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Energy Efficient Upgrades That Pay For Themselves

Home improvement can pay for itself, and even put cash back in your pocket – if you’re putting your money in the right places.  Renovations that increase your home’s energy efficiency aren’t just nice for the environment, they can be economical as well.  The folks at One Block Off The Grid offer a great guide to help you sort out …

Can An “Earthscraper” Provide Efficient Urban Living?

Mexico City is a sprawling city with nearly 9 million residents, and some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.  So how could developers possibly squeeze a 65-story structure into the middle of the city’s historic district?  Instead of building upwards, a newly proposed design calls for building down into the ground, creating the world’s first “earthscraper”.

Lighting Costs Cut By 90% Using Intelligent LEDs

A company called Digital Lumens has introduced product that networks LED lights together to form an “intelligent” lighting system. The system can turn on lights if people are present in a room, and adjust brightness levels over the course of a day. Overall, the system can cut lighting costs by 90% for commercial sites like warehouses. A real world example is …

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LED Lamps That Glow With Warm White Light

LED Lamps With Warm White Illumination: Koncept Z-Bar ($165) and i-Tower ($195) Pablo Designs LIM L Floor ($350) Cree XLamp XR-E Warm White LED Lantern ($25) The color temperature of light is measured in degrees Kelvin. Lower-temperature white LEDs (around 2,000-4,000 K) are warm (yellowish white) like incandescent bulbs. White LEDs with higher color temperatures (above 5,000 K) are cool …

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Energy Efficient House In Mojave Desert Built With Shipping Containers

Sitting near Joshua Tree, California in the Mojave Desert is an energy efficient new home and studio built by architect Walter Scott Perry of ecotechdesign out of six re-purposed steel shipping containers. Also known as the Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain, the 2,300 square foot home is the first permitted shipping container house to be built in the Mojave …

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Chicago Center For Green Technology: Sustainable Development Leader

Great ideas for sustainable development sometimes just remain abstract concepts – that is, until they’re put into practice where they can serve as a showcase for their real potential.  Such was the case with Chicago’s Center for Green Technology, the country’s first LEED Platinum municipal building – and an inspiration for subsequent development both in Chicago and nationwide.

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Chlorine Alternatives For Efficient Swimming Pools

Cannonball! Jumping into a swimming pool is a classic way to beat the heat on a hot summer day. But clean pool water requires a combination of filtration, circulation, and sanitization. Chlorine has long been the most common tool for keeping pools free of bacteria and algae – but it has its drawbacks, and there are alternatives.

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Efficient Outdoor Water Use

A recent Metaefficient post offered some ideas for reducing water consumption in your home – but why stop there? Read on to learn about some tips and products that will help you manage water use in outdoor spaces like lawns and gardens. Best of all, you’ll reduce both your environmental impact and utility bills in the process.

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Reduce Your Household Water Use Efficiently

Reducing household water usage has big-time benefits for both homeowners and for the environment: reducing strain on local water resources, cutting demand on wastewater treatment facilities, and lowering both water and sewage utility bills, to name a few. Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, we’ve put together a collection of water-saving tips and products that can help …

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Efficient Summertime Room-Cooling Products

When the summer sun starts beating down, homeowners need to use all the tools available to stay cool. We’ve put together the following list of products to help keep your favorite room cool and comfortable this season, while cutting your energy consumption and saving some money in the process.

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Efficient, Eco-Friendly Lawn Care

April showers might bring May flowers – but they also bring an explosion of lawn growth. Traditional lawn care can rely on some pretty nasty chemicals and smoke-belching machines, but luckily there are alternatives. Read on to learn about some innovative products to keep your lawn beautiful and healthy, while keeping the environment healthy too.

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Efficient Wall Design: Building In Energy Savings

A wall is one of the most deceptively complex elements of a home. A smart wall system utilizing efficiently designed and produced components will not only reduce energy consumption, it will make living in a home more pleasant. And it will be durable enough to help avoid the hassle of frequent or costly repairs. Read on to learn about some …

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A Metaefficient Bathroom – Environmentally Friendly And Functional

A bathroom may be one of the smallest rooms of a home, but make no mistake – it’s a vital one. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, integrating efficient components into a bathroom will add convenience and improve functionality, and also minimize the environmental impact of energy and water consumption.

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Green Roofs – Efficient Design Starts At The Top

Green roofs have seen a surge in popularity recently as sustainable building designs become more mainstream. Soil and plantings on a building’s rooftop can help manage water runoff, improve air quality, and reduce energy use by moderating indoor temperatures. They can also prolong the life of a building’s roof by protecting it from the wear and tear of wind, water, …

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REI’s LEED Certified Stores

REI’s newest LEED certified retail stores are evidence that smart business and environmental responsibility sometimes lead down the same path. These new stores enjoy lower operating costs, and customers appreciate the company’s dedication to sustainable building.

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Efficient Home Improvement: Re-Using Materials Gets Easier

For “D.I.Y.”ers, using recycled construction products is a great way to reduce raw material consumption and lessen stress on landfills.  But for retailers, the “Re I. Y.” trend (Re-use It Yourself) is taking the idea a step further, giving unused building products a new lease on life.

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Is This The World’s Most Efficient Windmill?

Sometimes the epitome of efficiency is using whatever tools are available to accomplish the job at hand. No one understands this better than William Kamkwamba, a teenager from rural Malawi whose ingenuity provided his family and neighbors with electricity from a most unlikely source.

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SmartSwitch Takes Human Error Out Of The Energy Efficiency Equation

The quest for low-impact, efficient living is often at odds with the human flaws of sheer laziness and absentmindedness. This couldn’t be more poignantly-illustrated than in an average American home. Much electricity is wasted each and every day by very simple, avoidable behavior. One of the most common examples is the vast amounts of electricity that are essentially thrown away due to …