Lego-Style Living

July29, 2013 by Jeff in Uncategorized

Watch the video here

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take up as little space as possible? I don’t mean that you wouldn’t exist or you’d become insignificant to others.  Nor am I encouraging people to cut back from their normal lives.

 

I am referring to people who waste-not and want-not.  People who use their resources as efficiently as possible.  People like Christian. His 24 square-meters lego-style house is full of surprises.  He thought about what he needed in a home, not what he wanted.

 

There are a few things to take out of this video.  Thanks to the revolutionary style of this efficient apartment, I have a new appreciation for simplistic living.  I am re-thinking my lifestyle because I know there are areas where I over-complicate my life.

 

Christian’s video does not make its viewers ashamed of their lifestyles.  Yes, I am sure I over-consume at times; but this video takes an optimistic approach.  It highlights the positive aspects of Christian’s design rather than the negative aspects of other apartments.

Can you have too much of a good thing?

July25, 2013 by Jeff in Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 1.59.13 PMIf I were Beck Bennett, the man who is in those adorable AT&T commercials, I would prompt the above question to kids.  I would listen to their naïve, carefree answers which would most likely consist of “No way” and “I want everything”.

 

But we’re not in a commercial; and we’re not talking to little kids. We’re talking about real life and real issues.

 

You may still be on-board with these kids if you were thinking of money, candy, or all the gold in the world.  However, if you’ve ever watched and truly understood the messages portrayed in almost every Disney movie, if you have too much of a good thing, something pleasant may become unpleasant because you have overused it.

 

I am going to try to prove to you that too much of a good thing can be costly.  Let’s look at air conditioning.

 

When shopping for new products, our consumer-driven nation has taught us that bigger is better.  However, when it comes to AC units, this is not always the case.

 

An AC unit does two jobs.  It lowers temperature and removes moisture from the air.  In order to remove moisture in the air, it needs to run for a long time.  It takes at least 15 minutes before you will notice any dehumidification in the air.

 

But, an oversized air conditioner will run for about 10 minutes then shut off because the house will be cool.  Then the unit is only doing half its job and you’re left with a humid, stuffy home. So not only will you be paying higher energy bills to run this oversized AC, you will also be voluntarily living in humid discomfort.

 

So check the runtime of your air conditioner because you may be getting too much of a good thing.

5 Sustainable Ideas to Update Your Kitchen

April27, 2012 by Shannalee in Uncategorized

eco kitchen renovations

No matter what your decorating style, there’s one kind of kitchen renovation we can all get behind: eco-friendly remodeling does more than make a kitchen look cool—it uses up otherwise wasted materials and may even save costs over the long haul.

Here are our five top eco-friendly kitchen renovations to get started!

1. Green Countertops

When we say green countertops, we don’t mean the color. We’re talking sustainability. Eco-friendly countertops from Durcon (TM) are made from a proprietary blend of post-consumer recycled glass and other materials. Plus, they’ve been voted a top product by HGTV, the Great Big Texas Home Show and other DIY networks.

2. Cork Kitchen Floor

Made from bark that’s peeled off of a tree and allowed to grow back, cork floors are a sustainable option that come in various styles and colors. Other eco-friendly kitchen floors include Marmoleum or bamboo.

3. Energy Star Appliances

When it comes to eco-friendly appliances, the decision’s a no-brainer: Energy Star ratings reveal whether or not an appliance has passed an energy-efficiency test, so opting for those means taking a step in a green direction.

4. Solar Lighting

Swap out your lightbulbs with LED replacements and you automatically make your kitchen more eco-friendly.

5. Recycle the Old

Just as important as what you add when renovating your kitchen is what you take away. Don’t just trash your old floors or countertops, but instead find a way to recycle them. Advertise materials that can be reused and placed in a new home, or find recycling centers that will repurpose your materials into other uses.

(Image source: Trendir.com)

Solar Technology Melts Chocolate, Helps Make M&Ms Green

March1, 2012 by Shannalee in Uncategorized

solar power melts chocolate You’ve heard of solar power heating homes and lighting buildings—but are you ready for the latest sun-powered news? Mars Chocolate, the company behind beloved M&Ms, Mars Bars and Twix, through a newly launched solar garden at its Ethel M factory in Nevada, is now using the sun to melt down chocolate.

“At Mars Chocolate North America, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world,” said Mike Wittman, vice president of supply for Mars, in a press release. “We are proud of the investments we are making to ensure we are using the earth’s resources responsibly. This newest solar garden moves us closer to our goals of eliminating our carbon footprint at our sites by 2040 and using 100 percent renewable energy.”

The new solar garden Wittman references is the largest installation of solar panels by any food manufacturer in Nevada, boasting 2,112 ground-mounted solar panels on 4.4 acres. It generates 1,258 megawatt hours of eco-friendly, zero-emission electricity annually—enough to power 115 Nevada households each year, offset 867 metric tons of greenhouse gas or to remove 170 vehicles from the road. It will fully power the chocolate factory during peak operating hours.

Demonstrating the sustainable focus made by Mars, this project is the second solar PV installation on its properties, the first being at its North American headquarters in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

“We are fortunate to have been a part of the Henderson and Las Vegas community for more than 30 years,” said Mack Phillips, site director of the Henderson plant. “We hope the completion of our solar garden demonstrates our continuing commitment to be an environmentally friendly citizen. Our goal is that every business decision we make will have a positive effect on people and the planet through our performance. This project achieves all three.”

At Soluxe Solar, we love hearing about new and innovative uses for solar energy and look forward to seeing how other industries follow the chocolate-maker’s example and set the world up for cleaner, more sustainable power!