Considering lawn alternatives

The one thing you can do to conserve the most water and energy is to get rid of your lawn. Replace it with drought-resistant plants, and don't water them much (create a drought of your own ). You can also replace your lawn with native plants that grow and thrive in your climate without need for additional watering (above and beyond what Mother Nature provides). Barring that, you can I Set the height levers on your lawn mower an inch higher. Less heat will hit the dirt beneath the grass, thereby...

Watering Your Landscaping

Most people have some form of landscaping, and many people have extensive landscaping, including a lawn, which is the most water- and energy-intense form of landscaping you can imagine. In a yard, you can conserve water through your landscaping choices and through your choice of sprinkler. The following sections tell you how to use less water and energy in your yard. For green landscaping supplies, check out the following sources I Composters.com (www.composters.com) I...

Water supply

A city's water supply is critically important for a number of reasons. First, it must be pristine and clean. Otherwise, you'll have to buy drinking water or a filter system. Some cities have grungy-tasting water, and even though it may not be harmful to your health, it still makes you feel grungy. Second, some cities simply don't have enough water. You can conserve, but if too many hands are reaching into the pie, costs are likely to rise, as is the amount of pressure to reduce usage even more....

Setting a baseline for comparison Bank accounts and stock market yields

You can always put your hard-earned cash into a bank account and draw simple interest. It's the safest bet, one the Federal Government guarantees. Whenever you consider an investment, the proper starting point is always to consider how it compares to a bank account, so this is where I begin. Strictly speaking, when doing payback calculations, changes in the value of money over time must be taken into account, which basically means that you should discount the value today of a dollar you expect...

Considering a solar or tankless water heater

Most North Americans (almost 55 percent) heat their water with natural gas. About 38 percent heat water with electricity. (The few others heat with oil and liquid petro gas.) However, two types of water heaters are increasingly being used for their energy efficiency solar and tankless water heaters. I Solar water heaters are the best from an energy-efficiency standpoint, but the economics vary greatly from region to region and depend on your power rates and rate structure. From a pollution...

Recycling the Right Way Saves Everybody Energy

In 2005, over 80 million tons of paper were recycled, but that's only a small fraction of all the paper that gets used. Americans also go through 4 million single-use plastic bottles every hour, yet only one in four gets recycled. So what stops folks from recycling Mainly inconvenience. Thus, the best way to make recycling a reality is to set up a system that's convenient and easy to use. For everyday recyclables (paper, plastics, glass, and so on), put bins in the kitchen, if you can. You're...

Looking at Bills resource costs

Bill lists his resource costs as follows i Bill called PG amp E and got four years' worth of history, broken down by month. Figure 3-1 shows one of Bill's typical electric utility bills. The bill is for the period from 1 12 2007 to 2 12 2007. The total for the bill is 403.30. i Because they have a well, Bill doesn't have a water bill, but the cost of his water supply shows up on his electric bill because the well is powered by an electric pump. i The household fills a 64-gallon trash container...