Green Living

Residential Wind Turbines: An Increasingly Viable Option for Alternative Energy

If you’re tired of being tied to the grid, or just like the idea of saving some money down the road (when energy prices could be higher) by investing in an alternative energy source today, you could look into wind turbines. They can be an option in parts of the country where solar may not work as well. Windmills have been providing energy for ages, and modern technology is making turbines more efficient than ever. They’re even something you can look into if you live in the city or suburbs.

U.S. wind maps show the strongest and most dependable gusts are in the middle states, off the coasts, and near mountains. It takes 8-mph winds to kick an average turbine into gear and 15 mph for it to generate electricity. You can get residential wind turbines capable of generating 1 kW to 10 kW.  A 10-kW unit can completely power an average home during good wind conditions, and it might even make extra to sell back to the grid.

Wind Turbine Cost

According to Harnessing the Wind, an article over at Custom Home Magazine, “Most residential systems cost $15,000 to $20,000 installed, say turbine dealers. But the figure is dramatically reduced by federal tax credits, as well as state rebates and tax credits, low-interest loans, and utility incentives.”

 

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Glass Fireplace with Dancing Flames

An indoor fireplace can really improve the ambiance. Whether you’re cuddling with your significant other or just watching a movie with a friend, sitting next to a fire can make you feel more relaxed. Plus, it’s can be a stylish way to keep warm!

The Planika Ambience Line Fireplaces feature a glass design and a polished cast aluminum base. Enjoy the dancing flames behind the cylinder glass shield, which are mesmerizing. This fireplace uses eco-friendly fuel, so it doesn’t create smoke, ash or any odors. Place this piece in the middle of a living room, and let it be a functional piece of art.

The fuel only emits water vapor and carbon dioxide, and the tempered glass is highly durable and stylish.

Frame Memorable Posters from Rock Concerts to Idols

When you were a teenager, did you have posters from concerts covering your bedroom walls? If not concert posters, possibly posters of your favorite celebrities? Whichever the case, there is a way to make this memorabilia look more presentable in your game room or teenage son or daughter’s room.

Any poster looks unfinished when taped to the wall, so it’s important to turn it into artwork. The Burnes Ebony Wood Poster Frame measures 18” x 24”, and it’s a wall-mountable, vertical frame. It can be hung horizontally or vertically, which is convenient. Also, it’s a more eco-friendly model since the wood construction is made from 20% recycled material.

Within a few minutes, you can place your poster in the frame, and the wall will look more finished. This is the perfect accessory for your home, office or child’s room.

Solarize Your Water System

How much money are you paying every month to heat your water? Probably quite a bundle. The more things you can run with solar energy, the more money you will be saving in your pocket. It’s a direct relationship, and you need to figure out how to reap the rewards.

Installing solar panels or anything solar for that matter might seem above your skills, but the Caleffi Solar Water Heating System makes solar energy a more manageable installation. This system is for a one to two person household, and it uses the sun’s energy to heat up water.

The parts in this kit can be installed quickly, because they’re ready to be screwed together. You don’t need to solder them together so you’re fine with the tools you have at home. Before you know it, you can be saving bundles!

Accessorize the Gym with Printed Yoga Mats

Yoga is an incredibly relaxing way to release stress from work and your home life. In addition, it can strengthen your muscles and build back up your sense of balance. There are so many benefits, and it’s one workout that doesn’t require a heavy-duty machine.

Carpeting flooring and wall to wall mirrors are ideal for a basement gym, and if you’re interested in taking up the practice of yoga, you can accessorize with printed mats. The Gaiam Yoga and Pilates Printed Wisdom Mat is eco-friendly and non-toxic. It’s made from 100% rubber, ensuring your feet stay in place when you’re balancing or standing in warrior pose. This biodegradable mat provides you with traction and comfort.

Along with helping you reduce stress and maintain your weight, printed yoga mats can decorate your home gym.

Plush Chaise Lounge for the Poolside

The poolside isn’t luxurious if it doesn’t have an incredibly cozy chaise lounge. Relaxing by the pool requires a comfortable seat, and a lounger is ideal.

The Thomasville Palmetto Estates Chaise Lounge is a beautiful model. It’s made from FSC certified Brazilian eucalyptus wood and Petan weave. The Petan is actually PVC-free and 100% recyclable, making this an eco-friendly piece. The large cushions are made from Sunbrella fabric, which holds up all year round.

After seasons of use, the eucalyptus wood will age to a soft silvery patina finish, but the cushions will resist decay. The galvanized steel and brass-plated hardware are weather-hardy as well.

Read a book, sunbathe or socialize right next to your pool while sinking into a thick, soft padded chair. This model has wheels attached, providing you with portability.

Low Maintenance Indoor Plants for Spring

Not everyone has the time to tend to the garden let alone indoor plants. But just because you don’t have the greenest thumb or time to hone your skills doesn’t mean the interior of you home has to suffer.

Coral Cactus Plants are easy to maintain, and they can bring that spring look to your indoor decor. These pink cactus plants have beautiful color, and they have an interesting shape similar to that of ocean coral.

This set of plants come in cute polka dot vases in green, blue and pink. In addition to being easy to take care of, these indoor plants can help reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or pollution in your home.

Korean Velvet Grass Eliminates Mowing

Mowing the grass can take a toll on your body, and it also pollutes the environment. Instead of wasting your time this summer mowing every other day to maintain your manicured lawn, feel free to give your mower away for good.

Korean velvet grass is an alternative turf that can create a whimsical environment in your yard. This grass is different from the common grass you might be used to, because as it grows, it creates ripples and mounds. It’s really an interesting effect, and the best part of this turf is that you don’t have to mow it.

If you’re no longer into a manicured lawn or tending to the outside of your home as much as you did when you were younger, maybe it’s time to renovate the lawn.

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Boucherouite Rag Rug Equals Wall Art

Rugs don’t necessarily have to go on the floor. If they’re so beautiful, why would you want them on the floor anyway where they can get dirty? Instead you can hang them on the wall as a decorative art piece.

These Boucherouite Rag Rugs are incredible artistic expressions of color and design. These Moroccan recycling rugs are made from rags, but the end result doesn’t look dingy and old. The bright colors from yellow and blue to orange and pink just pop.

Choose from sizes up to 6′ 8” x 11′ 4”. From more simple designs to chaotic ones, these rugs are definitely more attractive than the average rugs you find at department stores. Add a recycled rug to your entryway or save it for the wall above the couch.

Compact Four Tier Greenhouse

If you have a green thumb or would like to live more off the grid, a greenhouse in the backyard is exactly what you need to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. However, your property might not allow for a standard sized greenhouses.

The Juliana Four Tier Growing Rack is nicely sized for a smaller backyard or patio area. This rack enables you to extend the growing season, so you and your family can enjoy friends foods and herbs all year long. Or, you can grow some of your favorite flowers too.

This greenhouse has a compact size, but it’s designed to accommodate both small and large plants. The shelves are removable so you can rearrange things to fit taller plants. Also, the steel frame is durable, and the exterior is treated with a UV plastic cover.