Friday, April 30, 2010

Energy Star appliance shopping

This past month Consumer Reports published their reviews of home appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and washing machines, including a good amount of information about Energy Star along the way.  One of the articles points out that appliance energy guides and ratings often over-promise the product's efficiency (like in this Frigidaire ad from 1933?).  Currently there is no third party certification for Energy Star claims, but I've heard that this will soon change:  sorry, no more gas-powered alarm clocks!  In the meantime, take any appliance's energy guide numbers with a grain of salt.  Whether the Energy Star rating on my new Maytag fridge is accurate or not, I'll definitely use fewer kWh than the ~1000 per year my 20+ year old Whirlpool was burning.

If you're in the market for a new appliance, cash in on these rebates offered by BGE's Smart Energy Savers program:

Get $50 rebate for buying an Energy Star appliance

Get $50 for recycling your old refrigerator

The main Energy Star website is here:
Did you know that clothes dryers are not rated by Energy Star?  here's why
Calculate how much you could save by recycling your old refrigerator and getting a new Energy Star model here 

When it comes to modern refrigeration, we've come a long way, baby... here's an interesting article from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers about the history of refrigeration and cooling.

Thanks to Liza at Pine Street Art Works for the Frigidaire ad image and ASME article used in this post.  Check out her lovely blog here

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring green event roundup

Lots of green events every spring in Baltimore... watch for these and similar events next year too:

This Saturday is the Baltimore County compost bin and rain barrel sale:  take advantage of the great discounts!

Check the Baltimore Green Works event calendar

Herring Run Watershed Association native plant sales, rain barrel workshops, etc.

Our local chapter of the US Green Building Council (USGBC)

Feeling the urge to bike around Baltimore?  Here's a map of bike lanes and trails from CityPaper... 

Happy Earth Day! Hope for the future...

This poem, entitled "Lost Generation," is a palindrome:  enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Building a castle, old school

This may not count as "green building" exactly, but it is cool:  a bunch of French expats are building a castle in Arkansas using medieval construction techniques.  It's scheduled for completion in 2030, but will be opening for public tours as early as May 2010.  They are accepting applications for interns, volunteers, and artisans to help with the project.

Despite the project's dedication to medieval techniques, their communications team is decidedly modern:  check out their website to read the blog, get to know the team, follow them on Twitter, etc... 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Car sharing with RelayRides

I just signed up for a program called RelayRides:  watch the short intro video at their website for a summary of how it works.

If you'd be so kind as to list me as a referral (which could earn me money!), send me a message in the comment field and I'll give you my info.  Much obliged!

Here's more back story from MotorWeek by way of YouTube...

Relay Rides is launching in your area soon!

Have a car? Need a car? Either way, we can help!

Have a car? Earn cash by renting it out when you're not using it. Our technology and insurance make the rental safe and convenient!

Need a car? Get convenient, affordable access to one by the hour or the day. Gas and insurance are included!