do not necessarily need to make such a drastic shift and change in your energy source, you can take other steps to reduce your carbon footprint and negative impact on the world we all live in. Start taking shorter showers, sealing and insulating your home properly, turning off lights when you leave a room, unplugging inactive appliances and more. Small changes and steps add up with time and consistency.

In addition to helping protect the environment, energy savings can also help you personally from a financial standpoint. Since energy is in high demand, prices continue to climb, which can get very expensive for homeowners. When you reduce your energy use, you are able to cut down on your monthly energy bills, meaning there is more money in your pocket! Spend your hard earned money on the things you truly want or need instead of spending it on wasted energy!

It is apparent that each and every one of us needs to become more aware of the energy we use daily in order to have a more positive impact on the world. This doesn’t mean you need to stop using power or live off the grid completely, but it does require small, minor changes in your day to day life that can make a drastic impact over time. Be sure to only use what you need, consider tips for reducing energy consumption, and think before you use. These changes can help you do your part to protect the environment while keeping money in your pocket for dramatic energy bill savings every month. If everyone does their part, we can live in a healthier, safer, respected world and we can live sustainably.

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by Sarah on Tuesday April 15, 2014

waterAs a homeowner, one of your main concerns is often energy and water waste and expenses, Although we try to be conscious of our energy and water use, it is unfortunately very easy for this use to get out of control and expensive if you are not careful enough. Luckily if you make some changes, you can save energy and water. Here are 5 innovative ways to save more water and energy at home.

  1. When washing dishes, consider soaking the dishes in the sink first before washing them. Soaking dishes in hot, soapy water can help to loosen grease and other food that may be stuck onto the dishes. Soaking helps to make it easier to clean dishes completely, while speeding up your actual washing process and reducing how long you need to leave the water running, saving water. If you are able, soaking over night will be the most effective!
  2. Shorten your showers. Often we spend way too much time in the shower than needed. Try to cut this down by timing yourself. A fun way to keep track of time is to play music while you shower. After each song, you will have an idea of how long you have had the water running in the shower. Keep in mind a shower uses 5 to 7 gallons of water per minute, so each minute is precious when it comes to water savings!
  3. In order to save energy, be sure to seal up your home’s windows and doors. Due to climate and temperate changes throughout the year, window and door frames and expand and contract, leaving behind cracks, holes and spaces which will allow drafts to come into your home. Drafts reduce energy efficiency because your HVAC system will have to work extra herd to heat or cool properly. Seal these areas with an indoor caulk that can be purchased at your local hardware store. This is a simple weekend project anyone can do!
  4. Use power strips to plug in your electronics and appliances. Electricity companies like Fraser Electric will recommend this practice as well because it also protects your devices from surges. When it comes to turning off lights and appliances, it is harder to be diligent about saving energy when you have to unplug multiple cords. When you use a power strip you can plug in multiple plugs in one location. This means you can turn all appliances on or off with one simple switch, making it easier and more effective to save power and energy at home.
  5. Finally, fix leaks for water conservation. They may seem like small, harmless drops of water, but these drops add up surpassingly fast! 30 drops per minute waste 3 gallons each day! Reduce waste by taking care of leaky faucets in sinks, showers and tubs immediately when you notice them.

Using these tips will help you to be aware of your energy and water use, while also helping to reduce waste and extra spending. You will not only help the environment, but your wallet as well, so these are changes in your home and lifestyle that you can feel great about!

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by Sarah on Tuesday April 08, 2014

cabinIf you’re someone who is fortunate enough to live in a log cabin year-round, you sure are lucky. Aside from the absolutely gorgeous designs that log cabins have, they are also proven to be eco-friendly, sound-proof and built with the level of quality that will make it a high-priced property should you ever decide to sell it.

In fact, the only challenge that a lot of log cabin owners seem to have is finding ways to better conserve energy so that they can ultimately decrease their electricity and water costs each month. If you can relate to this fact and you’re looking for a few energy conservation tips for log cabin homes, we’ve got five great ones for you below:

Plant more trees. The first recommendation complements most log cabins beautifully. We say that because these kinds of homes simply wouldn’t be complete without the kind of landscaping that has plenty of greenery. That’s why we think that one of the best things that you can do in order to conserve energy at your log cabin is to plant (more) trees. By positioning them in front of your windows, that helps to protect you and the rooms of your house from the sun’s rays, ultimately making the house cooler as a direct result.

Use ceiling fans. If you’re curious to know about a way that you can still keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter without having to spend a ton of money in the process, our recommendation is that you install some ceiling fans. Not only does it help to increase the air circulation in the various rooms of your house, but by setting them to rotate in the summer, they can cool your house down by as much as five degrees as well. And, by setting them to rotate counterclockwise in the winter, you can pull the heat that has risen up to your high ceilings down closer to where you are.

Change your window treatments. Something else that you can do in order to help conserve energy in your home is to change your window treatments. In the spring and summer, consider putting up some wide blinds to shield the sun. In the winter time, it’s always a good idea to purchase some thermal curtains. They are made out of a fabric that will help to keep the warm air inside, no matter how cold it might be outside.

Decorate with light colors. One of the biggest challenges with a log cabin home is the fact that the wood tends to make things significantly darker inside of each room of the house. Something that you can do to balance that out, just a bit, is to decorate with lighter colors. This would include everything from your window treatments to your throw rugs to your bedding. That way, you won’t have to rely so much on your HVAC unit to keep your house at a comfortable temperature, especially on hot days and nights.

Unplug what you don’t need. Say that you’re looking for some eco-friendly appliances for your home and you come across an article entitled what size AC system is best? As you’re reading on a website like that would feature that kind of information, you will probably also happen upon a piece that talks about how you can save money on energy costs. Within it, one of the things that it would probably tell you is that it’s important to unplug what you don’t need. We say this because there are a lot of us who spend more money on energy bills than we would like simply because we leave our computers or even our cell phone chargers unplugged overnight. However, by simply unplugging them, we can save a few extra dollars each month on energy costs. For more ideas on how to be energy conscious, visit The Daily Green.

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