Goal For The Green

Para-education and green living information

Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Bookmark and Share

Photo by Jyle Dupuis via Flickr

What is old to some can be new for others when it comes to hybrid vehicles. According to the New York Times, an estimated 415,000 used hybrids were on the market this past May, with some used Toyota Prius models listed as low as $15,000. Similar hybrid models remain competitively priced today, as a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid was recently listed for $15,495 on the used car dealership website Drive Time. However, buyers willing to spend more to own the newest models not only get the full life of a manufacturer’s warranty but they may also be eligible for the federal Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit as well as other state tax credits, as the IRS notes.

Photo by motorblog via Flickr

Whether you buy a used or new model, there are certainly advantages that come with owning a hybrid vehicle—namely the improved gas mileage that will save you money by spending less time at the pump. According to the Huffington Post, hybrid car sales rose about 73 percent from 2011 to 2012 to an estimated 440,000 units. If you do decide to look for a used hybrid vehicle, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind during your search.

As the automotive website Edmunds.com noted, “the first and most important step a prospective buyer should take” is to conduct a thorough check of the used hybrid’s service record. As hybrid vehicle specialist Carolyn Coquilette told Edmunds, the fact that hybrids are largely computer-controlled is good because it generally means you’re not going to have the same concerns about prior driving abuse you would have with other cars. Instead, one concern for hybrid buyers has more to do with the specialized batteries.

The April 2013 issue of Consumer Reports reported that nearly 20 percent of 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid owners required a battery replacement over a 12-month survey period. Additionally, the replacement rate was more than 10 percent for 2003, 2004 and 2010 Civic Hybrid models. Because hybrid batteries can range between $2,000 and $4,000 to replace, that is an understandable concern for potential buyers.

Photo by goldberg via Flickr

However, the Times noted that federal regulations require all hybrids to carry a minimum of a 100,000-mile, eight-year battery warranty, and some tests have shown that hybrid batteries can last much longer. John O’Dell, a senior editor at Edmunds, told the Times that battery life shouldn’t be a concern if a car is less than five years old and has fewer than 100,000 miles. Additionally, two executives at top automotive battery companies told the Wall Street Journal that the cost of lithium-ion batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles will likely be about half of today’s price by 2020.

Another important step in looking for a used hybrid vehicle is to have an independent inspection performed by a trained hybrid mechanic. While many locations will typically have signage letting you know that they employ such trained mechanics, some dealerships do not always have certified mechanics. If you are unsure where to find qualified technicians in your area, the Auto Career Development Center lists such locations.

Photo by jurvetson via Flickr

Price can understandably be the major sticking point for those torn between buying new or used, but it should be noted that David Wurster, president of automotive research company Vincentric, told Forbes that while most hybrids have higher depreciation costs than non-hybrids, about half the hybrids his company analyzed in November 2012 had lower depreciation rates than the non-hybrids. Prospective buyers should also learn about the potential incentives their state offers—many of which are tax credits worth thousands of dollars.

Bookmark and Share

Clean it With Renew Crew!

Jan-6-2014 By Barbara Zak
Bookmark and Share

Conventional wisdom would have us all believe that pressure washing is one of the most efficient cleaning methods for any kind of surface. By literally blasting away dirt and grime, pressure washing should be able to leave your decks, patios and exterior walls looking spotless and good as new. That’s what many people believe anyway, but the truth is that while pressure cleaning can be effective, many situations call for a little bit more.

A Brick walkway after pressure washing

A Brick walkway after pressure washing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pressure cleaning may be able to get rid of the dirt on a solid surface, but it may also leave deeply embedded dirt untouched. At first, most of the dirt and grime that gets embedded into patios and decks may be unnoticeable, but it will build up in time, and if you go years without a thorough cleaning it will look like almost nothing will get rid of it. Fortunately, there are solutions available from Renew Crew. Renew Crew combines pressure washing with its own exclusive solvents that can penetrate deep into the pores of a surface. These solvents loosen embedded dirt that can then be removed with pressure washing.

An Environmentally-Friendly Solution

Those who are worried about the potentially harmful chemicals found in many deep cleaning solvents need not worry when they hire Renew Crew to clean their surfaces. Renew Crew’s solvents utilize environmentally-friendly enzymes that can kill mold and mildew without killing your plants, bleaching your wood or endangering your family or pets. Our solvents also contain special polymers that can seal your surfaces and protect them against the elements. This will extend the life of your concrete patio or wooden deck so that it can be enjoyed by you and your family for years.

Most commercial pressure washing services cannot provide the kind of thorough and superior concrete cleaning and deck sealing that you will get from Renew Crew. Our exclusive solvents and sealants aren’t available in any store, but a simple pressure washing appointment will give you access to products that were developed and refined specifically for Renew Crew.

For more information about the services offered by Renew Crew or to schedule a cleaning, contact us online at www.renewcrewclean.com today.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Bookmark and Share

Indoor Plants for the Office

Dec-27-2013 By Barbara Zak
Bookmark and Share



Office plants are tricky. You want something good-looking, of course, but they can’t require too much sunlight or pruning, because you’re a busy professional with things to do. You’ll also want a species that doesn’t attract bugs or spill dirt all over your carpet as it grows.

window of plants and more mismatched chairs

window of plants and more mismatched chairs (Photo credit: wockerjabby)

Not sure which flora meet all these requirements? Here are eight excellent indoor plants for the office.

1: Bamboo Palm

Also known as “reed palm,” this sprightly plant flourishes in shady, temperature-controlled environments, making it an excellent choice for an office decoration that doesn’t require constant vigilance to maintain.

2: Heart Leaf Philodendron

Like all philodendrons, the heart leaf is great for odor elimination and air purification, but its biggest claim to fame is its large, green, bountiful leaves. Stick it in a pot or let it slide over the edges of a hanging basket to add a splash of color to your business suite.

3: Chinese Evergreen

Small and tidy, the Chinese evergreen won’t outgrow the confines its pot, so you’ll never have to worry about messes or watering mishaps. In fact, it does the best when left entirely alone.

4: Peace Lily

Another species that welcomes the shade, peace lillies will rest comfortably on your desk or bookshelf, requiring only a weekly watering to grow well and rid the air of harmful vapors like formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

5: Strelitzia Reginae

These oddly-shaped blossoms make a great talking point for guests, and they also boast an extraordinarily long life, so you’ll enjoy them as an ice breaker for quite some time. You might also find them under the name “bird of paradise” or “crane flowers.”

6: Spider Plant

These creeping vines are great for businesses with an edge, ones who don’t mind having their visitors walk into the room and ask, “Wow, what’s that?” Consider it a bonus that spider plants are also extremely hard to kill. If you’re a workaholic who forgets the little things, this is the plant for you!

7: Yucca

Perfectly circular rosettes make the yucca a beautiful flower for any office or professional building. They do require a bit of maintenance to keep their shape and neatness, but the results are well worth it, especially in the summer.

8: Gerber Daisy

If you have a window that gets a lot of sun, set your gerber daisies on the sill and watch them thrive. They’re vibrant, colorful plants that will bring cheer to any workspace.



Enhanced by Zemanta
Bookmark and Share