Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Countdown to the 2011 Solar Decathlon

Are you ready for the Solar Decathlon in Washington DC next month?  The EERE sure is:  they've been profiling a different entry in their e-newsletter each week as they count down to the event.  For instance...

Students from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville use an iPad to monitor their house's energy systems.

Florida International University's perFORM[D]ance House focuses on sustainability.

University of Maryland's WaterShed entry aims to bring attention to the Chesapeake Bay, which is the largest estuary in the USA.

The next Solar Decathlon will be held Sept. 23–Oct. 2, 2011, at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Go check it out!

For more information, visit

Join the clean energy conversation on Facebook at DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Energy Savers, and Solar Decathlon pages.

Read about the last Solar Decathlon in 2009 here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sites for reuse, trade in, or donation

Tis the season for yard sales!  But if you haven't the time or inclination, here are some sites where you can trade in or donate your stuff to a good cause. for gadget recycling
Sell your old but working electronic gadgets!  Enter the brand, model, and condition and the site makes you an offer (usually around $100 per trade-in).  If you accept, Gazelle mails you a box to send it in and a free shipping label.  Once the site confirms the gadget works, you can accept the money via check, gift card, or PayPal, or donate it to one of about 50 charities.  Don't worry:  Before the item is resold, Gazelle wipes out your personal information. for kid stuff
Swap clothes or toys your child has outgrown.  Browse through listings of thousands of boxes containing an average of 15 items - brief descriptions include size (for clothes) and color.  Once you've picked a box, describe the items you'll be trading, and for $5 plus shipping, you'll receive your chosen box and an empty one to send in your items.  The site relies on user ratings to monitor the quality of goods, and 98% of the boxes are rated 3 or 4 stars.

New local thrift store for all you fashionistas out there:  in Timonium.
But don't forget old favorites like on Roland Ave near Hampden,
and on Taylor Ave near Loch Raven.

Where to donate clothes and household items (schedule free pickup online if you live in a neighborhood along one of their routes, like Rodgers Forge...)  for Purple Heart Veterans  for Vietnam Veterans

Also don't forget the Baltimore County recycling site, with its links to electronics recycling and local reuse organizations.  Did you know that you can take electronics and building materials to one of the three county landfills for recycling or donation?

And when all else fails, there's always Craigslist.

P.S. Click the Recycling tag in the sidebar to see my other posts on this topic!  I'm always discovering new sites and shops to RRR.