Earth’s Unbreakable Lightbulb

solatube2Let me first start by saying this is much more expensive than a lightbulb. With that in mind, the Solatube is 1/2 light bulb and 1/2 skylight. It uses the suns rays to produce an indoor light in almost any place. We picked one of these up online at DwellSmart.com. They come in 10″ and 14″ diameter however the salesperson I spoke to at my local Green Depot said the 14″ solatubes are mostly for commercial use. I’ve seen this product installed in a few homes on HGTV. We decided to try it out in our spare bathroom that has no windows on the 2nd floor. I’ll post pictures in the next few days.

Why Purchase A Tubular Daylighting Device?

  • It provides as much light as you would expect from a skylight many times its size.
  • It is cost-effective. Tubular Daylighting Devices cost considerably less than other daylighting options, such as windows and skylights, including both product and installation costs.
  • Installing it is fast, clean and easy. They require no structural reframing, tunneling, drywalling or painting. A professional can install the product in less than two hours and most Do-It-Yourselfers can finish the project in one day.
  • It can go almost anywhere. The compact and flexible design of TDDs allow them to be installed in just about any room, including rooms without direct roof access and smaller spaces where daylighting would usually not be an option.
  • It is “Green.” TDDs allow you to switch off electric lights during the day, which provides savings on energy bills and also reduces environmental pollution.
  • It is actually good for you. It has been shown in several prominent studies that increasing daily exposure to natural light can enhance mental and physical well-being, boost concentration and energy levels and a variety of other unexpected perks.

Red Robin Low Calorie Choices?

redrobin2As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m in a biggest loser competition at work, if you can call it that since there are only 2 of us in the competition. Last night I went to Red Robin for dinner which I knew was possibly going to make me go over my calories for the day.  I decided to go to their site prior to visiting the store so I could plan out my meal.  I first looked at their “Lighten Up” menu which is supposed to be their low cal offerings.   The 2 lowest options were their “Lettuce Wrap your Burger” for 422 calories and the “Garden Burger” for 517 calories.

Lettuce Wrap your Burger
422 Calories
27G Fat

The Garden Burger
517 Calories
18g Fat

Crispy Fish Burger
603 Calories
28G Fat

Grilled Turkey Burger
700 Calories
43G Fat

Grilled Salmon Burger
745 Caolries
38G Fat

I did not want the “lettuce wrap your burger” or the garden burger which left me with fish, turkey and salmon burgers.  I instead opted for a standard cheeseburger but had them not put on the seasonings / mayo.  Below is what I ended up choosing:

Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger w/o mayo & seasonings
740 Calories
37g Fat

Red Robin Steak Fries (shared with my wife)
195 Calories (390 calories for entire serving)
27G Fat (54G Fat for entire serving)

All in all I ate approx 935 calories and 64G of fat for dinner. That does not sound that good but to put this in to perspective I will show you what I would have normally picked at Red Robin.

Chili Chili Cheeseburger + Steak Fries
1367 Calories
74G Fat

Mudd Pie (eat 1/2)
695 Calories (1390 for entire serving)
34.5G Fat (69G Fat for entire serving)
———————————————
2062 Calories
108.5G Fat

My plan over the past few weeks during the competition has been to not cut out foods that I like but to make better choices at home and while I am out.

Long time no blog

I realize it’s been a while since I last posted on my blog.  I have had lots of things to write about and little time to write about each topic.  In the coming weeks expect to see a few posts about some new gree products that we purchased over the past few weeks including the Solatube we had installed in our bathroom on Earth Day.

On another note, this week is “Bike to work week”.  Ok so Friday is actually bike to work day but it seems the powers that be are trying to turn it into an entire week.  I do live but one mile from the office and have not switched over to biking to work 100% of the time but am hoping that I will start biking to work more frequently in the coming weeks.

I have started a “biggest loser” weight loss competition at work against Dan.  We are now three weeks in and I have lost 17lbs.  There are a few factors that make that number a bit higher than it really is (ie we weighed in after lunch in jeans the 1st day and before breakfast in shorts every week since then).  I am still happy for the amount of weight I have lost as a result of tracking my calories and running.

That’s all for now!

30% off All CleanWell Eco Friendly Soap / Hand Sanitizer

cleanwellI just received an email from CleanWell with a coupon for 30% off sitewide. We started using CleanWell last year when they offered this same discount during the week of Earth Day.

30% off Entire Order
Cleanwell Coupon – EDO9
Valid Now Through 4/26

Cleanwell soaps can be found at Amazon, Whole Foods, Target and Bath & Body Works. One of the best items they have are these pocket packs which are great for travel. Ordering a 10pk at Cleanwell using the above coupon will cost you $15.39 + Shipping. In comparison, Amazon sells this same 10pk for $23.92 + shipping.

HomeDepot – Free CFL Bulb + Free Water Saving Faucet Aerator + B1G1 Organic Seeds on Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day, visit your local Home Depot on April 19th for a free CFL Bulb. Limit 1 per customer while supplies last. Home Depot will also be giving away Free Water-Saving Faucet Aerator Inserts and will have Buy 1, Get 1 Free on assorted seed packets including organic selections.

picture-251

More Earth Day Freebies:
Disney Store – while supplies last, guests can exchange three empty bottles for a free commemorative Earth Day reusable water bottle
Reynolds Wrap – Free Roll of 100% Recycled Aluminum
EarthBound Farms – Free Tote bag if you are one of the first 10,000 each week in the month of April. Read the site / fill out the pledge to be eligible for the tote
Starbucks Canada – Free Coffee if you bring in a travel mug

Health Canada Declares BPA Hazardous to Human Health

bpa_2Health Canada will officially list Bisphenol A (BPA) on its list of toxic chemicals this saturday according to a recent report on Canada.com’s site. This move is the result of new research which has shown that BPA can be detrimental to adults & children. According to a recent study published last month by the American Medical Association, there is a “significant relationship” between exposure to the ubiquitous estrogenic chemical and heart disease, diabetes and liver problems. BPA can be found in just about everything from cans (soda, soup, tomato sauce), water bottles, baby bottles and plastic toys.

Recent BPA Articles:
Canada.com – Top baby bottle (Avent) leached more chemicals
Canada.com – Health Canada Makes it Official: BPA is Health Hazard
The Washington Post – No BPA for Baby Bottles in U.S.
Time.com – Reassessing the Dangers of BPA in Plastics

10 Organic Foods that are worth the money

I just read an article on Real Simple that listed the top 10 organic foods that are worth the money and their reasoning. Here is a summary or you can read the entire article here as well.

picture-20 picture-21 picture-28

Baby Food – “An infant’s immune, nervous, and detoxification system is less developed than an adult’s and more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides,” says Elson M. Haas, M.D., author of The Staying Healthy Shopper’s Guide. The green beans, peaches, and apples that go into baby food (and all over your kitchen floor) tend to be treated with chemicals. Organic brands like Earth’s Best are available.

ApplesA is for apple―and a lot of pesticides. According to the Food and Drug Administration, more pesticides (a whopping 36) are found on apples than on any other fruit or vegetable. In one test, as many as seven chemicals were detected on a single apple.

Strawberries – Strawberries are one of the most contaminated of all produce items in the United States.

picture-25 picture-22 picture-29

Grapes – Because grapes ripen quickly, tend to mold, and attract insects, growers hit them with multiple applications of various chemicals. The worst are Chilean grapes, which are treated with as many as 17 of them.

Butter & Milk – The grains that dairy cows eat are heavily treated with chemicals, which have a residual, though still notable, presence in milk and dairy products. (Milk may also contain bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.)

Winter Squash – Like cantaloupes and cucumbers, winter squash has a propensity to absorb dieldrin from the soil into its edible parts.

picture-23 picture-24 picture-26 picture-27

Cucumbers – In a survey of 42 common vegetables, cucumbers were ranked second in cancer risk and 12th in “most contaminated food” by the Environmental Working Group, a respected public-interest group.

Green Beans – The Environmental Protection Agency has more than 60 pesticides registered for use on green beans.

Spinach – In a certain cartoon, spinach makes muscles. In real life, the chemicals used to treat it may cause cancer or interfere with hormone production.

Cantaloupe – Cantaloupes often contain five of the longest-lasting chemicals, one of which is dieldrin, an exceedingly toxic and carcinogenic insecticide.

BYD Makes “Green” Battery Fluid / Hybrid Car

BYD F3DMBYD is an up and coming Chineese car company that has begun selling the F3DM, an electric car with backup gasoline engine, in China.  The new F3DM will go farther on a single charge, 62 miles, than other electric cars and sells for $22,000. In comparison the hyped up Chevy Volt will be starting at $35,000 and will be able to go 40 miles on a single charge . BYD plans to bring the F3DM to the US in 2010.

One of the most interesting parts of the article I read was that Wang, CEO of BYD, poured battery fluid into a glass and drank it to demonstrate that his company developed a nontoxic electrolyte fluid for their vehicles.

More New Stories / Links for BYD:

Preview on Edmunds.com:

picture-201

Grow 100lb of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet

picture-19I just read an article in the Seattle Times that shows you how to grow 100lbs of potatoes in 4 square feet. The information for the article was taken from GardenCitySeeds.com. It seems like a pretty cool concept for people with very little garden space to create tons of fresh potatoes.  I’ll have to try this next year if we are successful with growing the various veggies we are planning on planting this year.