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The Frontlines of Climate Change: Wildfire

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jul 31, 2014 11:06:11 AM

I have recently relocated from the rugged shores of the San Juan Islands in Washington to the craggy peaks of the San Juan Mountains in my beloved home state of Colorado—from the temperate softness of the cedars and hemlock to the majestic vigor of the spruce, firs, and pines.

I developed my love for forests long ago, when youthful compulsion drove me to alight the branches of any tree strong enough to bear my weight. Countless hours were spent fashioning tree houses that served as hideout, fort, or lair, depending on my whim. That love evolved as I engaged in the many joys and activities that the mountains offer, and ultimately helped define my career path.

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Is Greywater Reuse Legal?

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jul 29, 2014 4:19:50 PM

GREYWATER IS WATER from sinks, showers and washing machines, that can be captured and reused for irrigation. Greywater systems can potentially save up to 80 percent of household for reuse.

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Tankless Water Heaters: Starting at the Source

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jul 29, 2014 4:13:34 PM

HEATING WATER ACCOUNTS for 15 percent of a home’s energy budget, and half of that is used in bathrooms. You can maximize water and energy savings in the bath by choosing the most efficient way to heat water. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand (via a heat exchanger heated by gas, propane or electricity) rather than maintaining the temperature of a given volume of water. These units offer several advantages over conventional storage water heaters. Because energy is only used to heat water when it’s needed, tankless units are more energy efficient and can produce “endless” amounts of hot water. According to Energy Star, high-efficiency tankless water heaters can save between 45 and 60 percent more energy. They also last up to twice as long as conventional tank heaters and take up less space. Parts are modular and can be replaced easily, and many tankless units are made of recycled components that are themselves recyclable. And you don’t have to worry about the unit rupturing and releasing 50-plus gallons of water into the mechanical room—and beyond. On the downside, tankless units cost more up-front, and do require more mindfulness when using several fixtures or appliances that require hot water at the same time. However, most manufacturers offer models tailored for various household sizes and hot water demand.

All tankless units are not created equal, either. While non-condensing tankless units are highly efficient and most are Energy Star rated, some companies, including Noritz, Rinnai, Rheem and Bosch, make condensing-type units, which extract the heat from exhaust gases. These units achieve ultra-high efficiencies of 90 percent or more.

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Selling Green: Have Big Brands Become "Uncool?"

Posted by Matt Power

Jul 29, 2014 11:28:57 AM

Ten years ago, you couldn't walk through a shopping mall anywhere in the U.S. without seeing 100 iterations of the Nike "swoosh" on clothing, hats and shoes. But that was the pre-Millennial age. And it may be over.

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World's First Home Grown Solar Tree Earns its Keep

Posted by Matt Power

Jul 28, 2014 2:13:00 PM

Once just a fantasy, solar trees are beginning to catch on, both for their beauty and genuine utility as a way around anti-solar NIMBYism.

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