Pays to Live Green's Articles


About Pays to Live Green

I am the lead writer and creator of Pays to Live Green. This blog started to spread the word that there are ways to go green and save money. Though I am not an environmentalist by day, I follow green practices in my daily routine. I enjoy reading and researching about the environment and green topics to help live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.



Green Toys Big Hit This Holiday

December 20, 2010

The Holidays are rapidly approaching us.  Parents are scrambling to buy the latest toys for their kids.  But did you know that green toys are actually a huge hit this year?

Green Toys

Photo from {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/39794839@N03/5078507180/}Cara Faus{/link}.

In the recent past, it has been difficult to get a hold of toys that are made of environmentally friendly products and/or made in the US.  More and more toy makers are embracing the idea of “green toys” this year.  It’s not just a push by consumers, it’s actually demand has risen for them.  With so many toys being made without regulation and using dangerous products, it’s really no surprise.

Since the products are made with more sustainable products and are usually not made in China, there comes a price, literally.  The cost on these products is usually higher than the cheap plastic toys you would normally find.  Usually they are wood toys or those made from recycled or sustainable products.   They may be more expensive, but people are still buying these toys.  Why might you ask?

Well, the obvious answer is that they are better for the environment ans safer for their kids.  Another answer that I have heard from those who buy these toys is that they are much more durable.  They are made with higher quality and usually the products they are made from (i.e. wood) are much stronger.  So in the end, you could actually be saving some money since you don’t need to replace toys that break easy.

The Future

So what exactly is the future of  “green toys”.  If the trend continues like it has this year, we will see a good portion of the toys being sold made with environmentally friendly products.  It will be hard to take over the toys we find on the market today.  Many still like the fact that they are cheaper and kids will still be wanting the latest cheap toy of their favorite TV or movie character.  If the prices of “green toys” can come down some as they already have and if recalls continue to happen, we may see them take a larger share of the market.

The Election is over…Recycle Those Signs

November 3, 2010

Now that the election is over and we are now finding out the winners, we need to start thinking about what to do with all those political signs that are all over the place.

Election Sign Waste

Photo from {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/aschweigert/3037378292/}Adam Schweigert {/link}.

Driving to work and to vote yesterday, I noticed signs on almost every part of free land along side the road.  And what happens to those signs once the election is over, many of those signs are still there.  It’s disappointing that we can put so many of those signs up, but they may end up remaining there for several months down the road.  What’s worse is that lots of those signs will end up in our landfills.  What can we do to prevent this from happening.

Call your local governmental offices and find out what kind of recycling programs are available for those signs.  Some areas including Columbus, Ohio are taking a stand and making sure that those signs are recycled properly.

Though not all signs are recyclable, many can be deconstructed and parts can be recycled and reused.  Here are some ways that you can reuse components of those elections signs.

The Best way that we can prevent this from even happening is to take a stance and Eliminate Election Campaign Signs.  There are not many people swayed by the sight of a sign mentioning a particular candidate.  Those signs add no value to the voters, are only used for a short period of time and create excess waste.  Try contacting your local government and let them know you thoughts on the issue.  They may take a stand if enough people have the same opinion and decide to outlaw the use of campaign signs.

GE EcoMagination Tag Your Green

October 26, 2010

GE’s EcoMagination is introducing their new online movement called Tag Your Green.  By sharing using popular social media outlets, GE is hoping that we can help spread the green word.

One of the best ways to really spread the word on how to living a green lifestyle is through video.  That’s why GE teamed up with Howcast to help bring creative videos on the topic.  Howcast was able to get some of the top video makers on Youtube produce videos on ways to live more green.   Some of those include Wong Fu Productions, Barely Political, DeStorm, What the Buck and many more.  They are taking suggestions from all their fans and producing videos on those topics.

Wong Fu Productions has some really great videos and I decided to share one of the videos they made.

Check out GE’s EcoMagination Tag the Green site to get a full list of all the participants and some of the videos they already produced. Share your favorite videos.

Solar Power to Go Down in Price?

October 22, 2010

The solar company 1366 Technologies has finally received enough funds to bring their process of producing solar wafers at a fraction of their current cost into production. The Direct Wafer manufacturing process in which they developed could help bring the cost of producing solar panels by almost 80%.

The current process of producing solar wafers contains several steps. Not only is this a lengthy process, but a good portion of the original silicon is often wasted during the process. Both factors contribute to the higher cost. The Direct Wafer on the other hand avoids all these steps and converts silicon directly into the wafers. A wafer can then be produced in as little as seconds.

The plan is to start making silicon wafers in 2012, start selling them to a major Chinese solar manufacturer. They could then make their way to the US approximately a year after that.

Let’s hear Frank van Mierlo, CEO of 1366 technologies explain this process.

This sounds like a really promising process that could help bring the cost down so that using solar energy can compete with cheaper sources of energy.

Google Investing in Renewable Energy

October 13, 2010

Google has made two major investments over the past week that could help more Americans get renewable energy.

West Virginia Geothermal

Researchers from Southern Methodist University discovered that West Virginia could have almost double the amount of geothermal energy than originally thought.   If just a fraction of the total potential geothermal energy was used, it could generate more energy than the state is currently producing mostly with coal.

Google made the 1/2 million dollar investment to help produce clean energy for their large number of data centers their currently own.  In total, Google has already invested more than $10 million in making an enhanced geothermal system.  The final goal is to get the clean energy source to cost cheaper than coal.

Offshore Wind Energy

Google has also decided to make a large investment in an offshore wind energy project that could help bring wind energy to many homes throughout America.  The joint project with Good Energies plans to create underwater cables in the Atlantic that would help transport energy from wind farms.  The major setback for renewable energy today is our current infrastructure.  This move could help dramatically upgrade that infrastructure, while expanding the number of places that can receive wind energy.

Google Wind Project

Photo from {link:http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/wind-cries-transmission.html}Google.com{/link}.

Though Google has not released the amount they will invest, Google and Good Energies are planning to take on 37.5% of the equity portion of the project.  It is estimated that the project could cost a total of $5 billion.  A hefty price, but could bring wind energy from offshore projects to cities throughout the Atlantic.

Good Luck to Google with their renewable energy investments and hopefully they continue to make strides so that our country can one day rely more heavily on renewable sources.

Cloth Diapers are back! Why Celebrities are Choosing Cloth

October 11, 2010

Why would a modern mom or dad chose cloth diapers over the convenience of disposables?  Well, cloth diapers are are certainly not the cloth diapers that our mother’s used (that is sooo yesterday) and now come in a variety of cute styles, materials and covers.  But besides making a fashion statement, why are more celebrities choosing cloth than ever before?

They’re easy!

With so many great cloth options available, including all-in-one (diapers with a soft inner liner plus an waterproof outer liner) and one-size-fits-all styles, modern cloth diapers are as easy to put on and take off as disposables.

They’re great on baby’s skin!

Cloth diapers are made of soft cotton and other natural fibers that are gentle to a baby’s skin and can even reduce the risk of diaper rash (yay, no more red tushies!)

They’re green!

Can you believe that just one child can go through over 6,000 disposable diapers in their first three years, producing up to 2 tons of waste?  Cloth diapers can be used over and over again as they can be washed at home and even passed on to a new sibling or friend (now that’s recycling!)  With more celebrities going green, it is no wonder many are choosing to go this route.
They’re great on your budget!

Did you know that the average cost of disposable diapers is around $2400 per child?  In contrast, a complete supply of cloth diapers can cost as little as $500.00.  While cost of diapers is of little concern to the average celebrity, cloth diapers can sure help us regular folk save a few dollars (think of what you can do with all that extra money in your household budget!)

So, who is using cloth?  Word has it that big names like Brooke Shields, Gweneth Paltrow, Tori Spelling and Maggie Gyllenhaal have all used cloth, just to name a few!
Actress Brooke Shields with her two daughters.

Brooke Shields

Photo from {link:http://www.people.com}People.com{/link}.

Photo courtesy of people.com

About Us
This guest post was written by Sarah Reidy, of Everything Birth, Inc.  Owned by Crystal White, Everything Birth has been offering customers an online selection of birth supplies, cloth diapers and organic baby products for over nine years.   The company’s new concept, Diaper Parties SM is now taking the country by storm.   A Diaper Party SM is an opportunity for a group of moms (and moms-to-be) to come together to try out cloth diapers and other baby products.

To find out more about cloth diapers,Diaper Parties SM as well as a wide variety of practical and adorable cloth diapering options, please visit our websites at:

www.everythingbirth.com

www.diaperparties.com

Bottoms Up!

Golf And The Green Surroundings: 5 Reasons Why Golf Is The Ideal Activity For The Environment

October 8, 2010

Did you know that golf can be immensely beneficial to the environment? Many people have no idea of this fact today as a result of the number of articles that have previously been published about the negative consequences of poor golf course management. There have been plenty of them over the past decade, many of which discuss poor water management, the use of chemicals and the eradication of natural habitats. However, these articles did far more than raise awareness of these issues. They also revolutionized golf course management itself, which is now far greener than it has ever been. So what can a golf course offer to the environment? Much like effective golf swing tips, enjoying a little green golfing can offer a whole range of benefits including the following:

1. Well Managed Golf Courses Can Rehabilitate Degraded Landscapes

Golf courses used to traditionally be built on cleared land that contained natural habitats for plants and animals. However, this is not the case today. As planning permission will likely not be granted if natural landscapes are to be cleared, many companies submitting plans to build golf courses actually do so on degraded land. This helps the environment no end because it actually recycles the land and improves its environmental viability. It cleanses the land so you can enjoy a few games of golf where nobody would previously have ventured!

2. Golf Courses And The Surrounding Land Can Support Native Plants And Wildlife

Have you ever been to a golf course that has incorporated wildlife sanctuaries and natural areas that are to be undisturbed? If your golf swing means that you stray off the fairway regularly then this will expose you to more of the delights that such environmentally friendly areas have to offer. In many cases, gold courses vow to preserve specific areas, preventing golfers from straying into them, because this helps to guarantee the health of the greens and fairways as well. As such, you contribute to the success of these areas by supporting eco-friendly golf clubs.

3. Golf Courses Can Protect Water Resources

Instead of wasting water, golf courses can actually preserve water resources like lakes, rivers and ponds by maintaining them, protecting the native creatures that live within the water and by adopting green policies that prevent chemicals running off into the water and polluting it. Previously, this would not have been possible but management policies at golf clubs now ensure that it is. They use natural fertilizers and substances to encourage the health of the courses and this in turn encourages the health of the waters. Furthermore, many have irrigation systems in place that capture and use rainwater instead of other water resources to keep the grass healthy.

4. The Air Quality Can Be Improved By The Presence Of A Golf Course

Green areas help to purify the air by removing pollutants from it and filtering the oxygen. A golf course is of course a green area and can serve these functions as well as helping to moderate the temperature in the local area. This is why many golf courses can now be found in urban areas as well as rural ones. Golf courses are ideal for those looking to enjoy a little clean air and a stroll from time to time and if you happen to have a club in your hand then so much the better!

5. Golf Courses Can Increase The level Of Green Landscape In Any Given Area

This is a given really because the creation of a golf course is no easy feat at all. Golf courses, especially full ones, take up acres of space… acres of green space that comes complete with grass, trees, natural vegetation and natural creature habitats. This can seriously enhance the natural environment and improve the overall landscape in terms of the impact it has on the world we live in as well as the beauty that you are able to enjoy when you are taking the time to walk around the golf course. Taking the time to enjoy it can enhance your peace of mind and quality of life.

All of the above adds up to one thing ¨C golf can be one of the activities that help you to reduce your carbon footprint. This is especially important given how degraded the environment has become in recent years.
Now is the time to start playing golf to revolutionize the way you look at the environment, to enjoy it more and to take full advantage of all of the other benefits it has to offer. Now is the time to start learning your optimum golf swing so that you can enjoy the game as well as the environment with no frustration at all. Check out the only resource you will ever need to enjoy everything the game of golf has to offer ¨C online golf hints and tips by Jack Lenon.

About The Author

Jack Lenon, a native Floridian, lives with his wife and two children. Having played the game of golf for more than 20 years, he is knowledgeable on the topic and offers advice on the golf swing that can revolutionize your game. He is passionate about helping other golfers to improve their handicap via his website www.golf-swing-tempo.org. There you will find information about golf swing aids and other useful hints and tips to give players an edge on the green.

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